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Sabina Srokova

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Transcript of Psychology

Term 2 Exam
Evolution, Genetics and Behaviour
Emergent complexity

- when we are faced with something difficult, we tend to look for difficult answers, however, the world rules are quite simple.

- change over time. The characteristics change over generations and these changes are passed on from ancestors to their children.
Why in Psychology?
- biology gives us
base on

how we behave
. Psychologists want to understand the origins and
adaptive functions
of human behaviour.
Adaptive functioning
focuses on specific things that had (or have) developed in order to adapt to the environment (e.g. berries and photorec.)
Ultimate causes
- causes that has an environmental origin , we develop something because we need it for the environment
Proximal causes
- the environment modifies our genes.
This helps us understand the difference between nature and nurture.
Development of Evolutionary Theory
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
- the first scientist to develop a theory of evolution
Lamarck said there are two main causes of evolution:
Natural Tendency
to progress to higher forms (to improve)
Inheriting aspects
from their ancestors (e.g. Lamarck's giraffe)
Gregor Mendel
Mendel's law of

particulate inheritance

- a gene is the smallest unit that can be inherited.
Law of
- there are two alleles per gene, only one inherited
Law of
independent assortment
- traits are inherited independently
Charles Darwin
- first scientist to actually provide written work on theory. Proposes the concept Natural Selection - organisms struggle for existence and the strongest survive.
Organisms vary between and within species which gives place to raw material for selection
: Reproduction is what makes the traits pass on, only inherited traits can manifest.
Some traits are stronger, more useful than others. Those traits help organisms survive and reproduce and for this reason, these get more common afterwards.
The organisms adaptable to change survive. The strong traits have adapted to the environment if the environment is stable.
If not stable, the
most useful traits
Perception, action, rapid life cycles vs. Learning
Homo habilis

- 2 to 4 mil years ago. 1.3m and 40kg in size. Before only primates. Homo habilis is BIPEDAL, has a LARGER BRAIN and STRONGER HANDS. Also uses tools.
Homo Erectus

- 400k years later. Is much larger and stood more upright, has a much larger brain and created base camps. More tools
Homo sapiens Neanderthalis
(300,000 years ago). These were other species of sapiens but these built homes, were more sophisticated in tool use and was more social (culture).
Didn't survive because Homo Sapiens Sapiens was more vicious.
Homo Sapiens Sapiens
Perception / Action
Evolution selected for better perceptual organs - nervous system got more complex and our perceptual organs could respond to more details.
Standing on two legs provided several advantages
Greater mobility and the hands were freed up. This is why The Genus Homo learned to stand more and more erect. Strong hands evolved.
Growing brain, positive
brain allometry
. The increased size of the brain had costs in terms of less energy being available and more time spent developing in childhood. On the other hand, proper learning and quicker adaptation to enviromental changes has developed. Society and language require having a bigger brain.
uniquely human. Helped social organization and passing information between groups and individuals.
History of Human Evolution
- Deoxyribonucleic Acid - strands of sugar and phosphate connected by nucleotide molecules.
The nucleotide
molecules make A-T and G-C. The precise sequence of nucleotides dictates the synthesis of protein molecules that regulate the development of the body.
is a basic unit of hereditary. There are approximately 25,000 genes in a human. They are instructions to make protein that regulates the body. Segments of DNA.
Chromosomes and Inheritance
- genes in chromosomes.
alleles, homozygous and heterozygous, dominant recesive .......
- the genes carried (AA)
is how in manifests.
Evolutionary forces:
produces variation. Change in DNA. Mutations are random and not all of them matter in evolution and sometimes cannot even be passed on.
Gene moves from one population to another.
Genetic drift
: bad luck, wipes out or reduces certain genes.
Genetics and Behaviour
- evolution linked to physical traits, tracing behaviour changes is very difficult. Behaviour is limited by the physical. Behaviour should function to increase our reproductive success.
Methods of study:
Twin studies - identical twins similar traits.
Behavioural Genetics - genes for mental illnesses but there s a strong interaction between them. Not just individual.
Extended phenotype - influenced by enviroment.
The brain and How we study it
- physiology and anatomy in behavioural processes.
- limits psychobiology to the brain and spinal cord - Central Nervous System.
The central Nervous system
- Brain and Spinal Cord - Spinal cord is a long collection of nerves going to the brain. It is responsible for reflexes and is conneted to the peripheral nervous system.
Neurons and Glial Cells
- Neurons carry information. They are on the edge of PNS for muscle movements. Glial cells are for structural suppor for neurons, protection, helps with synapsis.
Neuron cell
Soma (body) controls the metabolism. Dendrites receive information, axon caries msg to the end via
action potential
and Terminal buttons release neurotransmitters when information from axon reaches them
Types of Neurons: Motor (direct movement), Pyramidal (cognitive areas), Sensory (from body to brain), Inter (bridge between neurons).
Stimulus triggers
: receptor cell -> sensory neuron -> inter neuron -> motor neuron -> effector cell (muscle)
Sensory input
intergration - motor output.
It changes, it's a cycle of ongoing information.
Action potential
- message - all or nothing event. Either it all happens or not. No partial. When conditions meet. It's an abrupt reversal of electrical charge of an axon. Depolarization.
Synaptic communication
- connection between neurons. Neurotransmitters are present in this gap. Each neuron has one specific neurot. kind. Synapses can be excitatory or inhibitory
Neurotransmitters affect receptors in postsynaptic membrane. Neurotransmitters are either taken up or degraded.
Neuron communication
- presynaptic (emit signals) and postsynaptic (receive chem. signals)
- neurotransmitters affect only neighbours. Some
neurons affect the whole brain.
Activating or inhibiting different neural circuits. Brain on drugs -
Agonistic and Antagonistic.
- increase syntesis, release and inhibit uptake.
- occupy neurotransmitters, interfere with releasing of neurotransmitters.
- it's protection is powerful but also fragile - skull, vertebrae, meninges, cerebrospinal fluid.

The brain stem
- oldest and most primitive brain region. An important part
is responsible for heart,
is responsible for sleep and

for fight and mating. The brain stem controls physiological functions.
- little brain. Controls and co-ordinates movement. Posture and Balance. Receives info from
senses and the lobe cortex
. Also responsible for eye movement.
Subcortical structures 1
Hypothalamus -
drive reduction system. Responsible for homeostasis.
Monitors blood in brain and the endocrine system
, which is slow.
Pituitary Gland + Hypothalamus
control the
autonomic nervous system.
Sweating, tears and salivation.
The autonomic is:
Parasymp. (body at rest), Symp. (emergency situat.)
- gateway to the
cerebral cortex
. Receives and regulates the sensory information. Assists brain stem with movement.
Relay station for cortex.
Subcortical structures
The lymbic system
- involved in
learning and emotions.

regulates emotional behavior
- fight, flight or freeze reactions. Stress and anxiety. Especially negative emotions.
memory storage
, environmental navigation and new learning.
Cerebral hemispheres
Largest area of the brain, most recently developed. Consists of cerebral cortex (grey matter). Connected via nerve fibres and linked via
The brain is wrinkled to increase surface area- less volume. More comples = more wrinkles.
Areas of the brain
Frontal lobe
- speech
Primary motor cortex
- motor control
Primary somatos. cortex
- touch, presure
The cerebral cortex
- motor activity in higher functions, complex behaviour such as planning, manupulating objects, thinking, personality.
Studying the brain - damage to specific location.
Can be either accidental (case studies) or experimental

(lesioning, induced)
We have maps of the brain only thanks to this damage.
Phineas Gage
- iron bar through his head - frontal lobe - personality change due to the damage to his brain.
- no longer needed to wait for specific damage, can be done in several areas.
- Cer. Ataxia,
(stops learning),
Brain stem
(locked-in syndrome),
Prefrontal Cortex
- behaviour. deficit.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation - TMS
electric currents induced in the cortex.
Lesioning without damage.
- we can look at what areas are active - advancement in technology
Computed Axial Tomography
- 2D slices of the brain and combined to form 3D
Functional imagining
- watching blood.
PET - Blood flow
fMRI - Measures blood oxygenation
Functional imagining - has poor temporal resolution but good spatial resolution. Experiments - researcher gives tasks and watches part. active areas
Recording impulses
-we can record impulses as they occur
EEG - measures activity of a large bundle of neurons and create a map of activity. Good temporal but not good spatial resolution. Produces brainwaves data that can be decomposed into characteristic waveforms.
Cognitive Development
Developmental Psychology
looks at changes in people's lives, mostly their development.
Generally looks at infanthood, childhood and adolescence, but sometimes a whole lifespan development.
Prenatal, Infancy and Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, Middle and late Adulthood, old age.
Prenatal Development, perceptual development, cognitive d., Social and Emotional d., Disorders, Sex roles and Moral development.
The information processing approach
Brain is a machine that manipulates information. People process the information they receive rather than just responding to stimuli
This theory suggests that development involves improving basic resources and constructing more efficient processes using resources. As the brain improves, the processes improve as well Complex mix of domain - general and domain specific.
E.g. Memory
Episodic memory is memory of your own experience. Young children have a dreadful episodic memory because their active reconstruction is limited, even though their capacity is not. This means that once children get older, their brain develops and so does their active reconstruction and the episodic memory.
The basic resources improve: Processing speed increases, processing capacity of memory increases so more information can be held active at once, better at filtering irrelevant information.
Children start using the resources they have a lot better:
Metacognition - thinking about own thoughts. The more children know that their memory is not good, the more effort they will make to remember things.
Piaget's theory
Jean Piaget
was a Swiss psychologist which was heavily criticised because he used his own children in experiments and they were difficult to generalize.
For this reason, he created the
Centre of Epistemology
in which he obtained several child participants that were making the same mistakes as his children. This was a base for
Theory of Cognitive Development
. Children are born without any knowledge, the skills they have are invariant (always obtained in the same order). Domain general - all aspects of performance change together.
Cognitive structures
: Acquired with development, mental representations or rules that help a child understand the world
: Pieces, blocks of information that tell a child how to react to a certain object
: The certain object a child reacts to, rules that describe properties of environmental events and what these events have in common with other events.
Interaction with the environment
New information fits the existing schema
New experiences shape the old schema, create changes
Cognitive disequilibrium:
A child goes through a change and does not know how to react, they have to accomodate.
Cognitive equilibrium
: Accommodation and assimilation work together
Evaluation of Piaget:
Enourmous impact on dev. psych., some definitions very difficult to understand. Often lacks validity (tested on own children), some say children may have the skills Piaget said they didn't.
Flavell et al. 1981
: 3 years old able to pass egocentrims test
Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development
Sensorimotor period
- 2 years. Starts with reflexes and slowly develops to use symbolic thinking.
Object permanence
- child learns that things do not stop existing when they are hidden. This happens around 5 months.
8-12 months: They start searching for it
A-not-B test - child searches under blanket A because they put it there several times before, even though in that trial the object is under blanked B. At least until 9 months.
Deferred imitation
- observe others and at later date they imitate them in symbolic play.
Preoperational period

- 2-7 years. Gains language ability, represent symbolic thought.
- when candies are spread out, they do not know f there is more or less from the original. Also problems with different shaped glasses in the case of volume.
- they believe that everyone can see everything from their point of view, e.g. - mountain task.
Concrete Operational
- 7-11 years.
Can observe, less egocentrin but they struggle to solve hypothetical problems. - e.g. Who is taller?
Formal Operational
- 11 years.
Hypothetical, abstract thinking. Different consequences from their behaviour in different conditions, not al people reach this stage.
Lev Vygotsky
Russian psychologist that died at 37 so his theories were not well developed.
He agreed with Piaget that experience with physical objects is important, but he believed that
social interaction was a lot more important.

If children play together with parents, teachers, they learn.
Everything was social,
different societies cause different thinking
Speech during play
- Piaget would say the child is egocentric, Vygotsky would say these are just influencing thoughts and that is how children develop. (Berk.)
Studies show that private speech is used in tasks that are more difficult
Around age 7, this becomes more of a
inner speech
, children get better at mental manipulation of environment
Vygotsky's zone of proximal development
What I can do
What can do with help
(the zone of proximal development)
What I cannot do
In literature Scaffholding has become synonymous with ZDP. It is like a circle that with development, what I cannot do goes to ZDP thanks to
social interaction
Little evidence, neglects individual differences, not clear where the stage of ZDP begins and ends.
Social Development

Theory of Mind
Social and emotional bond between infant - caregiver
. It is reciprocal, so it works both ways.
Lorenz's imprinting
- emotional attachment to the first moving thing newborn see. 1935 - Geese hatched in front of him and started following him around.
Bowlby's evolutionary theory
: influenced by L's ethological theory. He said that attachment is
because it has a survival value. It's what keeps people going. Babies will always struggle without attachment.
Human infants
are innately able to
shape and control behaviour
of their caregiver. Sucking, cuddling, looking, smiling, crying.
- infants form an attachment with one primary caregiver, usually mother. This has been criticised because of bond child-father/sibling
Safe base
is their primary caregiver
Sensitive period
is until 2.5 years when an infant develops their attachment. If this does not happen, it can lead to difficulties later in life.
Internal working model
- attachement as a baby - mother gives a base to how the person will be able to deal with romantic relationships later in life.
Bowlby's attachment theory
- 6 weeks - innate signals attract caregiver, infant comforted
- 6w-6m - develops expectations that a carer will provide comfort. Responds to familiar ppl only,
no distress w/ strangers
Clear-cut attachment
- actively seeks caregiver. Carer is a
secure base
, maintains proximity. Stanger is no substitute and can be distressing
Reciprocal relationships
18m+ - infants understand that the
caregiver will return
. Separation anxiety reduces and they understand carer's mind.
Harlow - Harlow 1953
- Monkey experiment - it's not just about survival.
How to measure attachment?
Mary Ainsworth - the strange situation
- 8 episodes and each is 3m long. Looking at the separation anxiety and stranger anxiety.
Types of Attachment:
Secure attachment
- 70%, separation anxiety, avoids when stanger present, happy with reunion
Insecure attachment

Ambivalent - very distressed with separation
Avoidant - does not show much of a distress
Theory of Mind
Understanding that other people have their own thoughts
, beliefs and desires that may be different to our own.
This theory is normally measured with the false-believe task
. Do children have theory of mind?
Wimmer and Perner (1983)
Maxi and Chocolate. Maxi hides his chocolate and his mother puts it elsewhere
Where will Maxi look for the chocolate? (ToM children say he will look for it where he hid it, younger will point in the direction where mother hid it. Also reality and memory qs.
Simpler False-believe tasks: Sally and Anne and Smarties.
Do children show any understanding of theory of mind before 4yrs?
Shatz, Wellman and Sibler - language, use of mental terms
Wellmand and Estes (1986) - biscuit story.
Theory of mind does not stop at 4!
Second order false believe tasks. "Bill thinks that Maxi thinks that the chocolate is in the drawer" but Maxi actually saw where Bill hid it but Bill does not know that.
Wimmer and Perner (1985)
John and Mary, until age 6
- Sally and Anne through the window.
What influences ToM?
There is an individual variability. Dependent on siblings, how many, the age order and any sibling confict. Also with parents - discussion of emotions, feelings and maternal mental state.
Tom goes with: Higher verbal IQ, pretend play and secure attachment.
Children with autism struggle
with the false believe question even around 11y.
Behaviours that conforms to a generally accepted set of rules.
How does a child obtain morality?
Observed games of marbles
, the development occurs in 3 stages
Premoral 0-5
- little understanding of rules or principles
Heteronomous - Realism - 5-10
- rules obeyed rigidly, child judges someone's actions by its consequence on them. Egocentrism. Belief in justice
Autonomous - moral relativism 10+
years. More flexibility in interpreting moral issues. Not bound to rules, not always needed a punishment. Also looks at the intentions.
Piaget's dilemmas
- John - no intention to break the cup, Henry is being naughty
Prior to 10, more likely to say that John was the naughtier one, because the outcome was more severe. Above 10 they look at the intention.
Lawrence Kohlberg
- expanded on Piaget. All individuals go through the same order of development but at a different rate. Used different moral dilemmas and divided children into different moral stages.
Preconventional level
- avoiding punishment and looking for a reward
- seeks approval by mantaining laws and regulations
- use of individualy constructed abstract moral principles.
Kohlberg - Heinz dilemma
. People will create their own judgement and there will be less judgement on Heinz.

Evaluation Piaget - Kohlberg
Even adults focus on outcomes, there are cultural differences
Alternative theories of morality (check textbook)
Gilligan says that men think of justice and women care about the care.
Consciousness, Attention and Sleep
Theories of Consciousness and Split brain studies
3 philosophical approaches:
Consciousness is
not a

natural phenomenon
. It was considered to be supernatural and miraculous.
It is a natural phenomenon
, however, it cannot be measured. We are not capable of understanding it.
Consciousness is a product of
brain activity
Consciousness is difficult define
, but it represents the awareness of our mental states. It is subjective, we assume other people are like us. It is hard to study because it is not easy to access.
Early behaviourists believed that c. wasn't a part of psychology, because it is not accessible to study.
- consciousness was seen as just a side effect of what we do.
In 1990's,
Dennet, Crick and Pinker
revived the study of consciousness aided by neuroscientific approaches.
Problems in consciousness
- neural correlates? Why do we have it? Why and how do we experience it in the first place? - "Hard problem"
The theories
Neurobiological theories:
Consciousness arises through neural brain activity.
Cognitive theories:
These describe the way consciousness occurs in more mental, cognitive terms.
Consciousness and brain damage
Patiens with anterograde amnesia can learn some new tasks and skills but they are not aware that they learned anything
Damage to the primary visual cortex V1. Patiens are not aware of what they see but they can detect that objects are there
Visual agnosia:
patients don't recognise objects that they may be able to draw or a picture they can copy. They don't recognize it's use either.
Split brains:
Historically used to eliminate intractable epilepsy-section of the corpus callosum is cut in half.
Split brain surgery - epilepsy arises frm the coordinated firing of neurons causng and electrical surge that spreads - a seizure.
Sometimes the seizure spreads from one hemisphere to the other. The two cerebral hemispheres are connected by corpus callosum.
Neurosurgeons found that if the corpus callosum is cut, the frequency of seizures will decrease significantly.
Split Brain
Left Hemisphere
: Right hand, logical thinking, language, speech, grammar and writing
Right hemisphere:
left hand, musical and artistic ability, perceptions of space, imagination, body control and awareness.
Roger Sperry - Nobel prize in 1981 for his work examining the effects of split brain surgery. He demonstrated that the hemishperes exchange information via corpus callosum. The corpus callosum allows activities to be coordinated so that each hemisphere knows what the other does.
Split Brain surgery

= hemispheres operate independently on some tasks which is not obvious to a normal observer.
Alien hand
- the left hand (right hemisphere) seems to have a mind of its own when using it.
Intermanual conflict
: Contradictory activity of 2 hands e.g. one hand buttons up and the other unbuttons a t-shirt
Potentially two relatively independent personalities
/ brains / cognitive decision makers in the body.
There is absolutely no communication between the two. Right hemisphere unable to generate speech?
Cognitive theories
- Global workspace theory - consciousness is contained in a central processor called the Global Workspace. Consciousness is like a whiteboard used by the rest of the system. Mediates the activity of nonconscious processes. Does not explain why the information is consc. experienced.
Dennet - Multiple Drafts Theory
- revised collections of sensory information called "drafts". Consc is constantly updated and arises from these multiple sensory drafts.
Shanon's theory
- 3 main components that contribute to consciousness: Sensed being (distinguished between living and dead), Mental awareness (we are aware of the contents of our throughts), Reflection (aware of our mental workings or computations.)
There are two types of reflection:
Meta observation
(content of mental states) and
(evaluates our thoughts)
Selective attention
Part of consciousness,
we are not consciously aware of ALL the stimuli in our environment. Selective attention controls our awareness of particular events. We can focus on relevant information.
Controlled automatically, instructions or task demands. Filters things out
is important in
, even inhibited attention can be.
It controls what information reaches the Short term memory (limited capacity). However, not all the unattended information is lost - implicit memory stores information that does not need conscious attention.
The dichotic listening task
- can focus on only one message at the same time.
Is the sensory channel closed?
is easier if the speakers are of different sex, if one is louder or if one is speech and the other is non speech.
Unattended information can 'break' into consciousness
- person's name or sexually explicit words.
Information must be filtered out after at least some verbal analysis or this would not be possible.
The cocktail-party phenomenon
Sorting voice from another. You are talking to a friend and suddenly you hear your name from a different stream. Good working memory may make it easier to ignore the distraction of your name.
Implications for selective attention in mobile phone use in cars: problematic.
Models of selective attention:
Early selection models
Information that is not attended
to is not selected for perceptual analysis so it plays no further part.
- Filter theory of attention - all or nothing, but people can respond to the blocked channel which disproved the dichotic listening task.
Selective attention for visual stimuli
: multi-tasking, Posner's cueing paradigm
Divided attention - Multi-tasking
Single capacity model
- one store for attention and the more tasks, the worse.
Dual-task Methodology - supports the single capacity model.
Multiple resources models
- several stores for attention. Allows us to divide our attentiion between tasks. Different tasks use different resources.
Brain mechanisms - look at notes.
- altered consc. We spend approx one third of our lives sleeping
Reasons for sleep are not fully known
, two kinds of sleep - two knds of altered consciousness.
- rapid EEG waves, muscular paralysis, rapid eye movement, penile erection or vaginal secretion and Dreams.
Slow wave sleep
- Slow EEG waves, lack of muscular paralysis, slow or absent eye movements and lack of genital activity, no dreams.
Evening and Morning types: Owls and Larks
Torrance Test of Creative Thinking
Given shape - draw picture with it and name it.
Owls scored higher than Larks - hereditary. Owls have higher IQ
Functions of sleep
- all mammals and bird sleep. If not vitally important would have been eliinated via natural selection in some species.
Deprivation studies
have been used to examine the function of sleep.
Little convincing evidence
that sleep is actually vital for physical functioning
Important for the brain and memory consolidation.
Sleep deprivation
Lower sociability and optimism. Imparied performance on taks requiring high level of cortcal functioning. Memory better after sleep, better motor skills, memory for visual discrimination tasks better after slow wave and REM sleep. Slow wave and REM sleep. Slow sleep good for remembering word pairs. Hippocampus active in slow wave sleep after learning a new route. REM Sleep important for emotional memories and memories that are not facts.
Role in brain development -
70% of newborn's sleep is REM, starts in 30 weeks of gestation. By 6 months 30% and 15% of adults sleep is REM.
Brain mechanisms of sleep - we have two biological clocks that play a role in sleep. One controls circadian rhytms and one controls cycles of slow-wave and REM sleep and socillate several times a day - 90 min circle.
Circadian rhythms
- changes in energy leel, mood and efficiency through the day.
controlled by the hypothalamus, outside cues draw us into a 24 hour rhythm.
REM sleep and slow wave is controlled by the basic rest-activity circle BRAC.
located in the pons.
REM sleep and the pons: Pons also contains neural circuits responsible for REM sleep, Neurons that begin REM sleep release acetylcholine. (handout)
Sleep disorders
: Insomnia, sleep apnoea and cataplexy.
Sleep walking, sleep talking, night terrors, enuresis.
Hypnosis / mesmerism
. Essential feature is participant's understanding that they are being hypnotised.
found out that people go into transe when he was treating them.
- suggestions of sleep or relaxation - can be talked to
Posthypnotic suggestibility and amnesia
is a change in consciousness verbal reports rather than perception. - Ponzo's illusion - participants could see the illusion.
Theories of hypnosis:
- multiple systems of control become unconscious and you give up control to experimenter.
Non-state hypothesis
- Due to imagination, relaxation, attitude,attention
Cooperates with the hypnotist, they actually role-play with them. You cannot be hypnotized if you do not want to.
Personality and The Self
Personality - persona "mask" - ancient theatre performance -> role used masks.
Does not necessarily reflect the true self.
Child 1968:
Stable, dealing with internal factors, consistent behaviour, different from others in comparative sit.
Freud's Personality Theory
Humanistic Approach
Assessing personality
Social Cognitive Theory
The self
Freud's Theory of Personality
Divided into 3 conflicting systems:
- unconscious, libido - pleasure principle is what ID satisfies, instincts
- reality principle, satisfies the ID and resolves conflicts between superego and id
- incorporates society and parents values at conscience level, tries to match ego-ideal.
10% conscious, 10-15% preconscious (memories, knowledge, 78-80% unconscious, drives and fears.
Defense mechanisms
- helping with dealing, ability to repress feelings from unconscious so it does not get to conscious. Largely based on females in Austria, therefore, it is hardly generalizable and it cannot be tested.
Modern research is limited, we know that ID is in
Much of his theory cannot be tested scientifically
Humanistic Approach
The roots are in
. Active awareness of what we are thinking now, people can grow by own determination. They consciously decide what they want to be.
Phenomenology was the key method
- individuals give direct account to themselves, they look at their own thoughts.
Start contrast to the dominant behaviourism - hum. said we can lead what we do.
- hierarchy of needs, psychological needs - top - self actualization,
Maslow expanded the horizon far beyond the seriously narrow behaviouristic perspective.
No inner-truth????
; society runs against our higher needs, not everyone reaches the top of the hierarchy of needs because of the society.
Survival, safety, love, self-esteem, self actualization.
Self actualization
- they embrace the reality rather than denying the truth, spontaneous, interested in solving problems and are accepting of themselves and others and lack prejudice.
Carl Rogers - Client Centered Therapy
Attempts to reconcile the ideal self with self-concept -
how I am and how I want to be
Q-sort technique
- stacking trait cards via self-assessment - true or not true. Then, when the same for who they WANT to be, the ideal self
Stack via self assessment and then stack via ideal self.
Studies showed client-centered therapy changed correlation between self concept and ideal self from .21 to .69 and after one year to .79
Personality Assessment
The most common way to assess personality is by using a test
The most common method, relies on
by the self-evaluation of certain behaviours, thoughts or feelings.
Provided by
, indicating whether their friend possesses certain characteristics.
Projective tests:

Ambiguous stimuli
asking for subjective interpret.
Objective tests
: Measuring
objective behaviour
relevant to some aspects of personality.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
- one of the most famous tests. MMPI-2: 567 true or false items assess psychiatry and abnormal psychology
Used for job hiring, court cases, govt, military. Criticized because of valid.
Projective tests
: Rorschach's inkblot test or Thematic Apperception test (Murray)
Based on assumptions that by interpreting ambiguous stimuli, subjects will project underlying motives and revealing personalities. The results lack reliability and validity, subects tend to give different answers on different occasions.
Links between motives, projections and personality are complex and generally not easy to interpret.
Factor theories of personality
Basic assumption 1
: a series of items can be reduced to a smaller set of underlying fundamental dimensions, factors or traits. They can be clustered into groups that are more understandable.
Basic a. 2
: Personality factors are underlying explanation for specific actions, thoughts,...
Main method: factor analysis of multi-item inventories.
Catell's 16 personality factors
Lexical hypothesis: Personality is represented by words in the language
Allport and Odbert
found 18k words related to personality in dictionaries, 4.5k were classified as traits.
Cattell factor analysed traits and found 12, added 4 that he felt should be there, low to high.
Cattel made lasting contribution to personalty and factor analysis but subsequent research failed.
Eysenck's personality theory
Used factor analysis but much broader -
Extraversion and Neuroticisim
(stable and unstable)
Physiological evidence:
Introverts have higher level of
cortical arousal
than extroverts. Neurotics have greater activity in the
visceral brain
. THIRD factor:
- aggressive, impulsive, asocial
The big five
- In the last 10 to 15y, most personality theorists have agreed that there are five major personality factors:
peness to Experience,
greeableness and
The 5 factor models is the result of dozens of independent studies carried out. They came from
psycho - lexical research
and from questionnaire studies.
Main strength: I
mpressive empirical evidence in support in several cultures, possibility to communicate, share and cumulate results obtained all over the world.
However, it is missing the underlying theoretical framework and empirical results of factor analysis.
Social Cognitive Theory

Albert Badura
- One of the most influential theorists in Psychology. Proposed
reciprocal determinism

- environmental factors and internal factors and behaviours influence on each other.
Proposed that observational learning and vicarious experience were key factors in the acquisition of behaviour and personality.
Observational learning and reinforcement - imitation
Children watched adults play with a Bobo doll, A violent and B neutral. Each for 10 minutes. Kids got frustrated and were left with it for 20 minutes. Children in A were aggressive. If the child saw the adult get rewarded for being A, even worse
Aggression decreased if the adult got punished afterwards
People said that kids need to be reinforced but Badura said that they can be reinforced by the reinforcement of others
The Self
As Psychologists, we talk about studying the
, Affect, Behaviour and Cognition.
A = Self esteem, B = Self presentation and C = Self Concept
Self concept
- your ideas and knowledge of who you are.
Self Schemas
- Mental framework or structure that represents and synthesizes the components of you in a meaningful manner. You use it to say who you are.
Based on self dimensions but there is a potential for bias.
Self schemas research shows your memory recall is influenced by the current schema. We tend to reject information in the environment that contradicts our self schema.
This helps with knowledge. If something bad happens, it stays localized rather than spreading throughout. Solid and complex ones act as psych buffer.
Self Schemas -> Self Concepts. How do schemas come to be?
There are three comparison perspectives on this:
Self to self, Self to others and Self to other groups
Self to Self -
Self discrepancy theory
- Actual self - reality, ideal self, - person you want to be, ought self - person you should be. Ideal and ought are self guides.
Ideal = Promotion goals, Ought = Prevention goals
Self to other individuals
- S
ocial comparison theory
- Assess self in direct comparison to similar others, serving multiple goals
A - Knowledge
B - Esteem, downward social comparisons, you, relative to less fortunate others. Compare test to worse student.
C - Improving - Upward social comparisons - To learn from experts.
Self to other groups
Social Identity Theory
- Personal Identity - Idiosyncratic features of the self. Social Identity - The self defined by your "group"
Three steps
- helps us make sense of environment
- provides another way to bolster our self esteem
Comparison -
My ingroup to other outgroups. Service of viewing my groups in the most positive light.
From self-knowledge to self-awareness. I can see you as a 3D object in a manner that you never will. The majority of your time spent is viewing everything but you.
Objective self-awareness - you are either attending to yourself or to objects in the environment. When ou become self aware, you are the object. Under OSA we turn to our standards, assess and alter behaviour
Read the rest in the handout
Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination
Some conceptual defitions:
- Group to which you do not belong +
- A group in which you belong.
= category-based bias - tripod of the A, B and C.
C = Cognition goes for Stereotypes.
Gives schema, beliefs about characteristics of groups or group members, traits.
A = Affect - Prejudice
. Attitude, Evaluations of a group or group member, often -tive but can be +tive.
B = Behaviour - Discrimination
. Acting on basis of S and P. Any positive or negative behaviour directed towards a group or its members based solely on account of group membership.
SDP as a temporal sequence
Beliefs about how a group is like give a base to either liking or disliking a group and then acting upon that. Stereotype -> Prejudice -> Behaviour.
Steps in the chain
- we categorize based on schema, or from categorization we form schemas.
Me vs not me - the self
Us vs not us - social cognition
Is having a category enough?
Just because I know the stereotype is X, will I think you are X?
Stereotype - Knowledge (activation)
Stereotype - Application
Stereotype knowledge and Application
Devine 1989 Study 1:
List stereotypes for "Blacks". No differences between low and high prejudice Ps, most common were aggressive, hostile, criminal.
Study 2:
Subliminal primes
: Category (Black, negro,...), Traits (Poor, lazy,...)
80% or 20% exposure in a Vigilance task. Read scenario of Donald. Ambiguously hostile behaviour.
DV - rate Donald's level of hostility.
80% primes rated Donald more hostile than 20% regardless of prej.
When unable to monitor stereotype activation, high and low prejudice will apply stereotype. If we know the stereotype, more likely to be activated.
A later wrinkle
- Lepore and Brown 1997. -Is it the category or stereotype?
Study 1
- replicate Devine's prejudice-knowledge study. Most common: Musical, criminal, violent.
Study 2
- used only category, no traits - only highly prejudiced people.
Study 3
- replication of Devine study 2
High and low prejudice do not differ in stereotype content but they do differ in the actual application.
Controlling our thoughts? - Thought suppression
- do not think of a white bear.
Ironic processes
- monitoring process - where is the bear //
operating process
- look away.
When we are unable to control - automatic monitoring works but not controlled operating process - the unwanted thought becomes more likely to occur.
Ironic processes
rebound effect
- people wrote two essays, if they were told to suppress stereotypes in the first one, they wrote more in the second.
Stereotypes threat
- when become reality. Awareness of a stereotype leads to fear of confirming it, which inhibits performance. Intelligence test (threat), Problem solving (no)
Domain identification
- threat affects only those people who care about the domain in question.
Domain disidentification
- having experienced reduced performance due to threat, individuals stop caring about the domain.
Getting rid of threat does not get rid of AA/White differences - often misinterpreted. Threat has a negative effect.
Generalized evaluation and attitude towards a particular group and its members.
Origins of prejudice - Adorno et al 1950
Is there a prejudiced personality?
Identified anti-semites via scale, correlated .80 with
ethnocentrism scale
Superiority of own ethnicity over all others.
Unfavorable toward one group => unfavorable to others as well.
Prejudiced people tend to have a strong father and a punitive mother. Threats and coercion. Used love to promote obedience. - >

leads to
fearful and dependent.
- obedience / fearful - hostility to less powerful. Sense of power
C = prejudice
= cognitive rigidity and intolerance of ambiguity.
A = reject foreigners and minorities,
B = more obedient, vote conservative
, traditional families.
Social learning
- children learn from parents and peers, are influenced by them and by media.
Social conflict - Robber's Cave study - Sherif et al. 1961 -
11y boys camp
Modern prejudice - people used to be more racist in the past - people will judge me if I am openly racist. There is a public change but not private.
1998 Maio and Esses
- Surinamers and Canadians - one sentence about Affirmative action loweredthe positive ratings of Surinamers.
Prejudice and racism in action
. Tokenism - trivial or small positive actions that are later used to defend discrimination
Reverse discrimination
- bending over backward for the stigmatized group.
Not principled objections to AA. Leads to social promotion - sends someone to a higher level just so you do not have to deal with them.
Harber, 1998
- Essays written by Blacks and Whites, grades.
Stigma - Clark and Clark 1947
presented white and black dolls and even black kids were racist. They liked the white doll more.
educing prejudice - Allport 1954
Contact hypothesis
- to reduce tension between groups, bring them together.
Contact alone is not sufficient. There are four conditions:
Social/institutional support, Acquaintance potential, equal status and cooperation.
Back to Robber's cave - children
were forced to cooperate - better
However, it is not a cure.
Subtyping -
when stereotypes are disconfirmed, but only in a few infivduals, we still hold onto the stereotypes.
Requires a Naive Theory
Presented to a gay man that does not act like one, it must be because he's an accountant.
Status quo stereotype remains.
It is stil the most likely way to reduce S P D.
Group and Intergroup Processes


Group Processes
Group construction
Social influence
Biological causes
Social factors
Prosocial behaviour
Group processes
- connection to a physically same club, society; Concrete
- member in representative category - undergrad abstract
What makes a group A group? - How are they constructed?
Real Groups:
- groups have positions, elections, either assigned or acquired. Specific behaviours are expected. - Stanford Prison Study (Zimbardo 1971)
- Position or rank. It is acquired via physical size, intimidation/anger (Tiedens 2001 - President Clinton study - sadness or anger?)
- what they should or should not be doing.
- maintains cohesion - successful group = high validity/status, high effort to become a member of the group, low external threats and low in size, as big are difficult to maintain.
Social facilitation
- how groups affect performance - Triplett 1898 - Cyclists faster together than alone
- Also found in non competing environment - writing task
Social facilitation
means enhancement due to others. Social inhibition is the exact opposite
Zajonc 1965
- Cockroaches - familiar maze better with audience, when put into a difficult maze, the cockroaches did worse w/ audience rather than if they were doing it alone.
Drive theory of social facilitation
Do we always try our hardest in groups?
Social Loafing
- reduced motive and effor when in groups.
Ingham 1974
- Ps pulled a rope 18% harder when alone.
Happens more in men than women and more in the West.
How to prevent?
- Make Ps work identifiable, task must be meaningful for the person, make sure that they focus on individual work and make the group better, and increase cohesiveness.
Social influence
- getting lost in the crowd -
- Loss of self awareness, anonymity.
Zimbardo 1970 - NYU women in hoods
- shocked confederates twice as much - anonymity.
Diener 1976 - Seattle trick or treaters
- take just one of the candies - if asked for name, more likely to take 1.
Direct social influence
- tendency to change beliefs depending on what the group says.
- behaviour change but not the attitude
- attitude change in line with others. Muzafer Sherif (1936) - Autokinetic effect
Solomon Asch 1955 - Even when the answer is obvious, people conform
Informational social influence - Sherif's work
- to understand the world, when we are unsure, we ask.
Normative social influence - Asch's work
- need to be a part of a group and want to be perceived as a part.
- behaviour changes because it is a direct request
Compliance tactics - Foot in the Door - Fredman and Fraser 1966, when originally presented with a small request, then more likely to say yes to the big one. If you say the big one first, unlikely to help.
Door in the face - Large request followed by desired smaller one. Cialdini et al. 1975
when ordered by authority - The study of obedience
Stanley Milgram - 1963 - told Ps it was study of memory and learning - Shock study, shock incorrect
- same room 40%, touch 30%, experimenter absent 22.5%
Blass 2002
- 0 correlation between obedience and era. Location and time does not matter
Intentional behaviour
aimed at causing physical or psychological pain. Intentional
- stemming from anger, to inflict pain.
Instrumental -
as means to some goal other than pain
Where does it come from?
- Genetically evolved - In the brain - amygdala - core of the brain -> stimulation causes aggression. Blocked -> Docility
- Mid brain chemical - too little causes aggression
- Too much = aggression
Men are, however, not more aggressive than women. Women simply display higher levels of "covert" aggression - gossip, back-stabbing.
Also caused by Alcohol - Dis-inhibitor. Disrupts information processing. Respond to obvious aspects of situation missing subtleties.
Someone bumping into me - more aggressive when drunk
Social factors - Frustration-Aggression theory
When prevented from reaching goal propensity, aggression increases.
Barker et al. 1941
- frustrated children, one half could play with toys right away while the other half had to stand outside and watch them, after that became more aggressive.
Closeness of Goal - Harris 1974
The further you are in a queue, the more aggressive you get when someone cuts in.
Violence in the media - Anderson 2003
Prosocial Behaviour
Any act performed to help another, regardless of motive
- Acts benefiting others with NO motive
Evolutionary Psychology says that Altruism should not have persisted, selfish behaviour yes.
Attempts to resolve:
Kin Selection
- helping own genes
Sime 1983
- We help ours more than others, however, that does not mean it's genetic.
Personal determinants - good mood.
Change attributions
Prolongs good mood
Good moods increase self attention - our values
Personal determinants - who you like
Homophobia - Shaw et al. 1994 - Phone booth experiment
Situational determinants - Kitty Genovese (1964)
Bystander effect - Latane and Darley 1968
No safety in numbers. The greater the number of witnesses, the less likely it is that anyone will help. Group size goes up, helping goes down.
More situational determinants - Time
Good Samaritan study - 1973 Darley and Batson. Students giving a seminar, were late / on time / early. The ones early were most likely to help a man laying across the steps.
Is there such thing as Altruism?
Batson - 1981 - Empathy - Altruism hypothesis
Empathy is low, helping is low if escape available
Empathy is high, helping is high even when escapable
Social rewards not related.
Social Cognition and Attitudes
Actual presence of human beings

- you are influenced by people and will obey authority. - Conformity.
Imagined presence
- imagine what the outcome would be - I don't want to be late, run so people don't look at me
Implied presence
- You stop at a red light at 3AM even though nobody is around - Implied authority
Social Psychology is predominantly concerned with
Understanding how the
social enviroment shapes our affect
, behaviour and cognition. How human interaction shapes us.
Understanding how
OUR affect, behaviour and cognition shape the social environment
how we interact and communicate
-Interpersonal, between groups
How we select and interpret social information to make judgement and decisions
Dual-process models
Low effort - automatic pilot
Effortful, systematic
Two pieces of thought puzzle
- what we think //
- how we think
Automatic thinking
- there is a problem because there is simply too much information, causes cognitive misers
How do we organize social information?
Into social Schemas
Schemas Describe, Guide behaviour
(A scripts and B stereotypes.)
Correll et al. 2002
- based on Amandou Diallo, got killed because of stereotype. Participants played a video game - young men in different settings, some had gun and some didn't. Shoot if they had a gun. More errors made - black
Responses were too quick to be controlled or motivated
. Result of automatic thoughts rooted in Western culture schemas - Black = violent. Effect strongest among those most aware of that stereotype, even if not endorsed
- From fast and resistant to change; 1975 - Ross et al.
Social Sensitivity
- Given real and fake suicide notes, in one condition told that they got 24/25 and in the other 10/25. Later told that the feedback was fake. If given worse rating at first, then they also thought badly of themselves despite the fact they knew it wasn't true.
Which schemas to use? Social world is filled with ambiguous information, all open to interpretation.
Depending on Accessibility
- Chronic, due to past experience - bizzare behaviour on bus, you explain it by what you usually experience and see in life - either mentally ill or alcoholic.
- result of priming
Recent experiece
- Got on bus after watching a movie that either had an alcoholic or a mentally ill person.
Schemas - priming
Higgins et al. 1977
- Ps sign up for two "unrelated" studies - 1st Perception study - Positive and Negative words | 2nd Reading Compreh.
Donald's story - Positive thoughts of the story if given positive words.
Schemas - expectations
matter too!
Snyder and Swann 1977
- Ps told to try and determine if person was introvert or extrovert (but given only one "Is this person INTROVERT?" They would ask more questions that would fit an introverted person.
Two pieces of "Thought Puzzle"
- What we think,
- How we think.
- Greek word for "Discover" - Mental shortcuts to make decisions and judgements quickly and efficiently. It's not really about content. Chalenge notion of people as rational decision makers - adaptive, can lead to biases.
Availability heuristic
- How easily does it come to my mind?
Easier - more likely to influence decision and judgement - the more recently you heard of something, the more easily you access it
Once the clue is easier, the judgement is more common. Judgement of ourselves? Schwartz et al. 1991
Write 6 examples of recent assertiveness and write 12. The easier it is for us to get the examples, the more assertive we feel
Representative heuristic
- the more similar something is to A, the more likely we will chose it (Bank teller/feminist example)
Moving from what and how to WHY? Attributions explain the reasons behind people's behaviours. Most often when faced with unpleasant situation.
Attribution Theory
- Fritz Heider - Helps us predict and control the environment - there are two ways to attribute:
Focusing on the person

- Dispositional and internal causes
The teacher is stern so he must be a jerk
Focusing on the situation
- External, reflexes the role, norms.
The teacher is stern because of the department. policy.
Kelley's covariation theory
- When we gather additional evidence for our attributions
- Ask whether this happens to everyone?
- Does it happen often from other people?
- Has this happened to someone before?
Depending on the results, we either decide on the person or situational way to attribute. Is it external or internal?
Kelley's covariation theory suggests rational attributions, however, in real life these are usually
not rational BUT biased
Fundamental attribution error
We focus on the
disposition rather than the situation
Jones and Davis 1967 - Castro study
Read anti or pro castro essay. Ps either told that these were freely chosen or that they HAD to write it
How favorable is the writer to Castro?
Even if they had no choice, still pro castro if wrote pro Castro.
Explain that the fundamental error got in the way. However, it may not be so fundamental as it is more likely to occur in the West.
Our behaviour
: If something bad happens to us, we look at the situation more than our dispositions as we are more aware of our inconsistencies and we focus on attention.
Categorization of an object with our evaluation included
, mostly comes from the affect. A: I hate it, B: I don't want to drink it C: It kills brain cells.
Are attitudes consistent?
Socially consistent - Heider's balance theory 1958
- we desire harmony, we want to find balance in social relationship. If two people dislike an item, there is balance. If one likes and one not, there is imbalance between
When imbalanced, we want to change towards balanced
Least effort principle - change my attitude, separate, change hers?
Change my interpretation of her attitude.
This is all about external consistency, but what about internal?
Cognitive dissonance theory - personal and internal - Leon Festinger 1957
Situation in which our attitude does not match our behaviour.
How to find consonance
Change behaviour, change one of the cognitions (convince yourself that it's not THAT bad), add new cognition (I enjoy doing it so I don't care if it's bad)
Festinger and Carlsmith 1959 - Forced compliance
- If you are given $ and you sell yourself for it, you assume it must have been alright and you convince yourself that you did not exactly lie - you start agreeing with what you said.
Stone et al. 1994 - Condom usage
-When given a presentation about safe sex, they were more likely to buy condoms afterwards. What they did forced them to change their behaviour, they realized their attitude may be wrong. Practiced safe sex afterwards
These show the link between behaviour and attitude.
Attitudes and behaviour
- Our attitude is not always influenced by our behaviour
. La Piere 1935 - restaurant study.
Their attitude was racist but they did not behave that way when they were actually there. Attitudes are sometimes weakly correlated with behaviour -
Wicker 1969
Recent evidence shows strong indirect relationship between
The Theory of Reasoned action
- attitudes and subjective norms create intentions and those are a base for behaviour.
The Theory of Planned behaviour
- Perceived control also gives base to the intentions, are we able to do what we intend to do?
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