Cognitive Approach

The Cognitive Approach: assumptions, theory and therapy

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  • Cognitive Approach
    • Assumptions
      • Behaviour can be explained by mental processes
        • Cognitive processes: Perception, attention, memory and language. Help us understand our environment.
          • Information (input), change/store (process), and recall when necessary (output)
            • During the process stage
        • To understand things, it has to be in our existing schema
          • Schema - a mental structure the represents an aspect of the world.
        • Information processing - mental processes work together to allow us to respond to the world (in a second)
      • Humnan mind is compared to a computer (The computer analogy)
        • Information (input), change/store (process), and recall when necessary (output)
          • During the process stage
        • Multistore Model: information enters brain through sense and move to STM and LTM. Output when required.
    • Attribution Theory
      • The person: internal (personality) or dispositional (how their day has been) factors.
      • The sitruation: situational attribution (getting a good grade cause of teacher) or dispositional attribution (student's acutal ability)
      • Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE): when people makethemistake of making dispositional attributions, when it could be situational.
      • Collectivist cultures (Russia) - tend to make situational attributions, while Individualist cultures (USA) tend to make dispositional attributions
    • Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) - Albert Ellis
      • 'Rational therapy': to emphasise the fact that psychological problems occur as a result of irrational thinking
      • Irrational Thinking: individuals frequently develop self-defeating habits because of faulty beliefs about themselves and the world around them
        • Mustabatory thinking: the source of irrational thinking
      • Aim: to turn irrational thoughts into rational ones. Rational beliefs: flexable, realistic and undemanding, while irrational ones are not
      • The ABC Model
        • A (activating event), B (belief) - irrational, and C (consequences) - self-defeating
        • Ellis' proposed way with dealing with irrational thoughts
        • Extended to D: disputing belisfs and E: effects of disputing
          • Logical Disputing: beliefs do not logically follow from infor available
            • Empirical disputing: beliefs may not be consistent with reality
            • Pragmatic disputing: lack of usefulness of beliefs
      • Research evidence: Ellis )1957)
        • Claimed 90% success rate, taking an of 27 sessions to complete.
        • Recognised that therapy was not always effective as not all patients put revised beliefs into action
      • Engels et al (1993) - RET is effective treatment for a number of differenttypes of disorder.
        • Research evidence: Ellis )1957)
          • Claimed 90% success rate, taking an of 27 sessions to complete.
          • Recognised that therapy was not always effective as not all patients put revised beliefs into action
      • Unconditional positive regard: therapist providing respect and appreciation to clientto make therapy successful.

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