Slides in this set
Defining the cognitive approach
· Cognition refers to the mental processes needed to make
sense of the world. These include perception, attention,
language, thinking, problem solving and memory.
· Behaviour is influenced by cognition so the way we
perceive and think determines the way we behave.
· One area of research within cognitive psychology is the
study of brain damaged patients. Brain trauma by
accidental damage or biological causes such as tumours
can affect behaviour in extreme ways. The part of the
brain which has been impaired is studied and this is linked
to any change in behaviour, personality or ability. This has
led to an understanding of how isolated or interrelated
cognitive functions are and where they are located in the
· The information processing model explains how we
receive, interpret and respond to information.
· The flow of information in terms of input, process and
· This links to another assumption of the cognitive approach
which is that the brain works like a computer. A computer
is also an information processor, we input information via
a keyboard, the information is then processed and stored
on the hard drive and can ten be outputted in the form of
sound, print out or email.
· Such like a computer, the human mind has a limited
capacity that can only deal with a restricted amount of
information at any given time.…read more
· A cognitive function used to retain information and recall it
· Case studies of brain damaged patients have shown that
memory is vital, without it no learning would take place.
· Without memory we would survive on reflexes and instincts
alone and would lose what essentially makes us human.
· To store information we transform it into a form capable of
being entered into the memory system. The process of
transforming sensory input into a memory trace is called
encoding. Once we have encoded sensory input we can
maintain it for a while in storage.
· We have three storage systems, sensory store, short term store
and long term store.…read more
· The sensory memory holds information long enough to
decide whether to process it further. If we do not attend to
it, the information is quickly forgotten.
· Short term storage as a limited capacity of 7+ or 2 items
(Miller) and will only be maintained for 15-20 seconds
· Long term storage is potentially unlimited in capacity and
can hold information for many years.
· Retrieval refers to the process of locating and extracting
stored memories so they can be used. At any of these
three stages of memory if we fail to encode, store or
retrieve the information, forgetting can occur.…read more