Psychology- The Approaches

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  • Created by: FireDwarf
  • Created on: 06-09-13 17:22
What are the diffrent approaches?
Biological, Psychodynamic, Behaviorist, Cognitive, Social Learning theory, Humanistic
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What are the biological assumptions?
That all our our behaviour is due to our genetics and is therefore innate and on a biological basis. The Mind and the brain are the same. Our genes have evolved to adapt for our enviroment. The comparative method provides results which can be used.
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What is the comparative method?
Is comparing animal characteristics with human characteristics. It states that results found from testing on animals can be applied to human behaviour.
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Evidence for this?
Bock and Goode (1996)- Rat segrigated- then introduced to other rats- was aggressive- Must be innate because it didnt have any opportunity to learn it. Share the vast majority of our DNA with animals, which means we must be linked.
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What are the pros of testing on animals?
Large population of rats and other animals, faster breeding process so results can be collected at a quicker rate, share the vast majority of our DNA with them.
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Strenghs of biological approach?
Pro: Supports natural argument, Uses scientific method which needs evidence making ideas valid, useful application (biological by nature, therefore a biological approach)
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Cons; Reduces human behaviour to lowest form which could be seen as oversimplfying a complex idea. Ignores alot of the evidence for what could infulence our behaviour (eg: the enviroment) which means not all its ideas could be valid. Ethical issues
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What is sex?
Sex is based on the physiology of the human, where they are decided whether they are male or female based on their body eg: Male testicals, Female Vagina
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What is gender?
Gender is based upon a persons traits and characteristics. The way they act defines whether they are masculine, feminine or androgynous
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What does androgynous mean?
It means they display both strong masculine and feminine traits.
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What does Darwin state?
Our enviroment will change and therefore animals will adapt. The genes which adapt to these changes in enviroments are adaptive while those who dont are malaadaptive. The ones able to adapt will survive while the others will not. Strongest genes .
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Sexual selection? - animals
The mates chosen by animals are the ones who show the best chance of allowing them to produce an offspring which will surive. This means that the animals which are mated with are those who are strong etc. Their genes pass on,, weaker do not.
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**- humans
Humans breed with those who display characteristics they find attractive, as time goes on these attributes may chance. Humans will evolve based on those who are able to breed, humans who are not attractive will be unable to pass on genes.
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What is genotype?
Geneotype is a persons genetics and is inherited from their parents
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What is phenotype?
It is what is oberserable. It is a combination of a persons genotype and environment and therefore is the result of the combination of both.
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Example of a condition where it demostrates the diffrence?
PKU is inhertied via a reccessive gene. It is therefore genetic and relates to a persons genes. It does however require a trigger of digesting phenylalonine for the condtion to cause harm. Therefore, the phenotype of having the condition is
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both having the genetics and the enviromental factor of digesting the phenylalonine for the phenotype (having the condition) to be apparent
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What is the behaviourist approach?
It is a approach which states that we are born with nothing and therefore learn everything based on our enviroment, through operational and classical conditioning
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Basic assumptions?
Behaviour is learnt via our enviroment, it is determined by reinforcement or punishment, only observable behaviour should be studied, psychology should study the laws of learning
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Who came up with the law of effect?
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Law of effect?
Behaviours that provide rewards are repeated while behaviours that result in punishment are not
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He found that cats found the maze exit and tended to repeat this behaviour because it was a postive result, rather then not finding the exit which is not a postive result.
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Operant conditioning?
Operant conditioning is when a person learns due to consequences of interacting in the environment through positive and negative reinforcement and punishment
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Who came up with the theory?
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He placed rats in a box with a lever that gave food. Rats found lever and got food. Rat kept hitting lever. This therefore proves that the rat carried on with the behaviour as it had been positively reinforced by the rat obtaining food.
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Types of reinforcement?
Postive- Giving something pleasent Negative- Taking something away which is unpleasant
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Types of punishment?
P- Giving of something unpleasant N- Taking away something pleasant.
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Classic Conditioning?
Learning based on the addition of a neutral stimulus onto a already present unconditioned reflex.
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pavlov noticed that dogs drool when food is presented. He thought that if he added a neutral responce, a bell, then the dog would connect the bell with the food. Then when we introduced the neutral responce without the food, the drooling was still
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reproduced, therefore turning the unconditioned relfex into a conditioned responce by adding another stimuls and causing a connection between the neutral responce and the reflex.
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Evaluation- Strenghs
Uses rigorous scientific method, strong arguement for the nurture side, Number of pratical applications (eg: training dogs via operant conditioning) + use of comparative method (same genes)
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Ignores the mental proccesses, rejects biological factors, Gets rid of ideas a free will and is pre-determinded and follows law of effect, Use of animals, is it accurate?
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What is SLT?
Social Learning theory is based upon the idea of being a bridge between the cognitive theory and the behaviourists. While they respect the idea of learning via consequences, they accept there are cognitive proccesses
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You can learn vicariously via role models (live and symbolic), learning can be reinforced via direct and vicarious reinforcement, between stimulus and response is the mediational proccess.
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How do you learn via SLT?
Your learn via consqeuences in the enviroment, so operant and classical conditioning. However, the events and consquences do not have to link directly to you and can be learnt vicariously by observing models in our enviroment
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What is a model?
A model is a person who demostrates a certian kind of behaviour which we observe and can copy. It can be good or bad behaviour.
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What 2 types of models are there
Live models (ones we can see) and symbolic models (tv, media etc)
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How do we complete observable behaviour?
Attention,retention, motor reproduction (replicating the behaviour) and motivation
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why do people copy others behaviours? Why do we stay away from others behaviours?
They will copy them based upon vicarious reinforcement . We may not complete them by observing vicarious punishment.
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Example case study?
Bobo Doll
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To see whether the behaviours of symbolic models could effect a childs behaviour
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They showed children videos of children beating up a doll, with an adult providing postivly on the behaviour, negativly on it and no comment at all. They were then placed in a room with their own doll and we observed their behaviour
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The people who saw the beating doll up reward scenario were aggressive to the doll, while those who saw the negative one were not aggressive
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That children can be effected by models in the enviroment and will copy their behaviour, if reinforced.
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Takes into account the cognitive proccess in learning, Uses scientific method, useful applications (eg: gender development)
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Doesnt explain why people act in diffrent ways when a situation occurs. If we all observe the same behaviour, why do you not all copy it?, If we have never observed the behaviour or directly had it ourselves, how does it occur?
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How does a person become a crinimal if they have never been assosiated with crinimals (direct reinforcement) or observed crinimal behaviour ( vicarious reinforcement)
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What does the Cognitive approach focus on?
The Cognitive approach focuses on idea that mental processes determine our behaviour.
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Cognitive approach assumptions?
Mental Proccesses lie in between stimulus and responce, humans are infomation-proccessors,actively organise and manipulate info,mind like computer
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What does the cognitive approach use? What do they reject?
Scientific method and they reject unscientific methods such as introspection (Psychodynamic)
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What are they intrested in?
The mental proccesses that lie in between stimulus and response eg:memory
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What models do they use?
Computer model and connectionists model, as well as many others
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Infomation-proccessing model? (Computer)
Encode infomation from the enviroment --- Transformation of information---- Output in behavioral responce.
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Connectionists model?
Neural analogy -- Huge array of neurons or nodes, connections between these nodes for active patterns which represent assosiation between stimuli.
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The cognitive approach focuses on the mental proccesses between stimulus and responce and this is what is important in our behaviour.
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Case study?
Ebbinghaus, used nonsense words to test memory by seeing how many he could remember after a few days. Used good scientific method.
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Evaluation? Strenghs?
Focuses on interal mental proccesses, scientific method, Models are effective in explaining behaviour
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Over-simplistic (ignores complexity of the mind), Humans represented as machines, Artifical tests not real life relevance, (ecological validity)
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What is psychodynamic about?
That childhood experiences determine adult personality and we are driven by our insticts and controlled by 3 parts of the personality.
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Unconcious proccesses determine behaviour, Insticts or drives motivate behaviour, childhood experiences determine adult personality, Id,ego,superego (personality)C
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Unconscious mind?
Hidden mental proccesses took place which we were unaware of and had no control over. Free will is a delusion and we act in ways that have little to do with conscious thoughts.
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Iceburg anology- concious mind- aware of thoughts and experiences, preconcious are experiences we are not aware of but can drawn from. Unconcious, cannot access, psychic events take place that have significance
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What can you find there? How does it get there?
Traumatic events can be repressed into the unconscious by a defence mechanisim known as repression.
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What is assosiated with the unconcious and how?
Instincts or drives energies our minds and motivate behavior and therefore help form it. Eros (life) and Thantos (death)
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****** and self-preserving insticts
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Aggression, self destruction
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Therefore what do these explain?
They explain how the human being is energised from birth to adult in the attempt to enchance and gain bodily pleasure- Psychosexual stages
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Psychosexual stages? How many? What are they?
Childhood determines personality as adult- progress through all to achieve a Normal life, get stuck in one and this will effect adult behaviour. You can get stuck by traumatic experiences as a child.
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Example of a stuck experience?
Child gets fixated at oral stage due to bad experiences being breast fed, becomes over-dependent as an adult.
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0-18 months- Pleasure from the mouth (breastfed)
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18-36 Months- Retention and expulsion of faeus causes pleasure for the child. Please parents by going or punish by withholding faeus.
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3-6 Years- Genital area. Oedipus complex for boys and Electra complex for girls. Resolution of these forms gender identities.
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6- puberty- Sexual drive is present but dormant as other priorities take place.
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Hetrosexual pleasure through intercourse.
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Personality structure
Ego, Superego and the Id
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Pleasure principle, selfish part of the person who wants instant gratification
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Formed during the Phallic stage, internalise parental vaules and social standards. Morality principle.
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Reality principle. Mediator between Id and Superego and reduce conflitcts between the two.
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How does it do this?
Via ego defense mechanisms
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Defence Mechs?
Unconcious rescource when the superego and Id are in conflict.
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Name them.
Denial, Displacement, Rationalisation, Sublimation
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Reducing anxiety by refusing to see the reality of a situation
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Redirects emotions from a dangerous object to a safer object (safe outlet)
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Logical justification for a decision that was not made because of that reason, diffrent mental proccess.
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Refocusing of impulses to socially acceptable behaviour.
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Case study
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Evaluation? Strenghs?
Aknowledges that past experiences (childhood) determine adult personality, Explain underlying atypical psychological conditions, have ecological validity (case studies) and used in everyday psychology.
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Unscientific as they cannot be tested, Only uses case studies (therefore cannot be generalised) , criticism for sexual urges in children, Effectiveness of psychoanalysis is questioned due to the number of cases of spontaneous recovery
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Why was the humanistic approach developed?
Many psychologists felt that physcodynamic failed to fully appriciate the nature of healthy grothwth in a person. They felt they only helped the ill, rather then improve healthy. They also disliked the scientific approach of the behaviourists.
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Humans should be viewed as whole rather then being reduced to parts, active agents- control own development, strive towards achieving self-actualization, real self and ideal self must be congruent to be healthy.
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Karl Rodgers?
The main dude behind it.
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What is the therapy called that he devised?
Person centered therapy (PCT)
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What does it do?
It aims to allow a person to develop and improve their personal growth by allowing them to choose their own decisions, with the psychologst mirroring their thoughts and feelings. The client makes the decisions while the psychologist just encourages.
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What are the 3 parts of concept of self?
Self concept (way the person sees themself), ideal self (what they want to be), real self (themselves now)
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What does PCT therefore want to achieve?
They want the individual to figure out a way to allow their real self to become closer to the ideal self, becoming more conjurant and therefore improving their wellbeing.
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What should a psychologist provide?
Empathy, mirroring, genuiness and unconditional positive regard
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Why is unconditional positive regard important?
The humanistic approach says that low worth-lessness or low self esteem relate back to a lack of U.P.R from mothers. They say that conditions of worth may cause the
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person to feel never loved unless they are perfect. The psychologist must fix this by giving the U.P.R ti remedy for the previous lack of it, therefore allowing them to reach full potential .
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Who is Maslow?
Maslow is another humanistic psychologist who believed people must meet certian degrees of need to reach self-actualization.
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What are the 4 levels of need?
Physical, Safety, Love, Esteem, Self-actulization.
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Positive evaluation?
Active agent- full person- therefore acknowledges free will.Subjective experience is vauled, PCT is used in practice.
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Lacks empirical evidence, lacks scientific method (less valid), Ignore cultural constrants, Cant study objectiviy.
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Card 2


What are the biological assumptions?


That all our our behaviour is due to our genetics and is therefore innate and on a biological basis. The Mind and the brain are the same. Our genes have evolved to adapt for our enviroment. The comparative method provides results which can be used.

Card 3


What is the comparative method?


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Evidence for this?


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Card 5


What are the pros of testing on animals?


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