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1. Victoria Chutter Psychology GCSE UNIT 1 Revision Pack th Exam = May 18 2010 Topics:  Social Influence  Phobias  Attachment  Environment & Behaviour …
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  • 1. Victoria Chutter Psychology GCSE UNIT 1 Revision Pack th Exam = May 18 2010 Topics:  Social Influence  Phobias  Attachment  Environment & Behaviour  Aggression
  • 2. Victoria Chutter  Cognitive Development
  • 3. Victoria Chutter Revision Checklist for UNIT 1: May 18th Social Influence Define conformity  Describe & evaluate Asch’s research  Define obedience  Describe & evaluate Milgram’s research*  Understand factors affecting conformity & obedience  Understand cultural differences in both  (* = you could look at Zimbardo if you want to – but extra to Milgram) Phobias Define phobia and give some examples  Understand classical and operant conditioning  Understand how conditioning affects phobias  Evaluate the role of conditioning using alternative theories  Attachment Understand the development of attachment  Describe & Evaluate Bowlby’s Theory of attachment  Understand the effects of deprivation & privation  Understand cultural differences in childcare  Environment & Behaviour Define personal space  Describe & evaluate research about invasion of personal space  Understand culture and gender differences in personal space  Define territory  Understand the different types of territory and defensible space  Understand how people protect their personal space & territory  Aggression Understand the principles of Social Learning Theory  Describe the Social Learning Theory of Aggression  Understand culture and gender differences in aggression  Understand the role of the media in aggression  Evaluate social learning theory using alternative theories  Cognitive Development Describe & evaluate Piaget’s Theory  Describe Piaget’s findings e.g. object permanence etc.  Evaluate Piaget’s methodology  Evaluate Piaget using alterative research 
  • 4. Victoria Chutter In this revision pack are notes on all of the above topics and some exam questions. Use it wisely! The words in red and blue are the key points – the red ones are the most important. Social Influence – Define conformity Conformity can be defined as ‘changing one’s beliefs or behaviour because of real or imagined group pressure’ Sherif (1935) studied conformity in a series of lab experiments using the autokinetic effect (a visual illusion in which a stationary dot of light appears to move when shown in a very dark room). Participants were asked to estimate how far the dot moved (and gave estimates of between 2 and 25cm). They then observed with two others over a series of trials, and each of them estimated in public how far they thought the light moved. These estimates became closer and closer after each trial: a group norm emerged. Participants were then tested again on their own, and their estimates remained close to the group norm. However, this study was criticised because the participants did not interact, so they cannot be considered to be a proper group. Several reported afterwards that they did not feel influenced by the other’s in the group, but they had been trying to work out the answer. Asch suggested that there was a greater effect of the group because the answer was ambiguous (unclear) Social Influence – Describe & Evaluate Asch’s Research A Asch (1951) was interested in whether an individual would conform B (change their behaviour because of pressure from the C majority) even when they knew the group was wrong. Asch created a series of experiments with groups of 6 to 9 people, in which there was one participant and the rest of the people were confederates (people Test Comparison Lines pretending to be participants) who were told to give the wrong Line answers on certain trials) was asked which of a series of lines matched the test line. Participants believed that it was a test of visual perception. The real participant was the last to give their answer , and in control trials (in which there were no confederates) very few participants gave wrong answers. But when the participant was part of a group, 25% conformed on most occasions when the group was wrong, and 75% conformed at least once. The average rate of conformity was 32%.
  • 5. Victoria Chutter In interviews, participants knew they were giving the wrong answer, but did not want to look stupid or ruin the experiment. Asch found several factors that influenced conformity rates:  Unanimity – conformity dropped when one confederate gave a different answer to the others  Ambiguity – if the lines were more similar in length, it was harder to judge what the correct answer was and conformity dropped.  Group size – in groups smaller than 4 (3 confederates & 1 participant), conformity was lower. With more than 4, conformity does not increase (so 4 is the optimal group size) Evaluation of Asch’s experiment  The results may be historically bias – reflecting the high levels of conformity in America in the 1950s  There are a number of ethical issues – particularly deception and distress  It is very artificial situation and lack ecological validity - when there was just one confederate, and a group of participants, the real participants laughed when the confederate gave the wrong answer, and asked if he could see properly. Also, we very rarely have to give a ‘correct’ answer. Real life conformity is more about fitting in with others, and the groups involve people we know something about.  Some critics have argued that it is unclear whether this tests conformity or independence  Unfamiliarity with the task also affects conformity levels  Crutchfield (1954) conducted a similar experiment but the participants answered the questions in private and found similar levels of conformity – with some being very conforming, and others being very independent  However, he also found that personality and IQ are related – those people who conformed were more likely to be open to the influence of others and have lower IQ, relying more on the judgement of others. Social Influence - Define Obedience Obedience can defined as ‘following a command, order or instruction which is given by an authority figure’ This is different to conformity, because no one asks or tells us to conform. Obedience is an important factor in society; we may obey orders because they benefit us or seem fair, but they could also be illegal, immoral or unjustified. Social Influence – Describe & Evaluate Milgram’s research
  • 6. Victoria Chutter Milgram wanted to investigate whether German people were particularly obedient to authority figures, which most people thought after the Second World War. Milgram (1963) selected participants by advertising for men between 20 and 50 to take part in a study on learning at Yale University. Participants were paired with a confederate (who they thought was a genuine participant) and were assigned to either be “teacher” or “learner” (although the real participant was always the teacher). The learner was strapped into a chair and electrodes were attached to his arms, and then the teacher and the experimenter went into another room , which contained a shock generator with switches marked from 15V to 450V. Participants were given a 45V shock in order to make it convincing. The participant then read out a list of word pairs (e.g. blue, girl) which the learner had to remember. The learner was given electric shocks by the participant if they made a mistake or did not say anything. As more mistakes were made, the strength of the shock was increased. Milgram had predicted that only 2% would give the highest level of shocks. However, all the participants gave shocks of 300V, and 65% continued to the full 450V. Despite obeying, participants showed considerable distress during the experiment – three had seizures and several challenged the experimenter, who responded with prods, e.g. “you have no choice, you must continue”. Participants were debriefed (told what the study was really about afterwards) and introduced to the “learner” so they could see that he was unharmed. They were assured that their behaviour was normal, and several months later, 74% said that they had learned something valuable from the experiment. Evaluation of Milgram:  The findings of this study were very shocking and it created a lot of interest in the area of obedience  There are a number of ethical issues, as participants were obviously distressed, were told that they must continue if they protested (making it difficult for them to withdraw from the study) and participants were deceived about the nature of the study  Critics say that the participants didn’t really believe what was happening in the experiment and so suspended their judgement  There are also demand characteristics because participants knew they should obey the experimenter  Some argue that it tested the participants’ trust in the experimenter, rather than obedience to him.  The sample is biased, because it was all men, and they were self-selected. This sample is therefore not representative, and the results should not be generalised  Hofling et al. (1966) studied obedience in real-life situations by investigating whether nurses would knowingly break hospital rules in order to obey a doctor. Nearly all (21 out of 22) of the nurses did.
  • 7. Victoria Chutter However, when Rank & Jacobsen (1977) conducted a similar study with a drug nurses were more familiar with, only 2 out of 18 did it. Social Influence – Understand factors affecting conformity & obedience There are a number of factors which influence conformity, including:  Ambiguity – conformity is higher when information is uncertain  Unfamiliarity – conformity is higher when participants are not familiar with the situation  Unanimity – conformity is higher when everybody else in the group agrees  Need for approval – conformity is higher when an individual feels a strong needed to be liked  Low self-esteem – conformity is higher when an individual has low confidence  Social norms – conformity is higher when there is strong social cohesion (e.g. a sense of community)  Group strength - conformity is higher when there are strong links between members of a group There are a number of factors which influence obedience, including:  Surveillance – if the experimenter left the room, the participants’ obedience dropped to an average of 20% who shocked to 450 volts  Buffers – this is anything that prevents those who obey from being aware of the full impact of their actions. In Milgram’s experiment, the wall between the teacher and the learner acted as a buffer. When the learner was in the same room, obedience dropped to 40%  Prestige – when the study was conducted in a run-down setting, fewer participants shocked to the maximum  Authority – the weaker the authority of the experimenter seems (e.g. if they are not wearing a lab coat), people conform less because they feel more responsibility for their actions  Personal responsibility – when they had more responsibility for the suffering, e.g. putting the learner’s hand on the electric plate, obedience dropped to 30%  Disobedient models – when participants were one of three and others refused to give the shock, obedience dropped to 10%.  Familiarity with the situation – Rank & Jacobson suggest lower levels of obedience occur if participants are familiar with the situation Social Influence – Understand cultural differences in conformity & obedience Conformity
  • 8. Victoria Chutter Smith & Bond argue that whether levels of conformity are high or low depends on the cultural context. Shouval et al. (1975) conducted research comparing conformity to peer group pressures between Israeli and Russian 12 year olds, and found that Russian children (collectivist culture) were much more conforming. There are some patterns of conformity:  Collectivist cultures produce higher levels of conformity than individualist cultures.  Common experiences amongst participants showed high levels of conformity  Students generally show lower levels of conformity Obedience There are some patterns in obedience:  Kilham & Mann (1974) found differences in obedience depending on the gender of the learner (40% of participants obeyed if the learner was male, compared to only 16% if the learner was female)  They also found lower overall rates of obedience in Australia compared to USA – as Australian culture tends to have a strong tradition of criticising authority  Obedience has been found to be greater than 80% in Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands
  • 9. Victoria Chutter Phobias - Define phobia and give some examples A phobia is “an intense, persistent and irrational fear of a particular object, situation or activity which is accompanied by a compelling desire to avoid and escape it.”  Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces  Arachnophobia - fear of spiders  Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces  Acrophobia – fear of heights  Xenophobia – fear of foreigners  School phobia – fear of school  Social phobia – fear of embarrassing oneself in a social situation Phobias - Understand classical & operant conditioning and how conditioning affects phobias Classical conditioning Pavlov (1908) studied dog’s digestive systems and first named the principles of classical conditioning. The principles of classical conditioning are:  An automatic response is called an unconditional response (UCR) because it is not learned. This is caused by an unconditional stimulus (UCS)  You can learn a response (conditioned response (CR)) by associating it with a conditioned stimulus (CS) An example of how classical conditioning works is the development of a phobia in Little Albert. Watson and Rayner (1920) created a phobia in a healthy 11 month old boy, Albert, who happily played.
  • 10. Victoria Chutter They created a fear response by making a loud noise with a steel bar while he was playing – he was startled and cried. Fear is an unconditioned response because it is automatic (no learning required). He did not show this response to any of a number of objects they gave him, including rats or rabbits. He was then given a white rat to play with (the unconditioned stimulus), and they then hit the steel bar while Albert played with a rat. His fear was then conditioned to the rat - the fear of the rat was a conditioned response. Further principles - Generalisation and extinction Generalisation - the fear of the rat also applies to other similar objects, i.e. mice, rabbits, or even cotton wool. Extinction- can also be unlearned, by not having a loud noise with the rat. Evaluation of Watson and Rayner’s research on Little Albert 1. The research was clearly unethical as it caused psychological harm and distress. 2. Although they intended to extinguish Albert’s fear response, there was evidence that extinction may not stop his fear response. It was found that some times when animals are presented with the conditioned stimulus after extinction, they still show the fear response. When a response suddenly reappears this is called spontaneous recovery. 3. Therefore even if Watson and Rayner had extinguished Little Albert’s fear response straight after the experiment, he may have shown the response several weeks later even if he had been presented with a white furry animal. Operant conditioning According to this theory we learn because of the consequences of our actions. If our behaviour brings us pleasant consequences we are more likely to repeat the behaviour. If our behaviour brings us unpleasant consequences we are less likely to repeat the behaviour. The consequences of our behaviour can either stop us from developing a phobia or cause a phobia to develop. There are 3 general principles in Operant conditioning; 1. Positive reinforcement- pleasant consequences (i.e. cuddles). If the reassurance is not given, the child may show greater fear, so more likely to get cuddles (the mother reinforces the fear behaviour) 2. Negative reinforcement- avoid an unpleasant experience, e.g. with a rat, you
  • 11. Victoria Chutter avoid it, but your fear is likely to increase. Avoidance learning is related to negative reinforcement. In the previous example the child avoids the rat to reduce their fear. This is called avoidance learning. Only way to unlearn fear is to present the child with the thing they fear (rat). Therefore it is difficult to extinguish their fear behaviour. 3. Punishment - Anything which weakens behaviour. Unpleasant consequences are more likely to stop the behaviour i.e. someone with a social phobia will find social situations very unpleasant as it may make them feel embarrassed and anxious. Therefore they feel they are being punished for being social so they stop socialising Evaluation of Operant conditioning Strengths  Focuses on what is observable and measurable  Easy to test and replicate  Helped establish psychology as a scientific discipline Weaknesses  Fails to explain why people are frightened of things that they have no experience of  Suggestion that people are born with fears (innate). Some fears may be evolutionary fears – i.e. have a purpose for survival  No role for free-will or self-awareness.  Fails to take into account human abilities. I.e. reasoning, justification, understanding Phobias - Evaluate the role of conditioning using alternative theories Social learning theory  Observation- watches brothers behaviour when he sees a spider, and sees his mother comfort him  Imitation- the girl imitates the behaviour of her brother when she sees a spider, and this is reinforced by her mother  Reinforcement- after copying her brother, she is comforted by her mother Evaluation of social learning theory  It can explain phobias develop in people with no direct contact the feared object or situation.  It explains well how phobias develop in children but less effective in explaining adult phobias.  Social learning is not as successful at reducing phobias as classical conditioning. As seeing others behave fearlessly does not seem to help phobic people. Psychoanalytic theory of phobia development
  • 12. Victoria Chutter According to Freud, our behaviour is caused by unconscious forces. This is because most of our personality is in our unconscious mind.
  • 13. Victoria Chutter  Id – This contains instinctive sexual and aggressive energies that we are born with. These are buried deep in the unconscious.  Ego – This develop at about age 3. We begin to understand we cannot have what we always want and we must satisfy our needs in a realistic way. The role of the ego is to mediate the conflict between the urgent demands of the id and the restraints of the superego. We are not aware of the conflict as it occurs in the unconscious but it can create anxiety.  Superego - This develop at age 6. This is the moral part of the personality which is also in the unconscious. The ego needs to defend itself against this anxiety and it can do it in several ways using defence mechanisms. Some of these can lead to a phobias forming. 1. Repression - Memories of distress or conflict are forced into the unconscious, where they remain unsolved, e.g. agoraphobia may develop if being left alone as a small child this will have caused them distress. The distress is repressed but if the person is left alone again as an adult the feelings of distress enter the consciousness. Therefore they fear being left alone or in an open space. 2. Displacement - Negative feelings (aggression) are transferred away from the cause of the feelings and onto something that will not harm us e.g. xenophobia may develop if a boy hated his father but could not show his feeling towards him as he was frightened of him so expressed his feelings onto foreigners. 3. Projection - Unacceptable feelings are attributed to someone else e.g. xenophobia may develop if the man who hated his father and wanted to harm him might project these feelings on to forei
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