AQA B Approaches in Psychology and Biopsychology

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AQA B Psychology Approaches in Psychology and Biopsychology
All behaviour is learnt from experiences a person has in their environment
We are born a blank slate for experiences to write on
Psychology should be scientific and objective so the only logically material to study is
It is valid to generalise from animal to human behaviour
Classical conditioning: learning by association- Pavlov conditioned dogs to salivate at the
sound of a bell- before: Unconditioned stimulus: food > unconditioned response:
salivation. During: neutral stimulus: bell + unconditioned stimulus: food > unconditioned
response: salvation. After: conditioned stimulus: bell > conditioned response: salvation.
Principle of classical conditioning Definition
Extinction If they do not keep up the conditioning the
conditioned response will disappear
Spontaneous recovery If a response if forgotten, a couple of
hours/days later in may come back
Stimulus generalisation If something was conditioned to do something
at a certain noise they may do the same thing
at similar sounding noises.
Discrimination If a dog is conditioned to salivate at a red
circle and is then shown a orange circle they
may salivate at it expecting food. After a while
they realise that they don't get food when the
orange circle appears but they do when the
red one appears they will only salivate at the
red. They have been taught to choose
between stimuli.
STUDY: Watson and Rayner- Had an 11 month old baby and they wanted to see if they
could condition a fear into him. They gave him a white rat, when he went to touch it they
made a loud noise behind him. After a while of doing this, when Albert was presented with
the rat he attempted to move away and appeared scared of it. This shows that a fear can
be conditioned in a human.
Operant conditioning: learning by consequence- Skinner developed the Skinner box. He
put at rat in them and when they hit a lever they were given food. At first they hit the
lever by accident but over time they learnt to push the lever to get food.
Reinforcement/punishment Definition
Positive reinforcement Something good that is probably going to
increase the chance of a response
Negative reinforcement Removal or escape from something
unpleasant which is probably going to
increase the chance of a response
Punishment Decreases chance of a behaviour occurring
Advantages Disadvantages
Scientific Biological factors have little influence

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Prediction of behaviour Neglects mental processes and emotions
Therapies have been developed Suggests there is no free will
Scientific like cognitive, unlike humanistic and psychodynamic
Supports nurture whereas biological supports nature
Social learning theory
We learn by observation
Mental or cognitive processes are essential for learning to take place
Modelling- performing an action for someone to imitate
We are more likely to imitate the same sex, reinforced behaviour or someone that is liked,
powerful or respected
STUDY: Bandura- 36 boys, 36 girls aged 3-6.…read more

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STUDY: Murdock- separate STM and LTM. Read a list of word to participants and then
asked them to recall the words in any order. Primacy-recency effect more likey to
remember words at the start (LTM) and words at the end (STM).
STUDY: Clive wearing- virus attacked hippocampus and after he couldn't transfer STMs
into LTMs. Shows separate STM and LTM.…read more

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Genital puberty- deaths The genitals Cocky, self-centred,
Oedipus complex- boys 3 years- lust for mum, hatred towards dad, fear of father
castrating him (castration anxiety)
Electra complex- Girl 3 years- lust for father, jealous of mother, they believe there mother
has castrated them, they want a penis (penis envy), when they realise they can't have a
penis they start wanting a baby.…read more

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The need of personal growth is present throughout a person's life
3 preconditions for someone to self-actualise: absence of restraints, no or little distraction
from deficiency needs, good knowledge of yourself
STUDY: Langer and Rodin- 65-90 year olds where given and questionnaire. After they had
completed the questionnaire one group was given a talk which emphasised personal
agency (group 1) and the other groups talk emphasised the staffs responsibility to care for
them (group 2).…read more

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Post mortem Brain is examined Can link problems in Difficult to find cause
after death life with any damage and effect
in the brain
EEG Put a cap on which Allows natural Crude measurements
shows us what parts measurements of of brain activity can
of the brains work brain activity to be draw conclusions
during tasks made easily
PET Radioactive tracer is Can see what brain Not all behaviours
injected which can be areas are active can be performed in
picked up by the during…read more

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Division What it does
Nervous system Network of millions of neurons in the human
Peripheral nervous system Transmits information between central
nervous system and body
Central nervous system Nerves contained in the brain and spinal cord
Somatic nervous system Information to and from senses and muscles
Autonomic nervous system Transmits information to and from internal
organs to sustain life processes
Spinal cord Communication cable between the brain and
Brain Organ within skull involved in basic bodily
functions and higher psychological functions
Sympathetic nervous…read more

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Fight or flight:
Sympathetic system(fight or flight) Parasympathetic (rest and digest)
Blood to muscle Less blood to muscles
Adrenaline released Less adrenaline released
Breathing rapidly Breathing slows
Heart rate increases Heart rate decreases
Pupils dilate Pupils constrict
Increase activity in sweat gland Decrease activity in sweat gland
Hairs stand on end Hair lays flat
The endocrine system is made up of a number of glands
These glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream
Hormones travel through the blood stream and effect different organs
The pituitary gland…read more

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Limbic system Sits around the central core Controls emotions and has
a key role in memory
because it contains the
Cerebrum Outermost layer known as the Sensory systems sends
cerebral cortex messages to and from this
A bundle of fibres hold them together- the corpus callosum.…read more

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Broca's area: One of Broca's first patients was nicknamed `tan' because of his inability to
speak any other words clearly apart from tan. An area of the left frontal lobe called Broca's
area is responsible for the function of speech. Damage to the Broca's area causes a
particular type of language disorder or aphasia. Here, speech is typically slow, laborious
and lacking in fluency.
Wernicke's area: An area of the left temporal lobe is responsible for speech
comprehension, or recognition of spoken word.…read more


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