I understand that the term "Cognify" in cognitive psychology means that you are made aware of something but not yet have sufficient insight to act.

Does the term describe the insufficiency of insight or does it describe the fact of being made aware of something (which presumably will eventually become cognitive comprehension)?

I'm asking because the term is being used marketing wise at our company, and I want to make sure that it actually describes something positive.


Which would you say is the more appropriate synonym for cognify?

  • Being made aware of.
  • Inadequately understood to make a decision.

1 Answer 1


I did a quick google search for you and cognify only returned new, hip, modern, trendy websites and apps. So that was no use. Cognify just appears to sound cool in the industry.

When I looked at google scholar citation I again did not find many results, let alone studies that explicitly study cognify or cognification. As a matter of fact, only 14(!!) results were produced with just the word cognify. Within these results, I was able to find some papers that had used the word.

Bentrop (2014) appears to use cognify like your first translation: to become aware or to make explicit.

“Teachers need to “cognify” their curriculum—examine their subject matter to identify and explicitly teach the thinking skills which are embedded within their subject

Vakalo (1978) uses cognify as "building a fitting (mental) picture" or, similarly to the former study, "becoming aware".

When one visits an area for the first time he expects evidence of the presence of some phenomena and absence of others. The mechanism he uses to perceive and cognify spatial phenomena is comparison.

It seems thus that cognify means "becoming aware", more likely by yourself (through the act of deliberate thought) instead of "being made aware of". The fact that Vakalo used the word in 1978 already, but is not that well known still, shows that the word hasn't gained much traction in psychological sciences. It is thus likely that cognify is not an official term.

If you would like to read more on becoming aware, you should have a look at situation awareness (being aware) or situation assessment (becoming aware; e.g. Endsley, 1995; Wickens, 2008).


Bentrop, S. M. (2014). Creating an educational app rubric for teachers of students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Endsley, M. R. (1995). Toward a theory of situation awareness in dynamic systems. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 37(1), 32-64.

Vakalo, E. G. G., & Plessas, D. J. (1978). A conceptual framework for the estimation of opportunity loss at the regional-sectoral level with an application to Greece. Επιθεώρηση Κοινωνικών Ερευνών, 32(32), 117-126.

Wickens, C. D. (2008). Situation awareness: Review of Mica Endsley's 1995 articles on situation awareness theory and measurement. Human factors, 50(3), 397-403.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. It seems, then, that the canonical usage of the term within academia does not demand there to be a lack of insight. Cognification may initially be accompanied by incomplete comprehension, but it is not an inherent part of the definition. Would you agree that that is a fair conclusion from the resources you provided, even though the term still lacks a formal definition? $\endgroup$
    – Tormod
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ I guess it is indeed $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 10:40

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