Outline and evaluate the cognitive model of abnormality

my answer to the cognitive model of abnormality which got full marks

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Outline and evaluate the cognitive model of abnormality
Other models suggest that abnormality is caused by something out of the person's control
however the cognitive model states that the individual is the cause of the problem because
they are in control of their own thoughts.
When events happen everyday we don't experience them directly, instead we form an
internal representation of the world. This consists of information from the real world but it is
filtered through our own perceptions and thought processes. If a person's perceptions of
thought processes go wrong then it can have an impact on their emotional experiences and
their behaviour. The individual may develop anxiety disorders, depression, paranoia or
eating disorders etc.
The cognitive model assumes that the faulty thought patterns are picked up in childhood. It
was often found that faulty thinking patterns were firstly developed as a coping strategy in
abnormal situations but now they have become unpractical and have now become habits.
Faulty thinking are unconscious responses but can also be called cognitive biases. There are
four kinds of cognitive biases. These are Minimisation, maximisation, selective abstraction
and all or nothing.
One of the clearest examples of the cognitive approach to abnormality is Beck's model of
depression. There are three parts to this which are: a negative view of self, negative view of
the world and a negative view of the future.
By locating psychological problems in faulty thinking, the cognitive model blames the person
and doesn't take into account other factors therefore it can also be reductionist. For
example a person may be depressed because the situation they are in is genuinely bad but
the cognitive model implies that is problem lies with their own perceptions.
The cognitive approach links psychological disorders too dysfunctional thoughts and
perceptions especially negative view of themselves, world and the future.
There is a lot of research to show that people with psychological disorders have
faulty/irrational thought processes. However there is not much evidence for the view that
faulty thought precedes other psychological symptoms so the argument of cause or effect
arises here. Also people are considered clinically normal also have irrational thought so it
can be hard to tell the difference between abnormal and normal.
The cognitive model also faces more criticism because all it does is state the obvious i.e.
people who are depressed have dark thoughts.


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