The cognitive perspective is concerned with “mental” functions such as memory, perception, attention, etc. It views people as being similar to computers in the way we process information (e.g., input-process-output). For example, both human brains and computers process information, store data and have input and output procedure. This has led cognitive psychologists to explain that memory is comprised of three stages: encoding (where information is received and attended to), storage (where the information is retained) and retrieval (where the information is recalled).
It is an extremely scientific approach and typically uses lab experiments to study human behavior. The cognitive approach has many applications including cognitive therapy, evidence-based self-care, and eyewitness testimony.