Unit 1 Psychology - Past to Present

  • Created by: siannolan
  • Created on: 27-05-17 13:22

A Revision guide, of everything you need to know for Psychology Unit 1  Eduquas (WJEC)

Cognitive Approach:-


COMPUTER ANALOGY - The start of the use of computers allowed psychologists to try to understand the complexities of human cognition by comparing it with something simpler and better understood i.e. an artificial system such as a computer. The brain is like a computer.  Both computers have memory stores and limited capacity for how much information they can process at any one time. Just as a computer’s behaviour is determined by what information it is given and how it has been programmed, so a person’s behaviour is determined by (1) the information available in their environment; (2) the ways they have learned to manipulate (process) information; and (3) the capacities for information processing inherent in the types of brain people have. Information is received through the senses, processed in the brain with software such as memories influence the final output.

BEHAVIOUR IS A RESULT OF INFORMATION PROCESSING - the way a different mix of processing can affect each other. Different types of processing could be; language, memory, perception, problem solving and combing the different types of processing makes the processing in the brain a lot slower.

SCHEMAS – Schemas are learning through experience. They are used to both understand and respond to situations (stimuli in our internal processing).  The cognitive approach explains that we store these and apply when needed. Piagat called these the basic building blocks of intelligent behaviour – a way of organising knowledge. The role of schema - cognitive processing affected by a person's beliefs/expectations. Schema are packages of ideas and info developed through experience, they act as a mental framework for interpretation of incoming info received by the cognitive system. Babies born with simple motor schema for innate behaviours e.g. grasping, sucking. Schema’s become more detailed with age - allows us to process lots of info quickly and prevents us from feeling overwhelmed by environmental stimuli. Schema may distort our interpretations of sensory info - perpetual errors

Applied to behaviours:

The cognitive approach assumes that a person’s thoughts are responsible for their behaviour. The model deals with how information is processed in the brain and the impact of this on behaviour. The basic assumptions are: Maladaptive behaviour is caused by faulty and irrational cognitions, it is the way you think about a problem, rather than the problem itself that causes mental disorders, Individuals can overcome mental disorders by learning to use more appropriate cognitions.

The individual is an active processor of information. How a person, perceives, anticipates and evaluates events rather than the events themselves, which will have an impact on behaviour. This is generally believed to be an automatic process, in other words we do not really think about it.  In people with psychological problems these thought processes tend to be negative and the cognitions (i.e. attributions, cognitive errors) made will be inaccurate: These cognitions cause distortions in the way we see things; Ellis suggested it


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