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Humans, like computers, are information processors, we both receive, interpret
and respond to information in similar ways and do not passively respond to our
environment, these mental processes can therefore be tested scientifically.
Uses rigorous scientific methods ­ increasing reliability
Many useful practical applications
Investigates thoughts ­ neglected by behaviourists
Over simplistic ­ humans are far more complex
Unrealistic - ignores biological aspects Baron ­ Cohen
Ignores conscious experiences and freewill Savage - Rumbaugh
Loftus & Palmer…read more

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Assumes that change's occur over a person's lifetime through environmental or
inherited factors
Many useful practical applications in education
Allows us to investigate nature/nurture debate
Uses large range of research methods
Allows us to investigate the effects of experiences on behaviour
Assumes that behaviour is determined ­ ignores freewill
Case studies have low generalisability
Focuses mainly on childhood development Bandura
Samuel & Bryant
Freud…read more

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All that is psychological is at first physiological as the mind resides in the brain.
Use of machinery = accurate and precise measurements
Impact of biology can lead to treatments
Understanding how a abnormal brain works can help with normal brain
Reductionist ­ focuses on one explanation for complex behaviour
Correlations frequently used = no cause and effect
Lab experiments = low in ecological validity
Dement & Kleitman
Sperry…read more

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All behaviour occurs in a social context even when nobody else is present
A major influence on behaviour is other people and society
Understanding social behaviour can be very useful
Uses a variety of research methods
Underestimates the power of individual differences
Many studies are `snapshot' ones
Deception may raise ethical issues Milgram
Reicher & Haslam
Piliavin…read more

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Behaviour can be explained through many factors; genetics, brain structure,
reinforcement, learning, distorted and irrational thinking
Psychometric testing can be used to make comparisons between people
The study of individual cases is invaluable in therapy
Psychometric tests are subject to reliability and validity problems
Case studies cannot be generalised
Some research can ignore situational factors
Thigpen & Cleckley
Griffiths…read more

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A very useful summary of approaches, many thanks!

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