Asked by TahminPsychology 🧠

Can you explain reductionism in terms of the cognitive approach?

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Suheda Geneci

Medical Neuroscience - University of Sussex | 2yrs experience

Cognitive approach suggests all behaviour is due to faulty thinking. It emphasises the idea that impaired thought processes lead to any abnormalities, disorders, mental illnesses. For example, you will be taught that a cognitive explanation for Depression suggests that it’s a result of irrational thought processes and the way this is cured is via CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which challenges the irrational thoughts, turning them into rational ones. Remember the effectiveness of CBT 90% (success rate) which suggests that in fact cognitive factors truly do impact our behaviour, or else the treatment would not be effective. Overall, cognitive approach reduces the cause of behaviour into simply faulty thinking, ignoring other factors such as biological vulnerability, social learning etc. In the example above, cognitive approach suggests depression is the result of faulty thinking alone, however ignores the idea of the diathesis stress model (possible biological + social factors).

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