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Psychology A level OCR

In English

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Overall key ideas

- All things psychological are in its origin biological - Behaviour is due to genetics + hormones

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Psychology A level OCR - Details



1049 questions
What are the main functions of the left and right hemisphere of the brain?
- The lefts role is language, reasoning and logical thought - The right hemispheres function is creativity, imagination and spatial awareness
What was the aim of Sperry's research?
- To show the independent streams of conscious awareness possessed by each hemisphere and to show how each hemisphere has its own memories
What was the research method used in research by Sperry?
- A quasi experiment - Can also be augured that that because extensive tests were carried out on so few participants it could be seen as a set of case studies
What was the IV in research by Sperry?
- Having a split brain or not Participants with split-brains had already undergone hemisphere disconnection to reduce severe epilepsy - No actual control group was necessary for comparison in the study because the functions and abilities of the visual fields and hemispheres in non split-brain individuals was already known
What was the DV in research by Sperry?
- The participant’s ability to perform a variety of visual and tactile tests
What was the sample Sperry used?
-11 patients who had undergone an operation to sever their Corpus Colosseum for treatment of epilepsy - There operations took place at a range of times from the earliest being 5 and a half years ago
What were the key tests conducted?
- Visual test - Tactile test
What was the visual test used?
- The participant (with one covered eye) centred their gaze on a screen - A visual stimulus appeared on the screen from 1/10 of a second, to fast to get the eyes in the wrong visual field - Everything projected to the left of the screen is passed via the left visual field (LVF) to the right hemisphere and vice versa
What was the tactile test used?
- Below a screen there was a gape so participants could reach object but not see them - Objects were placed in either the Ps left or right hand or both hands - Information about the objects placed in the left hand is processed by the right hemisphere and vice versa
What were the key findings from the visual test?
- Information shown and responded to in one visual field could only be recognised again if shown to the same visual field - Information present to the RVF could be described in speech. If the same information was present to the LVF the participant said they did not see anything. However the participant could point with his left hand to a matching picture of the object - $ sign to the LVF and ? to the RVF, the participant could draw the $ sign with his left hand but reported that he had seen a ?
What were the results for the tactile tests?
- Objects placed in the right hand could be described in speech or writing - If the same objects were placed in the left hand participants could only make wild guesses and often seemed unaware they were holding anything - When two objects were placed simultaneously in each hand and then hidden in a pile of objects, both hands selected their own object and ignored the other hand’s object
What are the main conclusions from Sperry's research?
- People with split brains have two separate visual processors, each with its own train of visual images - Split-brain patients have a lack of cross-integration - Split-brain patients seem to have two independent streams of consciousness, each with its own memories, perceptions and impulses ie two minds in one body
Evaluate the research method used by Sperry
- Highly controlled experimental design, such as the time the image showed up for - As it was a Quasi experiment it may have been hard to change the effects of previous treatment such as drug treatment participants had had
Evaluate the data collected by Sperry
- The data collected was qualitative descriptions of participants actions, this provided rich and detailed data - However if quantitative data was collected it would of been easier to quantify and directly compare between groups - The qualitative data interpretations may have been subjective
What are the possible ethical considerations in this research?
- The experiment kept to all ethical guidelines
Assess to what extent Sperry's research can be seen as valid
- The sample was very small, this puts into question whether the abnormal behaviour shown is generalisable to a normal brain - The differences in their brain may be caused by epilepsy or the medication they take..
Overall key ideas
- All things psychological are in its origin biological - Behaviour is due to genetics + hormones
What hemispheres of the brain control each hand?
- The right hemisphere controls of the left hand, while the right hemisphere controls the right hand
Key concepts
- Behaviour is influenced by genes inherited from parents - Influenced by biological chemistry e.g hormones, neurotransmitters - Structure of the brain, specific regions of the brain
- Highly controlled/highly specialised techniques - Objective methods used - Practical applications - Explains causes of abnormal behaviour
- Low ecological validity - Reductionist - Ignores environmental factors - Idiographic theories
- That everyone is unique - Behaviour is due to differences - Looks at differences rather than nomothetic approach
- Studies many different human behaviours: A + T (baron-cohen), psychopathy (hancock), phobias (freud)... - Social benefits, improving our understanding of mental disorders and suggesting treatments e.g. Freud talking therapies - Attempts to answer free will–determinism debate e.g. debate about convicting psychopaths
- Lacks set of defining beliefs about why people behave the way they do - More disagreement in this area compared to others - e.g. eyes teset, nomothetic, sees itself as science, little hans, idiographic, does not see itself as scientific - Socially sensitive, potential harmful use e,g Yerkes’ study - scientific racism
Usefulness of the area (1)
- Objectively measures difference through psychometric tests, allows to diagnose disorders - e.g. B+C made valid test for ToM deficit in adults where previous tests had had a ceiling effect at around ages 8-9 years - Benefitting society in a positive way - Increase psychology's reputation, encourage people to participate in future research
Usefulness of the area (2)
- Explains complex human behaviours - Helps remove stigma + discrimination towards specific disorders - Like B + C looked at autistic adults + how these individuals lacked theory of mind which is why they cannot understand certain social situations -One of the key features of psychology is to help people and psychology is used to diagnose and to treat disorders -In 1969 Miller from APA said that the purpose of psychology is ‘to promote human wellbeing’ and both of these studies do that. -The findings have been used to help identify/diagnose a disorder and treat it. Freud not only identified the source of hans phobia (a projection of unconscious anxieties of the oedipus complex onto horses) he was able to treat it so by the time he experienced the plumber's dream the boy was cured.
- Physically - Intellectually - Emotionally - Socially - Morally
4 points of the developmental area
- Long life process (from birth to death) - Tends to focus on children - mouldable, available - Development happens in stages e.g. infancy - Debate: development influenced on nature + nurture
The principles of the behaviourist perspective
- 'tabula rasa' - born blank - We learn through conditioning
Bandura theory
- Social learning - Imitation
'tabula rasa' meaning
- Latin for born blank - All behaviour is learnt
Classical conditioning meaning
- Leaning by association (used in advertisments)
Operant conditioning meaning
- Learning with consequence + Positive reinforcement (rewards) + Negative reinforcement (avoidance) + Punishment
Vicarious reinforcement (social learning)
- Copying a role model to seek the rewards they are getting
Self-efficacy (social learning)
- Believing you can successfully imitate the model
The Law of Temporal Contiguity
- The closer in time the reward to the behaviour the stronger the learning will be
The law of effect
- Rewarding behaviour will be repeated - Non rewarding behaviour will extinguish
Bandura Theory (further)
- How children observe models - How they copy behaviours and emotional reactions.
What the experiment included
- 72 children from Stanford university nursery - 36 girls, 36 boys - Behaviour study - 3 groups - aggressive adults, non-aggressive adults, control group -no adults
Matching process
- Test children beforehand - Parents and teachers rate out of five their verbal + physical aggression and their control
Phase 1 - Exposure (Aggressive adults)
- Models have scripts - Bobo doll in room - Verbal aggression: "pow!" "sock him on the nose" and "stay down" - Physical aggression: punching, kicking and throwing
Phase 1 - Exposure (Non-aggressive adults)
- Adults play with tinker toys
Phase 1 - Exposure (Control group)
- No adults - Used for baseline to compare the other groups results with it
Phase 2 - Arousal
- Exciting new toys in room - Children there for only 30 seconds - Used to give them a reason to display aggression in phase 3
Phase 3 - Performance
- Observers are behind mirror - Observing: imitated aggressive and non-aggressive verbal + physical behaviour - Lasts 20 mins - looking every 5 seconds - timed sampling
Independent variables
- Gender of model - Aggression of model - Gender of child
Results (Aggressive adults)
- Significantly showed more aggression than the other groups
Results (Non-aggressive adults)
- NO signs of aggression
Results (Control group)
- Showed signs of aggression but not as much as the aggressive adult group
The experiment and standardisation
Conditions that were kept the same were: - The room - The script - The actions - The toys
- Children will learn though imitation + observation - More likely to learn verbal aggression from the same-sex adult - More likely to learn physical aggression from male models
Type of method and design Bandura used
- A mixture of laboratory, field and quasi experimentation - Used the match pair design.
Weakness with the sample
- Didn't involve children with different backgrounds - Could react differently
How does the study lack ecological validity
- Very controlled - unrealistic - The script is dramatised
Strengths of the developmental area
- Many useful applications to child care, education... - Attempts to answer the nature/nurture debate - Participants can be studied over time to reduce participant variables
Weaknesses of the developmental area
- Research with children may raise ethical issues, such as consent and protection - Research may be constrained by time or culture - Samples are often small and unrepresentative
Similarities between the developmental area and the behaviour area
- Both are deterministic and ignore the effect of freewill on behaviour
What is the main focus of the cognitive area?
- Focuses on the way our brains processes information - Covers many areas like memory, perception, language, thinking + attention
What are the key assumptions of the cognitive area?
- Information processing affects our behaviour - Our brains operate like a computer – they rely on input, they process information and this leads to an output (behaviour) - We can make assumptions about what is happening in our brain based on external observations of behaviour
Information processing
- The way that information is taken in by the senses, analysed and then responded too
- The capacity to encode, Store and retrieve information - Without memory , learning could not take place
- An experience of not being able to recall information such as an event, fact or a person's name
- The maintenance of information without actively using it for a period of time after initial encoding
- The process of locating and extracting stored information so that it can be recalled
Strengths of the cognitive area
- Can help us understand how we think + process information - Can have useful practical application in schools, crime etc. - Favours scientific method, so research is usually well controlled, high internal validity - High in internal validity, often uses quantitative data, high in credibility
Weakness of the cognitive area
- Scientific approach, some studies lack ecological validity, take place in lab conditions - Lab experiments, demand characteristics - Whilst there have been technological advances, still limits to understanding internal mental processes - Models of information processing aim to generalise to everyone, but are often overly reductionist
Key principles of the social area
- Human behaviour is influenced by the real or imagined presence of others - The situation is often more powerful an influence on behaviour than individual personality
Strengths of the social area
- Improves our understanding of human behaviour - Useful in a range of different settings - Often high in ecological validity
Weaknesses of the social area
- Findings may not be true for all time for all places (as social situations can change over time) - Difficult to stay within the ethical guidelines
Horizontal relationships
- The relationship of equals e.g. friends
Vertical relationships
- The relationships we have with our teachers or our employers, give us commands on how to behave
- Wanting to belong and going along with the group
Informational influence
- Going along with the group as you think they know more than you
Normative influence
- Going along with the group as you don't want to stand out or be marginalised by the group - Being marginalised by a majority can be an unpleasant place to be
- Complying to an order from an authority figure
Types of obedience to authority
- Positive obedience - Negative obedience
Positive obedience
- e.g. following road traffic rules
Negative obedience
- Following orders that go against conscience
Types of experiments
- Laboratory experiments - Field experiments - Quasi (natural) experiments
Lab experiments
CAUSE/EFFECT - High control - manipulate IV ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY - Artifical
Field experiments
CAUSE/EFFECT - Manipulate IV - not complete control     ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY - More like real life
Quasi experiments
CAUSE/EFFECT - Natural occurring IV - Cannot say cause and effect ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY
One-tailed hypothesis meaning
- One group is better than the other
Two-tailed hypothesis meaning
- The difference between the groups
A confounding variable (random variable)
- Something not controlled by experimenter - Effects DV - e.g weather
An extraneous variable
- Could effect the DV - Controlled so that it does not become a confounding variable - Controlled through STANDARDISATION - making all conditions the same
Participant variables
- When participant differences are a confounding variable - Effects DV - Controlled by using REPEATED MEASURES
Order effects
- When people behave differently because of the order in which the conditions are performed - Controlled by using REPEATED MEASURES and COUNTERBALANCING
How to write a hypothesis
- Clear statement - IV + DV clearly stated
What is a null hypothesis
- Written alongside the main hypothesis to complete the prediction
How to write a null hypothesis
- There will be no significant difference between scores on condition A and B - Any difference is down to chance
Different experimental designs
- Independent measures design - Repeated measures design - Matched pairs design
Independent measures design
- Using different individuals for each condition of the experiment
Disadvantages + advantages of INDEPENDENT MEASURES DESIGN
- Advantages = no problem with order effects - Disadvantages = problem with individual differences
Repeated measures design
- Testing the same individuals on two or more conditions
Disadvantages + advantages of REPEATED MEASURES DESIGN
- Advantages = no problem with individual differences, requires fewer participants - Disadvantages = it is not always possible to test the same participants twice, problem with order effects
Matched pairs design
- Using different individuals for each condition of the experiment - Participant variables are controlled by matching pairs
Disadvantages + advantages of MATCHED PAIRS DESIGN
- Advantages = no problems with order effects - Disadvantages = its difficult and time consuming, too dependent on the validity of the procedures for pre-testing
Why use a mode?
- Easiest when all the scores are close together
Snowball sampling definition
- A recruitment technique where participants are asked to choose other subjects