Evaluating the cognitive approach


Evaluating the cognitive approach


  • Scientific method - highly controlled method in which all extraneous variables are controlled. Means that inferences can be made about mental processes through use of reliable and objective data. This means that the cognitive approach has scientific credibility.
  • Real world application - cognitive psychology has made key contributions to the world, such as artificial intelligence and therapies to treat depression. This means that the approach has value in society.


  • Countering scientific method - may be too abstract due to focus on inference rather than direct observation. Stimuli are often artificial so may lack external validity.
  • Machine reductionism - limits the brain to a computer model with different parts which ignores the role of emotions and decision making in behaviour. This weakens the validity of the cognitive approach.


Cognitive psychology is effective for its use in society, however it is a limited explanation of behaviour. 


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