Rene Descartes a French Philosopher is probably best known for his statement Cogito Ergo Sum (I think therefore I am). This statement means that if a person is even wondering about his/her existence then they must exist. There must be an "I" doing the thinking therefore they are.
So far we have talked a lot about the behavioral studies that look at stimuli as the motivator behind everything we do. The ABCs (Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence) of our lives; those behaviors that can be directly observed. During the 1930s and 1940s this was the way everything was looked at and there was little to no thought given to those things that were unobservable, what a person was thinking and feeling.
Tolman, E. C. (1948) is known as the father of cognitive behaviorism. He proposed that not only do humans and animals think but that it can be observed, if indirectly. He created rat maze experiments that proved this point. You can read more about that here. In a nutshell he said that we have cognitive maps that help us get to point a to point b even if blocks are placed in our usual path. So imagine if you were heading to your local grocery store and there was some construction in your normal path. Most of us would be able to determine an alternate path to get to that point. This is how a cognitive map works.
Tolman then expanded this to thoughts on society. If a person has a narrow strip map, meaning they have little perspective (trapped in their box) then they can become prejudice and negative human conditions. While on the other hand, others have broad strip maps and can expand there thinking and include or at least understand other ways of thinking.
This brings us back to the original statement by Rene Descartes "Cogito Ergo Sum". Our characters need to think through situations understand the broader meaning of what is happening around them rather than just reacting to stimuli.