Evaluating the cognitive approach

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  • Created by: DBaruch
  • Created on: 21-04-16 17:53

Strengths- Mediational processes

  • Focuses on the processes that occur between stimulus and response
  • Cognitive psychologist have gone some way to explaining how processes such as perception and memory and how the affect the world around us.
  • It has helped us to explain the practical elements of human behaviour.
  • Cognitive psychologists look at ways to improve memory using retrieval cues
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Strengths- Important contributions

  • Cognitive psychology has been used in CBT to successfully treat disorders such as depression.
  • It has been in developmental psychology. For example Piaget (1970) found that children around the age of 8 or 9 cannot think in the abstract and have to see something in concrete form, this research has had a major effect on teaching in primary schools
  • Elizabeth Loftus has shown how eye-witness accounts can easliy be distorted by post-event information and has had an impact on police interviewing techniques.
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Strengths- Scientific approach

  • Memory research is carried out under lab conditions and has been used in more recent times in brain scanning techniques to pinpoint areas in the brain associated with certain parts of the brain
  • This field is known as cognitive neuroscience and it is a field devoted to pinpointing the exact biological mechanisms involved in our cognitive processes.
  • It hepls to predict causal relationships between emotions, cognitions and behaviours 
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Weaknesses- Nature and nurture

  • It fails to consider the important elements of nature and nurture.
  • The role of genes in human cognition is ignored even though research into intelligence has consistantly looked at the influence of genes, through the use of twin studies
  • Important social and cultural factors are often ignored
  • Piaget failed to consider the role of culture and gender on the development of thinking in children
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Weaknesses- Determinist

  • The appraoch uses schemas to describe situations
  • Piaget suggested that cognitive developement is just the development of schemas.
  • We acquire schemas through our social interactions
  • We also acquire stereotypes about people and situations
  • For example people with glasses are smart and blonde haired people are stupid but fun
  • These cultural stereotypes may determine the way we interpret situations
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Weaknesses- Mechanistic approach

  • The cognitive approach portrays human behaviour like a machine and links the brain to a computer
  • This raises the question like could a computer ever perform like the human brain
  • The main objection to the mechanistic approach is that it ignores social and emotional factors.
  • For example a depressed person may have faulty thinking factors that can be changed, however the persons depression may be due to a significant life event 
  • The view also ignores the important role that emotions play in influencing cognitive processes and this is due to humans being likened to computers.
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