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Psychology A-level - approaches

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Who is the father of psychology?

Wilhelm Wundt

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112 questions
What was Wilhelm Wundt's best known approach?
Structuralism: breaking down behaviours into basic elemetns. This developed introspection which was a way of styding human mental processes
What did John Locke propose?
Empiricism, the idea that all experiences can be obtrained through sense, they don't inherit knowledge or instinct - relate to behaviourist approach
What does introspection mean ?
Systematic analysis/experimentation of our own conscious experience and awareness.
How were introspections completed?
Wundt was trained to record conscious thought. They were recorded under strcitly controlled conditions and they used standarised procedures
What did introspection lead to ?
Controlled reasrch and the study of mental process, like the cognitive approach
What is is critisicm of introspection ?
It is a subjective tehcnique and the personal observations are hard to be make generlisations. It should be able to be observerd and measured, instead of a 'private' mental process.
What was created in 1879 ?
Wundt's process of introspection, experimental branch within philosophy
What was created in 1900?
Psychodynamic - Freud established approach, importance of the unconcious mind on behaviour
What developed in 1913?
The behaviourist appraoch, all behaviour is learnt and should be interested in observable behaviours
What was developed in 1950?
Humanistic approach - Rejected views from behaviourist and psychodyanmic, highlight importance of free will
What was developed in 1960?
Cognitive approach - studying mental processes, make inferences about how the mind works based on labatory experiments
What was developed in 1980?
Biological approach - advancement in techology, brain scans to increase understanding of human brain
What was developed in 2000?
Cognitive neuroscience - brings together biological and cognitive approach, biological structures influence mental states
What are the 4 elements of the scientific method?
1. Objective 2. Systematic/controlled 3. Replicable 4. Hypothesis testing
A strength of Wundt's research?
-Aspects would still be classed as scientific today -Eg: all introspections were recorded in a controlled lab environement - no extraneous variables -Standarised procedures, all ppts recieved the same set of instructions and tested with the same stimulus. -Wundt's reaserch can be seen as the forerunner to the later scientific approaches in psych which emerged in the behvourist approach
A weakness of Wundt's research
-Some aspects would be considered unscientific by today's standards -Relied on ppts self-reporting their private mental thoughts, this is subjective and influence by personal persepctive. As well as this, they may have hide what they actually were thinking -Ppts may not have the same thoughts are everyone else they were testing, establishing would not have been possible -Suggest that some of Wundt's early efforts to study the mind were naive and would not meet the criteria of scientific enquiry
A weakness of psychology as a science?
-not all approaches are objective methods -Eg: the humanistic approach is anti-scientiic and does not attemtp to formulate general laws of behaviour. Concerned with documenting unique, subjective experience -The psychodynamic approach makes use of the case study method, open to bais and no attempt made to gather a representative sample -Many claim that a scientific study of human thought and experience may not always be desirable or possible
A strength of modern psychology?
-Claims to be scientific -Psychology has the same aims as natural sciences - to desibe, understand, predict and control behaviour -Eg: the learning, cognitive and biological approach all reoly on the use of scientific methods, like lab experiments that investigate theories in an unbiased way -Suggest that throughout the 20th century, psychology has gne on to firmly establish itself as a scientific discipline, based on early foundations laid by Wundt
What is the key assumption 1 called?
Internal mental process explain behaviour
What does key assumption 1 believe ?
-Operations of the mind that mediate between stimulus and response -Believe that processes should be studied scientifically -Process are private and can't be directly observed, study them identify by making inferences about what is goin on inside their head eg: memory, thinking
What is key assumption 2?
Schemas influence our behaviour
What does key asssumption 2 believe?
-Cognitive processing can be affected by a person's shemas: expectation and belief -Help to process information qucikly and stop them form being overwhelmed by environemntal stimulus, but it can also distort our interpretations of sensory information, leading to perceptal errors.
What are schemas?
Cognitive representation of our ideas about a person, a situation developed through experience - mental framework of the interpretation of incoming information received by the cognitive system
What is key assumption 3?
Human behaviour can be explained in models
What does key assumption 3 believe?
-The idea that the mind functions like a computer -Understad how computers work because they are manmade and can be pulled aprt -Make infrences, which are assumptions about mental processes that be directly observed and beyond the immediate research evidence, so can make assumptions about human thought process and behaviour
What is cognitive neuroscience?
Study of the influence of brain structure on mental processes
What is the main focus of cognitive neuroscience?
To look for a biological baises to thought processes
Who was the first to label 'cognitive neuroscience'?
Miller and Gazzaniga, 20 years following the recognition of neuroscience in 1971
Application of cognitive neuroscience?
Scanning techniques have proved useful in establishing hte neurological basis of some mental disorders, eg: found tha thtere is a connection between parahippocampal gyrus and OCD as it processes negative emotions
A strength of the cognitive approach?
-There is supporting evidence for the 2nd key assumption -Seen in Simons and Chabris' experiment of 'Gorillas on our midst', only 54% of 192 observers noticed the gorilla walking across the screen -Supports the 2nd assumption seeing as schemas make shortcutes within the brain as they try and process the infromation of counting the passes made on the team, this allows the brain to omit other sensory infromation, leading to perceptual errors. -Increases the internal validity of the key assumption
A strength of the cognitive approach?
-Fairly scientific on thier approach in understanding the brain -Seen through Tulving's tudy into different areas of the brain performing tasks their participants performed various memory task while their brains were being scanned using a PET scanner -Found that semantic memories (knowledge of the world) were recalled in the left prefrontal cortex while episodic memories (personal events) were recalled from the right prefrontal cortex. -Lab experiments which means variables are highly controlled, resulting in scientitic rigour and allowing for cause and effect to be established.
What is a weakness of the cogntive approach ?
-Too reductionist as it ignroes the role of biology on human behaviour, the idea of machine reductionism. -Approach does not consider the role of genetics and hormones on human behaviour. -Eg: an individual ability to recall or process information may be due to abnormal levels of a specific hormones. -Therefore, the approach doesn't take into account environmental factors and reduce human behaviours to something like a computer, lack ecological validity
A weakness of the cognitive approach?
-Approach is too deterministic -It ccan be seen to be founded on soft determinsim, eg: it recognises that our cognitive system can only operate within the limits of what we know, but that we are free to think before responding to a stimulus -This is a more 'interactionist' position than the hard determinism suggested by some other approaches Therefore, this approach can be said to not fully take into the account the influence of genes and environemntal factors that can influence human behaviours which can be said to lower the internal validity of the approach.
What is classical conditioning?
Learning by association. Occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired together.
A strength of the behaviourist approach?
-Based on well-controlled research -Beahviourist focus on observable behaviour within highly controlled lab setttings. Behaviours into basic stimulus-response units which can allow for a cause and effect relationships to be established due to the control of extraneous variables. -Eg: Skinner was able to demonstrate how reinforment influence an animal's behaviour. This suggests that behaviourist experiences have a high scientific value to thier contribution to psychology as a science -However, a weakness of this is how it can't be applied to a real life setting due to low ecological validity of a lab experiment.
What is operant conditioning?
A form of learning in which behaviour is shaped and maintained by its consequences. E.g. positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement or punishment.
What is positive punishment ?
Add an unpleasant stimulus to the environment which will decrease the frequency of the behaviour.
What is negative reinforement?
Removing of the stimulus, which will lead to an increase of behaviour.
What is negative punishment?
You get something taken away from you, will lead to a decrease of behaviour
Name the different contions and stimulus in the little albert study?
-The neutral stimulus - rat -Unconditioned stimulus - the bang -Makes the unconditioned reaction -The neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus are associated together causing the baby to cry -This causes a conditional response to the rat, the conditioned stimulus, forming a phobia.
A strength of the behaviourist approach?
-Based on well-controlled research -Beahviourist focus on observable behaviour within highly controlled lab setttings. Behaviours into basic stimulus-response units which can allow for a cause and effect relationships to be established due to the control of extraneous variables. -Eg: Skinner was able to demonstrate how reinforment influence an animal's behaviour. This suggests that behaviourist experiences have a high scientific value to thier contribution to psychology as a science -However, a weakness of this is how it can't be applied to a real life setting due to low ecological validity of a lab experiment.
A strength of behaviourist approach?
-applied to real-world behaviour and problems -eg: the idea of operant conditioning is the basis of a toekn economy system, which has been very successfil in institutions like prisonsnad psychiatric facicilies. Work by rewarding appropriate behaviour with tokens that can be rewarded for privileges -Eg: classical conditioning has been applied ot the treatment of phobias like systematic desensitation and flooding -Increases the value of the behaviourist approach bc it has widepsread application, like the successful treatment of phobias
A weakness of the behaviourist approach?
-all behaviour conditioned by past conditioning experiences and is environmentally deterministic. -Skinner suggested that eerything we do is a total of our reinforcement history. When smthing happens, we may think that it is because of our free will but, according to Skinner, our past conditioning history determined the outcome. -Ignored the possible influence that free will may have on behaviour, skinner himseifl that free is an influence only. -An extreme position and ignores the influence of conscious decision-making processes on behaviour, like the cognitive apporach suggests
A weakness of the behaviourist approach?
-Research conducted on animals can be questioned in terms of ethics -Although procedues lik the Skinner box allowed behaviourist to maintain a high degree over their experimental subjects may be questionined the ethics of conducting such investigations -Animals were housed in harsh, cramped conditions and deliberatley kept below their natural weight so they were always hungery -Though at the time there were no ethical guidelines for this and the information recieved allowed for real world therapies to be developed, however, this doesn't justify wha tthe animals went through as they were kept in uncomfortable environments for a long periods of time.
What did Bandura believe behaviour comes from?
Learned through observation, occurs directly thorugh classical conditioing or indirectly through viacarious reinforcement - when someone gets rewarded so you want to do it too.
What does the SLT see people as?
They see people as active manipulators of their own environment rather passive recievers of experiences. Learning occurs through imitation and experience of role models
What are the 4 parts of 'The Role of Mediational processes'
1. Attention 2. Retention 3. Reproduction 4. Motivation
What is attention?
Behaviour to be imitated has to grab our attention - attention is extremly important in whether a behaviour has an influece in others imitating it
What was retention?
Behaviour has to be noticed, but it is not always rememberd which prevents imitation Memory of the behaviour has to be formed to be later performed
What is reproduction?
Ability of the observer to perform the behaviour
What is motivation?
Rewards and punishment that follows a behaviour will be considered. If rewards outweighs any percevied costs then the behaviour will be more likely to be imitated by the observer. (Vicarious reinforcement)
Why is the SLT called the bridge?
Bridge between behaviourism and the cognitive approach. Focuses on the mental facotrs that are involved in learning, there is some though prior to imitation this concideration is called the mediational process. Occurs between observing behaviour (stimulus) and imitating it (response)
Aim of Bandura's study?
See if children will imitate aggressive role model behaviour if they aren't rewarded. - See if children are more likley to copy same-sex role models than opposite-sex role models - boys more aggresive than girls?
Sample of Bandura?
72 childrne (36 boys and 36 girls) aged between 37 and 69 months from the Stanford uni nursery school. One male and one female that were role models
What was the experimental design?
Matched pairs design - matched on aggression observed from their teachers; devided in 8 group of 6 children and a control group of 24 children. 4 saw an agressvie model and 4 saw a non-aggressive model. Further devided into male and femlae children who observed a male or female model
What were the experimental conditions?
Ppts invided in to placy a game with familiar toys in a seperate part of the room to the role model. Non aggressive conditon - role modle played with the other toys and not the Bobo doll. Agressive condition: played with the Bobo doll by being agressive. Used the same behaviours: hitting Bobo with mallet, pushing it and sitting on it, punching it in the nose, throwing it in the air, shouting 'kick it'
What happened after 10 mintues?
Experimenter took the ppt to anothe room with highly attractive toys, 2 mintues they were not allowed to play with anymore (mild aggression arousal) Went to a adjacent room for 20 mintues with non-aggressive toys and a Bobo doll, the behaviour was obseved through a one-way at 5 second intervals: verbal, physical, agressive or non-aggressive, imitative or non-imitative
What were the results for reproduction?
Ppts in aggressive groups reproduced more physical and verbal aggressive behaviour. Ppts in non-aggressive conditiones engaged more non-aggressive play or sat quielty
What were the results for sex differences?
Boys imitated more physical aggression than girls, no significant difference in the imitation of verbal aggression between the seces Biys imiated more phsycial and verbal aggression after being exposed to the male agressive role model than girls
What was the conclusion of the study?
-Children learn through observation without reinforcement -Children learn aggression from adult role models, especially if the model is the same sex -Imiation of aggression occured from an unknown model, agression could be easily imitated from any agressor
Strength of SLT?
-Acknowledges mediational processes in learning -Classical or operant conditioning doesn't acknowledge this process, they don't show the gap between stimulus and response and therefore doesn't provide an adequate explanation -Humans and animals store the beahviour that they observer in their brain for them to be able to reproduce it later when they have the right motivations. By recongnising the important of mediational, which is a cogntivie approach, allowing for a overall more holisitc approach -Despite this, SLT has been crisiticsed for making little references to genetics and biological factors, making it too reductionist
Another strength of SLT?
-Principles have been applied to a range of real-wrold behaviours. -SLT has the advantage of being able to explain cultural differences within behaviour. SLT principles like modelling, imitation, and reinforcement, which explains how children how others around them, including the media, explain how cultural norms are transmitted through particular societies -Used to examine and evalute the effectiveness of advertising: Andsager found that 'identification with a character or example may increase the likelihood that audiences will model behaviour presented in an anti-alcohol message' -Increases valu of the SLT approach in its contribution to psychology developing over time, bc it can account for real-wrold behaviour beyond the lab
Another strength of SLT?
-Behaviour is controlled by outside forces, such as modelling, but that cognitions, in the form of mediational processes, also have a role to play -Bandura emphasised the role of reciporal determinism in the sense that we are not merley influence by our external enviornemnt, but we also exert an influence upon it by the behaviours wer choose to perform -Element of choice suggests that there is some free will in the way we behave. -Soft determinism perspective on behaviour allows for a more interactive approach, allowing for people to realise that they can choose who to surround themselves with as wel as not just allowing for an excuse. More generally accurate understanding of human behaviour
A weakness of SLT?
-Supporting research by Bandura was done in a laboratory environment, leading to methodlogical erros -Young childnre were taking part in an articifical environemtn, making them vulberable to demand characteristics, therefore lowering the internal validity as they are not acting in their 'normal' way -Bobo dolls are mainly made to be striked and punched, the children were behaving in a way which they were expected -Causes teh data to be un-generalisable about how children actually learn aggression in real life as the task lacked any sense of mundane realism.
What is the key assumption 1?
Brain strucutre influences our behaviour
What can be seen within key assumption 1?
- The brain and the central nervous system are central to explaining human behaviour - The physical structure of our brains can cause certain behaviours. -Eg: Phineas Gage study
What is key assumption 2?
Human behaviour is influenced by evolution
Examples of key assumption 2?
-fight or flight or the rooting reflex in babies, babies turn their head when something southces their cheek or mouth - helps with breastfeeding. -Memory could promote survival by remembering important facts to keep us alive, which foods are edible etc. -Attachment ideas would ensure that you stick with your parent that will allow for your survival
What is key assumption 3?
Genes influence our behaviour
The main components of key assumption 3?
These are carried in our chromosomes This can be tested using twin studies, using monozygotic and dizygotic twins. If the identical twins show a higher likelihood of sharing behaviours/disorders than non-identical twins then a genetic component is likely
What is key assumption 4?
Brain chemistry influences our behaviour
What are examples of key assumption 4?
Action of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin being transferred through the synapse and being too much being taken up again in the re-uptake valve - possibly causing depression. The role of brain chemistry can be seen within biopsychology as well as depression and OCD.
What are genotypes?
Refers to the genetic makeup of an individual and provides a genetic code for how that individual will develop. Each individual has a genotype which is unique to them
What is phenotype?
The phenotype of an individual is the product of what happens when the genotype interacts with the environment. It is the physical characteristics we display.
A strength of biological approach?
-Research that increases internal vlaidity -Phenias Gage, metal rod that was in his left eye and into the ventromedial area of pre-frontal cortext, the area that controls impluse and emotional response -Found that there was a behaviour change with Gage, he went from being very polite and calm to very erratic and rude, behaviour didn't reflect his past self -Supports key assumotion 1, shows how brain strucutres can lead to a change within the behaviour of humans
Another strength of the biological approach?
-Useful real life applications, drug treatments -Increased understanding of the biochemical process in the brain has lead to the development of drugs to treat mentla illness, like derpession -Allows for sufferes to be able to live their life and manage their conditon, rather than being in a hospital -Biological approach can be seen to have high ecological validity which can be applied to real life settings to improve the life of many people.
A weakness of the biolocial approach?
-Can be seen to be highly deterministic -Approach is hard determinism that it sees human behaviour as governed by internal, biological causes over which we have no control over -Approach doesn't take into account the idea of free will and possible human influence over their own behavioru as they believe that only the brain and genetics can cause human beahviour. Doesnt take into account environmental facotrs -This approach can be seen as hard determinism as it fails to take into account any other possible factors for a more holisitc approach in the explanation of behaviour.
What is the tripartite model of the personality?
Assumption that the behaviour of people are influnece by the 3 parts of the mind: the ID, the Ego and the Superego. The ego is used to mediate the course of action that satisfies both
What is the superego?
Morally driven, concenred with right or wrong. Aligns with moral standards. Internalisted representation of the moral standards of the child's same sex parent. It is the morality principle and can cause anxiety which is experineced as guilt
What is the Ego?
The rational part of the personality, develops as the child grows, making a situation that realisitcially possible and what is moraly acceptable in the environment. Reality principle, 2 years of age
Wha is the ID?
Pleasure orientated and selfish, in the unconcious mind, a primitive biological part of the mind. Impluses like hunger and thrist when young, works on the pleasure princle to satisfy urges and wishes. Driven to seek out pleasure and avoid punishment
What is the pre-conscious?
Thoughts, memories, ideas that we become aware of during dream. Feudian slip
What is conscious?
Part of the mind you are aware of, thoughts, feelings and memories that are readily avaliable
What is unconscious ?
Unaware of the vast store house of biological drives and instinct that influences out behaviour and personality. Repressed memory
What is an ego defence mechanism?
Ego protects ists with vaious methods,but often involve some form of distorion of reality and they are usually psychologically unhealthy and undesirable in the long term
What is denial?
Refusing to acknowledge some aspect of reality, continuing to turn up to work after being sacked
What is displacement?
Transferring feelings from true source of distressing emotion onto a subsitute target, slamming door
What is repression ?
Focusing a distressng memory out of the conscious mind.
What are the psychosexual stages?
Children born with a libido, urge for sexual pleasure, the 5 stages need to be completed to be psychologically healthy adults, or if conflict arises we can become fixed, psychologcial abnormality
What is the oral stage?
0-1 years Focus on pleasure of the mouth, mother's breast Oral fixation - smoking, sarcastic, biting nails
What is the anal stage?
1-3 years Focus of pleasue is the anus, gains pleasure form withholding and expelling feaces Anal retentive - perfectionist, obsessive, obsessive Anal expulsive - thoughtless, messy, generous
What is the phallic stage?
3- 6 years Focus of pleasure is the general area, castration anxiety and oedipus and electra complex, completion allows for gender idenity Phallic personality - narcissistic, reckless, problmes with sex and identiy, may be homosexulity
What is latency?
6-12 years Earlier conflicts are repressed, boy challenge energy into sports
What is genital stage?
12+ Sexual desires become conscious alongside onset of puberty Adjusted means that they become mature, successful heteroseuxal relationships.
Strength of psychodynamic approach?
-Introduced the idea of psychotherapy -New form of therapy called psychoanalusis, first attempt to treat mental disorders psychologicaly rather than physically. -Psychoanalysis employs a range of techniques to access the unconscious, like dream analysis. Help by bring their repressed emotions into their consciouness so it can be resolved -Shows the value of the approach in creating new treatment
A strength of the psychodynamic approach?
-Explain human behaviour -Controversial but it has a huge influence on psychology and contemporary thorugh -Alongside behaviourism, this approahc remained a key force in psychology for the first hald of the 20th century, Used to explain a wide range of phenomena like personality development, moral development, gender identity and connection between childhood experiences and later development -However, outdated views in his attempt to explain homosexulity as a mental disorder
Weakness of psychodynamic approach?
-Methodology -Evidnece to support his theories were cse stuides, individuals that were in therapy with Freud, like Little Hans -A 5 year old boy with a phobia of horses, to suport his oedipus complex. Freud claimed that the phobias was his repressed fear of the father -Weakness, case studies can't be generalised to the rest of the population, lowering generalisability
A weakness of psychodynamic approach?
-Arguably untestable -Approach can be seen to not meet the scientfic standards of being falsifiable, meaning that the theory cannot be empericially tests to be proven wrong -Seen with many of Freud's concepts, like the ID and the Oedipus complex, part of the unconcious that is impossible to test -Freud's theory is pseudoscientific, can't beapplied as a real scientific theory as it lacks internal validity