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Week 1 H261 Cognitive Psychology Essay

Psychology: Individual Behaviour Explain the topic of Sleep & Dreams using two psychological approaches: InThe first approach is cognitive. In cognitive psychology it looks at of human mental processes and what their part in considering, feeling and behaving. It also focuses on how humans process data and how that individual responds. Researchers in psychology begun to make correlations between a PC and a human mind since cognitive psychology started to become a dominate approach as the same time when computer science was taking off.

In sleep and dreams cognitive approach looks at the role of thinking and memory processing. It also tells us that when we are asleep the mind is active and processes the information from the day that we have learned this is similar to a computer. (MCLEOAD,2015) There is the schema which is like a concept it helps us to compose informations. The schema impacts what we see and how we act or make decisions. When are dreaming about things that’s when our mind does not have anything to do this was according to Domhoff (2011). In cognitive approach it focuses on thought processes e. . scripts and schema.

So there might be a link during the day and what we dream about while we are asleep. This is called continuity hypothesis of dreams. A strength would be that it looks at thought processes which were disregarded by psychologists especially behaviourists. A weakness would be that it is excessively mechanical, they make a comparison between the human and computer it has similar processes. This is a weakness people’s minds are more complex than computers, for instance feelings can influence people. The second approach is biological.

Biological approach has its focus on things that are visually seen. It uses scientific method. It treats individuals like organism. The mind is in charge of the sleep. it is stated that in the day there is a hormone which is called adenosine, this builds up in our mind neurons like a natural by product. Later on in the night it is cleared and instead of adenosine it is replaced by glycogen which is in an energy form. When we feel less tired that is because of the stimulant caffeine blocks adenosine receptors which makes our body respond less to that build up.

Our body is controlled by tiny cluster nearly about 20,000 neurons in the hypothalamus. The SCN which is the suprachiasmatic, this is the expert control focus which is in charge of acting as our body’s internal pacemaker. There are some research studies that showed us some participants who took part and stayed underground for a few weeks or months without any natural lights and the participants and their bodies started to shift onto the 25 hours pattern in the day instead of 24 hours. When all of the natural lights are removed the bodies starts to working on a totally different schedule.

This is called the circadian rhythm. There has been clinical research that show us the people who cannot see from birth, they have a problem with their sleepwake cycle because of not receiving environmental light. (RAINE ET AL. 1997). One strength of the biological approach is that it is very scientific. This is a strength because the experiments used are measurable, objective and can be repeated to test for reliability. This was objective and experiments which were used were measurable which means it is reliable because it could be tested again.

A weakness for this would be that it concentrates a lot on the ‘nature’ side of the nature/nurture debate. It states that because of hormones, neurotransmitters and genetics is caused by behaviour. We are not sure what the reason behind dreaming is. It is a fact that cats sleep for 70% of their lives. An average person sleeps up to 7 to 8 hours in a night however roughly 10% individuals are in need of more sleep during the night up to 9 or 10 hours. If individuals sleep 6 hours or 10 hours they still achieve the same amount of deep non-rem sleep which is 100 minutes.

Explain topic of Sleep & Dreams using one psychological theory One of the theory of sleep is reorganisational. Sleep and dreaming might be included in the reorganisation of our schemas to permit “space” for new data. In this theory it describes the thought that the brain is rearranging all the put away memories and data it holds. In this theory it is argued that sleep gives permission to the mind to prepare for the day to begin. However there are some research that tells us that sleep concentrates on the things we have learned in that day into long term memory. (Ornstein 1986).

A strength would be sleep helps to put the things that we learn during the day to enter our long term memory. This is proven as a variety of research done towards sleep shows that if there isn’t any sleep this will affect our minds to gather information. A weakness of this would be It is not clear how the mind recognizes between usefully and none usefully memory Evaluate the use of these approaches and theories in the explanation of sleep disorders Sleep disorders are disturbances during the normal pattern of sleep which can cause more consequences to the daily life such as causing stress.

One of the disorder is insomnia, this is when the person cannot sleep, it is mostly likely to happen when people are older. Women who suffered from depression are most likely to suffer from insomnia. When a person is stressed, anxious or if they are using certain medication they are also likely to suffer from insomnia. There are six types of insomnia. In England the prescriptions pills that are given to individuals are over 10 million each year. If the chance is given to the body sleep mechanism tends to change itself. It is said it is best to do nothing to treat it.

The treatment which is more effective for insomnia is the cognitive behavioural therapy. A therapist may recommend these techniques such as the sleep restriction, which is to lay in your bed when you are not asleep, this may not be a good habit, and it can lead to poor sleep. The time that you spend in your bed is decreased. This causes some sleep deprivation. The next night your tiredness will be increased. The time that you spend in your bed would slowly be reduced after your sleep has improved. People who suffer from insomnia can also do a relaxation training.

This means that your body and mind can be calm. Mediation, yoga etc can be done. Explain, with supporting research evidence, how psychological knowledge can be applied in the study of Sleep & Dreams: Dement and Kleitman (1957) The aim was to find out the relationship between dreaming and eye movement. There were 9 adults used in this study who were two females and 7 males. The individuals who took part in the study had electrodes on their eyes and scalp so they could measure eye movements and also record the individual’s brain.

The individuals were woken up during rem and non-rem sleep many times in the night. However they were not told. There was a recorder that the participants had to speak in. they had to describe what their dream was and if it was either 5 or 15 minutes long. The results were that the individuals experienced rem sleep every night, it was faster. 80% was the mean of dream recall and the non-rem was 7%. This mean that the individuals were good at recalling the dreams in their rem sleep.

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