Psychology - Psychological approach 1 - cognitive

Psychology - Psychological approach 1 - cognitive a01

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Psychological approach 1 - cognitive into

The cognitive approach focuses on thinking patterns that are discussed with a mental disorder. It argues that psychological disorders are the result of maladaptive thought processes.

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Ellis' ABC model

  • Ellis (1977) was interested in how people overreacted to events, influenced by pre-existing irrational beliefs. He used the ABC model to explain this.

A - Activating event - Failing an exam

B - Beliefs - I should have passed/I can't bear not passing

C - Consequences - Depession

This sort of irrational belief makes people overreact to negative life events with anxiety or depression.

Types of irrational belief by Abrams and Ellis (1996)

  • Musturbation - tendency to think that we must always succeed in everything. Makes us very sensitive to failure.
  • I-can't-stand-it-itis - belief that when something does not go smoothly, it is a disaster. Makes us overreact to minor problems.
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Beck's negative thinking

Beck and Ellis emphasised the cognitive vulnerability to anxiety and depression. We are most vulnerable to these conditions if we have a particular pattern of thinking. Beck pointed out three types of negative thinking that are common in people suffering with depression.

3. Negative Cognitive Triad - negative view about the world - negative view about the future - negative view about oneself.

2. Ignoring the positive. Attending to the negative aspect of a situation and ignoring the positive aspects lead us to over-estimate the downside of any situation and reach the most negative consequences.

1. Negative selfschemas. Our self schema contains all the information about ourselves, including beliefs and feelings. They come from experiences and criticisms from parents. When we meet a new situation, we interpret it using any relevant schemas, including our own. A negative self schema may result in us interpreting situations in a negative way.

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