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“Psychology involves the scientific study of the mind, the brain and the person’s experiences. It seeks to understand why people behave in the way that they do”.
The six areas covered in the AS course include: Cognitive Psychology [thinking and learning processes] - Critical issue Eye Witness Testimony. Developmental Psychology [how children develop into independent people] - Critical issue Day Care. Physiological Psychology [the links between the functioning of the mind and the body] - Critical issue Stress Management. Individual Differences [what used to be called “abnormal” psychology] - Critical issue Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Social Psychology [the way in which people affect each other] - Critical issue is the British Psychological Society Ethical Guidelines. Research Methods [how psychologists research and collect the data to study the mind and behaviour of people and animals] - There is no critical issue.
- The standard text book that will be used by all is ‘Psychology for AS Level - 3rd Edition’, By Michael W. Eysenck - ISBN: 1-84169-378-2, 348pp.
The teachers of psychology are Ms K. James, Ms C. Moore & Ms J. Chahal (Head of Dept.) School Tel.: 0116 241 3984 The word Psychology is derived from two Greek roots: 'Psyche' meaning 'mind' or 'soul' and 'Logos' meaning 'study of'. Psychology therefore literally means study of the mind. Psychology is an ideal “bridging” subject. The skills and qualities that you will need include: - The ability to be objective - Thorough scientific skills. - The skills of sifting and analysing information and evidence before coming to your own conclusion. - No prior knowledge is required but students need an open mind, good reading habits and the ability to construct a reasoned argument both orally and in writing.
Points You Should Consider: Am I the sort of person who contributes to lessons? (Examples, ideas, reading, prepared materials). Am I good at understanding quite complex, technical writing? Am I willing to voice my opinions in class and argue in a reasoned way? Am I happy to accept that there may be no "correct" answer? Can I express my own ideas and thoughts clearly using the precise technical vocabulary? Am I interested in people and what makes them tick? If the answer to most of the points is YES! Then AS should suit you.
Why study AS Psychology? Studying AS psychology gives students an insight into the working of the human mind and how this affects aspects of our everyday lives. It will inform students about the methods that psychologists use. An understanding of psychology is invaluable for all careers that involve working with people and will help those choosing to pursue a University career that includes psychology to make an informed choice about their future courses.
How Does The Course Work? Students will be assessed on all six areas delivered through three AQA examination papers that are one-hour long. Each examination paper addresses two areas and you will have 2
thirty minutes to answer each area. For each area a choice of two questions will be given. All the examination papers have equal weighting. The examination paper PYA1 addresses Cognitive and Developmental Psychology The examination paper PYA2 addresses Individual Differences and Physiological Psychology The examination paper PYA3 addresses Social Psychology and Research Methods To maximise your examination performance the PYA3 paper will be sat in January and the other two examination papers will be sat in May.
Conformity 1. What is social influence? 2. Describe conformity/majority influence 3. Why do people conform? – informational (look to others for guidance – superior knowledge) and normative influence (look to others for acceptance – what is the group standard/norm). 4. Describe the three kinds of conformity – identification, compliance, internalisation 5. Describe and evaluate Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment (conformity/majority influence)
Conformity: It can be defined as yielding to group pressure. It is the influence a group has over an individual. This is why it is often referred to as majority influence. Authority figures might request or demand that you act in a certain way. Key Study – Asch: Aimed to investigate the question of whether people would conform in highly unambiguous situations. Asch set up a situation in which seven people all sat looking at a display. In turn, they had to say aloud which one of the three lines A, B or C matched X.
Asch made sure that they all have good eyesight. All but one of the participants (Ps) was told to go for A. The study was conducted 17 times to make sure that the findings were not an ambiguous result. Only one of the Ps was naïve. The others were stooges, who were told to give out the wrong answer. The findings show that the incorrect answer was given 32% of the time by the naïve participant. There were important individual differences, for example, no one conformed on all the trials, about 25% of the naïve Ps did not conform, and 75% of the naïve Ps conformed at least once (because the answers on the list were obviously incorrect). Asch’s findings show the impact that a majority can have on an individual. However, the majority does not have an impact on every individual. In fact, Asch was interested in the social and personal conditions that help individuals resist peer/group pressure. The task was unambiguous; control of the Ps who performed the line-matching task individually hardly ever made mistakes. Therefore, conformity rate could be measured in an objective way. The Ps might have been stressed when the stooges gave the wrong answer, hence breaching the ethic guidelines ‘the participants must leave the experiment in the same physical and mental well-being’. Furthermore, Ps were deceived and were being observed without there knowledge. In everyday life people are unlikely to disagree with each other so fundamentally about the “correct” answer, in real life it is hardly as clear cut as this experiment is. The experiment was uneconomical and time consuming as only 1 participant was tested at a time, whereas Crutchfield tested Ps in separate booths, each booth had a panel of lights, which supposedly showed the results of the other Ps, so he was able to test more than 1 participant at a time. Task difficultly; in yet another experiment, the lines were made more similar, hence making it harder to determine the line, so the conformity rate was increased. Many replications of Asch’s study were made across the world, some found that the rates were higher and some were lower, and others were about the same, this tells us that there are cultural variations concerning, conformity is different in different society/countries. The numerical majority (the stooges) actually represent an unorthodox, unconventional (minority) viewpoint. The naïve Ps represent the conventional, traditional (majority) “Truth”. This minority influenced the majority 1/3 of the time (depending on the conditions). Key Study – Zimbardo : Aimed to investigated conformity to social roles through the role playing of either a prisoner or a guard, he also aimed to find out whether the
conforming behaviour was due to the nature of the person (Dispositional factors) or was it the fact that they would be in a prison (Situational factors). He hoped to apply this knowledge to real-life prison behaviour and the abusive interrelations that there are between prisoners and the guards. Twenty-four male American (white) undergraduate volunteers were chosen from lots of applicants (who had applied to Zimbardo’s advertisement that told them they would be paid $15 a day for up to two weeks for partaking in the prison experiment). They were assessed to be emotionally stable. There was a 50:50 chance for the Ps to be either a prison guard or the prisoner. It was a controlled observational study, which was made as realistic as possible. This was done by arresting the prisoners at home, without their knowledge; this breached some guidelines such as invasion of privacy, etc. Once arrested at home they were taken to the local police station and they were booked for a felony, and their fingerprints were taken, before they were taken to the basement in Stanford University, however all the P’s thought that they were going to “Stanford County Prison” (the Ps were blindfolded and didn’t know where they were really taken). Once at the mock prison the Ps were striped naked, deloused, and issued with a prison uniform, they were given an ID number and told that they would be identified by that number alone (similar to a real prison). The guards were issued with uniforms and given 16 rules (i.e. gaining permission to go to the toilet and only allowed to eat at specified times etc.), which they had to enforce to maintain a “reasonable degree of order.” The guards worked 8-hour shifts, and the prisoners were allocated into cells which were only 6x9 ft. (there were three prisoners per cell). The interaction between the guards and the prisoners was studied, such as the mood state, self-perception, and coping behaviour were identified as indicators of conformity. Data was collected via a video tape, audio tape, direct observation, questionnaires, and interviews. There was an extremely high level of conformity to social role in both the guards and the prisoners. The initial “rebellion” by the prisoners was crushed. After this, they began to react passively towards the guards, as the guards conformed to a sadistic role, for example they gave punishment to the prisoners who were not conforming to the guards’ demands on a regular basis. At first the punishments were loss of privileges, but then it increased to food and sleep deprivation, solitary confinements and humiliation, such as cleaning the toilets with there bare hands. The prisoners began to feel helpless and no longer in control of their lives. Five prisoners were released early after becoming violently sick, and showed signs of extreme “emotional disturbance.” The study was supposed to last two weeks but was abandoned after just six days because 1). The guards were too extreme with their power and authority that came with their uniforms, and 2). Zimbardo’s wife told him that she would leave unless the experiment was stopped. This was because the prisoners were robbed of their dignity, human rights, etc. The prison environment was the main cause of the abusive interrelations between the guards and the prisoners. Zimbardo et al. rejected the entire dispositional hypothesis, they argued that their findings supported the situational hypothesis, which claimed that it was the condition of the prisons (physical, social and psychological aspects), and not the characteristics of prisoners and guards. Therefore anyone who was given the role of prisoner or guard would have behaved like Zimbardo’s participants did. This research also shows the strength of conformity as a form of social influence. The Ps showed “public conformity”: many reported that they acted out of character, and so there was no lasting change in private opinion. Both the environment and the behaviour of the Ps were “realistic” and the findings can be applied to real-life prisons, the Ps were simply acting out the role, which they were given, and conformed to how an actor may behaved in a movie. The fact that the guards did not initially behave in an aggressive way suggests that the situation as itself was an important factor in influencing their behaviour. A major criticism after ethics was that Zimbardo only used a self-selected sample when recruiting the Ps, so not all of Americans would/should behave in the conforming way.
6. What is minority influence? 7. Describe and evaluate Moscovici’s blue/green slide ‘minority influence study’
AIMS To study minority, as opposed to majority, influence. PROCEDURE Lab-based research study Took place in Europe, rather than America There were six participants in each group at a time (4 naïve, 2 confederates) all of whom were tested for colour blindness first. All shown 36 blue slides – varying in intensity (ambiguous stimuli).
• • • •
The CONTROL GROUP (no confederates) – 0.25% green The EXPERIMENTAL GROUP 1 – Inconsistent confederates – 1% green The EXPERIMENTAL GROUP 2 – Consistent confederates - 8% green
Minorities can influence majorities, especially if they are consistent. Shows us the opposite of Asch’s three lines study – a minority can have influence.
1) BEHAVIOURAL STYLE (Moscovici) 2) ATTRIBUTION THEORY (Kelley)
• • Lack of Ecological validity – however all laboratory studies have this criticism. Not ethical as participants were deceived.
8. Explain the minority effect – consistency, flexibility, commitment and relevance 9. Majority & minority influence can both be explained by Latane and Wolf’s social impact theory
1) BEHAVIOURAL STYLE (Moscovici)
According to Moscovici, minorities must act in a certain way in order to influence others and produce conversion. Consistency Flexibility Relevance Commitment The minority must be consistent in their opinion. The minority must not appear to be rigid and dogmatic. The minority will be more successful if their views are in line with social trends. A committed minority will lead people to rethink their position – this is conversion.
2) ATTRIBUTION THEORY (Kelley)
All of us seek to make ‘attributions’ (judgements) about the behaviour of others (i.e. kind, silly, devious etc.)
We seek to attribute behaviour to internal (I won because I practised hard), or external causes (I lost because the weather was). In other words we seek to attribute behaviour to internal or external causes. We find judgements that we judge to be internal more convincing. Why might the minorities’ judgement be seen as internal?
10. What is obedience? 11. What is obedience to authority? 12. Describe and evaluate Milgram’s classic research into obedience (electric shock study). 13. What is experimenter validity? 14. How does obedience differ to conformity? 15. What is ecological validity? 16. Describe cross-cultural findings into obedience research – Meeus and Raaijmakers. 17. What are the ethical issues raised in obedience research?- Ethics is also the CRITICAL ISSUE Consent, deception, debriefing, withdrawal from the investigation, confidentiality, protection of participants and observational research.
Obedience: Behaving as instructed, usually in response to individual rather than group pressure. It is unlikely to involve a change in private/personal opinion. Obedience to Authority: Behaving as instructed, usually in response to individual rather than group pressure. This usually takes place in a hierarchy, where the person issuing the orders is of higher status than the person obeying the order. Obedience occurs as the individual feel like the have little choice or cannot refuse/resist. It is unlikely to involve a change in private/personal opinion. (Milgram’s SOS) Key Study - Milgram: Investigated the study of obedience to authority, the experiment is usually referred as the “remote victim” condition, and he aimed to test the hypothesis, “Germans are different to us”, due to the fact that it was pretty close after World War II. He believed that Hitler could not have put his plans of extermination if the country had not co-operated/ conformed to Hitler’s plans. Milgram was sceptical that these atrocities were due to a national character defect. As a result, he aimed to investigate how the situational context could lead ordinary people to show obedience to authority and inflict harm on others. He chose 40 male volunteers to take part in a controlled observational study, who were deceived (hence breaking one of the BPS ethical guidelines) into thinking they were taking part in a learning study (a paired association memory test). This experiment was to taken place in the University of Yale. On arrival the Ps were met by the experimenter, who was incidentally wearing a white lab coat. They were introduced to the stooge, Mr Wallace. The experimenter told the naïve Ps that the experiment was about the effects of punishment on learning.
Note – the learner was a stooge called Mr Wallace – no electric shocks were received. However, the teachers (real participants) thought they were electrocuting the learner.
Learner (victim) strapped into chair
The experiment was rigged in such a way that the “teacher” would always be the P and the “learner” would always be the stooge (Mr Wallace). The experimenter told them that the punishment would be in form of electric shocks, which was on a scale of 15 to 450 Volts, with a 15 Volts increase for every wrong answer or unanswered question. Mr Wallace was strapped into the chair with electrodes attached to his arms, by the experimenter and the “teacher”. The “teacher” delivered the shocks via a shock generator. This was situated in an adjacent room. The Generator had labels from slight shocks to danger severe shock. There were marked effects in the naïve Ps behaviour, with most, showing signs of extreme tension. For example, they trembled, sweated, stuttered, groaned, etc. Three Ps had uncontrollable seizures. The Ps were prodded by the experimenter “Please Continue”, “The Experiment requires you to continue”, “It is absolutely essential that you continue”, “You have no other choice you must go on”. The research showed that obedience to authority is due to situational factors, (the setting of the experiment, the status of the experimenter, pressure on the Ps) than to a “deviant” personality. Psychiatrists guessed that 1 in 1000 would go to 450 volts (only “true psychopaths”) but, in the original study, 26/40 went all the way. The “Germans are different to us” hypothesis was clearly false as 65% of Ps continued to shock until the fatal 450 volts.
Implications include the relevance of this research to the real-life atrocities of WW2, and the need to identify ways of preventing people from showing misplaced obedience to authority. Milgram’s Ps were 40 “ordinary” Americans living in a typical small town. Their high level of obedience showed that we all tend to obey people we regard as authority figures in particular situations. If we had lived in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s, we might well have acted just as obediently. Milgram’s research represented the first major attempt to study obedience, experimentally, that is, under controlled conditions. Milgram established a basic method (a paradigm) for studying obedience in a laboratory. This is equivalent to Asch’s paradigm for studying conformity. This study was unethical as the Ps did not have the right to leave the experiment at any point, and they were placed under severe stress. Orne et al. claimed that the experiment lacked experimental realism. They thought that the Ps were alerted to the fact that the electric shocks were not real, as electric shocks are not a believable punishment for making a mistake on the test. Thus, the research lacked internal validity, as the obedience was not a genuine effect. However, the Ps stress reactions contradict this. They also claimed that the research lacked mundane realism. The research set-up is unlike real-life as it was an artificial, controlled, environment. Consequently, the findings have low ecological validity as they lacked generalisability to real-life settings. However, experimental realism can compensate for a lack of mundane realism, which could be argued is the case with this study. Also, Milgram did not provide a clear explanation for the high levels of obedience to authority that he obtained. Although all of the Ps gave their permission for each of these experiments, they weren’t told the true nature of the experiment, they were deceive and most of them weren’t allowed to withdraw from the investigation. The Ps were not protected from anxiety. However, when Milgram debriefed the Ps it became clear from the questionnaire that 84% of them felt glad that they participated, 74% learnt something of personal importance.
The results of the similar studies investigating Milgram’s obedience research
Key Study – Hofling: conducted a naturalistic study into obedience in a more realistic setting (Milgram’s experiment was a lab experiment at Yale University), this was to avoid criticisms in past obedience research concerning ‘lack of ecological validity’. The aim of the research was to examine obedience in the workplace/institutional settings. The procedure involved a naturalistic field experiment involving 22 night nurses (real). A Dr. Smith (apparently) phones a nurse at hospital (on 22 separate occasions) and asks her to check to see if they have the drug astroten, when the nurse checks she can see that the maximum dosage is supposed to be 10mg. When they reported to the ‘Doctor’, they were told to administer 20mg of the drug to a patient.
21/22 nurses obeyed
If the nurse administers the drug, they will have broken three hospital rules: 1. They are not allowed to accept instructions over the phone. 2. The dose was double the maximum limit stated on the box. 3. The medicine itself as unauthorised i.e. not on the ward stocklist. 21 out of the 22 nurses obeyed and would have administered the drug without question if they had not been halted by the observer. The study suggests obedience does occur in a real-life setting. Evaluation - The study has ecological validity and experimental realism, however ethics were a problem as there was no informed consent obtained from nurses and the results were not confidential. 7
1). Obedience may have occurred as nurses are in an agentic state – the status of setting (hospital); authority figure (Doctor Smith) and ideological justification (patient needs their medicine as the doctor will get annoyed). 2. The situational factors made the nurses loose their moral autonomy. Milgram calls this autonomous state (being aware of the consequences of our actions and therefore taking voluntary control of our behaviour). 18. Describe three reasons for the resistance to authority - social support, individual differences and
Milgram (variation of ‘electric shock study’) - 2 confederates join the ‘teacher’ Confederate 1 stops at 150 volts Confederate 2 stops at 210 volts
Findings - only 10% of teachers (real participant) then continue on to 450V INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Experiences Gretchen Brandt refused to obey in one of Milgram’s after 210 volts as she had grown up in Nazi Germany and quotes she did not obey because “perhaps we have seen too much pain”. Personality Type Adorno et al. the ‘authoritarian personality’ (AP). A dispositional explanation for obedience. Childhood experiences play a key role in the AP, as adults they are most likely to be obedient and prejudiced. Adorno developed the F (Fascism) Scale to measure AP. MINORITY INFLUENCE
Moscovici found that minorities can influence us to resist obedience (key study above) Try to use one of the above definitions for a 3-mark exam question instead of Moscovici’s study.
Ethics Describe the BPS guidelines and link to social influence research
STATISTICS REVISION SHEET Ensure you are able to understand and apply the following definitions to psychological research. This section does not have a critical issue. All the questions will be worth between one and two mark. There will not be any key studies to learn or any essays to write.
LEVELS OF MEASUREMENT NOMINAL ORDINAL INTERVAL RESEARCH DESIGNS Independent Measures Adv. Disadv. Repeated Measures Adv. Disadv. Matched pairs Adv. Disadv. Correlational Studies Understand +/-, scattergrams Correlation coefficients etc. SAMPLING Opportunity Random Stratified Structured Self-selecting RELIABILITY Inter – rater / scorer / observer Split – half Test-retest Equivalent form VALIDITY Face Context / construct Concurrent Predictive MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY Mean Adv. Disadv. Median Adv. Disadv. Mode Adv. Disadv. . DEMAND EFFECT S’s anticipate hypothesis and act accordingly Subject only undergoes one condition No order effect / no demand effect Expensive / subject variables Subject undergoes more than one condition Cheap / no subject variables Order effect / demand effect S’s Independent, but matched along criteria No order effect / less subject variables Expensive / difficult to match subjects Establishes relationship between two variables Study difficult ethical areas / no demand effect Can’t imply causality / can’t manipulate variables Selection of subject sample from target population Whoever you can find Assign number, use random number generator e.g. every tenth person on list ‘structured’ e.g. one from every class in college Volunteers (problems?) Dependability / consistency of results Different judges agree To halves of test are consistent Second attempt consistent with first Different versions of tests give consistent results Appropriate – measures what it sets out to Looks right Fits theory Matches similar tests Gives accurate info about future performance CATEGORY / FREQUENCY - how many ? Capable of being ranked in order Exact, precise, quantifiable data
Average Uses all data Can be skewed by extreme scores Middle score Unaffected by extreme scores Doesn’t work well in small samples Most frequently occurring score Tells us about the majority Easily changed in small samples
Countered by SINGLE-BLIND STUDY EXPERIMENTER EFFECT Countered by DOUBLE – BLIND STUDY ORDER EFFECT Countered by COUNTERBALANCING CONFOUNDING VARIABLES Countered by STANDARDIZATION EXPERIMENTAL METHODS Laboratory Experiment Know IV / DV / Hypothesis / Null Hypothesis Adv. Disadv. Field Experiment Adv. Disadv. Natural Experiment Adv. Disadv. NON-EXPERIMENTAL METHODS Correlational Studies Adv. Disadv. Naturalistic Observation Adv. Disadv. Case Study (often clinical) Adv. Disadv. Interview Adv. Disadv. OTHER USEFUL TERMS Control Group
S’s don’t know which condition they are in Experimenter’s expectations influence procedure S’s and Experimenters. don’t know which condition Outcome cond.1 affects outcome cond.2 Vary order of presentation of conditions Uncontrolled, extraneous variables Ensuring conditions same for all participants Controlled environment, manipulate variables to test hypothesis Control Control Low in Ecological Validity Variables manipulated in less controlled environment. Less control Higher in EV Variables not manipulated by experimenter, just happens No control High in EV (Don’t worry if you don’t understand the points below – just make sure you know some advantages and disadvantages – even if not these ones) Establishes relationship between two variables Study difficult ethical areas / no demand effect Can’t imply causality / can’t manipulate variables Natural setting / no manipulation Higher in EV / less ethical concerns No control / privacy? In depth qualitative study of individual or group Depth of info / more ‘humane’ / less reductionist Subjectivity / difficult to generalise Methods vary–structured/unstructured/quantitative/qualitative Flexibility / Sensitivity Confidentiality / interpretation
Range Standard Deviation
Group that does not undergo the I.V. to check that the D.V. was not going to alter anyway. They also establish a baseline with which to compare the results of the experimental conditions. Small scale 'trial run' performed before research itself is conducted in order to: - test clarity of instructions - test appropriateness of measuring tools - iron out difficulties or confusions The 'spread' / dispersion of scores - established by subtracting lowest from highest scores The spread / dispersion of scores around the mean (more sophisticated approach)
Be able to know and state: - Experimental Hypothesis – Adults will recall significantly more words than children will on a short-term memory test measuring capacity. - Null-Hypothesis – Adults will NOT recall significantly more words than children on a short-term memory test measuring capacity. Any differences found will be due to chance. - Directional Hypothesis (one-tailed) – state who is going to do better e.g. adults or children - Non-directional Hypothesis (two-tailed) – don’t state who is going to do better e.g. There will be a significant difference in the number of words recalled by adults and children on a short-term memory test measuring capacity.
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