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1. The Cognitive Approach – Key Assumptions (pg 55-57) The cognitive approach is concerned with how thinking shapes our behaviour. How does this compare to the…
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  • 1. The Cognitive Approach – Key Assumptions (pg 55-57) The cognitive approach is concerned with how thinking shapes our behaviour. How does this compare to the behaviourist approach? Cognitive psychologists explain all behaviour in terms of thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and study how these direct our behaviour. Cognitive psychologists are looking at the internal processes of the mind. 1: Behaviour can be explained by internal mental processes. Humans are basically seen as information processers. The main concern of cognitive psychology is how information received from our senses is processed by the brain and how this processing directs how we behave. The cognitive approach also looks at how various cognitive functions work together to help us make sense of the world. Internal mental processes studied by cognitive psychologists – Give a definition Perception ____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Attention _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Memory ______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Language _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Thinking __________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Imagine you see a dog in the street. How would the processes above work together to enable you to know that it is a dog?
  • 2. Schemata Parts of the mental processes identified by the cognitive approach are schemata (singular: schema). These are mental structures that represent an aspect of the world, such as an object or event. Schemata help us to make sense of the world, by providing short cuts to identifying things that we come across. For example, if it has a large metal door, buttons and knobs, gets hot inside and has hot metal rings on top, it’s probably a cooker. You don’t need to have seen this particular cooker before to identify it. Your schema for “cooker” allows you to be able to identify all cookers so long as they don’t veer too far from your mental schema. What is our schema for a psychology lesson? 2: The computer analogy Cognitive psychologists often compare the human mind to a computer. It compares how we take information (input) store it or change it (process) and then recall it when necessary (output). PROC INPUT ESS OUTP In this analogy, hardware would be ________________________ and software would be the ________________________
  • 3. An example of the computer analogy: The Multistore Memory Model (Atkinson and Shriffrin 1968) 3: Psychology is a science, and behaviour should be studied scientifically Cognitive psychologists have a very scientific approach towards studying behaviour. Although they are concerned with the inner workings of the mind (which cannot be directly observed) scientific and controlled experiments allow psychologists to infer what is happening. Cognitive psychologists mainly use _____________________________ to test human behaviour. For example, memory could be tested by getting participants to learn and recall a series of numbers under controlled conditions. What people say and do can be taken as valid measures of their thought processes. We can then make an assumption about memory from the responses that the participants give. Write down 15 words How many words could you remember? __________________________________________
  • 4. What can we infer about the mind with the results of our study? How would we check to see if our results were real?
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