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Meichenbaum (1972)

Aim: To compare SIT with standard behavioural systematic desensitisation and a control group on a waiting list                                                               Method: Field Experimet, assessed before and after treatment-self-report. Blind-situation, assessors did not know which condition                                         Sample: 21 students aged 17-25 who responded to adverts for treatment of test anxiety                                                                                                             Design: matched-pairs design, random allocation, gender controlled, anxiety levels matched                                                                                                      Procedure: Test anxiety questionnaire. IQ test-given baseline score and put into groups. SIT group-8 therapy sessions, 'insight' approach, positive statement & relaxation techniques. Sys Des- 8 therapy sessions, progressive relaxation training, practise relaxation while imagining anxiety-causing situations. control-told on waiting list, receive therapy later                                              Key Results: Performance on testsimproved in SIT groups, significant difference between therapy and control groups. SIT showed more reported improvement. Both therapy groups showed improvement compared to control.                                                                                             Conclusions: SIT more effective in reducing anxiety to those who are anxiety prone. More effective than systematic desensitisation, adds a cognitive component

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Meichenbaum (1972)


Evaluation Points:

  • reductionism vs. holism
  • individual vs. situational

Method Issues:

  • less control of extraneous variables (low validity)
  • can't be sure that changes in DV are due to changes in the IV

useful applications into helping people with anxiety problems. contributes to our understanding of human phenomenon

ignores other complexities of human functioning, deterministic. ignores emotion and freewill in humans

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Budzynski (1970)

Aim: to see if previous research on biofeedback as a method of reducing tension headaches was due to the placebo effect or whether biofeedback was an effective method of reducing tension headaches                               Method: Experimental, patients trained in the lab & data collected using EMG machine. Psychometric test of depression                                               Sample: 18 pps who replied to ads in a local newspaper in Colorado. Underwent psychiatric tests and medical exams to ensure no other reason for headaches. 2m16f aged 22-44                                                                  Design: independent design. randomly assigned groups. groupA-biofeedback sessions, relaxation training & EMG feedback. GroupB-relaxation training, psuedofeedback, tape recording of other biofeedback. Controlled use of noise. GroupC-control group, told they were on waiting list for treatment      Procedure: 2 weeks-patients recorded headaches rating 0-5 every hour. A&B 16 sessions over 8 weeks. A told that 'clicks' reflected muscle tension. B told to concentrate on varying clicks. C had no training-told they would in 2 months. After 3months A&B given EMG test & questionnaire                                        Key Results: A's muscle tension lower than B at end and 3months after. A's reported headaches less than B&C and baseline questionnaire showed A had more reduction in symptoms than B. Both reported better social relationships. Drug usage decreased more in A than B                                        Conclusions: biofeedback effective way of relaxation and reduce tension headaches/ stress management 

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Budzynski (1970)


Evaluation Points:

  • determinism vs. free will
  • nature vs. nurture

Method issues:

  • low ecological validity
  • sample bias

good reliability. number of practical applications, some that have been very effective. allows us to understand nurture side of debate

all research conducted in controlled artificial environments. deterministic, assumes humans are passive to classical and operant conditioning

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Waxler-Morrison (1993)

Aim: to look at how a woman's social relationships influence her response to breast cancer and  survival                                                                       Method: quasi-experiment with women diagnosed with breast cancer. info gathered using questionnaire and 18 interviews & examination of medical records. women naturally fitted into categories based on their existing social support network                                                                                         Sample: 133 women under 55 years referred to clinic in Vancouver diagnosed Design: independent design of women with different levels of existing and ongoing social networks                                                                                         Procedure: patients sent a questionnaire on their demography and existing social networks, educational level, who responsible for, perception of support. Psychometric test of social network. Details of diagnosis abstracted from medicalrecords                                                                                                                 Key Results: 6 aspects of social network linked with survival: marital status, friend support, friend contact, total support, social network and employment. Qualitative data showed that practical help was concrete aspect of support.   Conclusions: prospective aspect (choosing sample, asessing networks) removed biases of retrospective studies. Marriage and employment significantly related to survival. the more social networks and support, the higher the survival rate. pps stress reduced.

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Waxler-Morrison (1993)


Evaluation Points:

  • nature vs. nurture
  • psychology as a science

Method issues:

  • can't demonstrate casual relationships because IV not directly manipulated
  • Socially desirable answers in questionnaire

shown to have stronger effect than dispositional factors. adopts scientific methods of research so can explain many phenomenon

underestimates people in social situations. supeficial 'snapshots' of behaviour, ignores development. low ecological validity

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