The 3 domains of Bloom’s taxonomy

The 3 domains of Bloom's taxonomy
The 3 domains of Bloom’s taxonomy

In 1956, Dr. Benjamin Bloom , an educational psychologist, created a system for classifying educational goals into a series of learning domains that encourage teachers to think about education holistically. In other words, this taxonomy is used when designing education, training and learning processes. His system is known as Bloom’s Taxonomy . In addition, this taxonomic classification includes domains of activity (the 3 domains of bloom’s taxonomy):

  • Cognitive domain  : mental skills (knowledge)
  • Affective domain  : development of feelings or emotions
  • And the psychomotor domain  : manual or physical skills (skills)

When these ideas of learning domains are applied to learning environments, action verbs are used to describe the type of knowledge the teacher is aiming for.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Domains

The cognitive domain

The cognitive domain develops six domains of intellectual abilities that build sequentially, from simple behavior to complex behavior.


At first, Bloom organized the original bloom taxonomy as follows:

  • Knowledge (recall of information)
  • Comprehension (comprehension of meaning)
  • Application (use of the concept)
  • Analysis (deconstruction of a concept)
  • Synthesis (combination of information to create meaning)
  • Evaluation (concept judgment)

Over time, this classification evolved into a new taxonomy called the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Category nouns changed from nouns to verbs, but are still ordered from simple to complex:

The 6 levels of the revised bloom taxonomy

  • Remember
  • To understand
  • Apply
  • Analyze
  • Assess
  • Create

The affective domain

The affective domain ( Krathwohl , Bloom, Masia, 1973) describes learning goals that emphasize a tone of feeling, emotion, or degree of acceptance or rejection. Affective goals vary from simple attention to selected phenomena to complex, but internally consistent qualities of character and consciousness. In addition, these objectives are expressed in the form of interests, attitudes, appreciations, values, sets of emotions or prejudices.

So here is a description of each stage of the taxonomy, starting with the most basic level.



  1. Receive

It is to be aware or sensitive to the existence of certain ideas, certain materials or phenomena and to be ready to tolerate them. 

For example: differentiate, accept, listen, respond to.

  1. Answer 

it is to engage in some measure with the ideas, material, or phenomena concerned by actively responding to them. 

For example: comply with, follow, recommend, volunteer, give free time to, cheer.

  1. value 

The desire to be perceived by others as valuing ideas, materials or phenomena. 

For example: increase the skills measured, give up, subsidize, support, debate.

  1. Arrange

The organization consists in linking the value to those already held and integrating it into a harmonious and internally coherent philosophy. 

For example: discuss, theorize, formulate, balance, examine.

  1. Characterize

Characterization by value or set of values ​​is acting consistently in accordance with learned values. 

Examples: revise, demand, have a high value rating, avoid, resist, manage, resolve.

The psychomotor domain

The psychomotor domain includes physical movement, coordination and the use of motor skill areas. However, developing these skills takes practice and is measured in terms of speed, accuracy, distance, procedures or execution techniques. Thus, psychomotor skills range from manual tasks, such as digging a ditch or washing a car, to more complex tasks, such as operating a complex machine or dataxonomy oo

The 3 domains of Bloom's taxonomy
The 3 domains of Bloom’s taxonomy

Additionally, the psychomotor domain, which focuses on physical skills, was identified, but not defined, by Dr. Bloom. Its original ideas were developed by educators in the 1970s, including Dr. Elizabeth Simpson. They developed them in this order from simple to complex:

  • Perception (sensory guidance of motor activity)
  • Preparation (feeling ready to act)
  • Guided response (beginning of learning complex skills)
  • Mechanism (development of a basic skill)
  • Complex open response (execution with an advanced skill)
  • Adaptation (modifying movement to suit particular circumstances)
  • Origin (create situation-specific movements)


  • Clark, D. (2013). Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition.  Retrieved from
  • Simpson E.J. (1972). The Classification of Educational Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain.  Washington, DC: Gryphon House
  • Anderson, LW, Krathwohl, DR, Airasian, PW, Cruikshank, KA, Mayer, RE, Pintrich, PR, Raths, J., Wittrock, MC (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives . New York: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon.
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