Flashcards in STAGE TWO PSYCHOLOGY EXAM Deck (307):
The complex network of emotions, cognitions and behaviours that provide coherence and direction to a persons life.
Personality conceptions + theorists
- Psychodynamic conceptions: Sigmund Freud
- Humanistic conceptions: Abraham Maslow
- Trait conceptions: Raymond Cattell and Hans Eysenck
Freud (1856-1939) was a very influential and controversial Austrian theorist, who proposed the following psychodynamic conceptions of personality; mental forces, mental processes, defence mechanisms and psychosexual stages.
- Mental processes
- Mental forces
- Defence mechanisms
- Psychosexual stages
Mental processes/iceberg analogy
- Conscious mental processes
- Preconscious mental processes
- Unconscious mental processes
Conscious mental processes
The thoughts that we are aware of and hence only make up a small part of the mind (tip of the iceberg). Attention may wander to other conscious thoughts like wondering what the time is or noticing discomfort so we can change position.
Preconscious mental processes
Things we are not currently aware of but can easily bring to the surface as it just below the surface.
Unconscious mental processes
Processes that are inaccessible to our conscious and we cannot become aware of them. Freud believed that these have been repressed as they would be too upsetting. He believed they make up majority of the mind and influence behaviour.
- The id
- The ego
- The superego
Consists of totally unconscious instincts which an individual is born with. It is based on the pleasure principle and demands immediate gratification of its urges (eat, sleep). The id is primitive, illogical, irrational and fantasy oriented.
Emerges within the first years of life as children experience the demands and constraints of their life experiences. The ego operates according to the reality principle seeking to delay gratification of the ids urges until appropriate situations can be found.
...Is the moral branch of personality. The superego develops by the age of five in repose to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by caregivers. It forces the ego to consider ideal behaviours.
Why are defence mechanisms used?
If the ego constrains desires of the id, or if the superego is disobeyed, internal conflict may be felt. Defence mechanisms are used to resolve such conflicts, unconsciously between the id, ego and superego.
Largely unconscious self-deceptions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt.
Psychosexual stages of development
Freud believed humans have sexual energy that develops through 5 'psychosexual stages' each based on a particular erogenous zone.
What happens if frustration is experienced?
If frustration is experienced at a stage, the person feels anxiety and becomes fixated on that particular erogenous zone, which will affect adult personality and mental health.
Oral stage (birth to 18 months)
During the oral stage, the child is focused on oral pleasures, specifically sucking. Too much or too little gratification results in an 'oral fixation' which is evidenced by a preoccupation with oral activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol, over eating or nail biting. These individuals may become overly dependent upon others, gullible and perpetual followers.
Anal stage (18 months to 3 years)
During the anal stage, the childs focus of pleasure is on eliminating and retaining faeces. A fixation at this stage will cause 'anal retentiveness' or 'anal expulsiveness' in adulthood. Anal retentive stimulates controlling, hoarding and excessive neatness. Anal expulsive stimulates messiness, disorganisation and destructiveness.
Phallic stage (3 to 6 years)
During the phallic stage, the pleasure zone focuses on the genitals. Freud believed that during this stage, boys develop unconscious sexual desires for their mother. Boys see their father as competition for their mothers affection and develop a fear that their father will punish them for these feelings. This is known as the oedipus complex. For girls, the Electra complex states girls envied their fathers penis and blame their mother for the anatomical 'deficiency'.
Latency stage (6 years to puberty)
During the latency stage sexual urges remain repressed in the service of learning and children interact and play mostly with same sex peers. Too much repression can lead to a suppression of sexual activity.
Genital stage (puberty onwards)
The genital stages begins at puberty and represents the resurgence of the sex in adolescence. Freud began to see problems, resulting from unresolved conflicts in earlier stages.
Advantages of freud
- First comprehensive theory of personality development, which stimulated further theories
- Ideas persisted in our society through neo-freudians (Carl Jung). They recognised the value of ideas about early childhood experiences affecting adulthood.
Weaknesses of freud
- No real empirical evidence for theory, as he only based his opinions on his experience with clients, through dreams and 'Freudian slips'.
- Biased towards women (phallic stage)
- Narrow focus on sex
- Difficult to test
Abraham Maslow (1954)
Proposed the very popular theory that people are motivated by a hierarchy of needs.
Rule of the hierarchy of needs
The lower need must be met before going to next level. The deficiency needs must be met before growth needs can be focused on.
Maslows simplified 'hierarchy of needs' model
- Self actualisation (personal growth and fulfillment)
- Belonging and love
- Physiological needs
Maslows expanded 'hierarchy of needs' model
- Self actualisation
- Belonging and love
- Physiological needs
Helping others reach their potential
Need for aesthetic beauty
Need to know and understand
Self respect. Respect from others. High self esteem. Status.
Love and belonging
Close relationships with other people. Group membership.
Food, water, air, sleep
Someone who transcends all lower needs to achieve a state of complete personal and intellectual fulfilment. Their qualities include: embrace realities, spontaneity, creative, problem solving, closeness to others, appreciative of life, morality, and lack of judgment towards others.
Sudden feelings of intense happiness and wellbeing, possibly the awareness of an 'ultimate truth', and unity of all things. The experience fills the individual with wonder and awe in which they feel at one with the world. All individuals are capable of these experiences wherein they transcend, or go beyond the limitations of the self.
Advantages of Maslow
- Theory provides a holistic personality developmental perspective
- Considers all factors which can affect a persons life
- Suggests that individuals are involved in the development of their personality and therefore have the ability to voluntarily grow.
Weaknesses of Maslow
- Theory is believed to be too optimistic and doesn't factor in struggles that a person may feel.
- Works mainly for 'western societies' as in some 'eastern societies' people strive for enlightenment even though they are unable to meet basic needs.
- Lacks evidence to support theory as it is difficult to test.
Suggests that personality is based on a number of relatively stable characteristics/traits. This approach can describe peoples behaviour and predict how they will behave in certain situations.
A persons enduring characteristics or dispositions that give rise to their behaviour patterns.
The manner of thinking, behaving or reacting characteristic of a specific person from a very young age or at birth.
Raymond Cattell used factor analysis; the statistics procedure conduced to identify clusters of related factors on a test, to formulate 16 personality factors.
Hans Eysenck (1960s) undertook factor analysis to arrive at 3 main personality dimensions:
- Neuroticism vs Stability
- Extroversion vs Introversion
- Psychoticism vs Impulse control
Ranges from calm and collected to anxious and nervous.
Eysenck suggested people high on this scale have a more responsive sympathetic nervous system, causing them to feel fear in minor emergencies. They are more likely to develop mental disorders.
Ranges from shy and quiet to outgoing and loud.
Eysenck suggested people high on extroversion have a cerebral cortex that is under aroused, they therefore behave in extroverted ways to increase this arousal to a more preferable level.
Ranges from altruistic and conventional to troublesome and uncooperative.
Advantages of Trait conception
- Eysenck theories can be scientifically tested
- Traits conveniently describe the structure of personality
- Eysencks theories led to considerable research into biology of personality
Weaknesses of Trait conception
- No agreement about how many traits exist or are necessary
- People behave differently in different situations, but trait theory suggests their traits should be consistent and stable over time
- Eysenck over emphasised genetic rather than social influences
- Eysenck fails to explain as he only describes human personality
- Word association tests
- Rorschach inkblot test
- Thematic apperception test (TAT)
Standardised self-report inventories:
- 16 PF test
Tests designed to access mental processes from the unconscious part of the mind.
Word association tests
Analyse responses to a word through what the person says and how quickly.
Rorschach inkblot test
The person is asked to describe what a series of inkblot shapes look like, which the psychologist then interprets in a subjective way.
Thematic apperception test (TAT)
The client is shown pictures that are vague, about people interacting, and is asked to make up stories about the pictures. Themes of the stories are then interpreted by the psychologist. Validity and reliability are a problem as the interpretation depends on the examiner.
Standardised self-report inventories
Standardised = Designed to be administered and scored in a specified, uniform manner to ensure comparability.
Self reports = People complete the test themselves.
Inventory = Series of questions
Cattell developed the 16PF test
A self report test of nearly 200 questions which has 16 scales, measuring the 16 factors/dimensions of personality and produces subjective quantitative data.
Eysenck personality questionnaire (EPQ)
Tests personality based on his three personality dimensions.
Problems with standardised self-report inventories
- Person may not know themselves well
- 'Social desirability effect' may be a problem
- Person may not understand questions
1 - Identify trait needing assessment
2 - Specific behaviours are listed on a checklist which observers use to do a 'behaviour count'
Checklists are usually less carefully structured than inventories and have lower levels of validity and reliability.
A structured clinical interview involves a qualified professional asking specific questions in a standardised way so the clients personality can be assessed more objectively and thus allow comparisons to be made.
What does it mean to be...
Aggressive - Being demanding, hostile, insensitive
Passive - Being submissive, not expressive of needs/feelings
Assertive - Firmly standing up for rights and asking for what you want
Involves helping the person learn to stand up for their rights without violating the rights of others (assertive).
Steps of assertiveness training
- Changing unhelpful thinking: (it doesn't matter if I don't get a turn or I have the right to yell) to assertive thinking (I have the right to ask for my turn)
- Changing unhelpful verbal behaviour (speaking quietly or threatening) to assertive verbal language (clear, respectful explanation of thoughts)
- Changing unhelpful non-verbal behaviour: (slumped posture or glaring) to assertive non-verbal behaviour (upright posture, eye contact)
- Prepare for scenarios using role-play
- Learn variations of assertive behaviours
- Use 'I' statements
- Must rehearse over and over again
- 'I' statements and assertive behaviour should be almost automatic
- Overlearning = good performance
- Use 'broken record' method
- Restate request as many times and in as many ways as possible
- Prevents assertiveness become aggressive
Personalities that are outside social normals and associated with maladaptive behaviours, emotions and thoughts.
The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) identifies 10 personality disorders.
- Paranoid (distrust and suspicious)
- Schizoid (detachment from relationships)
- Schizotypal (social and interpersonal deficits)
- Antisocial (fail to conform to social norms)
- Borderline (instability of relationships, self image, identity)
- Histrionic (excessive attention seeking)
- Narcissistic (lack of empathy, self importance)
- Avoidant (avoidance of social situations)
- Dependent (excessive need to be taken care of)
- Obsessive-compulsive (preoccupation with orderliness, control, perfectionism)
Personality disorders treatment
Cognitive behaviour therapy
Preferred learning style
The way a person prefers to learn. It has been theorised that personality (extroversion) may be related to the way people prefer to learn.
Extroverts learning style
- Love to talk, participate, organise and socialise
- Prefer to figure out things while talking
- Learn best by talking and physically engaging with environment
- Work best when discussing, talking and working out
- Physical activity
- Difficulty listening
Introverts learning style
- Prefer to reflect on their thoughts, memories and feelings
- Can be sociable but need time and space alone
- Figure out things before discussing
- Enjoy reading and written work over oral work
- Enjoy listening to others talk while privately processing information
- Prefer to work independently and often feel uncomfortable in group discussions
Ethical standards (5)
- only registered psychologists can administer tests
- informed consent before tests
- privacy must be respected
- results only used for stated purpose
- right to refuse or withdraw
Other ethical considerations
- used to make important decisions (job suitability, going to prison)
- may be biased against a particular group, social class or racial group
- interviews may be subject to 'halo effect' in which one positive trait (looking well presented) is assumed to be correlated to person being honest and intelligent
The banishment of threatening thoughts, feelings and memories into the unconscious mind.
The displacing of immature behaviours that have relieved anxiety in the past.
Independent variable and dependent variable
Independent - variable is that the experimenter can manipulate or vary in some way.
Dependent - variable that is used to observe and measure the effects of the independent variable.
Procedures involved in the research must be explained to people and they must be given written consent prior to the study.
Objective data + examples
Data based on measurements of a participants response that can be directly observed and verified by the researcher.
Examples: heart rate, IQ score, behaviour counts
Subjective data + examples
Data determined by the research participants that the researcher cannot directly verify and therefore be certain of their accuracy.
Quantitative examples: responses on checklists, rating scales, questionnaires.
Qualitative examples: content analysis of focus group statements
The scientific study of how people think, feel and behave and the factors which influence these.
A testable prediction about the relationship between at least two events, characteristics or variables.
Participation must be voluntary and it must be ensured that no coercion or pressure is felt to particpate.
Right to withdraw
People must know they are free to withdraw at any time without any negative consequences.
Participants privacy must be protected and no details about them or their individual results can be disclosed (ID Numbers)
After the investigation, it is essential that people receive an explanation of the study and are helped to overcome any negative effects (counselling).
Results must be reported accurately.
Researchers must behave in a professional way.
Special care and consideration must be taken for vulnerable groups (children, animals, mentally ill).
What is content analysis?
Process used called coding which analyses large amounts of qualitative data and reduces it into fewer categories.
Process of content analysis
- Careful reading of all the responses
- Identifying, naming and sorting core themes within the data
- Identifying sub-themes
- Noting the frequency with which these occur
- Looking for patterns in the responses
Steps followed for Delphi technique (7)
1 - Recruitment of group members
2 - Construction and distribution of a questionnaire
3 - First circulation and administration of the questionnaire
4 - Collation and categorising of results found
5 - Second circulation and administration of the questionnaire
6 - Collation of results
7 - Summary of findings
whether conclusions drawn from the results are applicable in other situations.
whether a measure appears as though it would measure what it is designed to measure.
Limitations of a small/ unrepresentative sample
- Representativeness: Sample must be accurate representation of population interest. If sample is not large/diverse then not valid to generalise population.
- Statistical power: Small sample means higher chance of existing differences between groups. Larger Sample = Greater statistical power (less bias) = Convincing evidence
Small SD leads to .......
High validity and less variability
When is it better to use mean or median?
Mean - large sets of scores
Median - outliers are present
main features of experimental design
- random allocation
- manipulation of the independent variable
- control of other variables
main features of quantitative observational design
- uses pre-existing variables of groups
- independent variable varies naturally
- used for when experiments are not possible, ethical or too costly
main features of qualitative design
- methods produce data in comprehensive verbal and written form
- do not seek to test hypothesis
- good for investigating opinions and perceptions
main features of focus group
- group discussion led by a leader
- participants discuss, interact, seek and share information on a specific topic
- free response questions
main features of delphi technique
- questionaries used to collect data about opinions from a groups of experts in a field
- no meeting required, information in writing
- summarised information is sent back to participants and further questionaries are developed
tendency of some respondents to report an answer in a way they believe to be more socially acceptable than their true answer
whether a measurement tool actually measures what it is supposed to measure.
a term used to refer how scattered or spread out scores are from the central score.
extraneous variables + types
any variable, apart from the independent variable, that can cause a change in the dependent variable and therefore affect the results of an experiment in an unwanted way. (participant, experimenter, situation)
the extent to which an experiment, test or measuring procedure yields the same result from repeated trials.
participants are assigned randomly into groups to ensure the groups are as similar as possible. the participants are just as likely to be in the experimental group as the control group.
manipulation of the Independent variable
the researcher manipulates the independent variable, while keeping all other variables constant to test its affect on the dependent variable.
experimental design + advantages/disadvantages
an investigation design used to test whether one variable influences or causes a change in another variable.
advantages: research is replicable, control of extraneous variables, allows conclusions about cause and effect
disadvantages: artificial results, unethical/impractical, extraneous variables may decrease validity
quantitative observational design + advantages/disadvantages
an investigation design in which the researcher collects quantitative data based on pre-exisiting criteria and variables.
advantages: allow variables to be investigated that would be unethical/impossible/too costly in experiment
disadvantages: does not allow conclusions about cause and effect (lack of random allocation)
qualitative design + advantages/disadvantages
an investigation design that collects qualitative results
advantages: useful for investigating attitudes/opinions/experiences, avoids ethical problems
disadvantages: results cannot be generalised to other groups, not useful in testing hypothesis, often a small sample
focus group + advantages/disadvantages
a group interview technique that obtains data through discussion between research participants in a group setting
advantages: gain info that cannot be obtained from questionnaires, spontaneity (respondents speak because of genuine feelings not because question requires answer), snowballing (comments trigger a series of responses from other participants)
disadvantages: people may dominate discussion, observer presence may influence behaviour, people may not feel comfortable to share
Delphi technique advantages/disadvantages
a research method that uses self-administered questionnaires to obtain the opinions of experts in a field of interest
advantages: expert opinion (accurate information), convenient, not influenced by other participants
disadvantages: often forces consensus, extremely time consuming
refers to the emotional reactions or feelings an individual has towards an object, person, event or issue
refers to the idea that one can have both positive and negative responses towards the same thing
an evaluation a person makes about an object, person, group, event or issue
refers to the actions that we do in response to an object ect.
central route of persuasion
route of persuasion which uses the content of the message to make the audience think carefully about the message and evaluate it (high elaboration).
refers to the beliefs we have about an object ect.
cognitive dissonance theory
suggests that if a person persists in behaving in a way that causes cognitive discomfort, the person tends to change their beliefs or attitudes to the behaviour
a function of attitudes which helps people to protect themselves from admitting negative things or the harsh realities of the world
process by which people form an overall impression of someone's character and abilities based on available information about their traits and behaviours
process by which people attempt to manage the impression of themselves that they present to others
a function of attitudes that operates because people need to have knowledge to give structure and order to the world in which they live
a type of questionnaire that allows a subject to nominate a category of choice in their response. this might be a number (e.g. 1-6) when those numbers represent intensities of agreement or disagreement (e.g strongly agree - strongly disagree)
the ways that we present information without using verbal language
peripheral route of persuasion
involves persuading the audience of the message by using peripheral cues. it requires little deliberation and elaboration by the audience.
process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behaviors regarding an issue through the transmission of a message
prejudice is an unjustified negative attitude towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group
a branch of social psychology that examines our ability to gather information about and understand the processes, rules and concepts that govern our social interactions
people's tendency to make assessments of themselves by comparing themselves to others
downward social comparison
when we compare ourselves to someone who is slightly worse off than ourselves
similar social comparison
when we seek out similar people with whom to compare our perceptions and attitudes
upward social comparison
when we compare ourselves with someone who is more fortunate, happier or better at a task than ourselves
social stigma is a sign of moral blemish, a censuring characterisation or a target of negative discrimination
the content of what someone says
means that the attitude helps us to express information about ourselves to other people, including our beliefs, values and self-image. It helps establish identity.
a fixed over-generalised belief about a particular group or class of people.
semantic differential scale
a rating scale used for measuring the meaning of things and concepts.
visual analogue scale
a measurement instrument that tries to measure a characteristic or attitude that is believed to range across a continuum of values and cannot easily be directly measured.
The initial stage of the learning/conditioning process, during which the tendency to show a new conditioned response is formed.
A behaviour therapy based on principles of classical conditioning, which involves pairing an aversive or unpleasant stimulus with a maladaptive behaviour in an attempt to suppress that behaviour.
The application of the principles of operant conditioning to change undesired/problematic behaviours. Positive reinforcement is used because it is more effective in encouraging the desired behaviour.
A process of learning, in which a subject learns to respond in a desired way to a previously neutral stimulus, that has been repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus that elicts the desired response.
The learned response to a conditioned stimulus.
A previously neutral stimulus that after association with an unconditioned stimulus comes to produce a conditioned response.
A behaviourist concept that states for learning to occur, the response must occur in the presence of, or very soon after, a stimulus is presented.
- No more than 0.5 seconds
The principle that learning will occur only if one event appears to be dependent on or conditioned by something else.
- No probability = Do not learn
- Pairings increase = Strength of association increases between the CS and UCS
A reduction or loss in strength of a conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus or reinforcement is withheld.
A lasting change in behaviour or potential for behaviour that results from experience.
Occurs when a new behaviour or new information is learned vicariously by watching the actions of others and the consequences they experience.
Learning that occurs in the context of experiences, or avoiding, rewards or punishments contingent upon performing a behaviour.
- We repeat actions that produce favourable results
- We avoid actions that produce unpleasant results
The application of an unpleasant stimulus or penalty that represses a behaviour.
Fixed ratio schedule
An operant conditioning reinforcement schedule where an organism must undertake a certain number of operant responses in order to receive reinforcement.
Variable ratio schedule
A type of operant conditioning reinforcement schedule where the reinforcement is given after an unpredictable (variable) number of responses are made by the organism.
Any process that increases the frequency of a desired behaviour.
Reinforcement after every correct response in operant conditioning.
Reinforcement after only some correct responses in operant conditioning.
Primary reinforcers + Example
Unlearned stimuli which have the capacity to reinforce operant responses by satisfying physiological or biological needs.
Example: Food for a hungry person
Secondary/conditioned reinforcers + Example
A previously neutral stimulus that has become reinforcing to an organism through association with another reinforcer.
Example: Money can be exchanged for ice-cream
A technique used in operant conditioning, in which the behaviour is modified by stepwise reinforcement of behaviours that produce progressively closer approximations of the desired behaviour.
The recurrence of a previously extinguished response without reinforcement.
Variable interval schedule
A type of operant conditioning reinforcement schedule where the reinforcement is given to a response after a specific, unpredictable amount of time has passed.
Fixed interval schedule
An operant conditioning reinforcement schedule where an organism will be reinforced for a response only after a fixed time interval.
The ability to distinguish a particular stimulus from other, similar stimuli and react to it.
The transfer of a response learned to one stimulus to a similar stimulus.
A behaviour therapy, based on the principles of classical conditioning, which involves a gradual process of eliminating a learned fear or phobia. It involves the client working through a hierarchy of fear-evoking stimuli, whilst in a state of deep relaxation.
Thorndike's law of effect
The idea that responses followed by satisfaction will occur again, and those that are not followed by satisfaction become less likely.
The response, in classical conditioning, evoked by an unconditioned stimulus without an organism going though any primary learning.
Any stimulus that can evoke a response without the organism going through any previous learning.
The addition of a stimulus that weakens the likelihood of a response occurring again.
The taking away of a stimulus that weakens the likelihood of a response occurring again.
The presentation of a pleasant rewarding stimulus that increases the frequency of a particular behaviour.
The removal of an unpleasant stimulus which increases the occurrence of a behaviour.
Three types of learning:
- classical conditioning
- operant conditioning
- observational learning
A stimulus that does not evoke a response.
Acquisition in classical conditioning
The moment where the unconditioned stimulus is removed and the conditioned stimulus evokes the conditioned response.
Ivan Pavlov dog experiment
- Russian psychologist Ivan pavlov, conducted study in 1860's
- Studying role of saliva in the digestion process of dogs
- Accidentally discovered 'psychic reflexes'
- Noticed dog began salivating when receiving food and prior to receiving food
- Dog did this due to the 'clicking sound' of the device delivering the food
- Pavlov assumed dog was salivating in response to some stimulus associated with food
Contingency in classical conditioning
If the CS is paired with the UCS, then the UCS is contingent on the CS.
Example of each of the following in classical conditioning
- Stimulus generalisation
- Stimulus discrimination
- Stimulus generalisation: fearing all insects not just spiders
- Stimulus discrimination: knowing the difference between home and mobile phone sounds
Classical conditioning for a prejudice
NS: Member of disliked group -> NR: No response
UCS: Parents negative reaction -> UCR: Child is angry
NS + UCS -> UCR: Child is angry
CS: Member of disliked group -> Child is angry
- B.F Skinner (1904 - 1990)
- Skinner extended Thorndikes law of effect to more complex behaviours using his 'skinner box'
- The Skinner box was a simple device invented by Skinner, allows careful study of operant conditioning
- Rat presses bar, pellet of food or a drop of water is automatically released
Types of consequences
Results when a person or animal is prevented repeatedly from avoiding some aversive stimulus and becomes passive and depressed.
- Looses motivation = Prevents actions
Types of schedules of reinforcement (4)
- Fixed interval schedule
- Fixed ratio schedule
- Variable interval schedule
- Variable ratio schedule
Factors of fixed interval schedule
- Provides reinforcement on a regular basis at equal time intervals (every 10 mins)
- Behaviour only needs to be performed once
- More behaviours do not earn more rewards
- Produces a clustering of responses around reward time
- Schedule is used when we want the behaviour to occur at specified times but not constantly
- Example: Salary
Factors of fixed ratio schedule
- Based on how much is done
- Produces high rates of responding
- Example: Paid based on how many bags of fruit are filled
Factors of variable ratio schedule
- Produces high rates of responding
Principles of gambling:
- Small 'wins' are very powerful, causing many people to become addicted
- Occasional big wins, strengthen the reinforcement power of small wins
- Example: A pokies player cannot predict which press of the button will result in a win
Factors of variable interval schedule
- Produces low but fairly constant rates of responding
- This schedule is used when we want the behaviour to occur on an ongoing basis, but not too frequently
- Example: A person fishing cannot predict when he or she will catch a fish
Example of extinction in operant conditioning
A rat who previously received food when pressing a bar, no longer receives food, causing a gradual decrease in the amount of lever presses until the rat eventually stops lever pressing.
Example of generalisation in operant conditioning
Rat who receives food by pressing one lever, may press a second lever in the cage, in hopes that it will receive food.
Example of discrimination in operant conditioning
Rat does not receive food from the second lever and realises that by pressing the first lever only, he will receive food.
Possible outcomes from punishments:
- Sometimes a punishment has aspects than are rewarding to the recipient. A reprimand in a class-room may be intended as a punishment, but the child who receives attention and admiration from friends may have been rewarded instead.
- The recipient of punishment can develop an apathetic attitude and stop trying.
- The recipient learns to use the punishment on others.
- The punisher often feels guilt for punishing.
Factors of shaping
- Reinforces a series of successive steps
- Shaping requires continuous reinforcement
- Shaping is effective for teaching complex behaviours that are not likely to occur naturally
- A final goal response
Shaping used to treat phobias
- Start small: imagine one
- Look at a picture
- Look at one from a distance
- Touch one
- Hold one
What is the best way to promote fast learning and high resistance to extinction?
The best way is to begin reinforcing the desired behaviour on a continuous schedule until the behaviour is well established. Then shifting to a partial (preferably variable) schedule that is gradually more demanding.
What are some examples of operant conditioning in everyday life?
- Coin deposit for shopping trolley returns
- Customer loyalty programs
- Business (car sales)
The development of a dislike to aversion to a flavour to food that has been paired with an illness.
- Example: Chicken and nauceous
Organisms are biologically prepared to associate certain conditioned stimulus with unconditioned stimulus.
- Example: Thunder and lightning
Factors influencing behaviour
- Order of presentation: reinforcement should follow desired response
- Timing: reinforcers should be presented as close as possible to ensure association between response and reinforcer
- Appropriateness of the reinforcer: must be a pleasing experience
- Characteristics of the individual: reinforcement must be appropriate to the age, sex, interest of the individual
- Motivation to learn: primary factors (hunger/thirst), secondary factors (money, praise, social approval)
- Preparedness - associations occurring easier than others
- Species specific learning: differences in adaptive challenges has led to species specific learning
Behaviour modification process undertaken
1) Establish a baseline of current behaviour
2) Set a goal
3) Set-up reinforcement schedule
5) Remove reinforcement to check if behaviour has been modified. If so, behaviour modification has become conditioned.
Factors affecting observational learning
*Acquisition and later performance of behaviours demonstrated by others
- Production processes
The extent to which we focus on on others behaviour.
- Anything that distracts attention = negative effect on observational learning
- Model is interesting = More likely to dedicate fun attention to learning
Our ability to retain a representation of others behaviour in memory.
- Ability to pull up important information later and act on it is vital to observational learning
Our ability to actually perform the actions we observe.
- Further practice of the learned behaviour = improvement and skill advancement
Our need for the actions we witness and their usefulness to us.
- Observing reinforcement and punishment = motivate us to perform/ not perform behaviour
Bobo Doll Experiment
- Aim: to investigate the effects of observational learning on aggressive behaviour
- Year: 1961
- Theorist: Albert Bandura
- Sample: Young children between 3 and 6
- IV= Modelled behaviour towards doll
- DV= Aggressive behaviour towards doll
- Experiment conditions:
~ controlled setting
~ two experimental groups exposed to aggressive model
~ control group not exposed
~ groups left alone in room
~ children saw an unknown adult model act aggressively towards an inflatable clown. the Childs subsequent behaviour was evaluated for aggressive behaviour
- Ethics involved:
~ vulnerable groups
~ designed/taught to act aggressively
~ emotional issues created
- Conclusion: children exposed to aggressive models reproduced a good deal of aggression resembling that of the models.
State of awareness
The sensations, perceptions, cognitions and emotions we experience.
Circadian rhythm + Examples
A behavioural or physiological cycle that occurs over a 24 hour period.
- Sleep/wake cycle
- Body temperature
- Blood pressure
What are circadian rhythms controlled by?
- Exogenous rhythms (external)
- Endogenous rhythms (internal)
External cues including lifestyle and environmental factors (showering before bed, dressing each morning).
Biological processes which are influenced by the hypothalamus part of the brain (SCN = suprachiasmatic nucleus).
Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)
Located in the hypothalamus in the brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus acts a biological clock and controls the sleep/wake circadian rhythm.
How is the sleep/wake cycle controlled (SCN)?
- Light entering the eyes falls on the retina and a signal is sent via the optic nerve to the SCN.
- The SCN delivers a message to the pineal gland which secretes the hormone melatonin.
- The release of melatonin increases when it is dark and decreases when it is light.
- Increased melatonin makes people sleepy and inversely, reduced melatonin makes people more alert.
What are the needs for sleep?
- Energy conservation: During sleep less energy is used and energy is conserved due to lower metabolic rate and lower temperature.
- Repair and restoration: Sleep aids repair and restoration as cells are repaired, the immune system is strengthened and waste products from muscles are eliminated.
- Memory consolidation: Learning is consolidated during sleep, with memories being stored logically so they are accessible later.
An accumulation of the difference between the amount of sleep that a person requires to function at an optimal level and the amount they actually have.
Occurs when we don't have enough sleep to operate at an optimal level.
What are the effects of sleep deprivation?
- daytime sleepiness
- slowed reaction time
- poorer memory
- hand tremors
- micro sleeps
- health problems due to reduced immune system
Microsleep + two situations when particularly dangerous
A brief unintended loss of attention, which often occurs when a tired person is performing a monotonous task.
- Operating Machinery
Does sleep debt build up?
No sleep debt does not continue to build up. If we have 8 hours too little sleep over a long weekend, 8 hours sleep is not required to recover. Only about 3 hours extra the next night and 2 hours extra the second night would return us to normal.
Stages of sleep
During sleep a person moves up and down through 5 different stages of sleep. Each cycle is 90 minutes and 4 - 5 cycles occur per night.
- Non-REM sleep: A collective term for stages 1 to 4 of sleep
- REM sleep: The fifth stage of sleep which is distinguished by rapid eye movements.
Method of investigating sleep: Electro-Encephalographs (EEG)
An Electro-Encephalograph is a device which monitors the electrical activity in the brain through the use of electrodes on the scalp to measure electricity produced by neurons in the brain. The different stages of sleep produce different traces of electrical activity called brainwaves. The height of a wave is called amplitude and the number of wave cycles per second is called frequency.
Sleep problems that disrupt the normal NREM-REM sleep cycle, including the onset of sleep. Sleep disorders can cause personal distress and often interfere with an individuals normal functioning.
Sleep apnea (biological level)
A sleep disorder in which a persons breathing stops periodically for a few moments while they are asleep.
Problems associated with sleep apnea
Due to consistent waking up, person is prevented from completing full cycles of sleep and remain until the light stage. Therefore the person fails to achieve the sleep needs.
This leads to:
- Sleep deprivation
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
Two types of sleep apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea
An obstruction in the throat during sleep, due to the complete relaxation of the throats muscles causing blockage of the upper airway at the back of the tongue.
This can be a result of several factors: being overweight and drinking alcohol before sleep. It is more common in overweight men over 40.
Central sleep apnea
This type is cause by a delay in the signal from the brain to breathe.
Treatment for sleep apnea
Mild sleep apnea: behavioural changes (loosing weight and refraining from sleeping on back)
Moderate-high sleep apnea: a CPAP machine
C-PAP (continuous positive airway pressure)
A C-PAP is a machine that blows air into the nose via a nose mask, keeping the airway open and unobstructed.
A sleep disorder in which people experience irresistible and unpredictable daytime attacks of sleepiness, lasting 5 to 30 minutes. Sleep attacks commonly occur at times when people are in a heightened state of alertness.
Problems associated with narcolepsy
- Sleep attacks
- Loss of muscle tension
- Hallucinations may be experienced as the person goes in to REM almost immediately.
Causes of narcolepsy
There is a genetic component in narcolepsy.
Treatment for narcolepsy
There is no cure for narcolepsy.
The excessive daytime sleepiness may be reduced with stimulant drugs (caffeine, exercise, keeping busy).
A sleeping disorder in which people suffer from a reduction in the quality and amount of sleep as they experience problems getting to sleep, staying asleep or waking up too early.
Causes of insomnia
- Psychological factors: persistent stress, excessive anxiety and tension can prevent relaxation. Stress can cause worrying, which leads to a heightened state of psychological arousal making to difficult to sleep.
- Lifestyle factors: drinking caffeine or smoking cigarettes are stimulants which make it difficult to sleep. Working shift work can make a sleep routine difficult to establish.
- Environmental factors: noise and light.
Illness and secondary factors can contribute to insomnia (depression, arthritis and asthma)
Problems with insomnia
A person is unable to function as they wish to during the day. Symptoms include fatigue and impaired concentration.
Treatments for insomnia
• Medical treatment
- sleeping pills
• Psychological interventions
- stimulus control therapy
- sleep restriction therapy
- cognitive behaviour therapy
- bright light therapy
Stimulus control therapy
Therapy used to treat insomnia using the principles of classical conditioning in which a person learns to associate the bed only with sleeping.
Rules of stimulus control therapy
- Only go to bed when feeling sleepy
- Do not use bed for reading, watching television, eating or worrying
- If unable to sleep after 10 minutes, leave room and repeat step as many times till asleep.
- Get up same time every morning regardless of how much sleep is achieved.
- No daytime naps
Sleep restriction therapy
A treatment for insomnia which invokes limiting time spent in bed because the person spends too much time in bed attempting to sleep. This works by increasing sleep dept so the person can fall asleep more easily.
Process of sleep restriction therapy
1. Person records their estimated amount of sleep time each night in a sleep diet for two weeks.
2. Diary is used to work out average number of hours sleep per night.
3. Person is allowed to say in bed for the average number of hours slept plus 15 mins, but the total amount is never less than 4 and a half hours.
4. Get up same time each day.
5. No naps allowed during day.
6. Once a person sleeps for 75% of the time that they are allowed to spend in bed for 5 days, they are allowed to go to bed 15 mins earlier.
7. Repeat procedure until the person can sleep for eight hours or the amount of time desired.
Bright light therapy
Therapy used for insomnia and other problems associated with circadian rhythms which involves wearing glasses with LED lights. If the CR is delayed, so you cannot sleep until late at night and then wake up late, bright light therapy in the morning can correct this. If the CR is advanced, so you fall asleep early and wake up very early, bright light therapy in the evening can correct this.
Flight or flight response
A reaction to the perception of danger, invoking the release of neurotransmitters to activate the body and mind for survival.
How is the flight or flight response controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and endocrine system?
During the flight-or-flight response, the sympathetic nervous system and endocrine system are activated. The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for action. The endocrine system secretes hormones into the blood; adrenaline, cortisol which are released from the adrenal glands. This stimulates physiological and psychological arousal.
The flight-or-flight response causes an increase in respiration, blood pressure which allows more oxygen and blood sugar to power the muscles. Blood is diverted from the digestive tract to parts of the body needed in an emergency response and digestion slows/stops. There is an increase in sweating, which cools the skin and allows the muscles to breathe.
The flight-or-flight response causes changes which make people more irritable, anxious, excitable and psychologically alert to the threat.
There is an optimal level of arousal to achieve optimal performance on a task. If arousal is too low, the person will be very relaxed with low alertness and motivation causing a poor performance. If a persons arousal is too high, the person will experience hyper-alertness and anxiety, thus causing a poor performance.
The level of arousal that is optimal for performance depends on two factors:
- the difficulty or complexity of the task
- the individual
The complexity of the task
- simple tasks required higher arousal for best performance, as simple tasks need less processing of information.
- complex tasks require lower arousal for best performance.
- once a complex task has been practiced and the person becomes familiar it has a higher level of optimal arousal.
- Introverts tend to prefer less stimulating environments as they can easily become over-aroused and perform badly. Therefore, introverts need lower arousal levels to perform at their best.
- Extroverts prefer more stimulating environments and therefore need higher arousal levels to perform at their best.
Stress is a physical or psychological reaction to either a positive or negative change, presenting a series of challenges in everyday life. Stress can have a negative effect on health as the cardio-vascular, respiratory and immune system are often affected.
How does the body respond to stress?
Hans Selye proposed the general adaption syndrome to describe the body's response to stress, in which three stages occur; alarm, resistance and exhaustion.
In the alarm stage the sympathetic nervous system flight or flight response is activated to combat the stress. Hormones and neurotransmitters are released to prepare for action, causing a high arousal. Initially normal resistance levels are lowed.
In the resistance phase, the body remains in elevated arousal however there is a slight decline in physiological stress responses.
In the exhaustion phase, the body can no longer sustain the high level of arousal. The body's psychological and physiological reserves are depleted and more severe damage to nerves and organs can occur. The ability to resist infections and repair tissue is reduced and there is a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, ulcers, influenza and headaches. Psychological problems can also be induced like anxiety and depression which often lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms (bad diet, smoking, poor diet).
Types of strategies for coping with stress
- problem focused: solving the problem or changing the situation that is causing the stress
- emotion focused: managing the emotions that are associated with the stress, usually by changing the way the person thinks about and perceives the situation.
Cognitive behaviour therapy
The cognitive aspect aims to change the persons thinking towards situations. The behaviour aspects aims to change the persons behaviour and help develop skills and strategies.
Stress management strategies
- problem solving
- social support
- time management
- healthy eating
Shift works involves trying to stay awake at night when circadian rhythms such as alertness, body temperature and melatonin are signalling sleep. It therefore involves attempting to sleep during the day when the opposite is the case. Alternating between day and night shift is difficult because the persons circadian system is not able to become synchronised with his lifestyle.
Effects of shift work
- circadian rhythm becomes desynchronised
- sleep disturbances
- digestive issues
- increased risk of accidents
- cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease
How can the effects of shift work be minimised?
- change shifts as infrequently as possible, which allows time for the circadian rhythm of melatonin secretion to become more synchronised to sleep.
- use bright lights (bright light therapy) to reset biological clock in the SCN and help adjust to the new time schedule.
- wear dark glasses/ blinds to block light to limit amount of light that can be registered by the SCN
- melatonin supplements
- short naps
- if changing shifts, rotate forwards rather than backwards as people can adopt to forward shift rotation more rapidly than backward rotation.
When the suprachiasmatic nucleus recognises the time of day to be different from what external cues tell us it is. It occurs when travelling through several time zones. The body clock is eventually naturally reset to local time by exogenous and endogenous factors. This reset happens at the rate of about 1 hour per day spent in the new time zone. It is less problematic to travel west as it is easier to stay awake longer than to force yourself to go to sleep and wake up earlier.
Things in your behaviour control that can help you to have optimal sleep quality and quantity.
- consistent bed time and wake up time
- have pre-sleep routine (shower)
- quiet and comfortable sleeping environment
- avoid caffeine
- no naps
- not taking worries to bed
Ethical considerations of shift work ect.
- causing harm by putting people through stressful or sleep deprivation situations
- people with sleep disorders should be regarded as a vulnerable group and particular care should be taken of their welfare
Body temperature circadian rhythm
The body temperature circadian system fluctuates about one degree centigrade each day. Generally it peaks in late afternoon and is lowest in the early hours of the morning. The drop in body temperature in the evening coincides with a drop in alertness.
• eye movements
• heart rate slows
• muscles relax
• blood pressure drops
• brief muscle contractions (hypnic jerks)
• theta waves have a lower frequency of 4-7 cups, than the alpha waves that occurred in the relaxed state before stage 1
- Light sleep
- No difficulty, person will deny being asleep at all
• respiration rate declines
• heart rate declines
• muscle tension declines
• body temperature declines
• Theta waves continue
• onset of sleep spindles and k-complexes
- Light sleep
- No difficulty waking someone as it is a light sleep
• muscles continue to become more relaxed
• delta wave commence which are high-amplitude, low frequency rhythmic brainwaves.
• delta waves make up less than 50% of brain activity
- sleep becomes more deeper
- hardest stage to wake someone. If woken person may be confused and disoriented
• muscles are relaxed
• a decreased rate of respiration
• slightly lower body temperature
• delay waves make up more than 50% of brain activity
- deepest stage of sleep
- hardest stage to wake someone. If woken person may he confused and disoriented.
• the eyes rapidly move left to right and up and down.
• pulse rate and blood pressure quicken
• response is faster and irregular
• muscles relax
• Brain activity is similar to that if a person who is awake
- light/deep sleep
- no difficulty waking someone
- most likely for dreams to occur
A condition in which behaviours, thoughts and emotions cause distress to the person and significantly impaired work, study or social functioning.
History of mental health
- Mental disorders as a sign of evil: In prehistoric and ancient societies abnormal behaviour was seen as a sign of evil spirits or demonic possession. Early healers used poison or exorcisms to the remove the 'evil'.
- Mental disorders as illness: Hippocrates and Plato supported the idea of mental illness, where individuals were looked after by families rather than punished.
- Psychiatric hospitals: Mentally ill were institutionalised in hospitals where some provided care and others contained conditions similar to prison (cages and chains).
- Modern times: By 20th Century, many changes occurred to the mental health system with ECT and lobotomies becoming more common. Treatments no longer require hospitalisation, as psychotropic drugs and CBT allow clients to return home.
Levels of explanation
- Basic Processes
Focuses on body systems, brain structures and neurochemistry.
Basic processes level
Focuses on learning, cognitive processing and emotional reactions.
Focuses on the role of individual differences and experiences that develop their personality.
Focuses on the influences of close relationships with family and friends, cultural norms and societal expectations.
What is a healthy mind?
A healthy mind may best described as having resilience. This refers to the capacity to cope with change and challenge, to bounce back in the face of adversity and the ability to weather the effects of stress, injury and insult. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or don't have. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
How to develop resilience?
- Increase protective factors
- Decrease risk factors
Environmental or personal resources that help people act better in the face of stress.
Protective factors - individual factors
- good social skills
- self worth
- problem solving
- internal locus of control
- low neuroticism
- active lifestyle
- school success
Protective factors - family factors
- caring parents
- security and stability
- family harmony
- attachment to family
- responsibility for chores
- strong family norms/morality
Protective factors - school/work/community factors
- non-violent and cohesive
- positive environment
- pro-social peer group
- sense of belonging
- recognition and achievement
- access to support services
- positive peers
- cultural identity
Risk factors - individual factors
- low intelligence
- low self-esteem
- school failure
- drug/alcohol abuse
- pessimistic personality
Risk factors - external factors
- low family income
- lack of love/affection
- poor peer relationships
- divorced parents
Coping strategies + types
Strategies to help people cope with pressure and manage stress.
- Improving planning and organisation
- Learning optimism
- Using distraction: Taking time away from distress
- Using social support networks
Improving planning and organisation
- List the demands you need to deal with
- Decide which are urgent, which are important, which are both and which are neither.
- Break down into manageable steps
- Plan a timeline
- Stick to it
- We can perceive situations and interpret events in either positive or negative ways
- Learning to think more optimistically can result in feeling better about life and coping better with challenges
- This approach could form part of cognitive therapy
- Read or play a game (humour)
- Relax or meditate, which reduces physiological measure
- Exercise, which releases endorphins
- Calm down with music/bath
Social support networks
- Having a sense of belonging
- Activities with family/friends
- Talk things over with a supportive person
- Speak with a counsellor
characterised for the enduring disturbed and sense of hopelessness, instigating a loss of pleasure and interest in most activities.
- insomnia (biological)
- energy loss (biological)
- rapid weight loss/gain (biological)
- feeling helpless (basic processes)
- catastrophizing expected situations (basic processes)
- suicidal thoughts (basic processes)
- negative self-judgment (person)
- guilt (person)
- alcohol abuse (person)
- avoiding social situations (socio cultural)
- loosing interest in activities (socio cultural)
- stress (biological)
- decreased brain activity from insufficient chemical levels within the brain, seratonin (biological)
- external locus of control (basic processes)
- high neuroticism (person)
- negative self-appraisal (person)
- alcohol abuse (person)
- loosing a loved one (socio cultural)
- lack of supportive networks (socio cultural)
- ridiculed in society (socio cultural)
An anxiety disorder occurs when the level of worry, anxiety and fear is beyond normal and outside the individuals control.
GAD + symptoms
General anxiety disorder occurs when we feel intense worry most of the time for a period of more than 6 months.
- out of control worrying, prevents everyday functioning
- sense of worry/dread about most things
- instigates restlessness
- easily tired
- problems concentrating
- sleep problems
- tense muscles
- ongoing stress
- brain chemistry
- substance abuse
- high neuroticism
Psychotropic medication (biological)
Depression: increases amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin available in the brain.
Anxiety: valium/xanax, suppresses intensity of anxiety
Advantages psychotropic medication
- not excessive time needed for talking, doctor diagnoses and prescribes drugs
- may be cheaper than lots of psychology sessions
Disadvantages psychotropic medication
- side effects
- chance of addiction
- effects are not immediate
- drugs do not work for all people
- patient compliance: stopping or taken incorrectly
- dont solve life problems or teach patients to cope better
A brief electric shock (5 seconds) is applied to the patients brain, providing a seizure lasting about 1 minute and is given under general anaesthetic with a muscle relaxant. Consciousness returns about 1 minute afterwards. Used for depression in severe cases when not responding to other treatments, and hopes to 'repair' some brain circuits.
Advantages Electroconvulsive therapy
- can be effective for severe depression
- it is claimed 80% of patients have a good response
Disadvantages Electroconvulsive therapy
- memory can be affected
- side effects: headaches, nausea
- some believe it causes brain damage
Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy + Advantages & Disadvantages
A 'talking' therapy used to treat depression where unconscious needs, wishes and motivations are revealed.
Advantage: still frequently used by therapists
Disadvantage: less evidence base than for some other approaches (CBT)
Cognitive behaviour therapy for depression/anxiety
This teaches the client to understand, manage and change cognitions and behaviours. This uses behaviour homework to practice new behaviours, monitor feelings, record successes and challenges.
Advantages cognitive behaviour therapy
- considered to be most effective therapy for anxiety and depression
- teaches long term skills
- decreases chance of relapse
- no medical problems from drugs
Disadvantages cognitive behaviour therapy
- takes quite a few sessions of therapy
- doesn't treat biological symptoms
Whole population health approach...
involves increasing public awareness of the extent of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing mental health literacy.
Prevention intervention target groups (3)
- Universal: targeted to the general public or a whole population group that has not been identified on the basis of individual risk.
- Selective: targeted to individuals or a subgroup of the population whose risk of developing mental disorders is significantly higher than average.
- Indicated: targeted to high-risk individuals who are identified as having minimal but detectable signs and symptoms foreshadowing mental disorder or predisposition for mental disorder.