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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Social Facilitation
Social facilitation is concerned with how and why activity is increased when others are present.
E.G athletes run faster if an audience is watching, and even cockroaches learn to navigate a maze faster if watched by
other roaches.
Coaction effects refer to the presence of others independently carrying out the same task at the same time, which
usually facilitates performance.…read more

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EVALUATION
The tasks that the participants perform in studies of social facilitation are often artificial and may lack ecological
validity
Audiences in studies of social facilitation are usually quiet, and therefore may not reflect the nature of audiences or
co-actors in the real world
The evaluation apprehension explanation is not supported by studies that show how, even when members of an
audience wear blindfolds and are therefore unable to judge, the performance is still affected.…read more

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Every teacher went up to 300 volts, and 65% of participants went to the full 450 volts in spite of screams
protestations etc. from the learner.
Factors in Milgram's study
The credibility of the set-up: Perhaps participants were aware that the learner received no electric shock; i.e. the
set-up was not credible.…read more

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Validity: This concerns the question, `Is the research measuring what it is supposed to measure?' For example, in the
Milgram study, did people really believe that they were administering electric shocks?
COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Perception
Gregory's indirect theory (1974);
A lot of information reaches the eye, but much is lost by the time it reaches the brain (Gregory estimates about
90% is lost).Therefore, the brain has to guess what a person sees based on past experiences. We actively construct
our perception of reality.…read more

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Gibson's direct theory:
Changing pattern of light that surrounds the active perceiver that provides us with sufficient information for the
perception.
Optic flow: As we move towards a point in out visual environment, objects that are directly in front of us appear
stationary but objects towards the side appear to move towards us (optic flow), the further away something is
from a fixed point, the more rapid the apparent movement towards us.…read more

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The Optic Flow pattern for a person looking out of the back of a train.
2. The Role of Invariants in Perception
We rarely see a static view of an object or scene. When we move our head and eyes or walk around our
environment, things move in and out of our viewing fields. Textures expand as you approach an object and
contract as you move away.…read more

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Constructivist theories, like Gregory's, have
typically involved viewing under less than ideal conditions.
Research by Tulving et al manipulated both the clarity of the stimulus input and the impact of the perceptual
context in a word identification task. As clarity of the stimulus (through exposure duration) and the amount of
context increased, so did the likelihood of correct identification.…read more

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Pattern perception:
Newborn infants: shown preference to face like patterns than non-face patterns. Show greater interest in more
complex images. Brennan et al (1966) shows infants checkerboard patterns of increasing complexity (2 by 2, 4 by
4, and then 24 by 24) 1 month old infants preferred most complex ones. Youngest infants so not have sufficient
visual acuity to see the smaller squares in a 24 by 24 display but the preference by older infants indicates
preference for more complex visual stimuli.…read more

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Visual constancies:
Shape constancy: Allport and Pettigrew (1957) tested Zulu people in South Africa with the trapezoid window
illusions. Zulu's in rural areas did not have regular windows so was less likely to experience the illusion, indicating
shape constancy has not been learned; this was what they found.
Size constancy: Gregory claimed that the Muller Lyer illusion can be explained in terms of misapplied hypotheses.…read more

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