aqa as psychology b

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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
hey guys, long story short I'm failing psychology to the point where I'm working at a u grade. I find it impossible to do well in it to the point where I'm doing better in biology which i took on a whim. please send any tips you have
TSR Jessica
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Report 7 years ago
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you’ve posted in the right place? Posting in the specific Study Help forum should help get responses.

I'm going to quote in Puddles the Monkey now so she can move your thread to the right place if it's needed. :yy:

(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
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Report 7 years ago
(Original post by Eda2)
hey guys, long story short I'm failing psychology to the point where I'm working at a u grade. I find it impossible to do well in it to the point where I'm doing better in biology which i took on a whim. please send any tips you have
I've moved this to the Pysch forum
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Report 7 years ago
ive done some notes on social influence because im retaking.
are you doing perception or memory?

Social Influence
Social influence is about how people influence and change other people's attitudes and behaviours.
Social facilitation is when a performance is improved in the presence of an audience
Social inhibition is when a performance is hindered in the presence of an audience
Dominant responses are the behaviours we are most likely to perform when our fight or flight response is triggered. They are facilitated by the presence of others.
Arousal theory (Zajonc)
This theory states that arousal acts as a drive that brings our dominant response due to the unease felt in the presence of others
An easy tasks brings out the correct dominant response which is because of the decreased arousal. However difficult task bring out the incorrect dominant response which results in social inhibition because of the increased arousal.
STUDY: Michaels
Michaels conducted a study to investigate the effects of arousal on performance. He did this by splitting his research in two. In the first half, he observed a group of 12 students playing pools and divided them into above average and below average players. In the second half of his research, both groups of players were observed playing pool in front of an audience of 4 people and then again alone. He found that above average players potted 80% when watched and 71% when not observed. Below average potted 25% when observed and 36% when not observed. He concluded that the dominant response of the above average players was social facilitation and for the below average players it was social inhibition.
CRITICISM: Repeated measures could have caused players to guess the aim and carry out demand characteristics
X Doesn't take into account cognitive factors, for example being scared of the way you will be perceived
Evaluation-Apprehension Theory
This theory states that increased arousal is not innate it is learnt. This is because people associate there since of others with evaluations of their performance. Difficult increase arousal and result in social inhibition. Easy tasks also produce arousal but result in social facilitation
STUDY: Henchy and Glass
Henchy and Glass conducted a study to investigate the effects of performances when watched by an audience. They did this by creating 4 conditions in which participants only participated in one. These conditions were:
-with 2 experts
-with 2 non-experts
-alone but filmed for experts to evaluate later
They found that in the “alone” and “with 2 non-experts” condition, social facilitation was common. In the “with 2 experts” and “alone but filmed for experts to evaluate later” conditions, social inhibition was common. They concluded that concerns about evaluation is necessary to produce a dominant response
CRITICISM: doesn't explain social facilitation in animals.
Distraction-Conflict Theory
This theory states that increased arousal is due to the conflict between performing the task and the audience. Difficult increase arousal and result in social inhibition.
Easy tasks also produce arousal but result in social facilitation
STUDY: Saunders
Saunders conducted a study to test the effect of distraction conflict on the performance of a task. He did this by presenting participants with either a simple or difficult task to perform in the presence of others(co-actors) either performing the same of a different task. He found that participants who performed the tasks with co-actors performing the same task, performed at a higher level on the simple task but made more mistakes in the complex task
Yerkes-Dodson Law
Conformity is a type of social influence in which individuals change their attitudes, beliefs or behaviour in order to adhere to existing social norms
Studies into conformity
STUDY: Sherif
Sherif created the autokinetic effect as a way to measure conformity. This involved putting participants in a dark room and projecting a small light and asking them to guess how much the line moved. Their answers were then taken down privately. He put them into groups of 3 and manipulated the composition of the group by putting together 2 people with similar answers and 1 person’s who's was very different. They then did the test again and had to say their results out loud. He found that after numerous estimates, the person with the outlier estimate conformed to the other two. He concluded the deviant in the group conformed to the majority view
CRITICISM: lacks ecological validity as it is an ambiguous task.
Asch conducted a study to investigate the influence of an incorrect majority view on a individual exposed to this view. He did this by putting participants in a room which 7 confederates. They were made to make a judgement as to which comparison line matched the target line. The confederates said aloud their response before the participant was made to give their response last. In some trials, confederate deliberately gave the wrong answers to see if the participant would conform to the unanimous but wrong majority view. He found that 22% of participants gave the correct answer of all 12 occasions. 78% gave at least one incorrect response. 5% gave the incorrect answer on every occasion. He concluded that People will conform to the majority view even when it's obvious that it is incorrect.
CRITICISM: the students didn't know each other so there is greater social pressure to conform
Types of conformity
Internalisation: when an individual accepts the view of the majority group and believe it to be correct.
Compliance: when an individual conforms to the view of the majority group but doesn't believe it to be correct
Explanations for conformity
NORMATIVE social influence- when people conform to maintain the harmony in the group and avoid rejection of the group or to gain approval e.g. Within a friendship group
INFORMATIONAL social influence- when people conform because they have no prior information on the goings on in the group e.g. A new employee at work
Factors affecting conformity
Asch conducted a series of variation on his target line study to find the factors that affect conformity.
In one variation 6 out of the 7 confederates gave the wrong answer whereas as the 7th confederate gave a different wrong answer- conformity levels dropped around 10%
In another variation, one confederate always gave the right answer- conformity dropped by around 10%
He also found that group size had an effect on conformity. As the group size increases, a larger majority results in higher levels of conformity. Conversely small groups of 2-3 people where one only 1-2 confederates gave the wrong answer, conformity fell to below 10%
Crutchfield’s study into factors that affect conformity shows that people with low self-esteem, low intelligence, high levels of anxiety and a high need for social approval are more likely to conform
Obedience is positive and negative. The positivity can be seen when people obey the law and authority figures such as the police when instructions are sensible and reasonable. It's negativity can be seen in history e.g. With the Nazis
STUDY: Milgram
Milgram conducted a series of highly controversial studies to investigate obedience to authority. He did this by recruiting participants who were volunteers from a local newspaper ad. They were told that they were taking part in a study into learning. They were given roles as either a teacher or a learner. However for every participant they had a confederate learner. The participant was introduced to a shock machine where they were told that if the learner gave the wrong answer to the questions they were to ask, they should administer a voltage that increased from 15-450 volts (which is lethal) with every wrong answer. He found that 63% of participants continued to deliver electric shock up to the very maximum
ü A very important and influential study into social influence
X Ethically and methodologically flawed e.g. Deception
ü He did debrief participants and informed them of the real purpose of the experiment. 80% of them said they were happy they participated in the experiment.
Factors that affect obedience
Variations of Milgram's where conducted to discover the factors that affect whether obedience decreases or increases. These include
Ø PROMIXITY: Obedience fell as participants could see the direct affects of their actions. Also if the authority figure is further away e.g. orders given over the phone, they cannot legitimise his authority and also have more freedom to think for themselves
Ø PRESENCE OF AN ALLY: Obedience fell as there is a diffusion of responsibility and therefore less guilt e.g. with two teachers
Ø LEGITIMACY OF THE AUTHORITY/ORDER: Obedience fell as the authority figure doesn't loo look like they're in the position to give legitimate orders e.g. the experimenter wasn't wearing a lab coat
Explanations of obedience
Kelman and Hamilton suggested 3 main situational explanations obedience:
· LEGITIMACY OF THE AUTHORITY AND ORDER: For example the prime minister or the army have a high degree of legitimacy, compared to someone who gives an order but doesn't look like they are in the position to do so. In Milgram’s study, experimenters wore a white coats which made them look like scientists, so obedience levels were higher. Also for example if the prime minister was to give the order that no one should eat meat because he was vegetarian, it is unlikely to be viewed as a legitimate order. In Milgram’s study, participant are asked to continue in the name of science when they stopped. Obedience was high because they believed in the legitimacy of science
· DENIAL OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (AGENTIC STATE): This is when people allow others to direct their action and they pass off the responsibility for the consequences to the person giving the orders. In other words they act as agent's for another person's will. For example, soldiers working in Guantanamo Bay may say that they obeyed as they were following the order of the their authority.
· SOCIAL NORMS: Sometimes we do things because social norms dictate that it is the right thing to do. For example queuing to pay at a supermarket
There is also dispositional explanation for obedience which is AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITIES. Those with authoritarian personalities respects authority without question. People with authoritarian personalities are more likely to be brought up strict parents. They are hostile to people who have a lower status than themselves and crave power. These people are usually religious.
Hofling conducted to investigate the obedience of nurses when given orders. He did this is a natural observation by phoning 22 participant nurses at the hospital on separate occasions. During this call, he pretended to be a fake doctors and instructed the nurses to administer 20mg of a drug called Astrofen (fake drug). He told them that he was in a hurry and would sign the authorisation form and see the patient later. By doing this the nurses would be breaking 3 hospital rules:
1. they are not allowed to take instructions over the phone
2. the maximum dose on the bottle was 10mg
3. the medicine was unauthorised (not on the ward stock list)
He found that 21 out of 22 nurses carried out the orders. When other nurses were asked what they would do in that situation 21 out of 22 nurses said they wouldn't comply. (This also shows how agentic state works) He concluded that people are willing to obey authority figures that defy normal protocol if the orders and the authority seems legitimate.
X Study took place in the USA- finding may not apply to all cultures
X Study is dated- took place in the 1960s so it may not be relevant to modern doctor-nurse relationships
X Unethical- no informed consent and deception.
ü The procedure was standardised- can be replicated

ü A control group was used to make comparisons

ü Has application- changes were made in nursing training e.g. greater responsibility

ü High ecological validity- it was a natural experiment

Defiance of authority

Factors that affect defiance of authority

Ø Proximity- the further away the authority, the more the chances of defiance
Ø Presence Of An Ally- defiance increases when a fellow deviant is present
Ø Legitimacy Of The Authority/Order- defiance increases when the order and/or the authority doesn't seem right or in a position of power.

Issues in Studying Social Influence

There are ethical as well as methodological issues when it comes to researching social influence

Ethical issues
In both Asch's and Milgram's experiments, participants were deceived for the reasons of the experiment. Milgram told participants they were taking part in a study on learning and Asch told participants the experiment was on perception. They were only informed about the true purpose of the study afterwards. The BPSCEC states that deception should only be used in exceptional circumstances to preserve the integrity of the research
Informed Consent
Due to the deception, participant were also not given informed consent in both studies as they would know the true aim of the studies and might perform demand characteristics. The BPSCEC states that if informed consent has not been obtained, research should be limited to observation in public places.
Harm to participants
It is very evident that Milgram's experiment provided psychological harm to participants as they thought they were guilty for the pain of others which could have been long-lasting. In Asch's study there could have also been harm as participants could have suffered from low self-esteem which could have made them unsure about their judgements
Withdrawal from the study
With Milgram's experiments, participants were told they could not leave the experiment. This could have been necessary as they may have chose to leave early and there wouldn't be enough data to come up with a conclusion
Methodological issues
Ecological validity-- Critics say that Asch's and Milgram's study lacked ecological validity and this makes it hard to generalise findings. However most lab experiments suffer from this issue.
Demand characteristics-- In both studies, participants were not told the true purpose to avoid them performing this
Participants--Milgram recruited participants from a newspaper article for a study on learning. if he told the true aim he would have got a different selection of people. This means it is not representative as it based on who is available.

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