The cognitive approach believes in the idea of cognitive processes, unlike behaviourists cognitive psychologists didn’t think humans were just simple stimulus-response machines. So they focused on the cognitive processes (S-O-R stimulus occurs; the person makes sense of it and then responds.) Therefore this is why the same stimulus can produce different responses in individuals depending on how each person makes sense of the stimulus. E.g. one person sees a five pound note on the floor, depending on how they process the stimulus they may choose to see if it belongs to someone or they may just keep it for themselves, it is down to how someone makes sense of the stimulus.
The cognitive approach sees the cognitive processes of humans as the same as those of a computer. Littleton et al, 2002 stated the ‘information is assumed to be received via the senses, further processed or transformed, and then used to guide action and behaviour’. The biological approach focuses on the physiology of the brain whereas the cognitive approach focuses on the process of the mind.
They also believe information is stored in our brain via, concepts and schemas. A schema is a combination of thoughts/ideas that are made about a thing using our past experiences. For example someone’s schema of white chocolate could be smooth, hard, white, tasty, these are all words which combined create an image of white chocolate.
When an event happens our mind automatically retrieves information from the applicable schema and this guides a person’s response to the stimulus. For example, a person falls over a stranger’s foot in the school corridor, the person will try make sense of what happened using their schema. Was it an accident or did someone trip them? Based on past experiences a person will conclude an answer. Although a person isn’t aware of these decisions they’re making, however its possible to test these processes scientifically. By carefully constructing experiments and monitoring...