• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and compare the cognitive and behaviourist approach in psychology

Extracts from this document...


Outline and compare the cognitive and behaviourist approach in psychology (12 marks) This essay will outline and compare the cognitive and behaviourist approach to psychology. It will refer to various therapies and practical uses of each approach. I will also refer to the case study of Kohler. I will then outline the similarities and conclude with the differences. The behaviourist approach is deterministic as it argues all behaviours are determined by past events and that all human behaviour is controlled by external events which means that humans do not have freewill. It supports empiricism and argues that only behaviour that can be observed, measured and recorded should be classed as scientific. ...read more.


The aspects of the organism including conscious and unconscious thought act as a meditational process between stimulus and response. The similarities between the approaches are that they are both scientific as they both believe that human behaviour can be studied scientifically, they focus on objectivity and they both conduct experiments in laboratory conditions. The strengths of both the approaches are that they are scientific and they allow prediction and replication of studies. They have also produced vast amounts of research in psychology and have influenced it in their own way. For example the information processing approach has implications for eye witness testimony and the behaviourist approach has implications for criminal behaviour e.g. ...read more.


After a while of trail and error he sat in the corner and thought to himself, he was then able to get in join the sticks together and successfully get the bananas. This supports the idea cognitive approach and goes against the behaviourist approach as the chimps behaviour was more than trail and error it was the process solution of insight. In conclusion the cognitive approach argues that people are born with pre existing schemas whilst the behaviourist approach disagrees with the idea of innate behaviour or that we have pre existing schemas. Skinner and Watson argued that people are born with a blank slate (tabula rasa) and that all behaviour is learnt from the environment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

This question asks candidates to first outline and then compare the use of the cognitive and behaviourist approaches in Psychology. The main reason this candidate was graded as low as they were was because of the difficulty shown in trying ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This question asks candidates to first outline and then compare the use of the cognitive and behaviourist approaches in Psychology. The main reason this candidate was graded as low as they were was because of the difficulty shown in trying to structure an effective analysis of both the cognitive and behaviourist approaches to Psychology. Because this is not an English essay, it becomes very easy to answer if you address the question very systematically. To "Outline" the different approaches, you first need to (after an introductory paragraph on the principles/assumptions of these approaches) give two similarities and then two differences. The systematic approach does not get penalised in synoptic essay writing as there are no marks for insight like their are in Humanities and Social Ethics essays. Conforming to the aforementioned structure will help convey the points more clearly and will prevent candidates getting lost and/or repeating themselves in an exam.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is fairly good, though a lot of it is not fully explored or explained. For instance, further effort could have been devoted to fully explaining what conditioning in Behavioural Psychology is. As well as this, there is little evidence of full comprehension of the Cognitive Approach because there is little emphasis on specialist vocabulary. Words and phrases like "hypothetical constructs", "memory reconstructions", and "self-report" should be used in the outlining section of this answer, as these are method by which Cognitive Psychologist retrieve their information. This may seem picky, but to demonstrate a profound knowledge of Psychology will be to use the appropriate specialist lexes that define the subject.
As well as this, the candidate's essay structure is very poor. The candidate makes a fairly good start, comparing two similarities between the approaches to a fair amount of detail, but there should be two different differences shown as well, rather than having just one as this is not a balanced arguments and this bias suggests to examiners there is a greater understanding of one of the section and a poorer understanding of the other. Furthermore, the candidate only provides one piece of evidence for the entire essay, briefly mentioning Skinner & Watson towards the end, (though it is not enough to simply name-drop) and this lowers their analytical merit because the essay response needs to prove that the candidate harbours the ability to provide practical research to back-up theoretical comprehension.
As a final note, conclusions should be conclusive and should tie together all the comment made prior to it. For no reason should there be any new information presented in the conclusion (in this essay, the candidate introduces schemas and Skinner & Watson). In doing this it give the examiner the impression there was originally going to be more information, but time constraints cut the candidate short or they simply didn't know how to write a successful conclusion. Writing conclusions is a task that all candidate should practise as it demonstrated an ability to write a good essay with a clear structure, as well as showing examiners the candidate can plan an essay well.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fine. There is a fair selection of specialist vocabulary used, though more could've been used particularly with the Cognitive Approach. There range of punctuation is limited however; strong candidates write with flair and confidence and show this through an adept understanding of the English language so grammatical consistencies and standards in writing must be proven and upheld throughout answers.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 28/02/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will evaluate and explain the Social Learning Theory (SLT), which ...

    5 star(s)

    Observational structure * A researcher may provide verbal descriptions of what they are observing. This is a bit like those animal documentaries with the narrator saying "the lion slowly awakes from its sleep, ready to hunt".

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast two psychological perspectives I am going to research the psychodynamic ...

    3 star(s)

    promote health with the health belief model and the pursued health advice. Some of the important cognitive psychologists should be mentioned. They include Atkinson and Shriffin, Gregory, Broedbent and Rumelhart and McClelland. According to critics on the weaknesses on Freud theory is that it is lacking evidence.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Findings of the Obedience Studies

    4 star(s)

    but more situational, that they were just doing their job and obeying a doctor's instructions, like they have always been taught to do. This makes it quite difficult to infer causes and effects from the results. As it was a field experiment, it obviously shows high ecological validity, unlike Milgram's study which took place in a highly artificial setting.

  2. Compare and contrast the Psychoanalytic, Behaviourist and Humanist explanations of human behaviour.

    The Humanist's case studies concentrated on the 'whole person'. They used techniques such as role play where clients play the role of significant others in their lives, or several clients act out scenes of emotional significance or form a group and share experiences.

  1. Highlight the key features/tenets of Freud's and Murray's theories of personality. Identify key similarities ...

    They also claimed that needs are not presenting at all times. They find the needs arising in isolation; mostly they saw needs occurring in groups. That's why they considered the outside influences as well. Talking about the method they used, while Freud used his clinical interviews only, Murray and his

  2. Dreams Outline

    Nightmares are frightening. 2. Most people soon are to forget their nightmares. B. Nightmares signal trouble to the dreamer. 1. Nightmares mean that a person is running away from their troubles. 2. Re occurring nightmares are symptoms of a problem that the dreamer is having and could not solve.

  1. Past IB Psychology Exam Questions Answers Paper 3

    6 marks May-04: 3) Explain the process of content analysis as it is applied to printed material (e.g. psychological case studies or data from interviews). 10 marks. Content analysis is used to turn qualitative data, that would of been collected for an interview from an example, into quantitative data, which then can be used for statistical analysis.

  2. Different Theories and theorists in Human behaviour

    These are the people who have everything can maximize their potential. These are usually middle-class to upper-class students who takes up environmental causes, join Peace Corps or go of to monasteries. Abraham Maslow - Born 1908- died-1970. He was famous for his theory of hierarchy of need.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work