The Five Approaches to Psychology

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1Name five approaches to psychology

There are five approaches to psychology,

Cognitive Psychology
Cognition is the term used to describe a range of mental activities associated with thinking. Cognitive processes include reasoning, problem solving, paying attention and remembering.

Social Psychology
Social Psychology studies the way we interpret events that are going on around us and how we interact with one another.

Physiological Psychology
Physiological Psychology is the study of how the functions of the brain, in particular how the functions of the nervous and endocrine systems are related to the influence of behaviour and mental processes. Other aspects of physiology such as stress, looking at the way we respond to different circumstances and how by understanding those responses we are able to cope and possibly not let the stress affect us. Sleep, dreaming, consciousness and motivation are all part of the experience which psychologists study. Modern psychologists believe that physiology interacts with social cognitive and cultural influences to produce the wider picture not just one aspect.

Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology studies the way people develop and change throughout their lives, studying the biological, cognitive, social and emotional changes that occur in people from infancy to old age. Developmental Psychology is interested in all aspects of psychology for example, social development looking at the development of intelligence and social understanding. People do not stop developing at a certain age, for example, when they reach adolescence; they continue to change throughout their lives. Different stages of life produce different psychological demands on people and recent studies have been looking at how people respond to those demands.

Individual Psychology
Individual Psychology is the study of how we are all different from each other. This study is part of the psychological area of individual differences which looks at the ways in which people vary. The two ways in which people vary are intelligence and personality and both have been studied a great deal. The measurement of individual differences is referred to as psychometrics. Individual differences covers a wide range of issues including psychological abnormality which is hard to define. Each major approach has its own explanation of mental disorders. These explanations are applied to eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Abnormal psychology is closely linked with clinical psychology which is one of the major applied areas of psychology. We are probably more aware of physical differences in appearance than we are of different styles of thinking and representing information. These differences in style greatly affect the way people are and the manner in which they behave for example some people are organised where others are not or some are impulsive, others are cautious.

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aDefine cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology is often called cognitive behavioural and concentrates on individuals’ thought processes and their behaviour. Cognition is not like other psychological approaches, it does not have any defined boundaries. The brain does not reveal how it functions when we look at it, how we speak, think or remember, all we see is a mass of cells and fibres. The modern cognitive approach developed during the 1950’s because there was a growing dissatisfaction in the behaviourist approach and also due to the computer revolution. Cognitive psychologists see people as being individual information processors, where human cognitive processes are compared to the operation of computer programmes. Cognitive psychology aims to understand the internal mental processes involved in interpreting and making sense of the world around us. It looks at the way individuals perceive, anticipate and evaluate events rather than the events themselves that have the greatest impact on behaviour. Cognitive...
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