Individual Differences Psychology

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What is an assumption of Individual Differences psychology?
To understand the complexity of human behaviour and experiences it necessary to study the differences between people rather than those things that we all have in common
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What are the advantages of the Individual Differences approach?
Provides useful in improving the experiences of people with mental health problems, Use of psychometric tests provide reliable and quantitative data which can easily be analysed
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What are the disadvantages of the Individual Differences approach?
Has a tendency to ignore external factors such as the situation a person is in, ethical issues raised with labelling people as being different
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What is MPD defined as?
It is characterised by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person's behaviour
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What was the aim of Thigpen and Cleckley's study?
To write up a case study of a patient displaying Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD/ DID)
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What was the method in Thigpen and Cleckley's study?
Longitudinal case study, data collection from interviews with patient and family; observations during consultations; psychometric and projective testing; lasted over 14 months, over 100 hours of interviews
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Who was the participant in Thigpen and Cleckley's study?
Eve White, who had two other personalities - Eve Black, and Jane
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What happened in Part One of Thigpen and Cleckley's findings?
Eve White - in therapy for severe headaches and blackouts. She talked about marital difficulties - came across as matter of fact, and truthful. EW could not remember a trip she had recently been on, so Thigpen hypnotised her;the memory was recovered
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What happened in Part Two of Thigpen and Cleckley's findings?
A few days later - letter appeared. Appeared to have been written by EW except last paragraph; like the work of a child. In next therapy session, EW said she'd started it then destroyed it. Then asked if hearing voices made her insane
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Why were Thigpen and Cleckley confused about EW's announcement of hearing voices?
It suggested schizophrenia, but she was embarrassed about talking about it - so it couldn't have been schizophrenia, or she wouldn't have been embarrassed to discuss it
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What happened in Part Three of Thigpen and Cleckley's findings?
EW showed pain and dropped hands to sides. Suddenly, said in a bright voice 'Hi there doc!'. EB had appeared.
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Who was Eve Black in Thigpen and Cleckley's study?
EB was described by the therapists as more playful, sexually attractive and free of the distress that were familiar in EW. EB spoke of EW's problems, referring to EW as 'her' and 'she',like another person. When asked her name, she replied 'Eve Black'
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What were some of the differences between EB and EW?
EW was troubled by her marriage-EB thought this distress was silly, despised the husband EW loved her daughter-EB thought this was 'pretty corny' EW 'had a quiet dignity about personal sorrow'-EB 'immune to major affective events in relationships
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What did the therapists uncover about EB's past, unknown to EW?
EB had been an independant life since childhood, but EW had no knowledge or awareness of her
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What was the first example of EB doing something 'bad' then leaving EW to take the punishment?
Going into the woods as a child - EB went 'back inside' so EW would take the punishment. EW's parents confirmed the story and said there had been several occasions to unaccountable changes to EW's behaviour
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What was the second example of EB doing something 'bad' then leaving EW to take the punishment?
EW beaten by her husband for going on a shopping spree that plunged the family into debt. EW denied all knowledge even after itens were found in her house. EB confirmed it was her, but was unmoved by the consequences EW suffered
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What were the psychological differences between EW and EB
EW -demure,careful,hardworking,not spontaneous,IQ 110,repressive personality EB-vain, mischievous,spontaneous,dresses provocatively,IQ 104,regressive personality
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What was the goal of Thigpen and Cleckley's therapy?
To enable Eve to have one personality - difficult as EB could not be hypnotised, and had no sympathy for EW.
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What happened after 8 months of therapy?
Headaches and blackouts returned; this time for EB and EW. Third personality emerged - Jane. She was like a medium between the two Eves, and the therapists hoped Jane could be 'more of a woman' than either Eves'. EEGs showed Jane and EW were similar
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What were the conclusions of Thigpen and Cleckley's research?
There was no explanation offered to the cause of MPD, but their observations seemed to call for further research into the disorder
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What are the strengths of Thigpen and Cleckley's study?
Longitudinal, psychometric and projective tests used, independant witnesses confirmed EW's stories - the personalities were too consistent over the extended period of time to be fake
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What are the weaknesses of Thigpen and Cleckley's study?
Only 1 patient studied, unethical that T&C described EB as 'sexually attractive', findings are biased due to therapists believing they had found a genuine study of MPD, consent issues - which personality gave consent to being part of the study?
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What did Rosenhan want to prove through his study?
That the way psychiatric patients were diagnosed in the US was flawed (DSM criteria for mental illnesses was not efficient in its job)
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What was Rosenhan's aim in Experiment 1?
To see if sane individuals could be diagnosed as insane and admitted to a psychiatric hospital
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What was Rosenhan's procedure for Experiment 1?
Pseudopatients called psych. hospitals requesting appointments, reported hearing voices and hearing words 'thud, empty, hollow' (IV). Words were chosen as they were thought to represent and existential crisis
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How were the participants supposed to act once they had been admitted in Rosenhan's study?
They were instructed to act normally, and report that the voices in their heads had stopped completely
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What were the findings of Rosenhan's Experiment 1?
Pseudopatients were in between 7 - 52 days. It was safer for doctors to misdiagnose sane as insane (Type 2 Error), rather than the other way around (Type 1 Error). Real patients = aware of 'fake' patients, made comments like 'You're not insane'
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What did Rosenhan find about the 'stickiness of labels'?
Once patients were diagnosed, all of their behaviour was interpreted accordingly to their illness. Eg - writing notes was 'pathological writing behaviour'. Queueing for lunch was 'oral acquisitive pathological behaviour'
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What did the pseudopatients experience inside the hospitals?
90% of time-patients left alone in the wards,staff spent most time behind glass screens,psychologists rarely recorded entering ward. In 4 hospitals,pseudopatients went to staff to ask Qs when they weren't busy,little/no eye contact, brief responses
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What other things did the pseudopatients experience in the hospitals?
Very little respect for patients, lacked personal space in toilets and bathrooms
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What is a Type 1 Error?
Misdiagnosing the insane as sane
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What is a Type 2 Error?
Misdiagnosing the sane as insane
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What was Rosenhan's aim in Experiment 2?
To see if the insane could be diagnosed as sane
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What was the reason for Experiment 2?
A hospital, after Experiment 1, contacted Rosenhan and said that they could perform better a second time round. Rosenhan told them he would send more pseudopatients, but he actually didn't - he wanted to see if the insane could be diagnosed as sane
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What were the findings of Rosenhan's Experiment 2?
During the 3 months, 193 patients were admitted. 19 were thought by a psychiatrist and another member of staff to be a pseudo. 23 were thought by at least 1 psychiatrist to be a pseudo. 41 were thought by at least 2 members of staff to be a pseudo
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What did Rosenhan conclude from his research?
The DSM is open to flaws and misdiagnosis. The hospitals and the labels provided influence perceptions of behaviour, which is more likely to be interpreted as insane
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What were the strengths of Rosenhan's study?
Creative experimental design that led to high ecological validity, Study 1's carefully selected symptoms were clever but Study 2 was seen as a stroke of genius on Rosenhan's part, the findings were useful with real world application
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What were the weaknesses of Rosenhan's study?
If the pseudopatients were presenting the right symptoms in an affective way then the psychiatrist's diagnoses weren't wrong, not ethical, not representative sample as the study was only conducted in the US
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What are two of the heuristics regular gamblers may have? (Griffiths gambling study)
The Illusion of Control, and Flexible Attributions
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What is the Illusion of Control?(Griffiths gambling study)
Gamblers believe that they have a greater chance of winning that probability would suggest, and also that their skill influences their chance of winning
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What are Flexible Attributions? (Griffiths gambling study)
Gamblers consider that success is due to their own skill and that failure results from external influences such as a malfunctioning fruit machine
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What was the aim of Griffiths' study?
To investigate cognitive bias involved in gambling behaviour
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What were the 4 main hypotheses in Griffiths' study?
1-No difference between skill levels of reg and non-reg gamblers 2-reg gamblers would produce more irrational verbalisations 3-reg gamblers would being more skill orientated 4-'thinking aloud' participants would take longer to complete the task
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What was the method of Griffiths' study?
Quasi - the IV was if you were a regular gambler or not, this could not be manipulated for the purpose of the experiment
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How were the participants recruited for Griffiths' study?
A poster in local universities and colleges
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Who were the participants in Griffiths' study?
Each participant had to have played on a fruit machine at least once. Reg gamblers - those who gambled on fruit machines at least once a week. Non-reg - those who played once a month or less. Participants divided into 2 groups, think aloud or no
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What was the procedure in Griffiths' experiment?
Each participant given £3 - equivalent to 30 free gambles. Asked to stay on machine for 60. Required them to break even then win back £3. If they reached 60 they could continue or take the money they had left (motivator for reg gamblers)
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What were the DVs in Griffiths' experiment?
Total number of plays in a session, total time in mins of play, total no. of plays per min, total winnings in 10p pieces after playing session, total no. of mins between wins, total no. of plays between wins
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What were the findings of Griffiths' experiment?
Reg gamblers had higher playing rate (8per min compared to 6per min). Reg gamblers who thought aloud had lower win rate (in plays). Reg gamblers spent more time on the machines from the same initial stake
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What were the irrational verbalisation findings in Griffiths' experiment?
Personification of the machine 'The machine likes me' Explaining away losses 'I lost because I wasn't concentrating'
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What were the rational verbalisation findings in Griffiths' experiment?
General swearing/cursing 'Damn' ect . Reference to winning 'I won 40p I think'
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What was the percentage of irrational utterances for regular and non regular gamblers?
Non-reg - 2.5% Reg - 14%
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What were the conclusions of Griffiths' experiment?
Diff between reg and non reg gamblers was how they dealt cognitively with the idea of skill related to gambling. Thinking aloud has the potential to be an effective therapy for gamblers who may be addicted to fruit machines
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What were the strengths of Griffiths' study?
High ecological validity, risk and excitement of gambling was maintained as a motivator (had to break even and win back £3), Triangulation - observations, thinking aloud and interviews afterwards; 3 techniques used to gather data
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What were the weaknesses of Griffiths' study?
Damaged ecological validity (knew they were being watched), 'thinking aloud' is not natural behaviour, participants may have also censored themselves when thinking aloud, gender biased sample in the regular gamblers - not representative
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Card 2

Front

What are the advantages of the Individual Differences approach?

Back

Provides useful in improving the experiences of people with mental health problems, Use of psychometric tests provide reliable and quantitative data which can easily be analysed

Card 3

Front

What are the disadvantages of the Individual Differences approach?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is MPD defined as?

Back

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Card 5

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What was the aim of Thigpen and Cleckley's study?

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