Alternatives to the scientific approach

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  • Criticisms of the scientific appoach
    • Critics claim: The notion of objectivity is a myth
      • Past experiences, beliefs and ideas make it impossible to be objective about the data.
        • Psychologists face the trafitional problem of studying people and are therefore gathering information in a social context.
    • As the emphasis on control - the traditional approach tends to treat people as passive participants
      • the emphisis on recording one aspect of behaviour ignores experience of participants
        • They are not asked what else they feel or think.
          • Any information gained from this approach is therefore likely to be superficial
    • The scientific appoarch emphasises control and so attmpts to study one variable
      • critics suggest this is not possible
        • e.g how can one aspect of somes memory be studied in isolation from past experiances and current feelings?
          • As the emphasis on control - the traditional approach tends to treat people as passive participants
            • the emphisis on recording one aspect of behaviour ignores experience of participants
              • They are not asked what else they feel or think.
                • Any information gained from this approach is therefore likely to be superficial
    • Tends to study people in unnatural settings
      • Participants are treated as if their behaviours can be isolated from the social context
        • Critics claim, what is being studied us unusual behaviour (demand characteristics)
    • People cannot be studied in the same way as physical things

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