- Behaviour Can Be Explained By Mental Processes.
- Humans are viewed as information processors.
- Processes such as perception, attention, memory and language all relate to each other and work together.
- Schema: A mental structure that represents an aspect of the world.
- We use schema in order to associate objects with words.
- Behaviour Can Be Explained By The Computer Analogy.
- Also known as the multistore memory model.
- Input: Taking in information.
- Process: Changing/storing the information.
- Output: Recalling the information.
- We use perception, attention, memory, and language in the 'process' stage.
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- Attribution is the process of explaining causes of behaviour.
- We split the motivation for people's behaviour into 2 categories; personality and situation.
- Heider (1958) suggested that humans are always trying to explain people's behaviour; we are predisposed to making dispositional (internal) attributions.
- This is known as the Fundamental Attribution Error.
- Actor/Observor Bias: Our behaviour is situational, others is dispositional.
- Self-Serving Bias: We take credit for our own success and disassociate from our failures.
- Musher-Eizenmann et al (2004) found that young children gave dispositional reasons for obesity, such as greed, which supports attribution theory.
- Kelly (1967) suggested that attributions can be explained in terms of covariation (things that happen at the same time).
- They proposed that attributions are determined by the covariance of 3 factors:
- Consistency H L H
- Distinctiveness L D H H S
- Consensus L L H
- Dispositional attributions occur when HLL.
- Situational attributions occur when LHL or HHH.
- McArthur (1972) used 12 participants in his study. All of them attributed external or internal causes as the model predicted - supports Kelly.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- The cognitive approach believes that behaviour is influenced by how an individual thinks about a situation.
- So CBT aims to change unwanted thoughts, and to reverse the learning process and produce a new set of more desirable behaviours.
- The behaviourist approach believes that undesirable behaviours have been learned.
- So CBT aims to identify and challenge the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.
- David & Avellino (2003) reported that CBT has the highest overall success rate of all therapies.
- Kuyken & Tsivrikos (2009) concluded that as much as 15% of the variance in the outcome may be attributable to therapist competance.
- Beck (1967) suggested that depressed people have acquired a negative schema through their interactions with others.
- Negative Triad: Pessimistic view of the self, the world & the future.
- Dysfunctional Though Diary: Clients are asked to keep a record of events leading up to any unpleasant emotions experienced. They should record and rate the automatic negative thoughts, then write a rational response to the thoughts and rate their beliefs in their response. They then re-rate their beliefs in the automatic thoughts.
- The therapist will try to make the maladaptive thoughts conscious.
- The client will challenge their thoughts and see if there is a basis for them.
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Evaluating The Cognitive Approach
- The cognitive approach has influenced many areas of psychology.
- Pure cognitive psychology has been useful in generating theories and research, helping us gain a greater insight into how the mind works.
- Applied cognitive psychology applies cognitive theories to a real world situation.
- The assumption that psychology is a science and should be studied as one.
- Theories are based on evidence, as they are carried out in laboratory conditions.
- Conclusions are objective, so there is less researcher bias.
- Research can be replicated due to standardised procedures.
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Evaluating The Cognitive Approach
- Nature and Nurture:
- The cognitive approach ignores both, even though internal and external factors are considered.
- For example, the role of genes in human cognition is ignored, yet research into human intelligence consistently looks at the influence of genes.
- Social and cultural factors (nurture) are also ignored.
- Mechanistic Reductionism:
- The assumption of the multistore memory model, which compares the human mind to a computer.
- It views mental processes in terms of information processes based on computer models, and ignores the complexity of human behaviour.
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- The belief that psychology is a science, and so should be studied objectively and scientifically.
- Psychologists believe they can make inferences about a person's processes based on their behaviour.
- Cause & effect relationships can be established because extraneous variables are controlled.
- It is reliable because of standardised procedures, so can be replicated to test validity.
- Data can be quanitified, so it is easy to analyse.
- Lab experiments lack ecological validity due to the artificial environment.
- Participants may act unnaturally and try to guess the aim of the study, which may lead to demand characteristics.
- The experimenter could, unknowingly, influence the participants - experimenter bias.
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- In depth investigations of an individual. For example, HM, who was unable to make new memories following brain surgery, is used to support the multistore memory model.
- True insight into behaviour can be obtained because case studies involve spending time with the person.
- Qualitative data is obtained so that we can draw valid conclusions about behaviour.
- Case studies are specific to an individual, so we can't generalise to others. This also lowers validity.
- The results are qualitative, so separate researchers could interpret them differently, making case studies subjective. The researchers could just select information which supports their theories.
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