psychology research paper 1

  • Created by: Ems9
  • Created on: 11-06-18 16:50

Conformity- Asch

AIM- whether people would conform to a majority's incorret answer of an ambiguous task

METHOD- lab, independent groups design

                 judge line length, comparison against standard line, say out loud

                 each group had onlyone participant, went last 

                18 trials, 12 confererates gave same wrong answer 

FINDINGS- control trial, gave wrong answer 0.7%

                  critical trial, gave wrong answer 37%, 75% conformed at least once

CONCLUSION- participants conformed to majoritydue to normative social influence 

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Conformityto social roles- Zimbardo

AIM- see if people would conform to assigned social roles

METHOD- male students, volunteer, either prisoner or guard in mock prison, randomly assigned

                prisoners arrested, treated like real prisoners, guards had unifrom ( bat, glasses)

FINDINGS- study stopped after 6 days instead of intended 14

                   day 1, prisoner released, psychological disturbance 

                   day 2, prisoners rebelled, ripped uniforms, shout, swore

                   after rebellion prisoners quiet and anxious

                   day 4, two prisoners released

CONCLUSION- adopted social roles quickly

                         social roles can influence behaviour

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Obedience to authority- Milgram

AIM- why did German's obey Hitler during the Holoaust?

METHOD- lab, 40 male volunteers, 'memory study'

                participant and confederate given roles in rigged draw, participant always teacher

                learner strapped into electric chair, teacher given small shock

                learner get question wrong, had to 'shock' them, from 15 to 450V

                at 300V learner pound on wall

FINDINGS- 65% went to full 450V

                  100% went to 300V

CONCLUSION- ordinary people obey orders to hurt someone een if it goes against their conscience

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Authoritarian personality- Adorno

AIM- understand the anti-semitism of the Holocaust

METHOD- causes of obedient personality in 2000 middle class white americans 

                looked at unconscious attitude to racial groups

                developed fascism scale, measured authoritarian personality 

FINDINGS- high score on F-scale, identified with strong people, contemptuous of weak

                 strong positive correlation between authoritarianism and prejudice

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Duration of STM- Peterson & Peterson

AIM- find the duration of short term memory 

METHOD- participants shown trigrams, recall after 3 6 9 12 15 or 18 seconds

                 during pause count backwards in 3s- interference task

FINDINGS- 3 seconds- 80% correct

                  18 seconds- 10% correct

CONCLUSION- short term memory has a duration of up to 30 seconds 

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Capacity and Duration of LTM- Bahrick et al

AIM- find out the capacity and duration of long term memory 

METHOD- 392 american high school graduates aged 17to 74

                 used yearbooks, recall- asked for names for photo

                                           recognition- match name to photo

FINDINGS- within15 years of leaving 90%

                   within 30 years 

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Capacity STM- Jacobs

AIM- find out the capacity of short term memory 

METHOD- read a sequence of letters

                 repeat back in correct order, sequence increased in digits each time

FINDINGS- could recall 9 digits

                   recall 7 letters 

CONCLUSION- STM has a limited capacity of 7 +/- 2

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Coding of STM and LTM- Baddeley

AIM- to find out how LTM and STM is coded

METHOD- given four sets of words, acoustically similar or dissimilar, semantically similaror dissimilar

                 asked to recal either imediatley or after 20 mins

FINDINGS- had problems recalling acoustically similar words immediatley

                   had problems recalling semantically similar words after 20 mins

CONCLUSION- STM codes acoustically

                         LTM codes semantically 

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Retroactive interference- Postman

AIM- how retroactive interference affects learning 

METHOD- lab experiment 

                 two groups, remember a list of paired words

                 experimental group given second list to learn 

                 recall first list 

FINDINGS- recall of control group was more acurate 

CONCLUSION- learning of second list interfered with recall of the first list 

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State dependent forgetting- Carter and Cassaday

AIM- investigate state dependent forgetting

METHOD- gave anti-histamine drugs to participants 

                 creates an internal physiological state different to normal 

                 had to learn list of words then recall

                 4 conditions

FINDINGS- when conditions were mismatched for learning and recall, recall was worse

CONCLUSION- state can affect recall 

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Eye Witness Testimony- Loftus and Palmer

AIM- investigate how EWT can be distorted using leading questions 

METHOD 1- participants shown video ofmultiple car crashes

                    asked series of questions

                   ' how fast do you think the cars were going when they HIT?'

                   hit replaced by smashed, collided, bumped, collided for each condition

FINDINGS 1- smashed, 41mph

                     contacted, 32mph

METHOD 2- 3 groups, smashed, hit, and no verb

                    asked 'did you see any broken glass?' 

Findings- smashed, more likely to say yes to seeing glass

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Weapon focus effect- Loftus

AIM- does weapon focus effect affect acuracy of EWT?

METHOD- independent groups design, two groups

                 group 1, overhear discussion, man leaves room with pen and greasy hands

                 group 2, overhear discussion, man leaves room with bloody knife

                 asked to identify man 

FINDINGS- group 1,49% accurate 

                   group 2, 33% accurate

CONCLUSION- when anxious witnesses focus on weapon at the expense of other factors

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Effect of the cognitive interveiw- Geiselman et al

AIM- does the cognitive interview improve the accuracy of EWT?

METHOD- staged situation, man with blue bag stole slide projector

                after 2 days participants questioned

              questioned using either standard procedure or cognitive interview technique

              told bag was green, then asked what colour the bag was?

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Stages of Attachment- Schaffer + Emerson

AIM- investigate the formation of early attachments, at what particular age they developed. 

METHOD- 60 babies ( 31 male, 29 female) from glasgow 

                 visited at home every month for 18 month, asked mother questions about seperation 

                 to measure infants attachment and stanger anxiety

FINDINGS- 25 to 32 weeks, 50% showed signs of seperation 

                  attachment to caregiver who was most interactive

                  by 40 weeks 80% have specific attachment, 30% had multiple attachments

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Imprinting- Lorenz

AIM- investigate relationship between infant animals and their mothers

METHOD- randomly divided a clutch of goose eggs, half hatched with thier mother, half hatched in incubator with Lorenz 

                first moving object they saw was mother or lorenz 

FINDINGS- incubator group followed lorenz everywhere 

                  when groups mixed control still followed mother, experimental group followed lorenz

CONCLUSION- process known as imprinting 

                          attach to first moving object they see

                         survival technique 

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Animal study- Harlow's monkeys

AIM- to understand attachment 

METHOD- 16 baby rhesus monkeys, two wire model 'mothers'.

                  condition 1, milk dispensed by plain wire mother

                  condition 2, milk from a soft wire mother

FINDINGS- monkeys cuddled soft mother in preference to wire mother 

                    sought comfort from cloth mother when frightened regardless of which despensed milk

CONCLUSION- contact comfort was more important than food 

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Ainsworth strange situation

AIM- observe key attachment behaviours as a means of assessing the quality of a child's attachment to a caregiver.

METHOD- controlled observation in a room with a two way mirror

                 proximity seeking- good attachment, stayed close to caregiver 

                 secure base behaviour- caregiver was secure base, able to explore 

                 stranger anxiety- close attachment, anxiety around strangers 

                seperation anxiety- protest to seperation of caregiver 

                response to reunion- with caregiver after short period of time 

FINDINGS- secure attachment- children happy to explore but go back to cargiver, moderate  

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Cultural variation- Van Uzendoorn

AIM- look at attachment types across multiple countries 

METHOD- meta analysis of 32 studies from 8 countries of 1990 children

FINDINGS- secure, 75% britain, 50% china 

                   avoidant, 35% germany, 5% japan 

                   resistant, 30% israel, 3% britain

CONCLUSION- culture affects attachment type

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Bowlbys theives study- Maternal deprivation

AIM- links between affectionless psychopathy and maternal deprivation 

METHOD- 44 'theives' interviewed for signs of affectionless psychopthy, family interveiwed too

                 control of non criminals but emotionallydisturbed

FINDINGS- 14 of the theives were affectionless psychopaths, 12 of these had prolongedseperationfrom mothers

                  of the remaining 30 only 5 had exerienced serperation 

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Rutter's english and romanian adoptee study

AIM- study difference in adoptees, impact of good care to make up for poor early experiences

METHOD- followed a group of 165 romanian orphans adopted by british families

                physical, cognitive, emotional development tested at ages 4,6,11 and 15

                control group of british adoptees  

FINDINGS- first arrived with delayed intelectual development 

                  11, rate of recovery depended on the age of adoption

                 adopted before 6 months, IQ of 102

                 adopted between 6 month and 2 years, IQ of 86

                after 2 years, 77, also showed disinhibited attachment

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Coding of STM and LTM- Baddeley

AIM- to find how memory is coded

METHOD- 75 participants, one list with four words, 4 types of lists, acoustically similar, acoustically dissimilar, semantically similar, semantically dissimilar. LTM- list in wrong order, after 20 mins  asked to rearrange words. STM-asked to rearrange now

FINDINGS- STM acoustically 

                   LTM semantically 

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Monotropic theory- Bowlby

  • attachment to one caregiver more important, caregiver identified as 'mother'
  • more time baby spends withmother the better 
  • law of continuity- more constant & predictable a childs care = better quality attachment 
  • law of accumulated seperation- effects of seperation builds up, better to have 0 seperation 
  • social releasers- 'cute' behaviours from baby to encourage attention from adults, to activate adult attachment system 
  • critical period- when a childs attachment system is active, up to 2 years
  • internal working model- child forms a mental representation of relationship with caregiver
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Variation of the Milgram study

3 situational variables 


  • obedience fell to 40% when teacher & learner in the same room
  • teacher put learner hand on electric plate, fell to 30%
  • experimenter left and gave orders over phone, 21%



  • original, lab at yale uni, location gave confidence in researchers
  • run down office- 48%
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Minority to influence- Moscovici et al

AIM- to investigate minority influence 

METHOD- group of 6 people veiwed 36 blue coloured slides of varying intensity

                 asked if slide was blue or green 

                2confederates consistently say green on 2/3 of trials

FINDINGS- same wrong answer 8.42% of trials

                   32% gave same answer as minority

second condition - inconsistent minority, agreement fell to 1.25%

CONCLUSION- consistent minority can have influence over a group 

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Social change- Black civil rights, America 1950s

1. drawing attention - civil rights marches providedprrof of the problem, E.G. Rosa Parkes

2. Consistency - many marhes with people displaying consistent message and intent

3. Deeper processing - people began to thinkabout unjust haviour due to awareness 

4. Augmentation principle - number of cases where individuals risked their lives, E.G. 'Freedom Riders' gotonbusesto show seperationof races, got beaten up 

5. Snowball effect - Raising awareness continues, minority view becomes majority view. E.G. Martin Luther King made US Goverenment pass US Civil Rights Act 

6. Social cryptomnesia - people know the change happened but dont know how it occured

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