Cognitive approach to explaining abnormality

its about the thinking process


Cognitive approach to abnormality! AO1

Ellis and Beck criticize the Behaviourist explanation of abnormality because it focuses on the stimulus > response and doesn't take into account the mental process. 

The cognitive approach argues that its a thinking process that occurs between the stimulus and the response:

* Irrational thinking/ABC model 

*Cognitive triad

Irrational thinking

This model suggests that distorted thinking can lead to abnormal behaviour/emotional problems.

you may start behaving like:Polarized thinking, over generalisation, tyranny of must, should, ought, catastrophizing

Cognitive triad

negative views about the world

negative views about the future                                    negative views about oneself

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Cognitive approach to abnormality! AO2


*fails to examine the origins of irrational thinking its difficult to identify wether abnormality is the cause by irrational thinking or the effect of irrational thoughts

*it suggests that the person is solely responsible. the cognitive approach lays the blame for psychological problems within the individual/ 


*There is research to support the cognitive approach to abnormality. It has demonstrated that many people suffering from mental disorders do exhibit thought patterns associated with maladaptive functioning.

Gustafon(1992) found that maladaptive behaviours were displayed by many people with psychological disorders. for example anxiety, depression etc.. 

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