Cognitive Approach Psychology

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Using examples of research that you have studied discuss the strengths and limitations of explaining behaviour using only the cognitive approach.

Explaining behaviour using the cognitive approach has its benefits and disadvantages, there are many aspects to the cognitive approach which help produce reliable results. Usually cognitive studies use the lab method to conduct their research, using this controlled environment helps improve the reliability and validity of the results, as variables can be controlled, including extraneous variables which in a field study are more likely to occur, an example of a cognitive study which has used the lab experiment is by Loftus and Palmer on eye witness testimony, participants were asked to watch video clips of car crashes and to then judge the speed they were going by doing a questionnaire, using the lab study is reliable as it doesn’t have many extraneous variables so this makes the results more reliable whereas doing a field study for this experiment could cause many ethical considerations for example protection of participants, although using the field study method has its advantages as it is a naturalistic setting and demand characteristics less likely to occur by doing this it would make the study more ecologically valid. Another advantage of the cognitive approach to explain behaviour is that is has many useful applications, Yochelson and Samenow conducted a study of criminal thinking patterns, where they produced results that indicated criminals had ‘errors’ in thinking, this is useful because it can be used to help people with antisocial personality disorder, APD, which is considered very hard to treat, and most criminals have this condition, it also gives an insight to the criminal mind and helps authorities to treat and handle this. Also this study was a longitudinal study, so it produced rich, in depth information studied over time to see development, unlike Loftus and Palmer’s which only a snap shot and...
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