Cognitive Psychology: Explanation and Theories

With the development of modern science, Cognitive Psychology has gained extensive acceptance in a short period of time. This branch of psychology deals with the way an individual process information. It is a complex process which requires the study of how we receive the information from the environment and then respond to it. Perception, attention, language, memory and thinking are the main factors of internal processes. Researchers study these factors and help access the information for a possible treatment. Cognitive psychology is helpful in eliminating the negative factors of emotional distress and behaviors.

In 1976, Ulric Neisser originated the context of Cognitive Psychology which emerged many intercessions that has ultimately advanced the Psychological field. Knowledge of human perception and behavior has facilitated people in many different fields as well. It majorly includes medicine, business and education.

Cognitive psychologists supports in achieving the goal of problem solving. The first step in this process is the identification of the issue. Once the problem is acknowledged, the individual will create a formulation plan that will help him achieve the objectives. This psychology helps you analyze and organize your priorities.

Four main features define every system of cognitive psychology. These include therapist and client relationship, psychological distress originates from mental errors, focusing on changes for betterment and psychological treatment to focus problems.

Cognitive Psychology features three main theories. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) was given by Albert Ellis. The theory aligns that a person creates his own psychological problems by misinterpretations. Eliminating negative emotions created by irrational beliefs is the main emphasis of this philosophy. REBT works on the framework of A-B-C. This means Activating event, Beliefs and Consequences. The theory can be understood by different examples.

The other main therapies are Aaron Beck’s cognitive therapy and Donald Meichenbaum’s cognitive behavior therapy. The main purpose of these theories is the eradication of negative behavior by altering the cognitive process.

Smart Phones Make Children Smarter

Digital technology has turned the world into global village. Not only people can gain access to the world information, but also they can interact with people at any part of the world. This has also made the children smarter, since they get the access of smartphones pretty frequently. Smartphones are given to children on various occasions which involves distraction from whining or crying and also to make the kids learn through educational videos. Whatever the reason, children knows how to operate the smartphones pretty smoothly.

Many believe that using smartphones can harm children in various ways. However, research reveals that exposure of smartphones allows children to be sharper. Playing games and watching intellectual videos can help in the development of children’s minds.

With over thousands of entertaining applications available for children, parents should select the applications based on content, context and the mental ability of their child. Educational videos like “Dora” helps the children in becoming more interactive. They learn by watching videos and it is also very engaging. It won’t be wrong if we say that smartphones have become the “most wanted” children’s toy. They attack and cry for the gadget whenever they see it. Their smartness level lies in the fact that even a 2 year old baby will pose for the camera and knows what a selfie is!

With the access of smartphones, pre-teens have become much more knowledgeable than the previous generations. They learn different languages, make friends all over the world and know about the latest trends of the world.

Parental guidance is necessary to limit unethical exposure. Content exposure of children under 11 should be viewed by the parents or guardians. Where there are several pros of the smartphones, cons are unlimited too. With smarter children, parents need to be extra cautious in order to save them from the evils of the world.

Ways To Deal With A Teenager

If you are a parent or an elder sibling of a teenager then you have my empathies. I know, because I also have to deal with a snobby teenage sister and an equally snooty nephew in his pre-teens. However, we can’t entirely blame the teenagers for their behavior, because during the age group of 12-19, these adolescents undergo a metamorphosis process, generally termed as ‘Puberty’. In this stage, the adolescents go through a remarkable change in their physical and emotional state. This is why many teenagers are not easy to deal with. But there are certain ways that you can adopt to handle them, which I have listed below:

  • Implement house rules that are clear and consistent yet not suffocating for the adolescent. It’s much better if all the family members have to follow the same rules.
  • Stay calm in an argument. Remember that you are the elder one.
  • Don’t have high expectations that are difficult to fulfill.
  • Do no treat the adolescent as a kid. It will annoy him or her.
  • Have positive and friendly conversations from time to time.
  • Keep evaluating the behavior and check if there is any adverse change. However, don’t be overly suspicious.
  • Since teenagers are more influenced by their friends, than by their parents or any family members, make sure you know their friends by inviting them over once in a while.
  • Teenagers are very self-conscious of their appearance. They keep experimenting with different looks and hairstyles that will suit them. Try to praise them for their efforts.
  • Don’t get annoyed of their shrugs or monosyllabic replies. Instead, allow conversations that will help them open up.
  • Punishing and getting frustrated is not an answer. Try to be patient, come up with other ways like having a pleasant conversation, while explaining the lessons of life.
  • Try to understand the young adult. Their way of communication might be different, but they are not always wrong.

Teenage years are very vulnerable. Being the elder one, you have to take charge and help the adolescents at every stage for shaping their bright future.

Systematic Desensitization: An Effective treatment for Phobias

Phobias are irrational fears of specific situations, objects or creatures. A phobic person has usually had certain childhood experiences that caused him/her to fear the object in question. Each phobia has a complicated medical name but to keep things simple, a few examples of common phobias are: the fear of cats, spiders, cockroaches and even a fear of men (some of them can be pretty intimidating!).

However, people who are phobic will find reassurance in the fact that almost every phobia can be cured. However, before discussing how to cure a person of their irrational fears, it is important to state that the person who is phobic must actually WANT to cure his/her phobia. The treatment of such states of mind requires active involvement of the person, and unless he/she is committed to the cause of fighting off their feelings of terror, there is no way those feelings could be banished.

Having said that; the most popular treatment, which is effective in the case of most phobias is called systematic desensitization, which simply means that the individual is gradually desensitized in a systematic way. Desensitization involves slowly making the person develop an acceptability of the existence and/or presence of object that they fear.

To explain the process let’s take the example of a person who has a very extreme phobia of cats. This phobia is also known as “Ailurophobia”. In order to help a person overcome their irrational fear of this animal, which is generally perceived as cute and harmless, one must begin by simply talking to the individual; not just about their fear and what seems to have caused it, but also about cats. Just bring up the subject randomly, and be descriptive.

At first just talk about cats: what they look like (of course everyone already knows but this helps reduce the fear at a subconscious level) and how they feel or about their purring sounds; then after a few such discussions (that took place on separate occasions), speak about holding and petting cats or letting them sit on ‘your own’ lap. Initially do not speak of the cat being in the lap of the phobic person, as that too may be stressful and intimidating. Each of these stages should take place after considerable time has elapsed (let’s say a week or so).

Eventually, introduce a “stuffed cat” into the scenario. Do not push the person to hold or touch it. Just let it sit there as you speak of anything and everything under the sun. Next step: a real cat is brought in, but held by you at a distance. The phobic individual will see how you have not been harmed in anyway because of the cat.

Slowly and gradually, after a number of such sittings in which the individual is not required to hold or touch the cat, you will find that they themselves may start taking an interest in the cat. Eventually, there will come a time when they’d like to pet the cat, perhaps surreptitiously and/or cautiously at first. With time their courage will increase and they would be willing to hold the cat and pet it at length. Mission accomplished!

At all times during the process of systematic desensitization, be aware that a situation may arise in which the phobic individual insists upon abandoning the attempt to eradicate their fear(s); temporarily or permanently. In either case, it’s their call, so do not try to be pushy. If they seem too disturbed, do not even insist once. After all, living with a phobia could perhaps be better than experiencing further psychological problems.