Cognitive approach

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The Cognitive approach

  • Studies info processing i.e. ways in which we extract, store and retrieve info that helps to guide our behaviour

  • Recognises that mental processes cannot be directly studied – have to be inferred

The Role of Schemas

  • “a package of beliefs and expectations on a topic that comes from prior experience

  • They allow us to take shortcuts when interpreting large amounts of info

  • We are born with basic ones, but we develop them over time

  • Can lead to faulty conclusions and unhelpful responses

Theoretical Models

  • Used to explain mental processes

  • E.g. the information processing model

  • Simplified representations - usually pictorial

    • E.g. the Working Memory Model – often incomplete and informal, often changed, updated and refined 

  • Based on existing evidence

Computer Models

  • Development of computers = led to a focus on the way in which sensory info in ‘coded’ as it passes through the system

  • Using a…


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