True learning involves “figuring out how to use what you already know
in order to go beyond what you already think.”


Jerome Bruner has been a key player in the development of psychology over the past five decades. As one of the founders of cognitive psychology, he was instrumental in revolutionising the thinking of the day from a strictly behavouristic stance to a more cognitive approach. His work emphasised "mentalism" and the ways in which people make sense of the world by "going beyond the information given". This was a shift from the prevailing belief in pure environmental control, to one which recognised that an organism takes in information from the external world, applies internal cognitive processes to it, and acts on the results. Bruner's contribution to cognitive psychology was particularly significant in his ability to demonstrate unobservable mental processes in an empirical framework. His was the first systematic attempt to apply an experimental approach to this difficult area of psychology.

Bruner has also contributed greatly to the science through his continual stretching of the boundaries. Rather than holding fixedly to one doctrine over time, as had been the case in the behavourist era, he has continued to explore new areas of thinking and consider more creative ways to tackle issues. This refreshing approach has allowed for more intensive research in specific areas, rather than on the construction of general systems.
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Bruner's Major Work

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"So let us return to the question of how to construct a mental science around the concept of meaning and the processes by which meanings are created and negotiated within a community."


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