Understanding corrupt behaviour with insights from Cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology is the study of individual-level mental processes such information processing, attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, and thought. The essential premise of cognitive psychology's analysis of corrupt behaviour is that people deliberately choose to engage in corrupt behaviour. There are probably multiple concurrent psychological mechanisms at work in these judgements. The design of anti-corruption initiatives targeted at corrupt societies or specific power brokers could be improved by a better knowledge of how these processes are involved in decisions regarding corruption. Various levels of information processing are required while making decisions and acting in a certain way. This in turn necessitates various data-driven and concept-driven learning activities that span the continuum from direct knowledge to indirect knowledge that necessitates more difficult inference tasks.
The effective handling of information is influenced by elements like:
- Stress and a lot of information that needs to be processed impair accuracy and focus.
- Mental capacity is necessary for people to process contradictory information.
- Individual motivations for accuracy against sustaining the status quo will lead to various behavioural results.
The concept of "schemata" is well-known in cognitive psychology and can aid in our understanding of the internal thought processes that take place between the stimulus and the response people have to a specific scenario. A schema is described as a cognitive structure of organised past knowledge, abstracted from experience with specific examples that direct the processing of new information and the retrieval of stored information. They differ in terms of level of knowledge and involvement and provide a systematic framework for storing, organising, and relating information. They also play a vital role in information processing that is driven by both data and theory, including sophisticated cognitive processes like memory. Observations of a person's behaviour or behaviours are crucial to the study of cognition.
According to this, the mind is made up of interior structures that organise information from the environment, link it to previously stored knowledge, and process the information and knowledge to come at a decision. However, there is no clear-cut evidence that shows how cognition influences behaviour in the link between cognition and behaviour. The connection is bidirectional, and cognition and behaviour are so tightly related that it is challenging to modify one without changing the other, according to a considerable body of research on some of the fundamental psychological theories. Theories of the conceptual underpinnings of belief change are crucial to our comprehension of how to affect behavioural change in individuals. Schemata are extremely resistant to change, although they can be altered through exposure and experience to contradictory information.
Through adaptation and absorption, contradictory information causes a change in the schematic. In most circumstances, contradictory information simply merges with the matching schema already in place instead of the schema adapting or modifying the contradictory information. Contradictory information attracts people's attention, but studies show that it is rarely fully digested in short-term memory before being permanently preserved in long-term memory.
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