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Another name for our emotions, and would include such things as fear, anger, sadness etc.
Fight or Flight response
Our fight or flight response was investigated by Cannon (1927). Cannon discovered that our sympathetic branch of the ANS is responsible for our flight or flight response. When we are startled or threatened, it reacts by quickly releasing hormones such as epinephrine (aka adrenaline), which has several effects on our body. It increases our heart and breathing rates, it changes our circulation so that more oxygen goes to the muscles needed for running or fighting, and it increases alertness and perception. Hence the reason why our pupils dilate, or get larger, in order to maximize visual information about the threat or danger. Our senses, nerves, and muscles go into high gear to allow us to perceive any threat or danger much more quickly and. accurately than normal. We respond to it faster and with more agility. On this basis we decide to take flight, or alternatively stay and fight. When the danger is over our parasympathetic branch, antagonistic to the sympathetic branch, returns our body to its more natural state of homeostasis, or internal balance.
Fishbein and Azjen (1975)
Fishbein and Azjen (1975) claim that when knowledge of a person's attitude towards their behaviour, and social norms are known it is possible to predict their behavioural intention. Knowing the intention should lead to a high level of accuracy in predicting behaviour. Fishbein and Azjen's approach doesn't very high predictive accuracy since the best of intentions often fail to result in behaviour. Other things (distractions, crises etc) intervene to prevent our intentions being carried out!
Associated especially with the oral and anal stage of Freud's psychosexual theory of personality development, fixations are adult behaviours associated with a psychosexual stage in childhood. An example of an oral fixation, associated with the oral stage, would be the person who has got their tongue pierced! When under stress they clack their piercing off their teeth, or rub it vigorously against the roof of their mouth.
Fixed interval schedules
Another type of reinforcement schedule. A fixed interval schedule is where a reward is given if a desired behaviour happens within a particular period of time. Skinner using his famous operant chamber to demonstrate the fixed interval schedule. Here he would reward his rats with a food pellet if they pressed the lever within a time frame of for example 20 seconds.
Fixed ratio schedules
Skinner thought that rewarding an organism (animal or human) everytime they behaved in a desirable way was not a good idea. He set about investigating just how often a desired response could be got until reinforcement was needed again. One such reinforcement schedule is known as fixed ratio. Fixed ratio is where a reward is given after a fixed number of positive responses i.e. 1:10, or 1:20 etc. Fixed ratio schedules give rise to an uneven behavioural response and extinction is rapid once the reward is removed altogether.
Focused attention is the kind of attention we use when we are actively attending to something. It is our ability to attend to one thing to the exclusion of everything else. You should be in a state of focused attention when you are studying your psychology! Or maybe not because focused attention is demanding on our physiology (bodily processes & structures). Focused attention is tiring. As a result we avoid it when we can. Students especially! Our more natural attentional state is divided attention.
The forebrain is the largest part of the brain, most of which is made up of the cerebrum. Other important structures found in the forebrain include the thalamus, the hypothalamus and the limbic system. The cerebrum is divided into two cerebral hemispheres called the corpus callosum. Each hemisphere is divided into four lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal. The surface of each hemisphere is known as the cerebral cortex. Our cerebral cortex creates our cognitive processes of perception, attention, language, memory, and thinking.
The less we get paid for doing something against our beliefs or attitudes the more likely we are to change those beliefs or attitudes. Conversely, the more we get paid for doing something against our beliefs or attitudes, the less likely we are to change our beliefs or attitudes!
This is all down to us justifying why we do things. The above prediction is core to cognitive dissonance theory since a state of dissonance arises for a person when he or she is unable to justify what they are doing (behaviour). Hence, doing something you do not agree with or arguing for a position opposite to your own views or attitudes where there is insufficient justification (external reward) causes dissonance. The two cognitions, 'I am of such and such a view', and 'I am now acting or arguing against my view', create dissonance. It is most likely that the person's own views will change to be consonant (less dissonant) with his or her behaviour.
Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) had students perform a task that was very dull and boring (turning pegs on a pegboard) for an hour. Students were then asked to tell another student, who was waiting to do the task, that the task was very interesting, worthwhile and good fun.
There were two experimental conditions: students asked to do the task were either paid $1 or $20. They were interested in the students' attitude to the task after telling the waiting participants that it was interesting. It was found that participants paid $20, after performing it again, rated it as boring and of little relevance, while those paid $1, after performing it again, rated the task as interesting, relevant and enjoyable. These findings have been replicated using this forced-compliance paradigm. Often experimenters have asked participants to write essays on a topic directly opposing their views. Findings here are explained by dissonance theory in terms of justification. The claim is that when there is sufficient external justification for telling a lie i.e. $20, participants experience little dissonance, and therefore do not have to change their attitudes. When external justification is low i.e. $1, participants experience cognitive dissonance. Since they cannot change their behaviour, their attitude changes. The low reward condition ($1) gives insufficient external justification for the behaviour so INTERNAL justification is sought. The internal justification is that the task is actually interesting; hence dissonance is reduced or eliminated.
Free association is where the patient is asked to tell the psychoanalytic psychotherapist whatever comes into their head. These free associations form chains of thought, which allow the therapist to access their patients' unconscious mind in order to source those traumas that make their patient neurotic. 'The talking cure ' is useful in uncovering the unconscious roots of hysterias, phobias, anxiety states, obsessive compulsive, and panic disorders.
Sigmund Freud, founder of the psychoanalytic approach. Born 1856 in Morovia, now part of the Czech Republic, died 1939 in London aged 83. A brilliant man who was at least 100 years ahead of his time, Sigmund is not wrong!
Situated in the forebrain, we have two frontal lobes to left and right. The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and our social and sexual behaviour. Our frontal lobes are important to emotions.
Fully functioning person
A term associated with the humanistic approach to describe someone in the peak of psychological good health. If you are a fully functioning person you have achieved personal growth in terms of satisfying your growth needs and deficiency needs as illustrated by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. You have become all that you are capable of becoming. You have maximised on all your potentials. You are a fully functioning person.
Functional Approach, The
While the structural approach understands attitudes in terms of its component parts the functional approach looks to the purpose attitudes serve for us. The functional approach says that attitudes promote the well being of an individual. According to McGuire (1969): Katz, (1960): and Smith, Bruner and White (1956) attitudes have:
An ADAPTIVE FUNCTION, which concerns the extent to which attitudes enable us to reach a desired goal and avoid that what is distasteful. The adaptive function helps us socially and allows the important process of identification to occur. We develop similar attitudes to those we like, and seek out others of a similar opinion. This function is HEDONISTIC for us in that it sees us as pleasure seeking, avoiding punishment or pain. Attitudes also serve a KNOWLEDGE FUNCTION, which concerns the information we possesses about the physical or social world. This allows the world to be seen as less threatening since because of this knowledge a certain structure is imposed or perceived by us in our environment. Stereotypes help simplify the environment, because stereotypes determine what aspects of the world we attend to and what we ignore. Thirdly according to the functional approach attitudes have a SELF-EXPRESSIVE FUNCTION. Attitudes express our need to tell others about ourselves and to state our own mind. Finally attitudes have an EGO-DEFENSIVE FUNCTION where their expression protects us from ourselves and other people. Attitudes help maintains our self-image i.e. we often find it painful to think how we have behaved. We thus cast ourselves in a more positive mould, and dismiss bad behaviour on the overwhelming balance of our good points. See ego-defence mechanisms.
The functional approach has implications for how to go about changing attitudes. Changing attitudes involve knowledge of two things. The attitude held, and the function that attitude serves for that person. To affect attitude change the approach should match the function. E.g. an attitude serving a knowledge function is most likely to be changed by exposing that person to new knowledge. On the other hand, an attitude serving an ego-defensive function is unlikely to be changed by the presentation of new information.
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