Improving The Accuracy Of Eyewitness Testimony, Including The Use Of The Cognitive Interview

August 24, 2021 - Paper 1 Introductory Topics in Psychology | Psychopathology

Main Assumptions Of The Cognitive Approach (AO1):

  • People actively respond to environmental stimuli, depending on schemas and thoughts
  • People are information processors
  • Human mind operates in the same way as a computer
  • Cognitive processes can be modelled in order to make them observable.
  • The Cognitive Approach can be scientifically tested.

The Cognitive Approach And Internal Mental Processes (AO1)

Cognitive psychologists attempt to work out what the thought processes are that occur from a behaviour observed. These processes are ‘private’ and cannot be seen, so cognitive psychologists study them indirectly by making inferences (going beyond immediate evidence to make assumptions) about what’s going on inside people’s minds on the basis of their behaviour.


The Role of Schemas:

  • Schema are ‘mental templates’ of ideas and information that are developed through experience and help to ‘frame’ our interpretation of incoming information.
  • They help to determine how we’ll respond to each stimuli, e.g. a rollercoaster may be stressful for one person may be quite enjoyable for another, depending on each individual schema.
  • Schemas are unique to each individual; as the way they experience the world is unique to them. This means the way we see the world is dependent on experience (or lack of).
  • Schemas are influenced by culture

Theoretical (Information-Processing) Model Of The Cognitive Approach:

The most important is the information-processing model, which suggests that information flows through the cognitive system in a series of stages that include input, storage and retrieval.

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