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Individual differences/abnormality.

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Psychology AS Level Individual Differences/Abnormality We define behaviour as abnormal if it falls into one of the following categories: Behaviour that is statistically infrequent Behaviour that deviates from social norms Behaviour, which prevents an individual from functioning adequately Behaviour that deviates from ideal mental health Statistical Infrequency If behaviour is frequent it is normal, if it is infrequent then it is abnormal Some behaviour is measured on a quantitative scale e.g. how much anxiety someone experiences This is the same for some physical characteristics e.g. height This definition depends on comparing an individual's behaviour to that of the average person Evaluation Many behaviours are statistically rare but still desirable and healthy e.g. music and maths talent There are behaviours that are not rare but not desirable either e.g. killing Jews in Nazi Germany This equated conformists with normality yet non-conformists are valuable to society There is no point where behaviour goes from normal to abnormal Because of these points many people use this in conjunction with other criteria Deviation from Social Norms Society set rules and anyone who violates them is classified as abnormal This is not universal because these rules vary from culture to culture Evaluation This view assumes that if behaviour is socially acceptable than it is normal, Nazi Germany was socially acceptable but not normal All societies are different, society changes and there are different sub groups in society, which means different behaviour is seen as normal here, but abnormal there This implies that a psychotherapist must make people comply to social norms rather than treat them to improve well being Deviation from Ideal Mental Health Maslow and Rodgers suggested that the goal was self-actualisation, to realise your full potential People who have unconditional positive regard early in life are confident and reach it People who have conditional regard feel unworthy, experience problems functioning and so have abnormal behaviour Evaluation Criteria based of a few ideas which means most people are abnormal Different cultures have different standards of what is ...read more.


determined and it can be controlled but it lacks ecological validity Field experiments - in natural settings, they have ecological validity but lack control Natural experiments - cannot separate cause and effect Case-studies of brain-damaged patients - HM suffered from epilepsy so surgeons removed the hippocampus from both sides of his brain His personality and intellect remained the same but he memory was affected. His memory prior to the operation was reasonable but not as good as usual. He had all his pervious skills but could not register new experiences; he had no short-term memory. This shows the hippocampus holds the STM Principles of Memory William James described three basic principles of memory: Memory involves association, the more things we can associate with a fact the more likely we are to remember it Memories are simpler than actual experience, we recall only the most significant things such as an evening out with friends or a row with work colleagues We remember things that are meaningful, we remember things that are important but forget those that are insignificant such as the exact details on a coin which we have seen thousands of times The Information Processing View of Memory All models view memory as a means of processing information We carry out sort of processing as we store, organise and reconstruct the information we receive This occurs in three stages: encoding, storage and retrieval Encoding - converting information that we receive into something that we can represent mentally Storage - involves holding information over a period of time in preparation for when it is needed Retrieval - involves recovering stored information This is very much like information is stored on a computer Ways of Measuring Memory There are three main ways in which psychologists have traditionally measured memory performance Free recall - participants are simply asked how much they can remember from a list of 20 words Recognition - participants are asked which items they recognise in an array containing items they have previously been ...read more.


where as the hypothesis tells us what the study is designed to test Hypothesis is known as the experimental/alternative hypothesis The null hypothesis states that the independent variable will have no effect on the dependent variable The key reasons for a null hypothesis are because the null is much more precise than the hypothesis because you can never prove something, it can only be disproved Most experimental hypothesis predict that a given independent variable will have some specific effect on a given dependent variable Non-Experimental Research It is useful to have a hypothesis but these will not identify a potential causal relationship A one-tailed or directional hypothesis predicts the nature of the effect of the I.V. on the D.V. A two-tailed or non-directional hypothesis predicts that the I.V. will have an effect one the D.V. but the direction of the effect is not specified Research Designs If we compare two groups with respect to a given I.V. it is essential to make sure that the two groups do not differ in any other important way There are three main types of experimental design: Independent design: each participant is selected for only one group Matched participants design: each participant is selected for only one group but the participants are matched for relevant factors Repeated measures: each participant appears in both groups so that there are exactly the same participants in each group Independent design - done by random allocation Matched participants design - we make use of information about the participants ability levels, we use this information to make sure that the two groups were matched in terms of range of ability Repeated measures design - every participants are in both groups The main problem with this is order effects, either learning or fatigue Counterbalancing - it is the best way of preventing order effects from disrupting finding, using two groups One group receives the experimental treatment while the other receives nothing, this is the control group The other group is called the experimental group ...read more.

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