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Flashcards in Cognitive Approach Deck (15)
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Key assumptions

Computer in terms of having inputs, processes and outputs
Focus on internal processes such as perception
Processes can be studied indirectly by making inferences


The study of mental processes

Focuses on studying what happens in the mind such as our experience and interpretation of sensory information (perception)
How we select important information from the environment (attention)
How we use information to solve problems (thinking)
How we retrieve information when needed (memory



Observing behaviour and using logic to draw conclusions about what mental processes caused that behaviour


The role of schemas
Mental processes which influence our behaviour
Involve collecting and storing information in memory

Cognitive framework that helps up to interpret unfamiliar environments/object/person
Mental shortcut
Use to make predictions about what to expect
Fill the gaps of memory


Schemas can lead to

Perceptual errors and false memories
Inaccurate stereotypes


Allport and postman

If people could accurately recall events in photograph
White man assaulting black man and asked what they saw
Recalled black assaulting white
False errors and perceptual memorised because of racial stereotypes of the time


The role of theoretical and computer models

Inferences to develop models to explain mental processes
Theoretical model representation of how information processing works
Picture/diagram form boxes represent structures, arrows represent sequence
Computer analogy, theoretical models computer models describing inputs, processes and outputs


The emergence of cognitive neuroscience
Development of brain scanning techniques in late 20th

The study of the neural basis of mental processes and mental processes such as memory


Uses neuroimaging techniques such has

Positron emission tomography PET and functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI

Provide an active image of living brain and reveal which parts of the brain are being used while taking part in a particular mental process



Used pet scans on individuals while recalling different types of LTM and shows that parietal, frontal, occipital, temporal and cerebellum areas are being used


McGuire neuroimaging with cabbies

Hippocampus significantly larger


Practical applications

Lead to the development of techniques to restore memory in stroke patients

Valuable to real life victims



Lab experiments
Reliable standardised procedures
Memory experiments- input manipulated variables held constant
Empirical methods objective evidence of brain abnormalities
Valid approach of studying abnormality


Lacks eco gal

Meaningless stimuli
EWT recall on video, told in advance, demand characteristics, little emotional impact

Can’t generalise to real life mediational processes


Limitations of computer analogy

Cannot directly observed, extremely complex
Differences between human and mind
Freewill- spontaneous decisions and mistakes
Responding to emotions

Reductionist and not applicable to human life