Psychology Studies

These cards are to remind you of the essential points about several psychology studies.

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  • Created on: 05-06-12 16:58

Loftus and Palmer, eye witness testimony (COGNITIV

Aim: investigate how information supplied after an event can influence someones memory of an event

Participants: 45 psychology students from the University of washington

Design: Experimental, independent measures, IV - critical verc, DV - speed estimate

Method: Each participant was shown 7 clips of traffic accidents (everyone shown same clips) and after each one they were asked to write an account of what they had just seen. They were also asked to answer some specific questions including what speed the car was going (same wording, just different word). There were 5 conditions, each with a different critical verb, either 'smashed, collided, bumped, hit, contacted'.

Findings: People with the verb smashed gave a average speed estimate of 40.8 compared to people with the verb contacted who gave a average speed estimate of 31.8

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Bandura, learning of aggression (DEVELOPMENTAL)

Aim: to demonstrate how children can learn aggression through imitation

Participants: 36 boys and 36 girls from Stanford University Nursery. There were matched on their pre-existing aggressiveness

Design: Experimental, observation, IV - sex of model/behaviour of model, DV - behavior of child

Method:  Stage 1, expose child to model (models behaviour was controlled, told to say certian things such as 'pow!'. Stage 2, arouse child. Stage 3, observed child (looked for behaviors similar to that which the adult displayed). Times were rigously controlled, exposed to model for 10 minutes, observed for 20. The observation was covert and controlled.

Findings: the children exposed to the aggressive model displayed more agressive behaviour than than those exposed to a non-aggressive model. Boys were more aggressive then girls.

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Freud, Little Hans (DEVELOPMENTAL)

Aim: to report the findings of the treatment of Little Hans who had a fear of white horses

Participants: Little Hans, a 5 year old boy.

Design: Case study, longitudinal

Method: The little boys father interviewed and observed the boy over several years (from age 3 to 5) and reported his finding the Freud who then interpreted them.

Findings: Freud focused on Little Hans' dreams and fantasies because these are the gateway to his unconscious. For example one fantasy he had was that a plumber would come and replace his 'widdler' and bum with another, bigger, pair. Freud interpreted this as Hans' growing out of his Oedipus complex.

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Rosenhan, being sane in insane places (INDIVIDUAL

Aim: to test the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are mentally ill and those who aren't

Participants: the hospital staff from 12 different hospitals, several stooges who were 'normal' people.

Design: Participant observation

Method: The stooges phoned the hospitals for an appointment complaining of hearing voices. All of them were admitted, most with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, when released they were released with schizophrenia in remission. When inside they acted normally and stopped complaining of any symptoms, they also observed the nurses behavior.

Findings: nurses spent about 90% of their time in their office, the stooges were hospitalized for 7 to 52 days, many of the toilets didn't have doors and sometimes staff were seen being brutal to patients, this made them feel powerlessness and depersonalisation. Sometimes the staff misinterpreted the patients behavior.

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Thigpen and Cleckly, multiple personality disorder

Aim: provide and account of the treatment of Eve.

Participants: Eve, a 25 year old woman who was complaining of headaches and blackouts

Design: Case study, longitudinal, psychometric tests

Method: she underwent about 100 hours of interviews over 14 months, these interviews dealt extensively with experiences that eve had undergone in her past. The different personalities also did several psychometric tests such as an ink blot test, they also had a EEG test.

Findings: During the course of the treatment 3 personalities emerged, Eve white, Eve black and Jane, these three personalities had distinct differences, for example Eve black was much more outgoing than the other two. Also in their IQ tests Eve white had an IQ of 104 and Eve Black one of 110. They thought that Eve white was suffering from multiple personality disorder, possibly caused by traumatic experiences in her childhood, such as witnessing a man fall in a saw mill.

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Griffiths, gambling behavior (INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENC

Aim: investigate cognitive bias in gambling

Participants: 60 volunteers, 30 regular gamblers and 30 non-regular gamblers

Design: Quasi experiment, IV - type of person, DV - Objective skill, skill perception, self report (semi-structure interviews), observational.

Method: All participants were asked to play on a fruit machine called 'Fruitskill', they were given £3 which equated to 30 'free' gambles. They were asked to try and stay on the machine for 60 gambles, after this they were given the choice of keeping any winnings or carrying on. The participants behavior was observed and some one them were asked to verbalize all their thoughts and these were recorded too. They also took part in a semi structured interview to measure how they perceived their skill levels, an example question is 'is there any skill involved in fruit machine gambling?'

Findings: there was no difference in the objective skills of the gamblers, no difference in total winnings, 14% of the regular gamblers verbalisations were irrational compared to 2.5% of the non regular gamblers verbalisations. Regular gamblers thought there was more skill involved, when answering the question above most regular gamblers said 'equal skill and chance' whereas most non-regular gamblers said 'mostly chance'

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Dement and Kleitman, eye movements and dreaming (P

Aim: investigate the relationship between eye movements and dreaming

Participants: 7 people, only 5 studied intensively.

Design: Laboratory experiment, asked to eat normally but avoid caffeine or alcohol, Slept in a dark quiet room.

Method: electrodes were attached to the participants, the EEG machine amplified and recorded brain activity/eye movements. They were woken at various times during the night ans asked to recall their dream, if they had been dreaming.

Findings: REM sleep is predominantly associated with dreaming, participants could accurately recall the length of their dreams (after 5 mins there were 45 correct answers and 6 wrong), there is a relationship between eye movement and dreaming, after a period of horizontal movement the participant was woken and recalled looking at two people throw tomatoes at each other.

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Maguire, London taxi drivers (PHYSIOLOGICAL)

Aim: demonstrate the plasticity of the brain

Participants: 16 male London taxi drivers, compared to 50 male non taxi drivers

Design: quasi experiment

Method: took an MRI scan of the brain, this works by exposing the participants brain to a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce a detail picture of the brain, pixel counting was carried out on the scans

Findings: there posterior hippocampus had a larger volume in the taxi drivers because of their dependence on navigation skills.

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Milgram, obedience (SOCIAL)

Aim: to investigate what levels of obedience would be shown when people were told to administer electric shocks by an authority figure

Participants: 40 males aged between 20 and 50

Design: controlled observation

Method: Participants duped into believing they were administering electric shocks to another volunteer (who was in fact a stooge), they were to read one word from a word pair out and the stooge had to give the other word from a choice of 4, if they got it wrong the participant had to administer what they thought was a real electric shock, they got progressively stronger as the stooge got more and more wrong. Their behavior was observed, the experimenter was given prods to say when the participant started to protest, for example 'please continue' and 'the experiment requires you continue'

Findings: 100% shocked up to 300 volts,65% shocked up to the maximum (450), during the course of the experiment participants showed things such nervous laughter and biting their lips.

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Piliavin, the good samaritan (SOCIAL)

Aim: investigate helping behavior

Participants: around 4450 men and woman who were travelling on the subway

Design: field experiment, IV - type of victim (drunk or ill), DV - observed helping behavior

Method: the 4 stooges entered the train through 2 different doors and took their prearranged positions, the drunk man carried a bottle in a brown bag and smelled of alcohol, the ill man carried a cane. After around 70 secs the victim collapsed, if noone helped by the end of their journey the model helped him to his feet. The behavior of the passengers on the train was observed.

Findings: the cane victim received spontaneous help on 62 out of 65 trial, the drunk on19 out of 38 trials. Some comments made included 'I wish i could help - i'm not strong enough'

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Becker, health belief model (COGNITIVE)

Aim: to use the hbm to explain mother adherence to a medial regime.

Participants: 111 mothers whose children had asthma

Design: self report, correlational (drug use, answers), blood tests confirmed drug use

Method: each mother interviewed for about 45 minutes, they were asked questions relating to their perceptions of the susceptibility of their child to asthma and the seriousness of the illness. They were asked how much it interfered with daily life and about their faith on doctors.

Findings: he found that the more serious they thought the disease the more likely they were to adhere, higher educated people were the more likely the were to adhere, the more taking the medicine interfered in daily life the less they adhered.

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Janis and Feshbeck, fear arousal (SELF REPORT/EXPE

Aim: to investigate the affect of fear arousal appeals

Participants: a 9th grade class from a US high school

Design: independent design, experiment, IV - fear arousal level, DV - teeth care

Method: participants given a questionnaire a week before the lectures with questions on dental health practices, then given the lecture (3 levels of fear arousal + control group), they were delivered in a standardized manner. After the lecture they were given a question asking for emotional respones, then a week later they were given another questionnaire asking about the long term affects.

Findings: strong fear appeal seen as most interesting, but also as the most unpleasant, however showed least increase in conforming to dental hygiene, only 8% net increase. The moderate group showed a 22% net increase and the minimal fear one a 36% net increase. 

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Watson and Raynor, little Albert (BEHAVIOURIST)

Aim: to see if a phobia can be learnt through classical conditioning.

Participants: Albert, an 8 month old child of a wet nurse (so lived in a hospital environment. He had no fear of white rats.

Design: case study, longitudinal (kinda)

Method: His baseline reactions to the stimuli was noted, he then went through the process of classical conditioning where a white rat was associated with a loud noise.

Findings: After 5 paired sessions Albert started reacting to the rat alone by immediately crying.

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Gottesman and sheilds, twin studies (BIOLOGICAL)

Aim: to review research on the genetic transmission of schizophrenia

Participants: 711, 210 identical twin pairs, 319 non-identical twin studies.

Design: review of 3 adoption studies and 5 twin studies.

Method: the incidences of schizophrenia in adopted children and mono-zygotic twins was extrapolated from the research, in the twins studies the concordance rates for the two types of twins was compared.

Findings: All three adoption studies found an increase of schizophrenia in adopted children with a schizophrenic biological parent, normal children fostered to schizophrenic parents showed little evidence of schizophrenia. All twin studies found a higher concordance rate for schizophrenia in mono-zygotic twins than in dizygotic twins. (58% in mono, 12% in di)

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McGrath, lucy (BEHAVIOURIST)

Aim: to treat a girl with a phobia using systematic desensitization

Participants: Lucy, a 9 year old girl who had a fear of sudden loud noises

Design: Case study, self report

Method: Lucy constructed a hierarchy of feared noises, she was taught breathing and imagery to relax - she was told to imagine herself at home with her toys. The stimulus was paired with her relaxing, so she eventually learnt to associate the loud noise with feeling relaxed.

Findings: By Lucys final session her fear thermometer scores had gone from 7/10 to 3/10 for balloons popping and 9/10 to 3/10 for party poppers.

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Kane, drugs vs placebo (BIOLOGICAL)

Aim: to test the effectiveness of flupehnazine for treating schizophrenia.

Participants: 28 people referred to a New York clinic who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, they'd only had 1 episode and had been in remission for a least 4 weeks during the last year.

Design: independent design, 3 groups, longitudinal

Method: participants randomly allocated to 1 of 3 groups, 2 given drugs, 1 given a placebo. They were removed of they 'dropped out', had side effects or relapsed.

Findings: 7/17 relapsed by week 19, 7 dropped out by 21 weeks - PLACEBO             no relapses, one drop out by week 24 - DRUG GROUPS

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Beck, cognitive therapy (COGNITIVE)

Aim: to compare the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and drug therapy

Participants: 44 patients diagnosed with depression.

Design: independent design, controlled experiment, longitudinal, self report

Method: patients assessed with 3 self reports before treatment, for 12 weeks they either had 1 hour cognitive therapy sessions twice a week or 100 tablets.

Findings: the cognitive treatment group showed significantly greater improvements on self reports and observer based ratings, 78,9% compared to 20%. The drop out rate was 5% in the cognitive therapy group and 20% in drug therapy.

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Johansson, work stress (INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES)

Aim: to measure the stress levels of two different types of workers

Participants: 24 Swedish saw mill workers, 14 had high responsibility, 10 were cleaners.

Method: Quasi experiment, self report, objective, independent design

Procedure: each participant was asked to give a urine sample when they arrived at work and then 4 others during the day, they also give a self report of mood (irritation/well-being). A baseline measurement was taken at the same time on a day when the workers were at home. Adrenaline levels were measured in the urine, as was body temperature.

Findings: In the first urine samples the high risk group had adrenaline twice as high as their baseline measurements and these continued to rise throughout the day. The control group had a peak measurement of 1.5 times their baseline. In the self report the high risk group felt more rushed and irritated than the control group.

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Waxler-Morrison, cancer survival (SOCIAL)

Aim: to look at how a woman's social relationships influence her response to breast cancer.

Participants: 133 woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Design: self report, quasi experiment, independent design 

Method: patients were sent a questionnaire to gather information on their demography and existing social networks, it included questions of things like who they were responsible for and their perception of support from others. The details of their diagnosis was taken from their medical records and their survival and recurrence results were checked after the study.

Findings: There were 6 aspects of a social network linked to survival; marital status, support form friends, contact with friends, total support, social network and employment. The data from the interviews showed that practical help such as cooking was an important aspect of support.

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Yochelson and samenow, criminal thinking patterns

Aim: to understand the makeup of the criminal personality

Participants: 255 males from various backgrounds, found guilty, but due to their inanity had been confined to an institution, as well as criminals who had not made the ngbroi plea and were not confined to an institution.

Design: longitudinal, self report

Method: Freudian style interviews were carried out that attempted to find the root cause of their criminality, only 30 participants completed the program and only 9 of those changed as a result. Many patients lied and gave answers they thought would improve their situation.

Findings: criminals want to live a life of excitement ,whatever the cost, the lack empathy and are restless, dissatisfied and irritable. Overall 52 distinguishable thinking patterns were discovered, they were considered to  be 'errors' in thinking.

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Brunner, genes and seretonin (BIOLOGICAL)

Aim: explain the behavior of a family in the Netherlands

Participants: 5 males from one family who showed abnormal violent behavior and were affected by borderline mental retardation.

Design: snapshot, objective

Method: data was collected from analysis of urine samples over a 24 hour period

Findings: the tests showed a disturbed monoamine metabolism associated with a deficit of the enzyme MAOA. In each of the males a point mutation was identified in the X chromosome of the gene responsible for the production of MAOA. This defect lead to an impaired serotonin metabolism which is likely to be responsible for the behavior of the males

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Moscovici, minority influence

(just a note - in fishers study after c.i 47% more infor than before, 63% more than non ci)

Aim: to investigate minority influence

Participants: all female, not colour blind

design: lab experiment, snapshot

method: particpants were placed in a group of 6, 4 of which were stooges. They were shown 36 slides that were different shades of blue and asked to state the colour (they were told it was a colour perception task). In the first group the confederates were consistent and answered green for every slide, in the second group they were inconsistent and answered green 24 times and blue 12 times.

findings: control group only 0.25% of answers were green, inconsistent group 1.25% of answers were green and in the consistent group 8.42% of answers were green.

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Aim: to compare delinquency rates amoung boys living in permantly disrupted families to those living in intact families.

participant: 411 boys from 6 state schools in South London, aged 8-9 in 1961

Design: longitudinal

Method: data was collected from the boys and their parents and included juvinlie convictions, self reported deliquncey and adult convictions. They were interviewed and tested at various ages and locations (school, research office, own homes). Interviews with parents were carried out anually and they were asked about family income, parenting practices and family siutatution. Teachers also filled out questionnaires on truancy and school behaviour.

Findings: delinquency rates were higher among boys who were living in permantly disrupted families compared to those living in intact families. 29% from d.f were convicted as juviniles, compared to 18% form an intact family.

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Wickstrom and tajfel, poverty and disadvantaged ne

Aim: to investigate why young people offend

Participants: nearly 2000 year 10 students

Design: self report + data collection

Method: interview and data collection

Findings: offenders are more often drunk and more often use drugs than other youths, offenders are more often victimised than non offenders  annd violent offenders are more likey to be victims of violence. Some explanatory factors are: family social position, individual characteristics (dispositions, morality), social situation, lifestlyes and routine activites, community contexts (school attended). One of teh most important was indivudial characterisitecs. risk factors were, weak family and school bonds, poor perental monitoring, poor self control. Social, not a stong predictor. Three types of offenders - propensity induced, lifestyle dependent, situaltionally limited.

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Aim: to find evidence to support moral stages of development.

Participants: 58 boys from chicago

Design: slef report, lab experiment

Parocedure: each boy was given a 2 hour interview with ten moral dilemas to solve.some of tehm were followed up a 3 year intervals up to gae 30 -36. several years later he studied kids in uk,mexica, taiwain.

Results: younger boys tended to perform at stages 1 and 2, with older boys at 3 and 4 suggesting support for development through stages. These patterns were cosistent i the cross cultural studies althoug preogrssion slower in non-industrialised placed.

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geer and maisel

some examples of controls: each photo proceeded by a 10 seconds tone then flasehed up, the GSR measurements were taken at the onset of the tomes, during the seconds half of the tome and in response to the photo.

heart rate monitors proved inaccurate so resluts were discarded,

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Aim: to document the case of john duffy

MethodL in november 2000 j,d confessed to his prison psychologists that he was responsible for many more murders than he had been accused for. (25 offences), most involved woman who were targeted at railway stations around london. Canter read about the cases in the eraly 1980's and started to tyr and peice them together , polcie asked in to assist in solving the crimes. he looked into every aspect in the crimes and came up with a profile of what the offenders houdl be like. He though, he lived in the area circumscribed by the first 3 cases, with a wife or a girlfriend and no children. He thought he should be mid to late twnenties, have light hair and be right handed. His job should be isolated and involvig casual labour, he has knowledge of the railway systems and has considerable sexual experieience.

so the 

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Raine, brain dysfunction

examine numrders brain

41 people who chrages with murder pleaded ngri compared with 41 controls, had all been referred to imaging centre for legak reasons


everyone kept medication free for two weeks before, injected witha  glucose tracer worked at a continuous performance task that was baseda round target recocognition for 32 minutes then given a PET scan

ngri had less activity in prefrontal and parietal areas and more activyt in occipital areas,

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