Cognitive approach

These cards will cover not only the approach as a whole but will also cover the studies in terms of AMPRCE (aim, method, procedure, results, conclusions,evaluation)

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Cognitive approach

Assumes: Behaviour is expalined in termsof how the mind works e.g. Baron-Cohen_lack ToM therefore can't recognise emotions and understand body language. AND The mind works like a computer-we input, store and then retrieve data e.g. Loftus and Palmer-we store data which can be distorted with post event info.

Strengths: Very useful e.g. Loftus and Palmer-police should not use leading questions. AND quite scientific so easier to show cause and effect e.g. Baron-Cohen_ lab experiment.control. C n E.

Weaknesses: Doesn't take account of emotional factors influencing our beahviour e.g.Baron-Cohen_ no account of how autistic ffel. just says they lack ToM. AND reseach often lacks ecological validity e.g. Loftus and Palmer-lab experiment.control. can't generalise to real life.

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Loftus and Palmer

  • Background-Early studies show that memory is not an accurate record of our experiences.
  • Aim-investigate how information supplied after an event influences the memory of the event.
  • PP-1) 45 STUDENTS. 2) 150 students.
  • Method-Lab experiment,independant design
  • Iv-verb used DV1-estimate of speed DV2-any broken glass.
  • Procedure-shown seven films of traffic accidents, after each film pp answer questionnaire.they give an account of what happened, then answer some questions. (about speed of car) Part 2-one film shown. pp say what happened then answer questions. (about broken glass)
  • Results-the more dramatic the word the higher the estimate of speed. Part 2-the more dramatic the word the more people say they saw broken glass.
  • Conclusion-The form of a question can significantly affect a witnesses answer to it.
  • Evaluation-can claim C n E. Lack EV. Demand characteristics. Lack population validity(all students). Very Useful.

Note: Cn E is cause and effect. Ev is ecological validity Pp is participant

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Baron-Cohen et al

  • Background: Sally Anne test show autistic children lack ToM.
  • Aim: To see whether adults lack ToM as well as children.
  • Pp:16 autistic(13 m,3f) ,50 normal(25 m, 25 f) , 10 tourettes(8m, 2f)
  • Method: Natural experiment, matched design.
  • Iv: autistic or tourettes or normal Dv: performance on eyes task
  • Procedure:25 photos of eyes, all same size, all black and white, all shown for 3 seconds each.pp given a forced choice question. 2 control tasks. 1) gender identification. 2) basic emotion identification.
  • Results: Autistics less likely to identify emotion. No significant difference betweeen normal and tourettes.
  • Conclusions:Autistic people lack ToM. AND in normal population females do better at eyes task than males.
  • Evaluation: Good control therefore can establish C n E.Sample was self-selecting so consent gained.However may be unrepresentative. Useful as teaches parents, doctors and teachers to express emotions through words as autistics do not understand body language. High ecological validity as natural change.

Note: ToM is theory of mind.

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  • Background- other studies to teach language to chimps all failed. Kanzi seen to spontaneously use lexigram.
  • Aim:compare pygmy chimp language acquisition to normal chimps.
  • Pp:Kanzi and Mulika (banobos) AND Austin and Sherman (common)
  • Method: Longitudinal case study.
  • Procedure: All chimps put with ppl who used visual symbol system. Common chimps in training and banobos in observational setting. All shown how to use lexgram.
  • Results: Banobos comprehend lexigrams more easily than common chimps, comprehend spoken english, use lexigrams more specifically and refer to requests involving others.
  • Conslusions: Banobos appear to be able to use language more like a human child.
  • Evaluation: High EV.longitudinal therefore in depth data and allows study of developement over time. Lack control over extraeneous variables so no C n E. Cannot replicate exactly. Sample was small so lack population validity. Useful coz shows how a human child learns language so can identify and help children with learning difficulties. Also see potential for chimps to evolve to human status. This has dramatic implicationms for the way we live alongside animals. Study was quite ethical as chimps were looked after but is it ethical to humanise chimps?
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