Definition of cognition in US English:



  • 1The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

    • ‘The prefrontal lobe is known to be involved in pragmatic language processes and complex social cognition.’
    • ‘Prominent theories of mind hold that human cognition generally is computational.’
    • ‘By metacognition I mean knowledge about cognition itself and control of one's own cognitive processes.’
    • ‘This research focuses on how dissociative processes and implicit cognition may act in concert to affect substance use.’
    • ‘Valuings of objects as useful can also be immediate - that is, not mediated by cognition or awareness of what one is doing.’
    • ‘To say that cognition is embodied means that it arises from bodily interactions with the world.’
    • ‘For reason alone can attain to truth either in cognition or action.’
    • ‘Narrative approaches to therapy place emphasis on cognition and social processes in meaning making.’
    • ‘Forging a closer relationship between the education process and the process of cognition is key to creative thinking.’
    • ‘There is a unity between the logical and historical methods, which means that any process of logical cognition has a history of its own.’
    • ‘He was deaf and dumb, and not surprisingly the Court's statement dwelt on matters of cognition and understanding.’
    • ‘The findings from these experiments have been taken to demonstrate the role of cognition in the experience of emotion.’
    • ‘This form of mental unity could appropriately be called unity of cognition.’
    • ‘In itself the a priori has nothing whatever to do with thinking and cognition.’
    • ‘Vision has long been associated with reason, cognition, and empiricism.’
    • ‘He is an experimental psychologist specialising in the study of human cognition and language understanding.’
    • ‘The model is also consistent with the growing recognition of nonrational and nonconscious processes in cognition.’
    • ‘Collectively, the papers make a significant contribution to our understanding of science and cognition.’
    • ‘Many biologists have begun posing and testing hypotheses concerning animal experience and cognition.’
    • ‘Theories of social cognition delineate how people process information in interpersonal interactions.’
    perception, discernment, awareness, apprehension, learning, understanding, comprehension, enlightenment, insight, intelligence, reason, reasoning, thinking, thought, conscious thought
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    1. 1.1 A result of this; a perception, sensation, notion, or intuition.
      • ‘Psychologists often refer to these two components as cognitions and affect (feelings).’
      • ‘Dealing only with conscious feelings or cognitions may be an inadequate approach to changing feelings or behaviors in the long term.’
      • ‘I think those cognitions and those values and those moral beliefs inevitably shape our manner of expressing our own desires.’
      • ‘This internal dialogue has been described as comprising voluntary cognitions, automatic thoughts, and images, which are transient and easily accessible to awareness.’
      • ‘Such thoughts and attitudes, or cognitions, as they are called, cannot be ignored when a clinician is evaluating a person in pain and planning their treatment.’
      • ‘This study has shown new evidence that thoughts of hostility and revenge form a unique component of cognitive content distinct from cognitions about threat and personal failure/loss.’
      • ‘In this way, clients gain an awareness of their cognitions and dialogue that affect their behaviour.’
      • ‘Dissonance occurs when ever a person holds inconsistent cognitions (eg opinions, beliefs or behaviours).’
      • ‘The premise is that individuals strive toward consistency between cognitions by changing their opinions or beliefs to make them more consistent with each other.’
      • ‘Cognitive inconsistency reflects the extent to which one's cognitions and overall attitude are dissimilar.’
      • ‘It aims to change cognitions, patterns of thought surrounding the traumatic incident.’
      • ‘More specifically, problematic cognitions such as obsessive thoughts are seen as the by-products of emotional states.’
      • ‘Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves working with cognitions to change emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.’
      • ‘What appears to be warranted are concerted efforts by parents and educators that engage and involve the cognitions and affects of these young people.’
      • ‘Sometimes, cognitions can also occur beyond an individual's conscious awareness, in which case certain techniques are used to uncover them.’
      • ‘This allows the patient to feel safe during the exposure and brings greater awareness of the cognitions attached to their physical responses of panic.’
      • ‘Please don't trouble psychologists by asking them whether statements like, ‘I hate my father’ or ‘I love you’ are emotions or cognitions.’
      • ‘The key to understanding and succeeding in negotiations lies in greater awareness of the limitations in individual cognitions.’
      • ‘That makes it at least plausible for a social cognitive premise that views prejudicial or stereotype-laden cognitions as largely unavoidable for most humans.’
      • ‘Conceptualizations are cognitions based merely on abstract mental activities.’
      perception, discernment, awareness, apprehension, learning, understanding, comprehension, enlightenment, insight, intelligence, reason, reasoning, thinking, thought, conscious thought
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin cognitio(-), from cognoscere ‘get to know’.