AS Psych

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  • Created by: Libby_G
  • Created on: 02-04-16 16:56



  • The process by which a person gains knowledge about their own mental and emotional state as a result of the examination or observation of their conscious thoughts and feelings.
  • It isn't accurate and little knowledge on behaviour can be gained from it.
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Self Report

  • Is unreliable, biased.
  • Wundt used his own team to test introspection.
  • The data is unobservable and hard to recreate.
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Demand Characteristics

Demand Characteristics

  • When you produce the behaviours that the observer wants because you know the aim of the study.
  • This can skew results ruining the whole study
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Psychodynamic approach

Psychodynamic approach

  • Created by Freud
  • Behaviour is caused by your libedo (sex drive)
  • To become an adult a child must overcome their desire for their parents
  • If sexual desires weren't acted upon people would go insane
  • Freud used case studies, usually women diagnosed with hysteria. He listened to how they felt and believed all humans were driven by their sexual desires.
  • Freud was abstract and doesn't have enough data.
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Behaviourist approach

Behaviourist Approach

  • Watson and Skinner rejected the psychodynamic approach.
  • They used lab experiments that lead to cause and effect (if a cause is changed so will the outcome)
  • Maslow beleived in fulfillment in life
  • Cognitive- Thoughts and memories.
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The Learning Approach

Learning Theory

  • One of the main theories in psych
  • All behaviour is learnt
  • We are born a blank slate, Tabula Rosa, with no genetic influence on behaviour.
  • Only observable behaviour can be scientifically measured.
  • The learning process is the same across species, so it is argued that animals can replace people in experiments.
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Learning Theory- Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning- Learning through associations

  • We learn to associate neutral stimuli without reflex responses. Therefore we associate a stimulus to a response.
  • This response can be positive or negative and this feeling will return when presented with the stimulus again.

Stimulus generalisation- When a stimulus becomes generalised to other related stimuli which are associated with the conditioned response. Like with Little Albert and white fluffy things.

Stimulus discrimination- When a stimulus is not associated with the conditioned response because it is too different to the original stimulus.

Time Contiguity- If the time between the UCS and the NS is too great the conditioning won't take.

Bandura's Bobo doll experiment

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Learning Theory- Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning- Learning through positive or negative reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement- Rewarding good behaviour to increase the likelihood of it being repeated

Negative reinforcement- producing good behaviour to avoid bad consequences, like a doing homework to avoid a detention.

punishment- Where behaviour is followed by an aversive stimulus or outcome. Making it less likely for you to repeat that behaviour.

Operant conditioning works by learning through consequence.


 Thorndike's cats and the puzzle box (1898)

Skinner's rats and pigeons in a puzzle box with consequences.

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Learning Theory- Evaluation

  • Ideas were widely used in prisons and psychiatric wards
  • They do not consider the influence  of cognitive processes.
  • They do not argue that we have contol over our own behaviour, this means there are ramifications for legislation, if a person is not in control of their behaviour when they commit a crime are they guilty?
  • Spontaneous behaviour is not easily explained by this theory.

Lab Experiments:

  • Scientifically reliable because they can be replicated
  • Been applied to a broad range of real world behaviours and problems (Real Life Application)

Animal Use:

  • Animals are seen as passive and machine like responders to the environment
  • People play a more active role in their learning.
  • Mechanistic view- Environmental determinism
  • Skinner suggests free will is an illusion and that our past conditioning determines the outcomes
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The Biological Approach

Main assumptions:

  • Humans are biolgical organisms so our behaviour is affected by:
    • Genes- passes through generation
    • Biological structures- CNS and Brain
    • Neurochemistry- Neurotransmitters and hormones
  • Predates psychology
  • Suggests that everything psychological is at first biological.
  • Behavioural characteristics can be inherited as well as intelligence and mental illness

Genotype- The genetic makeup of an individual

Phenotype- The outward characteristic caused by the interations between genes and the environment

MZ Twins- Identical, Monozygotic Twins, 100% of genes shared

DZ Twins- Non-identicle, Dizygotic Twins, 50% of genes shared

Concordance Rate- Shared behaviours, the likelihood of shared disorders

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Biological Studies

Twin Studies- looking at twins to see if one twin can have a mental illness if the other doesn't.

Family Studies- seeing if mental illness can be passed from family.

  • Hard to study as similarities in families may be due to close proximity and a shared environment.

Adoption Studies- seeing if genes cause behaviours or if it is the environment.

  • Clearer to see if genes cause behaviours or illnesses like depression as there isn't a shared envirnoment between biological parents and the children.
  • Wender et al found that there was an 8 X greater chance of developing depression from biological relatives than adoptive parents.
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Biological Approach- Evolution

Darwin- Adapt to survive

  • There is an intial mutation in the genetic make up for a certain behaviour
  • If this is benifical to survival then it will be inherited
  • Adaptive Traits:
    • Agression
    • Intelligence
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Cognitive Approach

Focuses on how people percieve, store, manipulate and process information.

The mind works like a computer

  • Internal processes
  • Perception
  • Memory
  • Problem Solving
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Cognitive Approach- Schema

  • A cognitive framework that helps to organise and interpret information in the brain
  • Schema help and individual to make sense of new information
  • A collection of ideas about a person or situation formed through experiences which helps the individual understand new information
  • They fill the gaps in the observance of information about a person, behaviour or event
  • Similarly they ignore information that does not fit into our pre-existing beliefs
  • The process are private so cannot be observed
  • But cognitive psychology believes they should be scientifically studied.
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Cognitive Approach- Theoretical and Computer model

We can use these to infer cause and effect and predict behavioural outcomes.


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Cognitive Approach- Cognitive Neuroscience

There must be biological reasons behind the computer model.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

These create images of the brain which can be studied like fingerprints.

Burnett er al found that when a person is guilty several brain regions are active, including parts of the prefrontal cortex.

Case Study: Clive Wearing- Brain Infection Amnesia

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Cognitive Approach- Evaluation

Takes into consideration biological factors and cognitions.

Uses experimental methods, meaning it can be replicated so it therefore reliable.

The experiments produce reliable, objective data so is credible.

Produced Cognitive Behavioural Theapy which is still used now.

Can't be used to explain natural situations as the experiments take place in labs.

Models ignore complex processes as they have been simplified.

It doesn't necessarily look at all the biological reasons.

Soft Determinism- Our cognitive system can only operate within the limits of what we know but that wea are free to think before responding to a stimulus.

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Abnormality- Statistical Infrequency

Normal Distribution Curve

Uses data which makes it more scientific and reliable

Fails to recognise the desirability of the behaviour

It suggests that abnormality is rare, which it isn't

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Abnormality- Statistical Infrequency Evaluation

Real life applications- is used in the majority of assessments of mental disorders to compare symptoms to statistical norms

No value judgement- A characteristic is not seen as wrong just less frequent

Some behaviour is desirable- a high IQ is desirable but it is seen as abnormal

The cut off point is subjective- Statistically speaking, where is the line between normal and abnormal?

Cultural factors aren't shown- What is statistically normal in one culture may not be in another, this can lead to cultural prejudices.

Not all abnormal behaviour is infrequent- Symptoms of depression and anxiety are common enough to suggest they wouldn't be classed as abnormal under this definition

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Failure to function adequately

Behaviour is considered abnormal when it causes distress leading to an inability to function properly.

Personal Dysfunction- Includes depression and anxiety disorders

Maladaptive Behaviour- Behaviour that stops the individual from attaining life goals both socially and occupationally.

Unpredictibility- Displays unexpected behaviours, characterised by loss of control, like attempting to commit suicide after failing a test.

Irrationality-Displays behaviour that cannot be explained in a rational way

Observer Discomfort- Displays behaviour that causes discomfort to others

Violation of Moral Standards- Displays behaviours that violate society's moral code

Unconventiality- Displays unconventional behaviour

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Failure to function adequately- Evaluation

Matches sufferer's perceptions

Assesses the degree of abnormality using GAF scale

Observable behaviour

Checklist provides a practical checklist for individuals to use to assess their level of abnormality.

Abnormality doesn't always mean dysfunction

Subjective nature of the features of dysfunction

Normal abnormality- there are points in a person's life when it is considered normal to act abnormally such as the loss of a loved one

Cultural differences- 'normal' is different in culutres and sub-cultures.

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Deviation from Ideal Mental Health

Looks at abnormality in the same way as physical health, it is assessed in the same way. It looks for signs of absence of wellbeing.

Marie Jahoda devised the concept of ideal mental health. In order to be 'normal' you had to exhibit all 6 of her characteristics.

Postivie attitude towards oneself

Self actualisation- Experiencing personal growth

Autonomy- Independence

Resisting Stress

Accurate perception of reality- Having realistic views of the world

Environmental mastery- Being competent in all aspects of life.

No one truly fits all 6.

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Deviation from Ideal Mental Health- Evaluation

Cultural relativism- not all culutres find these characteristics normal especially autonomy in women.(non-desirablility of autonomy

Contextual effects- Mental health criteria is affected by context

Subjective criteria- the criteria is vague and up for interpretation

Over-demanding characteristics- again no one meets all of these which leads to other problems

Targets areas of dysfunction

Comprehensive definition

Positivity- It looks at the positive achievements

Holistic- considers the person as an individual

Goal Setting- gives people things to work towards.

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Deviation from Social Norms (DSN)

Anything that doesn't come under society's unwritten rules of what is normal. Such as excessive tattoos and piercings, nudity in public, or short hair on girls.

Benifical as society gives itself the right to intervene

Protects society from abnormal behaviours that could be destructive

Using norms makes defining abnormality difficult because cultures have different norms.

Norms change over time

Stops individuation

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  • Type of anxiety disorder.
  • Uncontrollable , extreme. irrational, enduring fears.
  • Many sufferers attempt to deal with it themselves.
  • Most phobias originate in childhood and lessen in adulthood
  • Many people with phobias know it is irrational but can't consciously control it.
  • Can be caused by social pressures and/or genetic factors
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Characteristics of Phobias


  • Avoidant/ Anxiety response
  • Endurance
  • Disruption of functions
  • Panic


  • Persistent excessive fear
  • Prevents relaxation
  • Emotional responses are unreasonable
  • Fear from exposure to phobic stimulus


  • Recognition of exaggerated fear and anxiety
  • Selective attention to the phobic stimulus
  • Irrational beliefs
  • Cognitive Distorition
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Types of Phobias

Social- fear of types of socail or performance situations. Leads to avoidant behaviour

Agoraphobia- Places from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing.

Specific Phobias- specific stimuli which elicits avoidance of that stimulus

  • Animal type
  • Natural environmental type
  • Blood-injection-injury type
  • Situational type
  • Other type
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Behavioral approach to Phobias

Two process model

Acquired through Classical conditioning

  • Through a traumatic event
  • Hearing or seeing a traumatic event happening to someone else.

Maintaining through operant conditioning

  • Negative reinforcement- avoiding the stimulus to avoid a negative outcome like a panic attack

byavoiding the phobic stimulus we are maintaining the phobia.

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Treatments of Phobias

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Taught new ways to deal with their phobias. Some therpaists use group sessions.
  • Some patients aslo have psychological or emotional disorders as well, often OCD
  • Treatments take months and require qualified psychiatrist or psychologist

Systematic Desensitisation

  • Joseph Wolpe developed SD to introduce the phobic stimulus to an individual gradually
  • Counter conditioning
    • Patient is taught a new association that runs counter to the original association and fear
    • They are taught through CC to associate the phobic stimulus with a new response.
  • This is called Reciprocal Inhibition because the response of relaxation inhibits the anxiety response.
  • The patient can't increase the stimulus until they have completely relaxed from the last encounter.
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Treatments of Phobias (2)


  • This is taught as a counter to the anxiety response
    • Breathing techniques
    • Focus- Think of a safe place
    • Progressive muscle relaxation

Desensitisation Hierarchy

  • The patient and therapist construct a hierarchy, this is a set of steps that slowly expose the patient to the phobic stimulus.
  • At each stage the patient practises the relaxation techniques until the anxiety diminishes.
  • They cannot move on until they are relaxed with each stage.

Brosnan and Thorpe - SD reduces the technophobia within 10 weeks

Because it is a new treatment the long term effects of SD are unknown.

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Treatments of Phobias (3) Flooding

Flooding involves exposing the patient to the phobic stimulus straight away.

Because they cannot avoid the stimulus the patient learns that it is harmless.

During this time their adrenalin levels increase rapidly and then decrease slowly, it is at this time that new associations can be made.

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Treatments of Phobias (4) Flooding vs SD


Effective- McGrath found it was 75% effective with phobic patients

Not appropriate for all phobiasOhman  suggested that SD is not effective on phobias that have an evolutionary link such as the fear of snakes, heights or the dark.

Practicality- The treatment is fast and relatively non-invasive. It can be self administered making it cost-effective.

It is suitable for a diverse range of patients- Those with learning difficulties may find the aspects of flooding hard to understand


Ethics- Its traumatic and raises anxiety but the paitents give informed consent

Cost effective- usually only takes one session

Research supports itWolpe and Barlow

Only works on simple/specific phobias

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Treatments of Phobias (5)

Other treatments

Drugs-  Benzodiazopines reduce the symptoms of anxiety but have side effects unlike behavioural treatments.

CBT- tackles the maladaptive thoughts as well.

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Treatments of Phobias (6)


  • Not a distinct technique, it has many forms.
  • Based on the cognitive model of emotional responses
    • Out thoughts cause our feelings and behaviours
  • It is brief and time-limited
    • Only has 16 sessions
    • Uses homework
    • Not open ended
  • Is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the patient
  • It doesn't tell people how to feel
  • Uses Socratic method- asks questions and encourages the patient to ask questions as well
  • It is structured and directive
    • There is a specific agenda for each meeting 
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Depression- Characteristics

At least 5 characteristic must be present daily for two weeks for a diagnosis to be made.


  • Activity levels will drop
  • Aggession and self-harm
  • Disruption to sleep and eating patterns


  • Lowered mood
  • Anger
  • Lowered self-esteem


  • Poor concentration
  • Focus on the negatives
  • Absolutist thinking
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Depression- Cognitive Approach

  • Depression is explained in terms of faulty and irrational though processes.
  • Focuses on the maladaptive thoughts
  • Maladaptive cognitions underpin the maladaptive behaviours.
  • Maladaptive thoughts-
    • Mistakes aren't acceptable
    • When someone disagrees with me it is a personal attack against me
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Depression - Ellis' ABC Model

Depressives mistakenly blame external events for their unhappiness rather than their interpretations of these events.

A- Activating Event (Agent)- Something happend in the environment around you, this triggers a thought process

B- Belief- This may be rational or irrational

C- Consequence- You have an emotional response, rational beliefs lead to healthy emotions, irrational beliefs lead to unhealthy emotions like fear.

This model helped create REBT- Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy

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Depression- Beck's Negative Triad

Those with depression attend to the negative ascpect of a situation and ignore the positive ones

Those with depression have gained a negative schema from experiences in childhood.


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Depression (5)

Negative schemas

  • Ineptness schema- Expect to fail
  • Self-blame schema- Everything is their fault
  • Negative Self Evaluation schema- They are reminded of their worthlessness.

Cognitive Bias -Arbitrary Inferences

  • Conclusions that are drawn from insufficient evidence

Selective Abstraction

  • Conclusion drawn from one part of a situation


  • Sweeping conclusion drawn on the bias of a single event

Magnification and Minimisation

  • Exaggerations in evaluations of performance.
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Depression- Cognitive Approach Evaluation

Doesn't explain all of depression- only looks at thought processes

Research supports it- Saisto looked at expectant mothers who indulged in -tive thinking.

Irrational beliefs my be realistic- Thinking you're gonna fail a subject after one bad exam

Blames the patient rather than other factors

Practical applications- CBT

Based upon scientific principles.

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Depression- Treatments

CBT- identifies the irrational thoughts that need to be addressed.


  • Uses Ellis' ABC model to identify the irrational thoughts
  • Disputing the irrational thoughtsd
  • Effects of disputing
  • Effective attitude to life
  • Feeling produced
  • DEF challenges and treats the irrational thoughts

Challenging Irrational Thoughts

  • Logical- "Does the way you are thinking make sense?"
  • Empirical- " Where is the evidence for that?"
  • Pragmatic- "How does this way of thinking help you? If not then stop."
  • Changes the irrational interpretations into more rational ones
  • Clients will be encouraged to engage in pleasant activities to change the behaviours underpinning hteir depression
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Depression- Other Explanations


  • Wender et al- adopted children with biological parents with depression are 8 X more likely to develop depression.
  • If it is genes then all depressives should share genetic material which they don't


  • Negative life experiences lead to decline in positive reinforcement, the patient learns that you can't bring about positive outcomes
  • But hte disorder has cognitive characteristics, it cannot be just environmental factors.
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Depression- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Evaluatio

Research supports- 

  • Ellis 90% success rate taking on average 27 sessions. Possible investigator bias
  • March et al found it just as effective as drugs

Cost effective

  • short periods of treatment for long term benefits

Combines different approaches

Success is linked to the therapist

May not work on severe cases

Ethical concerns- could lead to abuse of power

Over-emphais on cognition

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Depression- Alternative Treatments


  • Antidepressants have physical effects on the brain by increasing serotonin production
  • There are side effect
  • Cost effective

ECT- Electro-Convulsive Therapy

  • Electrically stimulate the brain through electrodes on the head.
  • Produces changes in neurotransmitters. 
  • Used as a last resorts
  • Short lived effects which allows CBT to be reattempted
  • Side effect of memory loss.
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  • Anxiety disorder
  • Typically begins in young adult life
  • Two main components
    • Obssessions- Persistent thoughts
    • Compulsions- Behaviours that are repeated in response to the obsession.
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OCD Characteristics


  • Obsessive thoughts- always unpleasant. e.g the worry of being contaminated by germs
  • Cognitive strategies to deal with obsessions- They help the person cope but makes them seem abnormal
  • Insight into excessive anxiety- they are aware that they obsession is irrational.


  • Compulsions- repetitive and reduce anxiety, like a ritual.
  • Avoidance- They stay away from the stimuli that triggers the compulsions and obsessions


  • Anxiety and distress
  • Accompanying depression
  • Guilt and disgust.
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OCD- Neural Explaination

Abnormal levels of Neurotransmitters

  • PET scans show low levels of serotonin in the brain of  OCD patients
  • Drugs that increase serotonin have been found to reduce the symptoms
  • Animal studies have shown that high doses of drugs that enhance levels of dopamine induced sterotyped movements resembling compulsive behaviours.

Damage to neural mechanisms

  • Some forms of OCD are linked to breakdown in immune functions like Flu, Lyme Disease.
  • Indicating a biological explaination through damage to the neural mechanisms

Abnormal Circuitry

  • PET scans also show OCD have high activity levels in the Orbital Frontal Cortex.
  • Those with OCD have difficutly in ignoring the impulses so they turn into obsession.
  • High levels of dopamine can lead to over-activity in areas of the brain which influences obsessions and compulsions.
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OCD- Neural Explanation-Research

Fallon and Nields- Lyme Disease

  • Reported that 40% of sufferers incurred neural damage resulting in psychiatric conditions including OCD. This suggests that the neural explaination can account for the onset of some areas of OCD.

Hu- Serotonin

  • Compared serotonin activity in 169 OCD sufferers and 235 non-OCD. Finding that serotonin levels are lower in OCD sufferers which supports the idea that low levels of serotonin contribute to OCD

Saxena and Rauch- Orbital Frontal Cortex

  • Used PET scanners, fMRIs and MRIs to show the heightened activity in the frontal cortex of OCD sufferers compared to non-OCD.
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OCD- Neural Explanation- Evaluation

  • Infection may not cause OCD but triggers symptoms in those who are genetically vulnerable to it
  • To what extent abnormal levels of serotonin and activity in the OFC are causing factors of OCD has not been established
  • There may be a genetic factor to neural mechanisms. NIMH study examined DNA sampls from sufferers and found OCD to be associated with 2 mutations of the serotonin carrier gene.
  • Not all sufferers react positively to serotonin enhancing drugs, which lessens the idea of abnormal levels of neurotransmitters being the sole cause of OCD.
  • Many people with OCD have depression, they have two disorders so are Co-morbid
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OCD- Treatments (1)

Anti-depressants and Anti-anxiety

  • SSRIs- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
    • Elevates serotonin levels
    • Causes the orbital frontal cortex to function normally
  • In the case of psych disorders such drugs affect neurotransmitters levels.
  • Serotonin is released into the synaptic gap and is reabsorbed by the neuron sending the message. This drug blocks the reuptake process to increase the levels of serotonin
  • Tricyclics- Old form of anti-depressants, more severe side effects, used as a last resort.
  • Prozac- Most common anti-depressant

Drug treatments usually last 12-16 weeks.

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OCD- Treatments (2)

Benzodiazopines- (BZ)

  • Slows down the activity in the CNS
  • Enhances the action of GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid)
    • This releases a neurotransmitter that when released has a general quietening effect on many of the neurones in the brain
    • GABA locks onto the receptors and opens a channel for the flow of chloride ions into the neuron
    • Chloride ions make it harder for the neurone to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters, thus slowing down it's activity and making a person feel more relaxed.

Psychosurgery- Lobotomy

  • Irreversible destruction of brain tissue
  • Controversial
  • Last Resort
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OCD- Genetic Explaination

There are 2 genes that could be attributed to OCD

  • COMT- regulates dopamine production. Variations in this gene means lower activity levels. This variation is common in OCD sufferers.
  • SERT- affects to transportation of serotonin. A mutation of this gene creates lower serotonin levels.
  • Diathesis-stress model- The suggestion is that each individual gene only creates a vulnerable for OCD, other factors affect whether OCD then develops. The genetic link is not straight forward.
  • Twin Studies- highlight whether there is a genetic link. Investigating MZ and DZ twins for concordance rates of OCD can suggest whether a biological predisposition can result in a diagnosis.
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SRRI Diagram

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OCD- Twin Studies


  • Compares MZ and DZ to see if MZ twins are more likely to share OCD
  • They wanted to see if OCD is inherited and how it vaires in families.
  • 10,034 twin paris in 28 studies formed the review.
  • The pairs were studied in different years allowing different generations to be studied.
  • OCD in children is heritable with genetic influences affecting between 45-65%
  • In adults it is heritable with genetic influences affecting between 27-47%
  • Twin studies indicate a genetic component to the transmission of OCD.
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Research Methods- Data

Qualitative Data- 

  • Used for attitudes, opinions and beliefs.
  • Subjective
  • Imprecise, non-numerical measures used
  • Collected in real-life settings
  • Rich and detailed


  • Objective
  • High in reliability
  • Collected in artifical settings
  • Lacks detail
  • Used for Behaviours
  • Precise numerical measures used.

Standard Deviation

  • Measure of the variablility of a set of scroes from the mean
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Research Methods- Correlation

Positive Correlation- One co-variable increases as another co-variable increases

Negative Correlation- One co variable increases whie another co-variable decreases.

No Correlation - self explanatory.


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Research Methods- Statistical Testing

Sign Test- Used when a difference is predicted between two sets of data, the data is of at least nominal level and a RMD has been used.


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Research Methods- Measurements

Statistical procedure that makes predictions about populations from mathematical analysis of data taken from samples.

Nominal Data- Counting frequency data. Tally charts are used to record this type of data

Ordinal Data- Ranking data with rating scales. More information than nominal but lacks some details. Doesn't show difference between first and last rank

Interval/Ratio Data- Standardised measurements like time weight, temperature and distance. Most informative and accurate as it uses equal measurement interval. Interval and ratio are classed together because interval data has an arbitrary zero point whereas ratio has absolute zero.

Significance Level- The stat criterial determining if observed differences/ relationships are beyond the boundaries of chance.

Type 1 error- When the difference/relationship in a data set is accepted as a real one but is infact not.

Type 2 error- When the relationship is rejected but does exist.

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Research Methods- Different Statistical Tests

Sign Test- Used when a difference is predicted between two sets of data.

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Controls- Counter Balancing & Randomization

Equal numbers of pps undertaking the tasks required of them in different orders.

The pps could be performing the conditions alternately until all pps have been tested.

Sometimes this couldn't be used for example condition 1 will improve the results of condition 2 if done first.

Randomisation involves adopting a random strategy for deciding the order of presentation of experimental conditons. Eg drawing lots or flipping a coin

Can also be used as a technique for determining the order of presentation of stimuli or conditions.

It works best when there is a large number of items in each condition

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Controls- Demand Characteristics & Investigator Bi

When the pps determines the aim of the study and creates the data they think an experimenter wants, this skews the results. Sometimes they purposely ruin the study.

Deception is often used to counter demand characteristics.

When they investigator uses leading questions or their own pps to move data towards the results they want.

Using a blind study- Where the pps are in the dark

Using a double study- Where both the pps and the investigators are in the dark.

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Common Ethical Issues

Informed Consent-

  • Prior general consent- if the pps gives consent to be decieved in future studies then future consent isn't needed
  • Presumptive consent- Show the ethical considerations to a sample, and if they agree we can assume that similar samples will consent.
  • Loco Parentis- gaining the consent from parents or guardians of a child


  • Debriefing- upon completion of the research the true aim is revealed. Pps should leave in the same state they came in.
  • Retrospective consent- Once the true aim is revealed pps should be given the right to withdraw their results from the study.

Protection from harm-

  • Terminate research if harm is suspected
  • Debrief after the study to ensure no harm has been caused.
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Ethical issues continued

Confidentiality and Privacy

  • Anonymity- fake names and numbers
  • Do not study anyone without informed consent unless it is in a public space\

Right to Withdraw-

  • Emphasise this right throughout the study
  • The pps can leave at any time.
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Self Report Techniques


  • Open Questions provide quantative data
  • Closed Questions provide qualitative data
  • Can contain leading questions
  • Cost-effective
  • Gathers a large amount of data quickly
  • Only certain personality types will fill in questionnaires
  • Social desirability bias


  • Structured- predetermined questions asked in a fixed order
  • Unstructured- More like a conversation, no set questions. More elaborate answers
  • Semi-Structured- There is a list of questions but follow up questions by the interviewer are allowed.
  • More flexibility than a questionnaire
  • Analysis from unstructured interview takes a lot of time.
  • Social Desirability bias.
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Questionnaire Construction

  • Aims
  • Length
  • Previous Q'aires
  • Question formation
  • Pilot Study
  • Type of Measurement Scale
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Types of Experiments (1)


  • High control over extreneous variables which allows the experimenter to be sure that the DV is likely to be a result of manipulation of the IV.
  • Allows easy replication which makes them highly valid


  • The IV is manipulated in a natural, public setting
  • Higher mundane realism
  • Behaviour produced is more natural and authentic
  • Pps may be unaware they are being observed so high external validity
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Types of Experiments (2)


  • use of a pre-existing IV
  • The variable would have changed even if the experimenter was there or not.
  • High validity because of real-life situations
  • No random allocation to experimental conditions meaning the effect of IV on DV isn't fully established.


  • The IV is based on an existing difference between people such as age or gender.
  • No manipulation on variables.
  • Carried out under controlled conditions
  • There may be confounding variables.
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The Brain

  • Ensures life is maintained
  • Some parts are primitive
  • Involved in problem solving
  • Frontal Lobe- Speech, thought and learning
  • Temporal Lobe- Hearing and Memory
  • Parietal Lobe- Touch, Temperature and Pain
  • Occipital Lobe-  Visual information
  • Cerebellum- Movement
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Biopsychology- Brain Diagram

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Biopsychology (2)

The Spinal Chord

  • Facilitates the transfer of messages to and from the PNS


  • Transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body.
  • Has 2 divisions
    • Somatic- transmits and receives messages from the sensory and motor neurones and organs
    • Autonomic - helps transmit and recieve messages from the organs
      • Parasympathetic Branch 
        •  conserves the body's natural activity levels by decreasing activity or maintaining it
      • Sympathetic Branch 
        • Increases activity especially during fight or flight
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Biopsychology (3)

Stress Response

  • Stress and illness are inconcordance with one another, stress can trigger the fight or flight response

Fight or Flight

  • Generated from the autonomic nervous system, sympathetic branch
  • Activated in times of extreme stress
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Biopsychology- Fight or Flight


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Biopsychology- Fight or Flight cont.

Physical Changes

  • Increased heart rate increases blood flow and the rate adrenaline is transferred
  • Faster breathing increases oxygen levels
  • Muscle Tension increases reaction speed
  • Pupil dilation improves vision
  • Sweat production facilitates temperature regulations
  • Digestion is suppressed to conserve energy.
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Biopsychology (4)

The Endocrine System- maintains levels of hormones

Dopamine- excitatory, associated with motivation

Serotonin- Inhibitory, maintains a stable mood

Pituitary Gland-

  • Produces hormones that influence the release of other hormones in the body
  • Regulates many bodily functions
  • Controlled by the hypothalamus
  • Called the master gland

ACTH-  produced by the Anterior Pituitary Gland and stimulates adrenaline release

Oxytocin-  Mother and Baby Bonding

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Biopsychology (5)

Adrenal Glands

  • Atop the Kidney
  • Adrenal Cortex Supports life
  • Adrenal Medulla supports everything else

Cortisol- Cardiovascular regulation, stress response and blood pressure

Adrenaline- Stress response

Noradrenaline- Constricts blood vessles

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Biopsychology- Neurochemistry

Soma- factory of a neurone, produces all the proteins for the dendrites, axon and synaptic terminals

Dendrites- Receives signals from other nerve cells, covered in thousands of synapses

Axon-Conducts impulses across the neuron

Presynaptic Terminal- Specialised area on the axon that contains neurotransmitters

Terminal Buttons- Small spheres at the end of an axon that releases neurotransmitters

Myeline sheath- Surrounds the axon, facilitates the transmissions of nerve impulses

Nucleus- Contains the genetic material and is the brain of the cell

Nodes of Ranvier-  periodic gaps in the myelin sheath on the axon of certain neurones that serves to facilitate the rapid conduction of nerve impulses.

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Biopsychology- Neuron

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Biopsychology- Neurons

Lock and Key-  Dendrites are specifically shaped so only certain neurotransmitters fit in the receptors

Excitatory potentials- makes a neuron more likely to fire

Inhibitaory potentials- Makes a neuron less likely to fire

Action Potentials-  Electrical pulses sent through the neurone

Synaptic Transmissions

  • An electrical impulse is triggered from the cells of one neurone then travels down the axon to the end. The impulse is the action potential
  • The axon ends and a neurotransmitter is released from the terminal button
  • The neurotransmitter travels across the synapse to the dendrites of the next neuron
  • The neurotransmitter is taken in by the dendrite or lost
  • Receptors in the dendrite pick up suitable neurotransmitters
  • The neurotransmitter starts and impulse returns to the synapse
  • The change in chemical balance triggers and electrical impulse which travels down the axon.
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Attachment (1)

Attachment- an enduring, two way, emotional tie to a specific other person

Bodily Contact- Physical interactions between carer and infant help to form the attachment bond, especially in the period immediately after birth.

Mimicking- Infants imitate carer's facial expressions, which suggests there's a biological aid.

Caregiveres- infant and caregiver use a higher pitch language; song like, repetitive and slow.

Interactional Synchrony- Infants move thier bodies towards their carer, creating a turn-taking language. In unison, simultaneus actions. "Temporal co-ordination of microlevel social behaviour"

Reciprocity- interactions between infants and carers, results in mutual behaviour. Intense and pleasurable interaction. Babies have alert phases when they are ready to interact.

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Attachment- Research

Klaus and Kennel- Compares moms who have extended contact with their child with mothers who have the regulated time. More contact = Stronger bond

Melzoff and More- Infants between 2-3 weeks, mimic adult ficial expressions and hand movements.

Papouesk et al-  The tendency to use a rising pitch to show the infant when to interact was shown across all countries.

Shaffer and Emerson-  Observed 60 mothers and babies from working class backgrounds in Glasgow. Showed that the majority of babies have the same style of attachment and that there are four stages of attachment, Asocial, Indiscriminate, Specific and Multiple.

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Attachment (2)

Stages of Attachment-

Pre-attachment ( 0-3 months)

  • Preffering human interaction from anyone

Indescriminate (3-8 months)

  • Some discrimination forming descrimination towards strangers

Descriminate ( 8+ months)

  • Specific attachments formed with stranger and separation anxiety.

Multiple attachments ( 9 + Months)

  • Strong attachment with other carers and friends. The fear of strangers weakens.
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Attahcment- Fathers

Research For Fathers

  • Geiger - Father's play interactions are more exciting than the mothers
  • Lamb- Children often prefer the father in happy situations but seek the mother when distressed. Fathers who became the primary carer learnt to detect low levels of distress
  • Lucassen- Fathers who have high levels of sensitivity form a stronger attachment with their child.
  • Besky et al- The clossness of intimacy between the father and partner affects the attachment with his child.

Research Against Fathers

  • Hrdy-  Fathers are less likely to detect low levels of distress in their child
  • Bernier and Mijkovitch- Strong attachments with fathers only form when the father is the primary carer.
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Attachment- Learning Theory

Classical Conditioning- Crying when hungry brings food

Operant Conditioning- Crying results in food, attention, comfort and hugs.

Monotropic Theory- Infants have a inbuilt tendency to attach to one person, usually the mother.

Social Releasers-

  • Crying to attract attention
  • Looking, smiling and vocalising to maintain parental attention and interest
  • Following and Clinging to gain and maintain proximity.

Critical Period- A specific time period within which an attachment must form. About 2 years for a child. Supported by Lorenz's study of gooslings.

Internal Working Model- A cognitive framework used to understand the world, self and others, acts as a template for future relationships based on the infants primary attachment type.

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Attachment- Learning Theory Research

Lorenz- Certain animals have an innate tendency to respond immediately and consistently to specific forms of stimuli like visual markings or sound, usually displayed by a parent. They're attracted to the stimuli and will follow anything displaying it. They are content when they are near it and distressed when not. This suggest that innate pre-programming provides an evolutionary advantage. Supporting Bowlby's evolutionary theory.

Schaffer and Emerson- Found that multiple attachments are the norm, which goes against Bowlby's idea of Monotropy. 39% of children studied have their main attachment to other caregivers.

Rutter- Mothers are not special in the way Bowlby suggests. Infants display a range of attachment behaviours towards attachment figures other than their mother and there is no particular attachment behaviour used specifically towards the mother. This lessens the support towards Bowlby's monotropic theory.

Lamb et al- Studied the attachment infants had with figures like fathers and siblings. Infants had a different attachment for different purposes rather than there being a hierarchy. This contradicts monotropic theory.

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Attachment- Learning Theory Evaluation

  • Research supports the continuity hypothesis, there is a consistency between early attachment types and later relationships in line with Bowlby's theory.
  • Schaffer and Emerson also found that children also had one primary attachment figure, supporting Bowlby's theory
  • Bolwby's theory has been used by right-winged political figures as scientific proof that women should be at home mothering children and not at work while their child is in daycare.
  • Imprinting applies mainly to precocial animals. humans are altircal so imprinting may not be relatable.
  • Bowlby sees a father as a minor attachment figure but research suggests fathers can be attachment figures in their own right.
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Attachment (3)

Ainsworth's Strange Situation

Found three types of attachment

  • Insecure Avoidant- Low stranger anxiety, joy when mother returns
  • Secure- High stranger anxiety, enthusiastic when mother returns.
  • Insecure Resistant- High stranger anxiety, unable to be consoled when mother returns.

Secure attachments are the most common in US and the majority of countries.

Germany had a high percentage of Insecure Avoidant.

Japan had a high percentage of Insecure Resistant

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Attachment (4)

Bowlby's 44 Theives Study

  • Studied 44 adolecent juvenile delinquents in a child guidance clinic.
  • 44 controls were also used.
  • Maternal separation in the child's development can cause permanent damage. 
  • He called them emotionless psychopaths, characterised by 
    • lack of concern for others
    • lack of guilt
    • inability to form meaningful and lasting relationships
  •  There may be errors in recall as memories might not be correct
  • The data only shows correlation not connection.
  • The study is vulnerable to researcher bias.
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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation

Short term Separation

  • Protest- Immediate crying, kicking, screaming and struggling to escape or clinging to the mother. Outward expression of the child's fear, anger and confusion
  • Despair- Protests become calmer, anger and fear now internal. There is little response to offers of comfort from strangers
  • Detachment- The child responds to people but is weary. Rejects the caregiver when they return.

Research in the PDD

  • Robertson & Robertson- Separation of a child from his mother for 9 days while she had a bayb caused the child to become weary of her leaving, still weary years later, Short term separation has lasting effects.
  • Quinton & Rutter-  Found greater behavioural problems in sampls of teens separated briefly from attachment figures before 5 yrs of age, through hospitalisation than young adults who weren't.
  • Douglas- Separation of less than a week for children below 4 yrs were correlated with behvaioural difficulties.
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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation (2)

PPD Evaluation

  • Doesn't show causality
  • Barrett argued that individual differences in reactions to short-term separation are important. Older children or those with secure attachments cope better.
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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation (3)

Long Term Deprivation

Lenghty or permanent separation from attachment figures can affect a child's development.

Rodgers & Pryor- Children exeriencing 2 or more divorces have lower adjustment rates and the most behavioural problems,suggesting continual broken attachments increase the chances of negative outcomes for children, supporting MDH.

Furstenburg & Kiernan- Children experiencing divorce score lower than children in 1st marriage families on a rate of social development, emotional wellbeing, self-concept, academic performance, educational attainment and physical health.

Schaffer- nearly all children negatively affected by divorce in the short term, it is normal.

  • All supports MDH
  • The type of deprivation can cause different emotional problems
  • Individual differences aren't taken into consideration.
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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation (4)

Privation- Concerns children who have never formed an attachment. More likely to cause lasting damage.

Freud & Dann- Studied 6 Nazi Jews taken to concentration camps at a young age. They had no language skills, didn't know how to play with toys and were hostile towards adults. They gradually learnt to trust their carers and made rapid improvements in mental and physical capacities. Weakening the support to MDH

Koluchoava- Looked at identical Twins A & V , whose mother died shortly after birth. Their step mom had locked them in a cellar for 5 1/2 years. They were menrally underdeveloped aswell as physically and emotionally. They couldn't speak and didn't understand pictures. At 14 their intellectual, social, emotional and behavioural functions were near normal. They both lives successful lives. Lesseing the support to MDH

Curtiss & Rymer- Study of Genie who was denied human interaction for the first 13 years of her life. She couldn't speak or walk. She slowly increased in mental capacities but after she was returned to her mother at 18 and then taken to a home for disabled where she was abused she became unresponsive again. Supporting MDH.

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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation (5)


  • Mix of deprivation and privation
  • Dis-inhabited behaviour- clinginess, need for attention, indescriminate towards adults.

Goldfarb- Compared 15 children raised in social isolation and 15 who went straight to foster homes. Those isolated lagged in abstract thinking, social maturity, rule following and sociability.

Spitz- South American orphans- displayed Anaclitic Depression, a loss of a loved one or object. They were withdrawn, sleepless, inability to eat. Developmentally retarted. 

Bowlby's 44 theives

Tizard & Hodges- studies children who were in care for the first 4 months of their lives. Children who remained in care had no strong attachments and had problems relating to people. Those who later went into homes still had poor family and peer relationships. Suggests institutionalisation had long lasting negative effects.

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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation (6)

Romanian Orphans

  • 50 % were retarded in cognitive functions on initial assessment but at the age of 4 they all showed great improvements.
  • The negative affects of institutionalisation can be over come by nurture.
  • British children separated in the same way didn't suffer developmental outcomes so separation from carers cannot be seen as the only cause for developmental effects.
  • The children weren't studied in the romanian orphanages so it isn't possible to say which aspects of privation were most influential.
  • Only some of the children were clinically tested so it is difficult to fullt generalise to all of them.
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Attachment- Maternal Deprivation (7)

Continuity Hypothesis- A child's attachment will continue into their adult life, shaping their relationships with other people.

Youngblade- 3-5 year olds who were securely attached were more curious, competent, empathetic, resilient and self-confident, they got along better with other children and were more likely to form close relationships.

Westermarck- children form close friendships in the first six years of their life do not generally go on to form adult sex relationships with each other, which suggests early attachments do affect childhood and adulthood relationships.

Hazan & Shaver- Dating column study

  • The percentage of adults in the different attachment types match those of children in Ainsworth's SS.
  • The correlation between adult's attachment style and their memories of parenting styles they received. 
  • People with insecure attachments are more vulnerable to loneliness.
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Social Influence (1)

Conformity- A form of social influence where people adopt behaviours, attitudes and values of others in a majority influence.

Compliance- Occurs when individuals adjust their behaviours and opinions to those of the group to be accepted or to avoid disapproval

Identification-Occurs when individuals adjust their behaviours and opinions to those of the group because the group is desirable

Internalisation- Individuals adjust their behaviours because they genuinely beleive it's right.

Dual Process Model- There are 2 types of social influence that lead to conformity.

Informative Social Influence- The need to be right, occurs in unfamiliar or ambigious situations.

Normative Social Influence- The need to be accepted

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Social Influence (2)

Jenness- Jelly-bean Experiment

  • Internalisation
  • ISI
  • Ambigious Task
  • The second estimate generally increased towards that of the groups
  • Change greater amongst women
  • Majority influence plays a part in decision making.
  • Ethically sound
  • Low ecological validity
  • Low Temporal validity, studied in 1932
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Social Influence (3)

Asch- Perception Test

  • When surrounded by people giving incorrect answers over 1/3 of pps also vocalised the same wrong answer.
  • If one confederate said a different answer it made little difference but if 2 or more did the pps was more likely not to conform.
  • Isolation increases conformity
  • Low Temporal Validity
  • Androcentric Study means there is low population validity.
  • used 18 trials
  • Debriefing made it ethically sound
  • Conformity rate was only 32% what about the other 68%
  • Socio-political context needs to be taken into consideration.
  • Lacks mundane realsim.
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Social Influence (4)

Zimbardo- Stanford Prison Experiment

  • Individuals conformed readily to the social roles demanded of a situation, even when such roles override an individual's moral code.
  • Both the guards and prisoners demonstrated social roles gained through media
  • The guards brutallity after dehumanising the prisoners shows that horrendous acts can be commited when a person isn't seen as a person.
  • The identity of the guards was covered up so this also allowed them to feel like they could do the acts they did
  • Individual differences weren't taken in, some guards were neutral and some helped the prisoners
  • The pps knew they were being observed so demand characteristics were likely but the guards brutality was far more extreme.
  • The pps were deliberately placed in harm. There was a debriefing and mental checkups after the experiments.
  • Selection of the pps was random which tried to rule out bias.
  • There was high internal validity
  • The prisoners were decieved, they didn't know they were going to be arrested.
  • Banuciziz-  They were play acting. But the situation was real to the pps.
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Social Influence (5)

Obedience- Complying with the demands of an authority figure

Milgram- Germans are different Hypothesis

  • 40 pps given teacher role
  • Mr Wallace was an actor who pretended to get shocked whenever he got a question wrong
  • 62.5% of pps went to 450 V
  • 100% of pps went to 300 V
  • There was a lot of swearing, sweating even seizures when people tried to resist.
  • The high level of obedience disproves the Germans are Different Hypothesis.
  • Can be applied to Abu-Graib
  • Caused Psychological harm
  • Used Deception so didn't have informed consent but did use a debriefing and a few pps (35%) exercised their right ot withdraw
  • Has high internal validity but low external validity
  • Androcentric
  • Cultural Bias
  • Low Temporal Validity and Ecological Validity
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Social Influence (5)

Causes for Obedience

  • Agentic State- When someone else takes the authority and blame for the actions.
  • Legitimacy of Authority- We are taught from a young age to obey authority
  • Dehumanisation- If a person is sub-human some individuals find it easier to follow acts against them
  • Proximity- You are more likely to obey if the authority figure is near or if you are away from the consequence
  • Location- The location can affect the legitimacy of authority, you are more likely to obey in a lab than a shady downtown office (Milgram)
  • Uniform- We are more likely to obey a person in uniform
  • Disposition- Authoritarain personality, a person is more likely to obey because it was drilled into them from a young age.
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Social Influence (6)

Resistance towards Social Influence

  • Social support
    • The pressure to conform is lessened when one other person does
      • Asch found conformity dropped to 5.5% when there was a dissenter
    • The pressure to obey is reduced when one other person doesn't
      • Milgram found obedience dropped to 10% when others dissented
  • Locus of Control
    • Internals- believe they are the ones incontrol of events
    • Externals- believe in luck
    • Spector-  used LOC scale on 157 uni students and found high externals conformed more. Only in normative social pressures.
    • Twenge- American obedience studies over 40 years, people became more resistant but are becoming more external. If LOC and resistance are linked then people would be becoming Internal.
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Social Influence (7)

Reactance: Rebellious Anger

  • Hamillton- Teens with a low level reactance condition , given free reign, were less likely to smoke than those with a high level of reactance.

Ironic Deviance: The belief that other people's behaviour occurs because they have been told to do it.

Status: An individual's position in a heirarchial group can affect the extent to which they conform.

Systematic Processing-  The more time you are given to process consequences the more likely you are to resist.

Morality- Moral considerations affect whether a person obeys or not

Personality- Personality characteristics such as empathy can help a person resist social influcence,

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Social Influence (8)

Minority Influence

  • A type of social influence that motivates individuals to reject established majority group norms
  • Achieved through conversion, the majorities are gradually won over by the minority
  • Can be seen as a type of internalisation
  • Social Cryptoamnesia- when a social change has taken place and it has been forgotten when
  • Snowball Effect- Gradually over time more and more people join the minority viewpoint.
  • Moscovici-( Blue/Green Slides) The role of a consistent minority- 8.2% agreed with the consistent minority, 32% agreed at least once. When pps answered privately agreement increased further.
  • Flexibility- Consistent minorities that are flexible are more successful. Nemeth (Ski accident compensation) 
  • Style of Thinking- 
    • Smith et al- minority could get a majoirity to consider an issue in terms of an anrguement for and against the issue.
  • Identification
    • Maas et al Homosexual minority couldn't get a heterosexual minority to listen to them about their rights but a heterosexual minoirity could.
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Social Influence (9)

Evaluation of Minority Influence

  • Research support
  • Artifical tasks
  • Limited real-world application
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Social Influence (10)

Social Change

  • Involves the way in which society develops, created by shifiting people's beliefs, attiutude and behaviours.
  • Occurs gradually over time
  • Majority influence- main role is to help maintain social order
  • Minority influence- main role  to change attitudes and behaviours.
  • Moment of Critical Mass- when the minority viewpoint becomes the majority viewpoint.
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