Who established the first psychology lab and when?
Wundt in 1879.
What is introspection?
The study of the mind by breaking up conscious awareness into basic structures of thoughts, images and sensations.
How did Wundt standardise his procedures?
- Same instructions given to all participants.
- E.g. all participants would report their thoughts when a metronome was ticking,
(i) 1 strength of Wundt’s work
(ii) 1 limitation of Wundt’s work
(i) Some methods are scientific:
- controlled lab environment
- standardised –> replicable.
= claim for psychology being scientific?
(ii) Some methods are unscientific:
- relies on self-reporting of private processes.
- self-report dependent on honesty as data recorded is subjective
- can’t establish general laws; thoughts may change every time a metronome ticked?
Who, and in the correct order, came after the behaviourist approach?
1) Cognitive approach emerged in 1950s
2) Biological approach emerged in the 1990s.
What approaches can be considered scientific?
What approaches are considered unscientific?
Why do behaviourists only focus on observable behaviour?
- Observable and clearly measurable.
- Reject introspection for being unclear and hard to measure.
Why do behaviourists use animals in their studies?
They suggest the processes of learning are the same in all species, regardless of cognition.
Which study backs up classical conditioning? Explain it
1) UCS (food) –> UCR (salivation)
2) NS (bell) –> no response
3) NS + UCS (bell and food) occur at the same time
4) CS (bell) –> CR (salivation)
What is classical conditioning also known as?
Learning by association
What is operant conditioning?
Behaviour shaped and maintained by consequences.
Who did research into operant conditioning? Explain it
- Animals, such as rats, placed in specially designed cages called skinner’s boxes.
- When a lever was activated, the animal was rewarded with a food pellet
- Pressing the lever led to a desirable consequence, so the behaviour was repeated.
What are the 3 types of consequences of behaviour?
1) Positive reinforcement - receiving a reward when behaviour was performed.
2) Negative reinforcement - when an animal/human produces behaviour that avoids something unpleasant.
3) Punishment - an unpleasant consequence of behaviour.
What two consequences increase the likelihood that behaviour will be repeated?
1) Positive and negative reinforcement.
Give 2 evaluative strengths of the behavioural approach
1) It gave psychology some scientific credibility:
- focused on careful measured and observable behaviour in a lab setting.
- can be replicated, and is objective.
= greater credibility and status.
2) Laws developed have real-life applications:
- e.g. Token economies - rewards for privileges is operant conditioning.
- used in prison and psych wards.
- suit those who lack insight
Give 2 evaluative limitations of the behavioural approach
1) Portrays a mechanistic view:
- animals/humans seen as machine-like responders to the environment with little decision in their own behaviour.
- SLT + cognitive have placed emphasis on mental events that occur during learning.
2) Animal research explaining behaviourism has ethical and practical issues:
- animals stressful and aversive conditions, this may explain their behaviour.
- behaviour may have not been ‘normal’
How does SLT differ from the behavioural approach?
Proposes learning also occurs through observation and imitation of others’ behaviour.
What is vicarious reinforcement?
Learning of behaviour via consequences
- Reinforced behaviour is more likely to be copied than punished behaviour.
What are the 4 mediational processes of learning?
1) Attention - whether behaviour is noticed (learning of behaviour).
2) Retention - whether behaviour is remembered (learning of behaviour).
3) Motor reproduction - being able to do it (performance of behaviour).
4) Motivation - the will to perform the behaviour (performance of behaviour).
What makes a child more likely to imitate a behaviour?
If they identify (identification) with the person carrying out the action; mostly same gender, high status.
Describe Bandura’s first area of study, relating to SLT
- Children either watched an adult behaving aggressively towards a Bobo-doll or non-aggressively.
= The children who had seen aggressive behaviour were much more aggressive towards the Doll themselves
Describe Bandura’s second area of study, relating to SLT
- Children saw adult who was rewarded, punished or no consequence for being aggressive.
= The children who saw the aggressive condition rewarded were much more aggressive themselves towards the doll.
Give 1 strength of the SLT
1) Emphasises the importance of cognitive factors in learning:
- neither CC or OC offer a sufficient explanation of human learning as they omit cognitive factors
- SLT recognises the mediational processes involved.
A part from the emphasis on cognitive factors, give a strength of the SLT
1) It can account for cultural differences in behaviour:
- accounts for how children learn from others around them, through media and thus how cultural norms are transmitted.
- useful in understanding how come to understand gender roles by imitating others.
How does the SLT suffer from demand characteristics?
1) Evidence from lab studies:
- developed in lab settings which are unnatural to human environment.
- may have figured out the purpose of the doll is to hit it? behaving as expected? = ecological validity low.
How does the SLT underestimate the influence of biological factors?
- Consistent findings show boys were more aggressive regardless of the specifics of the experimental condition.
- Testosterone influence?
What does the cognitive approach believes should be studied?
The mental processes, e.g. memory
Cognitive psychologists make inference of behaviour, what is this and why do they do this?
- Making assumptions of behaviours as mental processes are private/unobservable.
Give an example of the theoretical models that cognitive psychologists would use
the MSM, WMM.
What is the computer analogy?
- Suggestion of similarities in how computers and human minds process information, e.g. the brain as a central processor, changing info in to a usable code.
Explain the concept of schema
1) Schemas are packages of info developed through experience.
2) Acts as a ‘mental framework’ for interpretation of incoming information.
3) Babies are born with simple motor schema such as sucking and grasping.
4) Schemas become more detailed and sophisticated with age.
Describe the emergence of cognitive neuroscience
- Study of influence of brain structures on mental processes.
- Brain scanning technology has enabled us to describe a neurological basis for mental processing
= e.g. identifying episodic and semantic memories are in opposite sides of prefrontal cortex of the brain.
- Also proved useful in establishing the neurological basis of some disorders, e.g. parahippocampal gyrus in OCD.
How does the cognitive approach use scientific and objective methods?
- Always employed controlled and rigorous methods of study in order to infer cognitive processes at work.
- Enabled biology and cognitive psychology to merge into one discipline = credible and scientific basis.
How is the cognitive approach less determinist than other approaches?
- Based on soft determinism; in which our cognitive system can only operate within certain limits = free to think before responding.
- Behavourists suggest we are passive slaves to the environment, lacking free-will.
How does the cognitive approach lack external validity?
- Only able to infer mental processes from observed behaviour = too abstract/theoretical.
- Research carried out using artificial stimuli such as recall of word lists = everyday life?
How is the cognitive approach based on machine reductionism?
- Although similarities between operations of human mind and computer analogy;
- Human motivation and emotion shown to influence accuracy of recall e.g. EWT
= not in computer analogy
What’s the main assumption of the biological approach?
- Everything psychological is at first biological; in genes, neurochemistry and the nervous system.
How do biological psychologists believe behaviour is obtained?
Through genetic and neurochemicals, e.g. 5HT1-D beta gene implicated in OCD.
(i) What studies are used to investigate the genetic basis of behaviour?
(ii) What is a concordance rate, and give an example.
(i) Twin studies
(ii) Concordance rates - extent to which twins share characteristics.
e. g. Nestadt et al. (2010) - 68% of MZ twins both have OCD compared with 31% of DZ twins.
Give 2 strengths of the biological approach
1) This approach uses scientific methods of investigation:
- small processes require scanning technology such as fMRIs and drug trials
= accurately measures biological and neural processes.
= not bias, reliable data
2) Real life applications:
- led to development of psychoactive drugs that treat serious mental disorders such as depression
- although not entirely effective, they’re revolutionary as many can continue to live a normal life.
Give 2 limitations of the biological approach
1) Based on a determinist view of behaviour:
- sees human behaviour as governed by internal, biological causes over which we have no control.
- This is at odds with CJS who sees offenders as responsible for their own actions.
= ‘criminal gene’ may complicate this –> wider impacts?
2) Causal conclusions about neurotransmitters difficult to establish:
- role of N in mental illness comes from studies that show a particular drug reduces symptoms of disorder by changing levels of N.
- This is like assuming cause of headache is because of a lack of paracetamol.
- This approach claims to have discovered cause when only an association exists?
What is a genotype?
Our actual genetic makeup
What is a phenotype?
The way that genes are expressed through physical, behavioural and psychological characteristics.
How is our phenotype influenced?
By the environment
Freud suggested the mind is made up of three parts. Name them.
1) Conscious - what we are aware of.
2) Pre-conscious - memories and thoughts we may become aware of through dreams and slips of the tongue.
3) Unconscious - a storehouse of biological drives and instincts that influence our behaviour
Freud suggested the personality is made up of three parts. Name them.
1) Id - primitive part of personality operates on the pleasure principle, demands instant gratification.
2) Ego - works on the reality principle and is the mediator between the id and superego.
3) Superego - internalised sense of right and wrong based on morality principle, punishes ego through guilt
What determines the adult personality?
The 5 psychosexual stages; marked by a conflict
If the conflict at any psychosexual stage is not resolved, what is the consequence?
What are the 5 psychosexual stages?
Describe the oedipus complex
- In the phallic stage, boys develop incestuous feelings towards their mother and a murderous father for their father.
- Boys later repress these feelings and identify with their father, taking on gender role and moral values.
What is used by the ego to keep the id in check? Give examples
- Defence mechanisms.
e. g. Denial - refusing to acknowledge the reality of ‘X’.
e. g. Repression - forcing a distressing memory out of the conscious.
How does the psychodynamic approach have explanatory power?
- Although controversial and bizarre, influence on Western contemporary thought.
- Used to explain a wide range of behaviours (mental disorders) and drew attention to influence of childhood on adult personality.
Give 2 limitations of the psychodynamic approach
1) It relies on case studies:
- small number of case studies such as Little Hans and the Rat Man.
- can we make universal claims on human nature?
- Although observations were detailed, interpretations are subjective –> can others draw same conclusions?
2) Lots of untestable concepts
- Popper argued PA does not meet scientific criteria of falsification = can’t be proved or disproved.
- Oedipus/electra complex are unconscious = difficult/impossible to test = pseudoscience?
A part from the explanatory power of the psychodynamic approach, give a strength of it.
1) Practical application in the real world:
- Freud introduced psychoanalysis, designed to access unconscious using techniques such as hypnosis and dream analysis.
- Most suitable for those suffering from mild neuroses, not severe cases such as Sz.
What does the humanistic approach outright reject?
That human behaviour can be made scientific; we are all unique.
How many tiers are there to the Hierarchy of Needs?
What is self-actualisation?
This is ‘you’ have achieved your full potential and become the best you can possibly be, e.g. lack of discrimination.
What are the tiers below self-actualisation also known as?
According to Rogers, how is personal growth possible?
Congruence of individuals concept of self with their ideal self.
What happens if a person has too much incongruence?
One can’t reach self-actualisation.
How might parents prevent personal growth?
- By imposing conditions of worth on their children; leading to worthlessness and low-self esteem
= e.g. placing boundaries on love ‘I will only love you if’.
According to Rogerian client-centred therapy, what should therapists provide their clients with?
3) Unconditional positive regard.
Should aim to increase feelings of self worth and reduce incongruence.
How is the humanistic approach anti-reductionist?
- More meaningful?
- Advocate holism - idea that behaviour and experience can only be understood by considering the whole person.
- Considers human behaviour in real life? –> validity in real-life?
A part from the humanistic approach being anti-reductionist, give another strength of it.
1) Portrays a positive image of human condition
- people can be in control of their lives and having the freedom to change.
- unlike Freud who saw us as slaves existing between unhappiness and despair.
Give 2 limitations of the humanistic approach
1) Limited real-life application:
- Rogerian therapy revolutionised counselling techniques, HoN used to explain motivation in work place.
- However; limited impact within psychology as a whole = lacking sound evidence base?
- Loose set of abstract concepts rather than a theory
2) Guilty of Western cultural bias?:
- ideas central to this approach such as individual freedom and autonomy would be more associated with individualist cultures.
- collectivist cultures emphasise the needs of groups and interdependence = not identify.
What are each of the approaches views on development?
- BEHAVIOURAL - processes that underpin learning are continuous, occurring at any age.
- SL(T) - same as BEHAVIOURAL
- COGNITIVE - stage theories of development, idea of developing schema as child gets older.
- BIOLOGICAL - genetically determined maturational changes influence behaviour.
- PSYCHODYNAMIC - most coherent theory of development; concepts and processes to age-related stages.
- HUMANISM - development of self is ongoing.
Which approaches are on the nature side of the debate? And how?
1) Biological = behaviour stems from genetic blueprint inherited from parents.
2) Cognitive = may of our info-processing abilities are innate, but are refined by experience (ALSO NURTURE)
3) Psychodynamic = behaviour driven by biological drives/instincts, but also see child’s relationships with its parents as crucial (ALSO NURTURE)
Which approaches are on the nurture side of the debate? And how?
1) Behavoural - babies born as blank slates, learn through association and reinforcement.
2) SL - same as behaviourism; additional processes of observation and imitation.
3) Humanism - parents, friends and society have a critical impact on person’s self-concept.
How are each of the approaches (not) reductionist?
1) Behavioural - reduces learning into stimulus-response units for ease of testing in lab setting.
2) SL; (NOT SO MUCH) recognises how cognitive factors interact with external environment.
3) Cognitive - machine reductionism; computer analogy ignores emotion.
4) Biological - reduces and explains human behaviour by genes or neurons.
5) Psychodynamic - reduces behaviour to the influence of biological/instincts; although sees personality as holistic interaction (NOT SO MUCH)
6) Humanistic - anti-reductionist = completely holistic.
Explain the different types of determinism (if necessary) for each of the approaches?
1) Behavioural - environmental determinism.
2) SL - influenced by environment with some control = reciprocal determinism.
3) Cognitive - soft determinism = we can choose our own behaviour.
4) Biological - genetic determinism.
5) Psychodynamic - psychic determinism.
6) Humanism - we determine our own development.
How would each of the approaches explain and treat abnormal/atypical behaviour?
1) Behavioural - maladaptive/faulty learning, therapies take a symptom-based approach to unlearning of behaviour.
2) SL - principles such as modelling used to explain the development of aggressive behaviour.
3) Cognitive - led to therapies such as CBT in treatment of depression, aims to eradicate faulty thinking.
4) Biological - psychoactive drugs regulating chemical imbalances.
5) Psychodynamic - anxiety disoders emerge from unconscious conflicts and overuse of defence mechanisms = use psychoanalysis.
6) Humanistic - humanistic therapy/counselling based on the idea of reducing incongruence to allow personal growth