Approaches - Psychology - Paper 2

  • Created by: mishyrbc
  • Created on: 21-01-19 23:16

The humanistic approach (A01)

Humans have full conscious control over their destiny (free will) & they have personal choices within the constraints imposed by these other forces.

Maslow's theory - hierarchy of needs -

(5) TOP - SELF-ACTUALISATION: (from a form of peak experiences) ppl who attain this level shared certain characteristics e.g. creative, problem solving, morality.

(4) ESTEEM: e.g. self - esteem, confidence, acheiement, respect of others

(3) LOVE/BELONGING: e.g. friendship, family, sexual intimacy 

(2) SAFETY: e.g. security of body, of employment, of resourses etc.

(1) BOTTOM - PHYSIOLOGICAL: (most basic needs) Each level must be fulfilled before a person can move to a higher need. Maslow = the more basic need, the more powerfully it is exxperienced and the more difficult it is to ignore e.g. breathing, food, water, sex, homeostasis, excretion.

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The humanistic approach (A01) Pt.2

Focus on the self - Refers to how we perceive ourselfs as a person. Rogers (1951) ppl have 2 basic needs: positive regard from other people and a feeling of self-worth - these feelings develop in childhood and are formed as a result of the childs interactions with parents (also friends, spouce etc). He also believed that how we think about ourselves, and our feelings of self-worth  are important in determining our psychological health. The closer our self-concept and our ideal self (i.e who we feel we should be or would like to be) are to each other, the greater our feeling of self-worth and the greater our psychological health.

Congruence - A state of congruence exists when there is a similarity between a persons ideal self and how they perceive themselves to be in real life. If there is a difference between them two then a state of incongruence occours. Closer to our self-image = greater congruence. Defence mechanisms may be used in order for peoples self image to feel less threatened by inconsistencies of who they want to be and who they really are.

Conditions of worthRogers believed others may hinder the prcess of self-actualisation. The love and acceptance given by others may be unconditional - when they are accepted only if they do what others want them to do. When people experience conditional posiive regard (CPR) they develop conditions of worth (conditions they believe to be significant to others). The influence on counselling psychology - Rogers claimed that psychological problems were a direct result of conditions of self worth and the CPR from others. He believed that councelling would help solve problems in constructive ways for them to move toward becoming a fully functional person. Therapists provide empathy and unconditional positive regard, expressing their understanding and offering a supportive eviornment to dissolve clients conditions of worth.

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The humanistic approach (A03)

(1) + Research support = rogers' view of people who experience CPR display more 'false self' behaviour e.g. Harter et al --> descovered teenagers who feel that they have to fulfil certain conditions in order to gain their parents' approval frequently end up not liking themselves. Pretendng to be the kind of person their parents want them to be can create depression and a tentency to touch less with their own true self. Supports 'conditions of worth' - UPR = from parents is essential.

(2) + Maslow's hierarchy is linked to economic development (ED). Hagerty --> looked at relationship between economic growth and measures of Maslow's need levels in 88 countries over a 34-yr period. Countries in early stages of ED had lower level needs e.g. physiological needs such as access to food. Once basic needs have been reached self - esteem will boost.

(3) - Cultural differences in the hierarchy of needs. Need may appear in different orders or may be absent altogether e.g. study carried out in China found that belongingness needs = more fundamental thenphysiological + self-actualisation was defined in terms of contribution to community rather then individual development. Shows not everyones needs are the same.

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The psychodynamic approach (AO1)

Freud's theory of psychoanalysis - behaviour determined psychological factors. He assumed people are born with basic instincts and needs = behaviour largely controlled by the unconcious mind = dont know the reasons for our actions.

The role of the unconcious: Parts of the mind inaccessible to concious thought (concious mind). Iceberg analogy - tip (conciousness being visible), larger part (underwater - unconciousness) 'fredian slips'

The structure of personality: Freud's 3 structures of the mind - each demands gratification but is in conflict with other parts. (1) The id - solely in unconcious - it operates according to the pleasure principle e.g. if a person is hungry, id demands they eat there and then. (2) The ego - meditates between the impulsive demands of the id and the demands of the superego. (3) The superego - divided into the conscience (internalisation of societal rules - determines which behaviours are permissible and causes feelings of guilt when rules are broken) and the ego-ideal (what a person strives towards - probably determined by parental standards of good behaviour). 

Defence mechanisms: When faced in a situation a person is unable to deal with rationally, defences may be triggered. They operate unconsciously and work by distorting reality  (stops unpleasant thoughts/impulses) so anxiety is reduces. (1) Repression - refers to the unconcious blocking of unacceptable thoughts/impulses. (2) Denial - the refusal to accept reality so as to avoid having to deal with any painful feelings. (3) Displacement - involves the redirecting of thoughts and feelings in situations where the person feels unable to express them in the presence of the person.

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The psychodynamic approach (AO1) Pt.2

Psychosexual stages: Freud believed that personality developed through these stages.

Oral 0-2yrs - mouth = focal point of sensation (early sexual energy e.g. sucking + biting)

Anal 2-3yrs - beginning of ego development (e.g. toilet training)

Phallic 3-6yrs - major conflict of this stage (oedipus complex - male child unconciously wishes to possess their mother and get rid of father)

Latent 6-12yrs - child masters world around them

Genital 12+ - the culmination of psychosexual development and the fitting of sexual energy in genitals

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The psychodynamic approach (A03)

(1) + The development of psychoanalysis = huge shift in thinking. Freud championed case studies and observations rather than introspection. He demonstrated the potential of psychological rather then biological treatements such as depression. In a review of psychotheraphy studies, de Maat et al, concluded that psychoanalysis produced significant imrovements in the symptoms that lasted years after treatment.

(2) + Critics of approach = no scientific evidence, claims not testable or falsifiable. However, many claims have been tested & they are confirmed using scientific methodology. Fisher & Greenberg - summarised 2,500 studies and found support for the eistence of unconcious motivation in human behaviour as well as for the defence mechanisms.

(3) - Freud's view of women & female sexuality less developed then the view of men. His content remains ignorant of female sexuality and how they differ to men. This led to Karen Horney to criticise his work - particularly the view of womens development. Dismissing women & their sexuality = problematic.

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The biological approach (A01)

The influnce of genes on behaviour: heredity - passing of characteristics from one generation to the next. Genes carry instructions for characteristics but how they develop depends on the genes interaction with others & the envionment.
Genotype - genetic code written in DNA of cells
Phenotype - physical appearance of genes in a result from inherited info

The genetic basis of behaviour: individuals have unique combinations of genetic instructions making us differ from one another in terms of personality, intelligence, abilities etc. Heritability - amount of variability in a trait within a population. The more the trait is influenced by genetic factors, the greater its heritability. e.g.identical twin studies - sugg variation in individual intelligence could be 60-80% due to genes.

The influence of biological structures on behaviour:

  • Neurons and the nervous system: the nervous system is comprised of several connected systems - CNS (Brain + spinal cord), PNS (somatic + autonomic nervous system). The nervous system carries messages from one part of the body to another using individual nerve cell (neurones). Neurons transmit nerve impluses in the form of electrical signals. Many aspects of beh are under neurona control e.g breathing, eating and sexual beh.
  • The brain: cerebrum = largest part of brain (85% of total mass). Outer surface of cerebrum = cerebral cortex - responsible for 'higher-order' functions such as thought and language. Cerebrum is divided into 2 halves (hemispheres) hem's divided into 4 lobes.
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The biological approach (A01) Pt.2

The influence of neurochemistry on behaviour: 

Neurotransmitters: when a nerve impulse reaches the end of one neurone, a chemical called neurotransmitter is released. It travels from one neurone to the next across the synapse. Thoes nt.s that trigger nerve impulses in the recieving neuron and stimulate he brain into action are called excitatory nt.s Thoes that inhibit nerve impulses in order to calm the brain and balance mood are called inhibitory nt.s. Dopamine is an excitatory nt.s that is associated with our 'drive' or motivation. Serotonin is a inhibitory transmiter, adequate amounts of which are necessary to maintain a stable mood.
Hormones: chemicals which are produced by endocrine glands. In response to a signal from the brain, hormones are secreted directly into the bloodstream by the endocrine glands, where hey travel to their 'target' cells and exert their influence by stimulating receptors on the surface of or inside cells.

Evolution and behaviour:

Charles Darwin - over time organisms become adapted o their environment through biological evolution. This refers to the changes that take place in the characteristics of a population over time. Natural selection is the mechanism behind biological evolution. Individuals within a species differ from each other in terms oftheir physical characteristics + their behaviours + some variation is inherited. As individuals have to compete with each other for access to resources, thoes who survive this competition and go on to reproduce will tend to have behs that are more likely to lead to survival + reproductive success than thoes who do not = this behs will be passed onto offspring + will become more widespread in the pop.

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The biological approach (A03)

+ Real-life application - increased understanding of bio processes in the brain has led to development of psychoactive drugs that treat serious mental illness e.g. prozac (SSRI) which increases the amount of serotonin in the synapse. This means there is more opportunity for receptors to be simulated on the post-synaptic cell - commonly used which people who suffer from depression or OCD. Psychoactive drugs are not effective for everyone, they have revolutionised treatment for patients - suffers able to manage their condition and live relatively normal life rather then remain in hospital.

Approach = reductionist - (complex beh is explained by breaking it down into its smallest components) e.g. OCD has been explained as resulting from low levels of serotonin in the brain. Whilst a reduc approach can be useful to allow scientic investigation of a specific variable, critics argue that we cannot fully understand a beh without also taking account of other factors that influence it. These may include cog, emotional and cultural factors - all which have significant effect on human beh

- cannot separate nature and nurture, MZ + DZ twins & members of the same family all have genetic similarities. Bio app would argue similarities beween them are produced my genes. Howerver, there is an important confounding variable, they are exposed to sim environmental conditions, findings from twin + family studies could just as easily be interpreted as supporting nurture rather then nature. sugg genes are responsible for beh - diff to take into account in reasearch studies, DZ twins often show higher concordance rates than pairs of ordinary siblings - sugg nurture plays role.

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The learning approach: social learning theory(A01)

Bandura - the view that people learn through observing others attitude + behaviour. Learing = consequences of ones own and others behaviour - ideas about types of behaviour are developed in a given situation - this serves as a guide for future behaviour.

  • Modelling: (individuals learn a particular behaviour by observing another individual performing that behaviour). This leads to the process imitation.
  • Imitation: (when a person copies an observed behaviour). Characteristics of model are observed, perceived ability to perform the behaviour & the consequences.
  • Identification: (is when a person adopts the attitudes + beliefs of a role model). Behaviour is more likely to occour when this takes place - which an individual feels similar to the model & is likely to experience the same consuquences. Shutts --> children identify and preferentially learn from models similar to themselves.
  • Vicarous reinforcement: (takes place when an observer watches someone being rewarded for their behaviour). Individuals don't need to experience rewards/punishments themselves in order to learn - observations are sufficient enough to immitate behaviour seen.
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The learning approach: SLT (A01) Pt.2

The role of mediational process (refers to the internal mental processes that exist between environmental stimuli and the respose made by an individual to those stimuli). Observer must form mental representations of modelled behaviour and its probable consequences. This might immitate more positive outcomes then negative. 4 mental/meditational processes:

(1) Attention: extent to which we notice certain behaviours (2)  Retention: how well the beh is remembered (3) Motor reproduction: ability of the observer to perform th beh (4) Motivation: the will to perform the beh, which is often determined by whether the beh was rewarded/punished.

Bandura's Bobo Doll-

Half children observed aggressive + half non-aggressive adult models with the dolls - they tested imitative learning in absense of model. Children taken into a room with toys. Children who observed agg models reproduced a good deal of physically + verbally agg beh resembling model. Children who observed non-agg beh exhibited virtually no agg beh towards the Bobo doll.

Why was this happening?

Children were learning about the likely consequences of actions, and then adjusting thier subsequent behaviour accordingly - vicarious reinforcement

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The learning approach: SLT (A03)

- Bandura's ideas developed through observation of young children's beh in lab settings. Lab studies - often criticised for their contrived nature where pt.s respond to demand characteristics. Children may have been responding to what they thought was the main purpose - to hit the doll, so they behaved in an expected way. Furthermore, its argued that copying aggression towards an inanimate object is different to harming a living thing. Children - doll is not alive so won't feel same pain. Thus , research tells us little about how aggression is learnt in everyday life.

+ Strength of SLT - research support for identification. Fox & Bailenson - found humans are more likey to imitate computer generated 'virtual' humans who were similar to the real pt.s, in comparison to thoes who are dissimilar. Pt.s who observed similar 'virtual' model exercising engage in more excercise in the 24hrs following the experiment comparison to disimilar model exercising. This demonstrates the importance of identification in SLT & it suggests that humans are more likely to imitate the behaviour of models who were similar.

- Power of SL may be over-emphasised as we are exposed to many different influences. E.g, genetic predispositions alongside living in a media saturated society make it difficult to show one particular main causal influence. In addition attitudes prior to media exposure could explain beh seen. Siegal and McCormick suggest that young people who possess deviant attitudes seek out peers (and media) with similar attitudes and so beh observed already fits the attitude they hold. The difficulty of isolating the impact of media on an individuals beh means it is hard to provide evidence for to support the assumptions of SLT.

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The cognitive approach (A01)

The role of schemas - they are packages of ideas and information developed through experience. They act as a mental framework for the interpretation of incoming info that help us respond to the situation and fill in the gaps. They help us from feeling overwhelmed in the environment and they allow shortcuts. Babies are born with simple motor schemas for innate behaviours like sucking and grasping, as we grow they become more detailed and sophisticated.

The role of theoretical and computer models - models such as the multi-store model and the working memory model are simplified representations based on current research evidence. These models are often incomplete and are frequently changed, updated and refined.

Computer models - development of computers & computer programming led to the cognitive approach using a computer analogy to understand mental processes - psychologists compare the mind to a computer. Such computational models of the mind have proved useful in the development of artificial intelligence.

The emergence of cognitive neuriscience - neuroscientists can now study the living brain rather then relying on post-mortems (examination of the brain after death). Brain imaging techniques such as FMRIs and PET scans enable researchers to systematiclly observe and describe the neural basis of mental processing. e.g. tasks that require episodic and semantic memory researchers found the left prefrontal cortex was involved in recalling semantic memories which episodic memories were recalled from the right prefrontal cortex. scanning techniques are also useful in establishing the neurological basis of some mental disorders e.g. OCD abnormal functioning of lateral of the frontal lobes may explain impaired decision making.

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The cognitive approach (A03)

+ Strength of C approach - many applications. It has helped to explain how much of the dysfunctional behaviour seen in metal ilnesses is due to faulty thinking. e.g. Beck proposed depression results from bias towards negative interpretations of the world, the self and the future. Leading yo therapies that challenge these negative schemas and replace them with more rational ways of thinking.

+ Strength of c approach - cosidered as scientific. The use of the experinemtal method provides researchers with a rigorous method for collecting and evaluating evidence objecively.This allows psychologists to reach accurate conclusions based on inferences about how the mind works. In addition, the emergence of cognitive neuroscience has enabled biology and psychology to come together as a new scientific field.

- Although there are similarities between the mind and computers, this analogy has been criticised. Machine reductionism refers to the simplification of complex mental processes  to basic input-storage/process output models. Reducing the human mind to  machine ignores the influence of human emotion and motivation on our cognitive processes. For instance, research has found human memory may be affected by emotional factors such as anxiety on eyewitness testimony.

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The learning approach: Behaviourist (A01)

Classical Conditioning: the learning process that occours when 2 stimuli are paired together repeatedly. He found that dogs could be conditioned to salivate to sound of a bell if the sound was repeatedly presented at the same time as the food was given.

Pavlov's research - Nautural stimulus = UCS, Natural response = UCR

  • Before Learning: UCS (Food) -----------------------> UCR (Salivation)
  • During Learning:  UCS    +    NS (Bell) - Multiple repeatings   ------------> UCR
  • After Learning:    CS (Bell)    ------------------------> CR (Salivation)

A new learning reponse was learned through association.

Other important features:

  • Timing - if NS cannot be used to predict the UCS, then conditioning does not take place.
  • Extinction - pavlov discovered - unlike the UCR, the CR does not become permanently established as a response. After a few presentations of the CS in the absense of the UCS, it loses its ability to produce the CR.
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The learning approach: Behaviourist (A01) Pt.2

Operant Conditioning: learning by consequences 

Skinner - he felt punishment is not as effective as reinforcement in modifying beh. Continual reinforcement helps establish desired beh (e.g. reinforcing a rat every time it presses a lever), partial reinforcement maintains the trained beh (e.g. reinforcing every third lever press or every 10 minutes. Skinner box - rats move around in cages, when lever accidentally pressed a food pellet (the reinforcer) falls into the cage. In to time all the hungry rats begin to press the lever in order to obtain food - if food pellets stop, rats presses the lever a few more times and then abandons it (extinction).

Types of reinforcement:

  • Reinforcement - something that reinforces a particular beh.
  • Positive reinforcement - when beh produces a consequence that is satisfying or pleasant for the organism e.g. food to a hungry animal or praise given to a child after they do something particularly well - both effects of postive reinforcers. Increases likelihood of beh repeating.
  • Negative reinforcers - they remove something aversive (unpleasant) and so restore the organism to its 'pre-aversive' state e.g. the act of hitting the 'off' button on an alarm clock allows a person to escape from the unpleasant ringing + restores the restful pre-alarm state. Increases likelihood of beh repeating.
  • Punishment - unpleasant consequence - decreases the likelihood of beh repeating.
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The learning approach: Behaviourist (A03)

+ Strength - Classical con & its application to the treatment of phobias. CC has led to the development of systematic desensitisation - treatment which reduces the anxiety associated with phobias. SD works by using the principles of CC to replace the learned response (anxiety) with another response (relaxation). This matters because SD is an effective treatment for a range of phobias, including arachnophobia.

+ Strength - Operant con is the use of experimental methods. Skinner's research uses controlled conditions to discover the casual relationship between 2 variables or more. Skinners use of skinner box allowed him to manipulate the consequences of the beh (the IV) to measure the effect on the rat's beh (the DV). This allowed him to establish a cause + effect relationship between pos + neg reinforcement + the likelihood of future beh.

- Weakness of beh app = reliance on non-human animals. Some psychologists claim skinners reliance on rats and pigeons means that we are unable to draw conclusions about human beh. They argue that humans have free will and that our beh is not shaped by CC or OC. This matters because psychologists may be unable to generalise the findings from animals to humans.

- Criticism of CC comes from other theories of learning. Seligman - proposed the concept of preparedness to explain why some relationships are easier to establish then others. e.g. animals are prepared to learn associations that are significant in terms of their survival: a dog will quickly learn to associate the smell of meat with food, however, it is slower to learn the association with the sound of a bell with food. This suggests that species have different capabilities to learn through the process of CC.

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