What Are Examples of Mental Processes?

Some examples of mental processes, which are also known as cognitive processes and mental functions, include perception, creativity and volition. The processes of the mind go beyond these three, but an understanding of perception, creativity and volition is an apt introduction to the many other cognitive capabilities of individuals.

Perception is the ability of the mind to transform sensory stimuli into conscious thought or sensation. It is a phenomenon that happens almost instantaneously and involves the actions of millions of neurons in the brain. To better understand perception, it is essential to understand the properties, nature and activities of these neurons. Such activities are controlled not only by chemicals but also by other internal and external processes.

Creativity is the mind’s ability to form something new, valuable or innovative, whether it is a solution to a difficult conflict or the making of a great work of art. The mind’s ability to reshape experience through creative acts allows individuals to perceive their world more with greater depth and understanding. Many psychologists have also marked creativity as an essential survival mechanism.

Volition, also known as will, is the ability of the mind to make decisions, whether internal or external, based on experience and speculation. Volition is at the heart of moral and ethical philosophy, and it is connected to other mental processes such as conation, which is the connection of knowledge and affect to behavior.