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Describe what each study tells us about how behaviour is learned or inherited.

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Describe what each study tells us about how behaviour is learned or inherited. Milgram's study tells us that our behaviour is strongly influenced by people in Authority. It shows that even if people don't want to act in a certain way, they do because they are simply obeying orders. Milgram's results for his experiment were shocking and showed that people were prepared to carry out horrific actions if they were instructed by people in authority. The study implies that behaviour is learned because our decision to act in a certain way would be influenced by external factors. Deregowski's study investigates how different cultures perceive pictures differently. From his study Deregowski concluded that that the majority of people in western countries are 3D perceivers and the majority of people in LEDC's are 2D perceivers. This suggests that some culture perceive things differently because of the surroundings they have been brought up in. For example if a black baby from one of the tribes in South Africa was brought to England, at the age of 2 months and raised here, the child will grow up to be a 3D perceiver. ...read more.


Gardner and Gardner put Washoe into a different environment to what Washoe is used to and to an extent treated Washoe like a human e.g. Washoe had to brush her teeth every day. She was taught different signs and was encouraged to use sign language using various different methods. Washoe couldn't use ASL before the experiment began but after 4 years, Washoe could use 132 signs. This is a good example of how anything can be taught how to do a certain thing (if they have the physical and mental apparatus to do so) if they are put in the correct environment. This study proves the Nurture debate correct. Comment on the problems Psychologists have when they investigate whether behaviour is learned or inherited. For years psychologists have debated and tried to find out how our individual behaviour is gained- are we born with it or do we gain it through experience? Many psychologists have tried to find ways in which they can measure if our behaviour is learnt or inherited but these psychologists have encountered problems while doing so. One problem that psychologists have when investigating whether behaviour is learned or inherited is actually finding a task that can be given to all of the different participants. ...read more.


We could put one into an environment where a very minimal amount of behaviour is learnt from experience. For example we could put the twin into an empty room with no contact with the outside world and hardly any human contact (somewhat like a prison). The other twin can lead a normal life by going to school, interacting with other people etc. We can then observe the two twins in later life and if their behaviour is very similar or the same, it proves that behaviour is inherited. If the twin who lived in the outside world is more developed that the twin who was shut away from the world, it would prove that our behaviour is gained through experience. This is the only ideal way to investigate whether behaviour is learned or inherited but is this method ethical? Gardner & Gardner wanted to see whether a chimpanzee could communicate in American Sign Language and the only way they could investigate their aim was to treat a chimpanzee like a human and take it out of its natural habitat. They proved that a chimpanzee could communicate in ASL but the experiment was criticised by many people who thought it was unethical. ...read more.

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