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State the history of psychology (9 stages)


Name 5 features that make something a science

  1. Objectivity
  2. Control
  3. Predictability
  4. Hypothesis Testing 
  5. Replication


Define Objectivity 

(features that make something a science)

Scientific observations are recorded without bias


Define Control 

(features that make something a science)

Scientific observations take place under controlled conditions


Define Predictability 

(features that make something a science)

Scientists using results and knowledge gained from experimenting to predict future behaviours


Define Replication 

(features that make something a science)

Each experiment replicated exactly = people have confidence in the results


Define Hypothesis Testing  

(features that make something a science)

Theories generate hypotheses = can be tested to strengthen/disprove theory


Who was Wilhelm Wundt and what did he do for psychology?

  • Father of psychology
    • 1st psychologist - 1875 created 1st psychological laboratory in Germany, Leipzig
    • Separated psychology from philosophy, physiology and biology
      • → focused on studying mind in more structured/scientific way
    • Using structuralist and reductionist approach, tried to uncover what people were thinking/experiencing


What is reductionism?

Idea that things can be reduced to simple cause-and-effect processes


Since Wundt believed in reductionism and came from a biological background, he wished & believed...

Wished to study structure of human mind & believed behaviours such as perception and sensation could be broken down into smaller, measurable parts

(used introspection to measure these parts)


What is introspection?

  • Method of collecting data
    • Involves observing & describing inner mental states


Introspection was the __ ____ _____ attempt to study the mind

1st systematic experimental


Describe how Wundt conducted introspection

  • Trained participants to become self-aware enough to observe/report back their inner mental processes and emotional states
  • Then asked participants to describe their experiences when presented with a controlled stimulus (e.g. pictures or auditory tones)


What did introspection allow Wundt to do?

Analyse different participant responses = general theories about perception/mental processes


Name 2 pros of introspection

  1. More than just passive acceptance of facts
  2. Way which scientific method is carried out = casual relationship


Explain how introspection is more than just passive acceptance of facts

  1. Relies on objective & systematic methods of observation
  2. Data acquired using scientific method


Name 3 cons of introspection

  1. Unreliable 
  2. Inaccurate 
  3. Lack of ecological validity 


Explain how introspection is unreliable

  • Relies on unobservable behaviour
    • e.g. Participants report on unobservable processes like memory and perception ∴ their accounts can't be confirmed
  • ∴ Replicating Wundt's work ≠ same results = research unreliable


Explain how introspection is inaccurate

  • Nisbett and Wilson: have little understanding/awareness of causes of our own behaviour
  • ∴ introspection = inaccurate ∵ can't self-report on processes aren't aware of
    • e.g. person = implicitly racist, but ∵ attitude exists
      outside of their conscious awareness = cannot report reason/cause of their behaviour


Describe the emergence of psychology as a science

  1. Emerged due to empiricism (empiricists believe knowledge comes from observation and experience)
  2. Early psychology had 2 assumptions: behaviour is caused
    by something & ∴ predictable
    1. Assumptions developed into scientific method 
  3. Waston's and Skinner's development of research = laboratory experiments + controlling variables
  4. Developments of technology (e.g. EEG scans = objective evidence of brain activity)


Is psychology a science?

State 2x 'for'

  • Allport (1947): psychology same aim as science
    • To predict, understand and control
  • Behavioural, cognitive & biological approaches use scientific procedures to investigate theories
    • Controlled and unbiased


Is psychology a science?

State 3x 'against'

  • Some approaches don't use objective methods to study behaviour
    • Use unreliable methods e.g. interview techniques = biased and interpreted differently
  • Hard to get representative sample of population for a study
    • ∴ findings can't be reliably generalised 
  • Psychological experiments open to extraneous variables e.g. demand characteristics = hard to control


How did behaviourism ('Learning Theory') come about?

  • Started in America in 1900s mainly through John Watson
  • Felt earlier psychological research wasn't scientific enough
  • ∴ came up assumptions on which to base a scientific approach to psychology


What are the 4 basic assumptions of the behavioural approach?

  1. Behaviour is learned from past experience
  2. ONLY concerned with observable behaviour
  3. It's valid to study behaviour of animals as they share same
    principles of learning
  4. We are born a blank slate & are product of our environment - no biological influence 


What is classical conditioning?

Type of learning in which an existing involuntary reflex response is associated with a new stimulus

(aka Learning by assocation)


Who discovered classical conditioning and when (& doing what)?

Ivan Pavlov (in Russia - early 1900s) while conducting work on dogs


Describe how Pavlov discovered classical conditioning

  • Was investigating salivation processes & noticed dogs would salivate before they got food
  • Noticed they salivated when a stimulus was presented that coincided with feeding time (e.g. person) 
  • Conducted an experiment: gave food & rang bell at same time - repeated this procedure
  • Eventually, bell itself = dogs salivating ∵ made association between bell & food


Draw the process of classical conditioning (Pavlov's experiment)


Name the 5 important features that Pavlov discovered about classical conditioning

  1. Timing 
  2. Extinction 
  3. Spontaneous recovery
  4. Stimulus generalisation  
  5. Stimulus discrimination


Explain 'timing' in classical conditioning

Conditioning only occurs if 2 stimuli are presented at the same time