The Cognitive Approach

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The Cognitive Approach: Assumptions, Strengths and Weaknesses- using examples from the Cognitive studies

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  • Created on: 04-05-09 13:00
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APPROACH ASSUMPTIONS
COGNITIVE The mind is like a computer: inputting, storing and retrieving data.
APPROACH
Behaviour can largely be explained in terms of how the mind operates.
Cognitive psychologists see psychology as a pure science.
STRENGTHS Examples from studies
The approach uses a SCIENTIFIC LOFTUS AND PALMER
approach use of LABORATORY Controlled many variables:
experiments. Made sure everybody watched
High in control Same film
Establish cause and effect Same time
Standardised experiments (increase Same place
reliability. Same questions (just changing IVverb)
The approach has many USEFUL and BARONCOHEN
practical contributions understanding Understanding behaviour of autistic
cognitive processes in different people
Memory LOFTUS AND PALMER
Language Highlights limitations of Eye Witness Testimony
changed police questioning techniques/ leading
questions in court
SAVAGERUBMAUGH
Understand more about how language learnt hence,
offer more strategies to help children with language
difficulties by using the lexigram.
WEAKNESSES Examples from studies
Cognitive studies can be carried out in LOFTUS AND PALMER
laboratory settings, which are artificial and so: Artificial videotape
Have LOW ECOLOGICAL Participants expected something to happen
VALIDITY and so concentrate more than would do in
Are DIFFICULT TO GENERALISE real life.
FINDINGS TO EVERYDAY LIFE. In real life, an accident on the road is
sudden. Witnesses respond differently.
Participants knew they were in a experiment:
DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS
VALIDITY of measuring cognitive processes.
SAVAGERUMBAUGH
Cognitive processes cannot be seen Language was measured only though a lexigram.
We can only infer what people are
thinking. BARONCOHEN
We can only infer that people with autism have lack
of theory of mind difficulties through the Eyes Task.

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REDUCTIONIST ignores emotional and BARONCOHEN
social factors which may have an impact Only measured for lack of theory of mind as an
explanation of autism, when it could be due to other
factors too.…read more

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