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University Degree: Psychometrics

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  1. Describe a study which investigates either conformity or obedience This essay is going to talk about a study on The Stanford Prison Experiment on Conformity by Zimbardo

    After conferring with the British Psychological Society he began to set up his experiment. (www.zimbardo.com) Participants were picked by maturity, intelligence, on their physical and mental health history and also their criminal history. The twenty-four participants selected were given consent forms to sign and a contract (with legal advice) stating they would receive a daily payment of fifteen Dollars for various tasks and work activities within the prison. Zimbardo split participants into two groups; half prisoners who were given rules they had to comply with or they'd be punished.

    • Word count: 573
  2. What role do workplace stressors play in our everyday lives?

    This causes great stress, as it is an ambient stressor, meaning it is always present in the mind of the individual. However we usually adapt and learn to live with them. Another ambient stressor is role ambiguity; this is when different the different roles and responsibilities of individual staff are not made clear. For example, if one worker presumes they have to do more work than another worker, it could lead to a work overload, this can lead the individual to suffer from stress and experience a 'burnout' which is when physical and emotional exhaustion are accompanied by feelings of low self worth.

    • Word count: 1526
  3. sociology influence.Outline the procedures used in social influence research, and discuss whether the use of these procedures

    This is because the participants could have said "no one likes me" or "everybody all ways lies to me". Some more procedures that Milgram did, was he misled his participants into believing they were randomly allocated to the role of the teacher or learner on the basis of the toss of a coin. Which was rigged as the participants always was the teacher, the participants then watched the learner being strapped to a chair in a adjoining room, the task for the learner was to (confederate)

    • Word count: 1097
  4. obedience to authority.In 1963, Milgram submitted the results of his Milgram experiments in the article 'Behavioural study

    There is also the implication that the person receiving the order is made to respond in a way he or she would not otherwise have done without the order. Situational factor: is anything in the environment, including the behaviour of other people. Dispositional factor: is an enduring aspect of an individual's behaviour - his or her disposition or personality. A study which has investigated obedience to authority is Milgram 1963. It makes sense to be obedience in some situations; obedience is a healthy and necessary social behaviour.

    • Word count: 871
  5. Personality and Stress

    This behaviour pattern is characterised by constant time-pressure, doing several tasks at once, being intensely competitive in work and social situations, and being easily hostile to others. This has been known as the Type A personality. Type B, on the opposite, is the relaxed and carefree personality. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between Type A personality and CHD. Over 3000 men aged between 39 and 59 took part in the study. They were assessed over eight and a half years.

    • Word count: 846
  6. Psychology experiment I am investigating Chunking and the effect it has on the Short Term Memory

    My research is an adaptation of a study by Miller and Selfridge, in their study they gave participants sentences of varying lengths, where I've used grouped and ungrouped letters instead of sentences. * Aim My aim is to find out whether chunking can help improve recall in the STM. * Hypothesis(es) Experimental Hypothesis - In a memory test, participants will recall more letters that have been presented in meaningful chunks, compared to letters not presented in chunks. Null Hypothesis - There will be no significant difference in the number of letters recalled by participants who have learnt letters in chunks and those who have not.

    • Word count: 933
  7. This report outlines the aims and procedures of a study conducted into the effectiveness of focus groups as a social research method. As social research students we were to observe a focus group selected by the lecturer

    This exercise examines the value of focus groups as a tool for social researchers and considers their potential and their limitations. The aim was to find out if focus groups are an effective social research method. The aim of the participants were different to those of the researchers, the participants had to focus on their questions and contribute towards discussing the topic issues, while the researchers or observants were to carefully examine the focus group and it's effectiveness in social research.

    • Word count: 2199
  8. Determine whether facial expression is asymmetrical which might indicate that is it processed in one particular hemisphere of the brain.

    These two terms relate closely to the research study. There has been an endless amount of research conducted on facial expression on different sides of the face. Over the years, interest has been shown towards the different aspects of functional asymmetries in the human brain. It has been suggested that emotional processes are controlled asymmetrically by the right and left brain hemispheres. Research done into emotion based on neurological factors has also used facial expressions of emotion to help the understanding of asymmetrical dominance in emotional processes.

    • Word count: 1475
  9. In an attempt to solve both these problems two experiments will be conducted, one in a field setting and one a laboratory to find out if ecological validity, i.e. the high emotional state that witnesses are in, has an effect on recall

    Unfortunately, this showed that the possibility of the results occurring through chance was significantly greater than 5% (the critical value was 23 and ours was 38.5), and so the null hypothesis had to be accepted i.e. that ecological validity has no significant effect on recall. However, this may have been due to the size and selection of the sample used, the variety of questions asked, the fact that participants may have been able to confer or a number of other factors and therefore if the experiment was repeated, it is very possible a more significant result may be obtained.

    • Word count: 3579
  10. Does the paranormal exist because we believe or do we believe because it exists?

    My view is that the field of parapsychology is still in its earliest stages and obviously with the abstract nature of the expression of the paranormal it has been very difficult to scrutinize in a laboratory. Hence I will review the most successful study (Ganzfeld, 1970) that has indicated the presence of psi phenomenon and has not received complete dismissal from the critics. Also in contrast highlight the uncertainty of the public, the role of the media, the educational system and our cultures philosophies.

    • Word count: 2373
  11. The study carried out is based on the theories of schema. It focuses on the recent Asian tsunami.

    Overall, reading time per sentence was substantially longer when reading without a schema than with one. The amount of extra time needed to read a sentence when no schema was available was the same at all points in the story. Participants recalled more for those who had the heading and therefore this shows that they used schema for washing clothes for recall. Recalling 'The War of the Ghosts' was done by British social psychologist, Sir Frederic Bartlett. He asked readers of the story to try to rewrite it, recalling it as accurately as possible. They read it through twice and recalled it after delays varying from 15 minutes after study to several years later.

    • Word count: 3912
  12. Conformity on Social Deviancy Using Crossing Methods.

    None of us are immune to social influences and most instances to conformity are beneficial to all of us. Many scientists have researched on conformity throughout the years, Asch (1951) was the beginning of such experiments and probably the most influential was his procedure "The Asch Paradigm". Asch gave participants a simple task of matching one line with another, were one line being on a standard line and the other in a comparison line. Each participant had to state which of A, B, or C was the same length as the line on the standard line.

    • Word count: 1751
  13. Cognitive processes effecting Heart Rate: Testing Lacey's Intake-Reject Hypothesis

    Instinct tells us tells that heart rate increases when we encounter difficult situations, or does it? Lacey (1967) argued that in some cases, this was not necessarily true. He offered a theory (1967) that proposed that when solving problems in your head (for example mental arithmetic), heart rate would indeed increase (the more complex the problem the higher the heart rate). Lacey argues that the reason for this is because this type of task requires participants to concentrate on their mental operations and to reject irrelevant information coming from the surrounding environment. In contrast, the theory predicts the tasks that do require mental intake of environmental stimuli, for example when performing a visual search task (the more difficult the visual search the lower the heart rate)

    • Word count: 2240
  14. The differences in memory performance when using recall and recognition as measures of memory.

    This group will be known as group two. Hypothesis for the experiment Group two will recall more of the 25 words than group one. Null hypothesis for the experiment There will be no significant difference between the two groups. Experimental design The experimental design I have used is Independent groups design. There are two main reasons for this; firstly I only have to come up with one set of words to remember. This means that setting the experiment up is easier and faster.

    • Word count: 767
  15. Exploring the different pool of resources

    Method Design Using a between-participants design a dual task study was conducted. The independent variable was made up of 2 conditions; condition 1 was a visual task and consisted of a list of words. The participants were asked to tick the words that were the name of a colour. At the same time simple mathematical questions were asked to the participant as they worked through the tick list. Condition 2 was also a visual task comprising of a list of words and the participant was asked to tick the words that were a number.

    • Word count: 1631
  16. Optimistic Bias About Negative Future Life Events

    It is easier for people to see themselves taking these steps than others, and so it leads to unrealistic optimism. This was shown in McKenna's (1993) study, as the results showed people perceived themselves to be much less likely to be involved in a road accident when they were driving compared to being a passenger, thus indicating the importance of control, in relating to unrealistic optimism. Additionally research indicates that as a person's perceived controllability of events increases so does their unrealistic optimism (Weinstein, 1980; McKenna, 1993).

    • Word count: 1907
  17. Is psychology a science? Should it be? Do different parts of psychology need different answers to this question?

    There are several aims of science - description, prediction, understanding, and control (Malim, Birch & Wadeley, 1992). Description involves working towards an objective description, or account, of events and phenomena. Personal beliefs, values, or interests should not cloud this description. When enough information is gained about events or phenomena, predictions become possible. Predictions add support and credibility to the knowledge obtained in the description phase, which in turn allows for understanding of the cause and effect relationship. Once understanding of these factors is complete, control is possible. The first problem with psychology is that the psychological theories that underlie research in the discipline are based on beliefs.

    • Word count: 2023
  18. Describe and evaluate the main research methods employed in social sciences.

    These include the case study, observation methods, experiments, surveys or introspection. Firstly this paper will consider the case study method. This is used widely within psychology and with its highly qualitative results offers a much deeper understanding of the behaviour being studied. There are two types of case studies; either of one individual person or of a small group of people. For a case study on one individual, the person is studied intensively and in considerable depth. The full past history of the individual is also taken into account, especially by psychologists, as it is believed that a person could be adversely affected by events occurred in the past.

    • Word count: 3224
  19. "The Barnum Effect" states that individuals are likely to accept general personality descriptions, this study aims to test this theory and further the research

    Reliable and valid personality measures have been developed as a requirement to further studies into underlying personality characteristics and the variables that mediate them. One such type of personality assessment is multiple-choice or true/false judgements within tests, allowing the items to be scored objectively (Anastase & Urbina, 1997). An example of such a test would be to present a respondent with a series of statements about their personality and ask them to rate their accuracy. Early studies examining the acceptance of personality descriptions showed a tendency amongst individuals to believe generalised and ambiguous statements as being true (Forer, 1949).

    • Word count: 2278
  20. What kinds of evidence do researchers draw on when considering the

    These were extraversion-introversion and neuroticism-emotional stability, and finally the addition of psychoticism-superego. Eysenck devised a psychometric test for measuring personality, known as the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. One of the key categories in his research is the cause of extraversion-introversion, he believed that there were individual genetic differences in cortical arousal (which is controlled by the ascending reticulocortical activating system (ARAS) thought to be involved in alertness and arousal) resulting in us being either introvert or extrovert. The Limbic system is the part of the brain that organises responses and is the biological basis of the neuroticism-emotional stability side.

    • Word count: 1401
  21. An Investigation into the effect of gender or having a sibling on knowledge of developmental norms in children

    Introduction It is important to study development as without devising developmental 'norms' (i.e. a universally accepted 'normal' age for a child to be able to complete a particular task) children with developmental disorders such as autism or learning difficulties would not be diagnosed until much later on in life. Additionally it helps put parents' minds at rest knowing that they're child is progressing at the correct speed and will be able to identify the further help required if this is not the case.

    • Word count: 1935
  22. Homosexuality and Gay Dar

    As most people know, Gay is a term used to describe h********l persons. The word gay according to the dictionary originally meant: "Showing or characterized by cheerfulness and light-hearted excitement; merry". However, the words meaning quickly changed when homosexuals began using it as code. They were thought of as clinically ill and were thought only to exist as homosexuals. The word "gay" gave them a smaller word that was an adjective, not a noun. This allowed those who used it to identify people as h********l in addition to other identities.

    • Word count: 4143
  23. Ironic effects in memory: Does being told to ignore a list of words lead to better memory for such a list

    Ironic effects occur when you are deliberately trying to do something, and find yourself doing completely the opposite, e.g. staying awake when you desperately want to sleep. They also occur when you are trying not to do something, which you inevitably end up doing, e.g. worrying when trying not to. Ironic processes have been around for a long time, but an explanation for them has recently been proposed by Dan Wegner (1994). Wegner and his colleagues have identified certain conditions which appear to increase the likelihood of ironic effects occurring. Wegner (1994) has argued that when we deliberately try to do something or try not to do something, two mental processes are set in motion.

    • Word count: 2827
  24. The 'Glass Cliff': An investigation into the effect of gender and performance of company on perceived suitability for a leader

    Although studies by psychologists such as Davidson and Cooper (1992) have suggested that more women are being able to break past this, a new problem seems to have emerged: the glass cliff (Haslam and Ryan, 2005). This refers to the opinion that if women are appointed to leadership positions, these are likley to be far more risky than those men are appointed to, leading to a much higher chance of failure. This failure has been interpreted by those such as Judge (2003)

    • Word count: 2304
  25. The aim of this investigation was to investigate if 'chunking' in STM will be affected by the speed of verbal progression through a word list.

    findings, and in turn the Null Hypothesis of " Any differences in the recall score will be purely by chance and not effected by the speed of verbal progression through the word list" was rejected. Introduction Ebbingaus (1885) & Wundt (In 1860s) were two of the first psychologists to maintain STM is limited to 6 or 7 "bits" of information. Miller in his article "The magical number 7" was the most famous account on the capacity of STM as he concluded it was 7 +/- 2 chunks i.e.

    • Word count: 7943

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