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  1. 1. Developmental Psychology
  2. 2. Bettelheim (1943) Muselmann was a derogatory term used among inmates of World War II Nazi concentration camps to refer to those suffering from a combination of starvation and exhaustion and who were resigned to their impending death. The Muselmann inmates exhibited severe emaciation and physical weakness, an apathetic listlessness regarding their own fate, and unresponsiveness to their surroundings.
  3. 3. deCharms (1968) humans strive to be the primary locus of causation for, or the origin of, their own behaviour Langer et al. (1975) – Hospital patients given more personal control needed fewer pain relievers ✚ Personal Control = Needed less pain relief Ferrare (1962) 17 elderely people, forced old age home: 4 weeks later = 8 dead 10 weeks later = 16 dead
  4. 4. I want to do these tests in my own order. I am sure that would make me feel less anxious… Stotland and Blumenthal (1964)
  5. 5. Segliman (1975) Lack of control leads to learned helplessness Dogs conditioned to receive a shock did not move to relieve themselves from it even though they were free to.
  6. 6. A child who performs poorly on math tests and assignments will quickly begin to feel that nothing he does will have any effect on his math performance. When later faced with any type of math- related task, he may experience a sense of helplessness. Learned helplessness
  7. 7. To study the effects of enhanced personal responsibility and choice in a group of nursing home patients. • Does increased control have general beneficial effects? • How would physical, mental alertness, activity, sociability and satisfaction be affected? • Would the sense of responsibility be generalised to other aspects of their lives?
  8. 8. • Study carried out on two floors of a top Conneticut nursing home. • All residents had similar: health, socioeconomic status and length of stay in home. • 1 floor = Responsibility Induced Group (RIG). This was the experimental condition. • 2nd Floor = comparison group. This was the control condition.
  9. 9. Responsibility Induced Group (RIG) Experimental condition Comparison Group (CG) Control condition They had influence over what happened They were given options of what happened They should give their opinions about complaint procedures All complaints would be handled by staff They could select their own plant and care for it They would be given a plant which someone else would care for They could choose which night was movie night They would be told which night was movie night. Each group was briefed differently about their stay in the nursing home:
  10. 10.  1 week before the briefing Questionnaires 1 and 2 were administered and 3 weeks after the briefing the same questionnaires were completed again. Questionnaire 1 Questionnaire 2 Carried out by research assistant Carried out by nurses Unaware of the true nature of the study Unaware of the true nature of the study Asked participants about their level of control in their lives and their happiness and activeness Nurses rated participants happiness, alertness, dependency, sociability, activity levels, types of activity. Researcher also rated participants alertness They also noted whether residents went to the movie night or took part in organised activities
  11. 11. Questionnaire 1 (given 1 week before and 3 weeks after the briefing) • Happiness and Activeness increased in the RIG although they didn’t perceive themselves as having greater control . • RIG were seen as being more alert Questionnaire 2 – What the nurses thought… • 93 % of the RIG group had improved and were more active (moving, talking etc) than passive (reading). In addition: • Movie attendance higher in the RIG • Jelly bean guessing competition – 10 participants from the RIG, 1 from CG.
  12. 12.  Implications:  Personal responsibility = increased well being  But what about the sample?  71% of CG became more debilitated over the 3 weeks  The improvements in the conditions of the RIG group were quite small – what if you made bigger changes?  What made them go to the movies? Happiness or control?  Real world application – conditions in a care home?
  13. 13.  Method – field experiment  Reliability – refers to whether something is consistent. Consistency of answers on a questionnaire – test-retest  Validity – refers to whether something is legitimate or true. Internal validity concerns the extent to which the researcher has tested what they intended to test. Ecological validity concerns the extent to which the research findings can be generalised beyond the research setting. Experimenter bias Extraneous variables  Sampling – representative?  Ethics – Informed consent? Deception? Lack of right to withdraw? Privacy? Protect from harm? Confidentiality?
  14. 14. Rodin and Langer (1977) Returned 18 months later, average mortality 25% RIG group = 15% CG group = 30% !!!! Schulz (1976) Benefit when institutionalized aged given control over their visitors. Savell (1991) Found no difference between choice and no choice groups in terms of physical well being.
  15. 15. Wurm et al. (2007) Cognitive schemas surrounding sense of control and the ageing process important in the physical health of elderly. Suls and Mullen (1981) SRRS (think Rahe et al) controllable life changes had less negative impact on health. Cohen et al. (1993) Ps given cold virus. Those whose life was unpredictable and stressful more likely to develop cold.

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