The cognitive approach

  • AO1:
  • Key assumptions of the cognitive approach:
  • In direct contrast to the behaviourst approach, the cognitive approach argues that mental processes should be studied, e.g. studying perception and memory. mental procsses are 'private' and cannot be observed, so cognitive psychologists study them indirectly by making assumptions about what is going on inside someone's head on the basis of their behaviour. 
  • Theoretical and computer models:
  • The information processing approach suggests that information flows through a sequence of stages include input, storage and retreival, as in the nulti-store model. Computer models, where the mind is compared to a computer, are used to refer to programmes that can be run on a computer to imitate the human mind. By running such a programme psychologists can test whether their ideas about information processing are correct, they have roved seful in the development if artificial intelligence. 
  • The role of schema:
  • The ideas of schema is central to the cognitve approach. Schema are 'packages' of ideas and information developed through experience. They acts as 'mental framework' for the interpretation of oncoming information recieved by the cognitive system. Its a package of information that helps you to respond to an object appropriately (a chair). Babies are born with simple motor schema for behaviours such as grasping and sucking. As we get older, our schema becomed more detailed and sophisticated. Schema allows us to process lots of infor quickly and prevents us from being overwhlemed by our environmental stimuli.


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