Cognitive approach to explaining abnormality

evaluation of cognitive approach

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  • Created by: sarah
  • Created on: 04-05-11 11:38

Cognitive approach to explaining abnormality- A01

Ellis (1962) + Beck (1963) criticize the behaviourist explanation as it focuses on stimulus and response, but not the THINKING PROCESS in between. 2 features of cognitive explanation...
1. Irrational thinking- ABC model - Ellis (1962)
A- An event (stimulus)
B- Belief
C- Consequence (response)
-> Irrational thinking can lead to abnormal behaviour.
Polarized thinking- seeing everything in black and white
Over- generalisation- making sweeping generalisation
Tyranny of must, should, ought- Something MUST happen
Catastrophizing- making a mountain out of molehill 
2. Maladaptive response- Cognitive triad- Beck (1963) 
suggested that negative thoughts underlie mental disorders, used 2 mechanisms: error in logic and cognitive triad to find why people get depressed. Triad =
                                           - views about the world
- views about the future                                                - views about oneself 

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Cognitive approach to explaining abnormality- A02

- fails to examine the origins of irrational thinking.
It is difficult to identify whether abnormality is caused by or the effect of irrational thinking. Beck (1963) stated that although the cognitive processes are involved in many psychological disorders, they may be the consequence instead of the cause.

- suggests that the person is solely responsible.
Blames the psychological problems firmly within the individual rather than with the social environment. Ellis has little sympathy for people with depression and believes that it is an indulgence of self defeating thoughts. 

+ there is research to support the cognitive explanation of abnormality.
research demonstrated that many people suffering from mental disorders do exhibit through patterns associated with maladaptive functioning. Gustafon (1992) found that maladaptive behaviours were displayed by many people with psychological disorders.

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