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Bloom’s Taxonomy: Cognitive | Affective | Psychomotor Domain

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Cognitive | Affective | Psychomotor Domain

Three domains of learning

There are three main domains of learning and all teachers should know about them and use them to construct lessons. These domains are cognitive (thinking), affective (emotion/feeling), and psychomotor (physical/kinesthetic). Each domain on this page has a taxonomy associated with it. Taxonomy is simply a word for a classification. All of the taxonomies below are arranged so that they proceed from the simplest to more complex levels.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy is named after Benjamin Bloom. It was first presented in 1956 by a committee of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom, in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating concepts, processes, procedures, and principles, rather than just remembering facts. But, many changes were later added to the initial classification. A revised version of the taxonomy was created in 2000. It is a way of distinguishing the fundamental questions within the education system it is most often used when designing educational, training, and learning processes.

Bloom’s taxonomy refers to a classification of the different learning objectives. Taxonomy classified educational objectives into three domains which are as follows-

  1. Cognitive (knowing/head)
  2. Affective (feeling/heart)
  3. Psychomotor (doing/hands)

Cognitive Domain

The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills (Bloom, 1956). This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories of cognitive processes, starting from the simplest to the most complex, which are as follows-

Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation

  1. Knowledge- Remembering or retrieving previously learned material. Examples of action verbs that relate to this function are:
  • know, identify, relate, list
  • define, recall, memorize, repeat
  • record, name, recognize, acquire
  1. Comprehension- The ability to grasp or construct meaning from material. Examples of action verbs that relate to this function are:
  • restate, locate, report, recognize, explain, express
  • identify, discuss, describe, discuss, review, infer,
  1. Application- The ability to use learned material, or to implement material in new and concrete situations. Examples of action verbs that relate to this function are:
  • apply, relate, develop, translate, use, operate
  • organize, employ, restructure, interpret, demonstrate, illustrate
  • practice, calculate, show, exhibit, dramatize,
  1. Analysis- The ability to break down or distinguish the parts of material into its components so that its organizational structure may be better understood. Examples of action verbs that relate to this function are:
  • analyze, compare, probe, inquire, examine, contrast, categorize,
  • differentiate, contrast, investigate, detect, survey, classify, deduce,
  • experiment, scrutinize, discover, inspect, dissect, discriminate, separate,
  1. Synthesis- The ability to put parts together to form a coherent or unique new whole. In the revised version of Bloom’s synthesis becomes creating and becomes the last and most complex cognitive function. Examples of action verbs that relate to the synthesis function are:
  • compose, produce, design, assemble, create, prepare, predict, modify, tell.
  • plan, invent, formulate, collect, set up, generalize, document, combine, relate.
  • propose, develop, arrange, construct, organize, originate, derive, write, propose.
  1. Evaluation- The ability to judge, check, and even critique the value of material for a given purpose. This function goes to #5 in the revised version of Bloom’s. Examples of verbs that relate to evaluation are:
  • Judge, assess, compare, evaluate, conclude, measure, deduce
  • Argue, decide, choose, rate, select, estimate
  • Validate, consider, appraise, value, criticize, infer

Affective Domain

Behaviour of a person is combination of cognitive, affective and psychomotor abilities. We can see that a student who writes all rules of personal and public health does not follow even a single rule out of them. The reason is that the development of affective abilities are not given enough attention in teaching process and their mind are not filled with sincerity, interest, faith and loyalty about those rules.

“The affective domain (Krathwohl, Bloom, Masia, 1964) includes those objectives which are concerned with change in interest, attitudes, values, enthusiasms, and the development of adjustment and appreciations. Under this domain, the child learns to deal emotionally with things. The five major categories are listed from the simplest behaviour to the most complex :

  1. Receiving (Attending)- This is the lowest level of learning outcome in the affective domain. It refers to the student’s willingness to attend to particular phenomena or stimuli (class-room activities, particular poem, music etc). From a teaching stand point, it is concerned with getting, holding and directing the student’s attention.

It is defined as “sensitivity to the existence of a certain phenomenon or stimuli that is the willingness to receive to them by the child.” This category includes three types of activities:

  • Awareness about the stimuli or phenomena, i.e. get attracted towards these or to make conscious about phenomena.
  • Willingness to receive: next ladder is, willing in the learner to receive it not to avoid it. This means, the learner is taking notice of the phenomena and giving it his attention.
  • Controlling the attention of the learner. The child is able to – accept, listen, control, select, etc. Examples: Listen to others with respect. Listen and remember safety rules.
  1. Responding- Responding refers to active participation on the part of student. At this level he not only attends to a particular phenomenon, but also reacts to it. Learning outcome in this area –
    • Learner’s acquiescence (acceptance) in responding (reads assigned material),
    • Learner’s willingness to respond (voluntarily reads beyond assignment),
    • Satisfaction in responding (reads for pleasure or enjoyment). If a child is attracted by a toy, he tries to hold and handle it and play with it. This gives satisfaction to the child. The stage of responding is sometimes called interest. Examples– Participates in class discussions, Gives a presentation, Questions new ideals, concepts, models, etc. in order to fully understand them, Knows about the safety rules and practices them.
  2. Valuing- Valuing means giving greater priority to the subject of interest. It is concerned with the worth or value a person, attached to particular object phenomenon, or behaviour. These values are expressed in the learner’s over behaviour and are often identifiable.

This level has three activities

  • Accepting a value,
  • Preference for that value, and
  • Commitment.

 Valuing brings a sort of harmony in the life of an individual. The direction of his behaviour is gradually finalized. The child starts showing faith, belief or loyalty for a particular activity or subject.

  1. Organization-

Organization is concerned with bringing together different values, resolving conflicts between them, and creating a unique value system. Organization of the values into a system-

  • By determining the interrelation between them,
  • By choosing dominant values which formulate a philosophy of life.

For example, if we succeed in developing a particular point of view about the sources of energy in the students, they will automatically understand about the use of electricity, petrol, gas, wood etc. in their day to day life.

  1. Characterization (By a Value Complex)- This has a value system that has controlled his behaviour for a sufficiently long time for him to have developed a characteristic “lifestyle” or philosophy of his life. The behaviour is pervasive, consistent, and predictable. Even at hard times,’ the individual’s faith and values remain firm. It becomes nature of the child.


  • Shows self-reliance when working independently.
  • Cooperates in group activities (displays teamwork).
  • Displays a professional commitment to ethical practice on a daily basis.
  • Not spoiling the public properties by spitting on them.
  • Values people for what they are not how they look,

Psychomotor Domain

The psychomotor domain includes physical movement, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, accuracy, procedures, or techniques in execution. The five major categories, listed from the simplest behaviour to the most complex are as-1. Imitation, 2. Manipulation, 3. Precision, 4. Articulation, 5. Naturalization

  1. Imitation- Imitation consists of observing and patterning behaviour of others. There is no neuromuscular co-ordination. So, performance may be low quality, not polished.

Example: 2 year old baby learns how to write alphabets.

  1. Manipulation- Instead of imitation here now, child is able to perform certain actions by following instructions. If certain action is repeated again and again, it becomes firm. Child is now able to differentiate between various movements and select the right action Example: Following directions and performing actions, such as doing P.T., clapping hands on instructions, etc.
  2. Precision (accuracy)- With more & more practice, the movements become more refined and more exact. Few errors are apparent and is able to do actions confidently and independently. Example: Writing the alphabet with more accuracy and the speed of writing also increases.
  3. Articulation- Articulation refers to the ability of the learner to coordinate a series of facts by establishing sequence and harmony. Example: Producing a video that involves music, drama, color, sound, etc.
  4. Naturalization­ Action takes place without any strain. Performance becomes natural, without needing to think much about it, Act is carried out unconsciously and becomes a part of the learner’s nature. Example: Driving a car without any strain, Playing instruments without seeing.

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