ISSUES AND DEBATES - Holism

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  • Holism
    • General
      • an approach that involves the study of whole system rather than individual parts
      • belief that the whole is diff to its constituent parts
      • behaviour should be analysed on its own level, rather than being reduced to a lower level
      • eg group behaviour,  look as a whole not the individ behaviour that make it up
    • Perception
      • illusions - we see the whole picture to see the image not the individ parts
      • face recognition: holistic template / face map - we recognise a face overall not the individ parts (eg. ear etc)
      • Gestalt theory
        • requires whole picture but we can see two separate thing (eg. young woman and old lady picture)
    • Insight learning
      • creative act - example of something that is difficult to break down into parts
    • Group behaviour
      • conformity - identification / compliance
      • de-individuation
    • Humanism
      • suggests humans can be studied only be viewing the individ alongside their social setting
      • complex behaviours require complex explanations
    • Evaluation of reductive explanation (A03)
      • offers explanation of behaviour
      • offers a cure eg. through use of drugs or re-programming
      • meets philosophical requirement of 'parsimony' (being economical) (Occam's razor)
      • may be at an inappropriate level
      • may overlook the meaning of behaviour
      • cures may distract from better explanation (etiological fallacy)
        • etiological fallacy = X cures/treats Y, therefore, absence of X is the cause of Y

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