Cognitive Approach

Cognitive appraoch

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  • Created by: lrmm
  • Created on: 21-11-10 19:31
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Concentrates on individual's thought processes and their behaviour.
The abnormal behaviour is caused by disturbed, abnormal thoughts-faulty thinking.
How the individual perceives, anticipates and evaluates events, rather than the actually
event, that have the greatest impact on behaviour.
Mental illness is the result of inappropriate, disordered thinking.
Faulty irrational thinking prevents the individual behaving adaptively. (cognitive errors)
Ellis' ABC Model
A refers to an activating event (sight of a dog)
B is the belief, which may be rational or irrational (harmless-rational, attack me-irrational)
C is the consequence. Rational beliefs lead to healthy emotions whereas irrational belief leads to
unhealthy emotions (fear, panic)
The Individual is in Control
Unlike the other approaches where behaviour is determined by factors outside the person's control
(genetics, learning history), in this approach, the person is seen as the cause of their own
Cognitive Errors
Individuals try to make sense of their world through cognitive processes.
Automatic Thoughts are the assumptions people make about the world. People with
psychological problems tend to have more negative automatic thoughts.
Attributions refer to people's attempts to make sense of and explain their own and others'
behaviour. People with psychological problems may make more inaccurate attributions e.g
attributing failed relationship to their own lack of social skill.
People with psychological problems may have inaccurate expectations. E.g expect a
relationship to fail. Such expectations will make this more likely to happen in reality
People with psychological problems may lack confidence in their own ability to achieve goals they
want in life. These negative thoughts will affect their behaviour.

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Cognitive Processes
Over-generalisation: a conclusion is reached on the basis of one event or incident. E.g failing
a test means you're a failure at life.
Maximisation: maximising failures, e.g failing a puzzle and thinking general stupidity.
Minimisation: minimising successes, putting good grade down to luck.
Strengths Weaknesses
Concentrates on current cognitions: doesn't Ignores psychological and environmental
delve into the past, focuses on present thought influences. Evidence suggests that
processes psychological factors and past events can affect
individual behaviour. Cognitive
model-reductionist.…read more

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is based on the assumption that much abnormal behaviour occurs as the result of disordered
cognitions or thinking. CBT is a name given to Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy
Ellis developed REBT based on the idea that some people have persistent self-defeating
thoughts that are irrational.…read more


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