The Cognitive Approach

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  • Created by: pripriaj
  • Created on: 07-12-15 20:19

The cognitive approach

Key assumptions of the cognitive approach:

  • The human mind should be investigated scientifically- cognitive psychologists strive to learn about the mental processes that occur inside the brain and use them to explain how we behave, these internal processes are investigated in very controlled and strict environments.
  • Humans are information processors. Information is taken in from the environment via the senses,the brain encodes,processes and stores this information and a behavioural output is performed.

The Cocktail Party Effect (Cherry,1953)

In the 1950's, Cherry noticed that the human mind had the ability to focus on a single speaker in virtually any environment.Humans are able to 'tune into' a single speaker whilst 'tuning out' the surrounding noise and conversations, even though we are aware that these other noises and convos are taking place.

He carried out a study using shadowing tasks. Participants were played a message in one ear which they had to repeat out loud while a second message played in the other ear.


  • Participants were unable to recall any specific word in the unattended message.
  • Participants were unable to recall a specific word even when spoken over 30 times.

What is a Schema?

A schema is the mind's way of organising and storing information,that you know

There are three types of schema, these are:

Event Schema: How you act within a particular situation or place e.g going to nandos, you know that when you get there you are given a table and then you order your food at the counter.

Self Schema: Knowledge about yourself e.g your likes, dislikes, personality

Role Schema: Knowledge about the expected behaviour of a person in a particular role. e.g Doctors are supposed to be smart and professional etc.

How schemas are formed:

  • When information is given to a person it is assimilated into the…


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