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Flashcards in Atypical Behaviour Deck (31)
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Define typical behaviour

Behaviour which is considered normal, usually because it applies to the majority of people


What does atypical behaviour mean?

Behaviour that is considered abnormal, usually because it applies to a minority of people


What is the definition of a phobia?

An irrational fear of something


What is agoraphobia?

A fear of open spaces


What is social phobia?

A fear of embarrassing yourself in public


What is school phobia?

A fear of school


What is acrophobia?

A fear of heights


What is arachnophobia?

A fear of spiders


What is the core theory of atypical behaviour?

The behaviourist's theory


What is the key concept of the behaviourist's theory?

Behaviourists believe in classical conditioning (learning through association.


What is an unconditioned stimulus?

Something that naturally caused a response


What is an unconditioned response?

An instinctive reflex from the body


What is a neutral stimulus?

Something that would not cause a response on its own


What is a conditioned stimulus?

Something that triggers a learnt response


What is a conditioned response?

A learnt response


Describe the process of classical conditioning

Pavlov's Dogs

1. UCS (food) = UCR (dog salivating)
2. UCS (food) + NS (bell) = UCS (dog salivating) REPEAT
3. CS (bell) = CS (dog salivating)


What is operant conditioning?

Learning through consequences e.g if you cry because of a spider and you are comforted, you may learn to cry every time you see a spider so you can be comforted again, and hence grow a phobia


What is extinction?

When a phobic association is weakened over time


Evaluate the behaviourist theory

1. It ignores the thinking behind an action as some people are able to rationalise the associated stimulus while others are not
2. Ignores the role played by others around you e.g if you're scared of a bee in front of your parents, they would tell you to stop being silly and you'd think nothing of it but if you're with a friend who was also scared, the event may have seemed scarier than it was
and you may develop a phobia
3. Some people have phobias of things that they have never encountered


What is the alternative theory?

Evolutionary theory


What does this theory suggest?

This theory suggests that animals have evolved to have instinctive behaviours. (nature over nurture)
- All animals want to survive and reproduce so we fear things which threaten these things such as e.g heights, the dark, closed spaces, flying
- Animals such as snakes and lions pose a threat to our survival as they are most unlike
- It is much harder to get rid of phobias which threaten survival


What is preparedness?

Instinctively aware of dangers


What is the core study of atypical behaviour?

Watson and Rayner - Little Albert (1920)


What was the aim of this study?

To test the theory of classical conditioning


Who was the main participant of the study?

Little Albert


What was the method used in this study?

Lab experiment


Describe the procedure for the study

1. Albert had no fear of rats, furry objects/animals at the start of the study. This is clear as Albert was reaching out to stroke them, showing no fear.
2. The rat was offered to Albert again and as he reached out to stroke it, Watson hit a hammar against a steel bar to frighten him. (repeated several times over the next few weeks)


What was the result of the experiment?

Soon after the experiment was repeated a few times, Albert shows signs of fear towards the rat. However, after a break of 10 days later, the fear subsided.


What was the conclusion of Little Albert's study?

Someone can be conditioned to fear a stimuli


Evaluate the study

1. it was a lab experiment - low in ecological validity
2. Only one participant was used - results cannot be generalised
3. Highly unethical as they caused distress in the participant