1. (computing) Performing operations on input data in a sequence of functional steps, transforming it into different output data in accordance with a specific goal.
2. (cognitive psychology) A model of human cognition based on the metaphor of the computer (see also cognition). This conceptualizes sensory data as input (see also bottom-up processing), and thinking as performing operations on this, generating output which guides the selection and execution of goal-directed actions (see also top-down processing). Constructivist critics argue that this reductively ignores the centrality of meaning rather than information in human cognition, the inseparability of cognition and affect, and the importance of social interaction and bodily experience.