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GCSE: Psychology

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 12
  • Peer Reviewed essays 38
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will evaluate and explain the Social Learning Theory (SLT), which explains aggressiveness from a behaviourism point of view. The opposite point of view is the biological point of view; they believe that aggressiveness stems from genetic ma

    5 star(s)

    This could be a type of imitation. As boxing is seen as a mainly male sport it can only be generalised to American Males, also due to the study being a correlation we can't determine cause and affect. One of the strengths of SLT is that it can explain aggression in absence of direct reinforcement and can also explain individual differences and context dependant learning. It is possible to assume in Bandura's study, the children were aware what was expected of them, (demand characteristics).

    • Word count: 4593
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Freud's' psychodynamic approach attempts to explain what drives or motivates personality development

    5 star(s)

    It is possible to control our awareness to a certain extent. The subconscious level consists of content that is out of direct reach of the conscious mind. The subconscious thinks and acts independently. One of Freud's key findings was that much behaviour is driven directly from the subconscious mind. This has the alarming consequence that we are largely unable to control our behaviour. Freud also went on to describe the human personality as being structured into three parts, the Id, Ego and Superego. He explained that an individual's feelings, thoughts, and behaviours are the result of the interaction of the id, the superego, and the ego.

    • Word count: 677
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and evaluate Bowlby's theory of attachment.. 10 marks

    4 star(s)

    an example of this is when the child is in any social situation, it will only smile and make contact with the person it has this intense bond with. Secondly the ‘Critical Period’ this is when babies have to form the attachment with their caregiver during a critical period, this is between birth and 2 ½ years old. Bowlby said that if this didn’t happen the child would be damaged for life socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically, an example of the child not being able to bond is neglect, if the child is constantly left alone or palmed off on

    • Word count: 733
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Health and social care - Physical, intellectual and emotional need.

    4 star(s)

    We all have our own interests and like different things and so as individuals we think differently. To make the best use of all our abilities we need to intellect to set our goals and targets. By doing this we help to develop our self-esteem. When we communicate with others our intellectual needs are being met. Taking part in activities that stimulate the brain to solve a problem we feel a sense of achievement. Emotional need - How do we feel about ourselves and others? How we feel is linked to our emotions. Sometimes we feel happy because we have achieved a goal, such as being successful in an examination or at sport.

    • Word count: 757
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Freud and Behaviourist's Theories

    4 star(s)

    The next section is the pre-conscious mind. This is our store of readily available memories. Memories of which we are aware and know that we are aware, but are not consciously thinking about at the current time. These memories can be recalled easily and are often recalled for everyday use. The final section is our unconscious mind. This is our store of long term memories or memories that cannot be recalled so easily. We may not even be aware of all the memories within this section because they are stored so deeply within the section but these memories can be triggered unknowingly as a result of sensory stimulation.

    • Word count: 2052
  6. Peer reviewed

    Loftus and Palmer

    5 star(s)

    It is entirely their choice and they must not be forced into completing the experiment. The participants' reason to withdraw may vary from personal family emergency to objecting to what the experiment is testing. For example: There is an experiment conducted which is taking place. Jane has decided to volunteer for it. This experiment is testing the effect that caffeine has on the brain. Halfway through the experiment Jane feels drowsy and asks to leave. Jane reserves the "right to withdraw" and is therefore allowed to leave.

    • Word count: 459
  7. Peer reviewed

    How do individual differences influence stress levels?

    5 star(s)

    After eight years they found that twice as many participants diagnosed as Type A died of cardiovascular trouble than those diagnosed as Type B (personalities lacking in the traits characteristic of Type A). It was also found that Type As are more likely to smoke and had higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, all of which are causes of cardiovascular problems. This does show a correlation between this type of personality and stress related death, but not a definite cause and effect.

    • Word count: 569
  8. Peer reviewed

    Outline and evaluate Bowlbys theory of attachment

    5 star(s)

    Anything after these months, Bowlby would suggest, becomes increasing difficult to form a strong attachment. The 'sensitive period' is seen as one of the strengths of Bowlbys evolutionary theory. This is from a conclusion of research carried out by Hodges and Tizard who found that children which had not formed any attachments had later difficulties with peers.

    • Word count: 505
  9. Peer reviewed

    Determinism in the biological perspective

    5 star(s)

    Theorists in the biological perspective assume that some behaviour may be innate, or biologically determined. This is illustrated through a study conducted by Lorenz, on how ducklings imprint. The results showed that the ducklings imprinted on the first moving object, after coming out of their shells. Moving objects included a moving ball and Lorenz himself! This study suggests that their behaviour may be biologically pre-determined.

    • Word count: 518
  10. Peer reviewed

    Learning Theory of attachment

    5 star(s)

    Classical conditioning, developed by Ivan Pavlov, suggests that there is always an innate reflex to an external stimulus. Pavlov studied classical conditioning in dogs by carrying out an experiment where a bell was sounded in the presence of dogs just before food was presented. This was done so that the dogs would associate the sound of the bell with the presentation of food. After this had been carried out several times, the dogs began to salivate in response to the bell alone, suggesting that classical conditioning had taken place. This theory can be applied to humans as the person providing the food for a baby or infant becomes associated with food in the same way that Pavlov's dogs associated the sound of the bell with food.

    • Word count: 541
  11. Peer reviewed

    Cultural bias in psychological theories

    5 star(s)

    Such theories only reflect characteristics of individualist socieites whereby members are concerned with their own success (therefore their profit and loss in relationships). Conversely, collectivist societies strive towards the success of the group as a whole, thus profit and loss and equity in relationships are less important. In social psychology many theories eg those by walster and thiabut and kelly are criticized for only being relevant to indivualist cultures. The US is often cited as an example of an individualist society, whilst Japan is often cited as a collectivist society.

    • Word count: 686
  12. Peer reviewed

    Discuss issues with biological therapies

    5 star(s)

    Antidepressant drugs are classified as stimulants, and were also introduced in the 1950s. As well treating depression, they have been used in the treatment of panic disorder, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and eating disorders. These drugs include monoamine oxidase inhibitor, tricyclics, tetracyclic such as Prozac and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Again, there are side-effects to using the drugs. MAIO's require adherence to a special diet. Amine rich food must be avoided and continuing eating these foods causes cerebrum haemorrhage. Both MAIO's and tryclics are associated with the heart block, dry mouth, blurred vision and urinary retention.

    • Word count: 1384
  13. Peer reviewed

    Describe and Evaluate features of one approach to Psychopathology

    5 star(s)

    These can manifest as panic attacks, hysterical behaviour, phobias, compulsive or obsessive behaviour. Repressing memories does not mean to make the issues go away; it means to bottle up any bad memories from the persons past and try to forget them. The memories continue to haunt and affect normal day to day behaviour, which becomes neurotic behaviour. According to Freud many of the repressed memories began in childhood and remain in frozen unconscious. Sigmund Freud believed that much of our behaviour is motivated by our unconscious desires.

    • Word count: 482
  14. Peer reviewed

    Is Beauty the Key to a Better Life?

    5 star(s)

    For centuries, beauty has been equated with having positive qualities. Beautiful people are perceived as having elegant homes, expensive cars, and successful lives. They are also expected to be healthy, wealthy, ad wise (Van Leeuwen & Macrae, 2004). They are also perceived as being more skilled, dominant, healthy, warm, and intelligent than unattractive people. The stereotype of beauty also includes an individual having poise, humor, kindness, strength, happiness, excitement, and/or sophistication. Attractive persons are viewed as being more competent than unattractive persons. They are also viewed as being more socially desirable and more likely to have a successful relationship (Farley, Chia, & Allred, 1998).

    • Word count: 965
  15. Peer reviewed

    Freud claimed to have discovered 'scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied.' What according to Freud, is the unconscious, what was its role within the human mind, and how did he set about studying it? What was scientific about his metho

    5 star(s)

    The superego represented our conscience and counteracted the id with a primitive and unconscious sense of morality. This primitive morality is to be distinguished from an ethical sense, which is an egoist property, since ethics requires eligibility for deliberation on matters of fairness or justice. The superego, Freud stated, is the moral agent that links both our conscious and unconscious minds. The superego stands in opposition to the desires of the id. The superego is itself part of the unconscious mind; it is the internalisation of the worldview and norms that a child absorbs from parents and peers.

    • Word count: 1928
  16. Peer reviewed

    The psychoanalytic approach to psychology is based on the system of psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud (1859 - 1939). Freud was interested in studies of the unconscious mind and mental illness

    5 star(s)

    According to Freud, everything we do, why we do things, who we are and how we became like this are all related to our s****l drive. Childhood s****l experiences will determine our personality in adult life. Freud outlined 5 stages of s****l development. In each stage the libido, the energy from the love instinct, Eros, fixates on different parts of the body, focusing on s****l pleasure on that specific part. Differences in the way s****l pleasure is obtained in each stage will lead to differences in adult personalities.

    • Word count: 1024
  17. Peer reviewed

    Freud's theory of psycho-s****l development

    5 star(s)

    According to Freud's psychoanalytic model, the five phases of expressions of the s****l drive are the oral, a**l, phallic, latency and genital stages; the erogenous zones in focus are therefore the mouth, a**s, genital, nothing, and genital respectively. Throughout the first two stages of oral and s******c-a**l which take place in the first 3 years of a child's life, boys and girls receive gratification in the exactly the same way - through the mouth by nursing and eating and other related oral activities, and anally by the movement, and withholding of movement of bowels.

    • Word count: 3754
  18. Peer reviewed

    The Psychodynamic Perspective.

    5 star(s)

    It was referred to by Freud as, 'a cauldron of seething excitations' (cited in Hill 2001, pg 73). The EGO works on the reality principle. It aims to fulfil the ID's desires whilst keeping them in line with what is possible in the real world. The SUPEREGO pressures the EGO to keep the ID in line with moral ideology. It sets ideals and consists of the conscience, which makes us feel things such as pride and guilt. To enable the EGO to deal with the demands of the ID and SUPEREGO, it uses a number of defence mechanisms.

    • Word count: 844
  19. Peer reviewed

    GCSE Psychology - What is right and what is wrong?

    4 star(s)

    Each of the four approaches use different methods to input the values needed for moral development. The Behaviourist Approach is based on the idea of classical and operant conditioning that focuses on the idea that behaviour associated with a pleasant experience will be repeated whilst behaviour associated with an unpleasant experience will be avoided. Parents therefore reward the morally good behaviours and punish the morally bad behaviours. This approach is simply based on reinforcements. The Social Learning Approach is related to the social learning theory, the idea that we tend to copy and imitate the behaviour of others, 'role models'.

    • Word count: 854
  20. Peer reviewed

    Behaviorism essay

    4 star(s)

    Dogs learned to response - open door - food coming --salivate in process. Pavlov called that Classical Conditioning. Classical conditioning is built in reflexes: the food is an un-conditioning stimulus and salivation is un-conditioning response. The sound of the open door is called neutral stimulus. After a number of repetitions the neutral stimulus by itself would extract the response. At this point the neutral stimulus is renamed to conditioned stimulus and the response is called conditioned response. Similar to Pavlov, other psychologist also outlined that learning is important in the Behaviorism - JB Watson. According to him, Psychology is science of stimuli and responses.

    • Word count: 791
  21. Peer reviewed

    What is Free Will?

    4 star(s)

    This work was further supported by Watson's study on Little Albert which showed that humans could be conditioned to fear a previously 'un-scary' object which as a white rat. This study showed that Albert did not have free will, he was conditioned by the environment to fear the rat i.e. His behaviour was determined by the environment. However, often researchers such as Minoke found that it is easier to condition a fear in animals of snakes rather than flowers or guns...

    • Word count: 668
  22. Peer reviewed

    In developmental psychology there are 3 major debates that is common in childcare, these are; the Nature/ Nurture debate, the Continuity/ Discontinuity debate and the Nomothetic/ Ideographic debate.

    4 star(s)

    This was proved in his experiment with the dogs and the bell. Nurture is also described as society influence, and some even believe that children are a blank slate in which information is written on for the children to understand. An example of this debate put into place is the case study of Oxana M. She was a child brought up by dogs; therefore all her actions were dog like. This would agree with the nurture side of the argument, because it was who the child was with from an early age and the environment around her that caused this.

    • Word count: 811
  23. Peer reviewed

    Evaluating Piaget and Vygotsky

    4 star(s)

    The second stage is the pre-operational stage. This is from two to seven years. This is where the child can now use symbols, but their concepts are general. It lacks logic. (daddies car) The third stage is the concrete operational stage. This is from seven to 11 years. This is where the child can now use logical and mental rules, but only in the context of concrete rather than abstract information. (mary,susan and anne) The fourth stage is the formal operational stage. This is 11 years then onwards. It is where abstract and systematic thoughts become possible.

    • Word count: 582
  24. Peer reviewed


    4 star(s)

    Risk factors in stress-related illnesses are a combination of personal, impersonal and social factors. These can include a loss of control over an individual's personal environment, and a severe lack, or loss of social support network. Those who depend on another human being, be it because they are a child, elderly or disabled, are at a higher risk of developing stress-related illnesses. There are numerous approaches to stress. The first approach is the Biological Approach. With the biological approach people see stress as something biologically wrong. Stress is experienced as anxiety. People with anxiety disorders are often prescribed tranquilisers.

    • Word count: 2041
  25. Peer reviewed

    Findings of the Obedience Studies

    4 star(s)

    An impressive study which shows the power that people can have over our behaviour was carried out by Milgram (1963). He set up an experiment in which volunteer research participants were required to give increasingly painful electric shocks to another person, as part of a study which they thought was about learning. The participants were aware of the danger involved and that it could prove fatal. They could hear the other person in the room next-door, who they had seen being strapped to the chair, giving out loud cries of pain, and then suddenly becoming silent, as if they had just died.

    • Word count: 1788

GCSE Psychology is the study of the human mind, the brain and human behaviour. It covers questions such as how do our brains develop, how do we react to certain situations, why humans behave the way they do. You'll study a broad curriculum of psychological theory and research and get to look at some truly fascinating case studies and examples.

You may cover perception, memory, attachments, abnormal behaviour and criminality amongst many other fascinating topics and subjects. One of the best things about the subject is that you don't have to travel very far to observe what you're studying! There is a grounding in experimentation and in the importance of ethics in the way that such experiments are carried out.

Assessment is generally completed by end of course examinations and you'll find plenty of examples of Psychology GCSE assignments on Marked by Teachers. Studying these will give you a valuable insight into how essays in the subject and planned and written.


Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Critically evaluate one of thetheoretical approaches used to describe pattern/object recognition.

    "In conclusion, although feature comparison models do a satisfactory job in explaining how we analyse images for features and match them with images stored in memory, they do not explain how features are combined and recognised thereafter as actual objects in the environment. Although supported by both behavioural and neurological evidence, feature models are limited as they do not account for top-down processes, and at best address only part of the process of pattern/object recognition. 1,085 words."

  • Outline and evaluate one theory of personality development based on the psychodynamic approach

    "Freud believed every child should go through the Oedipus Complex he believed it was a universal phenomenon and other criticism is that it is cultural bias. For example the Malinowski's study of Trobriand islanders the boys were disciplined by their uncles instead of their dad. It was the uncle's role to guide the boy through childhood. However the father remained the mothers lover. Malinowski found was that a Trobiand Island boy his relationship with his father was very good, free of the love- hate ambivalence, which is central to Freud's Oedipus theory. It backs up the behavioural view as he has learned his feelings through his environment by comparison the relationship with the uncle was not usually so good. Segal (1990) suggests that more societies need to be examined including both western and avuncular. His theory has low ecological validity. Freud's theory is not widely accepted anymore. It is hard to give a precise definition of personality. As time changes personality changes over time or does it?"

  • Critically evaluate the psychodynamic approach.

    "To conclude, I think that Freud's psychodynamic approach does make sense, although it may be explained in other ways, and does explain a lot about a person's personality and habits and why they have these certain traits. Even though Freud was known as being a bit too over the top and eccentric with his ideas and theories, they do make great sense and are of great use to finding out about a certain person's personality and why they are like the way they are. It can be useful in further research."

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