PY1 Cognitive Approach

  • Created by: bananaaar
  • Created on: 24-03-14 10:17
First assumption of CA?
Behaviour is shaped by internal processes of the mind. The CA assumes that inside of the mind we manipulate information based on our schemas(packets of info that help us to make sense of and respond to the world around us)
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CA 1st assumption example.
Bartlett's 'war of the ghosts' study pps rationalised and normalised their stories to fit in with their existing schemas (reconstructive memory).
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CA 2nd assumption.
The brain is like a computer. We take in information from the environment and then priocess it to make sense of the world. Like a computer the brain can multi task and use mental processes -attention,perception,memory,language,thinking at same time.
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CA 2nd assumption example.
When carrying out the stroop test the input is both in colours and words. The brain is then using perception (of the list), memory (what colours look like), and language to process information and to output the correct answer.
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What does Atribution Theory do?
Attribution theort tries to analyse the cognitive processes involved in making judgements about why people behave as they do.
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When was AT developed?
By Heider in 1950's (following his study of of perception with Simmel). He explained that people try to attribute causes for behaviours.
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What did Heider find in his study?
That the tendancy to describe attributes was so strong that pps humanised basic moving shapes and gave reasons for 'behaviours'.
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Sources of attributes? (Explanations for behaviour) example 1
1. The person; internal/dispositional attributes such as personality (e.g. explain someones loud behaviour in terms of their extroverted personality.)
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Sources of attributes? (Explanations for behaviour) example 2
2. Situation; external/situational attributes such as social norms or luck, e.g. someone is being loud because the environment is noisy.
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Describe Kelley's covariation model.
Type of attribute used is based on 3 axes; consistency, distinctiveness and and consensus. When behaviour is highly consistent but lacks distinctiveness and low consensus internal attributes are used. If consistency is low but others high external.
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The mind is not always logical and thinking can be distorted, desecribe the observer biases.
Fundamental attribution error (FAE) leads us to place emphasis on dispositional attribytes rather than situational, leading to errors of judgement.
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FAE example
If you get cut up in traffic by another driver you may assume that this is because they are an idiot driver (dispositional attribute), rather than its a one off of someone driving pregnant wife to hospital.
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What bias occurs when we analyse our own behaviour.
Self-serving bias can occur. This is where we tend to take credit for our successes and disassosiate ourselves from our failures (using situational attributes). Protects self esteem and gives us sense of control.
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Example of self-serving bias.
When a student gets their exam results. If they are good it is because they revised hard and are dedicated, whereas if they are poor they will blame their teacher or say the exam paper was hard.
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Assumption of CA in terms of normal behaviour.
Normal behaviour is shaped by rational internal processing, based on schemas, and that abnormal behaviour is due to irrational processing in the middle box of the computer.
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How are the CA assumptions applied to CBT?
This is directly applied to CBT which aims to make abnormal behaviour normal by changing negative/distorted thinking into constructive, positive/rational thinking. (Client trained to see bottle as half full rather than half empty.)
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How does CBT work, 1st step.
Client explains what they are finding difficult, what their worries are, how they feel about themselves, the world and the future. Role of therapist is to challenge negative/distorted thiking. (client trained to see bottle as half full not half empty
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CBT 2nd step.
Therapist challenge the client's negative self-schema. E.g. Beck suggested that depressed people have a negative triad (where clients have negative view of themselves, about the future, and a feeling of inability to cope with the world.) -WTF.
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CBT 3rd step.
Therapist will set homework to aid the process. E.g. client may have to keep a dysfunctional thought diary. This involves recording unpleasant emotions occuring before negative thoughts and then writing a rational response to challenge these.
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CBT 4th step.
Therapist will teach relaxation techniques to help client through anxious periods (therapy during therapy).
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Success rate of CBT?
Number of sessions needed is 16-20, and CBT is most successful when used in conjunction with drugs such as anti-depressants. David and Avellino (2003) suggest that CBT has highest success rate of therapies. 90% success
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What does CBT success rate suggest.
Suggests that by achieving the aims of CBT (to challenge and alter irrational thinking) we can start to understand how the processing box of the 'computer' works (a core assumption of this approach) and hence better understand human cognition.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


CA 1st assumption example.


Bartlett's 'war of the ghosts' study pps rationalised and normalised their stories to fit in with their existing schemas (reconstructive memory).

Card 3


CA 2nd assumption.


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Card 4


CA 2nd assumption example.


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What does Atribution Theory do?


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