The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioural and Social Methodologies in Child Development
It is important to evaluate the research methods used for each approach, in terms of both weaknesses and strengths. . However, it is also equally important to approach this issue with a realistic outlook. Indeed ‘it is not possible to study all the factors that influence development…and so it has been necessary to design research methods which allow sources of error in observation to be controlled.’
The cognitive approach to psychology focuses on the internal processes of the brain. how children develop and grow is through mental interaction and the processing of information of the world around them. This growth is attributed to intelligence, to thought and how thought processes influence the way in which one perceives and interacts with the world. The leading psychologist in this area is Piaget, who believed that children are not ‘less intelligent’ than adults, they merely process thoughts differently. He broke down the child development process into four main stages. Piaget asserted that children react to ‘cognitive lessons’, which allows them to adapt to the environment in which they live through schemata. These schemata are the knowledge collected through experiences, which are then logically processed to develop the child’s understanding of the world. These stages are applicable regardless of culture or individuality and represent the abilities and developments of the child during the specific age period – they are universal to Piaget.
The cognitive approach to psychology is often described as scientific and clinical in comparison to the social and behavioural approaches. Literally described from the cognitive viewpoint, the mind consists of the processes of the brain and its functioning of memory, perception and understanding of the world. Research tends to be quantitative, and data is often reduced to models of processes and statistical information, much like Piaget’s stages and Bruner’s modes of representation, categorising the ways in which memory can be programmed into the mind. .  . .