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OCR A-Level Psychology > Core Studdies And Areas > Flashcards

Flashcards in Core Studdies And Areas Deck (49):

Key Themes for Social Area

Responses to people in authority and responses to people in need


Key Themes for Cognitive Area

Memory and attention


Key Themes in Devlopmental

External Influences on children’s behaviour and moral development


Key Themes in Biological

Regions of the brain and brain plasticity


Key Themes in Individual differences

Understanding disorders and measuring differences


Responses to People in Authority Studdies

Classic: Milgram (1963) Obedience
Contemporary: Bocchiaro et (2012) disobedience and whistle-blowing


Responses to People in Need Studdies

Classic: Piliavin et al. (1969) Subway Samaritan
Contemporary: Levine et al. (2001) Cross Cultural Alturism


Memory Studdies

Classic: Loftus and Palmer (1974) Eyewitness Testimony
Contemporary: Grant et al. (1998) Context Dependent Memory


Attention Studdies

Classic: Moray (1959) Auditory Attention
Contemporary: Simons and Chablis (1999) Visual Innatention


External Influences on Children’s Behaviour Studdies

Classic: Bandura et al. (1961) transmission of aggression
Contemporary: Chaney et al. (2004) Funhaler Study


Moral Development Studdies

Classic: Kohlberg (1968) Stages of Moral Development
Contemporary (1997) Evaluations of Lying and Truth-Telling


Regions of the Brain Studdies

Classic: Sperry (1968) Split Brain Study
Contemporary: Casey et al. (2011) Neural Correlates of Delay of Gratification


Brain Plasticity Studies

Classic: Blakemore and Cooper (1970) Impact of Early Visual Experience
Contemporary: Maguire (2000) Taxi-Drivers


Understanding Disorders Studies

Classic: Freud (1909) Little Hans
Contemporary: Baron-Cohen et al. (1997) Autism in Adults


Measuring Differences Studies

Classic: Gould (1982) A nation of morons - bias in IQ testing
Contemporary: Hancock et al. (2011) Language of Psychopaths


Definition of Social Psychology

The scientific investigation of how the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others.


Social Cognition

The process through which people store and apply information about other people and social situations


Assumption of Social Psychology

Other people and the surrounding environment are major influences on an individual’s behaviour, thought processes and emotions.


Implication of Social Psychology

If we want an individual to behave in a certain way, we should ensure that person is placed in an environment where the can witness other people demonstrating the same behvaiour


Research Method of Milgram

This tidy is usually considered a controlled observation. Although Milgram refers to the study as an experiment, and the study contains many experimental elements, there was in fact no independent variable. It has also been considered a pre-test/pre-experiment.


How data was gathered in Milgram’s study

Data was gathered through observations made by both the experimenter who was in the same room as the participant and there’s who observed the process through one way mirrors. Most sessions were recorded on magnetic tap, occasional photographs were taken through the one way mirrors and notes were made on unusual behaviours.


What occurred prior to Milgram’s study?

Psychology students and professional colleagues estimates the percentage of participants who would administer the highest shocks. Estimates ranged from 1-3 % (mean 1.2%)


Sample for Milgram’s Study

40 male participants aged between 20 and 50 years, from the New Haven area, were obtained by a newspaper advertisement and direct mail solicitation which asked for volunteers to participate in a study of memory and learning at Yale University. There was a wide range of occupations in the sample. Participants were pain $4.50 for simply presenting themselves at the laboratory.


Set up in Milgram’s Study

Participants were always given the role of learner, through a fixed lottery, and saw the learner, a confederate, strapped to a chair with, non-active, electrodes attached to his arms. Participants were given a trial shock of 45 volts to simulation genuineness.


What did the ‘teacher’ have to do in Milgram’s study?

Sat in front of an electric shock generator in adjacent room. He had to conduct a paired work test on the learner and give him an electric shock of increasing intensity for every wrong answer. The machine had 30 switches ranging from 15 to 450 volts, in 15 volt increments. In reality, no actual electrical shocks were administered to the learner.


What did the ‘learner’ have to do in Milgram’s study?

Produced a set of predetermined responses, giving approximately 3 wrong answers to every correct one. At 300 volts he pounded on the wall and thereafter made no further replies.


The role of the experimenter in Milgram’s study

If the ‘teacher’ turned to the experimenter for advice on whether to go on, the experimenter responded with a series of four standard prods, for example “It is imperative that you continue” and “Please continue”


What happened at the end of Milgram’s study?

The study finished when the teacher refused to continue (was disobedient) or reached 450 volts (was obedient). The participant was then fully debriefed and introduced to the learner so he could see that no harm had been inflicted.


Key Findings in Milgram’s study

All participants continued to 300 volts.
65% (26/40) continued to the full 450 volts
26 were obedient, 14 were disobedient
Many showed signs of extreme stress for instance sweating, trembling, stuttering, laughing nervously and 3 experienced uncontrollable seizures.


Possible explanations for the behaviour in Milgram’s study

The study was carried out at the prestigious university of Yale which influenced participants as to the worthiness of the study, the participants were told the shocks were not harmful, the situation was new to the participants so they had no experience to guide his behaviour.


Conclusions from Milgram’s Study

People will obey others who they consider legitimate authority figures, even if what they are asked to do goes against their moral beliefs.
Individual differences, such as personality, influence the extent to which people will be obedient.



When an individual refuses to comply wit set rules or someone in authority.



When a person exposes any form of activity that is deemed illegal, unethical or not acceptable within either a private or public organisation.


Research Method for Bocchiaro et al.’s study

Bocchiaro et al consider that study to be a laboratory experiment. However, like Milgram, there was in fact no independent variable, so the study may be at best viewed as a controlled laboratory study or a ‘senario study’.


Sample for Bocchiaro et al’s study

140 undergraduate students (96 women, 53 men, mean age 20.8) who took part in the research in exchange for either €7 or course credit. They were recruited by flyers posted in the university cafeteria.


The process for gathering data in Bocchiaro et al.’s study

Data was gathered on the number of participants who obeyed by writing a statement in support of the sensory deprivation study, those who disobeyed by refusing to write the requested statement an those who became whistle blowers by reporting the researchers questionable conduct to the research committee. Two personality inventories were also taken.


The two personality inventories used in Bocchiaro et al’s study

The Dutch Version of the HEXACO - PI - R, which measured the six major dimensions of personality, and a nine item Decomposed Games measure, which measured Social Value Orientation (SVO)


Procedure for the Comparison Group in. Bocchiaro et al’s study

138 students from the VU University were provided with a detailed description of the scenario setting and were then asked “what would you do?” “What would the average Student at your university do?”


Number of pilot tests for Bocciaro et Al’s study

8 pilot tests were conducted to ensure the procedure was standardised, credible and morally acceptable.


Use of Informed Consent in Bocchiaro et Al’s study

Participants were informed about their task, the potential benefits/risks of participation, and their right to withdraw at any time with no penalty. They were also assured of the confidentiality of the information collected and asked to complete a consent form.


How were participants introduced to Bocchiaro et Al’s study?

Each participant was greeted in the laboratory by a Male Dutch Researcher who was formally dressed and had a stern demeanour. The researcher proceeded with a request for each participant to provide a few names of fellow students and then presented the cover stor.


What was the cover story in Bocchiaro et Al’s study?

A recently conducted experiment on 6 participants in Rome who spent some time completely isolated, unable to see or hear anything, had disastrous consequences - all panicked, their congestive abilities were temporarily impaired, some experienced visual or auditory hallucinations, two participants asked to stop because of their strong symptoms but were not allowed to do so because invalid data would have been collected. The majority said it had been a frightening experience.


What did the researcher tell the participant he wanted to do in Bocchiaro et al.’s study?

The researcher wanted to replicate the study in the cover story at VU University using a sample of college students as there was currently no data on young people, but some scientists though that their brains might be more sensitive to the negative effects of isolation. Although it was difficult to predict what might happen, the researcher wanted to proceed weigh the experiment. A university research committee was evaluating whether to approve the study and was collecting feedback from students who knew its details to help them make their decision.


In Bocchiaro et al.’s study, what did the researcher do after presenting the cover story?

The researcher left the room for three minutes so the participants could reflect on the action based decision they were about to make.


What happened when the participants in Bocchiaro et al.’s study were taken to the second room?

There was a computer for them to use to write the statement to convince the students they had recommended to participate in the study. They were told to be as convincing as possible with their statements ad had to use two adjectives among ‘exciting’, ‘incredible’, ‘great’ and ‘superb’. A mailbox, and the research committee forms were also in the room. If a participant believed that the proposed research on sensory deprivation violated ethical norms, they could challenge it by putting a form in the mailbox.


What did the researcher in Bocchiaro et al.’s study do after taking the participant to the second room.

The researcher told participants to begin and left the room for 7 minutes. He then returned and asked the participant to follow him back to the first room where they completed two personality inventories, were probed for suspicion, fully debriefed and asked to sign a consent form, this time fully informed. The entire session lasted approximately 40 minutes.


Key findings for the comparison group in Bocchiaro’s study

3.6% indicated they would obey the researcher. Most believed they would either be disobedient (31.9%) or whistle-blowers (64.5%).
When asked to predict the typical behaviour of other typical students at their university, 18.8% thought they would obey, 43.9% thought they would disobey and 37.3% thought they would blow the whistle.


Key findings in Bocchiaro et al.’s study

76.5% obeyed, 14.1% disobeyed and 9.4% blew the whistle
6.0% were anonymous whistle blowers
3.4% open whistle blowers
No significant differences in regard to gender, religious affiliation or religious involvement.
A significant difference found with regard to faith.


Conclusions from Bocchiaro et al.’s study

Individuals tend to obey authority figures even if the authority is unjust.
Whistle-Blowers have more faith than either obedient or disobedient individuals.