OCR Psychology A2 Approaches

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Approach Social Cognitive Individual differences Developmental Physiological
Assumptions How we influence each
other's thoughts, feelings and behaviour. How we interact with each other. Often uses field experiments.
Focus on internal processes to understand behaviour. Mind is like a computer, it inputs processes and outputs.
Differences between people rather than the things we might have in common, particularly in terms of personality and
abnormality. Their personal qualities, the ways in which they respond to situations and their behaviour.
How people develop and change over their lifetime. How children are qualitatively different to adults.
Human behaviour can be explained by looking at internal, biological stuff (hormones and the nervous system).
Abnormal behaviour can be removed by using biological treatments.
Studies WaxlerMorrison:
o How a woman's social
relationships influence her response to breast cancer and survival. o Quasiexperiment:
woman diagnosed with breast cancer o 18 interviews,
questionnaires and their medical records o 133 woman under 55
(premenopausal) in clinic in Vancouver o 6 aspects of social
network linked with survival: martial status, support from friends, contact with friends, total support, social network
and employment. o Qualitative data --

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More social networks =
higher survival rate of women with cancer
Yochelson and Samenow: o Makeup of the criminal
personality o 255 males o Half the offenders pleaded guilty by means of insanity o Interviews over several
years o Psychodynamic testing and
therapy o 52 thinking patterns lack
empathy, angry, want a life of excitement, poor at responsible decision making. o Criminals had thinking
errors and they saw criminal behaviour acceptable. o Links with the way individuals process information -- errors in
thinking.…read more

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Wikstrom: o Cross sectional study o 2000 year 10 students o Interviews and data
collection from official records. o 44.8% males and 30.6%
females committed at least one crime since year 2000. o High frequency
offenders committed wide range of crimes o Offenders victimised
more than non offenders. o Offenders more drunk
and use drugs. o Factors family social
position, individual characteristics (self control), lifestyle/ routine activities and community contexts. o Key risk
factors weak
family bonds, poor self control and poor parental monitoring.…read more

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Chicago. o Correlational study -- data
from police records, school records and census. o Examined local
communities which had lower than average male life expectancies. o Life expectancy proved to
be best predictor of homicide rates. o Absence from school was
negatively correlated with life expectancy. o Young adults still driven by ancient adaptive traits, they engage in more
risk taking behaviours.…read more


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