Issues and debates in Psychology

The Biosocial Approach to Gender Development

The Biosocial Theory Money and Ehrhardt 1972 In their book ‘man and woman, boy and girl’ they set out their theory that once a biological male or female is born, social labelling and differential treatment interact with biological factors (such as exposure to...

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Psychological Explanations of Gender Development

Evaluation: There are actual implications for the socially sensitive research. Research on gender Dysphoria has potential social consequences for those represented by the research. However, it needs to be considered that they may be better off with the research...

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Free Will and Determinism

Free will is the idea that we are self-determining Humans are free to choose thoughts/actions Biological/environmental influences on behaviour but we can reject them Behaviour has no cause/is unpredictable View of the humanistic approach Determinism: behaviour is...

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The Nature-nurture Debate

Nature: behaviour is the product of innate biological/genetic factors Result of heredity Genetic transmission of mental/physical characteristics from one generation to another Heritability coefficient: number 0-1, extent to which characteristic has a genetic basis g....

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Holism and Reductionism

Holism People/behaviour should be studied as a whole system Gestalt psychologists: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts Breaking up behaviour/experience is inappropriate as they can only be understood by analysing the person/behaviour as a whole View shared...

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Idiographic and Nomothetic Approaches

Idiographic approach Study of unique experience Aims to describe nature of the individual People studied as unique entities with their own subjective experiences/motivators/values No attempt to compare to a larger group/standard/norm Qualitative research methods Case...

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Cultural Bias

Psychology claims to unearth universal truths but in reality, findings may only apply to the particular groups who were studied Wrongly assumed that western findings could be applied all over the world g. conformity (Asch) and obedience (Milgram) produced different...

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Ethical Implications of Research Studies/theory

Ethical implications Ethical issues are due to conflict between: Psychology’s need for valid/valuable research Preserving rights/dignity of participants Wider ethical implications are hard to predict Researchers control methods/how the treat participants Less...

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Discuss Culture Bias in Psychology. (16 Marks)

AO1 Culture bias is the tendency to judge all people in terms of your own cultural assumptions. This distorts or biases your judgement. An example of culture bias can be seen in Ainsworth’s strange situation whereby 106 middle-class American infants were observed in...

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Discuss Free Will & Determinism in Psychology (16 Marks) 

AO1 Determinism is the view that an individual's behaviour is controlled by either internal or external forces acting upon the individual. There are different types of determinism namely environmental, biological and psychodynamic determinism. Biological determinism...

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Discuss Holism and Reductionism in Psychology (16 Marks)

AO1 Reductionism refers to an approach that breaks complex phenomena into more simple components. It also implies that this process is desirable because complex phenomena are best understood in terms of a simpler level of explanation. Psychologists are drawn to...

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Ethical Implications of Research Studies and Theory

With reference to either research studies or theories, explain what is meant by ‘ethical implications’ [3 marks] Ethical implications are the impact that psychological research may have at a societal level, in terms of influencing public policy and/or the way in which...

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Gender Bias

Psychologists seek universality but bias may be inevitable Social/historical contexts that they live in   Gender bias: psychological theory/research may not accurately represent the experience/behaviour of men and women   Alpha bias exaggerates differences,...

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Gender and Culture in Psychology: Gender Bias

Explain what is meant by the terms ‘universality’ and ‘bias’ in relation to gender [4 marks] Universality refers to any underlying characteristic of human beings that is capable of being applied to all, despite differences of experience and upbringing. The...

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Gender and Culture in Psychology: Cultural Bias

In relation to culture in psychology, explain what is meant by the terms ‘bias’ and ‘universality’ [4 marks] Universality refers to any underlying characteristic of human beings that is capable of being applied to all, despite differences of experience and upbringing....

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