Outline and Evaluate the Cognitive Explanation of Psychopathology

467 Words2 Pages
There are two key terms that help us to understand behaviour which are thinking patterns and perception. The cognitive model believes that abnormal behaviour is the result of irrational, maladaptive and disordered thought processes and perceptions of self. A man called Ellis implied that there were two routes of thinking, which are adaptive and maladaptive. By saying this he also suggested that everyone is capable of taking either of these two routes. He also suggested that if people think rationally then they will behave rationally and therefore as a consequence they will be happy and competent. On the other hand if people think irrationally then they will behave irrationally, therefore leading to psychological disturbance. Ellis also observed that irrational thinking is often revealed in the language that people use, for example words such as should, could, ought and must. So due to this he proposed the ABC model, A standing for activation (an event/stimulus), B standing for belief about the event/stimulus and finally C standing for consequences (response). This model showed that distorted thoughts equalled to emotional problems, for example polarised thinking (seeing everything in black and white), over generalisation ( making sweeping generalisations), tyranny of “must”, “ought”, “should” and casatrophizing (making a mountain out of a mole hill). A man called Beck came up with a cognitive triad in 1967 that identified three forms of negative thinking, and he thought they were typical of those suffering from depression. The three forms of negative thinking were negative views about the future (“I’ll never be good at anything”), negative views about the world (“everyone is against me because I’m worthless”), and negative views about the self (I’m worthless and inadequate”). One strength of the cognitive approach is that one of the most effective forms of
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