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AQA Psychology B Unit 1
Revision Booklet

By Jack Richardson

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Biological approach Assumptions:

Human behaviour is strongly influenced by our genetic make up and
our genetic inheritance.

The central nervous system is essential for thought and behaviour to
take place. Structure of the brain can explain behaviour and thought.

Chemical processes in the brain are responsible for psychological
functions in…

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Evolution ­ refers to the change over
successive generations of the
characteristics/ make-up of a population.
In a species an animal will develop a
characteristic that will give it an
advantage over survival of the fittest.
These characteristics are innate e.g.
rooting reflex.

Genotype ­ refers to a person's genetic…

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Method Strengths Weaknesses


Neurosurgery- manipulating Allows precision and Ethical issues
the brains structure ­ control
Cause and effect
ablation and lesion
Damage to brain

Electrical stimulation- Less harmful than Most research is
microelectrodes inserted to surgery done on animals and
brain to stimulate neurones therefore can't be
More ethical…

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Ways to investigate genetic basis
of behaviour

Behaviourist approach

The behaviourist
approach believes that all
behaviour is learnt from the environment, and it is extreme on the nurture side.

Behaviour is learnt through stimulus response association or as a result of

Psychology is scientific and should be studied…

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and control their own development, it denies free will. Humanists would argue
against this.

It is reductionist and over simplistic because the principle of learning do not account
for spontaneous behaviour that has not been observed or reinforced within their

It is difficult to generalise results from animal learning…

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Pavlov's Dog

Watson and Little Albert

Thorndike and the `puzzle box' Skinners Rat box

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Social learning theory Assumptions:

Behaviour is learnt through observation and imitation.

Modelling is copying behaviour of people with whom we identify.

Identification with someone involves a desire to be like them and
therefore leads to a desire to imitate them.

Reinforcement can be vicarious, we learn through observation of the…

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Bandura's theory of observational learning has four conditions that he said were essential
for effective modelling to occur.

Make sure you know the difference
between observational learning and
operant conditioning.

In observational learning, if a child
observes a model being punished they
will acquire a memory of this
behaviour which…

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Cognitive approach Assumptions:
The cognitive approach adopts the use of scientific, experimental methods to measure
mental processes.

The cognitive approach states that much of our behaviour is affected by conscious mental
processes so it concentrates on investigating how individuals can learn to solve problems
and the mental processes that exist…


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