Approaches In Psychology

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  • Approaches in Psychology
    • 1. The Origins of Psychology
      • Introspection-systematic analysis of own conscious experience of a stimulus
      • William Wundt
        • the father of psychology- set up the 1st psychology lab in Germany
        • Structuralism-aim was to study structure of the human mind by breaking down behaviours into their basic elements
      • The Emergence of Psychology As a Science
        • scientific method refers to the use of investigative methods that are objective, systematic and replicable and the formulation, testing and modification of hypotheses based on these methods
        • empiricism-belief all knowledge is derived from sensory experience and info is gained through direct observation
      • Evaluation
        • Wundt's methods were unreliable
        • introspection is not always accurate-Nisbett and Wilson(1977)
        • a scientific method is not always appropriate
    • 2. The Behaviourist Approach
      • Classical Conditioning
        • Pavlov's Dogs
          • timing- if the NS occurs after the UCS or the time interval between the two is great, conditioning does not take place
          • extinction-the CR does not become permanently established as the response after a few presentations of the CS in the absense of the UCS it loses its ability to produce CR
          • spontaneous recovery-if the CS and UCS are paired together again the link between them is made quickly
          • Stimulus generation-once the animal has been conditioned they will also respond to other stimuli that are similar to CS
        • Evaluation
          • Practical applications-development in treatment for reduction of anxiety, e.g systematic desensitisation
          • Seligman-different species face different challenges to survive so have different capabilities to learn through classical conditioning
      • Operant Conditioning
        • Skinner
          • Types of Reinforcement
            • Positive Reinforcement
            • Negative Reinforcement
            • Schedules of Reinforcement-partial schedule of reinforcement
          • Types of Punishment
          • Evaluation
            • used experimental method, controlled conditions, helping to establish a cause and effect relationship
            • used non human animals e.g rats and pigeons rather than humans
    • 3. Social Learning Theory
      • Bandura
        • 'The Bobo Doll' Experiment
        • identification, modelling, vicarious reinforcement, imitation, direct reinforcement, internal mediational processes
        • Evaluation
          • practical applications-increasing understanding of criminal behaviour-Akers(1998)
          • determining causality-Sigel and McCormick(2006)
          • ignores other influences on behaviour
    • 4. The Cognitive Approach
      • internal mental processes-the ways in which we process info that helps guide behaviour
      • inference-making assumptions about mental processes that cannot be directly observed/going beyond the immediate research evidence
      • idea of schemas- cognitive framework that helps organise and interpret info in the brain
      • Models-help understand and represent different cognitive processes
        • Theoretical Models-present a pictorial model of memory
        • Computer Models-computer analogy, would say info is held on a hard disk
      • The Emergence of Cognitive Neuroscience
        • practical applications
      • Evaluation
        • has many applications e.g helps to explain dysfunctional behaviour, leading to development of treatment
        • a scientific approach
        • the use of computer models is a weakness
    • 5. The Biological Approach
      • Influence of genes
        • gene-part of a chromosome that carries info in the form of DNA
        • genotype-genetic makeup of the individual& phenotype-observable characteristics of the individual
        • heredity-passing of characteristics from one generation to another through genes
        • nature v nurture debate
      • Influence of biological structures
        • The Nervous System- CNS=the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nervous system=somatic and autonomic
        • The Brain-biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum
          • Frontal lobe=speech, thought and learning
          • temporal lobe=hearing, memory
          • parietal lobe-sensory info
          • occipital lobes-visual info
      • influence of neurochemistry
        • Neurotransmitters-chemical messengers
          • excitatory- trigger nerve impulses in the recieving neuron and stimulate brain action
          • inhibitory-inhibit nerve impulses to calm the brain
        • Hormones- chemicals produced by the endocrine glands. secrete directly into the blood and travel to target cells stimulating receptors
      • Evaluation
        • importance of scientific method, use of highly controlled studies, precise and objective
        • applications of this approach- led to drug treatment for mental illnesses
        • the biological approach is reductionist

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