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Cognitive Approach. The way I think is the way I behave…. Focuses of Cognitive Approach. The PROCESSES of thinking and memory Attention Imagery Creativity Problem solving Language use. Different from Learning approach (Behaviorists). Concerned with mental processes

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cognitive approach

Cognitive Approach

The way I think is the way I behave…

focuses of cognitive approach
Focuses of Cognitive Approach
  • The PROCESSES of thinking and memory
  • Attention
  • Imagery
  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Language use
different from learning approach behaviorists
Different from Learning approach (Behaviorists)
  • Concerned with mental processes
  • Concerned with what humans can perceive and communicate
  • Focused on the mind. Literature frequently refers to the BLACK BOX of mental processing (we can’t see mental processing…)
  • Use animals for MEMORY research
big deal cognitive folks
Big-deal Cognitive folks
  • Noam Chomsky –Theories of language acquisition
  • Norbert Wiener –computer simulations of thought… worked with cybernetics… tried to get computers to respond to different situations.
  • Wolfgang Kohler –Gestalt theory… our mind fills in the blanks of perception (see next slide)
gestalt theory
Gestalt Theory
  • Gestalt is a german word that means
    • Pattern
    • Shape
    • Figure
    • Form
    • Whole
  • It is a theory that suggests we look at things as a whole… and we process information as a whole…
gestalt theory everything is view in context
Gestalt Theory-everything is view in context…

In learning, opposed to the reductionism of behaviourism, it concentrates on the way in which the mind insists on finding patterns in things, and how this contributes to learning, especially the development of “insight”.

gestalt slides
Gestalt slides

A vase or two faces? According to the Gestalt theory, our mind can only see one image at a time.

thinking vs learning

More complex than learning

Manipulates representations of the environment

Applies perceptions, makes associations, furthers current cause

Stimulus-stimulus reactions

Thinking VS Learning
  • Learning
    • Learning is stimulus-response interactions.
  • Cognitive approach… Explain how it is different than the biological and behaviorist approach
  • Which approach appeals to you the most?
  • ADHD: This is a life-long issue for some people. How does each approach treat ADHD?
two types of thinking
Non-directed thinking

Has no destination


Free association



Directed thinking

Aims toward a goal

Problem solving

Critical thinking



Two types of thinking
problem solving
Convergent thinking

Searches for one solution to a problem.

Uses logic to find the ‘one right answer’ like in math problems

Categorize events, and filter out the correct answer

Divergent thinking

Used in playing chess (several options must be considered…)

Imagines many solutions

Creativity is often measured by how many different solutions someone can come up with for a problem.

Problem solving