Concepts and Principles of the Cognitive Approach to Behavior

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Concepts and Principles of the Cognitive Approach to Behavior Pages 123-130

What you will learn: Four principles underlying the cognitive approach to behavior The origin and the essence of these principles with reference to the history of cognitive psychology The idea of the computer metaphor and its implications Models as a research tool in cognitive psychology

History of the Cognitive Approach Step 1: Introspectionism Intro within, inside; spection looking In a typical experiment, the psychologist would expose you to a stimulus and ask you to describe what you see or feel. Wilhelm Wundt Started the first psychological lab in Germany, 1876. With introspection, the focus was on conscious subjective experiences

History of the Cognitive Approach Step 2: Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud the father of psychoanalysis The cornerstone of his work is the introduction of the “unconscious” Claimed that conscious subjective experiences are just one insignificant part of human psyche, and not the main one. In psychoanalysis, the leading role in directing a person’s experiences and behavior is given to the unconscious drives and desires that we inherit from our ancestors. The role of the conscious mind is to control these primitive drives when they pose a threat to one’s survival or wellbeing. Psychoanalysis uses methods such as dream interpretations or analysis of associations

History of the Cognitive Approach Step 3: Behaviorism Claims that “psychology of the mind was not scientific”, because the mind is not observable Should only study observable behavior (black box metaphor) B.F. Skinner Developed operant conditioning It is a process of shaping an organisms behavior by manipulating the consequences Uses reinforcements and punishments as a way to shape behavior I ctJqjlrHA

History of the Cognitive Approach Step 4: Cognitive Psychology Researchers recognized the importance of the “black box” and turned their attention to the study of internal, cognitive processes. Gained popularity between the 1950’s and 1970’s. The computer metaphor The brain is the hardware, the mind is the software Scientists would suggest a model of a cognitive process and, based on this model, formulates a number of predictions The predictions would then be experimentally tested; the model is fit to the observed data. If the model does not fit well enough, it is revised and the cycle repeats

History of the Cognitive Approach Step 5: Behavioral Economics People make mistakes in their judgments, and these mistakes are not just random deviation from the norm as cognitive psychologists would claim. Sometimes the biases are systematic and predictable. Irrational decisions are an important part of human behavior, and irrationality in judgment and decision-making should be accounted for in the models of cognitive functioning. 9X68dm92HVI onLPDegxXx8

Principles of the Cognitive Approach to Behavior Basic overall principles that define the cognitive approach: 1. Mental processes can be studied scientifically 2. Mental representations guide behavior 3. Cognitive processes do not function in isolation 4. Biases in cognitive processes can be systematic and predictable

Overview Keep in mind that the stages do not replace the prior step, instead it forms its own independent area of research In this unit we will mostly focus on cognitive psychology Looking at cognitive processes like: Perception Memory Problem-solving Imagination Decision-making

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