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Explain one psychological or social question from the cognitive perspective

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Explain one psychological or social question from the cognitive perspective One psychological question, which may be explained using the cognitive approach is aggression. Aggression being the social question may be defined as any form of behavior directed towards the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment. The cognitive approach is concerned with how people acquire, store, transform, and use information. There are different types of aggression. The first being instrumental aggression and the second hostile aggression. Instrumental aggression is linked to the behaviorist explanation of aggression. Where as hostile aggression is connected with the cognitive explanation of aggressive behavior. A key concept in cognitive psychology which can be applied to the explanation of aggressive behavior is priming. According to the cognitive perspective priming is an phenomenon whereby a thought or memory increases the activation of associated thoughts or memories. ...read more.


A second concept from the cognitive approach which has been applied to the explanations of aggressive behavior is schema. Schemas are the mental frameworks which organize knowledge beliefs and expectations. Schemas are seen as guiders for human behavior. Thus the schemata guiding the individual's behavior affects the possibilities of aggressive behavior. This can be seen in the study provided by Anderson known as 'code of the streets' (1994). In this experiment he studied the set of norms governing the interpersonal relationships in inner cities for African American teenagers. The code includes self-esteem being dependent on receiving respect. The code for the teenagers resulted in aggressive posturing and quick violent responses even to imaginary wrongs. According to Andersons study the inner city violence is due to the assumptions of the code. The code is a schema which these teenagers have adapted themselves and allow it to guide their behavior leading to inner city violence. ...read more.


Hostile aggression can be linked closely to cognition. Hostile aggression is motivated by the desire to express anger and hostile feelings. This desire for expression of hostile feelings can be further linked with frustration. The general aggression model is an integrative framework explaining how personal and situational input variables lead to aggressive behavior through cognitive appraisal. According to Anderson and Bushman aggressive responses depend upon a person's personality and situational constraints. GAM integrates cognitive social learning theory and cognitive neo-association theory. In conclusion aggression may be explained with cognitive key concepts such as schema and priming. Multiple experiments provide sufficient evidence for these explanations. Priming a key concept in the cognitive mental processes of the mind has been applied in the neo association model of aggressive behavior. Schema the second concept taken from the cognitive approach can be applied into explaining aggression with aggressive scripts and general aggression model. Generally the cognitive approach sees aggression depending upon the way we think (schemata and priming). ...read more.

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