Topic C Revision Booklet - GCSE Psychology

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GCSE Psychology Topic C
Do TV and Video games affect young people's behaviour?
Key terminology - the role of the brain in aggression:
amygdala ­ a brain structure thought to be involved in aggression.
limbic system ­ an area of the brain involved in emotion.
Revision notes:
a person can be aggressive because of their biological make up
so far scientists haven't found a gene responsible for aggression as research has
focused more on how the brain functions and how areas of the brain are involved
in aggression
the limbic system and the amygdala are involved in aggression
the limbic system is called the `emotional area' of the brain because it is
responsible for the emotions needed for survival, like fear and aggression
people with emotional disorders have been shown to have had damage to the
limbic system
the amygdala recognises emotion, creates emotional responses and produces aggression
in animal studies removing the amygdala makes the animal very calm whereas damage to this area may
cause increased levels of aggression
some human case studies offer evidence that the amygdala might cause aggression ­ e.g. Charles
Whitman who shot 13 people. He left a note saying he was convinced something was making him
aggressive. An autopsy revealed a tumour pressing against his amygdala
human and animal brains are similar, but not similar enough to make direct comparisons however
we cannot purposely damage human brains to see if it results in aggression because that would be unethical
therefore it is difficult to tell if the limbic system and the amygdala are involved in aggressive behaviour or
not, as there is limited direct proof.
Task 1: for each of the following statements, identify whether it is a strength or a weakness for evaluating the
link between biology and aggression:
1) Animal studies that have involved damage to or removal of the amygdala offer
evidence for its link with aggression. STRENGTH WEAKNESS
2) Studying the human brain is difficult and can be very risky, so there is no way of
making sure areas of the brain are linked to aggression. STRENGTH WEAKNESS
3) Animals and humans are different in many ways, so animal research suggesting
a link between the brain and aggression may not be applicable to humans. STRENGTH WEAKNESS
4) The case study of Charles Whitman (1966) and the case described by King
(1961) are evidence for its link with aggression in humans. STRENGTH WEAKNESS
5) Case studies are unreliable, as the reason for an individual's aggression may
be unique to that individual. STRENGTH WEAKNESS
6) Aggression could equally be explained by the way children copy the media. STRENGTH WEAKNESS
Key terminology - the role of hormones in aggression
hormones ­ chemicals produced by the human body that send signals to organs around the body via the
women also have testosterone but males produce more of it (10 times more!)
animal research has shown that injecting testosterone increases levels of
aggression whilst removing the testes decreases levels of aggression

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It is unethical to deliberately increase the testosterone level in men.
Psychologists can take blood from humans to see what level of testosterone they have and compare it to
how aggressive they feel or act. Some correlation studies have found a relationship between high
testosterone levels and questionnaire results showing greater reported aggression. However, it is not
certain whether testosterone causes increased aggression or aggression causes increased testosterone.
Task 2: For each of the following statements, circle whether it is true or false.…read more

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The study is supported with evidence from Bandura's BUT not all children who observe aggressive behaviour
Bobo doll studies because he showed that children copy copy it.
behaviour. BUT Bandura's study was a laboratory experiment, this
means it is not VALID
There are many real life aggressive incidents that have BUT it may be that aggressive children watch aggressive
been linked to TV and video games, such as the TV rather than the other way around.
Columbine Massacre, and the James Bulger murder.…read more

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Revision notes:
Ramirez and his colleagues wanted to investigate whether aggression varied between cultures. They were also
interested in the different aggression levels between males and females.
Their study involved 400 psychology students who volunteered to participate ­ half were at university in Japan,
the other half in Spain.
All students were asked to complete a questionnaire that measured different types of aggression: verbal
aggression, physical aggression, anger and hostility.…read more

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­ a single mark on a chart to show that a behaviour/category has been found during content analysis.
unrepresentative ­ limited so that it might not apply to everyone.
reliability ­ refers to whether findings from a study would be found again if the study was repeated.
Revision notes:
If researchers wanted to see how much aggression occurred on television
they could use content analysis as a research method. They would have to
take a number of steps:
1. Decide what aggressive behaviour is
2.…read more

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The ethics of psychological research
Key terminology - the ethics of psychological research
consent ­ permission to take part in a study.
right to withdraw ­ a participant's right to leave a study at any time and their ability to do so.
deception ­ being lied to.
debrief- being told the truth about a study when it is over.
competence ­ a psychologist's ability to conduct a study.…read more

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Anderson and Dill (2000): video games and aggression
Key terminology - Anderson and Dill (2000): video games and aggression
independent variable ­ the factor which is changed by the researcher in an experiment to make two or more
dependent variable ­ the factor which is measured in an experiment.…read more

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Demand Protection Useful in
POINT Deception characteris Reliability Generalisa from harm Validity real life
(ethical tics blility (ethical
issue) issue)
Description C
Charlton et al (2000): St Helena study
Key terminology - Charlton et al (2000): St Helena study
natural experiment ­ an experiment where the independent variable is naturally occurring and not set up by the
researchers.…read more

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Task 11: Answer the following questions:
a) What was the main finding of Charlton et al's (2000) study?
b) Suggest 2 similarities and 2 differences between the isolated St Helena community and your
c) Describe one strength of Charlton et al's (2000) study.
d) Describe one weakness of Charlton et al's (2000) study.…read more

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Conducted in a real place and TV was introduced The researchers did not control what or how much TV
naturally. Far greater realism than any other type of the children watched, or the adult supervision and
experiment. control of viewing.
Because the same children were followed over a Observations might be biased because the researchers
two-year period, their behaviour before and after TV see what they want to see. They might have reported
could be directly observed.…read more


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