Methodology (Clinical Psychology)

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Clinical psychology methodology
    • Primary and secondary data
      • Primary data
        • primary data means original data that has been collected by those who witnessed an event first hand or who collected the data themselves for a specific purpose.
        • Strengths
          • Primary data is reliable as the researcher can replicate the procedure to check the results. This is due to them knowing the procedure
          • The data will be more up to date.
          • Primary data is taken directly from the population in question
        • Weaknesses
          • The researcher could be subjective to what type of data they are looking for trying to find data to fit the hypothesis
          • The data has to be gathered from scratch so need to find a big enough population to get a large volume of data. Time consuming and costly
      • Secondary data
        • Secondary data is second hand analysis of pre-existing data. It is analysed in different ways or used to answer questions from what address the original research.
        • Strengths
          • It saves time and expense that would otherwise be used on collecting data.
          • It provides a large database
          • In some cases for example, historical documents, secondary data is often the only resource and thus the only way to examine large-scale trends of the past
        • Weaknesses
          • The researcher can not personally check the data so reliability can be questionable
          • Data may be out of date and therefore not suitable for current research.
    • Features of reliability and validity
      • Reliability
        • A diagnosis is considered reliable if more than one psychologist gives the same diagnosis to the same individual.
        • Issues arise when clinicians disagree over diagnosis.
          • Evidence of this is Beck et al (1961) he found that the agreement among clinicians was at about the level of chance. They gave two psychiatrists 153 patients to diagnose, but the two only agreed on 54% of the time this suggests it can be highly unreliable.
        • In come cases the issue may come from the patient rather than the clinician. The patient may vary in the detail, emphasis and type of information they give, which can effect the diagnosis.
        • There can be disagreements over different classification systems and different cultures.
          • Evidence of this is Cooper et al (1972) showed American and British psychiatrists the same video-taped interview and asked them to make a diagnosis. New York psychiatrists said it was schizophrenia twice as often, whereas in London psychiatrists said it was depression twice as often.
      • Validity
        • This refers to the extent to which a diagnosis reflects an actual disorder and therefore enables a suitable treatment to be identified.
          • For example, if individuals with the same diagnosis show different symptoms, the diagnosis has low validity.
          • Similarly if the individual with the same diagnosis do not respond to the same treatment the diagnosis is also has low validity.
          • Due to the causes of mental disorders are unknown.
          • Most disorders are rarely due to to one identifiable cause. Instead they are more combination of biological, social and cultural factors.
        • The importance of diagnosis is to enable a suitable treatment to be given. This is known as predictive validity, whereby effective treatment means that diagnosis was valid.
    • Research methods into studying schizophrenia
      • Animal experiments
        • Ethological method
          • This is where the animals are studied i their natural environment, often through naturalistic observation, or by experimentation, when some aspects of the animal's environment is manipulated.
        • Laboratory studies
          • This is when the animals are studied in an artificial environment that allows precise control and measurements of variables. Whereas ethological methods are primarily designed to provide insight about animals, laboratory studies are often intended to allow generalisation from animals to humans
        • Schizophrenia studies using animals
          • Randrup and Munkvas 1966 backed up the theory that dopamine contributes to schizophrenia aimed to see whether schizophrenia like symptoms could be induced in non-human animals by giving them amphetamines. Amphetamines worsen schizophrenic like symptoms by releasing dopamine at the central synapses.
            • The procedure involved injecting rats with doses of 1-20mg/kg of amphetamines. In their findings, all the known symptoms of schizophrenia were reported, including stereotypical activity. They concluded that experiments with a number of different animals including chickens, pigeons and cats and dogs show that steriotypical schizophrenic activity can be produced by anphetamines
            • Evaluation
              • The procedure involved injecting rats with doses of 1-20mg/kg of amphetamines. In their findings, all the known symptoms of schizophrenia were reported, including stereotypical activity. They concluded that experiments with a number of different animals including chickens, pigeons and cats and dogs show that steriotypical schizophrenic activity can be produced by anphetamines
              • Strengths
                • More convenient and practical
                • People believe that humans and animals share many characteristics
                • Animals can be used in experiments where ethical considerations would prevent the use of human participants
              • Weaknesses
                • Some reject and say humans and animals are totally different creations and can not be generalisable
                • Animal studies are often criticised for being anthropomorphic. This the the belief that humans and animals have the same thinking.
                • Cannot asses an animals suffering
                • Lack ecological validity
      • Twin stidies
        • In order to study the influence of genes- and in particular to see whether there is a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia researchers focus on the study of identical twins (MZ twins) because they share 100% of their genes.
          • The results are compared to less identical twins (DZ) as they only share 50% of genes.
        • Grottesman 1991 agrued for a genetic cause of schizophrenia.He found that, when one MZ twin is schizophrenic, the other one has about 50% chance of being schizophrenic or having other disturbances.With DZ twins, however, there is only around a 15% chance concordance rate. The evidence is therefore, quite strong that schizophrenia has a large genetic component.
        • Evaluation
          • Strenghts
            • Twin studies can help identify trends in famalies
            • Findings from twin studies regarding the genetic basis of behavior provide controlled evidence for the nature side of the nature/nurture debate.
          • Weaknesses
            • Twin studies do have a problem with their designs. For example a 50% concordance rate in schizophrenic MZ twins may mask other possible causes.
            • They do not show the cause and effects
            • Difficult to find a large sample of identical twins who have the variable we look for and that are raised apart
            • It can be argued that twin studies operate on the assumption that both twins have an identical environment and this may not be the case

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Clinical resources »