Cognitive Information-Processing Psychology is a stupid name for what is essentially Cognitive Psychology. Closely related to cognitive science, this way of thinking emphasizes category theory, cognitive processes, and the model of the mind as a computer. During the cognitive revolution of the 1970s, cognitive approaches exploded throughout psychology, so that now this is the dominant way of thinking about psychology in general. This is somewhat less true when applied specifically to personality, but the cognitive approach is certainly very popular in this field as well.
- Structure: The basic units of personality are Schemas, or categories for people and situations. Expectancies of outcomes and causal attributions are also part of the structure.
- Process: People have strategies of information organization as well as attributional styles. Self-schemas, or ideas about the self, come into play in relation to possible selves, which are cognitively understood possibilities of all sorts, and self-guides, like the ideal self discussed under phenomenological psychology.
- Growth and Development: As we grow, we develop cognitive competencies, and come up with more complex self-schemas, expectancies, and attributions.
- Psychopathology: Psychopathology is due to unrealistic beliefs and information-processing errors. Rational-emotive therapy (RET) distinguishes some types of these:
- Change: RET, as mentioned in the psychopathology section, is one example of cognitive therapy, which comes out of the belief that the elimination of irrational cognitions will cause positive change to occur. Another example is the cognitive approach to stress called stress inoculation. A cognitive therapist with a stressed client would teach the client the cognitive nature of stress, then have the client imagine stress and imagine possible responses to fight the stress.