Cognitive Approach (1)
Assumptions:The main assumption of the cognitive approach is that information received from our senses is processed by the brain and that this processing directs how we behave or at least justifies how we behave the way that we do. Cognitive processes are examples of hypothetical constructs. That is, we cannot directly see processes such as thinking but we can infer what a person is thinking based on how they act. Cognitive psychology has been influenced by developments in computer science and analogies are often made between how a computer works and how we process information. Based on this computer analogy cognitive psychology is interested in how the brain inputs, stores and outputs information. However we are much more sophisticated than computer systems and an important criticism directed at the cognitive approach is that it often ignores the way in which other factors, such as past experiences and culture influence how we process information.Describe how the cognitive approach explains eyewitness testimony? Memory is a congnitive process that may not be reliable. Loftus and Palmer found that leading questions influence eye witness memory. Participants may give biased responses in answer to a leading question, or leading questions may actually change memory for an event.Describe how the cognitive approach explains lack of theory of mind? Theory of mind is the ability to infer mental states (emotion, desires, intentions) in other people. Previous research showed that autistic adults aren't always impaired on theory of mind tasks. Baron-Cohen's study tells us that adults with autism lack a ToM despite having normal intelligence.Describe how the cognitive approach explains language acquistion? Savage-Rumabaugh looked at language acquistion in pygmy and common chimpanzees. All chimps developed some symbol acquisition, but pygmy chimps were far more successful. It also provides evidence for the role of nurture in language development.