Basic Summary of Cognitive Approach to Psychology

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The cognitive approach to the study of psychology focuses on understanding the thinking processes that underlie our actions. It deals with information storage and processing. Some psychologists use computer analogy to describe this process (LTM is hard drive, STM is temporary files that may or may not be saved, etc...).The cognitive approach asks us how we remember, why we forget, and what thinking tool kit we need to utilize in order to solve problems. The cognitive approach builds on the behaviorist school of thought yet ignores biology. There have been many pioneers in this school of thought including Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. The cognitive approach can produce empirical data but does not necessarily follow the scientific method and may lack a humanistic quality. The biological approach focuses on physiology, hormones, the CNS and the physical structure of the brain. The cognitive approach assumes that there is such a thing as a physical brain and also assumes that the brain has a mind (the concept of the mind has no function in the biological approach) and starts to ask the question: what processes occur inside the mind? The behaviorist approach focuses on observable behavior and recordable data involving stimuli and response. The cognitive approach builds on this theory yet examines the thought process between stimuli and response and examines how the information of these experiences are stored. The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget through studying cognition (in his own children) developed his Theory of Cognitive Development. The Theory of Cognitive Development contains four stages: the sensorimotor stage (age 0-2) which deals with touching, smelling, tasting, looking, and listening; the preoperational stage (2-6) which is concerned mainly with language and symbols; the concrete operational stage (7-11) deals with the stage of development when children start making connections between the symbols in their environments; the last step is the...
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