Publications & Resources

Categories of Cognitive Skills

Mar 1968

Harriet Foster

This paper is concerned with identifying dimensions of cognitive tasks which may be relevant to questions of generalizing research findings and to measuring generalization of learning and performance. The paper discusses types of cognitive processes which have been identified by investigators of thinking or cognition. The dimensions of “operations,” “products,” and “content” used by Guilford in his model of the intellect are used as a basis for comparing processes described by other writers as information processing, concept formation, problem solving, etc. Cognition, memory, convergent and divergent thinking, and evaluation as defined by Guilford are compared with information storage and retrieval and with the increase and decrease of uncertainty in information terms. “Products” are considered in terms of complexity and in relation to the hierarchical systems of other writers. The paper is an attempt to identify the significant aspects of cognition, as suggested by different writers, as one step in the measurement of cognitive skills.

Foster, H. (1968). Categories of cognitive skills (CSE Report 1). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, Center for the Study of Evaluation.