AQA A-Level Psychology Topics -Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology involves the study of internal mental processes—all that happens inside your brain, including perception, thinking, memory, attention, language, problem-solving, and learning.
While it is a relatively young branch of psychology, cognitive psychology has quickly grown to become one of its most popular subfields.
There are numerous practical applications for this cognitive research, such as assisting coping with memory disorders, increasing decision-making accuracy, finding ways to help people recover from brain injury, treating learning disorders, and structuring educational curricula to enhance learning.
Learning more about how people think and process information not only helps researchers gain a deeper understanding of how the human brain works, it allows psychologists to develop new ways of helping people deal with psychological difficulties.
For example, by recognizing that attention is both a selective and limited resource, psychologists are able come up with solutions that make it easier for people with attentional difficulties to improve their focus and concentration.
In addition to adding to our understanding of how the human mind works, the field of cognitive psychology has also had an impact on approaches to mental health. Before the 1970s, many mental health approaches were focused more on psychoanalytic,behavioral, and humanistic approaches. The so-called "cognitive revolution" that took place during this period put a greater emphasis on understanding the way people process information and how thinking patterns might contribute to psychological distress.
Thanks to research in this area by cognitive psychologists, new approaches to treatment were developed to help treat depression, anxiety, phobias, and other psychological disorders.
Cognitive behavior therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy are two methods in which clients and therapists focus on the underlying cognitions that contribute to psychological distress. Using these methods, therapists can help clients identify irrational beliefs and other cognitive distortions that are in conflict with reality and then aid them in replacing such thoughts with more realistic, healthy beliefs.
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