Paper 1 Key Terms

A change in a person's behavior or opinions due to a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people. Elliot Aronson 2011.
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A deep type of conformity where we take on the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to a far-reaching and permanent change in behavior, even when the group is absent.
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A moderate type of conformity where we act in the same way with the group because we value it and want to be part of it. But we don't necessarily agree with everything the majority believes.
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A superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view, but privately disagree with it. The change in our behavior only lasts as long as the group is monitoring us.
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Informational Social influence, ISI
An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we believe it is correct. We accept it because we want to be correct as well. This may lead to internalisation.
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Normative Social Influence, NSI
An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we want to be accepted, gain social approval and be liked. This may lead to compliance.
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Group Size
Asch increased the size of the group by adding more confederates, thus increasing the size of the majority. Conformity increased with group size, but only up to a point, levelling off when the majority was greater than 3.
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The extent to which all members of a group agree. In Asch's studies, the majority was unanimous when all the confederates selected the same comparison line. This produced the greatest degree of conformity in the naive participants.
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Task Difficulty
Asch's line-judging task is more difficult when it becomes harder to work out the correct answer. Conformity increases because naive participants assume that the majority is more likely to be right.
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Social Roles
The parts people play as members of various social groups. Everyday examples: parent, child, student, passenger. These are accompanied by expectations we and others have of what is appropriate behavior in each role: caring, obedient, industrious.
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A form of social influence in which an individual follows a direct order. The person issuing the order is usually a figure of authority, who has the power to punish when obedient behavior is not forthcoming.
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Situational Variables
In his research, MIlgram identified several factors that he believed influenced the level of obedience shown by participants. They are all related to the external circumstances rather than to the personalities of the people involved.
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The physical closeness or distance of an authority figure to the person they are giving an order to. Also refers to the physical closeness of the teacher to the victim (learner) in Milgram's studies.
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The place where an order is issued. The relevant factor that influences obedience is the status or prestige associated with the location.
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People in positions of authority often have a specific outfit that is symbolic of their authority, for example police officers and judges. This indicates to the rest of us who is entitled to expect our obedience.
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Agentic State
A mental state, feel no personal responsibility for our behavior as believe ourselves to be acting for an authority figure, i.e. as their agent. Freeing us from the demands of our consciences and allows us to obey even a destructive authority figure.
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Legitimacy of Authority
An explanation for obedience which suggests that we are more likely to obey people who we perceive to have authority over us. This authority is justified, legitimate, by the individual's position of power within a social hierarchy.
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Dispositional Explanation
Any explanation of behavior that highlights the importance of the individual's personality, their disposition. Such explanations are often contrasted with situational explanations.
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Authoritarian Personality
A type of personality that Adorno argued was especially susceptible to obeying people in authority. Such individuals are also thought to be submissive to those of higher status and dismissive of inferiors.
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Resistance to Social Influence
Refers to the ability of people to withstand the social pressure to conform to the majority or to obey authority. This ability to withstand social pressure is influenced by both situational and dispositional factors.
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Social Support
The presence of people who resist pressures to conform or obey can help others to do the same. These people act as models to show others that resistance to social influence is possible.
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Locus of Control, LOC
Refers to the sense we each have about what directs events in our lives. Internals believe they are mostly responsible for what happens to them, internal LOC. Externals believe it is mainly a matter of luck or other outside forces, external LOC.
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Minority Influence
A form of social influence in which a minority of people, sometimes just one, persuades others to adopt their beliefs, attitudes or behaviors. Leads to internalisation or conversion, in which private attitudes and public behaviors are changed.
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Minority influence is most effective if the minority keeps the same beliefs, both over time and between all the individuals that form the minority. It's effective because it draws attention to the minority view.
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Minority influence is more powerful if the minority demonstrates dedication to their position, for example, by making personal sacrifices. This is effective because it shows the minority is not acting out of self-interest.
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Relentless consistency could be counter-productive if it is seen by the majority as unbending and unreasonable. Therefore minority influence is more effective if the minority show flexibility by accepting the possibility of compromise.
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Social Influence
The process by which individuals and groups change each other's attitudes and behaviors. Includes conformity, obedience and minority influence.
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Social Change
This occurs when whole societies, rather than just individuals, adopt new attitudes, beliefs and ways of doing things. Examples include accepting that the Earth orbits the Sun, women's suffrage, gay rights and environmental issues.
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The format in which information is stored in the various memory stores.
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The amount of information that can be held in a memory store.
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The length of time information can be held in memory.
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Short-Term Memory, STM
The limited-capacity memory store. Coding is mainly acoustic (sounds), capacity is between 5 and 9 items on average, duration is between about 18 and 30 seconds.
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Long-Term Memory, LTM
The permanent memory store. Coding is mainly semantic (meaning), it has unlimited capacity and can store memories for up to a lifetime.
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Multi-Store Model, MSM
A representation of how memory works in terms of three stores called sensory register, STM, and LTM. It also describes how information is transferred from one store to another, how it is remembered and how it is forgotten.
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Sensory Register
The memory stores for 5 senses, like vision (iconic), hearing (echoic). Coding in the iconic is visual and in echoic acoustic. The capacity of these ares huge, millions of receptors, and info lasts for a very short time, less than half a second.
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Episodic Memory
A LTM store for personal events. It includes memories of when the events occurred and of the people, objects, places and behaviors involved. Memories from this store have to be retrieved consciously and with effort.
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Semantic Memory
A LTM store for our knowledge of the world. This includes facts and our knowledge of what words and concepts mean. These memories usually also need to be recalled deliberately.
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Procedural Memory
A LTM store for our knowledge of how to do things. This includes our memories of learned skills. We usually recall these memories without making a conscious or deliberate effort.
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Working Memory Model, WMM
A representation of STM, suggesting that it is a dynamic processor of different types of infromation using sub, units coordinated by a central decision-making system.
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Central Executive, CE
The component of the WMM that co-ordinates the activities of the 3 sub-systems in memory. It also allocates processing resources to those activities.
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Phonological Loop, PL
The component of the WMM that processes information in terms of sound. This includes both written and spoken material. It's divided into the phonological store and the articulatory process.
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Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad, VSS
The component of the WMM that processes visual and spatial information in a mental space, often called our inner eye.
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Episodic Buffer, EB
The component of the WMM that brings together material from the other subsystems into a single memory rather than separate strands. It also provides a bridge between working memory and LTM.
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Forgetting because one memory blocks another, causing one or both memories to be distorted or forgotten.
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Proactive Interference
Forgetting occurs when older memories, already stored, disrupt the recall of newer memories. The degree of forgetting is greater when the memories are similar.
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Retroactive Interference
Forgetting occurs when newer memories disrupt the recall of older memories already stored. The degree of forgetting is again greater when the memories are similar.
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Retrieval Failure
A form of forgetting. It occurs when we don't have the necessary cues to access memory. The memory is available but not accessible unless a suitable cue is provided.
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A trigger of info that allows us to access a memory. Cues may be meaningful or may be indirectly linked by being encoded at the time of learning. For example, cues may be external, environmental context, or internal, mood or degree of drunkenness.
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Eyewitness Testimony, EWT
The ability of people to remember the details of events, such as accidents and crimes, which they themselves have observed. Accuracy of EWT can be affected by factors such as misleading information, leading questions and anxiety.
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Misleading Information
Incorrect information given to the eyewitness usually after the event. It can take many forms, such as leading questions and post-event discussion between co-witnesses and/or other people.
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Leading Question
A question which, because of the way it is phrased, suggests a certain answer. Like 'was the knife in the accused's left hands', suggests the answer is 'left hand'.
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Post-Event Discussion, PED
Occurs when there is more that one witness to an event. Witnesses may discuss what they have seen with co-witnesses or with other people. This may influence the accuracy of each witness's recall of the event.
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A state of emotional and physical arousal. The emotions: worried thoughts, feeling tense. Physical include: increased heart rate, sweatiness. Anxiety normal reaction to stressful situations, but can affect the accuracy and detail of EWT.
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Cognitive Interview, CI
A method of interviewing eyewitnesses to help them retrieve more accurate memories. 4 main techniques. all based on well-established psychological knowledge of human memory - report everything, reinstate context, reverse order, change perspective.
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A description of how two people interact. Mother-infant interaction is reciprocal in that both infant and mother respond to each other's signals and each elicits a response from the other.
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Interactional Synchrony
Mother and infant reflect both the actions and emotions of the other and do this in a co-ordinated and sychronised way.
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Stages of Attachment
Many developmental theories identify a sequence of qualitatively different behaviors linked to specific ages. In stages of attachment, some characteristics of the infant's behavior towards others change as the infant gets older.
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Multiple Attachments
Attachments to two or more people. Most babies appear to develop multiple attachments once they have formed one true attachment to a main caregiver.
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Animal Studies
Studies carried out on non-human animal species rather than on humans, either for ethical or practical reasons - practical because animals breed faster and researchers are interested in seeing results across more than one generation of animals.
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Learning Theory
A set of theories from the behaviorist approach to psychology, that emphasis the role of learning in the acquisition of behavior. Explanations for learning of behavior include classical and operant conditioning.
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A term sometimes used to describe Bowlby's theory. The mono means one and indicates that one particular attachment is different from all others and of central importance to the child's development.
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Internal Working Models
The mental representations we all carry with us of our attachment to our primary caregiver. They are important in affecting our future relationships because they carry our perception of what relationships are like.
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Critical Period
Refers to the time an attachment must form, if at all. Lorenz and Harlow noted birds and monkeys had these. Bowlby extended the idea to humans, proposing human infants have a sensitive period after which it will be harder to form an attachment.
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Strange Situation
A controlled observation designed to test attachment security. Infants are assessed on their response to playing in an unfamiliar room, being left alone, left with a stranger and being reunited with a caregiver.
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Secure Attachment
Generally thought of as the most desirable attachment type, associated with psychologically healthy outcomes. In the Strange Situation this is shown by moderate stranger and separation anxiety and case of comfort at reunion.
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Insecure-Avoidant Attachment
An attachment type characterised by low anxiety but weak attachment. In the Strange Situation this is shown by low stranger and separation anxiety and little response to reunion - an avoidance of the caregiver.
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Insecure-Resistant Attachment
An attachment type characterised by strong attachment and high anxiety. In the Strange Situation this is shown by high levels of stranger and separation anxiety and by resistance to be comforted at reunion.
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Cultural Variations
Culture is norms and values that exist within any group of people. Cultural variations, differences in norms and values in people of different groups. attachment research, concerned differences in proportion of children of different attachment types.
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Maternal Deprivation
Emotional, intellectual consequences of separation between a child and their mother/mother substitute. Bowlby proposed continuous care from mother essential for normal psychological dev, prolonged separation causes emotional and intellectual damage.
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Effects of living in institutional setting, like a hospital, orphanage where children live for long, continuous periods of time. Often very little emotional care provided. Interested in effects of this on children's attachment and subsequent dev.
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Orphan Studies
These concern children placed in care because their parents cannot look after them. An orphan is a child whose parents have either died or have abandoned them permanently.
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Childhood Relationships
Affiliations with other people in childhood, including friends and classmates, and with adults such as teachers.
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Adult Relationships
Those relationships the child goes on to have later in life as an adult. These include friendships and working relationships but most critically relationships with romantic partners and the person's own children.
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Internal Working Models
The mental representations we all carry with us of our attachment to our primary caregiver. They are important in affecting our future relationships because they carry our perception of what relationships are like.
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Statistical Infrequency
Occurs when an individual has a less common characteristic, for example being more depressed or less intelligent that most of the population.
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Deviation from Social Norms
Concerns behavior that is different from the accepted standards of behavior in a community or society.
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Failure to Function Adequately
Occurs when someone is unable to cope with ordinary demands of day-to-day living.
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Deviation from Ideal Mental Health
Occurs when someone does not meet a set of criteria for good mental health.
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An irrational fear of an object or situation.
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Ways in which people act.
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Ways in which people feel.
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Refers to the process of thinking - knowing, perceiving, believing.
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A mental disorder characterised by low mood and low energy levels.
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OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A condition characterised by obsessions and/or compulsive behavior.
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Behavioral Approach
A way of explaining behavior in terms of what is observable and in terms of learning.
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Classical Conditioning
Learning by association. Occurs when two stimuli are put repeatedly paired together - a UCS and a new NS. The NS eventually produces the same response that was first produced by the unlearned stimulus alone.
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Operant Conditioning
A form of learning in which behavior is shaped and maintained by its consequences. Possible consequences of behavior include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement or punishment.
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Systematic Desensitisation, SD
Behavioral therapy, made to try reduce unwanted response, like anxiety to stimulus. SD, hierarchy of anxiety-provoking situations related to phobic stimulus, teaching patients to relax, then exposing to phobic situations. Working through, relaxing.
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A behavioral therapy in which phobic patient is exposed to extreme form of a phobic stimulus to reduce anxiety triggered by that stimulus. This happens across a small number of long therapy sessions.
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Cognitive Approach
The term cognitive has come to mean mental processes, so this approach is focused on how our mental processes, e.g. thoughts, perceptions, attention, affects behavior.
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Negative Triad
Beck proposed three kinds of negative thinking that contributed to becoming depressed: negative views of world, future, self. These lead person to interpret their experiences in negative way, make them more vulnerable to depression.
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ABC Model
Ellis proposed that depression occurs when an activating event (A) triggers an irrational belief (B) which produces a consequence (C), i.e. an emotional response like depression. The key to this process is the irrational belief.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT
A method for treating mental disorders based on cognitive and behavioral techniques. From cognitive viewpoint, aims to deal with thinking, like challenging negative thoughts. The therapy also includes behavioral techniques like behavioral activation.
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Irrational Thoughts
Also called dysfunctional thoughts. In Ellis's model and therapy, defined as thoughts that are likely to interfere with a person's happiness. Such dysfunctional thoughts lead to mental disorders such as depression,
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Biological Approach
A perspective that emphasises the importance of physical processes in the body such as genetic inheritance and neural function.
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Genetic Explanations
Genes make up chromosomes and consist of DNA which codes the physical features of an organism, like eye color, height, and physiological features, like mental disorder and intelligence. Genes are transmitted from parents to offspring, i.e. inherited.
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Neural Explanations
The view that physical and psychological characteristics are determined by the behavior of the nervous system, in particular the brain as well as individual neurons.
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Drug Therapy
Treatment involving drugs, i.e. chemicals that have a particular effect on the functioning of the brain or some other body system. In the case of psychological disorders such drugs usually affect neurotransmitter levels.
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Card 2


A deep type of conformity where we take on the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to a far-reaching and permanent change in behavior, even when the group is absent.



Card 3


A moderate type of conformity where we act in the same way with the group because we value it and want to be part of it. But we don't necessarily agree with everything the majority believes.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


A superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view, but privately disagree with it. The change in our behavior only lasts as long as the group is monitoring us.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we believe it is correct. We accept it because we want to be correct as well. This may lead to internalisation.


Preview of the back of card 5
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