The Cognitive Approach
The Cognitive Approach focuses mainly on internal process
E.g. The mind, brain etc...
Cognitive Psychologists compare the human brain to a computer system
1)- Processes Information
2)- Holds a lot of memory.
Using concepts from information processing, Cognitive Psychologists describe the brain as a process
Cognitive Psychology studies are often laboratory based, so they can lack validity in the real world.
This is known as Ecological Validity.
MILNER ET AL
Case Study of HM
Severe case of Epilepsy, Seizures were based in a brain structure called the hippocampus.
Non-human studies can be applied to human cognitive abilities.
GARDENER AND GARDENER
Teaching ASL to a chimp.
Washoe had learnt 34 signs by the end of the 22nd month.
Cognitive Psychologists try to explain behaviour by looking at our perception, language, attetntion and memory.
A criticism of the Cognitive Approach is that Cognitive Psychology fails to take individual differences into account by assumption that all of us process stuff in exactly the same way.
Cognitive Psychology use four main Research Methods
1)- Laboratory Experiments - Very scientific and reliable as it is possible to have great control over variables in a lab. It has low Ecological Validity - doesn't tell us much about the real world.
2)- Field Experiments - Take place in a natural situation (e.g studies of memory or attention in school environment), so they have more Ecological Validity, but there's less control of other variables.
3)- Natural Experiments - Involve making observations of a naturally occuring situation. Little control over the variables and participants cant be randomly assigned to conditions. High Ecological Validity. Not massivly reliable.
4)- Brain Imaging - Can now be carried out during a cognitive task. For example, MRI scans have been used to show the blood flow in different brain areas for different types of memory tasks.
Memory - The mental process involved in registering, storing and retrieving information.
Capacity - The amount of information that can be studied in memory at any particular time.
Duration - The length of time that information can be kept in memory.
Encoding - Changing sensory input into a form or code to be prosessed by the memory system
Short-Term Memory - A limited capacity system for storing information for short periods.
Long-Term Memory - An unlimited capacity system for storing information for long periods.
Multi-Store Model Of Memory - An explanation of memory as a flow of information through a series of stages in a fixed sequence. The best known model of this type was proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin.
Working Memory - A model of memory formulated by Baddely & Hitch to replace the concept of Short-Term Memory.
The essential definition of memory is that it refers to the process by which we - retain information about events that have happened in the past