Pearson BTEC National Applied Psychology: Revision Guide

Get organised! This is a great topic for making sure your revision notes are organised. You’ve got four approaches and two assumptions for each approach. A revision table is a perfect way to arrange your notes. REVISION BOOSTER In a meeting of a company’s management team, the chief executive explains her plan to save the company from closing down. The other managers show signs of agreement, nodding their heads, saying ‘yes, that’s right’ and making approving noises. But Shana doesn’t think the plan is a good idea, so she keeps very quiet. Referring to an example from the scenario, explain one key assumption from the social approach. (2 marks) Apply it Comparing the brain to a computer is a key assumption of the cognitive approach. SPEC SPOTLIGHT A1 Cognitive approach: • Behaviour is a product of information processing. • The brain can be compared to a computer (computer analogy) – input, processing and output. A2 Social approach: • Behaviour occurs in a social context (influenced by people around us). • Wider culture and society influence people’s behaviour. Assumptions of the cognitive approach Behaviour is a product of information processing ‘Cognitive’ means related to thinking/mental processes. We are information processors – internal mental processes (e.g. reasoning, remembering) work together so we make sense of the world. A model (theory) explains how information from the environment is processed at each stage. Processes work together. E.g. you see a dog: you notice it (perception), focus on it (attention), recognise it (memory), name it (language). The brain can be compared to a computer Computers process information so the mind is compared to a computer. In both cases there are three stages: • Information goes in (input). • It is changed and/or stored (processing). • It is used to respond to the environment (output). The brain is the central processing unit (‘hardware’) which codes information, changing it from one format to another (‘software’). This approach contributes to the development of artificial intelligence (AI). Assumptions of the social approach Behaviour occurs in a social context ‘Social’ means other members of your species, who influence our behaviour because humans are ‘social animals’. E.g. conformity: you ‘go along’ with friends even if you disagree with them so you are not the odd one out. So, social context (your friends) affects behaviour. Social pressure is so powerful we just have to think about how others behave, they do not have to be present. Social interaction may influence behaviour more than an individual’s disposition (their personality). Wider culture and society influence people’s behaviour Behaviour can be understood/explained in terms of two broad types of culture: • Individualist cultures (e.g. UK and USA) – focus is on an individual’s needs, where each person should achieve their potential and pursue their own goals (e.g. in a relationship, partners’ happiness and ‘being in love’ matter). • Collectivist cultures (e.g. China and India) – priority is the needs of the family and community before the individual (e.g. in a relationship what matters is family approval, being ‘in love’ is less important). Assumptions of the four approaches A1: Approaches and assumptions AO1 Description Unit 1 Psychological approaches and applications Content area A 10 Copyright: Sample material