PsychExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

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PsychExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

  1. 1. MAGICAL THINKINGPSYA4
  2. 2. MAGICAL THINKING YOU TUBE SHORT• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyyzfxtx2 Ew
  3. 3. Learning objectives• Must: Outline explanations for magical thinking (BASIC D-E)• Should: Outline explanations for magical thinking (REASONABLE C-B)• Could: Outline explanations for magical thinking (SOUND A-A*)
  4. 4. AO1: What is magical thinking?• Magical thinking is a clinical term used to describe a wide variety of non-scientific & sometimes irrational beliefs. These beliefs are generally centred around correlations between eventsE.g. blowing on a dice for a ‘lucky throw’ or owning something from your favourite celebrity so you feel closer to them
  5. 5. Textbook covers (for AO1)...• Psychodynamic explanations• Dual processing theory• Animism• Nominal realism• Law of contagionThis is far too much content wise so we will focus on 2 – Psychodynamic & Law of contagion. You arewelcome to learn different ones.
  6. 6. AO1: Psychodynamic explanation• Freud (1913) identified MT as a form of childlike thought where children project their inner feelings onto the outer world. E.g. if you think badly about a person it will hurt them.• When adults exhibit such behaviour it is a form of defence mechanism (regression) where they regress to a former child-like state as a way of coping with anxiety.
  7. 7. AO1: Law of contagion• This states that things that have been in contact continue to act upon one another, even after physical contact stops. Such as believing that wearing something from someone special results in magical powers i.e. you can sing like Michael Jackson as you own one of his gloves.
  8. 8. AO1: Law of contagion• Rozin & Nemeroff (1994) suggest this may be related to our evolved fear of germs & contagion. It would be adaptive to avoid touching something that had been in contact with a diseased person and this leads to an intuition that psychological & physical properties can pass between people.
  9. 9. AO2  Benefits of MT The Good MT may lead people to deal more confidently with their environment because they expect good things to happen as a result of their belief & actions Self-efficacy is one explanation (belief in own abilities). Another is the placebo effect-MT acts like a placebo creating a positive view & this alone accounts for improvements Rosenthal & Jacobsen (68) showed that children’s IQ scores increased over a period of a year as their teachers were led to expect them to do better. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy – things turn out as we expect because of our expectation!
  10. 10. AO2  Lack of MT The BadPeople who are depressed generally show less MT, called depression realismThis suggests that a fully accurate assessment of one’s own abilities may not be good for you (Huston, 2008) Mohr et al (2005) have linked this lack of MT (as well as anhedonia-inability to experience pleasure) to low levels of dopamineDopamine is high in both schizophrenics & believers
  11. 11. AO2  Costs of MT The UglyMT is linked to mental disorders; too much is not a good thingMT is one of the characteristics of schizotypal personality disorder & schizophrenia (Weinberger & Harrison, 2011)Youlmaz et al (2011) found that MT was a critical factor in OCD. They found that people with strong magical beliefs also reported more checking symptoms
  12. 12. Exam question• Outline & evaluate explanations of magical thinking (4 + 6)

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