Psychology - Paper 1

Some notes have been slightly cut off due to there being so much info on a card but it shouldn't go too far over so you will probably be able to realise what it says. Any confusion, just message me :)

  • Created by: jp3louis
  • Created on: 08-08-17 14:10

Conformity: Types and explanations

Types of conformity

Internalisation - when someone geniually accepts the groups norms pubically and privately

Identification - conform with some values but don't privately agree with everything

Compliance - Conform only pubically and have different views privately.

Explanations for conformity

Informational social influence (ISI)

Happens when you are new to a situation / when a class agrees on one answer so you go along with it. We agree with the opinion of the majority because we believe it is correct and may lead to internalisation.

Normative social influence (NSI)

What is normal for a social group. We would rather have social approval than be rejected so it is a emotional rather than a cognitive process. Happens when you want social approval.

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Conformity: types and explanations evaluation

Research support for ISI

  • Lucas et al asked students to give answers to maths problems that were more/ less difficult.
  • There was greater conformity when the question was harder and especially if they rated their ability to do maths was poor
  • Shows people conform in situations when they don't know the answer which is what ISI shows.

Individual differences in NSI

  • Some research shows NSI doesn't affect everyones behaviours in the same way.
  • Those who care less about being liked are less affected by NSI and are called nAffliatiors
  • McGhee and Teevan found that students in high need of affliation were more likely to conform. Therefore individual differences affect how they respond.

ISI and NSI work together

  • Both processes are usually involved. Conformity is reduced where theres a dissenting P in Asch experiment but this may also reduce the power of NSI as they provide social support or reduce ISI as they are an alternative source of information.
  • This shows were not always sure which part does what.
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Conformity: Asch's research

Procedure and findings

  • 3 lines plus one line on another card and they had to tell them which of the 3 lines was the same size as the other line on the card.
  • 123 American males who were undergraduates were studyed in groups between 6 - 8 confederates
  • Each participant took place in 18 trials and on the 12 critical trials, the confederates gave the wrong answers.
  • Findings: wrong answers 36.8% of the time. 25% didn't conform at all. when interviewed they said they didn't want social rejection (NSI)

Asch's variations

Group size - When there was 3 confederates, conformity rose to 31.8%.

Unanimity - A non-conforming p added decreased conformity by a 1/4 of a level.

Task difficulty - Conformity increased if it was harder as ISI plays a greater role

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Conformity : Asch's research evaluation

Not effective accross time

  • Perrin and Spencer replicated this with engineering students in the Uk and only 1 conformed in 396 trials.
  • But enginerring students may be more confident about measuring.
  • In 1950's USA was in a conformitist time so theres less conformity today

Artifical task and situation

  • P knew they were in a research study so demand characteristics could have been common.
  • The groups didn't resemble normal, everyday groups - Fisk says the groups wern't very groupy.
  • Can't generalise.

Limited application of findings

  • Only men were tested - women may conform more - more concerned on relationships.
  • USA which is an individualist culture rather than china thats a collectivist culture (higher confo)
  • That info was found by Bond and Smith
  • Shows conformity differs between genders and places so not generalisable.
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Confromity to social roles: Zimbardo's research

The Stanford Prison Experiment

  • Volunteers who were 'emotionally stable' and were randomly assigned guard or prisoner.
  • Prisoners were taken from their homes and given a number and uniform
  • They had 16 rules they had to follow 
  • Could only refer to prisoners as numbers


  • Only lasted 6 days rather than 14
  • At 2 days, prisoners rebelled. Guards constantly did headcounts and would punish in the hole
  • Prisoners became depressed and one was released on day one due to psychological disturbance
  • 2 more were released on 4th day
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Obedience : Milgrams research


  • 40 male p's, 20- 50 yr old. Recruited through newspaper adverts and flyers - said they wanted to study memory
  • Confederate was called the learner and the p read out words and the learner had to respond them in the right order. If they made a mistake, a fake shock was given to the learner starting at 15 to 450 volts.
  • At 300 volts, the learner pounded on the wall.
  • If they didn't want to continue, 4 prompts were made. please continue, the experiment requires you continue, its essential you continue and you have no choice, you must continue.


  • No participant stopped below 300 volts.
  • 12.5% p stopped at 300 volts but 65% continued to 450 volts.
  • Qualitive data was also found measuring sweat, stutters - 3 even had full blown seizures.
  • Prior to the experiment, they predicted only 3% would exceed to 450 volts
  • at the debrief, 84% were glad they took part
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Obedience : Milgrams research evaluation

Low internal validity

  • Orne and Holland argued p;s behaved the way they did because they guessed it wasn't real
  • So it lacked internal validity. Perry's recent research confirms this
  • However Sheridan and King conducted this study but on puppy and 54% males and 100% females thought they delieved a fatal shock.
  • This suggests milgrams study was genuine because people behaved the same way. Milgram himself reported 70% of his p's thought the shocks were real.

Ethical issues

  • Baumrind was critical of the ways Milgram decived his particpants as they thought they had caused damage when it was fake.
  • Also using the prods, it may have made them believe they couldn't leave the experment.

Supporting replication

  • The game of death replicated Milgram and 80% p's delieved the max shock of 460 volts to an unconscious man. They also showed nail biting/sweating etc like milgrams.
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Obedience; Situational variables

Changing milgrams study.


  • Teacher and learner were in adjacent rooms in the original study
  • In the 2nd study, they were in same room and obedience dropped from 65% to 40%
  • In another variation, the teacher forced the learners hand onto an electroshock plate and this dropped conformity to 30%
  • Lastly, in another study, when the teacher received a phone call with instructions, obedience dropped to 20.5%


  • In a run-down building, obedience dropped to 47.5% and was less than the orginal 65%


  • The researcher was called away and replaced by a member of the public - dropped to 20%
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Obedience: situational variables evaluation

Research support

  • Field experiment in New York, Bickman dressed 3 confederates in a jacket and tie, a milkmans outfit and a security guards costume. They asked passers by to complete tasks like litter picking. 
  • People were twice more likely to obey the security guard rather than jacket and tie
  • Supports milgram as shows uniform plays a big part in conformity

Lack of internal validity

  • Orne and Holland critised that many people thought the experiment was fake.
  • An example of this is that it was very unlikely that a member of the public would take over a researcher.
  • Limitation as they may have seen through the deception and acted accordingly.

Cross-cultural replications

  • Miranda et al found an obedience rate of 90% within spanish students. Suggests Milgrams study ins't limited to American males but are valid across cultures. But Smith and Bond siad that all the countries were western - possible limitation.
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Obedience: social - psychological factors

Eichmann had an interest in war crimes. 

An agent is someone who acts in a place for someone else.

Autonomous state

  • Opposite of being in an agentic state. So they are free to do whatever. 
  • between the two is an agentic shift - usually when someones higher in the social hierachy

Agentic state and binding factors

  • A mental state where we feel no personal responsbility for our actions
  • Helps them stay in the agentic state - such as shifting the blame to the victim etc

Legitimacy of authority

  • hierachical way - we trust and let our freedom go in the presence of police/teachers
  • Destructive authority - use legitimate powers for destructive purposes like hitler and stalin.
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Obedience: social - psychological factors evaluati

Research support

  • Blass and Schmitt showed a film of Milgrams study to students and asked them to identify who was responsible for the harm of the learner. The students blamed the experimenter rater than the p's. And this was due to legitimate authority as the researcher was higher on the hierachy. Strength as it shows legitmate authority is the cause for obedience.

A limited explanation

  • The agentic shift doesn't explain many of the research findings. It doesn't explain why some people didn't obey. 
  • In Hofling et al study, Nurdes should have handed over the responsibilty to doctors and shown levels of anxiety but they didn't. This suggests agentic shift is only applicable sometimes.

Cultural differences

  • Legitmiacy of authority strength is that it's useful across cultures. Kilham and Mann replicated milgrams study in Australia and found only 16% went to max volts. However, in Germany, 85% did. Shows some cultures is more likely to be obedient due to authority figures.
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Obedience: Dispositional explanations

Authoritarian personality

Adorno et al used 2000 middle class white USA and their unconcious attitudes towards other racial groups using a F scale to measure the authoritarian personality. They found those who scored high on the F scale was contemptous of the weak and identified with strong people. They were concious of their own status and others. They also had a cognitive style where there was fixed stereotypes about other groups and this resulted in a strong correlation between authoritarianism and prejudice.

Adorno suggested those with an authoritarian personality have a tendancy to be obedient as they have extreme respects for authority. Everything is either right or wrong and want strong leaders.

Origin of authoritarian personality - the psychodynamic explanation

They believe it is formed in childhood due to harsh parenting. As a child, they would have had to follow strict orders and follow impossible high standards to recieve strong criticism. The children recieve little love and afection so cannot express feelings so displace them onto the weaker parts of society. 

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Resistance to social influence

Social support

Conformity - Social support can help people resist conformity. They don't even need to be saying the right answer but they are still not conforming so it makes it easier for others not to. But if the non-conforming person then goes back to conforming, so will the P so it isn't long lasting.

Obedience - Social support can also help people resist obedience. The pressure to obey drops when someone else disobeys as seen in Milgrams study. 

Locus of control

Rotter proposed this idea that is concerned with internal vs external control. Those with internal LOC believe things are controlled by themselves. External LOC believe other people are to do with their outcomes.

Resistance to social influence

People with internal LOC can resist pressures to conform/obey. They also tend to be more self-confident so need less social approval so these traits lead to greater social influence.

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Resistance to social influence evaluation

Social support evaluation
Research support - resistance to conformity

Allen and Levine found that conformity decreased when there was 1 dissenter in an Asch-type study. This even occured when the dissenter wore thick glasses and complained about eyesight. This supports resistance as it enables someone to be free from pressures from groups.

Research support - resistance to obedience

Gamson et al found higher levels of resistance than Milgram.  This was probably due to the fact the p's were in groups. In his study, 29 out of 33 groups rebelled. Shows peer support is linked to greater resistance.

Locus of control evaluation
Holland repeated Milgrams baseline study to find if they were internal or external. 37% Internals did not go to the max shock level wheras only 23% externals did not continue - increases validity

Twenge et al analysed data from USA over a 40yrs and found over time, people have become more resistant to obedience but also more external. Therefore it does not support other data.

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Minority influence

It is distinct from conformity as conformity is majority influence. Minority influence is more likely to lead to internalisation. Moscovici first studied this processin a blue slide green slide study.

Consistency increases the interest in the cause and synchronic consistency is where everyone in the group says the same thing whereas diachronic consistency is where they have been saying the same thing over time.

Minorities may be involved in extreme activites to draw attention. This is the augmentation principle

Nemeth argued too much consistency may become rigid and inflexible. If they are prepared to adapt their point of view then the majority are more likely to see their cause

The process of change
Over time, the majority will convert and once some convert, the snowball effect will happen and gradually the minority view becomes the majority view

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Minority influence evaluation

Research support for consistency

Moscovici et al showed that a consistent minority opinion had a greater effect than those with inconsistent opinions. Wood et al did a meta-analysis and found those with a consistent opinion were most influencial

Research support for depth of thought

Martin et al gave p's a message supporting a viewpoint and measured their support. one group then heard that a minority group agree with their views and the other heard it from a majority group. P's were then exposed to a conflicting view and attitudes were measured again. He found the people less willing to change their opinion if they had listened to a minority group and this shows the minority message had been more deeply processed and had a more enduring effect.

Artificial task

A limitation is that the tasks involved are artificial so it is much different from real life. Sometimes the causes involve life or death so the artificial studies lack external validity.

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Social influence and social change

The special role of minorities - the order   

Drawing attention


Deeper processin

Augmentation principle

Snowball effect

Social cryptomnesia

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Social influence and social change evaluation

Research support for normative influences

Nolan et al investigated whether social influences led to a reduction of energy consumption in san diego. They hung messages on doors every week for a month. They found a significant decrease in usage so this shows conformity can lead to social change through NSI

Minority influence is only directly effective

 Social changes happen slowly when they happen at all. It took decades for attitudes against smoking and drink-driving to shift. Nemeth argues the effect of minorities are indirect and delayed and only focuses on matters realted to the issue and not the central issue. it shows effects are fragile and the effect in society is very limited

Role of deeper processing

Moscovicis conversion explanation of minority influence argues that minority and majority influences involve different cognitive processes. Minority influences makes people think more deeply than majority. Mackie however disagrees and presents evidence that majority influence creates deeper processing if you do not share their views. This is because we like to believe others believe our views so when we find others disagree, we take longer to process it. This has caused doubt on moscovicis theory

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Obedience : Dispositional explanations evaluation

Not cause and effect

Milgram and Elms conducted interviews with a small sample of fully obedient p's who scored high on the F scale. They believed there may be a link between obedience and authoritarian personality. However, this is only a correlation and cannot show the cause of the personality,

Limited explanation

Any explanation that refers to individual personality is hard as we all have unique personalities. In pre war germany, may was obeident and racist but had different individual personalities so it is unlikely that all of them had an authoritarian personality.

Research support

Milgram and Elms found the when they conducted small scale interviews found those who were fully obedient and scored high on the F scale may have some sort of link. However this is onlya link and not a correlation.

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Coding, capacity and duaration of memory

Research on coding - format in which info is stored

  • Baddeley gave different lists of words to participants 1) Acoustically similar, 2) Acoustically dissimilar, 3) semantically similar, 4) semantically dissimilar
  • P's were shown the orginial list and asked to recall in the correct order. When doing it imediatley after (STM) they did worst with acoustically similar words. After 20 mins (LTM) they did words with semantically similar words. This suggests info is coded semantically in LTM

Research on capacity - The amount that can be stored

  • Digit span : Jacobs- they gave p's 4 numbers and asked them to recall them. If correct they went to 5. The mean span was 9.3 for digits and 7.3 for letters.
  • Chunking: Miller found the capacity of STM was 7 +- 2. He noticed people chunk in 5's

Research on duration- How long it can be stored ( Peterson for STM, Bahrick et al for LTM)

  • STM - 24 undergrad - trials with trigrams and asked to count back from 3 to stop rhersal.
  • LTM - 392 USA - yearbooks - Photo recognition, free recall. Those within 15 years were 90% accurate on photos and 60% on recall. after 48 years - 70% and then 30%
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Coding, capacity and duaration of memory evaluatio

CODING - Artificial stimuli

The word lists had no meaning to p's so we should be cautious about generalising. 

CAPCITY - Lacks validity

Conducted a long time ago. Early research lacked control so some p's may have been distracted so they didn't perform as well (Confounding variables) But other research has supported it.

CAPACITY - Not so many chunks

Overestimated capacity for STM. Cowan reviewed and found it was around 4 chunks instead.

DURATION - Meaningless stimuli in STM study

Peterson x2 had artificial material so lacked external validity. But we do remeber phone no so its not totally irelevant.

DURATION - Higher external validity

Used real life memories but they may have looked back at the book recently.

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The multi store model of memory

Atkinson and Shiffrins MSM describes info flows though and is made of 3 stores.

Sensory register

A stimulus from the environment will go into the sensory register. The 2 main stores are iconic (visual info is coded visually) and echoic (sound info is coded acoustically). There is a duration of less than half a second and they have high capacity. If you pay attention, these things will go into memory systems but only if you pay attention.


Limited capacity between 5 to 9 items (7 +- 2) though research suggests its more around 5. It is coded acoustically and lasts around 30 seconds unless rehearsed. Maintenance rehersal can keep info in the STM for long times until it passes to LTM.


Capacity is unlimited and lasts many years (Bahrick et al yearbook study) LTM is coded semantically. Retrieval pulls memories into the STM before being recalled.

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The multi store model of memory evaluation

Supporting research evidence

Research has shown STM and LTM are different. Baddekey found that we tend to mix up words that sound similar when using STM but mix up words with similar meanings when we use LTM. Shows Coding in STM is acoustic and LTM is semantic.

There is more than one type of STM

MSM states STM is a unitary store (only 1 type of STM) but evidence from amnesia shows this is false. Shallice and Warrington studied KF and found his STM for digits were very poor when read but his recall was much better when he read it to himself. Other research suggests there could be another short-term store for non-verbal sounds (like noises) This is a limitation of STM as there must be more than one short-term store to process visual info and another one to process auditory info. the WMM includes these stores.

THere is more than one type of rehearsal

Craik and Watkins found that what matters is the rehersal type that allows you to transfer info to LTM. Maintenance rehersal wont transfer to LTM but elaborative rehersal will as you link facts to your existing knowledge. This means it cannot be explained by the model

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Types of long-term memory

Tulving realised the MSM view of LTM was too simplistic and inflexible.

Episodic memory

Our ability to recall events and are time stamped. These memories will include various elements like people, places, behaviours and senses to make one memory. You need a concious memory to remember these memories.

Semantic memory

The knowledge of the world is here. This includes facts and is not timestamped

Procedural memory

This is our memory of actions that we learn. We remember these without concious effort They are not time stamped.  They are hard to explain to others 

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Types of long-term memory evaluation

Clinical evidence

HM and clive wearing studies are relevant. Episodic memory in both men was impaired because of amnesia. Semantic memories were relatively unnafected. Their procedual memories were also intact too. Clive even still remembered how to play the piano. This supports Tulving has there are many stores for LTM memory.

Neuroimaging evidence

Brain scans has shown different parts of memory are in different parts of the brain. Tulving et al got p's to perform various memory tasks while they were scanned using a PET scanner. They found episodic and semantic memories were both recalled from the prefrontal cortex and it is divided into 2 for the hemisphere of the brain. The left side is involved in semantic whereas the right is episodic. This has also been confirmed many times so the validity has increased.

Real-life applications

Belleville et al demonstrated epiosdic memories could be improved in older people with mild cognitive impairment. They did better on a test of episodic memory compared to a control group. It has enabled specific treatments to be created

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The working memory model - STM

How STM is organised. It i concerned with the part of the mind that is active when we are temporaliy storing and manipulating information.

Central executive- Attentional process that monitors incoming data, makes decisions amd allocates slave systems to tasks. The slave systems are listed below. The CE has a very limited processing capacity.

Phonological loop - Deals with auditory information (coding is acoustic) and keeps the order it arrives. It is divided into the phonological store (stores words you hear) and Articulatory processes (allow manitenance rehearsal and the capacity is only 2 seconds)

Visuo-spatial sketchpad - Stores visual and/or spatial info when required. Its all  about visualising. It has a limited capactiy  (Baddeley) and is about 3/4 objects. The VSS is divided into the visual cache which stores visual data and the inner scribe which records the arrangement of objects in the visual field.

Episodic buffer - Added by Baddley in 2000 and is a temporary store for info and intergrates all info processed by the others and mainatains time sequences. Capacity of 4 chunks. It links WM to LTM and wider cognitive processes such as perception.

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The working memory model evaluation

Clinical evidence

Shallice and Warringtons study on KF who had brain damage. He had poor STM for verbal information but could process visual information normally. This suggests his phonological loop had been damaged but the rest in tact. This supports evidence for seperate visual and acoustic store but where the cases are so unique it may not be reliable as they are all traumatic experiences.

Dual task performance

Studies of dual -task performance support the seperate existance of the VSS. Baddeley et al showed participants had more difficulty doing 2 visual tasks than doing both a visual and verbal task at the same time. It is harder as they complete for the same slave system so this shows there must be different slave systems.

Lack of clarity over the CE

It doesn't really explain it. Baddeley has even said it is the most important but least understood part. It needs to be more specified rather than just simply being 'attention'. Some psychologists even think it has seperate compartments. The WMM hasn't been fully explained.

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Explanations for forgetting in LTM : Interference

When 2 pieces of information conflict with eachother resulting in forgetting one or both memories.

Proactive interference - Older memory interfers with a newer one.

Retroactive interference - Newer memory interfers with an older one

Effects of similarity

Interference is worse when memories are similar as discovered by McGeoch and McDonald

They studied retroactive interference by changing the amount of similarity between 2 materials. P's learnt a lsit of 10 new words until they could remember them with 100% accuracy. They then learned another list. There was 6 groups of participants who learned different lists. The most similar lists produced the wort recall whereas numbers and none came out best.

  • Synoyms - same meaning as originals and Antonyms - Opposite meanings
  • Words unrelated to originals
  • Nonsense syllables
  • Three - digit numbers
  • No new list
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Explanations for forgetting : Interference evaluat

Evidence from lab studies

Thousands of lab experimentshave been carried out and most of these show that both types are very common ways we forget information from LTM. This means they control the effects pf irrelevant and increases its validity as an explanation for at least some forgetting.

Artificial materials

Theres more likely interference will happen in the lab. The most common used materials are a list of words. The task facing p's are is to learn these lists. Learning lists of words is more realistic than trigrams or syllables. But this is still far away from what we usually remember in real life. 

Real -life studies

Baddeley and Hitch wanted to find more about interference. They asked rugby players to try and remember the games week by week. Because most of them had missed games, the last team they played may have been a few weeks ago. The results showed that accurate recall did not depend on how long ago the matches took place but what games they had played in the mean time. This shows interference applies to everyday life.

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Explanations for forgetting : Retrieval failure

Insufficent cues may allow those to forget. 

Encoding Specificity principle (ESP)

Tulving reviewed research into retrieval failure and discovered a pattern. This pattern is called ESP. If a cue is to help us recall info it has to be present at encoding and retrieval

Context- dependent forgetting

Godden and Baddley did a study on deep sea divers. They asked them to learn a list of words underwater or on land and then either asked them to  recall the list in the same condition or in the opposite place (so if they learnt it on land, they either recalled on land or in water). They found those who recalled in the same place 40% higher than those in non-matching conditions.

State - dependent forgetting

Carter and Cassaday gave anti-histamine drugs to p's and these have slight sedative effects. The participants either learnt with the drug or without and then was placed in the same condition or the opposite (learnt on drug and recalled either on drug or not) Mismatching made it worse.

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Explanations for forgetting : Retrieval failure ev

Suppoting evidence

Godden and Baddeley and Carter and Cassady are just 2 examples of research. Eysenck suggests retrieval failure is the main reason for forgetting. This increases the validity as it happens in a lab and in real life.

Questioning context effects

Baddeley argues that context effects are actually not that strong (especially in real life) It would be hard to find an environment as different as land and water so its likely there isn't much forgetting if you simply change rooms. 

Reall versus recognition

Context effects may be related to the kind of memory being tested. Godden and Baddeley replicated their underwater study but used a recognition test instead of recall. There was no context-dependent effects when recognition was tested as they read the word to them and they had to tell them if the word was on the list. This is a limitation as it shows cues only affects certain parts of memory.

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Factors affecting eyewitness testimony : Misleadin

Leading questions

Loftus and Palmer arranged students to watch car accidnts and gave them questions about how fast the cars were going when they hit/bumped/colided or smashed. The mean speed for the verb contacted was 31.8 mph wheras the word smashed had an average of 40.5 mph.

The response-bias explanation suggests the wording of a question has no effect on the memories of the witnesses but just influences how they decide to answer. Loftus and Palmer conducted another experiment that was supported the substitution explanation (the wording changes the memory) and those who had the words smashed where more likely to recall seeing broken glass than those who saw hit.

Post-event discussion

Gabbert et al studied pairs and each p watched a video of the same crime but filmed from different points of view. Both pairs discussed what they saw before doing a test of recall. 71% of p's mistakenly recalled aspects of the video they picked up from their pair. when there was no discussion, it was 0%. Witnesses go along with eachother for social approval - memory conformity

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Factors affecting eyewitness testimony : Misleadin

Useful real-life applications

Loftus believes leading questions can have a disorting effect on memory that police officers need to be carefil. Research into EWT has allowed a positive effect on society by improving the justice system so it is more acurate.

The tasks are artificial

P's watched videos of car accidents and therfore lacked the anxiety and stress of an actual car accident and where emotions effect memories, it is a very big downfall. This tells us little about how leading questions effect EWT and could result in researchers being too pessimistic and it might actually be more accurate than what has been suggested.

Individual differences

Anasatasi and Rhodes found people between 18-25 and 35-45 were more acurate than 55-78 years. However all ages were better recalling their own age group. Research pften uses younger people so this makes other ages appear less accurate when this isn't actually true.

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Factors affecting eyewitness testimony : Anxiety

Negative effect - Anxiety causes physical arousal so we are distracted from the important cues 

  • Johnson and Scott told p's they were taking part in a lab study and played an arguement in another room while the p's were in the waiting room
  • In the low anxiety room : a man carried a pen with grease on his hands out of the room
  • In the high anxiety room: They heard breaking glass and a man emerged holding a paper knife covered in blood.
  • The p's tried to pick the man out from 50 photos. 49% who saw the pen could identify him but only 33% could recall the man with the knife. This is called tunnel theory.

Positive effect-The flight-or fight repsonse is triggered, increasing awarness and improves memory

  • Yuille and Cutshall reviewed a real life shooting in Vancouver. The shop owner shot the thief dead. 21 witnesses were present but only 13 agreed to take part. The interviews were 4-5 months after the crime and these were compared to original interviews and they were asked via a 7 point scale if they had any emotional problems since the event.
  • The witnesses were accurate and there was little change 5 months later though the apperance of the thief and colour of items varied. Those who were most stressed were acurate 88% compared to 75% for the less stressed.
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Factors affecting eyewitness testimony : Anxiety e

Explaining the findings

Yerkes and Dodson found the relationship between emotional arousal and perfomance is like an inverted U. The yerkes -dodson law was applied to EWT and lower levels of anxiety produce lower levels of recall then it increases with anxiety. However, it gets to a point where the anxiety is too much and recall starts to suffer.

Weapon focus effect may not be relevant

Johson and Scotts study may test suprise than anxiety. Pickel conducted a study using scissors, a gun, a wallet and chicken. EWT was poorer when the item was unusal for a setting

Field studies sometimes lack control

Things will happen to p's before researchers can control it like post-event discussions. This can involve extraneous variables that could affect the accuracy of EWT

Ethical issues

Cause psychological harm for research - dileberatly causing anxiety.

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Improving acuracy of eyewitness testimony : Cognit

Fisher and Geiselman created this interview.

  • 1) Report everything
  • Include every detail involved useless details may trigger more important ones.
  • 2) Reinstate the context
  • Return to the crimescene in their mind and see the environment and this is related to context-deprendent forgetting
  • 3) Reverse the order
  • To try and stop people filling in the gaps of how they think it must of happened.
  • 4) Change perspective
  • Should recall from other people to stop the effect of expectations and schema on recall.

The enchanced cognitive interview (ECI)

Fisher et al added when to add eye contact and also reducing anxiety, minimise distractions and only ask open ended questions..

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Improving acuracy of eyewitness testimony : Cognit

The cognitive interview is time consuming

Police are reluctant to use this method as its more time consuming than the traditional police inteview. More time is needed to rapport with the witness and allow them to relax. To conduct the CI it also takes special training and many forces cant provide more than a couple of hours (Kebbell and wagstaff) This means the liklihood of the CI being used correctly is not common.

Some elements may be more valuable than others

Milne and Bull found that each individual element was equally valuable. Each technique used by itself produce more information than a traditional police interview. But the report everything and context reinstatement produced better results than any of the others. This is a strength as these 2 elements can really improve an interview without using the whole CI

Support for the effectiveness of the Enhanced cognitive interview

A meta-analysis by Kohnken et al combined data from 50 studies and found an enchanced version of the CI provided more correct information than the standard interview by police. This allows real benefits from using this interview instead of just the CI and allows police to be more likely to catch criminals.

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Caregiver- infant interactions

Reciprocity - How 2 people interact like responding to signals/

From around 3 months, interaction becomes more frequent and involves close attention to each others verbal signals and facial expressions. A key element to this is reciprocity.

Interactional synchrony - Mother and infant reflect both the actions and emotions of the other.

Meltzoff and Moore observed the starts of interactional synchrony from 2 weeks old. An adult displayed a facial expression (1 of 3) and the childs response was filmed and identified by independent observers. An assocaition was found between both.

Interactional synchrony is improtant for the development of mother-infant attachment. Isabella et al observed 30 mothers and infants and assessed the degree of synchrony. They also assesed the quality of mother-infant attachment and found high levels of synchrony were associated with better quality relationships

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Caregiver- infant interactions evaluations

Hard to know what infants are actuallly doing:

We base these observations on movements or expressions and this means its incredibly difficult to be certain what is taking place from the infants perspective.This means we cannot really know for certain that behaviours seen in mother-infant interactions have special meanings.

observations of mother-infant interactions is well controlled with both the mother and infant being filmed from various angles. This ensures that fine details can be recorded and analysed. Infants don't actually know what is going on either so their behaviour does not changed to controlled observation. This is a strength as it has good validity.

Observations dont tell us the purpose of synchrony and reciprocity

Feldman points out synchrony (and by implication reciprocity) describe behaviours that occur at the same time. They are reliably observed but do not actually tell us their purpose. However, there is evidence that reciprocal interaction and synchrony are helpful in the development of mother-infant attachment.

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Attachment figures

Parent- infant attachment
Schaffer and Emerson found that the majority of babies did become attached to mums first (around 7 months) and within a few weeks/months become secondary att. to other. In 75% of the infants studied, an att. was formed to the dad within 18 months. This was determined by the fact the infant protested when the dad walked away.

The role of the Dad
Grossman carried out a longitudinal study looking at both parents behaviour and its relationship to quality of childrens att. into their teens. Quality of infant att. to mums but not dads was related to childrens att. in adolescence (suggesting the dads att. was less important). However, the quality of the dads play with infants was linked to quality of adolescent attachments. This suggests the dad plays/ stimulates the child rather than nuture.

Dads as primary carers
Field filmed 4 month babies in face to face interaction with primary c/g mums, secondary c/g dads and primary c/g dads. Primary c/g dads, like mums spent more time smiling, imitating and holding infants than the secondary c/g. The key to attachment is the level of response not the gender.

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Attachment figures evaluation

Inconsistent findings on dads

Different researchers are interested in different research questions. Some psychologists are interested in understanding the role of the dad as a secondary att. whereas others are concerned with the dad being the primary att figure. This is a limitation because it means psychologists cannot easily answer a simple question 'what is the role of the father.'

If dads have a distinct role why aren't children without dads different?

The study conducted by Grossman found that dads as secondary att figures had an important role in their childrens development. However, other studies by MacCallum and Golombok have found chidren growing up in single/same sex families don't develop any differently. This suggests the dad as a secondary att figure is not important.

Why don't dads generally become primary att?

Traditional gender roles - mum expected to be nurturing. Therefore dads feel they should act different. It could be oestrogen create higher levels of nurturing so women are pre-disposed to be the primary att. figure

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Schaffers stages of attachment study

Involved 60 babies - 31 males, 29 female. All from Glasgow - from working class families.

The babies and mothers were visited at home every month for the 1st year and at 18 months. The researcher asked the mum questions about the protest the babies showed in 7 everyday seperations. This was designed to measure the infants attachment. The researcher also assessed stranger anxiety.

They found that babies between 25 -32 weeks (50%) showed seperation anxiety( or called specific att.) By 40 weeks, 80% babies had a specific attachement and 30% showed multiple att.

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Schaffers stages of attachment study evaluation

Carried out in families own homes and most of the observations was actually done by parents. This means that the behaviour of babies was unlikely to be affected by the presence of observers. There is a great chance that the babies behaved naturally and so we can say this study has good external validity.

A strength of this study is that it is carried out longitudinally. This means the same children were observed. The quicker alternative would be to observe different children at each age. This is called cross-sectional design. However longitudinal design have better internal validity as they dont have confounding variables of individual differebces between participants (participant variables).

The sample size was 60 babies. This was good amount but all the families involved were from the same district and social class is a limitation. Child-rearing practices vary from culture to culture so these results don't generlise well to other contexts.

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Schaffers stages of attachment

Stage 1: Asocial stage (first few weeks)

Here the baby makes bonds with its carer but its reactions between human and non - human objects are very similar. They do however prefer familiar adult faces to calm them and are happier with other humans

Stage 2: Indiscriminate attachment (2-7 months)

Show more obeservable social behaviour. Show a preference to humans rather than inanimate objects and recognise and prefer familiar faces. Babies accept cuddles and comfort from any adult and don't show seperation anxiety or stranger anxiety. 

Stage 3: Specific attachement (7 months)

Babies start showing anxiety towards strangers and become anxious when seperated from the main c/g. 

Stage 4: Multiple attachments (around 8 months to 1 year)

They can now have mutliple attachements with many people.

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Schaffers stages of attachment evaluation

They described the first few weeks as the asocial stage. The problem is babies that are that young, have poor co-ordination and are generally pretty much imobile. It is therefore difficult to make any judgments about them based on observations of their behaviour. This does not mea the child's feelings and cognitions are not highly social but the evidence cannot be relied on.

Although there is no doubt children can make multiple att. they dont know when. Some research indicates that most babies form attachments to a single main carer before they can make multiple attachments. Other psychologists (particulary those who work in cultural contexts) where multiple CG are the normal, babies form multiple att from the outset. Such cultures are called collectivisit because the family works together. This is limitation as its conflicting evidence on multiple att.

There may be a problem with how multiple att is assessed. Just because a baby gets distressed when its mum leaves does not mean the person is a true att. Bowlby saw that children have playmates as well as true att figures and may get distressed when a playmate leaves but this does not signify att. This is a problem for the stages as their observation does not leave us a way to distinguish between behaviour shown towards secondary att figures and shown towards playmates.

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Animal studies of attachment - Lorenz's research

Imprinting - He divided a clutch of goose eggs. Half the eggs were hatched with the mum. The other half hatched in an incubator where the 1st moving object they saw was lorenz. They found that the incubator group followed lorenz everywhere whereas the control group followed the mum. This is the phenomenon is called imprinting. Lorenz identified the critical period in which imprinting needs to take place. If imprinting does not occur in the critical periodm then no attachment can occur.

Sexual imprinting - He also observed that birds who imprinted on a human would often display courtship behaviour towards humans. Lorenz described a peacock that had been reared in the reptile house of a zoo where the first moving thing it saw was giant tortoises. As an adult the peacock sexually imprinted on the tortois.

You cannot generalise the findings from birds to humans - it seems the mammalian att system is quite different from birds. Mamals have more emotional att. This means they cant generalise.

There is some skepticism. Guiton et al found that chickens imprinted on yellow washing up gloves would try to mate with them as adults (as lorenz would predicted) but they still prefered mating with other chickens. This suggests that the impact of imprinting on mating behaviour is not as permanent as lorenz predicted.

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Animal studies of attachment- Harlows research

Rhesus monkeys - Harlow observed that newborns kept alone in a bare cage usually died but if they had something soft (like a cloth), they survived.Harlow tested the idea that a soft object serves some of the functions of a mother.16 baby monkeys with 2 wire model mums. In one condition milk was dispensed by the plain wire mother whereas in the 2nd condition is was dispensed by a cloth figure.The baby monkeys cuddled the soft mum in preference to the wire one regardless of which dispensed milk. This shows that contact comfort was of more importance to the monkeys than food when it came to attachment.

Maternal deprivation - Harlow also followed the monkeys that had been deprived of the real mum into adulthood to see if this early maternal deprivation had a permanent effect. They found severe consequences. The monkeys reared with wire mums only were most dysfunctional. They were more aggresive and less sociable than the other monkeys. They bred less and beind unskilled at mating. They neglected their young and attacked them/killed them.Like lorenz, there was a critical period for this behaviour. 90 days usualy for an att to form.

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Animal studies of attachment- Harlows research eva

Harlow showed that att does not develop from a feeder but as contact comfort and Showed importance of early relationships for later life relationships.

Harlows researched helped social workers understand child neglect and abuse. This allowed them to know how to prevent it (Howe) We also now know how important it is to raise monkeys in captivity a certain way and also breeding programs in the wild can benefit from this research when it comes to letting monkeys live a long, happy life.

Ethical issues was a huge concern as the monkeys suffered greatly. The suffering is related to humans as monkeys are very similar so that makes it even worse. However, without this research, more monkeys and humans may have suffered.

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Explanations of att :Learning theory

Dollard and Miller said that caregiver - infant attachment can be explained by learning theory. - the cupboard love' approach.

Classical conditioning - Involves 2 stimuli together so that we begin to respond to 1 in the same way as we already respond to the other. In attachment, food is the unconditoned stimulus. Being fed gives plesure so its now an unconditioned response. A c/g is a neutral stimulus. When the c/g gives food, they are associated with the food so the c/g becomes the conditoned stimulus. Once conditioning has taken place, the sight of the c/g produces a conditioned response of plesure.

Operant conditioning involves learning to repeat behaviour (or not) depending its consequences. If a behaviour has positive consequences, that behaviour will be repeated. The behaviour has been reinforced. Can explain why babies cry for comfort. Crying leads to a response from the c/g so as long as the c/g gives the right response the baby will cry whenever they need anything. If the baby is negatively reinforced then they won't cry to get attention.

Learning theory also draws on the concept of drive reduction. Hunger is a primary drive (as it's innate, biological motivator) Sears et al suggested that as c/g give food, the primary drive of hunger becomes generalised to them. Attachment is thus a secondary drive learned by association between the c/g and the satisfaction of a primary drive.

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Explanations of att :Learning theory evaluation

Counter-evidence from animal research

A range of animal studies show young animals don't attach to those who feed them. Lorenzs geese imprinted before feeding and Harlows monkeys attached to the soft surrogate, regardless of who fed them. It shows that attachment does not form because of food and the same also goes for humans.

Counter-evidence from human research

Schaffer and Emerson show that humans form attachments without being fed and a study has show that even though a carer did most of the feeding, where the mum played with the child more, thats where the primary attachment formed.

Learning theory ignores other factors associated with forming attachments

Research into infant - c/g interactions suggests the quality of att depends on reciprocity and good levels of interactional synchrony. Also, studies have shown that the best att are with sensitve carers that pick up signals quickly. It is hard to link this to cupboard love.

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Explanations of Att: Bowlby's monotropic theory

Monotropic - A term to describe Bowlby's theory. The mono means 1 and indicates that 1 particular att is different from all others and of central importance to the child's development.

Internal working models - The mental representations we all carry with us of our attachment to our primary c/g. They are important in affecting our future relationships because they carry our perception of what relationships are like.

Believed attachment was innate. It was called monotropic because he placed great emphasis on a child's att to 1 c/g and he belived the att with this c/g was different and more important. Bowlby suggested that babies are born with a set of innate 'cute' behaviours like smiling/cooing. He called these social releasers because its purpose is to activate the adult att system. It is a reciprocal process. He proposed there is a critical period around 2 years when the infant att system is active.

Bowlby proposed that a child forms a mental reprensentation of their relationship with there pc/g. This is called an internal working model because is a model for what future relationships are like. If they have a loving relationship, they should had loving relationships. They should also be good parents. 

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Explanations of Att: Bowlby's monotropic theory ev

Bowlby believed that babies generally formed one att to their pc/g and that this att was special. Only after this att was established could a child form multiple att. This is not supported by schaffer and emerson as they found most babies did attach to one person first but they also found that a significant minority appeared to form multiple att at the same time. Its also unclear if the first att is special as studies of att to mum and dad tend to show att to the mum is more important in predicting later behaviour. However, this could mean that att to the pc/g is just stronger than the others, not necessarily that it is different in quality

Evidence to show that cute infant behaviours are intended to iniate social interaction and that doing so is important to the baby. Brazleton et al observed mum and babies during their interactions, reporting the existence of interactional synchrony. P att figures were instructed to ignore their babies signals.The babies initially showed some distress but, when the att figure continued to ignore the baby, some responded by curling up and lying motionless. Where children responded so strongly it supports bowlbys idea about the signicance of infant social behaviour in eliciting c/g.

Idea of Working models is testable because it predicts that patterns of att will be passed on from 1 generation to the next. Bailey et al tested 99 mum with 1 year old babies on their quality of att with their mum using a interview, The mums who had poor att to their own parents were more likely to have children classified as poor according to observerations. This supports Bowlby as an internal working model was passed through the families.

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Ainsworth's strange situation

To be able to observe key attachment behaviours as a means of assessing the quality of a childs attachment to a caregiver.

The ** is a controlled observation designed to measure the security of att a child displays towards a c/g. The behaviours used to judge att include: Proximity seeking (infant with good att will stay close to c/g) , Exploration and secure-base behaviour, stranger anxiety, separation anxiety, response to reunion. 

The procedure had 7 episodes and lasted 3 minutes each. Child was encouraged to explore - tests exploration/secure base. Stranger comes in and tries to interact with child - tests stranger anxiety. C/g leaves the child and stranger - Tests seperation/stranger anxiety. C/g returns + stranger leaves - tests reunion behaviour/exploration/secure base. C/G leaves the child alone - tests seperation anxiety. Stranger returns - Tests stranger anxiety. C/g returns and is reunited with child - tests reunion behaviour.

Findings - Secure attachment - Explore happily but go back to c/g, Moderate separation distress and moderate stranger anxiety. 60-75% of biritish children are secure.Insecure-avoidant attachment - Explore freely but don't seek proximity or show secure base behaviour Little reaction when c/g leaves and little response when c/g returns. Little stranger anxiety. 20-25%. Insecure-resistant - seek greater proximity so explore less. Huge stranger and seperation distress but resist comfort from carer. 3%

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Ainsworth's strange situation evaluation

Attachment type is strongly predictive of later development. Babies assessed as secure type typically go on to have better outcomes in many areas, ranging from success at school to romantic relationships and friendships in adulthood. Insecure-resistant attachment is associated with the worst utcomes including bullying and adult mental health (ward et al). Evidence for validity of the concept as it can explain subsequent outcomes.

Shows very good inter-rater reliability. Different observers watching the same children generally aggreed on what attachment type to classify the children. This is because it takes place under controlled conditions and because the behavioural categories are easy to observe. Bick et al looked at inter-rater reliability in term of the ** observers and found agreement on att type for 94% of the tested babies. Shows we can be confident that the att type of an infant in the ** does not just depend on whos observing them.

Theres debates that the ** is a culture-bound test. Cultural differences in childhood experiences are likely to mean that children respond differently to the **. C/g from different cultures behave differently in the **. Takahashi has noted that the test does not work in japan as japanese mums are rarely seperated from their young so their is high levels of seperation anxiety. In the reunion stage, japanese mums rushed to the baby and scooped them up, meaning the child's response was hard to observe

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Cultural variations in attachment

Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg - study to look at proportions of secure, insecure-avoidant and insecure - resistant attachments. They looked at different countries.

The researchers located 32 studies of attachment where the ** had been used to investigate the proportions of infants with different attachment types. 32 studies were conducted in 8 countries; 15 were in the USA. Overall the 32 yielded results for 1,990 children. The data for the 32 studies were meta-anaylsed, results being combined and weighted for sample size.

Findings- There was wide variations between the proportions of attachment types in different studies. In all countires secure attachment was the most common. However, the proportion varied from 75% in Britain to 50% in China. Insecure-resistant was overall the least common type although the proportions ranged from 3% in Britain to around 30% in Israel. Insecure-avoidant attachments were seen mostly in Germanly and least commonly in Japan. An interesting factor was that variations between results of studies within the same country were actually 150% greater than those between countries. In the US, for example, one study found only 46% securely attached compared to one sample as high as 90%

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Cultural variations in attachment evaluation

Large samples

Combinations from different countries allows lots of data and meta analysis (like van Ijzendoorn did one with 2000 babies and their primary att figures.) This increases internal validity by reducing the impact of anomalous results.

Samples tend to be unrepresentive of culture

Meta analysis by van Iljzendoorn and Kroonenberg claimed to study cultural variations but it was differences between countries rather than cultures. There are many differences inside countries. Ijzendoorn and Sagi found distributions of att tye in Tokyo were similar to western studies wheras more rural areas had an over representation of insecure-resistant individuals. This suggests comparisons between countires are useless and that its the culture characteristics that need to be studied.

Method of assessment is biased

The ** was made by an USA citzen which was based on Bowlby who was english. These ways of seeing attachments may only be good in USA and the UK and way not be transferable.

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Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation

  • First 30 months of life is the critical period for psychological developments
  • Seperation is when you are away from the primary att but deprivation is loosing the primary att
  • Bowlby believed MD affected childrens intellectual development. This was supported by Goldfarb as he found lower IQ in institutions as opposed to those who were fosterd and this had a higher standard of emotional care.
  • It can also lead to affectionless psychopathy which is the ability to not experience guilt or strong emotion for others. It is associated with criminality
  • MD has also been linked to mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
  • Crucially, MD is PERMANENT.

Bowlbys 44 thieves study

44 criminal teens accused of stealing where interviewed for signs of affectionless psychopathy. Their familes were also interviews and a control group of non criminal but emotionally disturbed teens was set up.

14/44 thieves were affectionless psychopaths. 12/14 had prolonged seperation from their mothers in the first 2 years of life. only 5 of the rest of the thieves had been seperated. IN the control group, 2/44 had long seperations.

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Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation evaluation

Counter evidence

Not all research supports Bowlby. Lewis replicated the 44 thieves study on a larger scale and looked at 500 people and found a history of prolonged seperation from the mother did not predict ciminality or issues with close relationships.  This suggests other factors affect maternal deprivation

The critical period is actually more of a sensitive period

Research has shown those with MD may not be as damaged in later life and Koluchova reported that 2 twin boys from Czechoslovakia were isolated from 18 months until they were 7 years old and after being looked after by loving adults, they recovered fully. Therefore it is more of a sensitve period than critical.

Evidence may be poor

Bowlby drew on multiple sources such as ophanes from WW2 and the 44 theives study. War orphans were traumatised and had poor after care therefore other factors may have affected their outcome. The 44 thieves is also biased as Bowlby conduted it himself. 

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Romanian orphan studies: Effects of institutionali

Institutionalisation - a term for the effects of living in an institutional setting. 

Rutters english and romanian adoptee study

Rutter et al followed 165 romanian orphans adopted in UK to test there physical,cognitive and emotional development at 4,6,11 and 15 y's O. A control of 52 uk kids also adopted was used.

they found half of the adoptees had signs of mental retardation and undernourished. At 11 they showed different rates of IQ. The mean IQ of those adopted before 6 months was 102 compared to those over 6 months who had a score of 86 and those over 2 years with an Iq of 77. Those differences still occured at the age of16. 

All children adopted had disinhibited attachement type and symptoms included clinginess and attention seeking. Those adopted before 6 months rarely showed these signs. 

(More on procedures on pg 90)

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Romanian orphan studies: Effects of institutionali

Real life application

These studies have improved the way children are cared for in institutions. Now places avoid having lots of carers for one child and insure its about 2 people per child. This is a key worker and has allowed children to form normal attachments and avoid disinhibited attachments.

Fewer extraneous variables than other orphan studies

These children hadn't experienced loss or trauma before they were instiutionalised. In the case of the romainain orphanes, it has been possible to study them without counfounding variables so internal validity has been increased.

The romanian orphanages were not typical

The conditions were extremely bad so it isn't possible to generalise. They had extremely bad standards of care and IQ stimulation and therefore the unusal situational variables means it lack generalisability.

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Influence of early att on later relationships

Internal working model

Bowlby suggested that a child having their first relationship with there P c/g forms a mental representation of this relationship. It acts as a template for future relationships.A child who has a loving relationship will assume this is how all realtionships should be. 

Relationships in later childhood

Attachment types are important. Securely att tend to form the best relationships weras insecure have friendship difficulties. Wilson and Smith found 196 kids between 7-11 in london and found secure children were unlikely to be involved in bullying, insecure-avoidant were likely to be victims and insecure -resistant were most likely the bullies.

Relationships in adulthood with romantic partners ( a little more on page 92)

McCarthy studied 40 adult women. Those assessed as securely att had best adult relationships. Insecure - resis had friendship problems and insecure - avoid had relationship problems. Hazan and Shaver did a romantic quiz with 620 who replied in a newspaper. 56% were secure, 25% avoidant and 19% resistant. Secure had best, avoidant were jelous and feared itimacy. 

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Influence of early att on later relationships eval

Evidence on continutity attachment type is mixed

IWM predicts later relationships but evidence is mixed. McCarthy does seem to support it but Zimmerman assesed infant attachment and attachement to parents an found there was little relationship between quality of infant and adolescent attachment. 

Most studies have issues of validity

Most studies don't make use of the strange situation so this creates validity problems. Assesment relies on self-report techniques like interviews and this is bad as it relies on the p's being honest and having a realitic view on their relationships. Looking back at someones early relationship lacks validity because it relies on acurate recollections.

Association does not mean causality

A third environmental factor may affect infants and later relationships such as parenting style or the childs temperament may influence both infant attachment and quality of later relationships. This is a limitation as it counters the IWM as it suggests it can predict later outcomes

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Definitions of abnormality (1)

Statistical deviation

Any behaviour that is numerically ratre in the population as seen on a normal distribution curve

Someone of an IQ of 70 or less is abnormal as only 2% of the population have it below 70. They are liable to be diagnosed with intellectual disability disorder.


Real life application in the diagnosis of intellectual disability disorder. It can show what is normal and abnormal to see how severe someones symptoms may be to diagnose them.

Unusual characteristics can be positive such as IQ scores over 130 are just as abnormal as those under 70 but they obvioulsy don't need treatement. It doesn't mean they need treatment to become normal and shows you cannot just use this to make a diagnosis of anyone.

Not everyone unusal benefits from a label and being labelled as abnormal may have the opposite effect on someone who never realised how abnormal they are. They may have an adverse effect on the way they feel and potentially make them worse or encourage other problems.

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Definitions of abnormality (2)

Deviation from social norms

Any behaviour that is unexpected or unnaceptable because it breaks the rules of behaviour for a particular social group

Anyone who lies or steals without signs of guilt or remorse is seen as abnormal as the act of stealing doesn't conform to the moral standards of the universal social group as it breaks social norms.


Real life applications in the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. However theres over factors to consider such as the distress to other people (which is under failure to function adequatley) so in practice, deviation from social norms is never the sole reason for abnormality.

Too much reliance can lead to abuse of human rights like slaves and homophobia and this controls the minority

Changes depending on the generation. One culture may think differently to another. Hearing voices here is abnormal whereas some cultures it means they are amazing

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Definitions of abnormality (3)

Failure to function adequately

Any behaviour that means a person is unable to cope with the demands of everyday life. It sees someone who experiences distress towards birds so much they cannot leave their house as abnormal as they cannot have a daily routine such as work or socialising.

Rosenham and Seligman said that if someone cannot maintain eyecontact or personal space, has extreme personal distress or becomes irrational or dangerous they are abnormal.


It doesn't include subective experience of an individual. It is not the best approach as its difficult to assess distress but it does acknowledge the patient.

Someone has to physically judge someone if they are distressed enough and it comes across as subjective that someone has the ability to make this judgement

Its difficult to tell between this and social norms. Someone not having a job may have an alternative lifestyle that this thoery takes as abnormal. If we treat this as failures, it coud limit their personal freedom.

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Definitions of abnormality (4)

Deviation for ideal mental health

Any behaviour that means a person is unable to cope with the demands of everyday life.

For example, this definition sees

  • Cope with stress and no symptoms
  • good self - esteem
  • Be independent
  • self-actulise
  • realistic view of the world
  • successfuly work, love and enjoy our leisure


It covers a broad range for mental health so shows all the reasons why we should seek help

Sets unrealistic standards/perfection but it does give us goals to aim for to make life better

Culture bound - Some may see independence as a bad thing or achievement is bigger.

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Behavioural characteristics

Panic - Crying, screaming, freezing or tantrums


Endurance - remain in the presence of phobia but has high levels of anxiety

Emotional characteristics

Anxiety and unreasonable responses- phobias are anxiety disorders, an unpleasent state of arousal

Cognitive characteristics

Selective attention - It's hard to look away from the phobia or concentrate

Irrational beliefs - May believe they need to do things like sound smart or not blush.

Cognitive distortions - They may think the phobic stimulus is bigger or uglier than what it actually is

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Activity levels -lethargic and withdrawn from work, education and social life. It can also cause psychomotor agitation which is where the struggle to relax

Disruption to sleep and eating - insomia or hypersomnia and increased weight loss or gain

Agression and self harm - Irritable and aggressive - cutting or suicide attempts.


Lowered mood + self esteem - feeling worthless or empty. They tend to hate themselves

Anger - More negative emotions and tend to hurt others or themselves.


Poor concentration - Can't stick to a task that interfers with aspects of their life.

Dwelling on negative + absolutist thinking - recall unhappy events and thinking in black and white.

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Compulsions - repetitive behaviours to reduce anxiety

Avoidance - Attempt to reduce anxiety by removing themselves from situations that trigger it


Anxiety and distress - The obssesive thoughts are frightening so cause worry and distress

Accompanying depression - low mood and lack of enjoyment along with guilt and disgust


Obessive thoughts - Reccuring thoughts that happen again and again

Cognitive strategies - A religious person may pray when a thought appears.

Insight into excessive anxiety - they know its irrational and not right to think like that

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The behavioural approach to explaining phobias

The two process model

  • Proposed by Mower
  • It argues phobias are initiated through classical conditioning and maintained through operant conditioning 

Phobia of dogs

  • An UCS of pain is paired with an UCR of anxiety before conditioning
  • A NS of a dog is paired with a UCS of the pain of a dog bite which then pairs to the UCR of anxiety during conditioning
  • A CS which is a dog is paired with the CR of anxiety after conditioning.
  • Then, using operant conditioning, the avoidance of dog reduces anxiety so the behaviour is repeated.

Don't mention Pavlov's dogs in a question! And remeber, the phobia starts with the phobic event or a situation that is linked to a traumatic experience like being bitten. 

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The behavioural approach to explaining phobias eva

Good explanatory power

It has useful applications to therapies as its shows the importance of exposing the patient to the fear. The behaviour ceases to be reinforced if the operant conditioning can be stopped, therefore curing them of the fear.

Alternative explanation for avoidance behaviour

Critics say it only explains the behavioural characteristics of phobias. The development of irrational thinking isn't explained by the 2 process model. For example, when researchers showed snake images, phobics saw more. This thought process cant be explained by the model.

Seen as an incomplete model

Bounton points out that evolutionary factors have an important role in phobias but the 2 process model overlooks.It is rare to have a phobia of cars or guns but it was reasonable to have a fear of the dark thousands of years ago. Seligman called this biological prepardness and shows we cannot take eveything from this model.

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The behavioural approach to treating phobias - SD

Systematic desensitisation

  • Based on classical conditioning
  • Uses counter-conditioning which allows a new reaction to a phobic stimulus to be learnt
  • Reciprical inhibition is where 2 emotions that don't match are paired together like happy/sad
  • The client is taught to relax - involving deep breatjing and imagining beaches
  • The client is then asked to create an anxiety hierachy and then starts with the least frightening and learns to relax. They go through the hierachy and wont continue until they have no fear


its effective - Gilroy et al followed 42 patients that had been treated for spider phobias. A control group was treated by relaxation. At 3 months and 33 months after treatment, the SD group were better than the relaxation. This shows it works

It is suitible for a range of patients - those with diabilities may find it hard to understand to reflect on thinking so it is suitble because it goes at there pace

Less effective treating social phobias because social are caused by irrational thinking and isnt caused by classical conditioning, Therefore CBT is better. Also expensive,

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The behavioural approach to treating phobias - Flo


  • Doesn't include an anxiety hierachy - immediate exposure which means its quicker + cheaper
  • The sessions are longer than SD
  • It doesn't allow avoidance behaviour so th client learns quickly the phobia is harmless
  • This is called extinction. Ethical issues are a hot when it comes to this. 


Cost effective - Ougrin has found that flooding is highly effective and quick. Also the patients are free of their symptoms alot sooner.

Traumatic for patients - If clients stop before the end, it can make their phobia worse. Time and money can be wasted if this occurs

It is less effective for social phobias as they have cognitive aspects so CBT is better.

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The cognitive approach to explaining depression

  • It focuses on thinking proesses and how they affect our behaviour. They believe it is due to faulty thinking processes depression occurs and irrational thinking makes the individual vunerable to depression

Ellis ABC model

  • A = activating events, B= beliefs liked to event (ir/rational) C= Consequences
  • An irrational belief system is any thought that interfers with being happy and pain free
  • Mustabatory is the idea that we believe we must be perfect/liked or else we are worthless and when this didn't, happen, it makes them dissapointed and those leads to depression.

Beck's negative triads

  • Theres 3 negative thinking types involved - self (negative self-schema), world and future
  • The triad reinforces its self + negative views of the world creates no hope and low self esteem
  • theres also thoughts like selective thinking (focus on -ve), catastrophising and personalising (taking responsibility to eveything unpleasant)
  • these thoughts tend to be automatic in depressed people and they tend to ruminate (repeating a worry over and over)
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The cognitive approach to explaining depression ev

The following points apply to both theories

Supporting evidence

There is a range of supportive evidence that depression is linked to faulty thinking processes. Lewinsohn et al assessed teens with no history of depression and measured their levels of faulty thinking and those with the higher scores were the ones most likely to have major depression.

Practical applications

The validity of the theory is also helped by the development of CBT which challenges faulty thinking. In general, CBT is very effective compared to drug therapies. This shows that depression does have cognitive basis.

Doesn't explain all of the clinical characteristics

It cannot account for the physical signs of depression like aches and pains and a lack of energy. For women there may be mestrual changes also. Its hard to understand how irrational thoughts could cause this.

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The cognitive approach to treating depression

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

  • Based on the belief that the way we feel about a situation affects how we act, think and feel
  • CBT attempts to cahnge both the act of thinking and the behaviour
  • It focuses on the here and now rather than the past

CBT in action

  • The 1st session allows the client and therapist to have a share idea of the problem
  • The clients irrational beliefs are challenged this includes : Logical disputing - questioning the basis for their illogical ideas, Empirical disputing - how their ideas match to the evidence and pragmatic disputing - whether an idea is making a situation better or worse.
  • These challenges encourage the client to think of more helpful explanations and they are encouraged to generate solutions to the problem
  • Clients have to taken an active part and are given homework
  • Each session lasts about 50-60 mins and is done once a week, It is common to have up to 15 sessions
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The cognitive approach to treating depression eval

Its effective 

March et al compared the effects of CBT with antidepressents and a combination of the two with 327 adolescents. After 36 weeks, 81% of the antidepressents group and 86% of the CBT and antidepressents group had improved. This is a good first choice of treatment for the NHS

CBT may not work in severe cases

Some patients may not be able to deal with the hard cognitive work of CBT or pay attention to what is happening. It is better to start them off with antidepresents and then move to CBT once they are ready. This is a limitation as CBT cannot be the sole treatment

Therapist - patient relationship

Rosenzweig suggested differences between CBT and systematic desesnitisation might be quite small. All therapies include a therapist- patient relationship and it could be the quality of this relationship that determines the success rather than the technique used.

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The biological aproach to explaining OCD

Genetic explanation

  • Suggests the tendancy to develop OCD may be inherited
  • Genes are thought to indicate how vunerable someone may be to OCD. 
  • Lewis found 37% of his OCD patients had parent with OCD while 21% Had siblings with OCD
  • The Diathesis - stress model suggests people gain a vunerability to OCD though genes but an emotional trigger is needed such as a loss of a partner
  • Candidate genes create a vunerability and some are involved in regulating the development of the serotonin system. 5HTI-D beta is implicated in the efficency of serotonin across synapses
  • OCD is polygenic


Nestadt et al twins study found 68% of MZ twins shared OCD compared to 31% of DZ twins,

OCD symptoms of parents and children are often different

Concordance rates are never 100% so environmental factors must also be present.

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The biological aproach to explaining OCD evaluatio

Neural explanations - The genes assocated with OCD are thought to influence levels of N/ts and structures of the brain. 

The role of n/ts

  • Serotonin helps regulate mood and N/ts are repsonsible for relaying info from 1 neuron to another. If someone has low levels of serotonin, then normal levels of mood relevant info won't pass through

Decision - making systems

  • Frontal lobes are responsible for logical thinking and making decisions and may be working abnormally. The parahippocampalgyrus is associated with unpleasent emotions.


  • Antidepressents work in the serotonin system and is effective in reducing OCD symptoms
  • No evidence to show heres abnormal n/ts and brain. Could be a result of OCD rather than cause
  • Cavedini et al found neural systems work abnormally in OCD but not sure which one exactly
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The biological aproach to treating OCD

Drug therapy

  • Aims to increase or decrease levels of n/ts to in/decrease their activity
  • The standard medical treatment is SSRIS and they work on the serotonin system in the brain
  • They slow the re-absorption of serotonin by the pre-synaptic neuron and allows serotonin to remain active at the synapse where it stimulates the post synaptic neuron
  • Fluxoteine is an example at 20mg - taken as capsule or tablet for 3/4 months
  • You can combine it with CBT to treat OCD. Alternatives to SSRI's are Tricyclics: older type of antidepressent with worse side effects (Clomipramine) and SNRI's : Serotinin -noradernaline reuptake inhibitors are used for those who don't respond to SSRI and also allow noradernaline to occur


Cheap and cost effective compared to psychological treatments + not disruptive to everyday life

Side effects - blurred vision, low sex drive, indegestion eg clomipramine affects blood pressure

Soomro used placebos and found in 17 studies, SSRIs came above placebos. Symptoms reduced by 70% while using SSRI

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