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Flashcards in Key Approaches Deck (135):

What are the 5 different approaches?

Biological, behaviourist, cognitive, psychodynamic, humanism.


Define bios and logos (origins of the word biology).

Life, study; the study of life.


What are the three main studies of the biological approach?

Physiology, investigation of heritability (genes), and comparative method (studying animals and comparing them to humans).


How many chromosomes are in the human cell nucleus?

46 (23 pairs).


Why are rats and mice used in study?

They have a short gestation period.


What three ways of study can be used to study genes?

Genetic mapping, genetic engineering and selective breeding.


What is the study of genetic aggression?

Bock and Goode found mice reared alone found a strong tendency to attack other male mice when first exposed to other animals.


What is selective breeding?

The artificial selection of male and female animals for a particular trait.


What is a chromosome?

The part of the cell that contains genetic information.


What was the book Darwin wrote and what is it on?

The Origin of Species, about evolution and natural selection.


Give example of evolution.

Animals - male species display traits like mating calls and brightly coloured plumage to attract a mate.

Human - rooting reflex. Babies will turn their heads towards anything they strokes or touches their cheek, helping with breastfeeding.


Is the biological approach nature or nurture? Why?

Nature. Genes, hormones.


Is the biological approach free will or determinism?



Is the biological approach scientific or non-scientific?



What are the applications of the biological approach?

Drug therapy such as anti-depressants.


Is the biological approach reductionist? How?

If explains all behaviours through actions, nerves or chemicals.


What is one ethical issues of the biological approach?

Genetic mapping. Is it right to artificially manipulate genetic make-up?


Is the biological approach too simplistic?

Yes. It doesn't take into account and environmental factors.


What is tabula rasa, and who used the term?

John Locke described the mind as a tabula rasa, or blank slate. All behaviour is learnt and dependant on interactions with the environment.


Who established behaviourism? Why did he?

John Watson. He opposed the psychodynamic approach and said the consciousness could not be observed or defined so should not be studied.


Edward Thorndike proposed what law?

Law of Effect. If a behaviour is followed be a pleasing effect then that behaviour will be stamped in. However if it is followed by negative consequences it is unlikely to be repeated.


How did Thorndike observe his Law of Effect?

He observed cats trying to escape from puzzle boxes. The only way to escape was to operate a latch to open the door. This caused Skinner to develop his theory.


B.F. Skinner proposed what form of conditioning?

Operant conditioning.


What is operant conditioning?

All behaviour is learnt from consequences in our environment. It uses positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and punishment. It is an active process where we operate on the environment and behaviour is emitted. Behaviour is harder to predict.


What is the operant conditioning experiment?

Skinners box. A hungry rat was placed into a box, and if he pressed the lever he would receive food as positive reinforcement.


What is positive reinforcement?

It provides a feeling of satisfaction that increases the likelihood of the action being repeated.


What is negative reinforcement?

This is the removal of an unpleasant experience in order to increase the likelihood of an action being repeated.


What is punishment?

The addition of a negative stimulus to prevent an action being repeated.


What are the applications of operant conditioning?

Education, prisons and psychiatric institutions. Modifying speech in autistic children who have under developed speech by using positive reinforcement.


Who proposed classical conditioning and with what experiment?

Pavlov's dog. While researching the digestive system of dogs he discovered they would always salivate when presented with food. He paired this with the ringing of a bell.


What is classical conditioning?

The pairing of a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned reflex response. It is a passive process, where behaviour is elicited and behaviour is easy to predict.


What is the 'formula' for classical conditioning?

1. UCS --> UCR
2. UCS + CS --> UCR
3. CS --> CR


What is another famous experiment for classical conditioning?

Watson and Rayner, the study of Little Albert.


Explain the Little Albert experiment.

When he was 11 months old they used classical conditioning to induce fear of a white rat. They used the reflex response of fear of striking a metal bar with a hammer.


What are some issues with the Little Albert experiment?

Ethical: conditioning fear into a young boy.
Methodological: we can't generalise one study. It has been hard to replicate this experiment with successful results, especially in adults.


How can classical conditioning be used in real life?

The treatment of atypical behaviour. For example, aversion therapy in the treatment of alcoholism. They are given a drug that causes an unpleasant response such as nausea and vomiting.


Is behaviourism scientific or non-scientific?



Is behaviourism nature or nurture?



Is behaviourism free-will or determinism?



What are some issues with the behaviourist approach?

It ignores possible biological explanations for behaviour.


Is behaviourism reductionistic?

Yes. We are reduced to stimulus and response.


What two approaches is SLT like and how?

It moves away from radical behaviourism and take into account cognitive processes involved in learning.


What are the four mediating cognitive processes? Explain them.

Attention: notice someone in their environment.
Retention: remember what they observed.
Motor reproduction: replicates the behaviour shown by the model.
Motivation: they seek to replicate the behaviour they observed.


What is vicarious reinforcement?

Learning through an observation of another persons experience. For example through TV. This type of learning is indirect.


What two types of models are there? Give an example of each.

Live models: mother, teacher, pop star.
Symbolic models: people present in books, film and television.


What is a problem with vicarious reinforcement?

Not all behaviours observed can be directly reproduced.


What is the famous SLT experiment? Explain it.

Bandura's Bobo doll experiment. Three to six year old girls and boys were shown a video in which children of a similar age acted aggressively towards a Bobo doll. There were three different endings to the video. The children were then placed in a room with a Bobo doll to see how they behaved.


What were the three endings of the Bobo doll experiment video?

1. the adult in the film commented positively.
2. the adult commented negatively.
3. the adult made no comment at all.


What were the results of the Bobo doll experiment?

Boys showed greater levels of aggression, even when exposed to the same behaviour. Girls were more influenced by the negative comments made by the adult. Children learn by observing models and imitate their behaviour.


What is modelling?

The observation of a model and the imitation of the behaviour observed.


What are mediating cognitive factors?

The mental processes that over in-between a stimulus and response that influence our behaviour.


Is SLT nature or nurture?

Nurture.Not as strongly as behaviourism as it takes into account cognitive factors.


Is SLT free-will or deterministic?



Is SLT scientific or non-scientific?



What are some applications of SLT?

An effective explanation of gender development.


Name one strength of SLT? (clue: age and models)

Explains why gender behaviour changes with age as we find more suitable models.


What are three weaknesses of SLT?

1. ignores the role of biology and genetics in understanding behaviour.
2. Laboratory experiments have low ecological validity.
3. Cannot explain differences in same sex children of the same household.


What does the cognitive approach focus on?

Studying mental processes in a scientific way such as memory, problem solving, language and attention.


What is the model used in the cognitive approach?

The information-processing model compares the brain to a computer since we input (senses), transform into neutral data, store (memory), and output (recognition or recall) information.


What is the multi-store model?

A memory model.
Input - sensory memory - (attention) - short term memory'- (rehearsal) - long term memory


What is the study of mediational (mental) processes?

Studying internal mental processes by measuring verbal or written responses. This allows psychologists to create theories about what's going on in our minds such as memory.


What is a cognitive study of memory?

Ebbinghaus argued that memories decay over time. He used himself as a participant by learning and recalling a list of nonsense words. Most were forgotten immediately and then the memory loss slowed until it levelled off and stayed the same. This is the forgetting curve.


Is the cognitive approach scientific or non-scientific?

Scientific. Showed the kind could be studied objectively.


Is the cognitive approach deterministic or free-will?



Is the cognitive approach nature or nurture?

In the middle (nature?). However do not use in the nature/nurture debate.


What are some applications of the cognitive approach?

The treatment of mental disorders, child cognitive development, improving eyewitness testimony (cognitive interview), explains memory, and cognitive therapy.


What are two problems with the computer analogy?

It is too mechanistic (machine reductionism) and doesn't pay enough attention to mental processes such as emotion. Computers also don't forget, meaning the computer analogy doesn't always work.


What is a problem with the experiments of the cognitive theory?

They are artificial, leading to low ecological validity.


Who established the psychodynamic approach?

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist.


What did Freud say was the cause of neroses?

A deeply traumatic event or experience in a persons life, normally childhood, that had been repressed into the persons unconscious.


What technique would Freud use to uncover past trauma?

Free association, where a person was encouraged to talk freely to reveal the cause of a neurosis.


What did Freud suggest free-will was and why?

A delusion because hidden mental processes, which we are unaware of and have no control over, determinism these choices or decisions for us.


What is the iceberg analogy?

At the surface lies the conscious mind where we are aware if our thoughts and experiences. Just below the surface is the pre-conscious where our thoughts, feelings and experiences are that we can access but aren't directly aware of. Beneath this is the unconscious where significant psychic events take place. It is where things such as traumatic memories are stored via repression.


What are the issues surrounding the concept of the unconscious mind?

We don't know if it actually exists, bringing its scientific validity into question. It is not falsifiable (testable) and is therefore unscientific.


What are the five psychosexual stages of development in order?

Oral, anal, phallic, latent, genital.


What are the two instincts/motivating forces proposed by Freud?

Eros (erotic and self-preserving instincts [life]). Thanatos (aggression and self-destruction [death]).


What determines adult personality according to Freud?

Childhood experiences.


What happens if a child experiences trauma according to Freud?

The child becomes fixated on the stage of psychosexual development they're in meaning they can't move onto the next stage. This fixation will become evident in adulthood such as an oral fixation becoming smoking.


Explain the five psychosexual stages of development.

Oral - breastfeeding (0-18 months)
Anal - retention and expulsion of faeces. Toilet training (18-36 months)
Phallic - focus on the genital area. Oedipus and Electra complex (3-6 years)
Latent - sexual energy is sublimated towards peers (6 years to puberty)
Genital - heterosexual pleasure (puberty and beyond)


What are the three structures of the personality and the name of the theory?

Id, ego, superego. The tripartite theory of personality.


What is the id?

Governed by the pleasure principle. The selfish part of the personality where we desire instant gratification and is innate.


What is the superego?

Formed during the phallic stage of development. This is where we internalise our parental values and social standards. Also known as the morality valueless conscience where we store what's right and wrong.


What is the ego?

Our reality principle acts as a mediator between the id and superego. It reduces conflicts that arise when socially unacceptable desires occur. One of the ways the ego deals with conflicts is by using defence mechanisms.


What is denial?

Refusing to see unpleasant aspects of reality.


What is displacement?

Redirecting emotions from a dangerous object onto a safe object. Redirecting emotions onto a safer outlet.


What is rationalisation?

Constructing a logical justification for a decision that was arrived through a different mental process.


What is sublimation?

Refocusing or channeling of impulses onto socially acceptable behaviour.


What is reaction formation?

Behaving in ways opposite to unconscious impulses. Such as being friendly to someone you don't like.


What is projection?

Attributing ones own unacceptable id impulses onto another person.


What is repression?

Unconscious forgetting (motivated). Preventing disturbing thoughts from becoming conscious.


What is a neurosis?

An anxiety disorder (phobias, OCD etc). The sufferer has insight into their abnormal behaviour.


What is a psychosis?

A psychotic disorder (schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, bi-polar). The sufferer does not necessarily have insight. There is a split between the mind and reality.


What is the Rat Man study?

Ernst Lanzer had OCD. He had obsessive thoughts about rats eating their way into a person he loved via their anus. This stemmed from his days in the army where he heard about a torture method. He engaged in compulsive behaviours as a result. Freud stated these behaviours resulted from the love and unconscious hate he had for his father whom he wished to torture with rats. This helped him overcome his feelings of guilt and reduce anxiety.


What are two issues with the Rat Man study?

You can't generalise based on one study of one individual. Freud also ignored his mother who was a domineering figure in his life, and the Rat Mans feelings of abandonment might be a ,ore plausible explanation for his OCD.


Is the psychodynamic approach nature or nurture?

In the middle. The id is innate (biology) and repressed experiences effect behaviour later in life.


Is the psychodynamic approach deterministic or free-will?

Deterministic. Unconscious, id driven, and the environment.


Is the psychodynamic approach scientific or non-scientific?

Non-scientific. Uses case studies.


What is an application of the psychodynamic approach?

Psychoanalysis therapy.


What is the controversy surrounding Freud's theories?

That infants display sexual urges. He is also accused of being sexist due to his lack of explanations for women.


What are three methods used during psychoanalysis?

Hypnosis, free association, dream analysis.


What is a defence mechanism?

An unconscious resource used when the ego is mediating between the id and superego. They can also be referred to as ego-defence mechanisms.


Name the seven defence mechanisms.

Denial, displacement, rationalisation, sublimation, repression, reaction formation, projection.


Who founded humanistic psychology and when?

Carl Rogers in the 1950s.


Why was humanism formed?

Due to the concerns regarding the limitation is psychoanalysis and its failure to fully appreciate and deal with the nature of healthy growth I'm am individual.


Why is humanism seen as the 'third force' in psychology?

It was dissatisfied with the deterministic and scientific approach of the behaviourists, as well as its issues with psychodynamism.


What are the five core features of humanism?

1. view the person as a whole - holism
2. human beings are unique and should be valued as such
3. the consciousness includes an awareness of oneself on the context of other people
4. human beings have free will
5. humans are intentional and seek meaning, value and creativity


What does humanism focus on in their patients?

Positive growth rather than their pathology.


What therapy did Carl Rogers form?

Person-centred therapy (PCT) also known as counselling.


What is key in PCT?

The relationship between the therapist and client. Also, they are no longer a patient and are always referred to as a client.


What part of a person does PCT focus on?

Their immediate situation rather than their past (psychoanalysis).


What is the client supposed to achieve through PCT?

They should reach a state of realisation in which they can help themselves and use the therapy to achieve a more ideal sense of self rather than remain in an irrational world.


Describe PCT.

It is a non-direct talking therapy where the therapist encourages the client to express their inner feelings and perceptions. The therapist becomes a mirror and reflects the clients thoughts and feelings allowing them to have the free will to decide how to achieve personal growth.


What is congruence?

A state of agreement or consistency.


What three types of self are there?

1. self-concept - the way a person sees themselves
2. ideal self - the person we would like to be
3. real self - who we actually are


What does a person need to become to achieve personal growth?

Congruent with their sense of self.


What is the aim of PCT?

To close the perceived gap between the ideal and real self.


What is a good indicator of psychological health according to humanism?

The degree of congruence of a person, even though no one ever achieves a perfect state of congruence.


What three things should a therapist provide to the client?

Genuineness, empathy, unconditional positive regard ("love" you no matter what).


What did Rogers say caused psychological problems such as low self esteem in adults?

As lack of positive regard from mothers as children.


What are conditions of worth?

A child will only receive praise, love etc. from their parents if they behave in ways that are considered by the parents to be socially acceptable.


What is self-actualisation?

The motive to realise one's full potential or to become w fully functions, psychologically healthy individual.


Who proposed the hierarchy of needs?

Abraham Maslow


How do you achieve self-actualisation?

By achieving the first four needs in the hierarchy.


What are the deficiency needs?

Physiological, safety, love/belonging and esteem.


What is the growth need?



What applications are there for the hierarchy of needs?

Practical application it in the workplace, so employers understand that the employees should get satisfaction from their job.


Is humanism free-will or determinism?

Free-will, however there are elements of determinism in Maslow's hierarchy of needs from the environment.


Is humanism scientific or non-scientific?

Non-scientific due to the use of case studies.


What are the applications of humanism?

Person-centred therapy and counselling.


What do humanists ignore?

A persons environments and cultural constraints on a persons ability to develop and change.


What is the problem with studying emotions and the consciousness?

They are hard to study objectively.


What is an issue with the hierarchy of needs?

It condemns millions of people (poverty, war-zones) to never achieving self-actualisation.


What is holism?

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


What is reductionism?

The complex reduced to simpler component parts.


How is Humanism culturally biased?

Towards Western societies where individual achievement is valued above that of the group. Can be seen as a selfish approach.