Cognitive psychology is a paradigm of psychology that places strong emphasis on understanding the mind as a cause of behavior. Research focuses on many areas including: perception, memory, speech, attention, and action choice. Cognitive psychologist believe that it is possible to both systematically describe and empirically examine the components of the mind. The field draws heavily on analogies to computational science and describes the mind as a collection of algorithms. The computational theory of mind is a central component to most of cognitive psychology research.
Cognitive psychology has also expanded into clinical applications. Cognitive therapy focuses on changing the ideas in the mind and is used in treatments of a range of disorders most notably depression. It is also used in combination with behavioral psychology in Cognitive-behavioral therapy for treatment of phobias or other disorders where controlled exposure can help.
The birth of the field was predominantly during the 1960s, it was in a large way a response to the inadequacies of the behaviorist paradigm.