Cognitive Approach Overview

a overview of the cognitive approach. I am in my first year of A levels and created this to ensure i knew everything i needed to about this approach. My peers also found this useful and this is my reason for sharing this.

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  • Created by: Kasey
  • Created on: 09-02-15 13:49
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Exam questions that will be asked for this approach:
Question Available marks
Outline two assumptions of the cognitive approach 4 marks
Describe the attribution theory 8 marks
Describe how the cognitive approach has been applied in CBT 12 marks
Evaluate two strengths of the cognitive approach 6 marks
Evaluate two weaknesses of the cognitive approach 6 marks
Explain and evaluate the methodology used by the cognitive approach 12 marks
There are two main assumptions of the cognitive approach:
1.…read more

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Fritz Heider (1958) proposed a simplistic model of attribution. He categorised the beliefs about the
causes in two ways:
1. INTERNAL ATTRIBUTION ­ also known as dispositional behaviour. The person is
responsible for their behaviour e.g. their personality traits.
Someone trips over ­ the internal explanation would be that they are clumsy.
2. EXTERNAL ATTRIBUTION - also known as situational attributes. External factors are
responsible for a person's behaviour. E.g. the environment.…read more

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This is a table to show the covariation model works in a simple form:
Consensus Consistency Distinctiveness
Internal attribution Low High Low
External attribution High High High
There are some bias that come into action when judging people's behaviour, even though we may
think are judgements are logical.
Actor observer bias ­ the mind is not always logical and thinking can become distorted.…read more

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One assumption of the cognitive approach is that it emphasises the work of the internal processes.
Therefore, negatives behaviour comes from negative thinking. The aim of Cognitive Behavioural
Therapy (CBT) is to fix the negative thinking. Beck came up with a negative triad and said that
these three things continually happen and run together.
Beck studied negative thinking in depression, he said that there is another triad which is
automatic.…read more

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Strengths and weaknesses of the approach
Strength Weakness
CBT has successful therapeutic application Reductionist ­ it ignores that there could be
(butler and beck supports this) other reasons apart from its own assumptions
It is a personalised form of therapy Deterministic ­ this is negative because it
(worksheets) which is positive as it accounts suggests no control over behaviour
for individual differences
It is balanced in terms of nature and nurture Case studies can't be generalised
which is good as it d9oesnt ignore either of…read more

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of using lab experiments?
Strength Weakness
Scientific which makes it repeatable and It has low ecological validity which means it is
reliable suggesting the results will be accurate not true to real life as the lab set up is
­ this makes it objective artificial.…read more

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Gives the ability to study rare and unique Case studies can't be generalised as they are
cases such as Clive Wearing specific to the individual
Provides in depth and qualitative evidence Can't be repeated which means it isn't as
reliable due to less control over extraneous
variables.…read more


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