Issues and debates - cultural bias & free will and determinism

View mindmap
  • Issues and Debates
    • Free Will and Determinism
      • Cultural Bias
        • Cultural bias refers to making assumptions based on ones own beliefs.
        • Ethnocentrism - seeing the world from ones own perspective and perceiving that as normal and standard
          • Example of ethnocentrism - Ainsworth's strange situation study has been criticised for only reflecting the norms and values of American culture in attachment. German mothers were seen as cold and rejecting rather than encouraging independence in their children. Therefore the research was seen as an inappropriate measure of attachment type in non-US children.
        • Cultural Relativism - behaviour can only be understood if its cultural context is taken into consideration.
          • Imposed Etic -  looking at behaviours from outside a given culture and identifying behaviours that are universal.
        • EVALUATION
          • There are practical applications. Changes have been made to the DSM-5 to accommodate for all different cultures, taking into consideration culture bound syndromes which will make misdiagnosis less likely.
          • Culture biases can have significant implications. When immigrants came over from other countries, they were given an IQ test that catered to the American culture. The difference in cultures may have lead to stereotypes.
          • There may be difficulties with the interpretation of variables.  Emotions may lead to different behaviours within an indigenous population compared to the west (e.g. invasion of personal space is normal in China but threatening in the West). These issues could reduce the validity of research.
      • Types of Determinism
        • Soft determinism - favoured by most scientists, human action has a cause but conscious control over behaviour
        • Environmental determinism - behaviour is determined by our surroundings/upbringing and is pre-determined.
        • Hard determinism - all human action has a cause that we can't control.
        • Psychic determinism - behaviour is caused by unconscious conflicts we can't control.
        • Biological determinism - genetic factors determine behaviours and characteristics (mental disorders or hormones).
      • Free Will - the idea that all of our thoughts and actions are done out of choice.
      • Determinism - behaviour is governed by internal or external factors which we have no control over.
        • Free will isn't supported by neurological science. Libet et al found that the brain subconsciously makes decisions before we are consciously aware of them. this shows even our most basic experiences are pre-determined.
        • Making choices is part of our everyday life. This gives face validity to the idea of free will.
          • Robert et al found that adolescents with a strong belief in fatalism were more prone to developing depression.
        • Hard determinism isn't consistent with the legal system. In the eyes of the law, offenders are held accountable for their actions. As a basic principle, it is very difficult to disprove so may not be as scientific as first thought.


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Issues and Debates resources »