WJEC - AS - Psychology Unit 2 - Procedures


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  • Created on: 10-05-12 20:56

Asch - Procedures - Part 1

  • 123 male students volunteered (Self-selected sample method) from 4 universities in American, paid $3 each. Research Method:Laboratory experiment.
  • Ppts told they were taking part in a vision experiment. 
  • In the original procedure, a Naive (genuine) ppt joined a group of 6-8 confederates (sat in a 'horse-shoe formation) The Naive Ppt always sat last or next to last (heard the confederates answers first).
  • The group were given a task to match up the length of a line with one of 3 alternatives given. In turn, each member asked to give answer. Clearly unambiguous task.
  • Basic procedure, there were 18 trials all together (task repeated 18 times): 6 control trials (to check the ppts know what they are doing, Confederates gave correct answers) and 12 critical trials (where the confederates gave an incorrect answer - to test the conformity rates). First 2 trials (part of control trails) - confederate answered correctly to establish trust with the confederates and the naive participant.
  • If at any point it was clear that the naive participant had 'sussed' that they were being manipulated, the experiment was stopped.
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Asch - Procedures - Part 2

  • Additional Procedures: Group size - varied  from 2 to 16 to see what effect the size of majority had on conformity. This was to investigate whether people would be more likely to conform in a group with more or less confederates. 
  • Dissenter-inaccurate: Asch also tested the effect of introducing another confederate who disagreed with BOTH the other confederates and the naive ppt.
  • Dissenter -accurate: Also he introduced a dissenter who disagreed with the other confederates but agreed with Naive ppt.
  • Partner who changes his mind: confederate who gave correct answer for first 6 critical trials then gave conforming answers (wrong) for the remaining trials.
  • Partner who leaves: confederate who gave independent (correct) answers for the first 6 trials  and then 'has to leave; the experiment for an important appointment.
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Milgram - Procedures - Part 1

  • Sample of 40 American males (ranging age of 20-50) of various occupational backgrounds by self- selected sampling through a newspaper advert calling for people to help with a memory and learning experiment at Yale University; paid $4 and 50cent for travel and told they would be paid just for coming to the lab regardless of what happened afterwards. DV- obedience, level of shock.  Research Method: Lab Experiment (although there was no specific IV).
  • How it took place: Naive ppt and Confederate (likeable 47 year old man) are introduced to each other by the 'experimenter' (middle ages man in lab coat, stern impassive appearance). Draw is taken to determine teacher/learner role ( rigged so that the Naive ppt will always be the teacher). 
  • Both taken to experimental room where learner is strapped to the 'electric' chair, electrodes are placed on wrists of confederate that is linked to the shock generator in the room next door ( No actual shocks were given). 
  • Teacher is shown to the room next door and presented with the Shock Generator. Told the experiment was to do with the effects of punishment on learning. Before the experiment, the teacher was attached to the electrodes and given a mild shock to make it more believable.
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Milgram - Procedures - Part 1

  •  Shock generator: ranges from 15 to 450 volts, going up in 15 volts with each lever (30 lever switches). Verbal descriptions were used aswell for 4 switches:  from 15-60, Slight Shock to 435-450, *** Labelling reinforced the effect of the shock on the learner, causes guilt of the naive ppt.
  • Learning Task: paired associate learning task. Teacher read out a series of word pairs to leaner (e.g. blue- girl, nice-day, fat-neck) then they would read the 1st word with 4 terms (e.g. boy, girl, house, bird) Learner had to indicate which of the 4 terms had originally been paired with the 1st word, communicated by pressing 1 of 4 switches in front of him which would in turn light up 1 of 4 boxes in front of the teacher. Teacher had to administer a shock when learner gave a wrong answer, had to move to a higher shock each time.
  • Learner was told to give a wrong answer approx. every 3 correct answers - told to make no protest until 300 volts (started to bang on the wall at this point and could be heard by teacher then went silent and gave no answer indicating something was wrong). Teacher told to announce loudly the level of shock he was going to administer. If teacher wanted to stop, experimenter gave 4 standard prods: "Please continue", "The experiment requires that you continue", "It is absolutely essential that you continue", "You have no other choice, you must go on"
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Rahe et al - Procedures - Part 1

  • Prospective correlational study (to establish whether there was a relationship between stressful life events and future illness) with 2684 naval men, average age 22.3 years. 2/3 of men were high school graduates, remainder ranged from low ranking apprentice seamen to high ranking officers with 30 years experienceDuring the study, less than 10% was lost due to transfer off the ship.
  • Stressful life events were recorded using a Self-administered questionnaire called the 'Schedule of Recent Experiences' (SRE).  Ppts took part in a military updated version which documented significant life changes relating to: personal, family, community, social, religious, economic, occupational, residential and health expereinces, (for the 2 year period before deployment onto one of the 3 navy ships).                        
  •  Each life event was given a life change unit (LCU) - showed how stressful the life event was, total LCU scores were calculated for each ppt for each of the four six month periods. Questionnaire was carried out before they went on the ship.
  • Variable 1- Score on SRE questionnaire, Variable 2 - number of illnesses. 
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Rahe et al - Procedures - Part 2

  • There were 3 ships with naval officers on board, once on board all ppts were in the same environment, experiencing same weather, general levels of work stress and infections. However, it was considered that ships 1 and 3 had easier missions than ship 2. 
  • The number of illnesses experienced by each of the ppts were recorded by medical staff (those considered not to be genuine cases of illness were not included in the study) Neither the ppts or medical staff were aware of beign part of a study (double blind).
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Bennet-Levy and Marteau - Procedures

  • Opportunity sampling method, 113 ppts who were attending a health centre. 
  • Research Method: Questionnaires and informal interviews. Split into 2 groups: Group 1- answered first questionnaire on fear and avoidance (using a 3 point (fear) and 5 point (avoidance) likert scale), 34 females and 30 males, average age: 35.5 years. Group 2 - answered second questionnaire on characteristics (ugly, slimy, speedy, sudden movement- using 3 point likert scales), 25 females and 24 males, average age: 35.1 years.
  • Th questionnaires were distributed randomly. Questionnaires were investigating people's responses to 29 small harmless animals/insets, had some perceptual characteristics of harmful animals that create fear in humans so should be fearful but no threat to humans. Ppts told to rate as if all animals are harmless so harm was not a factor in ratings made. Both questionnaires deisgned to measure self-reported fear/avoidance etc.. 
  • Informal Questioning occurred after the questionnaires were completed to give qualitative data as well as quantitative.
  • Ppts were not shown real pictures of animals, completed questionnaires via each ppt's own imagination.
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Loftus and Palmer - Procedures

  • Experiment 1: 45 US college ppts  in a lab experiment, shown 7 clips ranging from 5 to 30 seconds of traffic accidents. Participants were firstly given an open-ended question asking them to 'give an account of the accident you have just seen'. They were then given specific questions about the accident. 
  • Critical question: 'About for fast were the cars going when they hit each other?' Nine ppts were given this question to answer. Another group of nine were asked the same question but the word 'hit' was replaced with the word 'smashed'. Other words used to replace 'hit' were 'collided', 'bumped' and 'contacted' and all asked to separate groups of nine people.  The given estimates were recorded.
  • Experiment 2: 150 US college ppts in a lab experiment, shown film of a multiple car crash, lasted less than 4 seconds. Participants were asked 'How fast were the cars going when they __ each other?' Groups of 50 asked on question with 3 verbs: 50 asked 'smashed', 50 asked 'hit' and final 50 were not asked about the speed impact. 
  • One week later ppts were asked the critical question, 'Did you see any broken glass?' (there hadn't been any broken glass in the film). 
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Gardner and Gardner - Procedures - Part 1

Research Method: Single participant longitudinal case study. IV- exposure to ASL (American Sign Language) DV- Washoe's use of ASL.    Sample: Washoe, a wild-caught (at 1-2 months old) female baby bought by Gardner, approximately 8-14 months old at the start of the experiment.

How it was carried out: First few months Washoe was in the lab: focused on building a trusting relationship between Washoe and her 'human companions' and also developing a daily routine.  From the beginning, Gardner aimed to ensure that Washoe could not only ask for objects but answer questions as well. - they wanted what could be described as a 'conversation'. Her 'human companions' were to be friends and playmates, they introduced games and activities that would likely result in maximum interaction with Washoe. All of Washoe's 'companions' were required to master ASL and to only use this method of communication in Washoe's presence. 

Sign language, consists of a set of manual gestures which correspond to particular words or concepts, has it's own rules of usage. These words can be: Arbitrary: the sign appears to have no obvious connection to the object it is representing. Iconic: the actions relate to the object (e.g. flower is made by holding the fingers of one hand extended, the fingertips touching and touching the fingertips first to one nostril then to the other as if sniffing a flower. The environment for Washoe was made to be as similar as possible to that of a deaf child who has been born to deaf parents is up in. ASL is in current use by humans.

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