Cognitive Psychology and Abnormal PsychologyExplain how each of these Psychological approaches views the cause of behavior.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think that you can really contrast these two -- they are not trying to explain the same thing.

Cognitive psychology is trying to explain all human behavior.  It argues that people's behavior is tied to the ways in which they perceive the world.

Abnormal psychology deals with trying to figure out why people behave in deviant ways -- not with all human behavior.  So there can be cognitive approaches to abnormal behavior that would focus on the negative ways in which people perceive the world.  At the same time, another psychologist could focus more on the physical and chemical causes of abnormal behavior.

So cognitive psychology and abnormal psychology are not rival schools of thought.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the above post.  They are both very broad approaches to psychology and behavior.  You can place some aspects of abnormal psych into the larger context of cognitive psychology when you review the research associated with factors affecting human perception of reality and the environment, and therefore, affecting cognitive behavior as well.  Some, if not most, of deviant behavior is the result of poor or failed socialization, and socialization is a prime determinant factor in cognitive behavior.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whenever we consider varying sociological theories we need to remember that they provide broad brush strokes to describe certain phenomena such as behaviour, which are massive topics and impossible to explain fully. The best way of treating sociological approaches is as a tool kit that you may find useful depending on the "job" that you need to work on. As the posts above make clear, there are elements of overlap with these two theories and how they attempt to explain human behaviour.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the above.  Abnormal psychology focuses on using all avenues to explain human behavior.  This includes cognitive psychology.  There are a variety of reasons a person may become a serial killer, for example.  The answer might come from the person's brain chemistry.  It might also come from environment.  Likely, it comes from both.  Therefore since abnormal behavior is so complex, it needs to be analyzed with every tool in the arsenal.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cognitive psychology is devoted to studying the way the mind works, thinks, processes information and etc. Cognitve is equal to thought. Abnormal psychology would address the aberrant ways in which the mind works, but it would also look at the aberrant social behaviors exhibited by and engaged in by the person being studied.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cognitive psychology has to do with how we think, learn and remember. It has more to do with how the brain works and processes than it does with how we behave. Abnormal psychology is more about the things that occur in the brain to make people behave or process differently than others.

nabihahayat | Student

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giorgiana1976 | Student

Cognitive psychology is a paradigm of psychology, that studies the processing of information that occurs between stimulus and response.

This approach of psychology aims to shed light on the "black box" of behaviourists, who consider that between stimulus and behavior is a direct relationship, so we can not find out what is happening between them. Cognitive psychology makes an analogy between the human mind and a computer, considering that the human mind processes the input (stimuli from internal and external environment of the body), based on algorithms, thus generating a behavioral output.

tradecraft | Student

Your inquiry: Cognitive Psychology and Abnormal Psychology - Explain how each of these Psychological approaches views the cause of behavior.

This is really too ambiguous of a request to answer without more specificity. Cognitive Psychology and Abnormal Psychology are each comprehensive fields of psychology. Your inquiry is not conducive to addressing with any simplicity.  There are literally thousands of textbooks addressing these topics.