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Topic D - Summary

This is a summary for Topic D of the Psychology GCSE - Edexcel

Jasmine Allen

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of Topic D - Summary

Jones 1942
Investigate whether a phobia in a little boy could be
and whether this would generalise to other objects.
Curio 1988
Social learning
explained how blackbirds could learn to give predator alarms to a non-predator.
Two blackbirds a 'teacher', and a 'learner'.
Each could see a stuffed bird...the teacher could see an owl which is dangerous to blackbirds, and the learner could see a harmless honeyeater.
Sounds are then made which the black birds then associate them with either danger, or nothing.
Classical Conditioning
This is a learning Process, builds up an association between two stimuli.
Seligman 1971
He suggested that we learnt links between some things more easily than between others.
An example of this would be being more afraid of deep water, or thunder as opposed long grass, or sunshine.
He thought that less input was needed to learn an associated
Stimulus would have affect early evolution for humans

How to treat phobias...
Phobias can get in the way of sometimes living a 'normal life', and are distressing to the sufferer.
Two therapies used are the following:
systematic densensitisation
Topic D - Summary

How is it linked to phobias?
It is linked to phobias through association, and the fact phobias can be learnt. Demonstrated through the 'teacher' blackbird, teaching the 'student' black bird to be scared of a harmless thing; associated with the noise made.
Social learning theory
The theory is made up of the following 'parts':
Observational learning
- this is the process of learning through watching others.
- observing, identifying, and copying behavior (usually of a role model.)
Role Model
- a person who is looked up to.
- a feeling of similarity with a role model that leads to the imitation of their behavior - we believe we can be like them.
Vicarious Reinforcement
- learning through the positive consequences of other people's behavior - if we copy them, we are more likely to be rewarded.
Reversal of conditioned behavior - such as a phobia . - Responding to certain stimuli, to allow the anxiety to be brought under control.
Peter was 2 years, and 10 months old, when he started being observed.
She watched Peter playing with beads in his cot, and then was shown a white rat. He screamed.
Peter protested when the rat touched the beads, but not when other children did.
Can researchers cause, and cure phobias?
Changes were not continuous, or equally spaced in time. Improved, and worsen.

Classical conditioning
social learning
helped to decondition Peter.
Example of experiment is Pavlov, and his dogs:

Classical Conditioning
What is a phobia?
An intense fear that prevents 'normal living'; it is often described as being irrational, and abnormal. The fears are often of harmless objects, or things such as spiders, and thunder.
Was studying eating in dogs by measuring their saliva.

The conditioning process was the following:
Bell has no effect at the start - Neutral stimulus
Food naturally produces salivation - Unconditioned stimulus
Natural salivation to food - Unconditioned response
After the association process, the bell - Conditioned stimulus
Effect of the bell has is salivation - Conditioned response
Bandura's study 1961
Studying children's behavior towards a bobo doll after watching an adult role model.
One experiment measures childrens behavior after seeing a model getting rewarded, punished, or experiencing no consequences for harming the bobo doll.
Shows that you can learn from being rewarded, or punished, both by it happening to yourself, and watching it happen to other people.
between the
neutral stimulus
, and
unconditioned stimulus
, that makes the neutral stimulus cause the
same response
When a conditioned response is produced to stimuli that are
to the conditioned stimulus.
An intense fear that prevents 'normal living' in some way.
Loss of a classically conditioned response, when the conditioned stimulus is repeated
many times without
the unconditioned stimulus.
Tendency to lose some associations more
easily, quickly, and permanently that others.
What does that actually mean though?
It means that we are more likely to be scared of thunder, than sunshine; this is because evolution has
us to learn about threatening things.

Evidence for...
Biological factors that affect our development
Genes can control some physical features - many genes working together, not just a single one. -
Bullet point form
Environmental influences on our development - experiences, and opportunities
Social learning says that our behavior changed because we observe models in our environment - children hitting a doll, after copying the behavior of an adult
Social learning
, and
classical conditioning
are example of nurture.
Idea of
preparedness supports nature
, suggesting that a genetic influence on the kind of things we learn.
Bennett - Levy and Marteau
's study shows that more people are afraid of animals with certain characteristics; genes make more likely to fear these animals
because of evolution

Slater, and shield (1969)
found the identical twins were more similar in their phobias, then identical ones.
Evidence for Nurture Debate
Mineka et al
Found monkeys learn fears through social learning; monkeys, and people are similar, it is likely that we also learn fear.
Found that monkeys born in captivity
afraid of snakes; while ones in the wild
Thought the wild monkeys had the fear because they watched the adult monkeys be afraid of them.
Lab bred monkeys watched how the wild monkeys reacted to snakes, and learnt to be afraid of them.
Watson, and Rayner (1920)
classical conditioning
to make Albert frightened of a white rat; shows environment can cause phobias.
Each time a white rat was shown to Albert, a loud noise was produced.
Noise frightened him, and
the fear with the white rat.
to other white, fluffy objects such as cotton wool, and Santa's beard.
Can be taught to have a phobia through social learning.
What does it tells us?
Both nature, and nurture seem to be as important as each other, and probably work together.
Parents may pass genes that make their children more likely to be scared of something.
Bennett-Levy, and Marteau (1984)
Was to see if we are
more afraid
of animals that:
move quickly
move suddenly
look very different from people
Used a questionnaire, and asked:
Questionnaire 1 - 30 men, and 34 woman
Questionnaire 2 - 24 men, and 25 woman
Found that overall:
were less likely to approach ugly or slimy, speedy, or sudden moving animals.
were more afraid of ugly, slimy, speed, and sudden moving animals.
Bullet point form
Based on classical conditioning, and classed as being quite extreme.
Confronting fear directly
Based on principle of association; phobia to relaxation - lose anxiety
Forced into situation, exposing them to the fear; cannot escape it - very stressful
Not always considered to be very ethical, not many people would want this treatment.
Systematic desensitisation
Similar to flooding, but less stressful
Still exposed to fears, and the learn to relax - More gradual
Identifies fear,then develops a list of least, and most feared situations - Hierarchy of fears
Taught relaxation techniques
Starting with the lowest on the table, applies techniques
Moves up the list, until they relax with the most feared situation
We are more likely to make an association between fear and fire because of evolution, rather than a non-prepared stimulus like a rock
Causing distress?
Flooding, and systematic desensitisation
produce distress

Ethics involved
Even though the discussed therapies cause distress, we must be aware:
patients are aware of the nature of the therapy they are undertaking
therapies are only used for the most serious of phobias
Patients must be clearly distressed, can not carry on with 'normal living' to access therapies.
Acluophobia - fear of darkness
Algophobia - Fear of pain
Altophobia - Fear of heights
Astraphobia - fear of thunder,and lightning
Ailurophobia - fear of cats
Entomophobia - fear of insects
Ophidiophobia - fear of snakes
Spermatophobia - fear of germs
Xenophobia - fear of strangers
Zoophobia - fear of animals
Clinical Psychologist
Bullet point
Most popular career choice for graduates of psychology
Deals with dysfunction - Mental health problems
Uses freud's work, and holistic view of the person
Hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and systematic desensitisation
Examples of who they work with include suffers of - anxiety, depression, relationship problems,or behavioral disorders.
Makes assessment, plans intervention, and then evaluates
Skills needed?
understanding diversity
learning to ask open questions
looking at your own experiences
Cognitive behavioural therapy -
Popular therapy
'Twin approach' of treating thoughts
Identifies negative thoughts, and replaces them with more positive thought

Exposure based CBT -
Systematically lowering the fear
Similar to systematic desensitisations
Up to 90% of patients overcome phobia with this method
Works best for specific phobias
As well as the skills needed, you also have to have certain qualifications, these include:
Psychology degree - that must be credited by the British Psychology Society
Masters degree in psychology
Doctorate in Clinical psychology - takes aminium on three years
Minimum of 6 - 12 months of relevant clinical experience
As well as being clinical psychologists, some are trained to be hypnotherapists.
Gets client in a relaxed state
Creates a heightened level of awareness
Helps to give ideas on overcoming the phobia
Heinrichs et al (2005)
Talking about culture: particular customs, traditions, and social norms
Culture affecting social anxiety
Wanted to see if being brought up in different cultures affected social anxiety
A particular practice of a particular group of people, that has been passed down, through a long period of time
A practice that has been handed down through generations
Social Norm
Behavior/belief that is both expected, and accepted in a particular culture
Describing a particular culture, which encourages group dependence - having a group identity
Opposite of collectivist, culture that encourages Independence, and personal achievement
Collectivist cultures often showed social anxiety, avoided public situations - fear letting the group down
Very different from individualistic - important to stand out for the crowd

Linking to phobias, and nature - nurture debate
Relates to development of fears; culture can make us anxious/confident in social situations.

This supports nurture
Key definitions
By Jasmine Allen
Full transcript