Complete Revision Notes on Social Approach Unit 1 Edexcel

These are complete revision notes on unit 1 edexcel psychology AS, the Social Approach. It contains studies, experiments, theory, methodology and their respective evaluations. They have been written with a lot of detail. Enjoy!

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  • Created on: 16-05-11 13:42
Preview of Complete Revision Notes on Social Approach Unit 1 Edexcel

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Social approach
Key assumptions
Interaction between individuals, between groups and in society.
Data-gathering technique which asks questions directly to Ps
Face-to-face situation- opportunity to expand questions
Series of questions.
Interview chosen instead of questionnaire:
Explore more in-depth questions
Participants need reassurance
Access is difficult
3 types:
Structured interview- set formal, planned questions, not exploration.
Unstructured interview- no set questions, can explore questions in depth
Semi-structured interview- a mix of both.
Validity- open unstructured questions allow P to say what they really think
about something + to give indepth detailed responses which will give researcher
+ info.
As there is no set procedure and questions change, it is more difficult to spot
he aim and therefore it will have less demand characteristics.
As the researcher is present, he/she can affect results (researcher bias). Also, P
may change his/her response in order to look good in front of researcher (social
The interview is different for each P as it has no set format so there's a lack of
reliability as it is very difficult to replicate.
Subjectivity as qualitative data, which needs interpreting, is collected.
Survey with a set of questions
Usually written down for P to answer

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Contains both open and ended questions, although usually contains + closed
Normally researcher is not present.
A set procedure is used, so all respondents will be asked the same questions so
it is reliable.
They can be carried by post, so there is no need for the researcher to be
present- no researcher bias
As same questions + set procedures used, can be replicated- reliable.
"Valid" as there is no researcher bias.
The way questionnaires are given to Ps can affect reliability.
E.g.…read more

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Objectivity- standard questions means numbers can be generated and %
Reliability- same questions for all Ps, easy to replicate.
No validity- force P to choose from set answers which P may not totally agree.
If Ps don't say what they think, not true results.
Choice answers mean different things to different Ps. E.g. "Don't know" can
mean "Not sure" or "Don't want to answer".…read more

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Response bias- questions are set in a way P knows what to answer.
Ethical guidelines
Five ethical guidelines: informed consent, deception, debrief, competence + right to
Informed consent= when informing P about study + they agree to take part.…read more

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Difficult expensive + time consuming.
Opportunity sampling= Ps are chosen if they are available at time of study.
Easy + quick
Lack of representation, difficult to generalise findings
Volunteer/self selecting= Ps select themselves.
Motivated Ps
Volunteers may be different from the rest, as they have volunteered. Special
Agency theory
People obey/follow orders from an authority figure.
Agentic state is when a person is acting under the orders of an AF. No free will.…read more

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Social identity theory
Stereotype= develop idea about someone + apply them to similar larger group
Prejudice= opinion, usually negative, based on a stereotype. Attitude is
Discrimination= action carried, consequence of prejudice.
Social Identity Theory (1969)
Based on Tajfel + Turner ideas
Prejudice comes from two different groups being present, rivalry + conflict.
Person's social identity depends on the groups they belong to.
Belong to ingroups, the rest are outgroups.
People favour ingroup as it increases self esteem.…read more

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To see if Germans were different for the acts they carried when Holocaust
To see how people obey orders which makes them distressed.
Milgram advertised for volunteers for an experiment about human learning. Ps
were paid.
At Yale Uni
P believed he was drawing lots with another P (confederate)
Learner + P at different rooms
P was shown generator from 15V-450V
Experimenter was in the same room as P
P gave questions to learner, when L was wrong shock.…read more

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Ps did not felt responsible- less responsibility.
Evolution theory- Ps followed orders as it was an expt for human learning, for
the good of society.
Variation study of Milgram
To see if the high levels of obedience were due to the location of experiment,
Yale Uni.
Milgram did exactly the = experiment but held it in a rundown office block.
47.…read more

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Ps recruited by newspaper + paid a small fee
Applicant (confederate) was in a separate room to P
P told test was about how stress affects performance + that applicant thought
it was real
Ps told to do negative comments (from a script) so applicant did badly. P knew
he would create harm
Stress levels were shown in a screen
P was told that if applicant failed test, he would lose the job.…read more

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No task validity- Ps are not used to give negative remarks to applicants for a
Some differences (time difference of 20 yrs, different countries) make data
difficult to be compared to Milgram.
Ps deceived- they thought applicant thought it was real + had no real right to
No informed consent- Ps thought expt was about how stress affects
performance.…read more


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