As psychology

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  • Created on: 14-05-09 09:02

Loftus and Palmer Aim

Experiment 1

The aim of the first experiment was to investigate the accuracy of memory.

Experiment 2

The aim of the second experiment was to further investigate the effects of leading questions on memory. To see if if these questions create response bias (explanation 1)

or alter a person's actual memory (explanation 2)

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Loftus and palmer Experiment 1

Experiment 1

Sample

45 students

5 groups

Method

The participants were shown seven film clips of different traffic accidents. After each clip the participants were given a questionnaire which asked them to describe the accidents and the answer a number if questions about the accident.

Results

The group given the verb 'smashed' estimated a higher speed (40.8 Mph) than the other groups. THe group given the verb 'contacted' estimated the lowest speed (31.8 Mph)

Conclusion

1. Response-bias: the critical word (smashed, collided, bumped, hit, contacted)

2. The memory representation is altered: the critical word changes a person's memory affectiong the perception on the accident.

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Loftus and palmer Experiment 2

Experiment 2

Sample

150 students

three groups

Method

Part 1

Participants were shown a one-minute film which contained a four-second multiple accident.

Group 1 was asked: 'How fast were the cars goig when they smashed each other?'

Group 2 was asked: 'How fast were the cars going when they hit into each other?'

Group 3 was asked no questions about the speed of the vehicles. This was a control group.

Part 2

One week later the participants were asked some further questions including 'Did you see any broken glass?'

Results

Part 1

The participants gave higher speed estimates in the 'smashed' condition, a mean of 10.46 mph compared with a mean of 8.00 mph for the 'hit' condition.

Part 2

Participants were more likely to think they saw broken glass in the 'smashed condition'.

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Baron cohen

Aim

One explanation for autism is that disorder is caused by a core cognitive deficit.

Sample

Group 1

16 people with autism or Asperger's syndrome. They all had a normal intelligence. There were 13 men and 3 women. The sample method was an advert in the National Autistic society. Self-selecting.

Group 2

50 age-matched people (25 male and 25 female) with no history of psychiatric disorder and preseumed to be of normal intelligence.

Group 3

10 patients with Tourette syndrome also age matched with groups 1 and 2. There were 8 men and 2 women. The reason for using people with TS was because of the similarities between autism, Asperger's syndrome and Tourette syndrome.

Method

The eyes task

There were 25 standardise black and white photos of eyes.

Each picture was shown for three seconds and participants were given a forced choice question. Thery had to slect between two mental state terms printed under each picture. These mental states were either 'basic' mental states (such as sad or afraid) or more 'complex' (such as relfective, arrogant, scheming, etc.) The decision what would count as the 'correct' answer was made by a panel of four judges (male and female) and confirmed by a further panel of eight raters working independently.

Strange stories task

Participants were also tested on Happe's Strange Stories Task in order to demonstrate the validity of the eyes task as a test of Theory of Mind. If it is a valid test then performance on the Eyes Task should correlate with performance on the strange stories task.

Control task

In order to check if difficulties with the Eyes task might be due to other factors participants in group 1 were given two control tasks:

  • Gender recognition of eyes task: identifying the gender of the eyes used for the eyes task. This is to control areas in face perception, perceptual discrimination and/or social perception.
  • Basic emotion recognition task: Participants were asked to judge photos of whole faces which displayed the six basic emotions (happy, sad, angry, afraid, disgust and surprise).This was to check if difficulties on the Eyes task were due to difficulties with basic emotional recognition.

Results

Eyes task

Mean score Range

Autism/AS (Asperger's syndrome) 16.3 13-23

Normal 20.3 16-25

TS (Tourrete syndrome) 20.4 16-25

This shows that the normal and TS participants performed identically whereas the autism/AS group were significantly less able to cope with the Eyes Task. One thing to take into account is that if a participant had simply given random answers without even looking at the eyes, Barcon-Cohen et al. calculated (Binomial theory) they should score 15 out of 25 by chance. Only eight of the autism/AS group performed better than chance. The range of scores for each group indicates a ceiling effect for the normal and TS groups (some participants were able to gain full marks).

Conclusion

The results show

1 Adults with autism or AS were impaired on a ToM test despite having normal interlligence.

2. Within the normal population females do better on this test of ToM than males.

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Savage-Rumbaugh et al.

Aim

Studying human language capabilities in chimpanzees

Sample

2 Pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos)

Kanzi (aged 30-47 months during this report) and Mulika (aged 11-21 months in this report. Mulika is Kanzi's younger sister. Both spent several hours a day with their mother and were attached to her, but they appeared to prefer human company.

2 common chimpanzees

Austin and Sherman

Method

Kanzi and Mulika learned through observation. A record was kept of spontaneous and imitated lexigram use. Comprehension was tested using formal tests.

Results

Kanzi and Mulika spontaneously learned to use the symbol system, with vocabularies of 46 and 37 words respectively. Like human children they learned associatively at first, and used imitation for new words but most expressions were non-imitative.

Kanzi and Mulika naturally used gestures to communicate. Their gestures were often more explicit than those used by Sherman and Austin, for example, when Mulika wanted a balloon blown up she placed it in a person's hand and then pointed to the person mouth and even pushed the balloon towards their mouth.

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Loftus and palmer Experiment 2 - 2

Group 3 was asked no questions about the speed of the vehicles. This was a control group.

Part 2

One week later the participants were asked some further questions including 'Did you see any broken glass?'

Results

Part 1

The participants gave higher speed estimates in the 'smashed' condition, a mean of 10.46 mph compared with a mean of 8.00 mph for the 'hit' condition.

Part 2

Participants were more likely to think they saw broken glass in the 'smashed condition'.

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Psychodymanic approach

Assumptions:

1. All behaviour is determined by unconscious forces and drives - we have no awareness of the unconscious.

2. Psychodynamic conflict: there are 3 parts to the personality (id, ego, super-ego) and these are in conflict - with the ego suffering the anxiety of this conflict.

3. Personality is shaped by experiences during childhood.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Psychoanalysis has enormous explanatory power for both normal and abnormal behaviour.
  • Practical applications: has had a huge impact on counselling, psychotherapy and psychiatry.
  • It treats the whole person, not just the problem

Limitations

  • Very difficult to test unconscious motivation - whatever is not remembered can be said to be repressed - this is unfalsifiable (=unreliable)
  • Case study method uses unrepresentative samples and so difficult to generalise
  • Accusations of implantin false memories by therapists leading to reconstructed memories.
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Behaviourist approach

Assumptions:

1. It assumes that behavious can be modified by external manipulation.

2. Nurture can be more influential than nature.

3. Learning comes through association, reinforcement or imitation.

4. Learning and experience determine the kind of person you become

5. Behaviour is the result of stimulus – response

Operant conditioning - The process of learning, identified by B.F. Skinner, in which learning occurs as a result of positive or negative reinforcement of an animal or human being's action.

Classical conditioning - A form of leaning which invloves the pairing of a neutral stimulus with a reflex.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Powerful way to create new behaviours
  • Practical application - change bad or unwanted behaviours in children or adults or even criminals.

Limitation

  • Ethical/social problem - Imitation might be bad and children might imitate because it might arouse them vicariously.
  • Learning is 'shallow'
  • The approach does not pay much attention to all the processes that go inside the head.
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