AQA A Level Psychology

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name a study investigating conformity

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name a study investigating conformity

Asch 1951 and 1955

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what was Asch's baseline procedure

123 male Americans judged the lengths of a line in groups of 6-8 with only one genuine participant sitting last; all confederates gave the wrong answer

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what were the variables investigated by Asch in 1955

group size, unanimity and task difficulty

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how did group size affect conformity in Asch's study

conformity increased with group size but only up to a point. with three confederates, conformity rose to 31.8% but adding any more confederates made little difference to rates

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how did unanimity affect conformity in Asch's study

the genuine participant conformed less in the presence of a dissenter. rate decreased to less than a quarter of when it was when group was unanimous. this was still the case even when they disagreed with the participant and gave a different incorrect answer

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how did task difficulty affect conformity in Asch's study

conformity increased as task difficulty increased, it became more ambiguous which the correct line was so participants looked for guidance from others. (ISI)

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evaluate Asch's line study

  • artificial task and study so demand characteristics may have been in play

  • ethical issues as participants were deceived

  • support from Lucas et al where participants conformed more when task was harder

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name the three types of conformity

internalisation, identification, compliance

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define internalisation as a type of conformity

when a person genuinely accepts the group norms, a private and public change of opinions and behaviour, usually permanent even in the absence of group members

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define identification as a type of conformity

a person values the group but not their opinions, we identify with the group so we want to be a part of it, a public change of behaviour but we don't privately agree with everything the group stand for

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define compliance as a type of conformity

simply going along with others in public but not privately changing personal opinions or behaviour, only a superficial change

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name the two explanations for conformity

informative social influence and normative social influence

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define informative social influence

the need to be right/correct

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define normative social influence

the need to be liked

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name a research study into conformity to social roles

Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment 1973

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outline the Stanford Prison Experiment

21 men student volunteers were tested "emotionally stable" were placed in a mock prison. They were randomly assigned roles as either a guard or a prisoner. They were encouraged to conform to social roles through their uniform and behaviour.

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how did uniforms have an effect in the Stanford Prison Experiment

the uniforms created de-individualisation which meant they were more likely to conform

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what happened during the Stanford Prison Experiment

within two days the prisoners rebelled, the guards harassed the prisoners daily to remind them of their powerlessness and they conducted frequent headcounts including in the middle of the night. after the rebellion was shut down the prisoners became really subdued and anxious. one prisoner was released as he showed symptoms of psychological disturbance, two more were released on the fourth day, one went on a hunger strike and the guards force fed him and punished him

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how long did the Stanford Prison Experiment last

Zimbardo stopped the study after 6 days although it was intended to last 14 days

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what conclusion about social roles came from the Stanford Prison Experiment

social roles have a very large influence on peoples behaviour as the guards became brutal and the prisoners became submissive

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evaluation points of Stanford Prison Experiment

Control It had high internal validity as variables were controlled, emotionally stable individuals were chosen and RANDOMLY assigned their roles and therefore individual personality difference was ruled out Lack of Realism Banuazizi and Movahedi (1975) said that the participants were most likely play acting rather than genuinely conforming to their roles and that their performances were based on stereotypes, one guard even said he based his character from a film Exaggerates the power of roles Fromm 1973. only 1/3 of guards behaved in a brutal manner, 1/3 adhered to the roles fairly and the other third tried to help the prisoners. Zimbardo minimised the influence of dispositional factors such as personality

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name a research study into obedience

Stanley Milgram 1963 Obedience Study

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outline the baseline procedure of Milgram's study

40 American male volunteers aged 20-50 were paid $4.50. it was a supposed memory study but roles were fixed and the participant was always the teacher. the leaner (confederate) had to remember pairs of words and each time the teacher was instructed to give a stronger fake electric shock

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what was the aim of Milgram's study

investigate the level of obedience ppts would show when an authority figure tells them to administer electric shocks to another person.

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outline the baseline findings of Milgram's study

0% stopped before 300V 12.5% stopped at 300V 65% were fully obedient and went up to the max of 450V 84% were glad to have participated

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what qualitative data was collected during Milgram's study

participants showed signs of extreme tension, sweating, trembling, stutter and 3 had "full blown uncontrollable seizures"

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what were psychologists predictions for Milgram's study

they estimated no more than 3% would continue to 450V

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what were the four prods used in Milgram's study by the experimenter

prod 1 "please continue" prod 2 "the experiment requires that you continue" prod 3 "it is absolutely essential that you continue" prod 4 "you have no other choice, you must go on"

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what are the evaluation points of Milgram's study

research support A documentary in 2012 focused on a game show La Jeu de la Mort. Ppts were paid to give fake electric shocks by the presenter and 80% gave out 460V low internal validity participants may not have thought the shocks were real and were just playacting, they may have been responding to demand characteristics ethical issues the participants in the study were deceived as they though the allocation of roles were random and that the shocks were real however they were given a debrief

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when talking about situational variables which study should be talked about

Milgram 1963

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name 3 situational variables investigated by Milgram

proximity, uniform, location

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explain the effect of proximity on obedience

when teacher and learner were in the same room obedience dropped

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explain the effect of location on obedience

obedience fell in Milgram's study when conducted in a run down office block compared to when it was held at Yale

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explain the effect of uniform on obedience

obedience rate dropped when experimenter wore clothes that made him look like an ordinary person

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name a strength of situational variables

research support by Bickman 1974, wore different uniforms and asked public to perform tasks

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define the agentic state as an explanation for obedience

the agentic state is a mental state in which we feel we have no responsibility for our behaviour as we are acting for an authority figure eg: those working at Nazi death camps

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what is the opposite of the agentic state

the autonomous state: free to behave of their own principles

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define the switch from the autonomous state to the agentic state

agentic shift

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how do people remain in the agentic state

through binding factors: aspects of the situation that allow the person to ignore or minimise the damaging effect of their behaviour

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define legitimacy of authority as an explanation for obedience

we are more likely to obey people who we perceive to have authority over us, this is justified by the individuals position of power in a social hierarchy

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evaluation of agentic state

-supported by Milgram's study as the experimenter told the ppts that he was responsible not them

  • a limited explanation, it only accounts for some situations of obedience

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define the authoritarian personality as an explanation for obedience

Adorno said that people with an AP show submissiveness and an extreme respect for authority. these people view society as weaker than it once was and believe we need strong and powerful leaders to enforce traditional values. they are uncomfortable with uncertainty and they show contempt for those with an inferior social status

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outline Adorno et al's research

1950 - Adorno studied more than 2000 middle class white Americans and their unconscious attitudes towards ethnic groups. The f-scale was used, if their score was high, they had authoritarian learnings and a string positive correlation was found between the authoritarian personality and prejudice

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what are the two main factors for resisting social influence

social support and locus of control

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define social support

the presence of people who resist pressures to conform or obey can help others to do the same, these people act as models to show others that resistance to social influence is possible

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who was locus of control proposed by

Rotter 1966

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define an internal locus of control

believing that the things that happen to you are in your control. eg: if you do well in an exam it's because you worked hard

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what type of locus of control is more likely to resist social influence

internal - base decisions off their own beliefs, more self confident, much less need of social approval from other

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define an external locus of control

believing that things that happen are out of their control. eg: you fail a test and you blame it on the questions being worded hardly or the examiner was harsh

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evaluation of social support

-programme to help stop pregnant teens resist pressure to smoke -support from Asch and Milgram

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evaluation of locus of control

-Holland repeated Milgram's study but measured LOC, internals showed greater resistance -LOC may only affect behaviour in new situations

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state the three main processes in minority influence

consistency, commitment and flexibility

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explain how consistency works in minority influence

synchronic consistency - they're all saying the same thing diachronic consistency - they've been saying the same thing for a long time now consistency increases the amount of interest from other people

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explain how commitment works in minority influence

the augmentation principle - minorities engage in quite extreme activities to draw attention to their views, presenting risks to themselves shows how committed they are

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explain how flexibility works in minority influence

someone who is extremely consistent who simply repeats the same old arguments and behaviours again and again may be seen as rigid, unbending and dogmatic so members need to be prepared to adapt their point of view and accept reasonable and valid counterarguments

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explain the snowball effect in terms of social influence

as the three processes of commitment consistency and flexibility are used, more people switch from the majority to the minority and as this happens, the faster the rate of conversion

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define social cryptomnesia

people have a memory that change has occurred but don't know how it happened

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outline a research study done on coding of memory

Baddeley 1966, gave lists of words to four groups of participants, 1 sounded acoustically similar, 1 dissimilar, 1 semantically similar, 1 dissimilar. STM struggled with words acoustically similar. LTM struggled with semantically similar words

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outline a research study done on capacity of memory

Jacobs 1887 - measured digit span, read out digits and asked participants to repeat them back Miller 1956 - noticed things come in 7s

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outline a research study done on duration of STM

Peterson and Peterson 1959 - asked students to remember a consonant syllable and then made them count backwards to prevent mental rehearsal.

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outline a research study done on duration of LTM

Bahrick 1975 - tested photo recognition and free recall of names from old high school yearbooks of 17-74 year olds

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who was the multi store memory model created by and when

Atkinson and Shiffrin 1978

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name the three main parts of the multi store memory model

sensory register, short term memory and long term memory

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define the sensory register in the multi store memory model

coding: depends on the sense duration: less than half a second capacity: very high all stimuli from the environment go through the sensory register and there is a register for each of the five senses

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define short term memory in the multi store memory model

coding: acoustically duration: around 18 seconds capacity around 7

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define long term memory in the multi store memory model

coding: semantically duration: a lifetime capacity: practically unlimited

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explain the key information processes in the multi store memory model

SR->STM attention STM->LTM prolonged rehearsal LTM->STM retrieval

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name a strength of the multi store memory model

research support: Baddeley found that we tend to mix up words that sound similar when using our STM but mix up words with similar meanings when using our LTM which supports the case that there are two separates stores

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name two limitations of the multi store memory model

More than one type of STM: Shallice and Warrington when looking at the case study of KF found that he couldn't recall digits when they were read to him, only when he read them himself and this could suggest there are different types of STM MSM is oversimplified: There has been a lot of research since 1978 about memory stores which has proved the MSM to be too oversimplified. It was useful at the time but is now very outdated

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what are the types of LTM

episodic, semantic, procedural

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what is episodic LTM

ability to recall events from our lives like a diary entry

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what is semantic LTM

contains our shared knowledge of the world like an encyclopaedia

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what is procedural LTM

our memory on how to do things like actions or skills

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who was the working memory model created by

Baddeley and Hitch (1974)

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what are the systems in the working memory model

phonological loop, phonological store, articulatory process, visuospatial sketchpad, central executive, episodic buffer

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what is the central executive in the working memory model

allocates subsystems to tasks

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what is the phonological loop in the working memory model

deals with auditory information split into the phonological store: stores the words you hear and the articulatory process: allows maintenance rehearsal

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what is the visuospatial sketchpad in the working memory model

stores visual and spatial information

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what is the episodic buffer in the working memory model

temporary store of info, added later on in 2000

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evaluation of the working memory model

  • supported by Shallice and Warrington in their case study of KF

  • lack of clarity on the central executive

  • outdated

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define proactive interference

when an older memory interferes with a new one

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define retroactive interference

when a newer memory interferes with an old one

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define retrieval failure

a form of forgetting which occurs when we don't have the necessary cues to access memory. the memory is available but not accessible unless a suitable cue is provided

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outline research done on leading questions in EWT

Loftus and Palmer

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what were the four techniques used in the cognitive interview

  1. report everything

  2. reinstate the context

  3. reverse the order

  4. change the perspective

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who came up with the cognitive interview

Fisher and Geiselman 1992

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evaluation for the cognitive interview

support from meta analysis by Kohnken some techniques are more effective than others can be time consuming

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describe Lorenz's research (1952)

randomly divided up goose eggs, half were hatched by their mother and the other half in an incubator. when the incubator group hatched the first thing they saw was Lorenz. The incubator group followed him around but the control group followed the mother goose when mixed up. The geese imprinted on him. He identified a critical period for them in which they need to imprint on something otherwise they would never attach

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what did Lorenz discover about sexual imprinting

birds who imprinted on humans showed courtship behaviour to humans in later life

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describe Harlow's research (1958)

Harlow placed a cloth covered fake monkey and a wire monkey that dispensed milk and the monkeys always preferred the cloth mother which showed that contact comfort was more important than food. he also looked at monkeys that had maternal deprivation and found that they were aggressive, less sociable and were unskilled at mating

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what were the effects of maternal deprivation discovered by Harlow?

aggression, less sociable behaviour, unskilled at mating, neglected their own children in later life

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evaluation points of animal studies

-ethics -real life value -non generalisable to humans

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classical and operant conditioning with food and babies (if possible Dollard and Miller 1950 and cupboard love)

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evaluation point of learning theory Dollard and Miller (1950)

counter evidence from animal studies counter evidence from Shaffer and Emerson as they said that babies attach to their mothers regardless of if they feed them or not some conditioning may be involved - supports learning theory - however its unlikely that its food its more likely its comfort

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describe Bowlby's monotropic theory

he believed that a child's most important form of attachment was to their mother, he said that babies are born with social releasers such as big eyes, smiling and cooing that people find cute and form attachments with the baby, he proposed a critical period (inspired by Lorenz) where an attachment must be formed

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what was Bowlby's evolutionary explanation (monotropic theory)

attachment is an innate system that gives a survival advantage. attachment evolved as a mechanism

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what is Bowlby's law of continuity (monotropic theory)

the more consistent and predictable a child's care is, the better the quality of their attachment is

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what is Bowlby's law of accumulated separation (monotropic theory)

the effects of every separation from the mother add up

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describe an internal working model in terms of attachment (monotropic theory)

each child forms a mental framework of their relationship with their primary attachment figure. if their relationship with their primary attachment figure was loving and kind, that child will have that expectation of future relationships

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evaluations of Bowlby's monotropic theory

-supported by Lorenz and Harlow -counterpoint of it being based of animal studies -learning theory goes against it

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