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35 Cards in this Set

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Research Methods-Questionaires-

a set of standard questions about a topic that is given to all participants in the survey.

Questionaires give relevant questions that must make sense to the reader. When questions are asked, researchers must ensure that their questions are unambiguous. This meaning that they only have one meaning.

Advantages and disadvantages of questionnaires:


- Easy to do

- They are ethical

- Confidential


- Social desirability, meaning people will lie to make themselves look good

- People can interprete questions differently

Types of questions

There are two types of questions, open and closed.

Open questions is where the person answering can give any response they wish.

Closed questions is where the possible responses are fixed. For example, yes or no.

One of the most important limitations would be social desirability. This is because people may lie to make themselves look good leaving researchers invalid data.

Whats an interview?-

An interview involves the researchers in direct contact with the respondent.

Structured interviews:

- Questions are all pre set and every interviewee is asked the same questions in the same order. Researchers are not allowed to ask additional questions.

Unstructured interviews:

- The researcher will have decided on a topic and maybe a starter question for the interviewee, but the next questions would be based on the response of the interviewee. Each have different questions and the interviewee directs the discussion.

Face to face-

Can see their reaction as the interviewee is maybe likely to give a socially desirable answer.

Interview bias-

Can occur through body language of the interviewer giving an influence onto the interviewee.

Inter-observer reliability

When this is HIGH the records made by more than one observer in a study are considered to be accurate because they match or are similar to eachother.

How to ensure high inter-observer reliability.

-say what the words mean, for example, agression; discuss the meaning beforehand.

-Have many observers so there is a range of results

Ecological Validity-

When talking part in a study, this is a natural observation. This meaning that the participant has no idea of being watched giving an accurate recalling.

Case Studies

A case study is an indepth investigation of an individual, a small group or an organisation.

Advantages and disadvantages of case studies-


-They provide detailed information about individuals rather than collecting just a score test.

-They record behaviour over time so changes can be seen.


-Interpretations of the researcher may be biased and therefore unreliable.

-Ethical issues such as confidentially, right to withdraw and protection from harm.


Is a factor or thing that can change.


Positive correlation-

Relationship between two variables in which as the value of one increases, the other does too.

Negative correlation-

A relationship between two variables in which as the value of one increases, the other decreases.

No correlation-

There is no relationship between two variables.

Correlations are limited because they can't give a cause and effect relationship. This is because in a study where variables are just measured, it could be something else that caused the relationship.

Learning- Classical Conditioning


A relatively permanent change in behaviour due to experience.


An automatic response or action. We are born with reflexes.

Classical Conditioning-

A procedure during which an animal or person learns to associate a reflex with a new stimulus.

The stimulus then becomes a CONDITIONED STIMULUS and the response it causes is the CONDITIONED RESPONSE.

Conditioned stimulus-

A new stimulus presented with an UCS.

Conditioned response-

The response that is learnt.

Unconditioned stimulus would be someone blowing in your eye and the unconditioned response would be automatically blinking or flinching.



The conditioned response is produced when a similar stimulus to the original conditioned stimulus is presented.


The conditioned response is only produced when a specific stimulus is presented.


When a conditioned response dies out.

Spontaneous recovery-

When a conditioned response that has disappeared suddenly appears again.


Study- Watson and Raynor

To see if the emotional response of fear could be conditioned in a human being.

Method- Albert was 11 months old. He seemed to like a white laboratory rat and had no fear of any white furry objects. In the conditioning trials he was shown a rat and each time he reached for it, a metal bar was hit very hard with a hammer behind Alberts back. Repeated several times.

Results- After seven times, when the rat was presented again, Albert screamed and tried to get away. He did this even though the bar was not hit. He also screamed when seeing a santa claus mask.

Conclusion- Showed that fear responses could be learnt and even very young children can learn in a way suggested by classical conditioning.

The advantages of this would be that it proved it works on humans as well as animals,meaning it was successful. Although, a disadvantage would be that it can affect him in the future and it has ethical issues due to the childs age.

Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning-

Says we learn because of the consequences of our actions.

Positive Reinforcement-

Increases the likelihood occurring because it involves a reward for behaviour. For example, if a child is good, reward it with sweets.

Negative Reinforcement-

Increases the likelihood of a response occurring because it involves the removal from unpleasant consequences. For example, the torture is stopped when the victim confesses.

Positive punishment-

The consequence is receiving something unpleasant which decreases the probability of the behaviour being repeated. For example, getting a detention while talking in assembly.

Negative punishment-

The consequence is removing something desirable and decreases the probability of the behaviour being repeated. For example, toys being taken away from a child when they are cheeky.

Law of effect-

The rule that learning of a behaviour occurs when pleasant consequences follow that behaviour.

Behaviour Shaping

Behaviour shaping-

The process of changing behaviour in small steps. It is a slow process but can produce good outcomes.

To shape behaviour you reward any behaviour of the animal or person to complete the response you want. For example to train a child to eat with a knife and fork. When they look at the knife and fork, reward them. When they pick them up, reward them. And so on.

Rewarding them is the key element to have success.



A phobia is an exaggerated fear of an object or situation.

Treatments of phobias-

1) Flooding.

A treatment for phobias that involves the immediate exposure of the person to the feared object,activity or event, until there is no feared response. It gives no opportunity to escape meaning that the idea is that an anxiety response will only be sustained for a certain amount of time. Although a ethical implication would be protection from harm and the right to withdraw.

2) Systematic Desensitisation.

The aim is to extinguish an undesirable behaviour by replacing it with a more desirable one. The definition would be that it is a treatment for phobias where the person is taught to relax and then is gradually exposed to the feared object, activity or event.

The person with the phobia is taught to relax themselves. May involve listening to music. The person and the therapist construct a hierarchy of fears that contains the thing they're afraid of in the order from least frightening (the word spider) to most frightening (having a spider in my hand). It is a step by step approach.

The person is taught to relax focusing on breathing calmly. Hierchy of five fears:

1) looking at a picture of a plane

2) go to a airport and look at planes

3) stand at the bottom of the steps of the plane

4) sit on plane

5) fly on plane

The person is exposed to a picture and must be completely relaxed. And so on...

Aversion Therapy

Aversion Therapy.

Some therapists believe/think that behaviour problems result from faulty learning and therefore bad behaviour can be unlearnt. The aim of this is to get the patient to develop an extremely negative reaction to the drug or alcohol using the vomiting reflex.

UCS ----------> UCR


NS + UCS ------------> UCR


CS ----------> CR


Token Economies

Token Economies programmes are used to obtain desirable behaviour in cloned insituations much as prisons, and they are used for adult offenders.

They are based on operant conditioning. It involves the reward for the desired behaviour and sometimes with punishments to discourage undesirable behaviour. Rewards are usually tokens or points that can add up to give a individual reward.

Give tokens and gradually gives an individual reward.


Obedience means following the orders of someone we perceive to be in a position of authority.

Milgram STUDY -

To see how far people would go to obey an unreasonable order.

Method- 40 male participants volunteered to take part in what they thought was an experiment about memory and learning. They were made to believe they were giving an electric shock to a 'learner' every time he got an answer wrong. The 'learner' was an actor and the shocks was not real. The people giving the shocks did not know. Was seated in front of a 'shock generator' that had switches marked from 15-450 volts. The learner had to remember pairs of words and the participant had to give off a shock that increased each time a question was answered wrong. The participant heard the learner groan in pain yelling to be released. The participants were told 'the experiment requires that you continue'.

Results- Prior to the experiment, Milgram asked psychiatrists how they thought it would go. They thought 1% would deliver the 450 volts shock. However, they were wrong. All delivered 300 volts and 65% of them went all the way.

Conclusion- People are prepared to obey quite extrodiany orders if they think the person giving them is in a position of higher authority.

Protection from harm, right to withdraw.

STUDY - Brickman


He wanted to find out if people would be more likely to obey an order if it came from someone in a uniform.

Method- He had actors dress in either a security guard or just casual wear. They each asked people sitting in a park to pick up some litter.

Results- He found 80% of the people obeyed the guard compared to 40% when the actor wasn't wearing a uniform.

Conclusion- Wearing a uniform will increase the sense that a person is a legitimate authority figure.

Reliable because it is a real life situation.



The state of losing our sense of individuality and becoming less aware of our own responsibility for our actions.


Refers to who we are. An important part of the sense if right and wrong. When Deindividuation occurs people lose this.

A consequence is that people lose their sense of responsibility for what they do and stop being able to judge whether their actions are right or wrong.

Most of us behave in socially acceptable ways due to the threat of punishment. However, a punishment can only be given if it is clear who is responsible. So Deindividuation is more likely to occur in a crowd because we become anonymous.

STUDY- Zimbardo


To see if people in a big city behave in a more anti-social way than people in a small town.

Method- He parked a car in each place with its bonnet up,as if it had broken down, and observed what people did when they walked by.

Results- Immediately people began stealing parts of the car in New York, and within two weeks there was little of it left. In Palo Alto the only time the car was touched was when someone lowered the bonnet to stop the engine from getting wet when it rained.

Conclusion- Being able to hide your identity leads people to behave in crueller ways than they otherwise would because the person doesn't know who they are. This means there are less likely to be any consequences for what they do.

In a big city we are anonymous. In a small town, we are not.

Factors affecting Deindividuation

1) Being able to hide identity.

Removing an individuals identity, maintaining their anonymity reduces the chance of punishment. People can lose their own sense of identity.

2) Wearing a uniform.

We wear uniforms to make us like everyone else. When we belong to a group, we are expected to behave like the others in that group. We are discouraged from being individuals.

3) Being part of a identifiable group.

Sometimes the uniform we wear is informal and yet people still see us belonging to a group. People then expect us to behave like others in that group.


Protection from harm







Practical applications

Of Deindividuation

A practical application of research into Deindividuation is to prevent situations in which people can remain anonymous. CCTV cameras are being used increasingly to monitor people's behaviours. Its thought to reduce anti-social behaviour if people know they can be identified, they are less likely to engage in anti-social behaviour.

Practical implications

Of Deindividuation

An implication of research into Deindividuation is that when people are wearing uniforms in the work place, they do not behave like individuals, but as members of a business firm. People are made to wear uniforms so that they are easily identified.

Social Loafing

Social Loafing-

Putting less effort into doing something when you are with others doing the same thing.

When a group of people are all performing a task together, every person is being helped by others. So its not possible to identify individuals performance therefore meaning they will not work as hard.

Putting not as much effort in as you usually would.

STUDY- Latane et al

Social Loafing

To see whether being in a group would have an effect on how much effort participants put into the task.

Method- Researchers asked 84 participants to shout out and clap as loud as they could while they were alone or in groups of up to six. Each participant wore headphones so they couldn't hear the others.

Results- The larger the group size, the less noise the participants made.

Conclusion- People put less effort into doing something when they know others are contributing effort to the same task than they do when they are the only one.

We don't put in as much effort as we usually would when in a group.

STUDY- Earley

Social Loafing

To see if culture makes a difference to social loafing.

Method- Participants from the US and China had to complete tasks alone and in groups. The level of social loafing was measured by how much effort was put into the task in each condition by the participants.

Results- The American participants reduced the amount of effort they put in to the task when they were in groups,but the Chinese did not.

Conclusion- Social Loafing does not exist in all cultures. In some cultures people are prepared to work just as hard for the good of the group even when they don't need to.

A weakness of the study would be that he only compared it with two countries, so not all can be generalized.

Factors that affect

Social Loafing

1) The size of the group.

It can pressure you and make you feel like you can rely on them. Then meaning you don't do as much to participate.

2) The nature of the task you're performing.

How the task is conducted, meaning you will react differently.

3) The culture to which you belong.

Each culture has different views.

Many things affect Social Loafing whether it be culture or the nature of the task.

Bystander Intervention

STUDY- Latane and Darley.

They believed the reason people do not offer help in such situations is because of the presence of other people around them.

Their aim was to see if people are less likely to react in an emergency when others are present.

Method- They decided to have participants sit in a room either alone or in threes when completing a questionnaire. Whilst the participants were doing this, smoke began pouring into the room.

Results- 75% of the participants who were alone went to tell someone about the smoke within 6 minutes. Although the other 38% of those in groups did.

Conclusion- It concluded that if there are other people around you, it will make it less likely that you will react to an emergency.

This is a lab study so it wouldn't give accurate results as an environment study would.

STUDY- Pilavin

Appearance of the victim

To see if the appearance of the victim would influence helping behaviour.

Method- He had an actor pretend to collapse in a train carriage. His appearance was altered seven times and the amount of help he received each time was recorded by an observer.

Results- When the 'victim' carried a walking stick, he received help within 70 seconds, 90% of the time. When he had an ugly facial scar, this dropped to 60%. And when he appeared to be drunk, 20%.

Conclusion- The appearance of the person needing help will affect whether and how quickly that they get help.

A positive of this would be that it has a high ecological validity because it is in a natural environment.

Cost and rewards

One way of analysing whether someone will help or not is to understand the cost and rewards.

When faced by a situation that requires some sort of action, people assess what it will cost them to help and what kind of reward they might expect to gain.



Being able to put yourself in someone elses position psychologically and understand how they're feeling.

Bystander apathy-

Doing nothing in an emergency when someone is in need of help.

STUDY- Schroeder et al

To explore different reasons for bystanders not helping.

Method- They studied the findings and conclusions from many pieces of research.

Results- They were able to provide an alternative explanation for why bystanders did nothing to help when others were present.

Conclusion- Bystanders are stressed and concerned about victims but when others are present, they believe that someone else might be more capable of helping.

We as bystanders do want to help but are relying on others instead.

Sex and gender

Sex identity-

The biological term where a childs hormones and chromosomes identify a child's sex.

Identifies who we are.

STUDY- Freud

To investigate 'Little Hans' phobia.

Method- Hans father wrote to Freud to tell him about Hans development. At the age of 4 Hans developed a phobia of horses. He was frightened that it might bite him or fall. Particularly afraid of large white ones with black around its mouth.

Results- Freud claimed that Hans was experiencing the Oedipus complex. He unconsciously sexually desired his mother and saw his father as rival and feared castration. He displaced his fear of his father onto the horses. The black bit was his fathers beard and so on.

Conclusion- This supports Freuds ideas about the OEDIPUS COMPLEX.

Only done on one boy so not generalised to the rest of the public.

Oedipus complex

1) In this phallic stage, a young boy is attracted to his mother, unconsciously.

2) The boy is jealous of his father and wants to take his place.

3) He becomes anxious that his father will discover his feelings for his mother and castrate him.

4) This is called the Oedipus complex.

5) He therefore is torn between the desire he feels for his mother and fears his father.

6) To deal with it he gives up his feelings for his mother and identifies with his father.

7) Begins to behave like his father.

8) He ressolves his problem.

Freud believed that development happens in five stages, the third stage is known as 'the phallic stage' which occurs between ages 3 and 5.

Electra complex

1) In the phallic stage the girl is unconsciously attracted to her father and is jealous of her mother.

2) She is worried her mother will find out.

3) According to Freud, the girl believes she has already been castrated so not as fearful as the boy.

4) She does feel conflict between the feelings she has for her father and the fear of losing her mother's love.

5)Electra complex.

6) To resolve this she identifies with her mother and behaves just like her.

The conflict experience by a girl because she unconsciously desires her father and fears losing her mother's love.

Gender disturbance

According to Freud, if a child is brought up in a alone parent house hold, he or she will have a poorly developed gender identity. This is because the child does not experience and resolve the Oedipus/ Electra complex.

Gender disturbance-

Not developing the gender identity usually associated with ones sex.

Psychodynamic theory of gender development

Case study-


Rekers described the case of Carl, who was 8 years old and had a gender identity problem. He had a femine voice and talked about dresses, cometics and delivering babies. He preferred to play with the girls and frequently played house with his sister. He pretended to be ill or hurt rather than play with boys. Carl lived with his mother and did not have a stable father figure in his life.

According to Freud those who don't have a stable father figure tend to be on the homosexual side.

Social Learning theory of gender development

They believe gender is learnt from learning, watching and copying the behaviour of others.


A role model provides an example to the child.


Copying the behaviour of the role model.

Vicarious reinforcement-

Learning from the models being either rewarded or punished.

This also means the child learns what happens to a role model when the model comes out a particular behaviour. If the model is rewarded for the behaviour, the child is more likely to imitate them then if they're punished.

So if something is punished, its less likely to be copied.