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1. Historical and cultural conditions that gave rise to the perspective. BIO 400 BC - Hippocrates became father of medicine; 200 AD Galen performed autopsies 1800 - Gall created phrenology , the idea of personality determined by bumps on the head

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1 historical and cultural conditions that gave rise to the perspective l.jpg
1. Historical and cultural conditions that gave rise to the perspective


400 BC - Hippocrates became father of medicine; 200 AD Galen performed autopsies

1800 - Gall created phrenology, the idea of personality determined by bumps on the head

1850 - Gage’s personality changed after a spike went through his head; war-time doctors examined bodies; Broca and Wernicke linked body parts to language production and reception

20th century - Psychologists looking for alternative to humanistic, behavioral, and psychoanalytic approaches

Advances in technology gave way for biological perspective

20s - first brain scanning technique (EEG)

Penfield mapped the brain and performed brain surgery;

Hess used electrodes to explore brain

Santiago Ramon y Cajal and Sir Sherrington explored neurons

50s - biomedicine first released

Cultural differences in the correctness of the perspective

Belief in perspective tied to culture’s faith in and possession of technology


· Behaviourism emphasised an external force on development, rewarding or punishing by others. This does not go far in explaining behaviour, and the cognitive perspective answered this by looking at the processes of the mind in relation to actions.

· Individualistic cultures have schemas and mind processes relating more to them as an individual – North America, Europe. Collectivistic cultures have more emphasis on collective success and the approval of others – Asia

· 1950-1970 the Cognitive perspective came to the forefront due to WWII as it focuses on human actions and reasons for them.

The advent of the computer and the computer model also helped in explaining the mind, increasing Cognitive popularity.


  • Learning Outcome 1

  • During the 1690s Philosopher John Locke said the mind was a blank state, and all knowledge is acquired through contact with environment

  • In 1898, Edward Thorndike creates the Law of Effect which shows that behaviors that lead to satisfying outcomes are likely to be repeated.

  • In late 1800s and early 1900s, Ivan Pavlov experiments on salivating dogs to show behavior (Pavlov experiments was influenced by Darwin

  • During 1913 John B. Watson published “Psychology as Behaviorist Views it”

    • This officially created a new movement known as behaviorism

    • Watson was scornful of psychology that focused on things that could not be observed directly, therefore, he denounced Freudian theory as unscientific and meaningless.

    • Watson felt that for a psychology to be considered a science, one should not examine the mind, the thoughts, and the conscious (subjective inner feelings cannot be observed or measured in an accurate way)

    • Overt Behavior: behavior that can be observed, predicted and controlled by scientists (Watson strongly believed in this)

  • The learning perspective emerged almost simultaneously in Russia and in the United States around the early 20th century

  • The learning perspective was a reaction to Freud’s form of Psychology. Behaviorist wanted psychology to be regarded as a legitimate science, so they felt they needed proper, observable measures and data. This scientific approach was a great contrast to Freud’s which was mostly improvable speculation

  • Behaviorism/ Learning perspective was very western in its appeal and it did not intrigue the more exotic societies. During 1960’s Behaviorism in America was the dominant psychological paradigm.

  • After World War I, There was a great need of scientific advances, so a more scientific approach to psychology was welcome

  • Freud was too crazy so the rigidity of behaviorism was welcomed; however, in mid 1900’s people were tired of structure so they switched to humanism


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2. Contribution of the perspective to the scientific study of behavior, and its current standing

  • BIO

  • Biological correlates of behavior:

    • brain wave activity

    • hormone levels

    • heart-rate responsiveness

    • other physiological features

  • Genetic contributions to explain behavior

    • genetic tendency toward inhibited/uninhibited behavior

      • inhibited – shy and anxious toward novelty

      • uninhibited – free, energetic, spontaneous

  • evolutionary theory – humans pass along inherited characteristics that once were essential for survival. Species-specific behavior.

  • Humans have a need to belong to groups and form attachments.

  • Effects of hormonal changes on behavior

    • Puberty –

      • females more emotional

      • males more aggressive

      • both sexes more sexually charged and exclusive

  • Experimental testing of hypotheses

    • Twin Study – tested personality heredity by examining identical and fraternal twins raised both together and apart.

    • Mate Selection – influence by evolution

      • Men want – good motherly traits

      • Women want – good supporter and provider, protector, father of strong children

  • Quantitative versus Qualitative Research

    • Quantitative used to measure number of subjects with similar traits

    • Qualitative used to analyze similarities.

  • COG

    Contribution of the cognitive psychology perspective to the scientific study of behavior, and its current standing

    -Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)

    -Activating experience

    -Irrational Belief


    -we have many of these irrational beliefs in reasoning

    -Mischel’s Cognitive Model of Personality: everyone has a different set of mental representations that result in different patterns of behavior, even when we are in the same situation

    -Behaviorism focused on quantitative research; the cognitive perspective moved the focus toward qualitative research.

    Qualitative/quantitative research:

    Festinger and Carlsmith’s (1959) study on cognitive dissonance (see page 179 in 40 Studies),

    Rosenthal and Jacobson’s (1966) study on teacher’s expectancies (see page 92)

    -Current Standing: fits well with current mood—“Zeitgeist”—of psychology



    Before the introduction of the behavioral perspective, psychology was dominated by Freud's beliefs and the psychoanalytic perspective. This depended largely on qualitative observations and focused on the idea that personality was shaped on events that occurred early in childhood. Freud's main tool was free association and most of his research was in the form of case studies. With the introduction of the learning perspective (with a focus on behaviorism) came the focus on more quantitative research present in the experiments of Watson and Skinner who depended on hard numbers as well as qualitative observations. Essentially, behaviorism made psychology more of a science by impressing the importance of the scientific method in psychological experimentation.

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    3. Key concepts of behavior, and its current standing

    • BIO

    • Brain structures and their purposes: for example, Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas in the frontal and temporal lobes, respectively, and their control of language production and reception, respectively

    • Bodily rhythm= 24-hour biological clock and 90-minute sleep cycle circadian rhythm- from Latin “circa” means about and “dies” means day; the synchronization with the 24-hour day period can be reset by exposure to a light or dark pulse, temperature is compensated

    • Sleep rhythm- every 90-100 we pass through a cycle of five distinct sleep stages; Stage 1- about 5 mins, experience fantastic images which resemble hallucinations; Stage 2- about 20 mins, appearance of sleep spindles- bursts of rapid rhythmic brain activity; Stage 3- few mins, transitional stage, emits delta waves; Stage 4- deep sleep, young children may wet the bed or sleep walk; Stage 5- return through stage 3 and 2.

      • Endocrine System- A slower communication system that releases hormones into the bloodstream to begin reactions and movements

      • Central Nervous System-the brain and spinal cord. It controls the reflexes and neurons run along the spinal cord to the brain.

      • Neurotransmitters (chemical messengers):-Excitatory—slows down the reaction; -Inhibitory—speeds up the reaction

      • -neurons, structures (dendrites, cell body, axon, terminal buttons); neurotransmission (action potential, synapse, receptor sites)

    • COG

    • Attention-

      • Selective attention- When someone purposely attends to a particular stimulus and not to others and therefore does not encode them to memory. Repressors are said to do this by turning their attention to something else when they sense threatening information. See study by Mendolia, Moore, and Tesser (1996) on 48 in Burger book for more.

    • Schemas- are hypothetical cognitive structures that help us perceive, organize, process, and use information. Schemas provide us with structures with which to organize and process our environment. (pg 460 Burger).

    • Perception- is essentially the different ways of processing information. Because people have different personal construct systems they look for different things in situations thus perceptions of the environment are formed.

    • Memory- the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information

      • 3 Stages of memory:

        • 1) Sensory- immediate recall of information still stored by senses; 2) Short-term- information held in memory temporarily (ex. phone number while calling); 3) Long- term- subconscious information that can be recalled at any time (ex. you first-grade teacher's name)

      • Ways to remember things:

        • Mnemonic Devices- remembering things based on sound patterns (ex. remembering "seventeen: because it rhymes with bean); Chunking- organizing items into groups; Flashbulb Memory- a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment

    • LEARN

      • Environment:

        • Operant Conditioning: Learning associations between behavior and its resulting consequences (e.g. reinforcement)

        • Reinforcer- Any event that strengthens the behavior it follows

        • Classical Conditoning: The association of a neutral stimulus with another unconditioned stimulus that results with the neutral stimulus causing a response initially only associated with the unconditioned stimulus.

        • Modeling: the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior

      • Cognition:

        • Cognitive map: A mental representation of the layout of one’s environment

        • Latent learning- Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it

      • Biology:

        • learned helplessness: a passive resignation to feel helpless, hopeless, and depressed after repeatedly facing traumatic events in which humans or animals have no control

        • imprinting: the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life.

        • biological constraints- predispose animals to learn only associations that are naturally adaptive to the learning stimulus; for example, it is difficult to use food as a reinforcer to shape hamster behaviors - such as face washing - that aren't normally associated with food or hunger


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    4. Assumptions on which key concepts are based of behavior, and its current standing



    natural selection favors individuals with the most adapted traits for their environment. Our behaviors have been adapted to help us survive.

    Ex: phobias of snakes and heights even at early ages, but not guns or knives

    - neuroscience:

    the structure and chemistry of the brain and nervous system controls psychology

    Ex: less norepinephrine and seratonin causes depression, more dominant Left or Right brain causes different traits such as being more artistic or more verbal

    - Genetics:

    Genes are inherited traits that determine who you are

    Ex: gene for inhibited or uninhibited personality implied since children are born with certain levels from birth.

    • COG

    • Mental processes can be studied scientifically

    • a. Role Construct Repertory Test- REP Test p. 475 Burger

    • Measures personal constructs

    • b. Markus- “Me or not me” Study

    • Classifies people as having strong independent or dependent schema or achematic

    • Behavior can be explained as an outcome of information processes (what you say and do is a direct reflection of what you think)

    • a. Albert Ellis’ Ration Emotive Therapy p. 471

    • According to Ellis, people become depressed, anxious, upset, and the like because of faulty reasoning and a reliance on irrational beliefs


    The learning perspective makes assumptions that are characteristic of three key perspectives.

    Behavioral Assumptions include:

    All animals lean in the same way (rat data is used to explain human behavior)

    All learning is achieved by simple processes based on positive or negative reinforcement

    The environment shapes the way you act

    All actions can be attributed as a response to external forces

    Cognitive assumptions include:

    If you observe another person doing something, you might repeat the action (shown in Bandura Bo-bo doll experiment)

    You do not need a personal reward to lean things

    Biological Assumptions include:

    People have certain innate abilities, such as the ability to learn

    Humans, as a species, have specific ways of learning that differ from those of other species.

    Humans differ in some ways of leaning from other humans. For example, some humans may have evolved to be afraid of dangerous animals.


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    5. Evaluation of Assumptions of behavior, and its current standing



    Strengths – physical change leaves evidence. Instincts come form adapted changes.

    Weaknesses – There is no way to look at psychological change over time.


    Strengths – Chemicals in the brain can be measured and tested.

    Weaknesses – it does not take into the account environmental impact on an individual.


    Strengths – Genetics explains how children and their parents share the same predispositions.

    Weaknesses – Mutations can affect phenotype and genotype.

    -- Genetics does not take into account the development of personality.

    Learning and cognitive perspectives.

    The biological perspective provides a basis of support for the idea that environment plays a key role in determining personality, intellect, and behavior.


    Mental processes can be studied scientifically

    The biological perspective would agree that they can be studied in the brain scientifically.

    The humanist perspective would say that mental processes are based on personal happiness

    The psychoanalytical perspective would say that mental processes are studied through the subconscious behavior of the individual.

    Behavior can be explained as an outcome of information processes (what you say and do is a direct reflection of your thoughts.

    The psychoanalytical perspective would agree and say that what a person says has a deeper meaning and represents a person’s unconscious and thoughts.

    The biological perspective would say that a person’s thoughts and behavior are based on their personal chemical make-up.

    The behavioral perspective would say that a person’s experiences in life and whether they were rewarded or punished for that particular experience explains their behavior.


    Only observable, objective behavior should be studied.

    Biological Perspective- studies the inside of the body as well. Ex- brain, chemicals, how we have evolved.

    Cognitive- Studies mental events or states, which learning perspective does not think is possible. Ex- Kohler and the Sultan the chimpanzee. When Sultan realized the short stick would not reach the fruit, he sat for awhile and then suddenly realized he could use the short stick to get the long stick to get the fruit. Clearly some sort of mental event took place.

    Learning can take place in the absence of reinforcement.

    Bio- Animals sometimes do things for the sake of curiosity.

    Cognitive- The brain automatically retains certain information even without conscious effort. Ex- latent learning, Tolman with the rats and maze. The rats did better in the maze after they had passed over it and observed it from overhead.

    Innate predisposition to learning.

    Bio- imprinting

    Cognitive- all cultures use language, so there must be a innate predisposition to learn a language.


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    6. Theoretical explanations of behavioral change of behavior, and its current standing

    • BIO

    • Psychologists of the biological perspective attempt to explain behavior change through changes in structure or chemistry of the brain:

      • Phineas Gage: A nice guy who received a spike through the brain and became a rowdy and offensive person; Alzheimer’s Disease: Loss of brain tissue that secretes neurotransmitters result in memory loss, Damage or problem in brain resulting in loss of physical ability: Broka’s finding of loss of speech ability resulting from a shrunken part of the brain.; Schizophrenia: Result from excess of dopamine receptors in brain; Resulting from knowledge of theories of the biological perspective, medication and surgery is an option often used for the following psychological disorders:

      • Drugs such as Thorazine, Clozaril, Valium, and Prozac effective at reducing the positive symptoms of psychological disorders, anxiety, and depression. These drugs work by limiting or increasing the transmissions made by the neurotransmitters of the brain to block harmful chemicals or create more receptors for needed chemicals

      • Electroconvulsive Therapy is an effective way of dealing with severe depression

      • Psychosurgery is used only as a last resort, and lobotomies –which originally were used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients – are no longer used to a great degree, but other psychosurgery procedures are effectively used to help patients who has seizures or who has obsessive compulsive disorder.

        • Psychological correlates of physiological processes and the biological perspective:

      • By using an electroencephalograph, it has been discovered that there are varying levels of activity in the brain (called cerebral asymmetry) that are different for different people, and that there is a correlation between emotional tendencies and which part of the brain is more active (left side activity is correlated to positive moods and right side activities is correlated to negative moods).

      • In regards to bulimia and anorexia, the biological perspective uses the explanation of evolutionary personality psychology to explain that people tend to be bulimic or anorexic because of anxiety out of fear of social exclusion or through natural selection and the belief that mate selection is based on attractiveness.



    "pattern" used to view and explain experiences and stimuli; can be defective, i.e. a depressive schema. If so, the person affected will entertain melancholy thoughts, and his/her behavior is likely to reflect such a psychological inner environment.


    Psychological pressure felt upon the individual to "go with the group", and he/she may thus change his/her behavior to correspond with that of the group, even if such behavior is contrary to how the person would "normally" act.

    See Asch’s Line Study for the application of this concept.

    Cognitive Dissonance—

    when a person acts or is advised to think in a way that is contradictory to his/her personal beliefs, the person will try to reconcile the two opposing ideas and find justification for the challenging action in his/her mind, to make the action more acceptable, and thus, easier to do.

    See Festinger & Carlsmith’s dissonance study.


    • LEARN

    • Psychology- Learning-6

    • Reinforcement- Theory: Any event that increases the frequency of a preceding response

      • Positive reinforcement- The giving of a liked reward

      • Negative Reinforcement- The taking away of something not liked

    • Example: Skinners Box study

  • Problem Solving-

    • Trial and Error approach- Contains a little bit of behavioralism

    • Hypothesis approach- we form a hypothesis and then go out into the world and test it

      • If it is correct, then knowledge has been gained

      • If it is incorrect, then go back to the drawing board to form the new Hypothesis

  • Learning Set- A known way of how to solve a problem

    • One goes into a problem and knows how to solve it

    • The next time, however, it does not work. So, the set needs to be altered to fit the new situation. A healthy person gains knowledge from the altering of a set. This process is good and bad- It is bad because it does not solve your problem; It is good because a healthy person gains knowledge

  • Modeling Theory- Observing and then imitating a behavior

    • Bandura’s Bobo doll study

  • .

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    7. Methodologies of behavior, and its current standing


    ∑ Correlation study- Riemann, Angleitner, and Sterlau found monozygotic twins (same egg) are more similar than dizygotic twins (correlation between same egg and genetic and personality similarities).∑ Double-blind trial- The drug NicVAX was given randomly and unknowingly to smokers while placebo drugs were also administered unknowingly and randomly. It was found that 33% of the smokers using the real drug quit smoking and 9% of the smokers using the placebo quit smoking. Preformed by Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. Neither participants nor drug administering staff knew which drugs were given to whom. ∑ Experiment- Wheeler, Davidson, and Tomarken found that higher activation in the left hemisphere indicates positive moods and higher activation in the right hemisphere indicates negative moods. 

    o     Brain Scanning Techniques- EEG (electrical activity), CT (x ray photographs), PET (glucose consumption), MRI (magnetic field)  


    Andersen and Baun (1994)- had subjects describe 2 people, 1 they liked and 1 they didn’t like, then they met someone and were told the person had either the characteristics of the person they liked or the person they didn’t like, monitored the person’s reactions.

    Subjects asked questions, schema development determined by response time.

    Piaget’s- showed infant toy, then covered it up with a blanket, and saw if child searched for it, took molds of clay, flattened 1, asked which had more mass.

    Newton and Contrada (1992)- repressors, 3 min. speech of undesirable quality of their subjects’ personality, some told audience, some not, vitals were monitored.

    Self-schema test- asked to respond with “me” or “not me” to words flashed on a screen.

    Wellman and Gelman’s- babies looking at objects that disappear, suspended in air, and pass through a solid object.

    Rep test- series of groupings that determine constructs.


    Classical Conditioning

    Pavlov's Salivating Dogs

    US-food, UR-salivation, CS-tone of bell, CR-salivation

    Watson and "Little Albert" - behaviorism

    . conditioned to fear fluffy white objects

    . US-loud noise, UR-fear/cry, CS-white rat, CR-fear/cry

    Operant Conditioning

    Skinner's Skinner Box

    . operant chamber with bar to press to dispense reward (food)

    . slowly shaped animal behavior with rewards to produce a final desired behavior

    Seligman and Learned Helplessness

    . dogs were placed in a skinner box that delivered electric shocks

    . some dogs could control the shock with their behavior, others could not

    . the dogs that had no control at first did not try to escape the shock even when they could

    Observational/Social Learning

    Bandura's Bobo Doll Study

    . children observed adults in aggressive acts directed toward toys

    . later the children tended to imitate these behaviors while in the toy room


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    8. Methodology strengths and limitations of behavior, and its current standing


    CASE STUDY- LIM- Any given individual may be individual

    and unrepresentative info may lead to false conclusions and

    mistaken judgments.

    STRENGTHS- Researchers study individuals or groups in great depth in hope of revealing generalities.

    DOUBLE BLIND-LIM- Ethical concerns about the subject

    not knowing what is going on. (Usually with drugs)

    STRENGTHS- Produces unbiased and accurate results and

    leads to the placebo effect.

    CORRELATION-LIM- Points only towards predictions that

    are usually not perfect.

    STRENGTHS- Reveals how closely two things vary together

    and how well either predicts the other.


    because the patient receives a shock. The patient must be

    unconscious and take a muscle relaxant.

    STRENGTHS- The patient doesn’t remember anything. Many

    improve their state of depression. No brain damage occurs. It saves many from suicide.

    MEDICATIONS- LIM- Antipsychotic drugs can produce

    sluggishness, tremors, and/or twitches. Must be very aware of

    dosage and frequency of consumption. Anti-anxiety drugs reducesymptoms without resolving underlying problems.

    STRENGTHS- Dampen responsiveness to irrelevant stimuli.

    Can help people learn to cope with frightening situations and

    fear triggering stimuli.



    Active mental processes are now more focused on in developmental psychology

    Has brought understanding of the mental capacities of certain age groups

    grounding in empirical, laboratory research

    concepts are testable

    can be operationally defined and measured

    Piaget’s studies were convenient because of the use of his own children


    Does not leave room to compensate for individuality

    Cannot be generalized to all humans

    The behaviour is not fully explained

    Ignores physiological aspects

    Computer simulations are not always applicable to real life situations

    Unable to explain complex cognitive, emotional, and perceptual dimensions of human development

    Does not fully explain effects of developmental influences

    Focuses on the child himself rather than the child’s interaction with society

    seriously underestimates the role of biological and genetic influences

    ignores unconscious influences, emotions, or conflicts



    Pavlov's Salivating Dogs - Experiment

    Strengths: Theory of classical conditioning is universally accepted and has remained unchanged, explained a major proportion of human behavior.

    Weaknesses: If neutral stimulus was presented to the subject after the unconditioned stimulus, no conditioning would take place. The subjects would have to be starved prior to the experiment for them to elicit a salivating response toward food, the unconditioned stimulus.

    Quantitative results are better because they show the amount of trials it takes for the dog to salivate until the unconditioned stimulus is removed. The dogs will always salivate in the same manner, therefore, qualitative results are ineffective.

    Milgram's Shock Study - Experiment

    Strengths:The subjects varied in social status, were explicitly told that the monetary payment given to them was simply for their arrival to the laboratory; thus, it ensured that the subjects did not behave in a certain way because they were afraid of not receiving compensation.

    Weaknesses: All of the subjects were males who were between the ages of 20 and 50. Ethics of anxiety not followed.

    Quantitative results are better because they show the amount of subjects that obeyed the experimenter and continued on with the experiment, despite the cries of agony from the subjects.

    Bandura's Bobo Doll: Observation: Strengths: Subjects all of the same age, and relative learning capacities. More than one observer at one time.

     Weakness: Extraneous variables: Previously learned actions interfere.Child's character can interfere with the results.  Human error: different people judging on the same thing. (ie. Body language)  Quantitative is better because due to possible human error through judging, to get a  generalized result, number of aggression is better

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    9. Ethics and controversies of research of behavior, and its current standing

    • BIO

    • “More Experience Equals Bigger Brains”

      • Unethical death of rats

      • Rats’ brains were examined, killing the animal to do so

      • Taking the life of an animal was not worth the research

    • “Placebo Drug”

      • Patients with diseases were given placebos not medication which resulted in patient neglect for half of the patients

      • Double blind study

      • Unfair to treat some patients one way, and the others in a negative way

      • Physical harm could ensue due to withdrawal of medication.


    -Learned helplessness

    -Seligman, shocking dogs

    -Gender schemas

    -Studies hard to replicate

    -Definition is vague/abstract

    -Ambiguous words/categories

    -Inconsistent number of personality dimensions

    -Different names for perspectives

    -Unable to fully know the human mind through research

    -"black box"--mind is unknowable

    -Animals aren't people; findings don't always apply


    -Watson's 'Little Albert' study; ethical concerns including the

    >mistreatment of a child and possible lifetime damage –

    Seligmans 'Learning to be Depressed'; concerns with inflicting pain on animals

    Most learning perspective studies use animals which brings up the question of how applicable these studies are to humans –

    Bandura's 'Bobo

    >doll' study; created contraversy because it proved negative effects that the media can have on people


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    10. Effectiveness in explaining psychological and social questions


    The biological perspective has been becoming very popular in recent years as psychologists have discovered that almost all psychological disorders can be explained using the biological perspective. For example, alzheimer’s disease has been found to be associated with plaque buildup on neural pathways and erosion of neurons in the brain. The remaining question is one that asks whether the abnormal parts of our bodies cause the psychological disorders, or whether the psychological disorders cause the abnormalities. The mapping of the human genome has led us to the understanding that our genes control more of our personalities and proneness to certain disorders than they were previously given credit for.

    The field of Genetic research has advanced knowledge about the body and how it works. However, many of these gains in knowledge come with ethical concerns: in some cases, stem cells from fetuses are used to study the ability to create any part of a human body out of a single cell. Many people are opposed to using these cells from developing fetuses for research.

    Aggression- This has been found to have biological explanations. People are born with natural inclinations toward a specific level of arousal and people who need high arousal are often aggressive in nature. These people have high cortical activity. Other perspectives, explain aggression as merely imitation or part of a natural human tendency to fight: they are not wrong, its just that these things (psychological issues) are simultaneously biological and cognitive/learning etc…


    - cognitive perspective explains personality through cognitive-affective units, through which we process information to determine behavior

    - schemas are cognitive units through which we organize information

    - the theory of cognitive selves allows us to strive toward a personal goal of perfecting ourselves

    - we process information about ourselves through self-schemas

    - more daring people have an internal locus of control, while more timid people have an external locus of control

    - cognitive therapy attempts to change how the patient processes information

    - prototypes allow us to recognize unfamiliar objects and maintain an image of a quintessential one

    The strength of the cognitive perspective is that it recognizes many of the factors that influence human behavior, unlike the biological and behavioral perspectives.

    • LEARN

    • Each of the perspectives provides insight and explanation for many topics in psychology, such as aggression and depression.

    • In regards to aggression:

    • 1)      Biological perspective explains that aggression is attributed to release of the hormone testosterone, and possibly a genetic trait in the family

    • 2)      Cognitive perspective relies heavily upon the schema theory to explain aggression, implying that an aggressive person would possess an outgoing, competitive schema and interpret situations as threatening or competitive

    • 3)      Learning perspective mainly uses the famous Bobo Doll Study by Banduras to explain that aggression can be learned not only from direct experience but also secondary sources such as a TV show

    • In regards to depression:

    • 1)      Biological perspective states that depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the body, such as imbalances of serotonin or norephinephrin

    • 2)      Cognitive perspective again relies on the schema theory, stating that depressives possess a depressive schema that causes them to view their world in a negative, depressing way

    • 3)      Learning perspective mainly uses Seligman’s shocking dog study to show that helplessness and depression can be learned through repeated punishment.

      • -         Langer and Rodin also conducted a study on the nursing home residents which revealed that helplessness and depression develops due to the taking away of responsibilities from the residents

    • When all three perspectives are compared, the learning perspective appears to have an edge on the other perspectives in explaining aggression and depression because it has well-known and in-depth studies conducted by respected and meticulous psychologists to back up its learning theory


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    11. Recommendations for change in lifestyle questions


    In the biological prospective, all things are solved with procedures that work with the body, biologically. In applications of the prospective, therapies would include Drug Medicine, Electro convulsive Therapy, and Psycho surgery. All of these therapies help the body to solve the problems at hand. The most common of all these are prescription drugs. Today, many different prescription drugs are available to treat many psychological disorders such as depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. The next most common is Electro convulsive therapy. Electro convulsive therapy is less barbaric than one might think; the patient is always unconscious and given muscle relaxants before hand to prevent injury. The subject's brain is shocked and thirty minutes later, the patient will wake up remembering nothing of it. Electro convulsive therapy (ECT) is generally only used in severe cases of depression or when drug therapy is not affective. Psycho surgery is usually only used in cases of extreme disorder because it removes or damages brain tissue. The most well known of these surgeries is the lobotomy; this is where the frontal lobes of the brain are disconnected from the rest of the brain. The surgery was intended only to separate emotion and thought, but effects include lethargy, and impulsive personalities. Today, psycho surgery is rarely performed, and lobotomies almost never occur. Psycho surgery is only used in cases of severe seizures or in cases of extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder. The ultimate downside of these surgeries is that they are irreversible.


    (see Burger pages 470-474 and Myers pages 600-602)

    Cognitive Therapy is therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking and acting, assuming thoughts intervence with events and our reactions.

    Goal is to help rid patients of self-defeating and/or irrational thoughts through the process of cognitive restructuring

    George Kelly’s fixed-role therapy involves role-play to try new constructs

    Albert Ellis’ rational emotive therapy (activating experience, irrational belief, and emotional consequence) to identify and fix flaws in thinking patterns

    Self-Instructional Training- identify thoughts driving disturbing emotions and help individuals develop specific cognitive strategies for dealing with remedying those problems on their own, in daily life

    Used to treat depressed patients- Aaron Beck helped to point out irrationalities so the patient could acknowledge and overcome their negative self-thoughts; Adele Rabin made patients focus only on their good behaviors and aspects to overcome depression; cognitive-behavior therapy is used to alter a person’s thinking habits in order to change their negative behaviors by instilling a new, positive though process

    Cognitive theories can be used in teaching: situated learning; by learning how children think, teaching styles can be adapted to best suit their methods of learning; memory can be altered, influenced, and understood through the use of cognitive theories


    Positive verses negative reinforcement: rewards yield better results. If you want someone, like a child, to continue doing something, give him or her a reward.

    Teachers should use a variety of methods to accommodate students because they all learn in different ways.

    Langer and Rodin: People in nursing homes need to be given some form of responsibility, as small as a plant for example. They need to make decisions for themselves.

    Parenting Styles: Eron et,al. and Bandura’s bobo doll

    study: Children who watch more violent television shows are more likely to commit crimes than those who watch less television. Parents should use parental controls and keep watch as to how much and what their children are watching.

    Modeling: Children tend to follow what they see so parents should be prosocial models, positive and helpful.