Cognitive psychology

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・6 Sources

Cognitive psychology is a vast discipline of psychology that studies how people interpret information scientifically. It entails the investigation of perception, attention, memory, language processing, and problem-solving abilities. Cognitive psychology explains how people can improve their decision-making accuracy, correct learning impairments, and assist patients recover from brain surgery. It helps us understand how people generate, store, and recall memories. This allows psychologists to devise novel methods for assisting individuals in improving their memory and combating potential memory problems (Tamminga et al., 2016).
Physiological psychology, on the other hand, is the scientific study of the evolutionary and developmental underpinnings of behavior and experience. It majors on the study of how the brain function, how Neurons and Glia parts are integrated into their functions of conveying information to one another and other body parts. Physiological studies aids in forecasting expected behavioral patterns in the society and ways in which brain function can be changed through cognitive therapies such as alcoholism and drug addictions (Castro & Bialystok, 2014). Below is an essay that evaluates the impact of cognitive and physiological psychology on executive functioning. The essay focuses one type of executive functioning known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Executive functioning

Executive functioning can be defined as an individual’s ability to plan, organize execute and complete tasks. It is the first level of a human’s cognitive skills which involves the process of communication and organization in multiple brain sites and pathways. It allows an individual to make a decision when in conflicting thoughts and also get rid of unimportant information. It helps a person to anticipate the future outcomes of engaging in current activities and hence work toward a definite goal. And most importantly, executive functioning skills impede impulses that can result to socially unacceptable outcomes (Wickens, 2009).


As the name suggests, executive function is higher level set of abilities that regulates and influence the basic abilities such as attention and memory. Executive function is critical for individual adoption and performance in the real life state. They enable a person to plan, organize, complete their tasks and also handle life challenges (Coghill et al., 2014). In a real-life situation, environments are very unpredictable, and therefore executive functions are crucial to the human ability to recognize the impact of the unexpected situation and make different plans especially when an unusual event occurs and interfere with normal routines. In this way, they highly contribute to the success of our daily life either t work or school through enabling individuals to handle their daily life challenges (Goldstein & Naglieri, 2014).

Impact of Executive Functioning

Executive functions deficit has great impact on individual behaviors. For example, people with poor executive function often have a problem with relating well with other people. Since they lack the ability to inhibit certain behaviors they may find themselves saying the thing that is offensive, insulting or socially unacceptable and hence appearing to be socially unfit. Additionally, poor executive function plays significant major role in antisocial disorders such as drug and substances (Brown & Smith-Petersen, 2014). According to research, most heavy users of drug and alcohol have impaired executive results. Shortage of executive functioning is highly associated with several disorders such as depression. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Schizophrenia, Tourette's autism and Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Getting a remedy for executive functioning issues is somewhat challenging. However, brained based learning such as cognitive enhancement programs can lead to improvement of some skills such as attention to details, the ability to plan, auditory processing, processing speed and much more.(ADHD) (Wickens, 2009).This essay will examine the relation between executive functioning and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is an executive functioning disorder that is characterized by a constant pattern of inattention / hyperactivity/impulsivity that is mostly expressed in the academic, social and professional setting. The attention problems range from inability to complete the task, inability to stay organized, always making careless mistakes, quickly getting distracted and much more. On the other hand, the problem with hyperactivity includes excessive talking, running, squirminess et.c. On impulsiveness the individual may be impatient, constant interrupting others or shouting answers and such. It is common for a person with ADHD to have symptoms from one group only. For example, one person may show symptoms of hyperactivity but lack of showing symptoms of inattention ultimately (Wickens, 2009).

Additionally, children with ADHD tend to have poor peer relationships, low self-esteem, high temper and low level of frustration tolerance. They also tend to have troubles in school performance hence low academic achievement. However, it is critical to realize that these symptoms can occur due for many other reasons besides ADHD (Coghill et al., 2014).

Causes of ADHD

According to research, ADHD is a medical disorder that is caused by various factors which affect how the brain functions. Most parts of the brain such Frontal lobes, cerebellum and basal ganglia has a significant role in causing ADHD because of their involvement in complex processes that control different behaviors in an individual. As earlier stated, most individuals who develop ADHD have hereditary factors such as family, adoption or twin studies. According to (Goldstein & Naglieri, 2014) over 30% of the first-degree relatives of families with a history of ADHD children had ADHD. Additionally, exposure to harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy was highly accredited to cause hyperactivity and learning problem in the first three years of a child’s school life. For example, nicotine and alcohol have harmful effects that affect brain tissues development.;

Poor parenting practices and a stressful family life can also be associated with an increase in ADHD symptoms. Although no research have proved that low-income families practices cause ADHD, it is highly believed that families that mishandle children’s who already have ADHD may lead them to increase the signs especially hyperactivity symptoms. For example, a parent of children with ADHD tends to make negative comments about them or pay negative attention to them (Coghill et al. 2014). This can highly be attributed to the fact that ADHD children are often non-compliant with rules and regulations hence the constant negative reactions from parents. However, it is crucial to provide suitable accommodation and intervention to this children as a way of reducing ADHD symptoms and the extent to which they affect the child’s brain functioning.

Epidemiology of ADHD

According to worldwide studies, the prevalent rate or ADHD is equivalent to 4.28% (95% Confidence Interval) of children and adolescents. The rate of boys with ADHD is 10% higher compared to girls. Additionally, it is more prevalent in children under 12 years compared to adolescents. Overall, estimation of ADHD prevalence is almost comparable from one country to another except on Africa and Middle East nations where they have lower ADHD prevalence as compared to Europe and North America (Brown & Smith-Petersen, 2014). Research shows that child inattention and hyperactivity symptoms are very common among single and unemployed parent, parents with a low level of education and low-income families. Finally, two-third of children with ADHD was identified to have concurrent psychiatric and developmental disorders. For example, most of them had language disabilities, anxiety and low self-esteem (Tamminga et al., 2016).

Relationship between Executive Functions and ADHD

As far as ADHD and executive functions are concerned, a large volume of literature exists on performance of executive functions by children, adolescent, and adult who have ADHD. Most studies suggest that individuals with ADHD frequently demonstrate executive function deficit. According to (Catro & Bialystok, 2014) Cognitive skills / executive function skills mature slower in people with ADHD. In his research, he found out that brain of an adolescent who has ADHD developed three years slower than their age mates who don’t have the condition. This clarifies why people with ADHD demonstrate delayed /poor executive skills. The delay in expression of executive function is especially notable among young children.

According to (Tamminga et al., 2016) poor executive function in children with ADHD often cause problem in various areas such as starting and completing their assignments, remembering and memorizing facts, planning ahead, solving mathematics problems, doing things on time, writing essays and many more. He further explained that they have impaired working memory and slow processing speed. This is critical areas of executive function which often lacks in children with ADHD. For example child with ADHD finds it challenging to write an essay because it involves holding and organizing ideas in one’s mind, having to remember the correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling, manipulating all your ideas into a logical sequence and eliminating errors that you made. It is extremely difficult for this child to perform all these functions at once hence some end up not completing the tasks or having academic underachievement (Coghill et al., 2014).

Into past decade, executive function theories have gradually evolved and gained reputation among psychologists who specialize in treating individuals with cognitive disabilities especially ADHD . (Wickens, 2009) Came up with models that explain the six clusters of cognitive functions which are closely involved in executive function. They include Effort, activation, focus, emotion, memory, and Action. According to him the six functions work in close cooperation and simultaneously with each other in incorporated ways to aid in running the daily tasks. In his study, he found out those children, adults, and adolescents with ADHD had impairment in all the six cognitive functions of his models. Below is an analysis of the six clusters of cognitive functions which are involved in Executive functioning.

Six Clusters of Cognitive Functions Model

The activation function involves the ability to organize tasks, estimate the amount of time required to complete it and getting started on the task. Studies show that a lot of individual with ADHD are chronic procrastinators and only get started on a task when they have extremely limited time. The focus function involves setting up, maintaining and shifting focus. An individual with ADHD is easily distracted by their thoughts and objects surrounding them. This lack of focus is expressed in the classroom and highly impairs their ability to read comprehensions (Goldstein & Naglieri, 2014).

Efforts functions involve the ability to control alertness, sustaining efforts and processing speed. According to Brown & Smith-Petersen (2014), an individual with ADHD can carry out short project magnificently. However, they find it challenging to sustain efforts on long projects that take a lot of time. The deficit in focus interferes with individual daily functions such as sleeping and alertness. For example, some people may struggle to fall asleep because it is hard to shut their minds. However, when they get some sleep, they fall too deeply into it that it again becomes a struggle to wake up.

The emotion function refers to the challenge of regulating different types of emotions. An individual with ADHD finds it hard to control/manage their various emotions such as desires, frustration, disappointment, anger e.t.c. This emotion ends up taking control their minds hence becomes difficult to focus on other things. The memory function refers to the ability to access a recall. An individual with ADHD is often right in remembering things that happened over a long time (Tamminga et al., 2016). However, they find it difficult to remember what just happened, what they just did or said. Other time they find it difficult to retrieve the information they have learned from their memory.

Finally, the Action function involves the ability to monitor and regulate one’s action. People with ADHD are often reckless in their words and action. They also tend to jump too fast into conclusion and fail to note when their actions or words are annoying to others so that they can modifying them. The deficit of action function often causes people with ADHD to be socially unfit or have a poor peer relationship.

Utilizing the Executive Function Model in individual’s with ADHD

According to Coghill et al. (2014) Executive function model can be utilized for people with ADHD to evaluate and recognize the particular cognitive challenge an individual. Through this, an individual can be helped to improve the overall functioning. They also get to know their strengths and abilities better which are a necessary part of treatment. He furthers continued to explain that the two highest level of cognitive thoughts includes synthesis and evaluation. Synthesis is the ability of an individual to put ideas together, put forward a plan and its solutions and also creates new information. At the Evaluation stage, an individual should be able to come up with choices, choose, assess and make judgments about information or situation (Wickens, 2009)

Also, to improving ADHD symptoms through uses of executive function model, ADHD symptoms can be reduced through the use of ADHD drugs that help in balancing neurotransmitters. They are two types of ADHD drugs which include stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants help an individual with ADHD to focus and disregard distractions. On the other hand, non-stimulant is used when the impacts of stimulants are too much to handle. Additionally, they can be used when a person has a medical condition that prevents use of stimulants. Although the drugs have potential to increase concentration/focus, they also can cause serious side’s effects such as heart problems, loss of appetite, mood swings and much more (Brown & Smith-Petersen, 2014).


Executive functioning has a close relation with ADHD. Most people with ADHD are side to have an impaired executive functioning. This can highly accredit to the fact that ADHD leads to slow development of executive skills such as memorizing and retrieving information. Additionally, all the six functions of executive functioning which include focus, attention, and action are found to be impaired hence the general deficit in executive function. According to Goldstein & Naglieri (2014), the six function model can help to understand individuals with ADHD strength, abilities and their most problematic function which is the first step in helping them.


Brown, S. W., & Smith-Petersen, G. A. (2014). Time perception and temporal order memory. Acta psychologica, 148, 173-180.

Calvo, A., & Bialystok, E. (2014). Independent effects of bilingualism and socioeconomic status on language ability and executive functioning. Cognition, 130(3), 278-288.

Coghill, D. R., Hayward, D., Rhodes, S. M., Grimmer, C., & Matthews, K. (2014). A longitudinal examination of neuropsychological and clinical functioning in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): improvements in executive functioning do not explain clinical improvement. Psychological Medicine, 44(05), 1087-1099.

Goldstein, S., & Naglieri, J. (2014). Introduction: A History of Executive Functioning as a Theoretical and Clinical Construct. Handbook of Executive Functioning, 3-12.

Tamminga, H. G., Reneman, L., Huizenga, H. M., & Geurts, H. M. (2016). Effects of methylphenidate on executive functioning in ADHD across the lifespan: a meta-regression analysis. Psychological Medicine, 7, 333-7.

Wickens, Andrew P. Introduction to Biopsychology. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited, 2009. Print.

Get a price
Academic level
Pages *275 words
Total price
$ 0 .00
$ 0 .00

Prices that are easy on your wallet

Our experts are ready to do an excellent job starting at $14.99 per page

What Clients Say About Us
Our Customers Rated UsGreat
Out of 5 Based on 357 Reviews
I experienced difficult times trying to complete huge number of assignments to my university at the same time and you, guys, literally saved me. Everything was done in time and on the highest level! I really appreciate your help.
Essay, History, 12 pages, 7 days, Master's
First time when I placed an order with you, I just lacked time to do all the homework and it was a lot going on in my family. But today I’m doing it sometimes just for fun – I really enjoy communicating with your Customer Support members and just letting myself being a bit lazy
Yuong Lo Mui,
Literature review, IT, 17 pages, 4 days, Master's
My GPA is 4.0 and I’ve always been doing everything myself, but there is a class which I was about to fail thus my GPA would decrease first time in so many years. I ordered few assignments to be completed with and you did a great job! Thanks to you I still remain one of the best students on campus.
Essay, Politics, 8 pages, 5 days, Junior
I am not used to such services and I usually write all the papers by myself. But this time I got in a very difficult situation and had to order my paper on this website. To my surprise it appeared to be quite good. Thank you, it is really nice service. Think I'll get back to you soon!
Thesis, Management, 34 pages, 14 days, Master's
I am on my maternity leave now, so I spend a lot of time at home taking care of my little son. I’ve decided to get one more higher education degree while I’m spending so much time at home and applied for distance learning in one online college. But caring a baby takes even more time then I excepted so I’m the way too busy to write the complicated masters level research works, but is so-so-so cool! Thank you for that you exist! I don’t know what I would do without you all!
Essay, Education, 15 pages, 8 days, Master's
I am studying and working at the same time and it is difficult to cope with university assignments as I am very tired after the work day. You service is a salvation for me as it helps to do everything on time. I am really happy about it. Wish you everything the best! Especially my lovely writer 109!
Coursework, Religion, 11 pages, 7 days, Master's

We at

work according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which means you have the control over your personal data. All payment transactions go through a secure online payment system, thus your Billing information is not stored, saved or available to the Company in any way. Additionally, we guarantee confidentiality and anonymity all throughout your cooperation with our Company.

Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!  

Order Now