Cognitive Theory


Cognitive theory can be defined as a learning theory of psychology that attempts to explain the behavior of human beings by understanding their thought processes. Humans are logical beings who make choices that make the most sense to them is the assumption in cognitive theory. Information processing is a commonly used description of the mental process, comparing the human mind to a computer.

Behavioral learning theories suggest that the process of learning ensues from pleasant or unpleasant experiences of one’s life and cognitive theories of learning suggest that learning is based upon the mental processes. Cognitive theory as it relates to epistemological processes within the individual is based upon the notion that learning happens as a result of processes that is related to one’s experience, perception, memory, and sometimes verbal thinking. Cognitive theory is much concerned with the development of a person’s thought processes. Cognitive theory also looks at how such thought processes influence how one understands and interacts with the world around. Children think differently than adults.

The reason why the pure cognitive theory rejects behaviorism is that, behaviorism reduces a complex human behavior to a simple cause and effect. However, in past decades the trend was towards merging the two into a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral theory. This makes the therapists to use techniques from both schools of thought to enable clients achieve their goals.

Cognitive-behavioral theories are conceptualized as a general category of theories, or sometimes a set of related theories, which have evolved from the theoretical writings, clinical experiences, and empirical studies of behavioral and cognitively oriented psychologists. The fact here is there is no single definition of cognitive-behavioral theory. Hence, Using common assumptions, techniques and research strategies , individual theories are tied together. But a diversity of views about the role cognitions play in behavior change is maintained. One more thing noted here is the hyphenated term “cognitive-behavioral” reflects the importance of both behavioral and cognitive approaches to understanding and helping of human beings. And the hyphen brings behavioral and cognitive theoretical views together. Each with their own theoretical assumptions and intervention strategies.

There exists Cognitive-behavioral interventions that target both cognitive and behavioral problems using a full integration of cognitive and behavioral strategies. Cognitive-behavioral theories and counseling interventions are really highly influential. The cognitive-behavioral research is purely based on the observed changes in one’s behavior and cognition with methodological rigor. Cognitive-behavioral theories also provides great flexibility in the targets and interventions of a treatment, by sharing a basic emphasis on the importance of cognitive workings and private events..A conceptual model of the functional relationships between thoughts, behaviors, and feelings is provided to us by the behavioral assessments that are operating in the “triple response mode”. It also provides the necessary background for clinicians and researchers for the implementation and evaluation of intervention strategies. There exists many variety of cognitive-behavioral intervention techniques. This count is likely to increase as the theories continue to be developed for effectiveness with a variety of psychological problems.

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