Cognitive Approach

  • Created by: MD1027
  • Created on: 23-03-19 18:40
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  • Approaches: the cognitive approach
    • Assumptions
      • The main assumption of the cognitive approach is that information received from our senses is processed by the brain and that this processing directs how we behave.
      • These internal mental processes cannot be observed directly but we can infer what a person is thinking based on how they act.
    • The Role Of Schemas
      • A schema is a “packet of information” or cognitive framework that helps us organise and interpret information.
      • Schemas help us to interpret incoming information quickly and effectively
        • this prevents us from being overwhelmed by the vast amount of information we perceive in our environment.
      • it can also lead to distortion of this information as we select and interpret environmental stimuli using schemas which might not be relevant.
        • This could be the cause of inaccuracies in areas such as eyewitness testimony
    • The Emergence Of Neuroscience
      • Neuroscience aims to find out how the brain structures influence the way we process information and map mental cognitive functions to specific areas of the brain.
        • This is done using brain imaging techniques such as fMRI and PET scans.
      • Braver et al. (1997) found that when their participants were performing activities involving the central executive while being scanned the prefrontal cortex showed greater activity
    • Evaluation
      • The cognitive approach uses a very scientific method; mainly lab. experiments.
      • The cognitive approach has a wide range of practical applications.
        • For example schemas can be used to explain how eyewitness memories of events can be distorted therefore inaccurate.
      • The approach is reductionist as it does not take into account emotions and motivation which influence the processing of information and memory
      • the cognitive approach is less deterministic than the learning approach as although it argues that our thinking is limited by the way we process information it does not deny the influence of moral values and social norms.


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