Filter model - psychology - formation of relationships.... Urget help needed :) Watch

jellybeanally
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Hello,

i am independently studying psychology, and i am struggling to find a clear explanation of the study and findings for the filter model, online or in any text books.:mad::confused:

if anyone has any information on the filter model, the experiment, the theory explanation, and any supporting studies please let me know

anything is welcome, even if you have little knowledge


THANK YOU XXX
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TenTen-da
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Hey, do you still need help? I just found the notes that my teacher wrote up for us last year so I have all the information needed to get full marks on the relationship formation essay. I can send it to you if it's still needed, but I wasn't sure as there are two threads.
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RachelGod
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I am looking for info about the model too My teacher has talked through a textbook but I feel I need a better understanding, could I see your teachers notes please?

Thankyou!! x
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jellybeanally
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(Original post by TenTen-da)
Hey, do you still need help? I just found the notes that my teacher wrote up for us last year so I have all the information needed to get full marks on the relationship formation essay. I can send it to you if it's still needed, but I wasn't sure as there are two threads.
Would you be able to send these still ?! Thank you
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TenTen-da
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(Original post by alannat)
Would you be able to send these still ?! Thank you
I thought it'd be easier if I posted everything from the relationships unit. They're not all in the same format, but I got 100% in the essays here and the bulleted notes come direct from my tutors. I've posted it in two parts because of length :P

Theories of Parental Investment
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Theories of Parental Investment
Sex Differences
AO1
- Biological sex differences lead to differences in the levels of parental investment with females investing more in each offspring.

- One difference is in the gametes; women produce eggs that are large and energy rich, men produce tiny sperm that are basically just DNA
- The relative size of the gametes is a football compared to a baked bean (anisogamy)
- Each egg is larger and takes longer to produce, thus the woman invests more in each egg than the man does in each sperm

- Females have a greater reproductive cost, in mammals, the women carry the child, give birth and lactate; in humans, the children must be looked after for a long time afterwards.
- Men suffer the cost of producing sperm and mating, much lower than the cost to the woman.

- There is also a large difference in the potential reproductive rate, the most children sired by one man is 888, compared to the 69 produced by a woman from 27 pregnancies.
- For this reason, a woman has a greater investment in each child as she has less future opportunities

- Another factor that influences parental investment is parental certainty
- This is the fact that a woman can be sure she is the mother but a man cannot be sure he is the father.
- 20% of children in the UK are not the biological child of the man they assume is their father.
AO2
- An implication of sex differences in parental investment is that it determines who will be choosier when selecting a partner.
- In humans, it is the woman because she invests more in the children.
- This is supported by a study involving students, men and women were approached and asked by a confederate if they would sleep with them. 75% of males said yes, compared to 0% of the females.
- Another study done in San Francisco and looked at gay men, the study also supports this implication.
- They found that 50% of gay men had over 500 sexual relationships, mostly with strangers
- This study shows how promiscuous a man would be if they weren’t restricted by women’s choosiness.

- Differences in investments have implications for jealousy, parental certainty causes sexual jealousy.
- Men are more likely to be concerned about the sexual activity of their partner because, if they get pregnant by another man, they will be wasting energy raising a child that is not theirs.
- Women are more concerned about emotional ties that may lead the man and his investment away
- This is known as emotional jealousy
- These concerns were expressed by students in questionnaires and registered as physiological responses when the students thought of either sexual infidelity or other emotional relationships

- This theory has been criticised for showing alpha gender bias where it exaggerates differences
- The theory exaggerates the involvement of the woman in parental care, in reality, men are equally as involved.
- The theory also suggests the extremely different attitudes of men and women to casual sex, however, both engage in casual sex.
- The theory has also been criticised for being deterministic, it suggests behaviour is determined by biology rather than free will
- The theory is socially sensitive and could be accused of sexism since it implies men leaving women to care for the child is normal and natural. This reinforces Western stereotypes and undermines the progress made in promoting equality.
Parental-Offspring Conflict
AO1
- Parental Investment also leads to parental-offspring conflict because the strategies that maximise parental fitness aren’t always identical to those that maximise offspring fitness.
- Parental-offspring conflict relates to the amount of importance placed on themselves, their parents and siblings. The amount of importance is based on the percentage of genes shared by the individual and the other people.
- For the parents, each child has 50% of each parent’s genes; for the parent the survival of each child is equally important.
- For this reason, it is in the parents’ interest to share the food equally amongst their children.
- However, from the child’s perspective, they share 100% of their genes with themselves so the importance of their survival is greater than their siblings who only share 50% of their genes.
- The child perceives their importance as greatest so seeks to gain as much of the food as possible.
- This creates conflict between the parent and child as their perceptions of importance are different.
AO2
- Support comes from a prenatal condition called preeclampsia; this is caused by the foetus secreting hormones which increase the mother’s blood pressure.
- The increased blood pressure means the baby gets more nutrients at the expense of the mother.
- Women with higher blood pressure in pregnancy are less likely to have miscarriages and often give birth to larger babies.
- This suggests secreting the hormones is advantageous to the baby, even when the mother is at risk because its survival is more important to it than the mother’s.

- Parental-offspring conflict also occurs during weaning; often the child is weaned before it wants to be.
- There are benefits for the child to breastfeed up until the age of 7 including an increased IQ, reduced risk of disease and allergies as well as an increased immune system.
- However, it inhibits the woman’s fertility so she may not get pregnant again; this is a conflict of interests.

- A strength of this evolutionary approach is that it is culturally diverse and is based on inter-cultural facts, e.g. women give birth, produce few eggs, men produces many sperm etc.
- Parents, children and siblings always share DNA, so the instincts the DNA gives us should be universal.
- This means the theory is as relevant in collectivist cultures as it is in individualistic cultures.

- A criticism is that these approaches rely on speculating the behaviours that were adaptive in the EEA.
- Since we can’t test behaviour in the EEA, evolutionary theories can be seen as unfalsifiable.
- Instead, they rely on evidence from modern times, making it ex post facto, this may undermine scientific credibility.


Theories of Relationship Formation
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Theories of Relationship Formation
Reward-need satisfaction theory
AO1
- Based on operant and classical conditioning
- Operant conditioning – learning by reward
- Classical conditioning – learning by association

- Operant: A reason why relationships are maintained is because of the rewards provided
- The rewards can include sex, status, love, help and agreement with our opinions
- These are rewarding because their fulfil our needs
- For example: approval satisfies our need for self esteem
- It is suggested that we like those who provide rewards
- Those whose presence is unpleasant are disliked

- Classical: We like people who we associate with enjoyment and satisfaction
- Experiencing enjoyable activities with people creates positive feelings called a positive affect
- We seek to repeat this feeling and therefore desire to spend more time with them
- When we experience a negative affect we associate them with this feeling
- Because of this association we dislike them and avoid spending time with them
AO2
Support
- A study had Ps wait in an office where a radio was playing either good or bad news
- The Ps then read a questionnaire which had been filled in by someone else
- They then had to rate that person based on the questionnaire
- Ratings were more positive when the Ps had been listening to the good news
- This suggests they associated the person with positive news and felt better about them

- Strangers expressed greater liking when rewarded by being successful at a game-like task

Criticisms

- This theory is criticised for showing beta cultural bias
- It implies a selfish nature because we like people for the pleasures we get
- Therefore it is more appropriate for individualistic cultures
- This is because collectivists emphasise what’s best for the group rather than the individual

- It is reductionist because it focuses on the nurture side and ignores nature
- It’s based on the repetition of positive behaviour and the avoidance of negative behaviour
- Nature is likely to play a role in relationship formation such as evolutionary instincts
- Evolutionary instincts may cause people to seek different things in a partner

- The theory doesn’t explain why some unrewarding relationships are maintained



Filter Theory
AO1
- Our relationship choice is based on a systematic filtration of potential partners
- It begins with a ‘field of availables’ – the possible people we could have a relationship with
- The field of availables is filtered down for different reasons at different times
- There are three filters: social demographic variables, similarity of attitudes and complementarity of emotional needs
- Social demographic variables filters out people because of where they live, work and study
- We mix with people in our area and at our jobs, there are many people we never meet who are filtered out
- The field is filtered down to those of a similar class, education and economic background
- Once people have met and socialised they learn each other’s beliefs and attitudes
- If they have a good similarity of attitudes the relationship may progress
- If they don’t then communication is more difficult; these people are then filtered out
- Complementarity of emotional needs means how well two people meet each other’s needs
- It occurs in long-term relationships, people who meet each other’s needs maintain the relationship
- Those that don’t meet each other’s needs are filtered out
- These filters reduce the field of availables to a smaller field of desirables
AO2
Support
- A longitudinal study looked at student couples who’d been together for more or less than 18 months
- They were asked to complete questionnaires over a 7 month period
- Attitude similarity was the most important factor up to the 18 month period
- After this point, psychological compatibility and the ability to meet needs became important
Criticisms
- This theory can be criticised for showing beta gender bias, it ignores gender differences
- Research suggests that men and women filter out different things
- For example, Buss found that women value earning potential more than men

- This theory can also be criticised for showing beta cultural bias
- Most of the research is done in western societies and is relevant to individualistic cultures
- In collectivist cultures arranged marriages are common and may be formed differently.


Theories of Relationship Maintenance
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Theories of Relationship Maintenance
Social Exchange Theory
AO1
- SET is an economic theory which says relations are based on an exchange of commodities
- It proposes that individuals are motivated to maximise rewards and minimise costs
- Rewards: companionship and sex. Costs: effort, financial loss and missed opportunities
- For a relationship to be maintained rewards – costs = positive result (profit)

- There is a comparison level (CL) against which all relationships are judged
- Our CL is a product of our past experiences, family relationships and the media
- If we judge that the potential profit exceeds our CL the relationship will be worthwhile
- If the profit doesn’t exceed the CL then we will be dissatisfied

- Another concept is the comparison level for alternatives (CLalt)
- The person weighs up a potential increase in rewards from a different partner with the cost of ending the current relationship
- A new relationship may replace the current one if the profit level is higher

- Another concept is investments – things the person would lose if they left the relationship
- Investments include their home, children and mutual friends

- This theory says a relationship will be maintained when: both partners are satisfied with the rewards, there are no valuable alternatives and the cost of leaving is high
AO2
Support
- The concept of investments is supported by a study which looked at women in a refuge
- Women who’d gone back to an abusive partner had the most to lose financially and greater investment e.g. by having children
- Those who attempted reconciliation received less serious abuse than those who didn’t
- This shows long term relationships depend on investments as well as rewards and costs

- Individual differences are well explained in this theory, both within and between individuals
- Individuals see rewards and costs differently, what is a cost for one may not be for another
- Differences within a person may occur over time, this affects their CL
- It can explain why some people in unsatisfactory relationships stay and why some people in satisfactory ones leave
Criticisms
- SET is reductionist as it reduces complex relationships to an exchange of commodities
- This implies we operate as accountants, calculating cost and reward
- SET ignores emotional factors and implies relationships maintenance is a detached decision
- It is hard to see how we measure complex reward factors such as seeing children grow up

- The theory shows beta cultural bias as it ignores differences between cultures
- It suggests we have a selfish nature and is only appropriate to individualistic cultures
- This is because, in collectivist cultures, they focus more on the group than the individual
Equity Theory
AO1
- This theory is an extension of SET

- Based on the idea that people strive to reach a level of fairness in their relationships
- Any kind of inequity has the potential to create distress
- People who give a lot to a relationship and get little in return perceive inequity
- The same is true of those who receive a lot but give little in return
- The greater the perceived inequity, the greater the dissatisfaction with the relationship

- Equity does not mean equality, it is possible for two people to give and take different amounts and still have an equitable
- What is considered fair is subjective for each person involved
- Therefore if one person perceives themselves as putting in less the relationship can still be equitable if they get less out (relative to the other person)

- If we perceive inequity in our relationship we are motivated to restore it
- This can be achieved in different ways: by changing the amount we put in, changing the amount we demand from it or changing our perception of inputs and outputs.
- We may also compare our relationship to our CL to see if it is worth continuing
AO2
Support
- Support comes from a study of over 200 married couples
- The couples completed measures of equity and relationship satisfaction
- It found that satisfaction was highest when they perceived their relationship to be equitable
- Over-benefitting partners were the second-most satisfied
- This was followed by under-benefitting partners who were the least satisfied
Criticisms
- The theory shows beta gender bias because it ignores gender differences
- Research has found that there are gender differences in relationship maintenance, if women feel under-benefitted the divorce rate increases but this isn’t true of men who feel under—benefitted

- Similar criticisms to SET can be applied

- It is culturally bias because it is based on American research, in collectivist societies relationships tend to be more permanent.


Theories of Relationship Breakdown
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Theories of Relationship Breakdowns

Duck’s First Explanation of Relationship Breakdowns
AO1
- Duck explains relationship breakdown as being due to a number of factors either individually or collectively.
- The factors include: lack of skills, lack of stimulation and maintenance difficulties

- Relationships may be difficult for some because they lack the skills to make them mutually satisfying
- Individuals lacking social skills may be bad at communicating
- This lack of communication may lead their partner to believe they are not interested and the relationship breaks down.

- According to SET people look for rewards in relationships, one reward is stimulation.
- A lack of stimulation (an absence of the reward) may cause relationships to break down

- Some relationships become strained because the partners find it difficult to maintain close contact.
- Living and working apart can put a strain on relationships and make maintaining them difficult
- These maintenance difficulties can cause relationship breakdowns
AO2
- Shows beta gender bias, it ignores differences between the genders in the reasons they have for ending a relationship
- Research has shown there are differences, women are more likely to blame incompatibility, men are more likely to cite sexual withholding
- Women are also more likely to want to remain friends

- Shows cultural bias as it assumes all relationship breakdowns are the same in different cultures
- In collectivist societies, relationships are far more permanent
- In China, the divorce rate is 4% and it is likely the breakdowns are due to more serious reasons e.g. violence and infidelity

- The factors suggested by Duck are the opposite to those which led to the initial relationship
- The fatal attraction theory suggests the factors that led to the relationship also cause the breakdown
- For example, a partner being a comedian may be attractive initially but eventually becomes annoying as they don’t take life seriously and thus causes the relationship breakdown.

- The theory also doesn’t explain how some long distant relationships survive
- A study looking at students found 70% had experienced a long distance relationship and 90% had experienced a long distance friendship


Duck’s 4-Phase Model
AO1
- Duck developed a 4-phase model explaining the termination of a close relationship
- The intrapsychic phase: one of the partners becomes dissatisfied. They dwell on their unhappiness.
- At this stage the partner thinks a lot about their situation but doesn’t share it with their partner
- If the dissatisfaction is enough they progress to the dyadic phase

- Here, the partner expresses their dissatisfaction to their partner and they become involved.
- If the dissatisfaction is not resolved they progress to the social phase.

- They publicise their intention to break up, confiding in friends and family.
- The person being left may enlist others to speak to their partner.
- The dissatisfied partner will try to justify their actions.
- If the relationship cannot be saved here it moves on to the grave-dressing phase.

- Here, the ex-partners publicise their own accounts of the relationship breakdown
- This is to present an image that defends their reputation and maintains their self esteem
- By defending their reputation they are able to go into another relationship.

- At each stage the dissatisfied partner reaches a point that tips them into the next phase.
- These ‘breaking’ points are called thresholds.
- The thresholds are: I can’t stand it anymore (intrapsychic,) I’d be justified in withdrawing (dyadic,) I mean it (social) and it’s now inevitable (grave-dressing.)
AO2
- A strength of the theory is its applications; it is useful for those breaking up and forms a structure to repair their relationships.
- By identifying the stages, different strategies can be employed, these strategies work better in some phases than in others, so identifying the phase is important.
- For example, in the first two stages, focusing on the positives rather than the negatives might help.
- In the last stage, separate counselling may minimise the damage of the split.

- It shows beta cultural bias as it ignores the differences between the cultures. It is based on studies of married American couples and may not be applicable to other cultures.
- Divorce rates are lower in collectivist cultures and the social network plays a larger role in helping the couple through their problems.

- It is criticised for assuming that all relationships go through the same stages regardless of the reason for the break-up, the personalities of those involved and the gender of the dissatisfied partner.
- Some people end relationships angry, some are more passive and the reasons can vary from incompatibility to accusations of adultery.


Research into the Nature of Relationships in different Cultures
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Research into the Nature of Relationships in Different Cultures
Study 1: Importance of Romantic Love.
AO1
- Research was reported from 11 countries: India, Pakistan, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Australia, Japan, England and America
- Men and women were asked that if a man/woman had all the qualities they desired, would they marry them, even if they weren’t in love with them?
- They found a correlation of +0.56 between a country’s individualism and the perceived necessity for love within marriage
- In India 49% answered yes, compared to 7% in England
- In individualistic societies, love was considered the most important factor in marriage
AO2
- This study can be criticised for showing alpha cultural bias as it exaggerates cultural differences.
- This research could be socially sensitive as it could lead to stereotyping and prejudice.
- For example, the false belief that Indians don’t value love, when actually over 50% said they wouldn’t marry someone they didn’t love.

- There are several issues when comparing cultures, for example, the inter- cultural differences may not be as great as the intra-cultural differences.
- For example, by grouping individualistic and collectivist cultures we are implying that relationships are the same in those cultural groups. However, within a collectivist culture, the relationships may vary from area to area. For example, the way relationships are formed in a city maybe be different to those formed in a rural area or tribal community

- Comparisons between collectivist/individualistic cultures and voluntary/arranged relationships are overly simplified.
- For example, whilst a relationship may be ‘arranged’ by parents, they have a choice and aren’t usually forced. Similarly, ‘arranged’ relationships aren’t restricted to collectivist cultures, even in England, relationships may be arranged.
- A friend may set up a date between their mutual friends, this removes some of the ‘voluntary’ aspect of the relationship and is comparable to marriages arranged by parents, however, match-making your friends is accepted in Individualistic cultures more than arranged marriages are.

- The study can also be criticised for using an imposed etic, a questionnaire designed for one culture may be irrelevant for another.
- Literal translations may not take into account another culture’s meaning of words.
- For example, a literal translation of ‘romantic love’ into Chinese means pain and suffering. So, asking a Chinese person if love is important in a relationship is very different to asking a British person.


Study 2: Are Voluntary Relationships Happier?
AO1
- A study investigated the effect of type of marriage (voluntary or arranged,) duration of marriage and gender on the love and liking in Indian society.
- Found that there was a sharp decline in love rating in love marriages for both sexes over time.
- Conversely, there was an increase in love rating over time for arranges marriages, particularly in males.
- In terms of liking scales, there was a similar pattern as for love, although the decline of liking was not as steep as the decline for love in love marriages.
AO2
- The research suggests that arranged marriages are happier, but there are other explanations.
- The research was conducted in Indian society where arranged marriages are the norm so perhaps love marriages suffered problems such as family disapproval, alienation from their culture and absence of support during difficulties in relationships.
- Perhaps the love marriages aren’t less happy but the initial expectations were high so the couples were disappointed. In arranged marriages, expectations could be lower so the relationship was seen as more successful and, therefore, happy.
- Another issue is that in some cultures it is more acceptable to leave relationships and therefore people don’t work at them so much. In China divorce is viewed as shameful - divorce ratings are only 4%. In America, it is more acceptable and divorce rates are 40-50%.
Study 3: Buss – Similarities Between Cultures.
AO1
- This study involved more than 9000 participants in 37 cultures across Africa, N and S America and Europe.
- In 36/37 cultures, women valued earning potential more than men.
- In 34/37 cultures, men valued physical attributes more than women.
- Other findings across the cultures were that women valued ambition and industriousness more than men, men preferred younger women and women preferred older men.
AO2
- The universality suggests a nature rather than nurture basis for partner choices.
- Universality may be explained by the evolutionary theory. This argues males and females choose characteristics to maximise reproductive success.
- Women are limited by their biology as they are only fertile for a short period, once a month from adolescence until menopause. They are also restricted to one child per approximately 2yrs. This is because they must carry the child for 9months followed by a period of breast feeding which reduces fertility. Women can thus have fewer children (the record is 69). Women are therefore choosier, selecting men who have more resources to will care for and protect her children.
- Men are not limited by their biology, they produce sperm from adolescence and are fertile until death. Sperm is produced continuously and only a short period of intercourse is required for them to have a child. Consequently, the record number of children born to one man is 888. Men are only limited by access to women. They can thus maximise their reproductive success by becoming more promiscuous and selecting younger, fertile women.
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TenTen-da
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The influence of Childhood Experiences on Adult Relationships
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The Effect of Childhood Experiences on Adult Relationships

It is suggested that childhood experiences do a lot to shape our adult lives, in particular the relationships we have with others as children is often claimed to directly relate to the relationships we form as adults. There are several theories that relate to this topic; Bowlby’s Attachment Theory suggests that it is the type and quality of the relationships we have with our caregivers that define our adult romantic relationships. In contrast, a number of other theories and studies look at the effect of childhood friendships and peer relationships on adult relationships.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory suggests that early relationships with our caregivers provide a basis for future relationships; this idea is termed the continuity hypothesis. Bowlby argued that the attachment system we learn as young children become an internal working model for what we believe relationships are like. An attachment style consists of two attitudes, one towards yourself and one towards others. The attitude towards yourself is termed self-esteem; the attitude towards others is called interpersonal trust.

Our earliest interactions with our caregivers develop our attachment styles. There are three attachment styles: Type A, Type B and Type C. Type A is an avoidant attachment, this occurs when the parent or caregiver is distant and shows that they do not want to have intimacy with the child. The child wants to be close to their caregiver but learns they are likely to be rejected. Type B is a secure attachment, this occurs when the caregivers are responsive to the infant’s needs; these infants are trusting and don’t fear abandonment. Type C is a resistant attachment, this occurs when caregivers are inconsistent in their affection. Infants are anxious because they don’t known how the caregiver will respond. If our caregiver leads us to believe we are highly valued, dependable and reliable then we are likely to develop a high self-esteem and trust other people. This is a secure attachment style; the absence of these beliefs may lead to an insecure attachment style.

A study termed ‘The Love Quiz’ supports this theory; in this study they linked attachment styles to relationship types using a questionnaire printed in an American newspaper. Secure types rated love-experiences as happy and trusting and their relationships tended to be more enduring. Resistant types perceived love as involving obsession, extreme highs and lows, jealousy and extreme attraction. Avoidant people generally seemed to have a fear of intimacy and believed they didn’t need love to be happy.

Support has also been given for consistency of attachment; adults were assessed aged 1 and again aged 21. The study found that there were high levels of stability, 72% of adults received the same classification on adult assessments as they did in the Strange Situation study. However, other research contradicts this; another study found that stability between the ages of 1 and 18 was only 42%. However, it has been suggested that adult assessments vary between types of tests and this could account for the differences in stability between the groups.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory can be criticized for being reductionist because it implies that early attachment type is the sole cause of later relationships. However, it is likely that other factors also play a role. For example, it is suggested that our relationship style depends on the partner; one person may make us feel secure, another may make us more anxious. The theory also suggests that it is nurture - in other words, the behaviour of the caregiver towards the infant - that determines their relationship style. However, others believe that our relationship style is dependent on nature and that we are born with an innate temperament which determines how we will form relationships. If we are skilled at forming relationships then we will form good early attachments and other relationships later in life. The theory also shows beta gender bias as it ignores gender differences that are likely to exist. Research has shown that boys and girls are affected by insecure attachments in different ways. Boys are likely to adopt avoidant strategies; girls begin anxious/ambivalent strategies.

In terms of ethics, these types of theories and studies are socially sensitive as they suggest that the caregiver is the cause for the child’s future relationship. Some claim that blame is placed with the mother, in particular, for relationship problems which the child may experience in adulthood. In addition, if the parents are perceived to be directly responsible for their children’s relationship styles in adult life, other factors that may have an effect are ignored. Peer relationships are an example of a different early-life relationship that also has a considerable impact on the relationship styles of adults later in life.

Later in childhood, friends and relationships with peers become central to a child’s emotional and social growth and provide children with important information during a time of rapid development. Peer relationships are a means of developing life-long social skills, are a source of emotional support and provide information on rules and values. Interactions give a template for acceptable behaviour which is used in later life when socialising with other adults. Close friends make children feel accepted and understood by another person, an important characteristic in future, romantic relationships. Friendships are also important when learning about one’s self, your values, morals and ability to satisfy others.

In support of the importance of peer relationships, a study found that the quality of friendships around the age of 11 has a direct effect on the age of the child when they have their first romantic relationship. Children who have more intimate friendships in this period form romantic relationships earlier than those who didn’t experience such friendships. Research on children with chronic illnesses also supports this theory. A study looked at childhood cancer survivors who experienced prolonged hospital visits and, as a result, missed out on early peer socialisation. They found that the survivors experienced fewer relationships and a greater level of distress during relationship breakdowns than a control group, though there was no difference in satisfaction within the relationships. This study supports other research findings which suggest lower rates in marriage and cohabitation as well as having their first romantic relationship at a later age.

Other research has found a link between bullying and adult relationship styles. Children who were identified as bullies were more likely to report using physical aggression on a romantic partner in adult life. Volunteers from university psychology classes found that those who reported being teased during childhood were less comfortable with intimacy and trusting others. They also experienced a greater degree of worry about being abandoned or unloved in romantic relationships.

Research in the area of relationships is generally beta culturally biased as it ignores cultural differences. Most research is ethnocentric as it is based in Western cultures and findings may not generalise to other cultures. In collectivist cultures, for example, the family includes extended family members and is of utmost importance, playing a greater role in life than other relationships such as friendships. Research is also beta gender biased as it ignores gender differences in the effect of peer relationships on adult life and the formation of romantic relationships. For example, there is evidence that girls are more likely to become withdrawn when subjected to bullying, whereas boys tend to become more aggressive. The theory is also reductionist as it focuses on just one factor when looking at complex adult relationships. It is likely that a combination of adult and peer relationships, biological temperament and childhood experiences can all influence a child’s development. Research here is correlational and, therefore, there is an issue of bi-directional ambiguity as we can’t infer cause and effect.

Overall, there is considerable evidence that in the first few years of life the type of relationship we have and how we interact with our caregivers is of crucial importance in shaping our adult relationship styles. However, it is likely that these a posteriori experiences interact with our innate temperaments and personalities to determine the type of relationships we form in adulthood. In addition, later in life and particularly during our school years research suggests that peer relationships are as important if not more important than caregiver relationships. Other childhood experiences such as bullying and being removed from a social setting through hospital stays also appear to have an impact. In conclusion, it seems probable that it is the interaction of a number of childhood experiences including caregiver and peer relationships with later adult experiences that shape how we form and the quality of relationships we have as adults.


**SEPARATE PIECE JUST NOTES ON PEER RELATIONSHIPS**
Peer Relationships
AO1
- As the child grows into an adolescent, the effect of peers and friends become more significant. Friendships with peers become central to healthy emotional development. These relationships provide children with important information about the world during a time of rapid development.
- They are a means of developing life-long social skills. Peers can be a source of emotional support and provide information about rules and values, e.g. what is/is not acceptable social behaviour.
- The experience of confiding in a close friend creates feelings of acceptance and being understood by another person which is important in future romantic relationships.
- Friendships are also important for learning about themselves, e.g. their own values.
AO2
- In support of the importance of peer relationships, Gembeck found the quality of friendships at around 11yrs has a direct effect on the age of the first romantic relationship. Children who have more intimate friendships in middle school form romantic relationships earlier than those with less intimate peer relationships.
- Further support comes from studies of children with chronic illnesses requiring hospital stays with consequences of missing out on peer relationships. Thompson found that survivors of childhood cancer reported fewer relationships and a sense of greater distress when relationships break down than control participants even though there was no difference in satisfaction in the relationships. Similar studies show lower rates of marriage and cohabitation as well as an older age at the first romantic relationship and marriage.
- Other supporting evidence shows the effect of negative peer relationships. Children who were identified as being bullies during childhood were later more likely to use physical aggression in romantic relationships. Another study found that those who were teased or bullied were less comfortable with intimacy and closeness, they also felt less comfortable in trusting and depending on others. In addition, they experiences a greater degree of worry and being unloved or abandoned in romantic relationships.
- However, a criticism of research in this area is that it’s beta culturally biased as it ignores differences in cultures which may impact on the importance of peer relationships on adult relationships. Almost all research focuses on the Western world, i.e. it’s ethnocentric, and thus may not reflect relationships in other cultures. In collectivist societies, the family (including extended family members) is of utmost importance and is likely to play the larger role.
- Research is criticised for showing beta gender bias and ignoring differences in gender responses to peer relationships. For example, bullying affects boys and girls differently - boys become more aggressive and girls become withdrawn.
- This research can also be criticised for being reductionist as it focuses on just one factor, adolescent peer relationships, when investigating complex adult relationships. It is likely that a combination of family and peer relationships, biological temperament and life events like parental divorce impact upon the child’s later adult relationships.
- Finally, the research is correlational and we cannot assume there is a causal link.


The Influence of Adolescent Experiences on Adult Relationships
Spoiler:
Show
Theories on the Influence of Teenage Experiences on Adult Relationships

Parent
AO1
- Although traditional beliefs and theory says that adolescence is a time of turmoil and conflict between parents and children, modern psychologist reject this idea. Instead, believing that, even with the strain during adolescence, bonds between parents and their offspring are not as weak as previously thought.
- Adolescence can be seen as a time when teenagers reshape their internal working models of relationships, formed earlier in their childhood, into new models which will affect adult life.
- This time has been seen as a period of readjustment where a re-negotiation of roles occurs between parent and child to allow teenagers greater independence.
- Relationships with parents become more equal and reciprocal. Parental authority comes to be seen as open to discussion and negotiation.
- Relationships may act as a ‘training ground’ for relationships later in life. Parent-child relationships, in particular, appear to have an influence on conflict resolution tactics in adulthood.
AO2
- Support comes from a longitudinal study which found a link between the quality of adolescent family relationships and adult romantic relationships. Adolescents who experienced less conflict with parents tended to show interpersonal behaviours which enhanced the quality of their adult relationships, e.g. a greater use of discussion in conflict resolution.
- Another study found that individuals with a history of hostile parent-child interactions during early adolescence were more like to experience violent romantic relationships in adulthood.
- A strong, positive correlation was found between parent-child boundary violations at age 13 and aggressive behaviour at age 21 and 23. Boundary violations, or overly familiar behaviour, include three situations. Purification - caring for the parent; parentification - where the teenager sets limits and displays nurturance as a parent would; and peer role diffusion where both parent and child act as adolescents would.
- However, violence isn’t just because of these situations but also due to complex interactions and a range of adolescent experiences, including those of families, peers and siblings.
- Support comes from a longitudinal study in Germany which looked at teenagers at age 14, 15, 17 and 20. They found a correlation between parent relationships between 14-17 and the quality of romantic relationships at age 20. Closeness and trust with parents were directly related to positive aspects of romantic relationships.
- The theory and research shows beta gender bias because it ignores important gender differences.
- However, some supporting studies took into account gender differences, one found that boys who had a better relationship with their parents had higher self esteem. For girls, closer relationships led to fewer sexual partners. Both of these caused romantic relationships that were of a higher quality.
- The theory focuses on nurture and ignores nature, suggesting biology doesn’t play a role in romantic relationship styles. However, the temperament hypothesis suggests that we have an innate temperament which determines how we well will form relationships. If we are good at it, we will form good early attachments and have high quality adult relationships later in life.


Peer Relationships
AO1
- In adolescence, interactions with peers become more frequent and the peer group assumes vital importance.
- Kirchler says adolescents who do not develop peer relationships and remain close to their families may have trouble establishing their autonomy and forming adult relationships. Peers do not necessarily replace parents, rather coexists with them and allows adolescents to move between the two contexts.
- It has been suggested that relationship skills are learned in the ‘best friend’ relationship in adolescence. Romantic relationships correspond more close to this relationship than to those with parents.
- According to the ‘cycle of violence’ hypothesis, those who witness violence as a teenager will perpetrate violence in adult relationships, however this research underestimates the role of teenage peers in the use of aggression in later relationships.
AO2
- A supporting study looked at the psychological importance of best friends and [arents during adolescence in a longitudinal study of over 1000 toung adults aged 12-23. They found commitment to a best friend I a predictor of commitment to a partner six years later.
- Research supports the link between peer relationships and later aggression. Connolly et al found that middle school children identified as bullies were more likely to report using physical aggression in a later romantic relationship.
- However, other research shows peer relationships can moderate the effects of family violence experienced during childhood. One study followed participants from birth to 23yrs old and found individuals with higher quality friendships at age 16 reported lower levels of both initiating and suffering violence in subsequent relationships at age 21.
- The research is criticised for focusing on the role of nurture whereas adult relationships are more likely to be influenced by an interaction of nature and nurture. For example, there are biological influences on relationship aggression. The diathesis-stress model is a better explanation of aggression; the individual is predisposed genetically to be aggressive but this characteristic won’t be expressed without environmental triggers.
- Research is also beta culturally biased as it ignores cultural differences. Almost all research focuses on relationships in the west and is ethnocentric, therefore it may not reflect relationships in other societies. In collectivist societies, the family (including extended family) is of utmost importance and is likely to play the larger role in future relationships. The collectivist family relationships are also more stable, affecting future development.
- The discussed research can also lead to a deterministic view of a child’s development whereby they are a passive receiver of the environment around them. Many argue that this underplays the active role the child has in their future relationship choices.
- In conclusion, there is much evidence that positive parental and peer relationships are correlated with healthy romantic relationships but correlation is not causation. Additionally, most of the research in this area relies on self report measures and accurate recollection of childhood memories which can be criticised as being retrospective.
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the influence of childhood experiences on adult relationships
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Show
the effect of childhood experiences on adult relationships

it is suggested that childhood experiences do a lot to shape our adult lives, in particular the relationships we have with others as children is often claimed to directly relate to the relationships we form as adults. There are several theories that relate to this topic; bowlby’s attachment theory suggests that it is the type and quality of the relationships we have with our caregivers that define our adult romantic relationships. In contrast, a number of other theories and studies look at the effect of childhood friendships and peer relationships on adult relationships.

Bowlby’s attachment theory suggests that early relationships with our caregivers provide a basis for future relationships; this idea is termed the continuity hypothesis. Bowlby argued that the attachment system we learn as young children become an internal working model for what we believe relationships are like. An attachment style consists of two attitudes, one towards yourself and one towards others. The attitude towards yourself is termed self-esteem; the attitude towards others is called interpersonal trust.

Our earliest interactions with our caregivers develop our attachment styles. There are three attachment styles: Type a, type b and type c. Type a is an avoidant attachment, this occurs when the parent or caregiver is distant and shows that they do not want to have intimacy with the child. The child wants to be close to their caregiver but learns they are likely to be rejected. Type b is a secure attachment, this occurs when the caregivers are responsive to the infant’s needs; these infants are trusting and don’t fear abandonment. Type c is a resistant attachment, this occurs when caregivers are inconsistent in their affection. Infants are anxious because they don’t known how the caregiver will respond. If our caregiver leads us to believe we are highly valued, dependable and reliable then we are likely to develop a high self-esteem and trust other people. This is a secure attachment style; the absence of these beliefs may lead to an insecure attachment style.

A study termed ‘the love quiz’ supports this theory; in this study they linked attachment styles to relationship types using a questionnaire printed in an american newspaper. Secure types rated love-experiences as happy and trusting and their relationships tended to be more enduring. Resistant types perceived love as involving obsession, extreme highs and lows, jealousy and extreme attraction. Avoidant people generally seemed to have a fear of intimacy and believed they didn’t need love to be happy.

Support has also been given for consistency of attachment; adults were assessed aged 1 and again aged 21. The study found that there were high levels of stability, 72% of adults received the same classification on adult assessments as they did in the strange situation study. However, other research contradicts this; another study found that stability between the ages of 1 and 18 was only 42%. However, it has been suggested that adult assessments vary between types of tests and this could account for the differences in stability between the groups.

Bowlby’s attachment theory can be criticized for being reductionist because it implies that early attachment type is the sole cause of later relationships. However, it is likely that other factors also play a role. For example, it is suggested that our relationship style depends on the partner; one person may make us feel secure, another may make us more anxious. The theory also suggests that it is nurture - in other words, the behaviour of the caregiver towards the infant - that determines their relationship style. However, others believe that our relationship style is dependent on nature and that we are born with an innate temperament which determines how we will form relationships. If we are skilled at forming relationships then we will form good early attachments and other relationships later in life. The theory also shows beta gender bias as it ignores gender differences that are likely to exist. Research has shown that boys and girls are affected by insecure attachments in different ways. Boys are likely to adopt avoidant strategies; girls begin anxious/ambivalent strategies.

In terms of ethics, these types of theories and studies are socially sensitive as they suggest that the caregiver is the cause for the child’s future relationship. Some claim that blame is placed with the mother, in particular, for relationship problems which the child may experience in adulthood. In addition, if the parents are perceived to be directly responsible for their children’s relationship styles in adult life, other factors that may have an effect are ignored. Peer relationships are an example of a different early-life relationship that also has a considerable impact on the relationship styles of adults later in life.

Later in childhood, friends and relationships with peers become central to a child’s emotional and social growth and provide children with important information during a time of rapid development. Peer relationships are a means of developing life-long social skills, are a source of emotional support and provide information on rules and values. Interactions give a template for acceptable behaviour which is used in later life when socialising with other adults. Close friends make children feel accepted and understood by another person, an important characteristic in future, romantic relationships. Friendships are also important when learning about one’s self, your values, morals and ability to satisfy others.

In support of the importance of peer relationships, a study found that the quality of friendships around the age of 11 has a direct effect on the age of the child when they have their first romantic relationship. Children who have more intimate friendships in this period form romantic relationships earlier than those who didn’t experience such friendships. Research on children with chronic illnesses also supports this theory. A study looked at childhood cancer survivors who experienced prolonged hospital visits and, as a result, missed out on early peer socialisation. They found that the survivors experienced fewer relationships and a greater level of distress during relationship breakdowns than a control group, though there was no difference in satisfaction within the relationships. This study supports other research findings which suggest lower rates in marriage and cohabitation as well as having their first romantic relationship at a later age.

Other research has found a link between bullying and adult relationship styles. Children who were identified as bullies were more likely to report using physical aggression on a romantic partner in adult life. Volunteers from university psychology classes found that those who reported being teased during childhood were less comfortable with intimacy and trusting others. They also experienced a greater degree of worry about being abandoned or unloved in romantic relationships.

Research in the area of relationships is generally beta culturally biased as it ignores cultural differences. Most research is ethnocentric as it is based in western cultures and findings may not generalise to other cultures. In collectivist cultures, for example, the family includes extended family members and is of utmost importance, playing a greater role in life than other relationships such as friendships. Research is also beta gender biased as it ignores gender differences in the effect of peer relationships on adult life and the formation of romantic relationships. For example, there is evidence that girls are more likely to become withdrawn when subjected to bullying, whereas boys tend to become more aggressive. The theory is also reductionist as it focuses on just one factor when looking at complex adult relationships. It is likely that a combination of adult and peer relationships, biological temperament and childhood experiences can all influence a child’s development. Research here is correlational and, therefore, there is an issue of bi-directional ambiguity as we can’t infer cause and effect.

Overall, there is considerable evidence that in the first few years of life the type of relationship we have and how we interact with our caregivers is of crucial importance in shaping our adult relationship styles. However, it is likely that these a posteriori experiences interact with our innate temperaments and personalities to determine the type of relationships we form in adulthood. In addition, later in life and particularly during our school years research suggests that peer relationships are as important if not more important than caregiver relationships. Other childhood experiences such as bullying and being removed from a social setting through hospital stays also appear to have an impact. In conclusion, it seems probable that it is the interaction of a number of childhood experiences including caregiver and peer relationships with later adult experiences that shape how we form and the quality of relationships we have as adults.


**separate piece just notes on peer relationships**
peer relationships
ao1
- as the child grows into an adolescent, the effect of peers and friends become more significant. Friendships with peers become central to healthy emotional development. These relationships provide children with important information about the world during a time of rapid development.
- they are a means of developing life-long social skills. Peers can be a source of emotional support and provide information about rules and values, e.g. What is/is not acceptable social behaviour.
- the experience of confiding in a close friend creates feelings of acceptance and being understood by another person which is important in future romantic relationships.
- friendships are also important for learning about themselves, e.g. Their own values.
Ao2
- in support of the importance of peer relationships, gembeck found the quality of friendships at around 11yrs has a direct effect on the age of the first romantic relationship. Children who have more intimate friendships in middle school form romantic relationships earlier than those with less intimate peer relationships.
- further support comes from studies of children with chronic illnesses requiring hospital stays with consequences of missing out on peer relationships. Thompson found that survivors of childhood cancer reported fewer relationships and a sense of greater distress when relationships break down than control participants even though there was no difference in satisfaction in the relationships. Similar studies show lower rates of marriage and cohabitation as well as an older age at the first romantic relationship and marriage.
- other supporting evidence shows the effect of negative peer relationships. Children who were identified as being bullies during childhood were later more likely to use physical aggression in romantic relationships. Another study found that those who were teased or bullied were less comfortable with intimacy and closeness, they also felt less comfortable in trusting and depending on others. In addition, they experiences a greater degree of worry and being unloved or abandoned in romantic relationships.
- however, a criticism of research in this area is that it’s beta culturally biased as it ignores differences in cultures which may impact on the importance of peer relationships on adult relationships. Almost all research focuses on the western world, i.e. It’s ethnocentric, and thus may not reflect relationships in other cultures. In collectivist societies, the family (including extended family members) is of utmost importance and is likely to play the larger role.
- research is criticised for showing beta gender bias and ignoring differences in gender responses to peer relationships. For example, bullying affects boys and girls differently - boys become more aggressive and girls become withdrawn.
- this research can also be criticised for being reductionist as it focuses on just one factor, adolescent peer relationships, when investigating complex adult relationships. It is likely that a combination of family and peer relationships, biological temperament and life events like parental divorce impact upon the child’s later adult relationships.
- finally, the research is correlational and we cannot assume there is a causal link.


the influence of adolescent experiences on adult relationships
Spoiler:
Show
theories on the influence of teenage experiences on adult relationships

parent
ao1
- although traditional beliefs and theory says that adolescence is a time of turmoil and conflict between parents and children, modern psychologist reject this idea. Instead, believing that, even with the strain during adolescence, bonds between parents and their offspring are not as weak as previously thought.
- adolescence can be seen as a time when teenagers reshape their internal working models of relationships, formed earlier in their childhood, into new models which will affect adult life.
- this time has been seen as a period of readjustment where a re-negotiation of roles occurs between parent and child to allow teenagers greater independence.
- relationships with parents become more equal and reciprocal. Parental authority comes to be seen as open to discussion and negotiation.
- relationships may act as a ‘training ground’ for relationships later in life. Parent-child relationships, in particular, appear to have an influence on conflict resolution tactics in adulthood.
Ao2
- support comes from a longitudinal study which found a link between the quality of adolescent family relationships and adult romantic relationships. Adolescents who experienced less conflict with parents tended to show interpersonal behaviours which enhanced the quality of their adult relationships, e.g. A greater use of discussion in conflict resolution.
- another study found that individuals with a history of hostile parent-child interactions during early adolescence were more like to experience violent romantic relationships in adulthood.
- a strong, positive correlation was found between parent-child boundary violations at age 13 and aggressive behaviour at age 21 and 23. Boundary violations, or overly familiar behaviour, include three situations. Purification - caring for the parent; parentification - where the teenager sets limits and displays nurturance as a parent would; and peer role diffusion where both parent and child act as adolescents would.
- however, violence isn’t just because of these situations but also due to complex interactions and a range of adolescent experiences, including those of families, peers and siblings.
- support comes from a longitudinal study in germany which looked at teenagers at age 14, 15, 17 and 20. They found a correlation between parent relationships between 14-17 and the quality of romantic relationships at age 20. Closeness and trust with parents were directly related to positive aspects of romantic relationships.
- the theory and research shows beta gender bias because it ignores important gender differences.
- however, some supporting studies took into account gender differences, one found that boys who had a better relationship with their parents had higher self esteem. For girls, closer relationships led to fewer sexual partners. Both of these caused romantic relationships that were of a higher quality.
- the theory focuses on nurture and ignores nature, suggesting biology doesn’t play a role in romantic relationship styles. However, the temperament hypothesis suggests that we have an innate temperament which determines how we well will form relationships. If we are good at it, we will form good early attachments and have high quality adult relationships later in life.


Peer relationships
ao1
- in adolescence, interactions with peers become more frequent and the peer group assumes vital importance.
- kirchler says adolescents who do not develop peer relationships and remain close to their families may have trouble establishing their autonomy and forming adult relationships. Peers do not necessarily replace parents, rather coexists with them and allows adolescents to move between the two contexts.
- it has been suggested that relationship skills are learned in the ‘best friend’ relationship in adolescence. Romantic relationships correspond more close to this relationship than to those with parents.
- according to the ‘cycle of violence’ hypothesis, those who witness violence as a teenager will perpetrate violence in adult relationships, however this research underestimates the role of teenage peers in the use of aggression in later relationships.
Ao2
- a supporting study looked at the psychological importance of best friends and [arents during adolescence in a longitudinal study of over 1000 toung adults aged 12-23. They found commitment to a best friend i a predictor of commitment to a partner six years later.
- research supports the link between peer relationships and later aggression. Connolly et al found that middle school children identified as bullies were more likely to report using physical aggression in a later romantic relationship.
- however, other research shows peer relationships can moderate the effects of family violence experienced during childhood. One study followed participants from birth to 23yrs old and found individuals with higher quality friendships at age 16 reported lower levels of both initiating and suffering violence in subsequent relationships at age 21.
- the research is criticised for focusing on the role of nurture whereas adult relationships are more likely to be influenced by an interaction of nature and nurture. For example, there are biological influences on relationship aggression. The diathesis-stress model is a better explanation of aggression; the individual is predisposed genetically to be aggressive but this characteristic won’t be expressed without environmental triggers.
- research is also beta culturally biased as it ignores cultural differences. Almost all research focuses on relationships in the west and is ethnocentric, therefore it may not reflect relationships in other societies. In collectivist societies, the family (including extended family) is of utmost importance and is likely to play the larger role in future relationships. The collectivist family relationships are also more stable, affecting future development.
- the discussed research can also lead to a deterministic view of a child’s development whereby they are a passive receiver of the environment around them. Many argue that this underplays the active role the child has in their future relationship choices.
- in conclusion, there is much evidence that positive parental and peer relationships are correlated with healthy romantic relationships but correlation is not causation. Additionally, most of the research in this area relies on self report measures and accurate recollection of childhood memories which can be criticised as being retrospective.
.





Thank you!!!!!!
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TenTen-da
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(Original post by alannat)
.





Thank you!!!!!!

Haha, that's ok :-) Message me if you need anything from the other units too, I think I kept all my notes from the whole course.
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RachelGod
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Sorry to but in but thanks for posting these my teacher doesn't give me anything would it be annoying if i asked to see the rest of A2 or as much as possible? Thankyou so much. I need a B in pscyh for uni but would love to get an A, to hear you got 100% is amazing.

Thankyou!!
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TenTen-da
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(Original post by RachelGod)
Sorry to but in but thanks for posting these my teacher doesn't give me anything would it be annoying if i asked to see the rest of A2 or as much as possible? Thankyou so much. I need a B in pscyh for uni but would love to get an A, to hear you got 100% is amazing.

Thankyou!!
You're not butting in I'm just about to go to uni and study Psychology so recapping my old stuff is helpful to me too. I'll happily post everything I have, although there are different unit options so I only have work for my units. At A2 I did: Depression, Relationships, Gender, Aggression and Anomalistic Psychology.

Sorry to be a pain but could you just let me know what units you need? I have some typed notes/essays for all of the above but there's a lot of gaps. The missing notes are in paper booklets that my tutor gave our class. I'm fine with typing them out (it's what I did for the previous posts) and I've got them to hand. It's just that I move to uni the day after tomorrow so it'll take me a while to type everything and I'd rather get started on what you need now, rather than type out units you aren't doing. I hope that makes sense, kind of rambled a bit >.<
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Wow are you sure? thats really nice, don't rush i don't need them urgently just soonish. We're doing depression, gender and aggression thankyou so much!!!!
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jellybeanally
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(Original post by TenTen-da)
You're not butting in I'm just about to go to uni and study Psychology so recapping my old stuff is helpful to me too. I'll happily post everything I have, although there are different unit options so I only have work for my units. At A2 I did: Depression, Relationships, Gender, Aggression and Anomalistic Psychology.

Sorry to be a pain but could you just let me know what units you need? I have some typed notes/essays for all of the above but there's a lot of gaps. The missing notes are in paper booklets that my tutor gave our class. I'm fine with typing them out (it's what I did for the previous posts) and I've got them to hand. It's just that I move to uni the day after tomorrow so it'll take me a while to type everything and I'd rather get started on what you need now, rather than type out units you aren't doing. I hope that makes sense, kind of rambled a bit >.<

Im doing gender and depression, if you wouldnt mind posting them to me too! id be very grateful. thank you for the work so far, helping loads

xx
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TenTen-da
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(Original post by RachelGod)
Wow are you sure? thats really nice, don't rush i don't need them urgently just soonish. We're doing depression, gender and aggression thankyou so much!!!!
(Original post by alannat)
Im doing gender and depression, if you wouldnt mind posting them to me too! id be very grateful. thank you for the work so far, helping loads

xx
Oh geez, sorry guys I didn't see the replies. I don't mind at all. I am in the middle of freshers right now though so things are a bit hectic. I'll start with depression as soon as I can - that's kinda linked to my first semester so it'll be a reminder to me too
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Thankyou!! That's great, have fun!!
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(Original post by TenTen-da)
The influence of Childhood Experiences on Adult Relationships
Spoiler:
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The Effect of Childhood Experiences on Adult Relationships

It is suggested that childhood experiences do a lot to shape our adult lives, in particular the relationships we have with others as children is often claimed to directly relate to the relationships we form as adults. There are several theories that relate to this topic; Bowlby’s Attachment Theory suggests that it is the type and quality of the relationships we have with our caregivers that define our adult romantic relationships. In contrast, a number of other theories and studies look at the effect of childhood friendships and peer relationships on adult relationships.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory suggests that early relationships with our caregivers provide a basis for future relationships; this idea is termed the continuity hypothesis. Bowlby argued that the attachment system we learn as young children become an internal working model for what we believe relationships are like. An attachment style consists of two attitudes, one towards yourself and one towards others. The attitude towards yourself is termed self-esteem; the attitude towards others is called interpersonal trust.

Our earliest interactions with our caregivers develop our attachment styles. There are three attachment styles: Type A, Type B and Type C. Type A is an avoidant attachment, this occurs when the parent or caregiver is distant and shows that they do not want to have intimacy with the child. The child wants to be close to their caregiver but learns they are likely to be rejected. Type B is a secure attachment, this occurs when the caregivers are responsive to the infant’s needs; these infants are trusting and don’t fear abandonment. Type C is a resistant attachment, this occurs when caregivers are inconsistent in their affection. Infants are anxious because they don’t known how the caregiver will respond. If our caregiver leads us to believe we are highly valued, dependable and reliable then we are likely to develop a high self-esteem and trust other people. This is a secure attachment style; the absence of these beliefs may lead to an insecure attachment style.

A study termed ‘The Love Quiz’ supports this theory; in this study they linked attachment styles to relationship types using a questionnaire printed in an American newspaper. Secure types rated love-experiences as happy and trusting and their relationships tended to be more enduring. Resistant types perceived love as involving obsession, extreme highs and lows, jealousy and extreme attraction. Avoidant people generally seemed to have a fear of intimacy and believed they didn’t need love to be happy.

Support has also been given for consistency of attachment; adults were assessed aged 1 and again aged 21. The study found that there were high levels of stability, 72% of adults received the same classification on adult assessments as they did in the Strange Situation study. However, other research contradicts this; another study found that stability between the ages of 1 and 18 was only 42%. However, it has been suggested that adult assessments vary between types of tests and this could account for the differences in stability between the groups.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory can be criticized for being reductionist because it implies that early attachment type is the sole cause of later relationships. However, it is likely that other factors also play a role. For example, it is suggested that our relationship style depends on the partner; one person may make us feel secure, another may make us more anxious. The theory also suggests that it is nurture - in other words, the behaviour of the caregiver towards the infant - that determines their relationship style. However, others believe that our relationship style is dependent on nature and that we are born with an innate temperament which determines how we will form relationships. If we are skilled at forming relationships then we will form good early attachments and other relationships later in life. The theory also shows beta gender bias as it ignores gender differences that are likely to exist. Research has shown that boys and girls are affected by insecure attachments in different ways. Boys are likely to adopt avoidant strategies; girls begin anxious/ambivalent strategies.

In terms of ethics, these types of theories and studies are socially sensitive as they suggest that the caregiver is the cause for the child’s future relationship. Some claim that blame is placed with the mother, in particular, for relationship problems which the child may experience in adulthood. In addition, if the parents are perceived to be directly responsible for their children’s relationship styles in adult life, other factors that may have an effect are ignored. Peer relationships are an example of a different early-life relationship that also has a considerable impact on the relationship styles of adults later in life.

Later in childhood, friends and relationships with peers become central to a child’s emotional and social growth and provide children with important information during a time of rapid development. Peer relationships are a means of developing life-long social skills, are a source of emotional support and provide information on rules and values. Interactions give a template for acceptable behaviour which is used in later life when socialising with other adults. Close friends make children feel accepted and understood by another person, an important characteristic in future, romantic relationships. Friendships are also important when learning about one’s self, your values, morals and ability to satisfy others.

In support of the importance of peer relationships, a study found that the quality of friendships around the age of 11 has a direct effect on the age of the child when they have their first romantic relationship. Children who have more intimate friendships in this period form romantic relationships earlier than those who didn’t experience such friendships. Research on children with chronic illnesses also supports this theory. A study looked at childhood cancer survivors who experienced prolonged hospital visits and, as a result, missed out on early peer socialisation. They found that the survivors experienced fewer relationships and a greater level of distress during relationship breakdowns than a control group, though there was no difference in satisfaction within the relationships. This study supports other research findings which suggest lower rates in marriage and cohabitation as well as having their first romantic relationship at a later age.

Other research has found a link between bullying and adult relationship styles. Children who were identified as bullies were more likely to report using physical aggression on a romantic partner in adult life. Volunteers from university psychology classes found that those who reported being teased during childhood were less comfortable with intimacy and trusting others. They also experienced a greater degree of worry about being abandoned or unloved in romantic relationships.

Research in the area of relationships is generally beta culturally biased as it ignores cultural differences. Most research is ethnocentric as it is based in Western cultures and findings may not generalise to other cultures. In collectivist cultures, for example, the family includes extended family members and is of utmost importance, playing a greater role in life than other relationships such as friendships. Research is also beta gender biased as it ignores gender differences in the effect of peer relationships on adult life and the formation of romantic relationships. For example, there is evidence that girls are more likely to become withdrawn when subjected to bullying, whereas boys tend to become more aggressive. The theory is also reductionist as it focuses on just one factor when looking at complex adult relationships. It is likely that a combination of adult and peer relationships, biological temperament and childhood experiences can all influence a child’s development. Research here is correlational and, therefore, there is an issue of bi-directional ambiguity as we can’t infer cause and effect.

Overall, there is considerable evidence that in the first few years of life the type of relationship we have and how we interact with our caregivers is of crucial importance in shaping our adult relationship styles. However, it is likely that these a posteriori experiences interact with our innate temperaments and personalities to determine the type of relationships we form in adulthood. In addition, later in life and particularly during our school years research suggests that peer relationships are as important if not more important than caregiver relationships. Other childhood experiences such as bullying and being removed from a social setting through hospital stays also appear to have an impact. In conclusion, it seems probable that it is the interaction of a number of childhood experiences including caregiver and peer relationships with later adult experiences that shape how we form and the quality of relationships we have as adults.


**SEPARATE PIECE JUST NOTES ON PEER RELATIONSHIPS**
Peer Relationships
AO1
- As the child grows into an adolescent, the effect of peers and friends become more significant. Friendships with peers become central to healthy emotional development. These relationships provide children with important information about the world during a time of rapid development.
- They are a means of developing life-long social skills. Peers can be a source of emotional support and provide information about rules and values, e.g. what is/is not acceptable social behaviour.
- The experience of confiding in a close friend creates feelings of acceptance and being understood by another person which is important in future romantic relationships.
- Friendships are also important for learning about themselves, e.g. their own values.
AO2
- In support of the importance of peer relationships, Gembeck found the quality of friendships at around 11yrs has a direct effect on the age of the first romantic relationship. Children who have more intimate friendships in middle school form romantic relationships earlier than those with less intimate peer relationships.
- Further support comes from studies of children with chronic illnesses requiring hospital stays with consequences of missing out on peer relationships. Thompson found that survivors of childhood cancer reported fewer relationships and a sense of greater distress when relationships break down than control participants even though there was no difference in satisfaction in the relationships. Similar studies show lower rates of marriage and cohabitation as well as an older age at the first romantic relationship and marriage.
- Other supporting evidence shows the effect of negative peer relationships. Children who were identified as being bullies during childhood were later more likely to use physical aggression in romantic relationships. Another study found that those who were teased or bullied were less comfortable with intimacy and closeness, they also felt less comfortable in trusting and depending on others. In addition, they experiences a greater degree of worry and being unloved or abandoned in romantic relationships.
- However, a criticism of research in this area is that it’s beta culturally biased as it ignores differences in cultures which may impact on the importance of peer relationships on adult relationships. Almost all research focuses on the Western world, i.e. it’s ethnocentric, and thus may not reflect relationships in other cultures. In collectivist societies, the family (including extended family members) is of utmost importance and is likely to play the larger role.
- Research is criticised for showing beta gender bias and ignoring differences in gender responses to peer relationships. For example, bullying affects boys and girls differently - boys become more aggressive and girls become withdrawn.
- This research can also be criticised for being reductionist as it focuses on just one factor, adolescent peer relationships, when investigating complex adult relationships. It is likely that a combination of family and peer relationships, biological temperament and life events like parental divorce impact upon the child’s later adult relationships.
- Finally, the research is correlational and we cannot assume there is a causal link.


The Influence of Adolescent Experiences on Adult Relationships
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Theories on the Influence of Teenage Experiences on Adult Relationships

Parent
AO1
- Although traditional beliefs and theory says that adolescence is a time of turmoil and conflict between parents and children, modern psychologist reject this idea. Instead, believing that, even with the strain during adolescence, bonds between parents and their offspring are not as weak as previously thought.
- Adolescence can be seen as a time when teenagers reshape their internal working models of relationships, formed earlier in their childhood, into new models which will affect adult life.
- This time has been seen as a period of readjustment where a re-negotiation of roles occurs between parent and child to allow teenagers greater independence.
- Relationships with parents become more equal and reciprocal. Parental authority comes to be seen as open to discussion and negotiation.
- Relationships may act as a ‘training ground’ for relationships later in life. Parent-child relationships, in particular, appear to have an influence on conflict resolution tactics in adulthood.
AO2
- Support comes from a longitudinal study which found a link between the quality of adolescent family relationships and adult romantic relationships. Adolescents who experienced less conflict with parents tended to show interpersonal behaviours which enhanced the quality of their adult relationships, e.g. a greater use of discussion in conflict resolution.
- Another study found that individuals with a history of hostile parent-child interactions during early adolescence were more like to experience violent romantic relationships in adulthood.
- A strong, positive correlation was found between parent-child boundary violations at age 13 and aggressive behaviour at age 21 and 23. Boundary violations, or overly familiar behaviour, include three situations. Purification - caring for the parent; parentification - where the teenager sets limits and displays nurturance as a parent would; and peer role diffusion where both parent and child act as adolescents would.
- However, violence isn’t just because of these situations but also due to complex interactions and a range of adolescent experiences, including those of families, peers and siblings.
- Support comes from a longitudinal study in Germany which looked at teenagers at age 14, 15, 17 and 20. They found a correlation between parent relationships between 14-17 and the quality of romantic relationships at age 20. Closeness and trust with parents were directly related to positive aspects of romantic relationships.
- The theory and research shows beta gender bias because it ignores important gender differences.
- However, some supporting studies took into account gender differences, one found that boys who had a better relationship with their parents had higher self esteem. For girls, closer relationships led to fewer sexual partners. Both of these caused romantic relationships that were of a higher quality.
- The theory focuses on nurture and ignores nature, suggesting biology doesn’t play a role in romantic relationship styles. However, the temperament hypothesis suggests that we have an innate temperament which determines how we well will form relationships. If we are good at it, we will form good early attachments and have high quality adult relationships later in life.


Peer Relationships
AO1
- In adolescence, interactions with peers become more frequent and the peer group assumes vital importance.
- Kirchler says adolescents who do not develop peer relationships and remain close to their families may have trouble establishing their autonomy and forming adult relationships. Peers do not necessarily replace parents, rather coexists with them and allows adolescents to move between the two contexts.
- It has been suggested that relationship skills are learned in the ‘best friend’ relationship in adolescence. Romantic relationships correspond more close to this relationship than to those with parents.
- According to the ‘cycle of violence’ hypothesis, those who witness violence as a teenager will perpetrate violence in adult relationships, however this research underestimates the role of teenage peers in the use of aggression in later relationships.
AO2
- A supporting study looked at the psychological importance of best friends and [arents during adolescence in a longitudinal study of over 1000 toung adults aged 12-23. They found commitment to a best friend I a predictor of commitment to a partner six years later.
- Research supports the link between peer relationships and later aggression. Connolly et al found that middle school children identified as bullies were more likely to report using physical aggression in a later romantic relationship.
- However, other research shows peer relationships can moderate the effects of family violence experienced during childhood. One study followed participants from birth to 23yrs old and found individuals with higher quality friendships at age 16 reported lower levels of both initiating and suffering violence in subsequent relationships at age 21.
- The research is criticised for focusing on the role of nurture whereas adult relationships are more likely to be influenced by an interaction of nature and nurture. For example, there are biological influences on relationship aggression. The diathesis-stress model is a better explanation of aggression; the individual is predisposed genetically to be aggressive but this characteristic won’t be expressed without environmental triggers.
- Research is also beta culturally biased as it ignores cultural differences. Almost all research focuses on relationships in the west and is ethnocentric, therefore it may not reflect relationships in other societies. In collectivist societies, the family (including extended family) is of utmost importance and is likely to play the larger role in future relationships. The collectivist family relationships are also more stable, affecting future development.
- The discussed research can also lead to a deterministic view of a child’s development whereby they are a passive receiver of the environment around them. Many argue that this underplays the active role the child has in their future relationship choices.
- In conclusion, there is much evidence that positive parental and peer relationships are correlated with healthy romantic relationships but correlation is not causation. Additionally, most of the research in this area relies on self report measures and accurate recollection of childhood memories which can be criticised as being retrospective.
This is so helpful!! Thanks


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Sorry for the massive delay, but here's depression, again in parts due to length.

Note: I should say that these bullet points are summaries of notes given to me during my own course which I made as revision. They may not include every detail of the specification, in some cases (e.g. the brief mention of the drug seroxat) they are a prompt for me to remember videos etc. watched in class or, in the example of seroxat, the case study. If there is anything you don't understand or a specific essay that is missing notes I'll check and see if I have anything extra that isn't here. Sorry, if this causes problems, I just can't be sure I have everything because depression is a very big unit.

The Nature of Depression
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The Nature of Depression
Symptoms of Depression
To be diagnosed, sufferers must have either or both of these:
- Extreme sadness/depressed mood
- Social withdrawal/loss of interest in activities
And then either 3 or 4 of the following:
- Disturbed sleep
- Disturbed appetite
- Disturbed activity level
- Loss of energy
- Negative self-concept
- Difficulty making decisions
- Suicide attempts/recurrent thoughts of death
Symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks.


Diagnosis of Depression
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Diagnosis of Depression
Reliability
Inter-rater reliability
The same case is presented to many clinicians who assess the extent to which they agree with one another.
Test-retest reliability
The same case is tested on two different occasions to see if it attains the same results.
Validity
Construct validity
The extent to which accurate statements and predications can be made about a category once it has been formed.
Predictive validity
The extent to which the classification system can predict the course of the condition and effective treatments.
The Relationship between Reliability and Validity
A classification can be reliable and not valid but it can’t be valid if it is unreliable.
Cross-Cultural Validity
- A large study found that in many cultures depression is linked with a sad mood, loss of enjoyment, anxiety, tension, lack of energy, loss of interest and an inability to concentrate.
- Early reports claimed there was no depression in Africa and regions of Asia but one study found rates of depression rose with Westernisation of former colony countries.
- In non-Western cultures people experienced the same loss of appetite, insomnia, loss of enjoyment, fatigue etc. but don’t experience guilt in the way that Westerners do.
- In China depression often manifests as a physical symptom e.g. headaches and back pain
- In 1965, one study showed middle-class physicians were bad at diagnosing depression in their black patients but were quick to diagnose schizophrenia because of the behaviour they didn’t understand.
- Members of ethnic minorities were less likely to seek treatment for depression.
- One study found South Asian immigrants were more likely to explain depression as a social problem with reference to self-help treatments. European Americans cited biological explanations including a hormonal imbalance and neurological problems.
Depression and Gender
- Women are 40% more likely than men to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital
- Women are 2-3 times more likely to become clinically depressed
- 1/10 women experience post-natal depression, however, when compared to a group of non-pregnant, same-age women depression rates are similar.
- Women are more likely to become depressed because: girls have a greater risk of sexual abuse, there is learned helplessness in the female gender role, added stress from working/motherhood, it has also been suggested that depression may be a woman’s coping strategy.


Biological Explanation of Depression - Genetic
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The Genetic approach to Depression
This theory argues that depression is a genetic condition inherited from our parents through our DNA.
Evidence from family studies
- 1st relatives of depressives were 2-3 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression than the 1st relatives of non-depressives
- Incidences of depression in 1st relatives was between 7 and 30%
Criticisms of family studies
It is difficult to separate out the effects of genes and environments as family members normally share both.
Evidence from twin studies
- 200 twin pairs, 46% MZ concordance and 20% DZ
- Review of twin studies, 40% MZ and 11% DZ concordance.
- When other conditions, e.g. anxiety disorders were included concordance rates were much higher, it may be that the predisposition for the condition is inherited and environmental triggers determine the actual condition which develops.
Criticisms of twin studies
- MZ concordance is never 100% meaning it can’t be purely genetic
- Twins also share the same environment so it’s hard to separate the two
- MZ twins may be treated more similarly than DZ twins because they are identical, may be mixed up, dressed the same etc.
- Sample sizes are normally small
- Twins aren’t typical of the population so findings may not generalise.
Evidence from adoption studies
- Biological relatives of depressives were 8 times more likely than adopted relatives to be diagnosed
Criticisms of adoption studies
- This is the best way to separate genes and environment, however, we don’t know how early the adoption took place and what effect it had on the child’s development.
Summary of genetic explanation
- Strong evidence that genes play a role in susceptibility but it is unlikely they are the sole cause; it may be that the diathesis-stress model is the better explanation. For example, one study looked at twins and found that women who were the co-twin of a depressive were more likely to become depressed. However, twins who were exposed to negative life events as well as being genetically at risk of depression had the greatest rates.
- Genetic explanations are deterministic.
- May place blame on the parents for the child’s condition.
Evolutionary explanation – rank theory
- The universal nature of depression supports the evolutionary perspective
- Rank theory says that in the EEA losing a fight would lead to a loss of rank, bringing on depressive symptoms such as social withdrawal and loss of energy
- Social withdrawal meant there was time for our wounds to heal, preventing our death if we were to get into another fight whilst injured
- Therefore depression may be adaptive
In modern society depression is triggered by other losses rather than a loss of rank, e.g. bereavement


Biological Explanation of Depression - Biochemical/Permissive Amine Theory
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The Biochemical approach to Depression
The permissive amine theory
- The level of noradrenalin is controlled by the level of serotonin. When serotonin levels are low the levels of noradrenalin are permitted to fluctuate.
- Dopamine is also involved.
- Noradrenalin, serotonin and dopamine are all neurotransmitters of the monoamine group. They act at the synapses between neurons in the brain and may either facilitate or block nervous transmission.
- Serotonin levels may be low because of inherited individual differences and it is these low levels which mean there is inadequate control of the other two neurotransmitters.
- The fluctuating neurotransmitter levels may lead to mood swings.
Support for the permissive amine theory
- One study found that compounds produced by a by-product of the action of enzymes on noradrenalin and serotonin were present in smaller amounts in the urine of depressives, suggesting they have lower levels of noradrenalin and serotonin.
- Another study found the main product of the breakdown of serotonin was much lower in the cerebrospinal fluid of depressives.
- A study looked at the effect of a diet low in tryptophan (needed to make serotonin,) in depressives it made symptoms worse, in non-depressives it led to an increase in depressed moods.
- Recent developments in PET scanning have found impaired serotonergic transmission in depressives.

Criticisms of this support
- A confounding factor is that by-products found in urine are affected by motor activity. Depressives are often less active so this could be the cause.
- Issue of bidirectional ambiguity, whether the high/low levels of serotonin/noradrenalin cause the depression or if the depression affected the levels of neurotransmitters
- Post mortems of depressives fail to show abnormalities of noradrenalin levels.
Support from drug studies
- Reserpine is a drug for high blood pressure and is known to reduce noradrenalin levels. When given it has the side effects of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts.
- MAOIs block monoamine oxidase that deactivates monoamines; this raises serotonin and noradrenalin levels. These drugs are effective at treating depression.
- SSRIs only affect serotonin reuptake and are more effective, suggesting serotonin is more important.
Criticisms of support from drug studies
- Drugs affect neurotransmitter levels almost immediately but take 7-14 days to affect symptoms.
- Although drugs affect neurotransmitters levels almost immediately the levels return to normal after a few days, it is after this point that they have an effect.
- Treatment-aetiology fallacy, drug studies don’t provide direct evidence, we can’t assume the treatment’s success indicates the cause, e.g. aspirins relive headaches but the cause of the headaches wasn’t the lack of aspirin.
- Drug treatments are only about 65% effective but affect neurotransmitters in everyone; this suggests a more complex link between neurotransmitters and depression.
Summary of the permissive amine theory
- There is evidence that the 3 neurotransmitters are involved but their interaction and the exact mechanisms aren’t known. It is too simplistic to say it is just because serotonin levels are low. The neurotransmitters are also involved in other conditions e.g. dopamine – schizophrenia.
- There’s evidence that thought patterns change neurotransmitter levels, not the other way around. One study compared the effect of drug and interpersonal therapies on neurotransmitter levels. They found similar changes in serotonin levels in patients in either treatment. This demonstrates the complex bi-directional nature of the relationship between brain biochemistry and behaviour.
There are positive implications for treatments; drug therapies have improved the lives of many.
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Psychological Explanation of Depression - Beck's Cognitive Model
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The Cognitive approach to Depression
Beck’s Cognitive Model of Abnormality
The cognitive model believes that psychological disorders are caused by irrational thoughts, attitudes and expectations. Irrational thinking can take many forms, Beck called these cognitive errors, for example:
- Overgeneralisation: a person arrives at a sweeping conclusion based on a single trivial event.
- Magnification of difficulties and minimisation of successes.
- Black and white thinking: everything is polarised, a slight waiver from perfection means failure.
The cognitive approach is an information processing approach which likens the mind to a computer; information is put into our ‘system,’ stored, manipulated and later retrieved. According to this model, disorders occur when the input-output sequence is disturbed in some way.
Beck’s Cognitive Triad
Depression is caused by negative thinking and catastrophising which Beck called cognitive errors. Beck said that there are three components to depression called the cognitive triad.
- Negative view of self
- Negative view of world
- Negative view of future
The three components interact and interfere with normal cognitive processes leading to problems with perception, memory and problem solving; the person also becomes obsessed with negative thoughts. These thoughts lead to symptoms of depression which then reinforces negative thoughts. These thoughts aren’t the result of conscious intention but are automatic.
Negative self-schemas
Those who are prone to depression may acquire a negative self-schema, possibly in childhood because of an event such as bereavement, divorce or criticism. This is a set of beliefs and expectations about ourselves that is negative. New information is interpreted in the light of these negative self-schemas, once we have a negative self-schema it is hard to see information about ourselves in a positive way.
Humans also tend to adopt a confirmation bias where they seek to confirm our believes, this leads to us only remembering things that fit in with our schemas and even distorting information that doesn’t. So if we have a negative self-schema we only remember information consistent with these negative self-beliefs.
Cognitive distortions
People with negative self-schemas are prone to making logical errors in their thinking, they tend to focus on certain aspects of a situation and ignore other equally relevant information. The distortions include:
- Overgeneralisation: a person arrives at a sweeping conclusion based on a single trivial event.
- Magnification of difficulties and minimisation of successes.
- Black and white thinking: everything is polarised, a slight waiver from perfection means failure.
- Selective abstraction: arrive at a conclusion based on only one of several factors.
- Arbitrary inference: arrives at a conclusion about themselves based on insufficient or irrelevant evidence.
- Personalisation: attributing the negative feelings of others to yourself
Support for Beck’s cognitive approach
- Positive applications: has given rise to treatments such as CBT
- One way of testing this is to look at depression in those with cognitive vulnerability. One study looked at 65 pregnant women in the third trimester and found those with high levels of cognitive vulnerability were more likely to suffer post-natal depression.
- Another study looked at the results of a stroop test done by those with MDD and non-depressives who’ve had a sad mood introduced by playing sad music and recalling unhappy memories. The MDD group focused more on the unhappy stimuli than the sad-mood group, this demonstrates negative attentional bias.
Criticisms of Beck’s cognitive approach
- Correlational data means we can’t determine cause and effect
- Some research has suggested that negative thinking isn’t specific to depression but may occur in anxiety disorders as well
- People without depression may also show cognitive disorders
- Depressive realism
- Reductionist, ignores biology and focuses on cognitions
- Focuses too much on the individual and not on the events in the environment which may have an influence


Psychological Explanation of Depression - The Behaviourist Approach
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The Behaviourist Approach to Depression
Learned Helplessness
This theory is based on the study of dogs in which they were exposed to electric shocks. The dogs were placed in a partitioned cage where half was electrified and half wasn’t with a small barrier in between. The dogs were shocked and they jumped the barrier to escape, then they were restrained and shocked, finally the restraints were removed and they were shocked again but this time they didn’t try to escape.
Similar results were found in humans; one study gave participants impossible problems to solve and then a set of solvable problems. Participants failed to solve the second set of problems because they didn’t try; they said that they felt the task was beyond their abilities.
This theory suggests that similar processes occur in depression, it occurs when people decide they have no control over the stress in their lives. The depressive attributional style is:
- Internal: depressives feel personally responsible for failures
- Stable: they feel their failures will persist into the future
- Global: their failures will influence most situations in the future
Criticisms of the learned helplessness approach
- It is too simplistic
- Issue of bi-directional ambiguity, does the learned helplessness cause the depression or vice versa?
- Most research has been done on animals and humans are likely to have a much larger cognitive component.


Psychological Explanation of Depression - Psychodynamic (Freudian) Approach
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Psychodynamic approach to Depression
Freud argues that depression occurs in response to the loss of a relationship. The individual identifies with the lost person so that repressed anger towards the lose person is directed towards the self. This inner-anger reduces the person’s self-esteem and makes them vulnerable to depression.
Freud distinguishes between actual losses, e.g. of a parent, and symbolic losses e.g. of a job. Both can produce depression by causing the individual to re-experience childhood episodes in which they experienced a loss of affection from a significant person e.g. a parent.

Support the psychodynamic approach to depression
- In a mixed group of 300 psychiatric patients, 27% of those who were highly depressed had lost a parent before the age of 16, a similar loss had occurred for only 12%.
- Rhesus monkeys were separated from their mothers and both quickly showed signs of depression.
- One study looked at 250 women who had lost their mothers before the age of 17; they found that the risk of anxiety and depression is doubled. This was particularly high amongst those who lost their mothers before the age of 6.
Criticise the psychodynamic approach to depression
- 29/32 depressed women in one study had experienced a severe event. However, in a study of both depressives and non-depressives 78% had experienced a severe life event and had not become depressed.
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Biological Treatment of Depression - The Use of Drugs
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Drug Therapies
MAOIs
MAOIs block the enzyme monoamine oxidase which deactivates monoamines; this raises the levels of serotonin and noradrenalin and decreases symptoms of depression.
SSRIs
SSRIs block the enzyme involved in the uptake of serotonin; this means that serotonin pools in the synaptic cleft. SSRIs only act on serotonin and are more effective than MAOIs suggesting serotonin is more important.
Evaluation of MAOIs
- In drug trials they were 65-75% effective compared to 33% on placebos.
- When combined with certain foods and drinks they cause cerebral haemorrhaging.
- Side effects include hypertension, convulsions, weight gain, hallucinations and mania.
Evaluation of SSRIs
- Prozac is the most prescribed antidepressant due to the claim that people didn’t become dependent.
- However, a review comparing SSRIs, other treatments and placebos found that those on SSRIs were twice as likely to attempt suicide.
- Side effects include nausea, anxiety, insomnia, diarrhoea and sexual dysfunction (up to 70% of men.)
Evaluation of drugs
- Not effective with children
- Don’t have an immediate effect
- Aren’t a long term cure
- Allow many people to live normal lives
- Taking pills is normal so other treatments may seem strange, scary and threatening to patients.
- There are a lot of side effects so the benefits may not outweigh these costs.
- May lift severely depressed patients’ moods enough for them to undergo other treatments.
- Patients may feel the treatment is being treated not them individually.
- Removes control from the patient and gives it to the doctor
Evaluation of drug studies
- Publication bias
- Hello-goodbye effect
- Placebo effect
- Issues with drug companies, e.g. GlaxoSmithKline and Seroxat


Biological Treatment of Depression - Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
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Electroconvulsive Therapy
When first used
- Bilateral
- No muscle relaxants
- Patient was awake
- Side effects: bone fractures, physical damage, confusion and memory loss
- Used as a form of punishment and control
Now
- Unilateral
- 70-130 volts
- Muscle relaxants
- Patient is asleep
- Side effects: memory loss is still a problem
- Used as a last resort treatment for major depression
- 2-3 times a week for 1-4 weeks
Evaluate ECT
- Unsure how it works
- Successful in severe cases
- Quick form of treatment
- 60-70% effective according to some studies though relapse rate is high
- A review found 30% of ECT patients in the past 2 years said ECT led to permanent fear and anxiety.
- Issue of consent, in a study looking at 700 sectioned patients 59% said they hadn’t consented.


Psychological Treatment of Depression - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
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Note: Treatments based on the cognitive explanation of depression often contain behavioural elements and are known as CBT. There are specific types, one is explained below. The study that refers to RET/CBT used RET and another type of CBT.
Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy
This is based on the view that problems are caused by irrational thinking. Individuals develop self-defeating beliefs about themselves and the world around them. It’s based on cognitive restructuring and aims to develop a dispute system to challenge these beliefs.
ABC model
- A is the activating event e.g. I don’t receive any invitations
- B is the belief resulting from the event, e.g. nobody likes me
- C is the consequence, e.g. I feel upset, I’m going to ignore everyone
Irrational beliefs can make people transform life’s ordinary disappointments into catastrophes; this is called awfulising or catastrophising.
Disputing
- Logical, is the belief logical?
- Empirical, is the belief accurate?
- Pragmatic, is the belief useful?
Disputing changes irrational beliefs into rational ones and the individual can move from catastrophising to making more rational interpretations of events.
This is an active therapy because the therapist is active and directive, the patient also has homework to do.
Support REBT
- Ellis claimed a 90% success rate for REBT taking an average of 27 sessions.
- In a meta-analysis REBT was ranked 2nd out of 10.
- One study used 327 teenagers and assigned them to either just Prozac, just CBT or both, after 12 weeks effectiveness was 62% for Prozac, 48% for CBT and 73% for both. After 36 weeks effectiveness was 81% for Prozac and CBT singularly and 86% for the combined treatment. For suicidal thoughts, rates were 30% before the study; afterwards rates were 15% for drug therapies and 6% for CBT.
- It works for both clinical and non-clinical groups.
- Gives control to the patient
- Quick treatment
- Cost effective because it’s a short treatment
- Provides strategies for self-help
Criticise REBT
- Focuses on symptoms not causes
- REBT is regarded as one of the more aggressive CBTs and is judgemental about people’s thoughts.


Psychological Treatment of Depression - Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT)
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Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy
This is based on a conversational model in which problems are caused by interpersonal difficulties within relationships that can only be resolved within another relationship. The treatment is based on a therapeutic conversation between the patient and therapist. The goal is to develop a mutual feeling language and a feeling of aloneness togetherness.
Components of PIT
- Exploratory rationale, interpersonal difficulties are identified and linked to current emotions.
- Shared Understanding, the therapist tries to understand the patients feelings. This is done through using statements instead of questions, a language of mutuality with first person terms ‘we’ and ‘I’ instead of you and a negotiating style of speaking.
- Staying with feelings, an attempt is made to recreate feelings within a therapeutic environment.
- Focusing on difficult feelings, comments are made about inappropriate or surprising feelings.
- Gaining insight: the therapist points out patterns in relationships.
- Sequencing of interventions, stages are repeated in different orders.
- Change, the therapist acknowledges and encourages change made in therapy.

Evaluate PIT
- 62 patients received a 52 week course of PIT, 34% of patients experienced an improvement measured on the BDI scale
- It was found that PIT was as effective as CBT but that PIT had a higher relapse rate
- PIT is one of the few psychodynamic treatments that has been proved effective in clinical trials.
- It is easier for the therapist to learn.
- It is quicker than other treatments, effective in 12 weeks
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Next up is aggression but I don't seem to have any existing typed notes so I'll have to type up the booklet my teacher gave me. Please bear with me as this may take a while.
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Ok thats fine. I'm struggling with childhood experiences on adult relationships and culture topics and wondered if you had any other notes on it? Thankyou
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    Health and clinical practice + health professions + hospitality, tourism and events + journalism + sport and exercise Postgraduate
    Tue, 26 Feb '19

Do you have a food intolerance or allergy?

Yes - a food intolerance (88)
14.52%
Yes - a food allergy (63)
10.4%
Yes - an autoimmune disorder (i.e coeliac, colitis) (15)
2.48%
Yes - I have an intolerance and allergy (16)
2.64%
No (424)
69.97%

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