chapter  7
30 Pages

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): the view of a cognitive psychologist

Cognitive psychology is concerned with the human mind, how it processes information it receives (input), and how it develops responses (output) (Anderson, 2000). However, cognitive psychology is not only the science of information processing per se, but it is also an information processing perspective which can be used in our attempts to understand all of the workings of the human mind including cognitive processes, behaviors, and emotions (Anderson, 2000). In essence, it is assumed that the human mind is a general-purpose system and that two important functions of the human mind are representation and computation. Representation refers to a 'thing', which stands for something else (e.g. the word 'dog' stands for the animal 'dog') or it can refer to the relationship between a representation and what it represents (e.g. the relationship between the word 'dog' and the actual 'dog'). Computation refers to transfonnation of representations into other representations in a rule-governed manner. On a more general level, cognitive psychology studies the basic mechanisms governing the human mind, and these mechanisms are important in understanding the types of behavior studied by other social sciences. In this sense, cognitive psychology studies the foundation on which all of the other social sciences stand (Anderson, 2000). Thus far, the cognitive approach has proven to be the most productive paradigm in studying the human mind (Robins et aI., 1999). Therefore, it makes sense to analyze REBT's development in the context of cognitive psychology.