Psychology revision

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  • Created on: 15-02-18 13:51

Behaviourist Approach

Classical conditioning: learning through association.  (Pavlov)

Pavlov, believed behaviour was simply learning through association, he concluded this when he noticed that dogs inate responce  when shown their food (unconditioned stimulus) would be that they salivated (unconditioned responce). 
Pavlov then tested to see if he presented the dogs with a new stimuli (nuetral stimulus) whether it would trigger the same responce when shown the food and the bell at the same time. No response was shown. After continuouly pairing the food and the bell together Pavlov created a conditioned stimulus (bell) which effectivly created a condtioned responce (salivation) each time. 

Operantion conditoning: learning through concequence. (Skinner)

Skinners box (1953) 
Rats were placed in a cage, instinctivly they ran around the cage attempting to find an exscape. At the start of the experiement a lever was placed inside the box and when pressed the rats would receive a treat (positive reinforcemnt). the rats learnt to press the leaver repeatedly to recieve a treat. The treat was then replaced by an electic shock and after recieving the shock it was not pressed again (negative reinforcement).

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Learning approach

Social learning theory: Bandura - Bobo Doll study (1961).

- sampled both 36 girls and boys under lab conditions
- he then split the groups up equally into three groups.

Group 1:  children age 3-6 were shown a model hitting and aggressively abusing the doll.
Group 2:  were shown a non-aggressive model
Group 3:  were not shown a model at all.

After the models were shown the children were taken to a room with toys but were told not to play with them and then they were taken individually in a room containing a bobo doll.

Participants in group 1 were significanly more agressive then children found in group 2 and 3. this could be caused by imitating behaviour shown to have been inflincted on the model. In addition, boys imitated more physically aggressive acts than girls and there was no obvious difference in the verbal aggression between boys and girls.

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Learning approach keywords

Indentification- a connection between a child and a role model, based around similaraties e.g.  age, sex, interest, background.

Imitation  - coping behaviour of a role model.

Modelling - learning through observation and understanding those actions and deciding whether or not to also carrying out the same action.

Vicarious reinforcement - learning and recognising the concequences of copying the models actions e.g. if they carry out the same actions will they been punished or rewarded. 

Mediational processes-mental factors that intervene in the learning process to determine whether a new behaviour is acquired or not. Bandura came up with the four mediational processes. 

1. Attention (whether the behaviour is noticed by others gains a response from others)    
2. Retention (remembering what was symbolic about the action copied from the model) 
3. Reproduction (are they able to perform the same action or behaviour)    
4. Motivation (whether the perceived rewards outweigh the perceived costs).

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Cognitive approach

The Cognitive approach is the scientific study of the mind as an information processor, in which it compares the way the  brains processes information and the similarities between computer processes.

Cognitive models essentially create maps of information processes which occur insdie people’s minds, including perception, attention, language, memory, thinking, and consciousness.
From this researchers, have been interested in how the brain inputs, stores and retrieves information, which has since has led to the
'multi-store' model of memory which shows how information flows throughout the mind. 

- The main assumption of the cognitive approach is that information is received from our senses and then are processed by the brain which effectivily controls how we behave.

- These internal mental processes cannot be observed directly but we can infer what a person is thinking based on how they act.

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Biological approach

The main assumption of the biological approach is that our thinking and behaviour is strongly determined by biological factors:

 Key assumptions of the biological approach:

  • There is a direct correlation between brain activity and cognition
  • Biochemical imbalances can affect behaviour
  • Brain physiology can affect behaviour]
  • Behaviour ccan be inherited (determined by our genetic information.

Genotype: the genetic makeup of an individual

Phenotypedepends on which genes are dominant and on the interaction between genes and environment.

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Origins of Psychology: Wundt and introspection

1879, Wundt discovered the first psychological laboratory in Germany. 

Introspectionism method: 
collecting data, by asking participants to 'observe' and describe  their inner mental processes (such as emotions) and to report on these in terms of intensity, quality and duration. 

Wundt believed in reductionism. That is, he believed consciousness could be broken down (or reduced) to its basic elements without sacrificing any of the properties of the whole.

On the basis of his work, and the influence it had on psychologists who were to follow him, Wundt can be regarded as the founder of experimental psychology. 
However, today psychologists (e.g. Skinner) argue that introspection was not really scientific even if the methods used to introspect were.  Skinner claims the results of introspection are subjective and cannot be verified because only observable behavior can be objectively measured.

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Types of conformity

Conformity- when an individual changes their behaviour and attitude in response, od being influenced by others.

Conformity to social roles- when an indiuval changes their behaviour in response to a particualr social situation e.g. if there was a police man we would likely act with more care.

Internalisation- the permanant change in view or beliefs

Identication- when individuals change their views and beliefs publicy and privatly in order to feel united within a group.

Compliance- Publicly agreeing with the majority but privately holding a different view.

                                            Explanations for conformity:
Informational social influence- when an individual changes their view in order to look right.
Normative social influence- When an individual changes their view in order to be liked.

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Conformity to social roles: The Stanford prison ex

  • 24 males who volunteered to take part in a social experiment   
  •  Zimbaro then created a mock prison, then split the group equally in half (12 each) prisoners and guards. 

Aim of the experiment:
'To investigate how people would repsond to new social roles and what would happen in the absence of an authority figure'.

At the start of the experiment it was said that the guards felt uncomfortable giving orders to the innocent volunteers who weren’t actually criminals. As the time went on the inmates started to rebel, in response the guards started to see the inmates as potentially dangerous and so it caused the start physical and mental abuse to the inmates, the inmates were tortured, dehumanised. 
It was said by some guards they themselves actually psycholoically within themselves actually was trying to think of how they could progressivly tourcher inmates and for them they wanted to see how far they could push the experiment, such as making inmates perform sexual acts on one and another and making them clean dirty toilets with their bare hands. As a result, inmates began to have mental breakdowns and so after 6 days Zimbardo stopped the experiment.

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Explanations for obedience:

  • Agentic state- when the blame is shifted so the individual doesn't take responsibilty of feel guilt for their actions as they blame the higher authoirty for giving them the order to do so.

  • legitimacy of authority-

                             Situational variables affecting obedience

1. Proximity                           2. Location                           3. Uniform

Temporal validity- the extent to which the findings and conclusions of study are valid in todays society, considering the differences and progressions that come with time.
Dispositional (internal) explanation for obedience

                                             Authoritarian Personality
- measured by the California F scale
- splits individuals into two groups the weak and the strong 
- people who are high on the scale see things as black and white and their views are very rigid      this is often caused by strict authortarian parenting styles. (imitation).

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Explanations of resistance to social influence:

  •  Social support- the perception that an individual has assistance available from others, creating a positive supportive network.

  • Asch (1956)  research showed us how hard it is to go against the majority, beacuse we naturally want to be accepted by a group as well as being able to act in the 'right way'. 

                                               Locus of control
The differing of beliefs that something happens due to external or internal factors.

Externality- individuals believe their behaviour and experienced by events outside of their control.

Internality- people who believe they are personally responsible for their behaviour and experience rather than factors outside of their control

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Minority and majority influence:

                                                Minority influence
When the minority, resist the majority viewpoint and resist simply just complying to fit in. The minority adopts consistant and a commited approach in order to change their view which is seen as the minority view/ belief to the majority perspective.

Consistency- views remain the same throughout and do not change

Commitment- the greater the commitment the more likely to convince the majority to take them more seriously.

Flexibility- the more effective method to change the majorities rigid oppinion, negotiating their position, to make a balanced compromise.

  • e.g. the sufferagette movement showed, consistency, commitment and flexibility. 
  • study: Moscovici's research demonstrated that although levels of conformity had been stronger with the majority influence; however, a consistant minority is far more influencial than an inconsistant one.
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Social influence processes in social change

1. Drawing attention to the issue-  creates conflict, which is the majority is motivated to reduce.

2. Cognitive conflict- making the majority think deeply about their views and challenging them so                                     they reconsider their point of view.

3. Consistency of position-  persistant views, leading to change and convince the views of the                                                      majority.

4. The argumentation principle- when indiviudals are prepard to suffer for their views.

5. The snowball effect- when the minority initially had only a small effect but then they become                                              more wide spread and the issues are promoted.

                                         Social norms interventions
Changing peoples incorrect perception to the correct view. 
e.g. 'most of us drink drive' 92% of teenagers thought their peers drunk drive when in fact it was 20.4% correcting the wrong perception these rates decreased by 13.7%.

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Abnormality and deviation from social norms

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Approaches for the causes of phobias, depression a

  • behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD 

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The behavioural approach to explaining and treatin

  • two-process model, including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation and use of hierarchy; ooding. 

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The cognitive approach to explaining and treating

  • Beck’s negative triad and Ellis’s ABC model; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including challenging irrational thoughts. 

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The biological approach to explaining and treating

  • genetic and neural explanations; drug therapy

  • orbital frontal cortex > caudate necleus (basis ganglia) > thalamus 

low levels of serotonin 

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The psychodynamic approach:

Psychologist Freud highlights how the impact of childhood experiences, which remain in our unconscious mind, actually influence an individuals personality and is the root of their behaviour.

According to Freud our personality is composed of three parts (tripartite):

Id  the instinctive component of personality, which is casued by our genetics.
(the impulsive responces to seek pleasure). Initially we are only born with an ID, the                          ego and super ego are later developed throughout life.
these actions are often irrational, unrealistic 

Ego-  the id (genetic factors) which have been influenced by external world and factors. It seeks pleasure whilst avoiding pain. But has no concept of right and wrong.

Superegoincorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one's parents and others. It develops around the age of 3 – 5 during the phallic stage of psychosexual development. 

  • repression, denial and displacement, psychosexual 

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Humanistic psychology:

                                 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: 

  • Humanistic psychologists believe that an individual's behavior is connected to his inner feelings and slef image. The humanistic perspective centers on the view that each person is unique and individual, and has the free will to change at any time in his or her lives.

The humanistic approach suggests that we are each responsible for our own happiness and well-being as humans. We have the innate need to find self-actualization, which is our unique desire to achieve our highest potential as people.Image result for humanistic approach (

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Experimental methods:

                                               Research Methods

Independent variable the variable that is changed or controlled.
Dependent variablethe variable being tested and measured.

  • Laboratory- highly controlled environments such as a lab

  • Field experiments-  experiments that take place outside laboratory conditions, in which the independent variable is minipulated.

  • Natural- experiments carried out in naturally occuring environments in which the independent variables are measured.

  • Quasi experiments- an experiment in which participants are not randomly sampled but have a target specific requirement to be used.

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Observational techniques:

  • naturalistic and controlled observation; covert and overt observation; participant and non-participant observation. 

two way mirrors 

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Asch line experiment, measuring conformity:

Asch (1956) experiment consisted of taking 123 students who were told they were taking part in a ‘visual perception’ task.
The students were then split into groups of 7-9 and sat them around a table. The students were then shown one image of a standard line in front of the whole group, and then shown an additional lines labelled A, B and C, in which their task was to choose whether A, B or C was the same line as the one they were shown previously.

Each answer was very clear and obvious, however the participants were told to complete 18 trials of the same task.
All participants in the group other than one was aware of the right answer, however when they were asked if they thought it was A,B or C they gave the wrong answer, this was to see if the one person who thought they knew the answered would change their opinion in order to fit in with the majority viewpoint..

His findings showed the 1 in 20 conformed on every trial, whilst 25% remained to keep their own oppinion and reason. 

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Milgrams experiment

40 male volunteers aged between 20 and 50, took part in Milgram's experiement. Their jobs ranged from unskilled to professional. Howevever, they were paid all $4.50 for just turning up.

at the begining of the experiement all participants were introduced to each other and all believed that the group was equally split into both the learners and teachers. However, Milgram had in fact pre fixed the experiment so that the learner was in fact a pre recoreded actor and used the voice so no actual shocks were given.

The teachers were then instructed to ask the leaners a series of quesions and in response to the learner giving a wrong asnwer then they must be awarded an electric shock. 
Initally all teachers were given the lowest shock so they was aware of the level of pain the learner would experience.

As Milgram wanted to test the effect that an authority figure would have on a less high authority indidivual Milgram created a mock scientist who wore the traditional white lab coat which instucted the teacher to give the shocks even though they did not want to continue giving the shock to the supposed learner as they was able to hear the pain that they was experiencing.

-65%  of participants continued to the highest level of 450 volts.
- All the participants continued to 300 volts.

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Experimental designs...

Independent group designs: One group does one thing, and one does another

Repeated measure designs
: All participants do one thing then do another one after.

Matched pairs designs:
 Balanced groups ( people with similar IQ’s, ethinicty and other   similarities)  which then carry out the experiment.

Extraneous variablesVariables which cannot be controlled, and therefore effect the IV and DV.

Null hypothesisis no relationship between the two variables being studied.

Alternate hypothesisthere is a relationship between the studies.

one tailed directional hypothesis- Predicts the nature of the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable more precisely.

Two tailed hypothesis- Predicts the effect of the IV on the DV, but the direction of the effect is unspecified.

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Working memory model:

The working memory model replaced the idea that short term memory isn’t unitary. (multi-store model).
According to Baddeley & Hitch they proposed that the short term memory is a lot more complex then what the initial
Multi-store model suggested. 

The working model suggests that two different tasks can be carried out at the same time when using different stores; however, the same stores cannot be used at the same time.

The key components of the working memory model…
The central executive – responsible for decision making, and is the most important component for high order reasoning.

The phonological loop- codes information acoustically through speech perception and speech production.

The Visuo- spatial sketchpad- processes visual and spatial information, dealing with both still and moving images (3-4 items).

Episodic buffer- integrates and combines both visual and acoustic information from the other components.

From baddeley and Hitch’s research they found that when participants completed a verbal task in the articulatory - loop and a separate task in the central executive, recall was not effected.
However; when the same participants were asked to complete two similar tasks using the same stores, recall on the first task was effected. 
Visual + visual = bad recall
visual + verbal = good recall 

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Multi-store model

The multi-store model was founded by Atkinson and Shiffrin, who believed the memory, is broken into three separate stores (sensory, short and long term memory) in which the information flows through the separate stores, which all have different roles in the memory process. 

The process:
Information is taken in by the sensory register e.g. our senses. These memories are not significant so they tend to fade due to them not being encoded. 
In order for information to reach the short-term memory, attention must be paid to the memory, short term memory is limited with approximately only 5-9 recall events and so the majority of short time memory is lost through displacement. So in order for the memory to be stored in the long-term memory it has to essentially be rehearsed (semantically- giving the memory meaning), in order to stay there (memory capacity is unlimited).
Three basic features:
Coding- the format that the information is held in.
Storage- retaining of information in the memory.
Retrieval- accessing information when it is needed. 
Differences between the short and long-term memory are capacity, duration and coding.

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Explanations for forgetting: proactive and retroac

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Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testi

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Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, in

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nfant interactions in humans: reciprocity and inte

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Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow

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learning theory and Bowlby’s monotropic theory. Th

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Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’. Types of attachme

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Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation. Romanian

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The influence of early attachment on childhood and

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The divisions of the nervous system: central and p

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The structure and function of sensory, relay and m

  • The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons. The process of synaptic transmission, including reference to neurotransmitters, excitation and inhibition

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The function of the endocrine system: glands and h

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The fight or flight response including the role of

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  • Definitions of abnormality, including deviation from social norms, failure to function adequately, statistical infrequency and deviation from ideal mental health.

  • The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD).

  • The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias: the two-process model, including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation and use of hierarchy; flooding.

  • The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression: Beck’s negative triad and Ellis’s ABC model; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including challenging irrational thoughts.

  • The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD: genetic and neural explanations; drug therapy.

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