Cognitive approach, attribution theory and CBT WJEC PSY1

I teach A level psychology and these are notes made for my students. They cover everything need to know in detail including strengths, weaknesses, methology and theory. Also has some practice questions. Hope it helps!

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 20-12-12 15:11

Pages in this set

Page 1

Preview of page 1
Cognitive approach

The term cognitive psychology came into use with the publication of the book Cognitive Psychology
by Ulric Neisser in 1967.
Cognitive Psychology revolves around the notion that if we want to know what makes people tick
then we need to understand the internal processes of their mind.

Page 2

Preview of page 2
The cognitive perspective applies a nomothetic approach to discover human cognitive processes,
but have also adopted idiographic techniques through using case studies (e.g. KF, HM).
Typically cognitive psychologists use the laboratory experiment to study behaviour. This is because
the cognitive approach is a scientific one. For example, participants will take…

Page 3

Preview of page 3
1. Behaviour can be explained by mental processes
This sees humans as basically information processors. All cognitive processes work together to make
sense of the world. These processes include
a. Perception
b. Attention
c. Memory
d. Language

What do you see in this picture?

Central to the cognitive view of…

Page 4

Preview of page 4
Simplify: People made the story simpler, usually by forgetting details and descriptions. They
particularly tended to forget details that "made no sense" in their culture - though they were
very important details for the Native Americans who created the story
Elaborate: People would add new details to the story. In…

Page 5

Preview of page 5
2. Humans mind is compared to a computer
In basic terms cognitive psychologist compare how we take in information (input), change it/store it
(process) and then recall it when necessary (output). The brain has a limited capacity for how much
information they can process at any one time.
Just as…

Page 6

Preview of page 6
Henry Gustav Molaison (February 26, 1926 ­ December 2, 2008), better
known as HM was a memory-impaired patient who was widely studied
from the late 1950s until his death. His case played a very important role in
the development of theories that explain the link between brain function
and memory.…

Page 7

Preview of page 7
We can gain a unique insight into particular behaviour or phenomena. Case studies often
involve spending a lot of time with the person, rather than gaining a "snapshot" of his or her
behaviour, which is what would be produced by a lab experiment. This idiographic approach
could be seen as…

Page 8

Preview of page 8
Strengths and weaknesses of the approach


Scientific approach
Useful contributions
Considers the what goes on inside the mind to be important
It is not reductionist when compared to other approaches
Neutral in the nature-nurture debate ­ interactionist.
Comparing to computer can be successful.

A main strength of cognitive psychology…

Page 9

Preview of page 9
report measures and observation. There are a number of reasons why we have to question the
validity of self report measures and observation. However, because of the developments of brain
scanning techniques we are able to record the active parts of the brain more accurately nowadays
and cognitive science is…

Page 10

Preview of page 10
Attribution theory
Attribution theory examines the explanations at which we arrive when we observe someone else's
behaviour and relates these explanations to observable characteristics of the persons involved.
Attributions once made may serve to alter future behaviour. Understanding the motive behind
people's actions gives us cues how to respond to…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »