Cognitive Approach

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  • Created on: 30-03-12 15:44
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Cognitive Approach
"Psychology is a science"
The cogs of the machine in the mind turn
And mental processes are changed in return
THREE ASSUMPTIONS!
Assumption 1: Behaviour can be explained by mental processes.
This approach can see human beings as basic "information processors" ­ essential cognitive
processes all work together in order to enable us to respond to and make sense of the world.
Some of the most well known and studied cognitive processes include perception, memory, and
language. The processes all relate to each other and constantly are working together, in order to
help individuals understand their environment. If you consider this example, it is possible to
understand how cognitive processes work:
You see a dog. What enables us to see it is a dog?
Perception: perceiving its features.
Memory: does it match an existing schema?
Language: we use our knowledge to name it.
Our mental processes work together within a split second to allow us to respond instantly. This is
also known as information processing.
Assumption 2: Human mind is compared to a computer.
The notion of the "computer analogy" has
become well accepted among psychologists
who support the cognitive approach. Cognitive
psychologists have often compared the human
mind with a computer.
We take in information (input), we change it or
store it (process) and then recall it when
necessary (output). The mind is compared with
hardware and the cognitive processers with software. An example of this would be the multistore
model of memory. In this theory, it was proposed that information enters through the senses,
moves to the shortterm memory and then to the longterm memory store (Atkinson and Sherin,
1968).
Assumption 3: Psychology is a science, and behaviour should be studied in an objective,
measurable way.
Although the cognitive approach focuses on our internal processes, they would still advocate using
scientic methods to the study of human behaviour, with experiments conducted under lab

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If we want to find out about the capacity of STM under controlled
lab conditions, we ask participants to recall words from a list, then we can make inferences.
Attribution Theory
The idea of attribution theory was first proposed by Heider and Simmel (1944).
Fundamental attribution error people prefer to make dispositional attributions.
Actor/observer bias explaining our own behaviour in situational terms and the behaviour of
others in dispositional terms.…read more

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Consistency ­ the extent that behaviour between one person and one stimulus is the same
across time.
Distinctiveness ­ the extent to which any behaviour is unique.
Consensus ­ the extent to which there is agreement among other people.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY
Outline the aims of CBT.
CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy. It involves identifying maladaptive thinking and
then developing coping strategies in order to deal with them.…read more

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