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Cognitive approach to Psychology

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Alex Evans

on 9 April 2015

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Transcript of Cognitive approach to Psychology

The Cognitive approach to Psychology
- Oversimplistic - ignores huge complexity of human functioning by comparing it to the functioning of a computer
- Unrealistic and over-hypothetical - ignores biological influences and the grounding of mental processes
- Too cold - ignores emotional life of humans, their concious experience and possible use of mental conclusions
The concept of perceptual set is similar to mental set. According to constructivist theories, succesful preception involves combining sensory information with knowledge based on previous experience . This intelligent perception applies, for example, to how we learn to see depth, as well as how we interpret the words we read.
- it investigates many areas of interest neglected by behaviourism; yet, unlike psychoanalysis and humanism, it investigates them using rigorous scientific detail.
- In contrast to the biological approach, it's based firmly at a functional, psychological level
- Has provided explanations of many aspects of human behaviour and has had many pratical applications
- Cognitive psychology has influenced and intergrated with many other approaches and areas of study to produce, for example, social learning theory, social cognition and artificial intelligence
Strengths
Key concepts
Perception
Weaknesses
Language
Stereotypes are often communicated through the words we use. It is questionable whether language merely shapes our thinking or actually determines it. Thinking may affect language as well as language affecting thinking
Social cognition
Refers to the area of social psychology concerned with how people think about other people or groups of people. This field shares many similarities with cognitive psychology, but assumes that the way that we think about other people differs in important ways to how we think about the physical world
Memory
Schemas are knowledge packets which are built up through experience with the world and which also embody cultural experience. Stereotypes are mental short cuts that help us process information more quickly, but which also lead to errors and prejudice
Schema, stereotypes and social interactions
Mental and Perceptual set
Problem solving

Behaviourists focus on trial and error learning as a way of problem solving. Gestalt scientists recognised that there was more to it than just this. They suggested that problem solving requires structural understanding, i.e. the ability to understand how all the parts of the problem fit together to achieve the goal
What is it ???
The cognitive approach to psychology is the most dominant theory today. It looks at how mental processes, such as perception, memory, problem solving and language affect our behaviour. It became popular when the problems associated with the behavioural approach could no longer be ignored.
Assumptions
The study of internal mental proccesses is important in understanding behaviour - cognitive processes actively organise and manipulate the information that we receive
Humans, like computers, are information processors - regardless of our hardware (brains or circuits) both receive, interpret and respond to information and these processes can be modelled and tested scientifically
Full transcript