COGNITIVE APPROACH

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  • Created by: lauren
  • Created on: 13-05-14 08:19

AIMS

Emphasis on the cognitive approach is on how thinking shapes behvaiour - opposit of behaviourist approach where the concept of the mind was banished from any explanations. The cognitive approach is more recent than the other explanations, emerging ing 1950s alons with internet processing anf computer revolution.

All behaviour is explained in terms of thoughts, beliefs and attitudes - internal processes of the mind

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COGNITIVE ASSUMPTIONS

Behaviour can be explained by mental processes;

sees humans as information processers, where essential cognitive processes work together to allow us too make sense and respond too world around us. perception, attention, memory and language, these relate too eachother and work together to help us understand the environment. when we see a dog, we pay attention to it, percieve its features, search memory to see if it matches exsisting schema in order to name it = information processing.

Human Mind is compared to a Computer;

computer analogy, they compare how we take in information, change it/store it, and recall it. during the middle process stage, we use the mental processes - mind=hardware of computer and cognitive processes=computers software. 

the multistore model of memory (Atkinson and Shiffrin 1968) this theory= information enters brain through senses and moves to short term memory and then long term memroy, it is output when required

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ATTRIBUTION THEORY

Developed by Fritz Heider in 1950s - we analyse peoples behaviour to try and understand why they have behaved in that way.
The Person: internal or dispositional factors such as persons traits
The Situation: external or situational factors such as social norms or luck

Heider suggests we prefer to make dispositional factors - fundamental attribution error...
Ross et al (1977) demonstrated FAE, observers watched contestants giving answers to quiz, and were asked too rate their ability, they knew some of the contestants had made up the questions - but were still rated hgiher.

FAE doesnt occur in all cultures, in collectivist cultures (share tasks, belongings and income) - people make situational, in an indivudalist society - more concerned with individual character because individualists (USA) emphasis rights of individual 

real world application: treating insommia - difficulty sleeping - expect not too sleep preventing sleeping, in a study they were given pill and told pill would stimulate or act as sedative, those wo expected arousal fell asleep faster because they attrubuted arousal too pill and therefore relaxed.

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ATTRIBUTION THEORY

Covariation model;
Kelley(1967) suggests attributions are explained in covariation, one causes the other...
-Consistency: behaving the same way all the time, behaviour between person and stimulus is the same all the time- always laughs at same comedian (high consistency) sometimes finds comedian funny( low consistency.
-Distinctiveness: is behaviour unique? does person behave same too all stimuli - laughs at all comedians (low distinciveness) laughs at only his comedian (high distincitveness)
-Consensus: extent of agreement among other people, everyone laughs at comedian (high consensus) only some laugh at comedian (low consensus)
internal attributiions = consistency high and other two low (HLL)
external attributions= consistency low, distinct high, cons high (HLH) or (HHH)

FEA:
Actor/observer bias; explain our own behaviour situationally and others dispositionally

Self serving bias; take credit for our successes and disassociate from our failures- blaming external behaviours - protecting self esteem 

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COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)

Treats wide range of mental disorders as well as normal problems like marrigae and exam performance, it is cost effective because it is short term, popular because it doesnt envolve searching for deep meanings - involves behaviourist and cognitive.

the aims of CBT is to challenge negatvie thoughts and replace them with constructive, positive thinking = healthy behaviour, cognitive approach does considor causes of behaviour to some extent - faulty thinking leads to unhealthy behaviour - but not focused on source

behaviourism believes undesirable behaviour has been learned - so aims to reverse learning and produce new desirable behaviours - use modelling and rewards. a problem is they just replace behaviours and dont look for cause meaning further unhealthy behaviours 'symptom substitution' combining behaviourist and cognitive therapies = effective cause cognitive tackle causes too

David and Avellino (2003) highest overall success rate, but Wampold et al (2002) suggest this is because non boa fide rteatments are included in comparison therapies - when they are excluded from analyisis, CBT isnt superior too other therapies. but lack of success may be due to therapist competence

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COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)

Beck (1967) believed depressed individuals think they way they do becuase they are biased between negative interpretations - negative view on the world, not being able to cope with demands of the environment...
Dysfunctional thought diary as homeowrk clients are asked too keep a record of events leading up to unpleasent emotions, recording negative thoughts associated with events and how much they believe in these thoughts. clients then write rational response as a percentage, finally clients re-rate beliefs in automatic thoughts

Therapy during therapy distressed about something they have overheard, assuimg person was talking about them, during CBT client taught to challenge dysfunctional automatic thoughts - by challenging and replacing thought= new behaviour.

Meichenbaums SIT; form of CBT to deal with stress - cant change stress in our lifw, but change the way we think about stressors. negtive thinking=negative outcomes such as anxiety, where as poitive thinking leads to positive attitude and feelings - people can innoculate themselves against stree the same way as diseases... Conceptualisation phase: threats are now problems to be solved... Skills aquistion phase: pos thinking, relaxation, social support - learning adaptive behaviour... Application phase: oppurtunitie to apply newly coping skills, use modelling

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STRENGTHS

SCIENTIFIC
various attribution theories provide clear predictions that can be tested in experimental research, psychologists can test such theories and demonsrate whether they are true or not - seeks to control variables as far as possible - discoverin casual relationships

MEDIATIONAL PROCESSES
one advantage compared to behaviouist approach -focuses on important processes between stimulus and response - behaviourists dont attempt to investigate what goes on inside 'black box' but cognitive explain through mind processes as how we respond to world around us. - improving memory using retrieval cues  

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WEAKNESSES

NATURE AND NURTURE;
considors internal and external facotrs on behaviour, it doesnt considor element of nature of nurture. the role of genes is ignored, but research into intelligence has looked into genes throguh twin studies. also social and cultural factors arw oftern ignored

DETERMINIST;
'schemas' are an important assumption of cognitive approach, people aquire schemas through direct experience - cognitive developmen is essential - for a child everything with hair and four legs is a dog.. later child learns related schemas

we also aquire schemas though our social interactions, acquire stereotypes for people - meaning we interpret situations 

 

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METHODOLOGY

Lab experiments; Belief that psychology is pure science - so behaviour should be studied objectively and scientifically cognitives believe they can make inferences about processes in persons mind on the basic observations of persons behaviour and asking people to answer questions (Loftus and Palmer)

:) control of ev, can be replicated, validity, data easy to analyse and compare

:( ecological validity, demand characteristics, experimenter bias

Case studies of brain damaged individuals; in depth study - gives unique insights to the workings of the mind - study of HM, suffered permanent memory less after brain surgery - could remembe events 10 years prior to surgery, supports idea of multistore model of memory.

:) true insight to behaviour, qualitatvie data

:( generalisability, no quantitive, subjective

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