Approaches

Who was Wundt?

  • Wundt was the first person to call himself a psychologist as he belived the human mind could be studied scientifically through experimental methods.  He aimed to study the structure of the human mind by breaking down behaviours into basic elements- this approach is known as structuralism.
  • The techniques he used to study this are known as introspection which refers to the process by which a person gains knowledge about their own emotional or mental states. Wundt claimed that mental processes such as memory and perception could be observed systematically through introspection.
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Wundt's study- introspection?

  • Ps were presented with carefully controlled stimuli e.g. visual images or auditory tones. Ps were then asked to describe the inner processes they were experiencing as they looked at the picture or listened to the tone. This made it possible to compare different Ps reports and therefore establish theories about perception.
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Psychology as a science

  • Scientists believe that knowledge comes from observation and experience. 
  • Science is what we know to be true not what we believe to be true.
  • The most fundemental characteristic of science is its reliance on empirical methods where we can observe results objectively through testing and experimentation.
  • The two major assumptions are; 
  • 1. All behaviour is seen as being caused by certain factors.
  • 2. So it should be possible to predict how human will behave in certain situation.
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Characteristics of science

  • Theories must be falsifiable. This means that they must be able to be tested so that it is possible to show that they are wrong.
  • Studies must be ;
  • Objective- free from bias so the researcher's own ideas don't alter the results.
  • Conducted under controlled conditions so that the data can be collected accurately.
  • Findings must be replicable; the same results are found by other researchers. If findings are not replicable, the theory cannot be true.
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What is CC?

  • This involves learning by association.
  • Pavlov discovered classical conditioning. He was researching the salivary reflex in dogs and noticed they didn't only salivate when food was placed in their mouths they also did so in reaction to stimuli that was present at the same time as food. He went on to explore the conditions needed for this behaviour to occur.
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Pavlov's Dogs

  • First Pavlov established that meat caused the dog to salivate. Food was the unconditioned stimulus which caused an unconditioned response-salivation.
  • Then Pavlov established that a tone did not cause the dog to salivate and this acted as the neutral stimulus.
  • He then presented the tone with the food. After several pairings of the tone and food, Pavlov found that the dog would salivate to the tone when it was presented alone. The tone is now the conditioned stimulus and the saliva is the conditioned response.
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What is OC?

  • This involves learning by the consequences of behaviour. 
  • Skinner argued that behaviours produces either desirable or undesriable consequences whether we repeat the behaviour is dependent on these consequences.
  • Positive reinforcement: This occurs when behaviour produces a consequence that is pleasurable for the animal/human and therefore it increases the likelihood of a response occuring because it involves a reward for the behaviour.
  • Negative reinforcement: This increases the likelihood of a response occcuring because it involves the removal of, or escaping from, unpleasant consequences. 
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Skinner's Rats

  • Skinner developed a special box known as the Skinner box to investigate operant conditioning in rats. The rat moves around and when it accidently presses a lever it receives a food pellet which is rewarding. This reward increase the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated since it reinforces behaviour.
  • In another version, Skinner ran an electric shock through the floor of the box, the rat learn to press the lever in order to stop the shock; this is an example of negative reinforcement.
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When is behaviour imitated?

  • People are more likely to imitate a model's behaviour if they identify with the model in some way e.g. same sex, age or they have a higher status.
  • They believe they have the ability to reproduce the behaviour.
  • There are positive consequences for the behvaiour. Imitation only occurs generally if the behaviour is seen to be rewarded rather than punished. Vicarious reinforcement occurs when we see another person rewarded for certain actions. We believe that if we do the same action, we can get the same reward.
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Mediational processes of SLT

  • Attention: Individuals need to perceive and attend to significant features of the modelled behaviour.
  • Retention: In order to reproduce modelled behaviour, the individuals must code the information into LTM.
  • Motor reproduction: Observer must be able to reproduce model's behaviour.
  • Motivation: The observer expects to receive positive reinforcements for modelled behaviour which makes them want to copy.
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Bobo doll study

  • Bandura used 72 children, 1/2 boys, 1/2 girls aged 4 years. There were 3 conditions and all children were matched on initial aggression. One group watched an aggressive model hitting a Bobo doll with a hammer and punching it saying pow and boom. The 2nd group saw a non-aggressive model that played quietly in the corner of the room. The third group had no model and acted as the control group. The children were then left in a playroom with the doll and observed through a one way mirror for 20 minutes.
  • They found that group one imitated the same acts of aggression whereas the other 2 groups showed very little aggression.
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The cognitive approach

  • The cognitive approach focuses on how people perceive, store, manipulate and interpret information.
  • It is necessary to look at internal mental processes in order to understand behaviour. This involves information processing in which information received through the senses is processed by different systems within the brain.
  • These mental processes can't be studied directly so we must 'infer' what is going on by measuring behaviour. Psychologists can then develop theories about the mental processes that led to the observed behaviour.
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What are shemas?

  • Schemas are the cognitive framework which helps us organise information in the brain.They are a package of knowledge built up from previous experiences which help us  make sense of the world.
  • Schemas are useful as they help us take shortcuts when interpreting the huge amount of information we have to deal with.
  • Schemas can help us fill in gaps in the absence of full information.
  • If schemas are activated they aid the undertsanding and recall of information.
  • Schemas can cause us to exclude anything that does not conform to our established ways of thinking, focusing instead on things that confirm our pre-existing beliefs and ideas. This can result in stereotypes that are difficult to challenge even when faced with new conflicting information.
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Schemas study

  • Bransford and Johnson's study involved participants hearing a speech, if they were given the title before the speech they remebered an average of 5.8 of the ideas whereas the Ps not given the title only recalled 2.8 ideas on average.
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Schemas study

  • Bransford and Johnson's study involved participants hearing a speech, if they were given the title before the speech they remebered an average of 5.8 of the ideas whereas the Ps not given the title only recalled 2.8 ideas on average.
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Schema stereotype study

  • Allport and Post found that when shown a picture white Ps remebered a black man holding a knife due to their pre-existing stereotypes.
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Theoretical Models

  • These include the multi store and working memory model. These are simplified models often represented with diagrams. They are informal, often incomplete and are frequently changes or refined. For example, the episodic buffer was added to the WMM 25 years after the original theory was proposed.
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Computer Models

  • This likens ours memory to a computer and uses computer based terminology.
  • Information is inputted through the senses and encoded into our memory. It is then combined with previously stored information to complete a tak and can be retrieved when needed. 
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Cognitive neuroscience

  • Neuroscientists are able to study the living brain. This has enabled us to understand information about the brain structues involved in different kinds of brain possessing. 
  • PET and fMRI scans are used to see which part of the brain are active during certain activities.
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Raine PET Study

  • Raine investigated brain activity in 41 murderers using PET scans which assess brain activity by measuring glucose metabolism in the the brain. The more metabolisim the more active brain cells are. 
  • Reduced glucose metabolism in the prefrontal cortex in murderers brains suggests reduced functioning in the PFC which mediates emotional impulses including aggression.
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Brain fingerprinting

  • Recent developments have included a computer generated model which has been developed to read the brain. This has led to mind mapping techniques known as 'brain fingerprinting'.
  • A future use could be to analyse the brain wave pattern of eye witnesses to see if they're lying in court.
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What is heredity

  • Heredity is the passing on of characteristics from one generation to the next through their genes.
  • This is why children often take after their parents in terms of physical and psychological characteristics. 
  • Everyone has their own different combination of genetic instructions which leads us to differ from one another in terms of personality, intelligence etc.
  • The term heritability refers to the extent to which genetic individual differences contribute to individual differences in observed behaviour. 
  • The more a trait is influenced by genetic factors, the greater its heritability.
  • For example, eye colour is around 98% due to genes whereas lung cancer is only 8%.
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What are genes?

  • Genes are bits of DNA which make proteins, these proteins cause physiological responses in the body. An organism's genes carry the instructions for the development of a certain characteristic. 
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What is genetics?

  • Genetics is the study of how genes influence physical and behavioural characteristics, how this characteristic develops will be dependent on the interaction between the gene and other genes as well as environmental influences.
  • The extent to which the environment influences the development of our psychological characteristics is call the nature-nuture debate.
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What is the genotype and phenotype?

  • The genotype is the whle set of genetic information carried by an organism.
  • The phenotype is the physical expression of the genotype. 
  • There is not always a direct relationship between these two - just because someone has brown eyes does not mean that their genotypes does not contain the genes for blue eyes too.
  • A dominant gene will always take priority over a recessive gene when it come to making the body.
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What is evolution?

  • Evolution is the process by which an organism changes over time to adapt to their environment.
  • This will lead to a change over successive generations in the genetic makeup of the animal.
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What is natural selection?

  • Natural selection is one way in which evolution occurs.
  • Individuals within a species differ from one another in physical characteristics.
  • Individuals within a population must compete for resources.
  • Those who survive this competition will have characteristics and behaviours that are more likely to lead to survival and reproduction than those who do not survive the competition.
  • These behaviours are then passed on to their offspring and eventually become widespread in the population.
  • Successive generations will develop behaviours that are even more likely to lead to survival and reproductive success.
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What is sexual selection?

  • Sexual selection is another way in which evolution occurs.
  • Traits should evolve because they were attractive to the opposite sex.
  • This increases reproductive success and will lead to the survival of their genes into the next generation.
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Buss- Mate preference study

  • Buss looked at 37 different cultures and found universal similarities in human mate preference.
  • He found that women desired mates with resources and men desired young, physically attractive women - an indication of fertility.
  • The similarities across cultures suggests there is a genetic basis for such preferences as the evolved to promote survival in the EEA.
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Psychodynamic approach

  • This approach argues that behaviour is determined more by psychological factors than biological factors or environmental reinforcement. 
  • Freud argued that people are born with basic instincts and needs and that behaviour is part controlled by the inconscious mind.
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What is the id?

  • The id operates solely in the unconscious.
  • It operates according to the pleasure principle- it demands gratification regardless of circumstances. 
  • The id is present from birth and contains our drives and instincts linked to libido, created by reproductive instincts.

 

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What is the ego?

  • The ego develops around the age of 2 years. 
  • Its role is to resolve the conflict between the id and the superego.
  • It follows the reality principle.
  • It manages this by using defence mechanisms.
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What is the superego?

  • The superego develops around age 5 years old. 
  • It is our sense of right and wrong.
  • It is based off of the morality principle. 
  • It represents the moral standards a child has been socialised to follow. 
  • It punishes the ego for any 'wrongdoing' through guilt.
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What are defence mechanisms?

  • The ego has a difficult job balancing the demands of the id and the superego. 
  • Ego-defence mechanisms operate unconsciously and work by distorting reality so that anxiety is reduced. 
  • Using defence mechanisms stops the individual from becoming aware of any unpleasant thoughts or feelings associated with a traumatic situation.
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Examples of defence mechanisms?

  • Repression- the unconscious blocking of unacceptable thoughts and impulses. These continue to influence behaviour without the individual being aware of the reasons behind their behaviour e.g. an abused child may have no recollection of the events but has trouble forming relationships.
  • Denial- refusing to acknowledge some aspect of reality e.g. an alcholic may deny they have a drinking problem even after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly. 
  • Displacement- This is where you redirect your feelings to another target e.g. taking the anger you feel out on your mum or sister.
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What are psychosexual stages?

  • Freud believed that personality develops through a sequence of 5 stages during childhood. 
  • Children need to pass throug the 5 stages successfully for a healthy development of the mind and to develop a strong ego. 
  • At each stage libido is expressed and discharged in different ways through different parts of the body. 
  • Any conflict that is unresolved leads to fixation where the child becomes stuck and carries certain behaviours associated with that stage through adult life.
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Oral Stage

  • Age: birth- 1 year
  • Id Desire: Mouth
  • The mouth is the main focus of pleasure during this stage.
  • The child enjoys tasting and sucking.
  • The child learns that gratification must be delayed and starts to develop and ego.
  • Successful completion is marked by weaning.
  • Oral fixation can lead to nail biting, smoking, sarcasm and criticl personalities in adult life.
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Anal stage

  • Age: 1-3 years
  • Id desire: Anus
  • The beginning of the ego development as the child becomes aware of the demands of reality and the need to conform to the demands of others. 
  • The child gains pleasure from withholding and expelling faeces. 
  • The major issue at this stage is toilet training as the child learns to control the expulsion of bodily waste.
  • Anal retentive children may be perfectionists or obssessive in adult life.
  • Anal expulsive children may be thoughtless or messy adults.
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Phallic stage

  • Age: 3-5 years 
  • Id Desire: Genitals
  • Sexual energy is focused on the genitals. The major conflict of this stage is the Oedipus complex in which the mae child unconciously wishes to posses their mother and get rid of their father. As a result of this desire, boys experience castration anxiety and in an attempt to resolve this problem the child identifies with the father.
  • Failure to complete this stage successfully can lead to a phallic personality which will lead to narcissistic, reckless and exhibitionist tendencies.
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Latency stage

  • Age: 6-12 years
  • During this stage the conflicts and issues of the previous stages are repressed so fouces can be diverted to other things. This is why children are unable to remeber much of their early years. 
  • Sexual urges are directed into sports and other other hobbies. 
  • The focus of this stage is to develop same sex friendships.
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Genital Stage

  • Age: 12+ years
  • The task in this stage is to develop healthy adult relationships.
  • This should happen if earlier stages have been negotiated successfully. 
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Humanistic Psychology

  • Humanistic psychology emerged in the USA in the 1950s as a result of the work of Carl Rogers and Maslow. 
  • It challeneged both the behaviourist and psychodynamic approaches.
  • Rogers believed hat Freud dealt with the 'sick' half of psychology so the humanistic approach concerned itself with explanations of 'healthy' growth in individuals.
  • The approach emphasises the importance of subjective experience and each person's capacoty for self-determination.
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Humanism and freewill

  • All of the approaches are deterministic because they all suggest that to some extent our behaviour is shaped by forces outside of our control.
  • Humanism is quite different as it emphasises that individuals are self-determining and have freewill.
  • This does not mean that people are not affected by external or internal influences but that we are active agents who have the ability to determine our own development.
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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  • Maslow was interested in finding out what could go right with people.
  • His hierarchy of needs theory emphasised the importance of personal growth and fulfilment. 
  • He argued that every person has an innate tendency toachieve their full potential and become the best they can possibly be. He called this self actualisation and it represent the uppermost level of the hierarchy.
  • The most basic physiological needs are at the bottom and the most advanced needs at the top. 
  • Each level must be fulfilled before a person can move up to a higher need.
  • Maslow argued that personal growth is an essential part of what it is to be human, but not everyone will reach the top of the hierarchy as there are barriers that may prevent a person from reaching their potential.
  • Only 1/5th of people reach self-actualisation.
  • Maslow found that that those who attained self-actualisation shared certain charactersitics- creativity, accepting of others and have an accurate perception of the world around them.
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Feeling of self-worth

  • 'The self' refers to how we perceive purselves as a person.
  • Rogers believed how we think about ourselves is important in determining our psychological health. 
  • The closer together our self and our ideal self are to each other, the greater our feelings of self-worth and the better our psychological health.
  • When there is a similarity between a person's ideal self and their self, it is said that there is congruence. The closer the two are, the greater the congruence and the higher our feelings of self-worth. 
  • If there is a difference between the self and the ideal self the person experiences a state of incongruence.
  • It is rare for a complete stat of congruence to exist, with most people experiencing some degree of incongruence.
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Positive regard from others

  • Feelings of self worth develop in childhood and are formed as a result of the child's interactions with parents and significant others. 
  • Positive regard from other people is important for determining our self-worth and congruence.
  • Unconditional positive regard is when love and acceptance is unconditional and a person is accepted for who they are. 
  • Conditional positive regard is when people are only accepted if they do what others want them to do.
  • When people experience conditional positive regard they develop conditions of worth.
  • These are the conditions thay they percieve significant others put upon them and which they believe have to be in place if they are to be accepted by others, recieve positive regard and see themselves positively.
  • An individual will only experience a sense of self-acceptance if they meet the 'conditions' that others have set.
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Humanism and counselling

  • Rogers believed that an individual's psychological problems were a direct result of their conditions of worth and the conditional positive regard they receive from other people. 
  • He believed that, with conselling, people would be able to solve their own problems in constructive ways and move towards becoming a more fully functioning person.
  • Instead of acting in a directive way, humanstic therapists regard themselves as facilitators to help people understand themselves and to find ways to enable their potential for self-actualisation.
  • Therapists provide empathy and unconditional positive rgard expressing their accpeance and understanding regardless of the feelings and attitudes the client expresses. By doing this the therapist is able to offer a supportive environment to help dissolve the client's conditions of worth.
  • This results in the client moving towards developing self-worth enabling them to behave true to the person they are, rather than how others want them to be.
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