The Cognitive Theory

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The Cognitive Theory

The Cognitive Theory
The Cognitive theory is focused on the individual's thoughts. It is believed that these thoughts determine an individual’s emotions and behaviors and therefore personality. The cognitive theorists believe that we could have no emotions, no behavior and would not function without our thoughts. The thoughts always come before any feeling and any action. The cognitive theorists believed that we can change our mood, decrease our anxiety and improve our relationships if we change our thoughts.

Authors of the Cognitive Theory
George Kelly was one of the first Cognitive theorists. He was critical of the Behavioral Theory. Kelly came up with Fundamental Postulate which states that an individual’s processes are psychologically channeled by the ways in which he/she anticipates events. Kelly’s theory was written in a very organized way that resembled an outline or maybe a table of contents. He believed that the way an individual interacted with the world would determine his/her personality. Albert Ellis appeared to be more of a therapist. He invented the ABC process. Ellis believed that we experience, (A) Activating Events everyday that prompt us to look at and think about what is occurring. The results of our interpretations lead to (B) Beliefs about the event, the world and our role in the event. After this belief is developed, we experience (E) Emotional Consequences that is based on our belief.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cognitive System

The Cognitive Theory has proved that a way an individual thinks can determine how he/she perceives situations. The research of the cognitive theory has given therapists more knowledge in how people think. Although, George Kelly’s theory was written in a very organized way that seemed to resemble an outline or table of contents, it may be looked upon as a flaw. This outline type theory is criticized because it seems to be confusing and perhaps too...
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