The Cognitive Approach + CBT

  • Created by: chlopayne
  • Created on: 14-04-19 19:19
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  • The Cognitive Approach
    • Key assumptions
      • The Computer Analogy
        • Cognitive psychologists often compare the human mind to a computer.
          • Compares how we take information in (input), store it or change it (process) and then recall (output).
            • Human output isn't identical to the input.
            • The Multistore Memory Model (Atkinson and Shriffrin 1968).
              • Information enters through the senses and then moves to short term memory store, and then to the long term memory store.
      • Internal mental processes
        • Humans are seen as information processes.
          • How information received is processed and how this affects how we behave.
            • Looks at how various cognitive functions work together to help us make sense of the world.
              • A problem with this is that thoughts cannot be observed or measured. Wundt (1879) used introspection to investigate thoughts.
                • Scientific and controlled experiments (laboratory) allow psychologists to infer what is happening.
      • Schemata
        • Mental structures that represent an aspect of the world.
          • Helps us make sense of the world, making short cuts to identify things.
            • Generated through experience and interactions.
              • However, they aren't always correct. It can also alter out memory.
                • Allport and Postman (1947). White participants shown a picture of a black person being held at gunpoint. Their recall was the black man as the mugger.
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
      • Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive thinking.
        • Helps to treat depression, stress and anxiety.
      • Dysfunctional thought diary: clients are asked to keep a diary of thoughts and feelings. Attention to automative negative thoughts.
        • Rate how much they believe it, then give a rational response to it.
      • Cognitive restructuring: clients are taught how to challenge dysfunctional automatic thoughts.
        • Two questions: "Where is the evidence for X?' + 'What is the worst that can happen if X is true?'
          • The negative thought can be replace by positive constructive ones.
      • Pleasant activity scheduling: behavioural activity technique. Change behaviour into something positive, associate with positive.
        • Going to the gym for a new class.
      • Evaluation
        • Effectiveness
          • Cahill (2003) assessed symptoms of 58 patients receiving CBT for depression. 71% of patients who completed therapy experienced reduction in their symptoms.
          • Kuyken and Tsivikos (2009) found 15% of effectiveness of CBT may be down to the therapist, rather than the therapy itself.
          • Doesn't take into account individual differences (nomothetic)
            • Not suitable for all problems.
          • Limited use where mental illness is due to real life stressors (Simons 1995)
            • Treats the symptoms of mental illnesses rather than the cause.
          • Another issue is cause and effect. Assumes cognitive errors lead to the mental illness.
        • Ethical issues
          • Might put blame of mental illness onto patient themselves.
            • Patient may feel worse than they already do, reducing self-esteem.
              • Might make the patient worse than before.
          • Up to the therapist's judgment to decide what a 'rational thought' is.
    • The cognitive approach is concerned with how thinking shapes our behaviour.
      • Explain behaviour in terms of thoughts, feelings and attitudes.
    • Evaluation of the approach
      • Useful?
        • Pure cognitive psychology has been useful to generate theories and research, helping us gain greater insight into how the mind works.
        • Outside of academic, it has been useful in the real world. Known as applied cognitive psychology, applied to a real world situation.
        • Cognitive behavioural therapy. Combines cognitive and behaviourist techniques to help clients.
        • Legal system = Eyewitness testimony
        • Education = Piageu, children thinking isn't the same as adults.
      • Scientific?
        • Cognitive approach is evidence that psychology is a science.
        • Evidence: Controlled experiments, brain scans, memory research in laboratory conditions.
        • Objective: Cognitive neuroscience - researchers are able to establish exact responsibilities of the areas of the brain. Memory tests.
        • Replicable  and reliable: experiments are taken in controlled lab conditions, Procedures are standardised.

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