Psychology- Paper 2

OCR exam board paper 2 notes

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Psychology ­ Paper 2
Criminal Behaviour:
Key Concepts:
Crime: Is any behaviour that breaks the law, there are variations between countries.
Measures of Crime: Statistics count the number of criminal acts, not the number of
criminals, people may not be aware they have been a victim or may not want to report
the crime. Police records and surveys are measures of the rate of crime.
Criminal Personality: Has these main traits:
Impulsiveness: Seeing an opportunity and doing it without thinking.
Lacking in feelings of guilt: Don't feel sorry for what they have done.
Pleasure-seeking: Want something so they take it, do it for fun and to get a
Being Over-optimistic: Don't think that they will get caught.
Self-Importance: Only care about themselves so don't care who they hurt.
Core Theory:
Biological Theory:
Criminal tendencies tend to run in families, research has tried to identify if
crime runs in the family.
Researchers have considered that brain dysfunction may be the cause of
criminal behaviour. This can be caused by brain damage, abnormalities in brain
structure or by disturbances in neurochemicals.
o Pre-frontal cortex: This area of the brain is underactive in some
criminals; it is the part of the brain where humans are conditioned to
form an association between fear and anti-social behaviour. Criminals
who do not associate anti-social behaviour with fear so do not worry
about the consequences.
o Limbic System: This area of the brain controls aggression and sexual
behaviour, there is increased behaviour in the area in criminals, the
amygdale controls emotions and does not function properly in many
criminals. The criminal cannot control emotion and cannot read the
emotions of others.
o Corpus Callosum: Is the bridge between the rational and irrational side
of the brain, research has shown that this in criminals can be less active
so communication between both parts of the brain is weak. This means
the irrational side will take over and lead to impulsiveness and lack of
control of behaviour.
o Temporal Lobe: This part is involved in language, learning, emotions and
memory. Criminals have slower brain wave activity in this area, especially

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This means that their emotions are slower
and they have no real emotions apart from hurting others.
There are also facial features associated with criminals.
o Asymmetrical face
o Low and sloping forehead
o Glinting or glassy eyes
o High cheekbones
o Large, protruding, handle shaped ears
o Crooked, flat or upturned noses
o Fleshy ears
o Strong jaw
o Prominent chins
o Lots of hair.
A gene for criminal behaviour has never been found.…read more

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Bandura's bobo doll experiment supports this.
Core Study:
Mednick et al.
One way of investigating the nature-nurture debate is to study people who have
been adopted. In theory, if a behaviour is more to do with nature, then an
adopted person's behaviour should be more similar to their biological parents'
from whom they have inherited their genes. However, if behaviour is more to do
with nurture, then a person's behaviour should be more similar to their adoptive
parents than because they have brought them up.…read more

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Rehabilitation: Hope people in prison cope with changes and help them psychologically
they learn life and work related skills allowing them to return to society without
resorting to crime.
Use of Prisons: Token economy, reward behaviour and punish bad behaviour
Key Concepts:
Sensation- The process of collecting data from our senses.
Perception- The process of interpreting data once it has been senses.…read more

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Relative Size- Objects that are bigger we perceive as being closer.
Superimposition- If an object overlaps another it is seen as being closer.
Texture Gradient- We can see the texture of objects closer to us but not those
of one's further away.
Core Theory:
Constructivist Theory
Suggests that our perception of the world is not only based on what we see in
front of us but also in past experiences.
o We recognise people in the class because we expect (Past experience) to
see them.…read more

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The Nativist theory is the opposite- believes that in instinct and biology play an
important role in perception.
Perception is a result of bottom-up processes instead of top-down processes-
It suggests that perception is dominated by what we see through our eyes
rather than what we expect to see.
We perceive through the world as it is not based on our expectations.…read more

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Field experiment: higher ecological validity.
Easy to replicate.
Small sample size so less generalisable.
Only male college students.
Only American.
Field experiments so low control.
Possibility of demand characteristics.
Application of Research:
Research in perception can be useful for those working in advertising because, is an
audience is going to buy a product or change their behaviour; they have to be able to
perceive it as something.…read more

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Cognitive Development:
Key Concepts:
Invariant Stages: Happens in a fixed order and everyone goes through them in the
same stages.
Universal Stages: These stages apply to different ages of all children everywhere.
Sensori-motor Stage:
Pre-operational Stage:
Concrete operational Stage:
Formal operational Stage:
Core Theory:
Piaget's cognitive theory:
Piaget suggested that a child's development of cognitive ability goes through the
same stages in an invariant order.…read more

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From the evidence he developed the cognitive stages of development. In psychology a
stage means that:
1. Development follows a fixed (Invariant) order/pattern.
2. The pattern is true for everyone.
3. The behaviour in question gets better with each stage.
Piaget said that children were like `scientists' they explore from the moment they open
their eyes.
Infants are not just passive observers though, they are actively involved in making
sense of what they see, hear, touch ect.
1.…read more

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At every new stage the mistakes of the previous stage are removed, so at this stage
the child overcomes egocentrism, drops animism & can think backwards. They also
develop new skills:-
Linguistic humour- Children start to understand & enjoy word games & double
Seriation- They develop the ability to put things into rank order e.g. smallest to
Conservation- Children learn that properties of certain objects are the same
(are conserved) even if the objects appear to change.…read more


fay bower

this is really good!

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