Describe and evaluate the Cognitive Approach

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Describe and evaluate the Cognitive Approach

The cognitive approach in psychology focuses on the internal mental processes of an individual. The word cognition refers to the process by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered and used; this definition was from Ulric Neisser.

This approach was very dominated in the 1950’s onwards. This was because of the modern research on human performance and attention during the 2nd world war, developments in computer science, artificial intelligence and the growing interest in linguistics.

This approach is different from other approached in different ways. On way is that the approach adopts the use of scientific, experimental methods to measure mental processes rejecting the psychodynamic use of introspection. Another difference is that the approach advocates the importance of mental processes such as beliefs, desires and motivation in determining behaviour unlike the behaviourist approach.

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Cognitive psychologists focus mainly on the internal mental processes like memory. Interest is taken in how individuals can learn to solve problem and the mental processes that exist between stimulus and response. A certain model of this is the information processing approach.

The information processing approach can be compared to a computer in terms of the mind the software and the brain being the hardware, this is just like a computer. As individuals we encode information, store or transform information also like a computer.

Information-processing model we can assume is used to explain much everyday behaviour. For example playing a ...

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