The Cognitive Approach

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  • Cognitive
    • Theoretical Models
      • Information processing approach: Information flows through cognitive system in a sequence of stages (input-storage-retrieval)
      • Computer Models: The mind is compared to a computer- uses the concepts of a central processing unit (brain), the concept of coding (turning info into a useable format) and the use of 'stores' to hold info.
    • Schema
      • A persons beliefs or expectations that can affect their cognitive processing, which is developed by experience.
        • Acts as a mental framework for the interpretation of incoming info received by the cognitive system.
      • E.g. we have schema for a chair; something that has legs which means you can sit on it.
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
      • The influence of brain structures on mental processes
        • Scientists can observe and describe neurological basis of mental processes by using MRI and PET scans.
    • Strengths
      • Easily combines with other approaches, for example behaviourism.
      • High internal validity- heavily relies on lab experiments, and any extraneous variables are controlled (easily replicated)
    • Limitations
      • Ignores other factors that contribute to human behaviour (genes, biological structures and chemical imbalances)
      • Cognitive processes cannot be directly observed- very subjective

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