Chapter 4 - Approaches in psychology

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  • Created on: 09-04-16 23:12
Psychology
The scientific study of the human mind and its functions especially those affecting behaviour in a given context
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Science
A means of acquiring knowledge through systematic and objective investigation. The aim is to discover general laws
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Introspection
The first systematic experimental attempt to study the mind by breaking up conscious awareness into basic structures of thoughts, feelings and sensations
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Behaviourist approach
A way of explaining behaviour in terms of what is observable and in terms of learning
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Classical conditioning
LEarning by association. Occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired together - an unconditioned (unlearned) stimulus and a new neutral stimulus. The neutral stimulus eventually produces the same response as the unconditioned stimulus alone
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Operant conditioning
A form of learning in which behaviour is shaped and maintained by its consequences. Possible consequences of behaviour include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and punishment
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Reinforcement
A consequence of behaviour that increase the likelihood of that obehaviour being repeated. Can be positive or negative
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Social learning theory
A way of explaining behaviour that includes both direct and indirect reinforcement, combining learning theory with the role of cognitive factors
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Imitation
Copying the behaviour of others
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Identification
When an observer associates themselves with a role model and wants to be like the role model
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Modelling
From the observer's perspective, modelling is imitating the behaviour of a role model. From the role model's perspective, modelling is precise demonstration of specific behaviour that may be imitated by an observer
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Vicarious reinforcement
Reinforcement which is not directly experienced but occurs through observing someone else being reinforced for a behaviour. This is a key factor in imitation
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Mediational processes
Cognitive factors (i.e. thinking) that influence learning and come between stimulus and response
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Cognitive approach
The term cognitive has come to mean mental processes so this approach is focused on how our mental processes (e.g. thoughts, perceptions, attention) affect behaviour
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Internal mental processes
Private operations of the mind such as perception and attention that mediate between stimulus and response
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Schema
A mental framework of beliefs and expectation that influence cognitive processing. They are developed from experience
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Inference
The process whereby cognitive psychologists draw conclusions about the way mental processes operate on the basis of observed behaviour
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Cognitive neuroscience
The scientific study of biological structures that underpin cognitive processes
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Biological approach
A prospective that emphasises the importance of physical processes in the body such as genetic inheritance and neural functions
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Genes
They make up chromosomes and consist of DNA which codes for the physical features of an organism (such as eye colour/height) and psychological features (such as mental disorders/intelligence). Genes are transmitted from parent to offspring
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Biological structure
An arrangement or organisation of parts to form an organ system or living thing
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Neurochemistry
Relating to chemicals in the brain that regulate psychological functioning
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Genotype
The particular set of genes that a person possesses
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Phenotype
The characteristics of an individual determined by both genes and the environment
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Evolution
The changes in inherited characteristics in a biological population over successive generations
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Nervous system
Consists of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
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Central nervous system (CNS)
Consists of the brain and the spinal cord and is the origin of all complex commands and decisions.
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Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
Sends information to the CNS from the outside world and transmits messages from the CNS to muscles and glands in the body
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Somatic nervous system
Transmits information from receptor cells in the sense organs to the CNS. It also receives information from the CNS that directs muscles to act
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Autonomic nervous system
Transmits information to and from internal bodily organs. It is "autonomic" as the system operates involuntarily (automatic). It has two main divisions; the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems
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Endocrine system
One of the body's major information system thats instructs glands to release hormones directly into the bloodstream. These hormones are carried otwards target organs in the body
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Gland
An organ in the body that synthesises substances such as hormones
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Hormones
Chemical substances that circulate in the blood stream and only affect target organs. They are produced in large quantities but disappear quickly. Their effects are very powerful
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Fight or flight response
The way an animal responds when stressed. The body becomes physiologically aroused in readiness to fight an agressor or in some cases flee
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Adrenaline
Hormone produced by adrenal glands which are part of the human body's immediate stress response system. Adrenaline has strong effect on cells of the cardiovascular system stimulating the heart rate, contracting blood vessels and dilating air passages
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Neuron
The basic building blocks of the nervous system. Neurons are nerve cells that process and transmit messages through electrical and chemical signals
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Sensory neurons
These carry messages from the PNS to the CNS. They have long dendrites and short axons.
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Relay neurons
These connect the sensory neurons to the motor or other relay neurons. They have short dendrites and short axons.
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Motor neurons
These connect the CNS to effectors such as muscles and glands. They have short dendrites and long axons
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Synaptic transmission
The process by which neighbouring neurons communicate with each other by sending chemical messages across the gap (synapse) that separates them
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Neurotransmitter
Brain chemicals released from synaptic vesicles that relay signals across the synapse from one neuron to another. These can be broadly divided into those that perform an excitatory function and those that perform inhibitory function
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Excitation
When a neurotransmitter such as adrenaline increases the positive charge of the post synpatic neuron. This increases the likelihood that the neuron will fire and pass on the electrical impulse
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Inhibition
When a neurotransmitter such as serotonin increases the negative charge of the post synaptic neuron. This decreases the likelihood that the neuron will fire and pass on the electrical impulse
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Card 2

Front

A means of acquiring knowledge through systematic and objective investigation. The aim is to discover general laws

Back

Science

Card 3

Front

The first systematic experimental attempt to study the mind by breaking up conscious awareness into basic structures of thoughts, feelings and sensations

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

A way of explaining behaviour in terms of what is observable and in terms of learning

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

LEarning by association. Occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired together - an unconditioned (unlearned) stimulus and a new neutral stimulus. The neutral stimulus eventually produces the same response as the unconditioned stimulus alone

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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