Jerome Bruner

Jerome Bruner

Jerome Seymour Bruner is a well-known psychologist who has made immensely meaningful contributions to cognitive learning theory and human cognitive psychology in the field of educational psychology. His other fields of interest include general philosophy of education as well as history. Born on 1st October, 1915 in New York, he did B.A in psychology from Duke University. After that, he completed master’s degree in psychology followed by a doctorate degree from Harvard University. Jerome Bruner’s first article was published in 1939 which discussed the effect of thymus on the rat’s behavior. His academic career started as a professor of psychology at the Harvard University where he served as an ardent researcher in the fields of educational and cognitive psychology. After serving at Harvard for 15 years he was offered to teach at University of Oxford in England. He accepted the offer and taught there for ten years. He came back to the United States to conduct researches in the field of developmental psychology in 1980. After that, he got an opportunity to join the faculty at the prestigious New York University. He still teaches at the university.

Bruner is one of the most influential psychologists who has laid the foundation for ground-breaking researches in cognitive psychology. He identified that sensation and perception are active processes rather than passive ones conducting a series of experiments on perception which posed a challenge to psychologists in terms of interpreting the organism’s response to stimulus externally as well as internally. The obvious result of cognitive development is thinking. The intelligent mind creates itself from experience “generic coding systems that permit one to go beyond the data to new and possibly fruitful predictions” (Bruner, 1957, p. 234). Bruner presented the view that children must adapt to the “recurrent regularities” present in their surroundings. So, according to Bruner the significant outcomes of learning must incorporate the ability to adapt and learn through personal experiences in an individual besides the formal education.  After working on these experiments he shifted his attention and time towards studying actual cognitions in the perception studies. Bruner presented his research that sheds light on the cognitive development of children in 1966 which suggests three phases of representation in cognitive development.

He has awarded with many awards and honors in recognition of his profound works in the field of psychology. Most prominently, he was awarded with distinguished scientific research award by the American Psychological Association. He has also published numerous books that reflect his varied accomplishments as a researcher and psychologist. His literary works consist of several books on cognitive psychology, educational psychology and language development. Currently he is serving as a research fellow at the New York University School of Law.


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