Strengths And Weaknesses Of Cognitivism Essay

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Psychology is the study of the human mind in order to formulate insight into human behaviour. Throughout the history of psychology, numerous theories have emerged each aiming to enhance our understanding of human behaviour through unique principles. In the following essay, the strengths and weaknesses of cognitivism and behaviourism which have made significant contributions to psychology will be compared to identify the implications of each theory and how each has developed our understanding of human behaviour.
To begin with, when discussing the cognitive theory it is important to understand the meaning of cognition, this may be defined as the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding of the world through our everyday experiences. The
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By having a mechanistic view of how our behaviours are produced through the concept of stimulus and response links, this theory can be regarded as highly reductionist. Whether an action is carried out or not is influenced by a wide range of factors such as conscious thought processes unlike behaviourists suggest , therefore it reduces human behaviour to an overly simplified mechanism which can be altered to carry out the desired behaviour, by ignoring subjective thoughts and wider factors that play a role. This argument is furthered by Chomsky (1959) who criticised the oversimplification of behaviourism in explaining language acquisition by ignoring innate predispositions which play a key role …show more content…
Each has played a key role in shifting the basis of psychology by adopting scientific means of research that can formulate laws and provide evidence for how we learn, understand and interpret the world. Nevertheless, there are key strengths and weaknesses in each theory which affect our understanding of behaviour, hence it may be suggested to use an interdisciplinary approach when applying these theories to understanding behaviours. An example of adopting this interdisciplinary approach that is widely successful is cognitive-behavioural therapy Dobson and Block (1988) which is a form of psychotherapy which combines the basic principles of each of these theories to treat patients with mental disorders. For example, techniques based on cognitive concepts include identifying and challenging the patients distorted thoughts to minimise emotional distress and anxiety along with behaviourist principles of positive reinforcement to alter the patients response. Therefore, it may be concluded that the most effective and beneficial way to achieve a more complete and enhanced understanding of our behaviour would be to collectively use principles of both

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