Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781848607927 | Print ISBN: 9781412907804 | Online ISBN: 9781848607927| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 31: Cognitive Psychology
Thomas C. Ormerod & Linden J. Ball
Cognitive psychology Writing a chapter on the application of qualitative methods to the study of cognitive phenomena immediately runs into a problem: cognitive psychologists have from the outset held the view that one cannot trust self-reports of individuals as complete or accurate records of the cognitive processes that underlie their behaviours. Therefore, the story goes, one must adopt an independent, objective and measurable stance to investigating cognitive phenomena, which, by necessity, requires quantitative methods. In contrast, we suggest in this chapter that a full and useful understanding of cognitive phenomena and the behaviours that underlie them is achievable only through the rigorous application of a programme of mixed methods that capitalizes upon the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The qualitative stance adopted by conversation analysts (e.g. Shotter, 1993), however, is problematic for cognition. To apply qualitative methods in cognitive psychology, you have to assume that language reflects thought ...