Cognitive approach to psychopathology

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Theory

>Stresses problems such as irrational thinking in abnormal functioning.
>Albert Ellis (1962) and Aaron Beck (1963)- thought weakness of behavioural model was that it did not take mental processes into account.
>Theory is that cognitive processes that occur between a stimulus and a response are responsible for the feeling that forms part of the response.

Irrational thinking: (Ellis 1962)

>Assumes emotional problems can be attributed directly to distractions in our cognitions.
>Polarized thinking- (believing you are worthless)
>Overgeneralization- (negative conclusions on basis of a single event).
>Ellis- everyones thoughts are rational or irrational at some point. Psychological problems only occur if we engage in faulty thinking to the extent that it becomes a problem.

The cognitive triad (Beck 1967)-

>Errors in logic- depressed people tend to draw illogical conclusions when evaluating themselves. For example, a straight A student getting a C may assume they are stupid even though it is not in perspective.
>Cognitive triad- Negative view of the world ----> Negative view of oneself -----> Negative view of future.

EVALUATION

>Research support- Gustafon (1997)- found maladaptive thinking processes were displayed by many people with psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
>Irrational thinking- cause or effect???- doesn't examine the origins of irrational thinking.
>Individual is responsible- suggests everyone should be self-sufficient however attention may be drawn away from the need to improve social conditions that have a significant effect on the quality of life.

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