IB Psych Studies

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Heston (1966)
- Whether schizophrenia has a genetic predisposition
- All participants were adopted and separated from their mothers during the first few days of life
- Half of the adoptees had mothers that had been diagnosed with schizophrenia
- 10% of the adoptees whose mothers had schizophrenia were diagnosed with schizophrenia
Rosenzweig, Bennet and Diamond (1972)
- Whether environmental factors such as a rich or an impoverished environment would affect the development of neurons in the cerebral cortex
- Rats placed in a stimulating environment experienced an increased thickness and higher weight of the cortex and developed significantly more connections in the neurons in the cerebral cortex
Bremner et al (2003)
- To measure the volume of the hippocampus based on the theory that prolonged stress may reduce the volume of the hippocampus
- MRI scans of brains of participants while they completed memory tests
- Participants were veterans and female adults who had experienced early childhood sexual abuse; some had developed PTSD but not all
- The researchers found that there were deficits in STM and then performed MRI scans of the participants' brains
- Found that hippocampus was smaller in PTSD patients than in control group
- Veterans with most memory problems had the smallest hippocampus
- Findings show a clear connection between numbers of years of abuse, memory problems, and hippocampal volume
Iacoboni (2004)
- Mirror neurons are activated in humans when watching human faces portraying different emotions
- fMRI
- The cognition was the feeling of identification with the emotion while watching the facial expression and the behaviour is the expression of empathy
Oberman et al (2005)
- If the mirror neuron system is involved in empathy then a breakdown of this neural circuitry could explain the lack of social skills in people with autism
Brefczynski-Lewis et al (2007)
- Biological factor was the brain region regarding attention and the behaviour was concentration levels
- fMRI scans
- Positive correlation between the amount of time spent on practising concentration meditation and the activity in this specific brain region
Scarr and Weinberg (1976)
- Separate genetic factors from environment when investigating intelligence by investigating transracial adoption
- Correlational study on 130 black and mixed-race children who were adopted by advantaged white families
- IQ of adopted black and mixed-race children was more closely correlated with their adoptive parents' IQ than with their biological parents' IQ
Fessler (2006)
- Investigated the nausea experienced by women during the early stages of pregnancy
- Infusion of hormones lowers the expectant mother's immune system so as not to fight the new foreign material in her womb
- The nausea helped to compensate for the suppressed immune system
- Questioned 500 pregnant women and asked them to rank how disgusting they found 32 particular scenarios
- Disgust responses were elevated during the first trimester of the pregnancy
Bartlett (1932)
- Cultural schemas could influence memory through repeated reproductions of an unfamiliar folktale
- The aim of the study was to investigate whether people's memory for a story is affected by previous knowledge and the extent to which memory is reconstructive
- British participants heard a story and had to reproduce it after a short time and then repeatedly over a period of months or years
- The story was an unfamiliar Native American legend
- The participants remembered the main idea of the story but they changed unfamiliar elements to make sense of the story by using terms more familiar to their own cultural expectations
- Remembering is an active process and are not copies of experiences but rather reconstructions
Loftus and Palmer (1974)
- Investigate whether leading questions asked of eyewitnesses after an event can change memory of that event
- 45 participants were split into 7 groups and shown 7 film clips of traffic accidents and were then asked to guess how fast the cars were going while the researcher asked leading questions using verbs like smashed, collided and bumped
- Participants tended to guess a higher speed when the researcher used the verb smashed than the verb contacted
- External information supplied or implied after the fact can change memories of an event
Milner and Scoville (1957)
- HM - longitudinal case study where he was interviewed, observed, underwent cognitive testing and had several MRI scans conducted on his brain
- Study continued post-mortem as he donated his brain to medical science
- Suffered from epileptic seizures
- Surgeons removed tissue from the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus
- HM suffered from partial retrograde (loss of memory-access to events that occurred or information that was learned before the injury) and almost complete anterograde amnesia
- How hippocampus affected memory
Oliver Sacks (2007)
- Clive Wearing was struck by a brain infection in 1985 and was left with a memory span of only seconds
- He has observed, interviewed, and had MRI scanning of his brain which showed damage to the hippocampus and some of the frontal regions
Brewer and Treyens (1981)
- Investigate whether people's memory for objects in a room is influenced by existing schemas about what to expect in an office
- 30 university students
- There were objects that conformed and did not conform to the office schema
- Participants were asked to write down everything they could remember from the room
- Most participants recalled the schematic objects and other reported things that would be expected in a typical office but not present in this one
- Many participants also recalled the skull, this very unusual object resulted in better recall than predicted by schema theory
Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968)
- Based on the assumption that memory consists of a number of separate stores and that memory processes are sequential
- Control processes (attention, coding, and rehearsal)
- Rehearsal ensures the transfer of information from short-term memory to long-term memory
Glanzer and Cunitz (1966)
- Aim was to investigate recency effect in free recall
- The participants first heard a list of items and then immediately had to recall them in any order
- The results showed that the participants recalled words from the beginning of the list and the end of the list
- If participants were given a filler task just after hearing the last words, the primary effect disappeared but the recency effect remained, due to them still being active in the short-term memory
Baddeley and Hitch
- The working memory is seen as an active store used to hold and manipulate information
- Four components: the central executive, the episodic buffer, the phonological loop, and the visuo-spatial sketchpad
- The central executive is a controlling system that monitors and coordinates the operations of the other components
- The episodic buffer is a limited-capacity temporary storage system or interface between the other systems in working memory
- The episodic buffer handles information in various modalities
- The phonological loop handles verbal and auditory information and is divided into two components: the articulatory control system and the phonological store
- The visuo-spatial sketchpad handles visual and spatial information from the sensory memory
Baddeley and Hitch (1974)
- Asked participants to answer increasingly difficult questions about simple letter combinations that were shown at the same time
- Reaction time increased as the questions became more difficult
- The participants were asked to do an articulatory suppression task while they answered the question
- The group who was asked to repeat random numbers had the worst performance, this was interpreted as overload problems for the central executive
Cole and Scribner (1974)
- Aim was to investigate social and cultural differences in memory
- Researchers observed everyday cognitive activities in Liberia
- They asked Liberian children from different age groups to recall as many items as possible from four categories: utensils, clothes, tools, and vegetables
- Unschooled children did not improve their performance on the tasks after the age of 10
- Children who attended school learned the lists just as rapidly as many children in the USA
- People learn to remember in ways that are relevant for their everyday lives
Brown and Kulik - Flashbulb memory
- Flashbulb memory suggests that memory is stronger when there is an emotional impact, if it is relevant to oneself, and has consequences on one's life
Brown and Kulik (1977)
- Aim was to investigate whether shocking events are recalled more vividly and accurately than other events
- 80 participants answered questionnaires where they were to recall the circumstances where they had learned shocking events
- FM is more likely for unexpected and personally relevant events
Maguire et al (1997)
- Investigate if the hippocampus is involved in spatial memory
- Observational study in which PET scans were given to London taxi drivers who were asked to recall complex routes around London and other landmarks they did not know
- Hippocampus was activated when asked to recall the complex routes (memory)
LeDoux (1999)
- Two biological pathways of emotions in the brain
- First is a short route that goes from the sensory thalamus to the amygdala and results in an instant emotional response (hard-wired evolutionary response)
- Second is a long route that passes via the sensory cortex and hippocampus before it results in an emotional response
- It is cognition that takes place in the sensory cortex and hippocampus and moderates the immediate emotional response
Schachter and Singer (1962)
- 184 participants were given an injection of either adrenaline or a placebo
- Participants were told it was a vitamin injection
- Group A - adrenaline ignorant
- Group B - adrenaline informed
- Group C - adrenaline misinformed
- Group D - control group, placebo
- Euphoria or anger condition, a stooge carried out tasks to annoy or amuse participants
- In both conditions, the misinformed and the ignorant participants felt the strongest emotions because they had no real explanation of why their bodies felt as they did
Neisser and Harsch (1992)
- Investigated to what extent memory would be accurate after a shocking event (Challenger disaster)
- Surveyed 106 psychology students, focusing on their lives in the moments when the event happened the day after the disaster
- Two years later, the participants filled out the survey again and conducted interviews
- The researchers found that the answers differed even though the participants thought they remembered the event and what they were doing at the time accurately
Asch (1956)
- Test conformity to the majority incorrect opinion in an unambiguous situation
- 50 male participants in a vision test
- Task was to estimate which of the three vertical lines drawn matched another line
- About 32% of the participants who were placed in a situation were the confederates gave the obvious wrong answer conformed at least once and 25% of participants never conformed
- In the control group, less than 1% of the participants gave the wrong answer
- In the interviews after, most of them said they did not really believe their conforming answers but had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed
Hofstede (2002)
- Aim was to identify cultural dimensions in businesses worldwide in order to help facilitate communication between cultures
- Large-scale survey of employees of IBM
- Identified individualism/collectivism; power distance; uncertainty avoidance; masculinity/femininity
- In 2001, long-term/short-term orientation was added
Tajfel et al (1970)
- Minimal group paradigm study that was a field experiment
- Investigate the conditions necessary for the formation of in-groups and out-groups
- Conducted in a school and the manipulated independent variable was the method by which a boy could allocate points to another of the same or different group, either to maximise joint profit between the groups, or to maximise in-group gains
- The independent variable was the decision made by each boy regarding allocation of the points
Festinger et al (1956)
- Covert participant observation to observe the behaviour of a cult in Chicago who believed the world would end by a flood on Dec 21th 1954 and that they would be rescued by flying saucers sent by God
- Investigating the operation of his theory of cognitive dissonance - the tension exhibited when one's beliefs clash with reality, and the need to resolve this by justification or denial
Zimbardo (1971)
- The situation made the participants internalize their roles in light of the situation
- The wardens abused their power and displayed aggression towards the prisoners when they thought they were not being watched
- Outside of the experiment, none of the participants were cruel, abusive of power or brutal
Ross, Amabile and Steinmetz (1977)
- Aim was to determine if participants would make the fundamental attribution error even when they knew that all actors were simply playing a role
- Participants were randomly assigned to being the game show host, responder or observer
- The responder and observers consistently rated the game show as more intelligent
Lau and Russell (1980)
- Aim was to test for the existence of self-serving bias among sport coaches, athletes, and sportswriters
- Meta-analysis of newspaper sports articles
- Players and coaches were much more likely to attribute a win to dispositional factors than were sportswriters, and slightly less likely than sportswriters to attribute a loss to dispositional factors
Cialdini et al (1976)
- Observed college football supporters to see their reactions and response to the outcome of a game that their team played in
- When a team had won a game, the supporters were more likely to wear the college football clothing than if the team had lost a football game
Cohen (1981)
- Aimed to investigate the effect of stereotypes on memory
- Participants were shown a video with a woman having dinner with her husband
- Half were told she was a waitress, other half librarian
- Results showed that participants who thought she was a waitress were more likely to remember that she drank
- Participants who thought she was a librarian were more likely to remember that she wore glasses and listened to classical music
- Remember information consistent with their stereotypes
Bandura and Ross (1961)
- Investigate if aggression can be learned through observation and imitation
- 36 boys and 36 girls between the ages of 3 and 6 from the US
- G1 - exposed to adult models who displayed aggression by beating up a Bobo doll
- G2 - observed an adult model who displayed no aggression
- G3 - control group who did not see any model
- Children who observed the aggressive model were more aggressive
- Boys were more likely to imitate physical aggression and girls were more likely to imitate verbal aggression
Charlton et al (2002)
- Investigate the effect of the introduction of television on aggression in children
- Level of aggression had not increased
Freedman and Fraser (1966)
- Researcher pretended to be a volunteer worker and asked residents in California to allow a big, ugly, public-service sign reading "Drive Carefully" in their front gardens
- 17% complied with this request
- Others were asked to display a smaller sign and almost all agreed
Two weeks later, the second group were asked to put up the ugly sign and 76% complied
Cialdini et al (1974)
- Asked a class of first-year psychology students to volunteer to be part of a cognition study that would meet at 7 am
- 24% agreed
- In a second group, they were asked the fame favour but not told a time and 56% agreed
- When they were told the time, 95% still showed up
Perrin and Spencer (1988)
- Replication of the Asch's Paradigm study except the subjects were from professional fields
- Only 1 out of the 396 trials did the subject conform to the big group
- Individuals with high self esteem and confidence are less likely to conform
Smith and Bond (1993)
- Meta-analysis of 31 conformity studies and found that conformity was lower among participants from individualist cultures such as North America and north-west Europe than from collectivist cultures such as Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America
Fodor (1974)
- Stated that when the stresses of adult life and marriage become too great, passive and helpless women become anxious and dream of becoming more independent or of being rescued and this is how they ultimately develop a phobia
Blumhagen (1980)
- Took an emic approach to the common Western ailment of hypertension by suggesting that hypertension in North Americans is a 'folk illness' or a 'culture-bound syndrome'
- Used interviews to demonstrate how people with hypertension use their illness belief system to justify otherwise unwarranted social behaviour and to assume various aspects of the sick role
Cooper et al (1972)
- Psychiatrists in London and New York were shown the same videotaped clinical interviews
- Psychiatrists in NY were twice as likely to diagnose schizophrenia than London
- London psychiatrists were twice as likely to diagnose mania
Rosenhan (1973)
- 8 participants attempted to gain access to various hospitals' psychiatric wards and claimed to be hearing voices
- All but one were admitted with schizophrenia
- Once they entered the hospital, they all stop displaying pseudo-symptoms and acted normal
- The patients left with their diagnosis and were therefore labelled
Jenkins-Hall and Sacco
- Western clinicians assessed Western-American and African-American women to see if they were depressed
- Clinicians rated the African-American woman more depressed and less socially competent than the Western-American woman
- Cultural bias exists and clinicians must take this into account
Kendler et al (1991)
- Twin research to study genetic vulnerability in bulimia nervosa
- To investigate risk factors and genetic inheritance
- Sample of 2163 female twins
- One of the twins in each pair had developed bulimia
- Concordance rate in MZ: 23%
- CR in DZ: 9%
- Indicate a 55% heritability, but leaves 45% to other factors
Fallon and Rozin (1985)
- Showed nine pictures of different body shapes to 475 US undergraduates of both sexes and asked them to indicate the body most similar to their own shape, most like their ideal body shape and the body shape of the opposite sex to which they would be most attracted to
- Women consistently indicated that their current body shape was heavier than the most attractive body shape, their ideal body shape was also much skinnier
- Men chose very similar figures for all three body shapes
William and Hargreaves (1994)
- Found that women are 70% more likely to develop depression
Brown and Harris (1987)
- Sample of 458 women in general population aged 18 to 64
- 82% of those who became depressed recently experienced life-changing events as opposed to only 33% who experienced life-changing events in the non-depressed group
- Those with young children were at greater risk of developing depression
Makino et al (2004)
- Compared the prevalence of eating disorders in Western and non-Western countries and found that although the prevalence of eating disorder seems to be on the rise in non-Western countries, it is still lower than in Western countries
Paykel et al (1999)
- 158 participants
- Aim to investigate the effectiveness of CBT in treating patients with depression
- One group received antidepressants and the other CBT
- Group with CBT had a much lower relapse rate than the other group
DeRubeis et al (2005)
- Aim was to see if CBT or antidepressants would work better in treating depression
- One group was given Paxil, second placebo, third CBT
- Responded better to CBT and antidepressants
Klerman et al (1974)
- Test the efficacy of treatment with antidepressants and psychotherapy
- 150 females diagnosed with depression
- G1 - antidepressants alone
- G2 - antidepressants and psychotherapy
- G3 - psychotherapy alone
- G4 - placebo
- G1 had 12% relapse rate
- G3 had 16.7% relapse rate
- G2 had 12.5% relapse rate
Pampallona et al (2004)
- Aim to analyse whether combining anti-depressants and psychotherapy was more effective in treating depression
- 932 patients taking antidepressants only and 910 receiving combined treatment
- Patients in combined treatment improved significantly more
McGilley and Pryor (1998)
- 382 patients
- G1 - Prozac
- G2 - placebo
- Vomiting was reduced in 29% of those receiving Prozac
McKisack et al (1997)
- Group therapy was relatively effective for treating bulimia
- The treatment is especially effective if individuals who have a same characteristic get the group therapy together
Batson et al (1981)
- To see if low or high empathy people would help others when the situation is either easy or hard to escape
- College students were watching Elaine recall numbers and placed in either the high or low empathy group
- After 2 trials, Elaine was electrocuted and the researchers asked the participants if they wanted to leave
- The people in the high-empathy condition helped no matter how hard the situation was to escape
- Low-empathy - most people backed out during the easy escape but helped during the hard escape
Whiting and Whiting (1975)
- Systematic naturalistic observation of the different child rearing practices in different cultures and the consequence of that prosocial behaviour
- Children from Kenya - most traditional society - were the most prosocial while the children from the USA were the most egoistic
Simmons et al (1977)
- Investigated whether close relatives were more likely to be kidney donors
- 86% of parents said yes but only 47% of the siblings agreed to be donors
Miller et al (1990)
- Studied the influence of cultural norms and moral values on the perception of social responsibility
Interviewed 400 participants on what they would do in different hypothetical situations in which an individual fails to help someone in need
- S1 - involved a parent's obligation to help their child
- S2 - involved a friend's obligation to help a friend
- S3 - involved an individual's obligation to help a stranger
- Hindu Indians considered helping one in need as a moral duty in all situations
- North American participants saw helping others as a personal choice and were more willing to help out if it was someone they knew or liked
Latane and Darley (1968)
- Investigated bystander intervention and diffusion of responsibility and if the number of witnesses in an emergency influences people's helping
- 72 psychology students were asked to discuss what kind of personal problems new college students could have in an urban area
- During sometime of the discussion, a participant staged a seizure
- IV: number of people that the participant thought listened to the same discussion
- DV: amount of time it took for a participant to react
- 85% of the participants in the alone situation reported while only 31% of the bystander situation reported the emergency
- Witnesses thought other witnesses could intervene
Piliavin et al (1969)
- Aim to investigate the effect of various variables on helping behaviour
- IV: whether the victim was drunk or carrying a cane, and black or white
Participants were subway travelers who observed when the victims collapsed shortly after the train had left
- Model helper was told to intervene after 70 seconds if no one else did
- In 60% of the trials, more than one person gave their help
Wedekind (1995)
- Investigated mate preference based on genetic makeup in relation to one's immune system
- 94 students were the participants
- The men were asked to sleep with a T-shirt for two nights and keep it in a plastic bag
- After two days, the women were asked to rate how agreeable they found the smell of the T-shirts
- Three of the shirts contained an immune system similar to their own
- Three contained an immune system that was dissimilar to the women's own - this should be the best match in terms of genes
- Results showed that women preferred the odors of men with an immune system dissimilar to their own
Markey and Markey (2007)
- Aiming to see if relationship ideal are better to be similar or complementary between couples
- 103 females and 66 males who were single but interested in finding a romantic partner
- Participants completed a questionnaire that showed that all participants wanted a romantic partner similar to themselves
Festinger (1950)
- Aimed to investigate the formation of friendship patterns for student couples
- Results showed that proximity or opportunities to bump into each other on a daily basis increased chances for friendship
Bradbury and Fincham
- Conducted a meta-analysis of research studies on the attributions married couples made on each others behaviour
- They found that poor marital quality in a couple predicted dispositional attribution to negative behaviours and situational attributions to positive behaviours
- They found that wives who had the tendency to make dispositional attributions about their husbands in negative situations were also more likely to behave negatively towards their husbands
Collins and Miller
- Conducted a meta-analysis research study that showed that people who disclosed intimate information about themselves are more liked than people who don't
Tannen
- Found that men interrupt more, women use more language tags, women prefer emotional support whereas men tend to have a problem solving approach
Buss et al (1990)
- Identify characteristics that individuals valued in potential partners worldwide
- 9474 individuals from 37 countries were asked to answer questionnaires developed in the USA and translated into their language
- Respondents in nearly all cultures rated mutual attraction and love as the most important in a relationship
- Chastity showed the largest effect for culture, responsible of 37% of the variance
Buunk (1998)
- Couples were happier when their interaction was characterised by problem solving and open communication
Sprecher (1999)
- Longitudinal study on development of love over time
- Aim to investigate whether people in close relationships reported increased love over time
- 101 romantic heterosexual student couples
- They were surveyed five times over the span of four years
- Each time they filled out a survey that measured love, commitment, and satisfaction
- Only 41% of the couples stayed together until the end of the study
- Results showed that individuals who were in an intact relationship felt an increase of love, commitment and satisfaction, however, this was not supported by the data
- Happy couples began to create "positive illusions" of their relationship and partner
Totten (2003)
- Looked at how individuals who were men and girlfriend abusers used violence to add to their masculinity
- 30 male participants in Canada, all youth with a mean age of 15.6 years
- All participants had been a victim of violence in their families where the father was the main authority figure who used abuse and violence as a tool of power and control
- 21 out of the 30 participants also adopted violence behaviour for the same reasons as their fathers
Berburg and Thorlindsson (2005)
- Aim was to investigate whether violence values influenced group conduct norms
- Large survey which was sent out to youth in Iceland
- Results showed that the most violent participants said they were violent because they were conforming to group conduct norms
Shalev (1995)
- Aim was to investigate PTSD after terrorist attacks in a sample of 12 hospitalised survivors of an attack on an Israeli bus
- Victims were interviewed after the attack and after 10 months of the attack by using a specific questionnaire to assess symptoms of PTSD
- The results showed that the first interview showed a lot of PTSD symptoms such as sadness and no sign of avoidance coping
- After 10 months the victims had become less sad and showed a higher stance of avoidance coping
Carney and Hazler (2007)
- Studied how cortisol levels affect bullying
- Took saliva from 94 students in the sixth grade, from the age 9 to 14
- Students were asked to fill out a questionnaire on their experience of being bullied or being a bystander
- Cortisol levels were tested in the morning and before lunch time which is a period that is usually associated with bullying
- The anticipation of bullying was usually associated with high levels of stress and anxiety in both victims and bystanders