How Do the Two Schools of Thought – Cognitive Psychology and Behavioural Psychology – Work Together to Form Cbt?

Assessment 1

Review of Key Ideas
Write a half-page response to each of the questions below.

Q1. How do the two schools of thought – cognitive psychology and behavioural psychology – work together to form CBT?

Cognitive Psychology (CP) is at its most basic the study of how and why we think what we do. Behavioural Psychology (BP) is the study of how and why we act as we do. CP was formulated by researchers such as Wundt and James and includes the well known Schema Theory, where situations are seen as models that underly thinking, e.g. that people follow a ’script' of behaviour in certain situations or with certain types of people, etc. Schema thus affect how we remember and how we act in the future and so if we face a situation without a schema we can feel stressed. This is somewhat deterministic in that the theory implies that our actions are pre-determined. BP came from Behaviourism (founded in 1900s by Watson) but refined in the 1950s by Skinner through the development of "operant conditioning", essentially that you can reinforce actions and make animals and people more likely to exhibit a certain response to a given stimuli/situation with the use of positive or negative reinforcement (carrots and sticks). An early example of this was with Pavlov's dogs: if the dogs heard a bell ringing immediately before food was doled out, they would salivate at the sound of the bell, regardless of whether any food came. A criticism of BP could be that it can be quite callous, as with purposefully scaring an infant as in the Little Albert experiments.

CBT is a conflation of these ideas, by Beck in the 1960s. Underlying both is the need for empirical evidence rather than philosophical conjecture and this can be seen in the success of CBT. By laminating two theories together it can be possible to gain the majority of the benefits, whilst reducing or mitigating the negatives. In essence CBT aims to utilise the theories within CP and BP in order to effect clinical...