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Introduction to Psychology Taq

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Introduction to Psychology TAQ

TAQ 1:


Column 2 – key features” "

Column 3 – key theorist

Column 4 – date and outline of example study


The psychodynamic theory is a theory which believes behaviour can be explained by what happens in the unconscious mind. The mind is made up of: the id, ego and superego. Another feature is that behaviour is rooted in our childhood experiences and each child goes through stages in developing their personality and behaviour.

Sigmund Freud

Freud worked with Physician, Breuer on a case known as Studies on Hysteria (1895). Patient of Breuer, Anna O, who had become ill not long after her fathers death. She was eventually diagnosed with hysteria. Freud never met Breuer’s patient however they worked together to publish the case study.

The study involved analysis of her condition and treatment. One of the important findings of this study was the effectiveness of the ‘Talking Cure’. It involved Breuer engaging in conversations with Anna on a daily basis about her problems.

It provided an insight into her mind and brining unconscious anxieties to the surface helped her overcome some of the symptoms.


This theory believes that behaviour can be understood by looking at how the mind processes information. Its main focus is the inner working of the mind and how it processes perception, memory, problem-solving, attention and language.

Jean Piaget

Piaget (1963) studied how children and at what age they acquire object permanence.

The study is called the Blanket and Ball study. Piaget’s method was to hide a toy under a blanket whilst the child watched and observed if the child would look for the hidden toy.

He discovered that infants would look for the toy when they were around 8 months old. Therefore children are able to achieve object permanence at this age because they are able to form a mental representation of the object in their mind.



Biological theory believes that behaviour can be explained by studying the biological processes of the brain. It is a highly scientific method of studying and predicting human behaviour by analysing results from equipment that can measure various aspects of the brain.  

John Martyn Harlow

Harlow (1868) studied the effects on how behaviour of a man has altered due to serious injury to the brain.

Phineas Gage was involved in an accident where much of his brain tissue was severely damaged. Despite the patient surviving the accident, Harlow recorded that there were significant changes in his behaviour. The study involved observation of Gage’s behaviour over several months whilst in Harlow’s care.



Behaviour is learned through the process of classical conditioning. This theory believes that all behaviour is learned from birth. Classical conditioning is the process that humans go through to acquire a certain behaviour by when a stimuli becomes associated with a specific response.  

Ivan Pavlov

Watson and Rayner (1920) in the study called:

Conditioned emotional reactions in humans (Little Albert). The aim of this investigation was to see if an infant could be made to fear a white rat through the process of classical conditioning.

The study involved displaying the rat to the boy experienced no fear. When shown the rat again a loud bang was made which scared the boy. This process was repeated several times and then the boy associated the rat with the loud noise which created a fear response to the rat.

TAQ 2:

"Study 1 author/s, and date:"

Watson and Rayner (1920) - Conditioned emotional reactions in humans (Little Albert)


The study was well documented and recorded. It gave evidence that classical conditioning can be used to alter human behaviour.


There are many ethical issues concerning this experiment. The boy could have suffered long term impact as a result of the study. It is possible that the study created a permanent fear that would carry on to later life.

As mentioned in the study, Albert showed signs of distress which was ignored and they continued to create try and create a stimulated response.

"Study 2 author/s, and date:"

Freud and Breuer, Studies on Hysteria (1895)


Freud used talking therapy to help his patient, which in turn decreased the patients symptoms. The same application has been repeated several times in other studies to support Freud’s theory.


The study was conducted on one patient which cannot be generalised therefore the same method might not work with each individual.

TAQ 3:

Reductionism is a theory that behaviour can be explained by breaking down into smaller parts (McLeod, 2008). Behaviourism is seen as a reductionist approach because it believes the environment directly influences behaviour. The theory believes that behaviour is determined by environment and does not put into consider events such as the individuals thought processes. It is a heavily scientific approach as breaking complicated behaviours down into smaller parts means they can be tested and analysed.



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