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Psychology physiological approach powerpoint

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Laura Blackholly

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Psychology physiological approach powerpoint

Physiological Approach Summary, Assumptions and Strengths and Weaknesses. Sperry Dement and Kleitman * Maguire aimed to find out if there was any differences in between the brains of those who rely heavily on spatial memory and navigational skills in their working life. The differences would be found in the Hippocami region of the brain. * Sperry aimed to find out if two minds could exist in one person if the corpus callosum were to be cut, and to investigate and map the lateralization of function for both hemispheres. * Dement and Kleitman aimed to investigate the connection between REM (rapid eye movement) and dreaming; this way objectively measured REM sleep by using EEG. Why is the physiological approach best? * Plus the physiological approach supports the nature side to the nature nurture debate as it looks at how our biological make-up effects our behaviour. Maguire Summary of the Physiological approach * Focuses on the relationship between our biological make-up and our genes and our behaviour, interactions and experiences. strengths and weaknesses * The use of sophisticated equipment; such as MRI scans providing an objective and precise way of measuring brain structure and EEG's allowing the measurements of the brains activity. For example, Maguire used MRI scanning in his study on the brains of taxi drivers, investigating the relationship between the hippocampus and memory. Dement and Kleitman used EEG's when looking into what happens when we sleep.
*The practical applications it can offer and the usefulness of the approach. It can be used to diagnose and develop treatments and therapies for illnesses and problems. For example, Sperry was able to explain and help people who had had a commissuroctomy. Assumptions of the physiological approach * Behaviour and experience can be explained by physiological changes. * Considers the extent to which our behaviours and experiences are determined by our body’s biology and make-up. * In particular, the focus on the brain and nervous system and its structure and functions. This can often be done by using MRI scans and allows more in depth study of the brain to obtain for more detail. * The approach investigates brain function, the
nervous system and hormones; and how they can explain behaviours. Strengths: Weaknesses: * By using such scientific methods to test and analyse behaviour and by using controlled laboratory conditions, the approach can often lack validity. For example, Dement and Kleitman's study into dreaming, placed people in unfamiliar lab rooms with EEG's attached to them to study their sleeping. This would have been unusual for the participants and may have changed how they slept making the study lack ecological validity.
*It can be costly and time consuming using such detailed scientific methods, so researchers of the physiological approach tend to use small samples lacking in generalisability. Dement and Keleitman only studied 5 participants in depth. Studies in the Physiological approach * Behaviour has a genetic basis which has evolved with the enviroment. * It has good ethics; Sperry, Dement and Kleitman, and Maguire all keep their studies within ethical guidelines. This is something that the Individual differences approach and the Social approach often doesn't do. * It also has a high degree of experimental control using precise equiptment means the physiological approach is objective and accurate, unlike the Individual differences approach. model answers * Uses experimental methods a) the physiological approach focuses on the relationship between our biological makeup and our behaviour, as well as our experiences. It considers the extent to which behaviour is determined by our biology. This approach investigates the brain, the nervous system and other biological factors. The main assumption of this approach is that all behaviour can be explained by our physiology.

b) One psychological study which uses the physiological approach is the one conducted by Maguire on the brains of taxi drivers. Maguire investigated the link between human behaviour and the brain. specifically, they wanted to investigate the role of the hypothalamus in spatial memory, and whether plasticity would be evident as a result of having to rely on spatial navigation more. The sample consisted of 16 healthy, right-handed taxi drivers, whose brains were scanned through use of MRI in order to establish whether their hypothalamus would be different in size due to their significant use of spatial memory in everyday life.
Another psychological study that uses the physiological approach is the one conducted by Dement and Kleitman. This study investigated the link between eye movement and dreaming, through the use of EEG, EOG and EMG scans. This investigate the link between a biological trait and human behaviour, therefore making it a physiological study. c) A main strength of the physiological approach is the use of sophisticated equipment such as MRI scanners which provide an objective and precise way of measuring brain structure. For example in the Maguire et al. study the researchers were able to scan living brains using MRI technology which enabled the researchers to gain lots of quantitative and objective data about the density of the grey matter of the hippocampus. Furthermore the physiological approach takes a scientific approach using laboratory type experiments. For example in the Dement and Kleitman study of sleep and dreaming the participants were studied under tightly controlled conditions.

A further strength of the physiological approach is the practical applications that it offers. Much of the research in this area is very useful as it may be used to diagnose and develop treatments and therapies for illnesses or problems. For example, Maguire et al. suggested that their study has implications for those who have suffered brain injury or disease because they demonstrate the plasticity of the brain, and Dement in later studies has demonstrated the importance of sleep in relation to mental health. However, the main applications of the physiological approach have been the development of anti-depressant drugs which are more controversial partly because of the side effects that may occur. Furthermore, the idea that changing a chemical in the brain will bring about changes in complex emotions is a reductionist one as depression probably involves other life events. A problem with the physiological approach is that by using such a scientific approach and testing behaviour in laboratory conditions the measurement of behaviour often lacks validity. For example, Dement and Kleitman measured sleep in laboratory conditions which is not typical of how people normally sleep. Therefore asking people to sleep with electrodes attached to their scalp and face is low in ecological validity. Similarly Sperry’s participants were asked to complete unusual tasks which again are not typical of everyday behaviours. However the use of this laboratory approach does mean that the researchers have more control of their procedures ensuring that extraneous variables can be controlled.

A further problem with the physiological approach is that because such studies can be costly and time consuming because of the use of sophisticated equipment and lengthy procedures. This often leads to such studies having small samples such as the Dement and Kleitman study which only studied 5 participants in depth. It is possible to argue that such a sample is not representative and therefore we should be careful generalising the results. Furthermore, Sperry was only able to 11 participants because he had a very limited number of participants to choose from, that is participants who had undergone disconnection of the cerebral hemispheres. However the increasing availability of MRI scanners is enabling researchers such as Maguire to increase their sample sizes and in subsequent studies Maguire et al. have been able to scan the brains of many more participants enabling the researchers to have a large database of many more brain scans to choose from. D) One similarity between the cognitive approach and the physiological approach, is that they both rely on scientific methods and setting. For example, Demet and Kleitman's study took place in a controlled sleep laboratory, whilst Baron-Cohen’s also took place in a highly controlled lab setting. This means that both approaches are often high in validity, due to the reduced likelihood of confounding variables

Another similarity between the two approaches is that both are often lacking in ecological validity. For example, in Demet and kleitman's study the participants were made to sleep in a controlled lab setting, with wires attached to their faces, which is not representative of everyday behaviour and therefore results in a lack of everyday behaviour. Loftus and Palmer’s study takes place in a controlled lab setting, with a video of a fake car crash. This is not representative of everyday occurrences, and therefore leads to a lack of ecological validity.

However, one difference between the two approaches is that whereas the physiological approach investigates brain processes, the cognitive one investigates thinking skills. For example, in Demet and Kleitman's study the activity in the brain and eye movement and how it links into dreaming. Whilst in Loftus and Palmer’s study, the impact of leading questions on cognitive process of memory is investigated.

Another difference between the two is in terms of their sample sizes. Whilst the physiological approach tends to have limited and small samples, the cognitive one tends to have large ones. For example, in loftus and palmer they have 45 participants in the first experiment and 150 in the second one. Dement and Kleitman meanwhile only have 9 participants, with only 5 being studied intensively. Thank you for watching! By Sophie, Jamie and Laura
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