Here is a guide to writing the Analysis section. Enjoy!
Please click on the video link below for a detailed guide as to how to write the Introduction to the IA – and what to avoid doing!
This unit of work covers the topic of what culture is, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, a guide as to how to navigate Hofstede’s page and a focus on the Individualistic/Collectivist dimension. There are lots of videos, tasks and input from students required.
Here is the link to the video:
Many of us are now teaching our classes through a virtual learning environment. Most had very little notice, maybe one or two days, and are now on the steepest learning curve ever. Here are a few tips, followed by some very useful sites and links:
Several online sites are very kindly offering teachers free access to psychology resources for at least a month, and often through to the end of June 2020.
- Quizlet Teacher
- Zoom.us – not resources, but a great free meeting platform for running discussion groups
Thank you to those teachers who have sent their students home with copies of Psychology Sorted. Our sales have held steady through March, and we’re sure, with the key studies summaries, QR codes and links to many online resources, all students will appreciate this.
Finally, for those who would like to use psychology as a lens for discussing the current pandemic:
- Independent article by author Steven Taylor
- Psychology of Disasters
- The Ghost Map
- Asian news article from 6 weeks ago about reactions to the coronavirus. Interesting in retrospect.
I am sure there will soon be more resources available on this topic.
Cognitive biases like those listed on the Raconteur site (see this link, and below) can be a useful way to describe not only our own reaction to all the troubling news of the Covid-19 virus, but also to analyse the ever-changing reactions of some of the more prominent politicians! Here’s hoping your families and you keep safe, and stay online 🙂
Similarly to the biological approach, there are many overlaps between the cognitive approach and the options of abnormal psychology, development, health and human relationships. For example, the psychology of cognitive processes and their reliability can explain clinical biases in diagnosis of disorders, debates regarding the etiology of disorders and also inform their treatment.
Watch out for more of these!
Biological psychology has come to the fore over the past years. The mapping of the human genome combined with improved brain-scanning techniques has meant that the biological correlation to psychological conditions is more easily identifiable, and it is clear that many mental disorders like major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia are explainable through a gene x environment interaction. This usually means that an inherited genetic pre-disposition to a disorder, or a certain behaviour or addiction is triggered environmentally.
Talking of genes takes us to neurotransmitters. How? Genes make proteins which make neurotransmitters and genes also transport neurotransmitters across the synapse. (See Caspi et al._2003 and the 5HTTR serotonin transporter gene). Neurotransmitters are agonists –they bind with receptor sites on the post-synaptic neuron and cause an action potential. Drugs are also agonists that act in the same way, but they are not natural in our nervous system. Neurotransmitters are known as endogenous agonists (internal agonists); drugs, or any chemicals taken into the body, to deliberately stimulate a certain neurotransmitter or group of neurotransmitters, are exogenous agonists (external agonists).
An exogenous agonist for serotonin is MDMA (Ecstasy). It works by binding with the serotonin transporter genes and also with the receptor sites, temporarily increasing the serotonin in the synapse in the neocortex (part of the cerebral cortex), the amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus, affecting cognitions such as memory and perceptions, as well as mood. We party!
However, studies have suggested that there is a rebound effect, whereby damage to the serotonin transporters after several doses of MDMA over a period of a few days has resulted in an ultimate decrease of serotonin in the brain, and memory and mood impairment, leading to theories that this might be linked to a motivation to take more and eventually to possible addiction. (See McCann et al MDMA and memory).
Of course, the opposite to an agonist is…an antagonist, which will be the subject of the next blog post.
Psychology comes right up to date with the study of the effects of child poverty on cognitive and social development. In Psychology Sorted we make the link between child poverty, brain imaging technology and child development. We could just as easily have also added in an abnormal psychology link to mental health, for as child poverty rates in the US and UK soar, so does the number of children in poor mental health. (For a further cross-cultural perspective, the same is also true of Australia and New Zealand).
Luby et al. (2013) uses MRI scans to investigate the relationship between child poverty and brain development in pre-school and early school age children, and found that it was associated with less white and cortical grey brain matter and reduces hippocampal and amygdala volumes. The effects of poverty on the volume of the hippocampus were mediated by a close relationship with a good caregiver, but increased by stress and hostility. The effects on the cognitive development and mental health of young people have been well documented.
While some subjects studied in schools may not always seem relevant to the world outside the classroom, psychology will never be one of them.