Psychology GCSE Unit 2 Studies

All of the studies needed for unit 2 Psychology

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Pavlov - Classical Conditioning


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Watson and Rayner - Classical Conditioning 

Aim: To see if the emotional respone of fear could be conditioned in a human being. 

Method: Albert was11 month old and had no fear of a white lab rat. In the conditioning trails the rat was shwon to Albert, and as he reached for it a metal bar was hit hard with a hammer to scare Albert. This was done several times. 

Results: After several times, when the rat was presented again Albert screamed and tried to get away. He done this even though the bar was not hit by the chammer. He also screamed when he was shown a Santa mask and a fur coat.

Conclusion: Fear responses could be learnt and even very young children could learn in the way suggested by classical conditioning. 

Evaluation: - unethical, causes stress - can't generalise, 1 boy. 

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Thorndike - Operant Conditioning

Aim: To investigate the effect of consequences on learned behaviour of animals. 

Method: He noticed that a hungry cat could learn to open a latch so they could escape the cage and eat. Early on in the trail, the cat accidently knocked the latch as it was turning around. This allowed the cat out to get fish. The cat was then returned to the cage.

Results: Each time the cat returned to the cage, there was less time before it opened the latch and escaped again.

Conclusion: The cat had learnt to associate pressing the lever with getting the food (pleasant consquence)

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Social Influence - Conformity


Aim: To find out if an individual would stick with the right answer even if they knew everyone else in the group was wrong.

Method: Groups of 6 to 9 people, all confederates except for one. All shown pictures of lines and shown line 'A'. The p's had to pick which line was the same size as line A. All of the confederates chose the wrong line, on purpose.

Results: 32% rate of conformity. Naive p either copied the condeferates and chose the completely wrong answer, or chose the correct answer and did not conform.

Conclusion: In a group people are more likely to conform then when they are alone, even if they know the answer is wrong. This is normative conformity.

Evaluation: - deception - can't generalise = all white men

Implications: Juries, if 11 agree on verdict, the last person will conform even if they don't agree on verdict. 

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Social Influence - Obedience

Hofling et al

Aim: To see whether nursers were obedient to a potentially life-threatening orrder given to them by a doctor.

Method: 22 Nursers were phoned by a doctor (name was not known by nurses) and told to give the patient 20mg of a drug or they would die. (nursers didn't know they were only glucose tablets) On the box of the tablets it said the usual dose was 5mg and the daily maximum was 10mg.  

Results: Out of the 22 nurses, 21 completed the telephone call and gave the patient 20mg of the drug. The nursers offered no resistance and simply followed the orders. 

Conclusion: People are obedient in real life situations. 

Evaluation: - unethical = caused nurses stress = more eco validity = in a hospital

Implications: Government, Police = People listen to authority figure

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Social Influence - Deindividuation


Aim: To test the idea of deindividuation

Method: Female P's in groups of 4. Had to give electric shocks to confederates. 2 conditions = 1. Identifiable - name tags, no masks. 2. Anonymous - wore masks. 

Results: When anonymous women were twice as likely to give shocks compared to when they were identifiable.

Conclusion: If people know that they can't be identified they are more likely to behave aggressively.   

Evaluation: - Biased Sample = all female - task was unrealistic

Implications: Police can break up large crowds to stop behaviour 

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Social Influence - Bystander Intervention

Latane and Darley

Aim: Test the concept of diffusion of responsibility.

Method: Students had to sit in booths and communicate with each other via intercom, P's either 1. thought there was 1 other person 2. thought there was 2 other people 3. thought there was 5 other people. Confederate had an epileptic fit. 

Results: When there was only 1 other person- 85% When there was only 2 people- 62% When there was 5 other people - 31%

Conclusion: More likely to help when alone with confederate- this is diffusion of responsibility. People think someone else will do something.

Evaluation: - p's where deceived  - unrepresentative = all college students + well controlled

Implications: teach people first aid and confidence to do something in a situation. 

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Social Influence - Social Loafing

Arterberry et al

Aim: To investigate whether social loafing occurs when children are asked to solve problems.

Method: 5 year old children. 4 conditions 1. Alone with easy puzzle 2. Alone with hard puzzle 3. In pair with easy puzzle 4. In pair with hard puzzle. Some children told work would be evaluated, some were not. 

Results: When alone on a hard puzzle, they done the most work. When in a pair on an hard puzzle children hardly done any work. 

Conclusion: Children tried harder on the easy puzzle when paired than on the hard puzzle. Children try harder when something is easy.

Evaluation: - can't generalise results = american children + well controlled

Implications: Can happen in army and big factories. More CCTV and evaluations will stop social loafing. 

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Sex and Gender - Psychodynamic Theory

Freud - Little Hans

Aim: To investigate Little Hans's phobia

Method: Hans's father wrote to Freud. At the age of 4 Hans developed a phobia of horses. He was frightened that a horse might bite him or fall down, he was particularly afraid of large white horses with black around the mouth. 

Results: Freud said Hans was experiencing the Oedipus complex. He unconsciously sexually desired his mother and saw his father as a rival and feared him. He displaced the fear of his father onto horses. The black around the mouth represented his fathers dark beard. Fear of being bitten by the horse was the fear of castration. 

Conclusion: Supports Freuds ideas around Oedipus complex

Evaluation: - can't generalise = may be afraid of horses. - can't be tested.

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Sex and Gender - Social Learning

Perry and Bussey 

Aim: To show that children imitate behaviour carried out by same-sex role models.

Method: Children showed films of role models carrying out activities that were unfamiliar to the children. 1. males played with one set of toys and females play with different set of toys 2. male and females played with same set of toys

Results: 1. Children copied of role models and boys only played with the toys the male model played with, girls only played with the toys the female model played with. 2. No difference in the activities the children chose to play with.    

Conclusion: when children in an unfamiliar situation they will observe the behaviour of same-sex role models.

Evaluation: + lots of supporting evidence  - if SLT was correct, children should be similar to same sex sibling.   - biological factors ignored.

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Sex and Gender - Gender Schema


Aim: To show childrens understanding of gender becomes less stereotyped and therefore more flexible as they get older. 

Method: Children heard stories about the toys that male and female characters enjoy playing with. Some characters were described as liking gender-stereotyped activities, while other characters were described as liking non-gender-stereotyped activities. Children then asked to predict what toy each character would like.

Results: Younger children used only the sex of the character to decide what toy they would like to play with. For example, if a character was male and liked dolls, they would predict they would play with trucks. Older children listened to what the character liked playing.

Conclusion:  Older children have more flexible view of gender than younger children do. 

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Aggression - Biological Cause


Aim: To use a brain scan to see if there are any differences in the brains of murderers and matched group of non murders 

Method: 1. A group of 41 murderers who had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. 2. A group of 41 people who had not committed a murder and were matched on a one-to-one basis with the murder group in terms of age and sex. All had brain scan, and had to do various activities during it. 

Results: Murderers had less activity than the controls in the pre frontal context, area linked to self control. In the amygdala, less activity in the left side than the right side of the brain in the murderers. This controls violent behaviour.

 Conclusion: The results indicate that there may be a link between brain dysfunction and violence.

Evaluation: - can't generalise findings 

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Aggression - Psychodynamic

Megargee and Mendelsohn

Aim: Link between personality type and aggeession.

Method: Prisoners in jail for very aggressive crimes did personality tests and interview's. 

Results: People with strict parents hold back anger.

Conclusion: Anger repressed to unconscious and explodes uncontrollably. 

Evaluation: + evidence to supports the model - can't be tested as its unconcious

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Aggression - Social Learning

Bandura, Ross and Ross

Aim: Investigate whether young children will imitate an aggressive model

Method: 4 conditions 1. group of girls and boys who were exposed to same sex aggressive model. 2. group of boys and girls who were exposed to a opposite sex aggressive model. 3. group of boys and girls exposed to same sex non aggressive model. 4. group of girls and boys exposed to opposite sex non aggressive model. Watched them play with bobo doll.

Results: Children in aggressive condition re produced verbal and physical aggressive acts that they had observed. In non aggressive condition, children simply played with doll.

Conclusion: Results show strong evidence that children likely to copy new behaviour 

Evaluation: - models can't be removed from media - can't make people imitate good behaviour

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Aggression - Frustration Aggression


Aim: To investigate the idea that people could learn to assoicate a paritcular stimulus with anger.

Method: P's where angered by confederate, then given opportunity to give them an electric shock. Some p's saw a shot gun next to shock switches and some saw neutral objects such as badminton racket. 

Results: People who saw guns gave more shocks then people who saw neutral stimulus. 

Conclusion: People learn to associate particular stimuli with anger. 

Evaluation: - unrealistic  - not reliable + experiment supports it

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jack smith


there is quite a lot of info here that really helped! thanks guys... *****



PLEASE use a spell checker


Chloe Sibley-Morgan


You know the first slide is blank, right? Other than that it was useful :)

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