PSY632 Southern New Hampshire University Humans as Computers Discussion


Southern New Hampshire University

Question Description

The growing body of research on the information processing theory continues to show its application across cognitive, social, and emotional domains. Shaffer and Kipp (2014) suggest that "information-processing approaches probably have more to say about reasons why children succeed and fail in school (and ways to remediate poor academic performance) than any other perspective. And information-processing perspectives are not limited to cognition in the classroom, but also apply to social relations."

Given this perspective, in your initial post, attempt to utilize the information processing theory to explain the mental illness of depression, and discuss what implications this theory has for treatment.

In response to your peers, offer adjustments to their explanations, compare them with your own, or debate their applications.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.



The information processing theory explains how a person retains and processes information. Input is fed to the sensory store to your attention to short-term memory or to a response. It then can store and retrieve the memory into long term memory. From the sensory store to short-term memory to long-term memory is called the executive control processes. Memory making with depression can be hindered and because “depressed people have trouble remembering fine details of events they’ve experienced” (Wetsman, 2019). I personally suffer from depression and agree that my thoughts have been jumbled and foggy. I seem to not be as attentive which affects how things are remembered or process.

Bias in attention and memory can also be a vulnerability factor for depression. Some researchers believe that a bias happens from the symptom complex of depression. While others believe that “biased information processing is found in both currently and formerly depressed, but only in the presence of negative affect” (Bootzin & McKnight, 1998, p. 624). In regards to therapy, “Cognitive therapies tend to focus on conscious cognitive propositions, whereas the priming and information processing methodologies…focus on cognitive processes” (Bootzin & McKnight, 1998, p. 628).

This is an interesting topic to me since I am currently in counseling and am going through EMDR therapy. This therapy can also help with depression and anxiety, but is mainly used on PTSD patients. The way I was told is that it is supposed to help encourage the brain to process the memory or certain memories the correct and natural way. When you sleep this is supposed to happen naturally, but when something traumatic happens there are the repercussions that block it from being processed. It can be a little like hypnosis, but you are not going under to the subconscious level, you are moving your eyes from side to side while thinking of the certain memory you are having trouble processing. It is a little weird when you are rating a memory each time you do it, but for me it seems to actually lessen my anxiety for a short period of time. I have attached some information on EMDR:

Lilienfeld, S. O. (2019). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health. Retrieved from

Bootzin, R. R., & McKnight, K. M. (1998). The role of biased information processing in depression: Evaluation and implications for treatment. Behavior Therapy, 29(4), 619–630.

Wetsman, N. (2019, February 21). Depression's Impact on Memory. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from


To understand certain information it’s usually helpful for me to start out with a definition of a certain area of study. Charts also help me because I am more a visual learner, meaning I hate to read. :-)

The definition I found in Google on Information Processing Theory states: The Information Processing Model is a framework used by cognitive psychologists to explain and describe mental processes. The model likens the thinking process to how a computer works. Just like a computer, the human mind takes in information, organizes and stores it to be retrieved at a later time. (Google, 2019)

The chart I found in Google was very helpful to me regarding Information Processing Theory:

When reading about this subject matter the very first person that came to mind was a theorist named Dr. Aaron Beck which I have many books on his theories of depression. In the line of work I am in mental illness is important to understand in an individual as well as a family unit. Different cognitive behavioral theorists have developed their own unique twist on the cognitive way of thinking. According to Dr. Aaron Beck, negative thoughts, generated by dysfunctional beliefs, are typically the primary cause of depressive symptoms. A direct relationship occurs between the amount and severity of someone's negative thoughts and the severity of their depressive symptoms. In other words, the more negative thoughts you experience, the more depressed you will become. Dr. Beck also believes that there are three main dysfunctional belief themes that dominate a person with depression's thinking: 1. I am defective or inadequate. 2. All of my experiences result in defeats or failures. 3. The future is hopeless. Together, these three themes are described as the negative cognitive triad. When these beliefs are present in someone's thoughts, depression is very likely to occur.

Specific failures of information processing are very typical of the depressed mind. For example, people with depression will tend to pay attention to information which matches their negative prospects and ignore information that goes against those prospects. Faced with a mostly positive performance evaluation, people with depression will manage to find and focus in on the one negative comment that keeps the evaluation from being perfect. They tend to enlarge the importance and meaning placed on negative events, and minimizes the importance and meaning of positive events. All of these issues, which happen quite unconsciously, function to help maintain core negative themes in the face of evidence that goes against them. This allows them to remain feeling hopeless about the future even when the evidence suggests that things will get better.

Final Answer

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Human as Computers
Institutional Affiliation



Human as computers
Information processing theory is used by psychologist to explain and describe mental processes.
The theory compares how a human mind works with computer works. Just like a computer, the
theory states that a human mind takes, organizes, and stores information so that it can retrieve
later. The ability of the mind to process the information it receives rather than just respond to
stimuli means that it can store whatever it is fed on. Individuals suffering from depression find it
hard to s...

lopesamills (13014)
Purdue University

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