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Two contrasting paradigms of cognitive psychology are the information processing approach and the ecological approach. The information processing approach compares the mind to a computer. The environment produces stimuli which are taken in by the senses. After the information goes through several mental "programs" (i.e. storing, changing, and retrieving), a behavior is produced. Unlike the information processing approach, the ecological approach places importance on the natural environments in which cognitive activities take place. In order for an individual to perform an action, there needs to be a good match between the individual and the environment.
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