Summary Class notes - Psychology

Course
- Psychology
- Dr Williams
- 2017 - 2018
- Marymount International School of London
- IB Psychology
434 Flashcards & Notes
2 Students
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Summary - Class notes - Psychology

  • 1490652000 BLOA

  • 3 main principles of BLOA
    • Patterns of behaviour can be inherited.
    • There are biological correlates to behaviour.
    • Non-human animal research can inform understanding of human behaviour.
  • Principles underpin theories, which generate hypotheses, which are tested through research and empirical studies using various methods. That means the principles of any level of analysis are directly connected to almost every topic, concept, and method within a level of analysis. Everything is built upon the principles.

    The principles can be used independently or together to inform understanding of research at any level of analysis.
  • Patterns of behaviour can be inherited
    • proposes that human behaviours and mental processes like cognitions and emotions can be explained through genetic inheritance and evolutionary adaptations
    • demarcates the nature side of the nature-nurture debate
  • There are biological correlates to behaviour
    • any behaviour, cognition or emotion is ultimately related to physiological processes in brain structures, neurotransmitters or/and hormones
    • correlation is not causation
    Meaning there is a relationship between biological factors and behaviour.
    • Any research involving hormones, neurotransmitters, or genetic is probably correlational, while research on brain structures is not.
  • Adriana Galván
    Investigated adolescent risk-taking and thrill-seeking through imaging studies on adolescent brains to discover that the adolescent brain is: constantly changing; very responsive to the environment; and very reactive to rewards, emotions, and new experiences. All of that knowledge is used to inform adolescent behaviour, and it starts with the brain.
  • Non-human animal research can inform understanding of human behaviour
    •  Ethical boundaries
    • While ethical issues surrounding animal research are controversial, ethics review boards do allow animal research, especially when it's justified by some potential benefit for humans.
    •  biological research on animals is often generalized to humans
  • Over the years, animal research has helped psychologists:
    • Develop psychopharmacological treatments for various psychological disorders.
    • Isolate brain structures related to memory encoding and recall, and emotion.
    • Determine how hormones influence behaviours like trust, stress, and memory.
  • Reductionism
    Refers to the description and analysis of complex phenomena (like human behaviour) in the simplest or most fundamental terms possible, especially when the simplest explanation is considered sufficient. Basically, it reduces something complex to the simplest explanation.
  • Challenges to biological principles
    • reductionism refers to practice of explaining behaviour in the simplest and most fundamental terms possible
    • helps to advance the scientific study of psychology
    • the biological principles are reductionistic in that they suggest that human behaviour can be simply understood in terms of biological factors (genes, brain structures,...)
    • The biological principles practically reduce human behaviour down to its simplest and most primitive (literally) explanations.
    • The environment is known to play a major role in human behaviour, so biological explanations on their own are likely to be insufficient.
    • bi-directional influence between biology and the environment, and environmental factors can trigger biological processes (diathesis-stress model)
  • diathesis-stress model
    • Psychological disorders
    • Suggests that an individual may inherit a genetic predisposition for a disorder like depression or schizophrenia, but it takes some environmental stressor or life stress to "trigger" the disorder. 
    • In the absence of environmental influence, the disorder may never evidence itself.  
  • What is a principle?
    An underpinning belief.
  • Why do researchers working at the BLOA conduct research on animals?
    Because they believe that results from animal research may be relevant to humans.
  • Which of the three principles of the BLOA sees humans' mental processes as visible in their brain activity?
    There are biological correlates to behaviour.
  • 1490738400 BLOA Principles and research

  • Theory
    Is a testable idea about why or how something happens as it does. If the ideas of the theory are supported by empirical evidence (evidence found through empirical studies, direct observation, or experience) then predictions about the future may be made, based on evidence from the past. 
  • The case of HM was a major influence on emerging theories about how the hippocampus is linked to memory encoding and retrieval, and these theories have been tested in a wide range of empirical studies.
    HM had removed part of his hippocampus as an attempt to ´cure´ his epilepsy. The loss of hippocampus influenced his memory, which he have lost after the surgery.
  • Repeating steps to test a theory.
    • Biological principles work as a foundation for BLOA
    • Link between research and principle
    • Often, research stands as an example of the principle in action
  • Usually, there's something identifiable about a theory or study that makes it characteristically biological, cognitive, or sociocultural, and those characteristics are often found in the language of the principle.
  • Patterns of behaviour can be inherited
    • Minnesoty Twin Family Study

    On going correlational study investigating concordance rates between twins on measures of personality, temperament, intelligence,...
    • Bouchard et al. (1990)

    Shows how psychological variations in intelligence and personality might be explained by variations in genetics.
    • Scarr and Weinberg (1976)

    Investigated IQ and intelligence in black children adopted into white families and found that IQ was shaped by the environment more so than genes.
  • There are biological correlates to behaviour (correlation between biology and behaviour)
    • Rogers and Kesner (2003)

    Suggests that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine influences spatial memory.
    • Newcomer et al. (1999)

    Cortisol appears to inhibit memory. 
    • Minnesota Twin Study (correlational study)
  • Non-human animal research may inform understanding of human behaviour
    • Rogers and Kesner (2003)

    Laboratory experiment, using rats to investigate the role of acetylcholine in memory formation.
    Concluded that acetylcholine plays an important role in creating memory. This result has been generalised to humans and other researches (Alzheimer research,...)
    • Hans Selye's pioneering research on stress was built from research on rats and their physiological responses to persistent stress.
  • The key thing with this principle is the link to human behaviour. Even if the study is based on animal research, the conclusion must be linked to human behaviour so as to explain this principle accurately.
  • What is hypothesis?
    A specific, testable prediction regarding the future results of a study.
  • Why are identical twins often used in correlational studies into genetic inheritance?

    Because they are natural clones with identical or almost identical genes.


    Explanation
    MZ twins come from a fertilized egg that then splits. It used to be thought they were always genetically exactly the same. However, recent research has found slight variations. Nonetheless, they remain the best way to identify the heritability of a certain behaviour. The closer the genetic relationship the more similar people will be if the particular characteristic being investigated is inherited. Correlational studies suggest a relationship exists between variables but it cannot prove that one variable causes a change in another. If there are no associations between the variables tested, then there are no causal connections between them. 
  • Which part of the brain processes the meaning of language?

    Wernicke's area


    Explanation:
    Broca's area processes the structure of language and Wernicke's area processes the meaning. Both are in the left hemisphere of the brain.  A person with an injury in Wernicke's area has difficulty understanding speech and when they speak they produce a string of words with the rhythm of speech but with no meaning.  A person with an injury in Broca's area understands speech but has difficulty producing it.
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Latest added flashcards

How is Dickerson et al.'s study related to cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance was generated by asking the students to sign a poster saying that they saved water and to complete a survey raising their awareness of the importance of saving water.  This created a dissonance between their actions and their statements. 
What is the difference between door in the face and foot in the door compliance techniques?
Foot in the door begins with a small request which is complied with.  
Door in the face begins with a large request which is bound to be refused, and then follows with a smaller request which is then likely to be complied with.
What is reciprocity?


It is the feeling that we need to return a favour that has been done for us.
Door-in-the-face technique
  • based on reciprocity
  • zeroes in on the need that a favour needs to be returned
  • suggesting that people are more likely to comply with the second smaller request because they feel that the person has already lowered the intial request in order to accommodate them
  • they feel the need to reciprocate, by giving their time in return, or by buying the smaller amount of the goods, and so on
  • Cialdini et al. (1975)
Foot-in-the-door technique
The idea is that once people open the door to hear the salespitch, it's a whole lot easier to make a sale. The tricky thing is getting them to open the door in the first place.
  • based on consistency 
  • The idea is that if people first commit to something small, they'll later commit to a bigger request from the same person or organization, because by that point compliance is more consistent with previous choices. 
  • Dickerson et al. (1992)
2 Compliance techniques:
  1. Foot-in-the-door
  2. Door-in-the-face
Consistency
impacts complicance, because once people agree to a small request they're more likely to agree to a later larger request, because it's consistent with their earlier choice. So, if a teenager wants to borrow her/his parents' car for the evening, they should first get their parents to agree to a smaller request, like being allowed to play video games for 30 minutes after school. Then ask for the car, or so the theory goes. (It actually doesn't work so well with parents.)
Reciprocity
is the feeling that a favour needs to be returned. For example, if a waiter leaves a diner a mint with the bill, the diner may feel the need to reciprocate with a tip. If a salesperson spends hours showing a potential client some Turkish carpets, that client might feel compelled to buy something, to reciprocate for the salesperson's time. Regan (1971), for example, established that simply giving someone a Coke was enough to induce reciprocity and increase their compliance to a request to buy raffle tickets.
6 common themes in infuence and persuasion (by Robert Cialdini):
  • Authority—people are more likely to go along with a request from a credible expert.
  • Likeability—they're also more likely to go along with requests from trusted friends.
  • Reciprocity—if people feel like they owe something, they're more likely to comply more.
  • Consistency—compliance is more likely if it's consistent with existing beliefs and commitments.
  • Consensus—if it's the "popular" choice, then individuals tend to go along with it.
  • Scarcity—if it's perceived as scarce, then it's easier to persuade people to choose it.
Compliance
means acting in accordance with a request or demand
  • form of social influence involving direct requests from one to another: one person explicitly asks (but doesn't command) another to act in a certain way