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When was the first cognitive school founded and who by?

1959; Ulric Neisser


What are the three assumptions made by the cognitive approach?

- Thought processes can and should be studied scientifically through controlled laboratory studies

- The mind works like a computer in that it has an input from our senses which it then processes and produces an output such as language or specific behaviours

- Stimulus and response is appropriate but only if the thought processes that occur between the stimulus and response are acknowledged (criticism of behaviourism)


Why are the experimental conditions used by cognitive psychologists so important?

Although we are aware of our thought processes, there are times when we are unaware of what thoughts led us to behave a certain way, such as the gorillas in our midst experience


What did Simons and Chabris find and how?

We miss much of what we see in our visual field due to inattention; they discovered this using the "gorillas in our midst" study which showed most people didn't see a "gorilla" running through a video because they were focused on the people


What is a schema and how do they affect our thought processes?

A collection of ideas formed through experience which helps the individual understand and predict the world around them

This would suggest that the way we interpret the world is dependent on our past experiences, suggesting we do not all see things the same way and have our own versions of reality that are effected by experiences such as culture


Why does cognitive psychology advocate for the use of theoretical models? Give an example of a theoretical model

It supports a scientific approach to inquiry and testing, and it allows the components to be tested and examined individually and the model modified

The multi-store model of memory


What are the similarities and differences between the brain and a computer?

Similarities: Processes information, has memory

Differences: One is plastic the other organic, one has limited memory while the other is unlimited


What is the information-processing model?

A three-stage process which is argued to explain behaviours:

1. Input - Comes from the environment via the senses
2. Processing - Such as schemas
3. Output - The behavioural response


What is cognitive neuroscience?

A discipline which is a combination of psychology and neuroscience and its main focus is finding a biological basis to thought processes, specifically neurons. It has developed as technology such as scanning machines have advanced


When was cognitive neuroscience founded and where?

Massachusetts, 1956, although the term wasn't used again until 1971


How can the cognitive approach be criticised?

- Research lacks validity as they are artificial

- The use of models could be considered over-simplified

- The comparison with computers makes people seem mechanistic and lacking free will


How can the cognitive approach be positively evaluated?

- The focus on thought processes is beneficial and important

- The approach has scientific vigour

- The approach has produced some good descriptions of the processes that occur and this informs treatment (e.g. CBT therapy)


Name some internal processes studied by the cognitive approach

- Memory
- Sensory input
- Concentration
- Perception


What are inferences?

Assumptions made based on results of previous research, such as assuming someone has a memory because they performed well on a memory test


What are the two ways in which schema are updated? Who suggested these?


Assimilation: The cognitive process of fitting new information into existing schemas - if this isn't possible due to conflicting information, we enter disequilibrium and need to accommodate.

Accommodation: The cognitive process of revising/changing existing cognitive schemas so that new information can be incorporated (make room for new information).


What is disequilibrium and who suggested it?

Piaget: When told our schemas are wrong, we enter this state, and will not enter equilibrium again until we have updated our schemas through the process of accommodation


What is the purpose of schemas?

Schemas are shortcuts to long-term memory that help us remember, organise and respond to information faster


What can cognitive neuroscience be considered to be which makes psychology closer to being a science?

The emergence of a paradigm field of the cognitive and biological approach combined