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Core studies

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Abby Lowe

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of Core studies

Finally Social approach Core studies Cognitive approach Individual differences approach Physiological approach Developmental approach Milgram Piliavin Reicher and Haslam Bandura Freud Samuel & Bryant *Imitation of aggression. * 72 nursery children. *Matched pairs design.
*Witnessed aggressive/non aggressive model. *Bobo doll. *Arousal.
*Observed. *Gender differences. *Non-imitative aggression. Hypotheses:
1. Children exposed to an aggressive model will show more aggressive behaviour.
2. Children exposed to non-aggressive model will show less aggressive behaviour.
3. Children will imitate same-sex models more than opposite-sex models.
4. Boys will imitate aggressive behaviour more than girls. Results:
Children in the aggressive model condition made more aggressive responses than children in the non aggressive model condition.
Boys made more aggressive responses than girls.
Boys in the aggressive model conditions showed more aggressive responses if the model was male than if the model was female.
The girls in the aggressive model condition showed more aggressive responses if the model was male more but verbal aggressive responses if the model was female.
Non imitative physical and verbal aggression e.g. "shoot the bobo" and aggressive gun play more frequent in aggressive conditions. *Case study. *Little Hans. *Hans' father. *Phallic stage. *Oedipus complex. *Castration anxiety. *3-5 years old. *Phobia of horses/father. *Giraffe dreams. *Phobia of baths. *Resolved conflict. *Leading questions. Aim:

Therapeutic aim was to cure Little Hans of his phobia.

Theoretical aim was to provide evidence to support Freud's psychodynamic theory. Conclusion:

Therapeutically, Freud believed Hans' phobias were resolved through interviews, observations and dream interpretation techniques.
Theoretically, Freud argued that Hans was experiencing the Oedipus complex and has used this case to support his notion of infantile sexuality and theory of psychosexual development. *Piaget's theory. *Conservation. *Age. *Crediton, Devon. *One question condition. *Fixed array. *Standard task. *Number/volume/mass. *Researcher influence. *Conservation increases with age. Aim:

Samuel & Bryant wanted to further investigate the question of whether children under the age of 7 or 8 years are able to understand the principle of conservation. Results:

Children found the one-judgment task significantly easier (less errors) than the standard conservation task and the fixed array control. This was true of all three types of material.
There was a significant difference between the age groups, older groups did considerably better than the younger.
The children made fewer errors on the number task compared with the other two tasks. Key assumption:

Psychological changes occur throughout a person's lifespan, not only because of their physical maturation, but also because of their experiences. Rapid changes occur during childhood and these should be studied in detail. Evaluating the developmental approach: + Practical applications. Bandura - children learn aggression from modelling adults. Fulfilling the aim of psychology.

+ Variety of perspectives taken into account. S&B - how cognitive factors affect children's ability to conserve + children's thinking affected by way questions asked. More holistic and useful.

- Limited sample. Freud - 1 participant - not representative child, study can't be generalised. Unrepresentative, ethnocentric research.

- Ethical issues. Bandura - changed children's aggression levels - protection from harm. Damage psychology reputation and jeopardise future recruitment of participants. Loftus & Palmer *Eye witness testimony. *Lab experiment. *195 Students. *Films of accidents. *Verbs. *Speed estimation. *Memory structure. *Broken glass. *'Smashed' increased recall. *Post-event information. Aim: To investigate how information supplied after an event influences a witness's memory for that event. In particular, the researchers were interested to find out if phrasing of questions about an event affects people's memory for that event. Overall conclusion: Memories are constructed from two sources of information - what we actually perceive as happening at the time and the information which is later received and incorporated into our memories.
The findings from the two experiments support the "reconstructive memory hypothesis", which argues that the information gathered at the time of an event is modified by data gathered afterwards.
The verbal labels attached to the event by the leading questions have resulted in the cognitive distortion of participants' memory of that event. Baron-Cohen *Autism. *Aspergers syndrome. *Eyes task. *Tourette's. *Adults. *Control group. *Gender recognition task. *Basic emotion recognition tasks. *Gender differences. *Impaired theory of mind. Aim:
To find out why adults with autism have problems with social relationships and develop a valid test for Theory of Mind for adults with autism. The expected outcome was that adults with Asperger Syndrome can't interpret other people's states of mind from "reading eyes". Conclusion:
There is evidence of a deficit of subtle "mind reading" amongst intelligent adults of the autistic spectrum.
The eye task is a valid measure of Theory of Mind for adults but is purely theoretical as it lacks the context in which human interaction takes place. The test doesn't require an understanding of what another person is doing or saying at any given time. Savage-Rumbaugh *Case study. *Kanzi. *Lexigram. *Spontaneous use. *Malika. *Naturalistic environment. *Indoor environment. *Productive and receptive abilities. *Formal testing. *Travel in forest. Aim & research method:

To study human language capabilities in Bonobo (pygmy) chimps.

Longitudinal case study. Lasted 10 years at the Language Research Centre at Georgia State University. Conclusion:
Pygmy chimps have more advanced language acquisition skills than common chimps.
Pygmy chimps also have the ability to understand spoken language, the common chimps find it difficult to understand.
Pygmy chimps develop the use of representational language in ways similar to human children, which didn't happen in common chimps.
It's possible for pygmy chimps to learn how to use symbols spontaneously, without formal training, in the same way that human children learn how to use language. Rosenhan *Case study. *Pseudopatients. *Schizophrenia. *Diagnosis. *Type 1 & Type 2 errors. *Patients rated as pseudopatients. *Lack of contact. *Interpretation of behaviour. *Stickiness of labels. *Depersonalisation. Aim & research method:
To test the hypothesis that psychiatrists can't reliably tell the differences between people who are sane and those who are insane.

Field experiment. IV - made up symptoms of the patients. DV - whether they are admitted and diagnosis on admission. Covert observation - notes taken by pseudopatients. Number of days it took to convince the hospital staff they were sane enough to go home and hospital staff's responses to patient's requests measured. Conclusion:

The study demontrates that psychiatrists can't reliably tell the difference between people who are sane and those who are insane.
The main experiment illustrated a failure to detect sanity, and the second study demonstrated a failure to detect insanity.
Rosenhan explains that psychiatric labels tend to stick in a way that medical labels do not and that everything a patient does is interpreted with the diagnostic label once it has been applied.
He suggested that instead of labelling a person as insane we should focus on the individuals specific problems and behaviours. Griffiths Thigpen & Cleckley Evaluating the cognitive approach: + It is useful because it helps us to understand how a variety of mental processess shape our behaviour. For example, Baron-Cohen has helped to increase our understanding of the problems that people with Autism face and provided us with an understanding that they need help to interpret other people's feelings and emotions. This is a strength because it means that psychology can help to provide practical solutions that will improve the quality of people's lives so they are able to cope in a social world.
+ Cognitive approach studies are often based on a controlled research that aims to find causes of different types of behaviours. Loftus and Palmer showed all ppts the same film clips in study 1 and all questions were the same except for the change in the verb used in the critical question. This is a strength because using highly controlled research allows cause and effect to be proven, and it also makes research more reliable, because high controls makes research replicable. *Gamblers. *Fruit machines. *Volunteer sample. *£3. *Thinking aloud. *Behavioural measures. *Content analysis. *Gamblers continued. *Irrational verbalisations. *Hindsight bias. Aim and research method:
To increase the understanding of the cognitive processes and behaviour of persistent fruit machine gamblers and see if they think and behave differently to non-regular gamblers.
Research hypotheses:
1. RG's would report themselves as being more skill orientated than NRG's.
2. No significant difference between skill level of RG and NRG (fruit machine gamblers).
3. RG would produce more irrational verbalisations than NRGs.
4.'Thinking aloud' participants would take longer to complete the task than 'non-thinking aloud' participants.
Quasi experiment with independent measures design. IV - frequency of people's gambling, Regular Gamblers and Non Regular Gamblers. DV - Objective (behaviour), Subjective (content analysis). Conclusions:
Regular gamblers are more skillful than non-regular gamblers.
Regular gamblers believe they are more skillful than they are.
Gamblers know they will "lose" but they play with money, not for it.
Regular gamblers make more irrational verbalisations demonstrating cognitive bias in their thinking.
Cognitive behavioural therapy could help problem gamblers. *Case study. *Eve White. *Letter. *Eve Black. *Psychometric tests. *Projective tests. *Interviews. *Jane. *EEG. *Multiple personality. Aim:
To provide an account of the psychotherapeutic treatment in the case of multiple personality disorder.
Participants:
A 25 year old woman, Eve White, who was referred to T&C because of "severe and blinding headaches" and occasional blackouts.
Research method:
Case study. Interviews with Eve and her family, hypnosis, observations, EEG tests, projective and psychometric tests. Conclusion:

Thigpen and Cleckley concluded that they had witnessed a case of multiple personality disorder. They didn't suggest a cause for the onset of her condition but there is a growing belief that the condition develops to protect oneself from harmful memories and seems to be common in cases of severe child abuse. Key assumptions:

All humans are different and it is important to consider the differences amongst people and how these affect behaviour, as well as just considering the average person.
Each of us has a unique set of life experiences which have contributed to making us what we are and these can account for some of the differences between individuals. Evaluation of the individual differences approach:
+ Psychologists can learn more about human behaviours - not just average people are studied. Griffiths - abnormal group - insight into cognitive bias and gambling. Not just average person - explanations more representative to population.
+ Can measure qualities like personality, memory, intelligence. T&C, qual/quant, psychometric, projective tests. Identify abnormal conditions through quant measures - diagnose individuals.
- Labels, stickiness of labels. Rosenhan, sticky labels, pseudo patients powerless and depersonalised. Ethical implications, psychological harm, feed negative stereotypes, social exclusion and discrimination.
- Researchers rely heavily on case studies - open to bias. T&C encouraged onset of jane, more interested in condition that solving it. Low in EV, another researcher may interpret results differently if replicated. Dement & Kleitman *REM. *NREM. *EEG. *EOG. *Self reports. *9 adults. *Studied intensively vs 1-2 nights at time. *61 nights. *351 awakenings. *5 or 15 minutes. *Dream recall. *Dream time accuracy. Aim:
To investigate the relationship between REM sleep and dreaming. The researchers wanted to find out if people will be more likely to report dreams if they are woken during periods of REM sleep than NREM sleep, people can accurately estimate the time spent dreaming (do we dream in real time), direction of eye movement during REM sleep is related to dream content.
Research method: Lab experiment, using independent measures design for the intensive/non-intensive conditions, repeated meaures for the conditions to test each hypothesis. Conclusion:

REM sleep is a fairly valid and reliable indicator of dreaming and that the length of time spent dreaming is related to the physical time spent in REM sleep. Sperry *11 People. *Split brain surgery. *Corpus callosum. *control group. *Left and right brain hemispheres. *Tachistoscope. *0.1 seconds. *Visual recognition. *Verbal description. *Tactile recognition. *Keycase. Aim & research method:
To study the psychological effects of hemispheric disconnection in "spilt brain" patients and understand the function fo the right and left brain hemispheres.

It was a natural (quasi) experient. Split brain was not naturally occuring. Conclusion:
The findings confirm that each of the brain hemispheres has its own set of functions. Left hemisphere is able to cope with verbal tasks better than object recognition tasks. Right hemisphere - "speechless" part of the brain, seems unable to express itself verbally but copes with object recognition much better than the left one. Most everyday tasks depend on the communication between the two hemispheres. If this communication is preventedby damage, e.g. to severing of the corpus callosum, the right hemisphere won't know what the left one is doing. Any task will be carried out as if two seperate people are doing the task. Maguire *Hippocampus. *Spatial navigation. *16 London taxi drivers. *50 non taxi drivers. *16 matched controls. *MRI. *Voxel based morphometry. *Pixel counting. *Grey matter. Aim:
To find out whether changes in the brain could be detected in people with extensive navigation experience. Based on the research suggesting that the role of the hippocampus is to facilitate spatial memory (navigation), Maguire proposed that the hippocampi in London taxi drivers will be structurally different to the hippocampi in non-taxi drivers. The extent to which the brain shows plasticity changes. Also to see if there is a correlation between the length of taxi driving experience and the measure of grey matter volume.
Research method: Natural (quasi) experiment. Results:
Increased volume of grey matter in both the right and left hippocampi in taxi driver brains. There was a positive correlation between the volume of the right posteria hippocampus and the length of time spent working as a taxi driver. Taxi drivers had greater volume in the posteria hippocampus but non-taxi drivers had greater volume in the anterior hippocampus indicating a redistribution of the grey matter in the hippocampus.
Conclusion: Professional dependence on navigational skills in licensed London taxi drivers is associated with a relative redistribution of grey matter in the hippocampus. The longer someone has been a cab driver, the greater the volume of their right posterior hippocampus. Hippocampi have changed as a result of studying for the 'knowledge', showing plasticity of the brain. Key assumptions:

All behaviour is due to nature. All behaviour that is psychological is first physiological. Since the mind appears to reside in the brain all thoughts, feelings and behaviours ultimately have a physiological cause and therefore behaviour has a 'nature' basis.

Psychology is a science. Advanced technology can be used to investigate the effects of biological activity on behaviour in a very controlled and scientific way. Evaluation of the physiological approach:
+ Human physiology is an explanation for behaviour - deterministic. Sperry determined the functions of two seperate hemispheres of the brain. Allows predictions to be made about behaviour, can be determined from individuals nature.
+ Uses technical equipment to measure biological processes. Maguire - MRI, voxel based morphometry, pixel counting. Precise quantitative data collected, supporting the physiological scientific study of human behaviour.
- Reductionist - all behaviour is considered as a result of someone's physiology. Sperry - set functions in the brain, Maguire - brain plasticity - brain affected by social environment and science. Additional factors not considered, lowers validity.
- Relies heavily on technical equipment - can only tell us how the body is performing at a given time. D+K could only tell what stage of sleep a person was in, not concrete way, whether person was dreaming or showing DC. Relies on researcher interpretation. Conclusions might not be valid. Studies that use the principles of the psychodynamic approach - Freud A phobia is an irrational fear of an object, people or event. The phobia develops by being attached to an item that is symbolic of the real desire which is buried in the unconscious mind. Freud suggests that these phobias are a representation of the Oedipus complex which male children need to overcome. Once the Oedipus compex is successfully completed the phobia should go away. Studies that use the principles of the psychodynamic approach - Thigpen & Cleckley MPD is a dissociative disorder in which two or more distinct personalities co-exist within the same individual. New personalities develop as a reaction to abuse or trauma a person has suffered. The new personalities are used to protect the individual and to deal with different social situations. Thigpen and Cleckley found that Eve had developed MPD as a result of traumatic events that she witnessed early in childhood. Assumptions:

The unconscious mind has an important influence over our behaviour and feelings. The meaning behind an event can unconsciously motivate behaviour. These unconscious motivations can them manifest themselves as physical symptoms.

Early experiences are important in shaping our future behaviour. All our adult behaviour and felings arise from conflicts that occurred in childhood. The first relationships we develop have a lasting influence on our behaviour. Evaluation of the psychodynamic approach:

+ Case studies and qual data can find out about the causes of people's behaviours and experiences. Freud used a case study, qual data - written accounts of H's dreams. Useful - can understand how people behave in certain situations, and why.
+Highlights importance of early childhood interactions on development of adult personality. T+C, Eve saw a man die, may have triggered MPD as defense mechanism. Useful - tells people working with children ways in which childhood interactions could be assisted to help kids develop.
- Relies on case studies, lacks control. Freud relied on subjective accounts from Hans' father, limited contact with Hans. Findings may be invalid and unreliable, open to subjective interpretation by the researcher.
- Small sample. T+C - only one woman, Eve's disorder may have been specific to her upbringing. Findings are low in generalisability as they can't be applied to a wider range of people. Psychodynamic approach How the behaviourist perspective explains obedience Behaviourists assume behaviour is learnt from others. Therefore people that obey figures of authority must of learnt to obey figures from a young age. Nazi soldiers obeyed officers to reduce the pressure put on them (negative reinforcement). People carried on pressing the button to give the shocks because they were under pressure and they wanted to relieve the pressure from the researcher. Therefore we obey to remove unpleasant pressure from authority figures. How the behaviourist perspective explains phobias The person is born as a blank slate so what they see in their environment (scary) can produce the phobia. Phobias are an example of classical conditioning - a person learns throughout their life to associate a neutral stimulus with feelings of fear. Little Hans heard his sister being told not to go too close to the horse as it would bite. This created a phobia. Therefore phobias manifest themselves into fear of neutral stimuli as a result of various contributing environmental factors, predominantly the negative experiences held by others or past experiences such as the case of Little Hans. How the behaviourist perspective explains aggressive behaviour Aggressive behaviour is created by a person's environment, the behaviour is learnt as we are all born a blank slate. The social learning theory would explain why aggressive behaviour would catch someone's attention, they would remember it, they would then reproduce this behaviour, if they wanted to act that way they would by motivated to do it. Bandura's study of aggression, the children copied the adult role models and started aggression towards the bobo doll. The children had the ability to reproduce the behaviour because there was a mini bobo doll and they were motivated by the arousal. Assumptions:

All behaviours are learned. The person is born as a "blank slate" and their environment shapes their behaviour and determines who they become. Therefore, any behaviour is seen as a learned response to a stimulus from the environment. Evaluation of the behaviourist perspective:
+ Scientific methods - lab experiments and controlled observations to study behaviours. Savage-Rumbaugh - formal tests on chimps, researcher not insight to reduce the chance of visual cues. Researchers can isolate and control extraneous variables, easier to show cause and effect.
+ Has practical applications in educational and therapeutic settings. Bandura contributed to understanding of why aggression occurs - could help reduce aggression in children and in those with anger management issues. Useful - can improve experience of humans and animals - beneficial to whole society.
- Reductionist - all behaviour is learned through interaction with the environment. Bandura - aggression will always be copied due to role models, ignoring past motivations children may have (family problems). Factors affecting behaviour are ignored - explanations less useful.
- Lot of research based on using animals (animals apparently have same ancestors). Savage-Rumbaugh - chimps completed formal tests and selected pictures. Not natural behaviour for chimps. Humans are more evolved and complex, animal research is difficult to generalise - less useful. Assumptions:

The social approach supports the nurture debate as it assumes that all our behaviour is due to our interactions with the environment and other people. The approach is interested in the effect that different social situations have on people's behaviour. *Holocaust. *Advert. *Fixed role. *Shock generator. *Word pairs. *450V. *Verbal prods. **Nervous laughter. *66% obeyed. *Debriefing. *5 out of 40 refused to continue at 300V. *25 continued to 450V. Aim & Research method:
To investigate the levels of obedience participants would show when an authority figure told them to administer electric shocks to another person.

Lab experiment in which the researcher manipulated the prods used (IV) and measured the voltage of shock administered by the participants. Results and conclusion:
40/40 ppts continued up to 300V.
5/40 ppts stopped at 300V.
26/40 ppts continued all the way to 450V =
14 ppts were defiant as they didn't go all the way, 26 ppts were obedient as they followed instructions and went all the way. Participants showed signs of stress including nervous laughter, nail biting, sweating and 3 ppts had full seizures.

Milgram concluded obedience can be elicited from any individual in the right circumstances. Milgram also claimed that the conflict experienced by participants was caused by their desire not to harm others and their desire to obey authority. *Bystander intervention. *Cost-reward model. *Arousal. *Kitty Genovese. *New York subway. *Victim. *Model. *Observers. *Race. *Males helped. *Cane victims helped more. Conclusion:
Diffusion of responsibility didn't happen in this study. Response times were consistently faster when there were 7 or more people present compared to when there were 3 or less people present. However, it is possible that this was due to the situation being one from which the bystanders couldn't escape, they were on the train for another 5 minutes after the victim collapsed. *Social roles. *Stanford prison experiment. *BBC prison experiment. *Guards & Prisoners uniforms. *Observation. *Psychometric tests. *Saliva swabs. *Prisoners breakout. *Commune. *Failing groups. *15 men chosen - 10 prisoners and 5 guards. Aim & Research method:
Reicher & Haslam wanted to find out if people really accept given roles uncritically, if those with power excersize it without restraint, and if those without power accept their situation without complaint.

Experimental case study, planned to last up to 10 days. Prison was constructed in Elstree film studios in North London and consisted of lockable cells that held up to 3 people with a central area and guards quarters. Conclusion:
Researchers stopped the experiment when it looked like the outcomes were going to be similar to those of the Stanford prison experiment. R&H concluded:
People's behaviour is governed by the social norms and values of the group they belong to, their pro or anti-social behaviour is dependent on the group they're in. Failing groups create problems for their own members and for others, when people can't create a social system they accept extreme solutions proposed by others - guards overthrown by a prisoners who did have a shared group identity. New regime/commune didn't establishits own social values - failed too. It's the breakdown of groups and powerlessness felt by individuals that creates the conditions for tyranny. R&H's study demonstrates that it's possible to design and run social psychological that's also ethical. Evaluation of the social approach:
+ Deterministic - the presence of others and the social situation they're in determines people's behaviour. Milgram - Yale university and Authority figures = obedience. Human behaviour can be predicted and controlled in different social situations.
+ Useful - can be used to try and understand people's behaviour in different social situations. Piliavin - cost reward model why people help ill person more. Social approach can be implied to improve behaviour in social situations, like crowds.
- Reductionist. Cause of behaviour is the social situation and presence of others. Milgram - could be other reasons why people obeyed - such as strict upbringing. social approach simplifies complex human behaviour as being down to one factor, ignores other factors such as biology.
- Ignores individual differences, thinks that the social situation will influence everyone in the same way, when we are all different. R+H - some people may be more comfortable in a group than others. Difficult to establish the cause of behaviour in the social situation, because factors such as personality may affect behaviour. The Behaviourist perspective
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