Adjective > Cognitive
Cognition is the act of thinking or knowing, or the process of learning and using what you’ve learned.
And something cognitive involves thinking, knowing, learning, or using what you’ve learned.
Part of speech:
Adjective: “She took a cognitive test;” “They have some cognitive biases;” “As we reach old age, we experience a cognitive decline.”
how to use it:
The word “cognitive” has a formal, scientific tone.
We use it often in phrases like these:
1. “Cognitive test” and “cognitive testing.” These test a person’s mental functioning.
2. “Cognitive biases.” These are flaws in how we think or remember. We all have some.
3. “Cognitive ability,” “cognitive function,” and the lack thereof: “cognitive impairment,” “cognitive deficits,” and “cognitive decline.”
4. “Cognitive science,” “cognitive psychology,” “cognitive neuroscience,” “cognitive neuropsychology,” etc. These fields focus on the function of the mind.
5. “Cognitive dissonance” is that painful mismatch that sometimes crops up between your beliefs and your behavior. If I’m a vegetarian, but I help myself to a bowl of refried beans, pretending I don’t know they’re cooked in lard? Then I’m feeling the pain of cognitive dissonance.
There’s more, of course. Like cognitive strategies for studying and reading and solving problems, and cognitive behavioral therapy–that’s powerful stuff.
Aside from those common phrases, we can also talk about cognitive issues, powers, faculties, approaches, development, etc.
“Cognitive labor: the process of anticipating, planning and monitoring that is often required in household tasks.”
— Jennifer Miller, New York Times, 27 May 2020
“Observing how some companies have, over the past decade, transformed troves of personal data into profit while displaying a wanton attitude to securing such data makes [John Dylan Haynes, a professor of neuroscience] wary of the growing consumer BCI [brain-computer interface] industry. ‘I’d be very careful about giving up our cognitive information to companies,’ he said.”
— Oscar Schwartz, The Guardian, 24 October 2019