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Approach Assumptions Strengths Weaknesses Studies
All behaviour occurs in a -Social influences have been shown -Underestimates what people bring Milgram
social context, even when to have an often stronger effect to a social situation.
nobody else is physically than dispositional factors. -Provides only superficial `snapshots'
present. A major influence -The approach can provide of behaviour & ignores their
Social Approach on people's behaviour, explanation for a great many development over time.
thought process and phenomenon's. -Studies are often using
emotions, are other people -The approach is useful in explaining unrepresentative samples.
& the society in which they prejudice & discrimination. -Often conducted in laboratories,
have created. An individual's -The approach often adopts therefore lack ecological validity.
behaviour is affected by scientific methods in conduct
situation factors. research.
Reicher & Haslam
Behaviour which deviates -The approach allows us to -The studies in this field often have Rosenhan
from the norm is considered understand human behaviour & find small samples due to the rarity of the
Individual abnormal. Aims to make causes for psychological disorders. participants & so may lack
Differences generalisations about -The approach may help us to find generalisability.
Approach differences between causes for prejudice & discrimination -The studies may be susceptible to
people. Focuses on the & in turn help to reduce it. ethical problems such as exploitation
unique characteristics of the of the participants.
Thigpen & Cleckley
Behaviour can largely be -The cognitive approach used -Can be over simplistic, ignores other Loftus & Palmer
explained in terms of how rigorous scientific methods to complexities of human functioning
the mind operates. The mind investigate behaviour.
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Cognitive works in a manner which is -Has many useful applications. compared to that of a computer.
Approach similar to a computer; -Has contributed to our Deterministic!
inputting, storing & understanding of human -Unrealistic - & studies often lack
retrieving data. phenomenon & had integrated well ecological validity.
with other approaches. -Ignores emotion & freewill in humans.
Behaviour & experience can -The approach is very scientific & is -Reductionist the approach explains Sperry
be reduced to the grounded in hard science.…read more
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The studies may take a long time to
Lifetime experiences conduct & require greater resources.
(nurture), which include -May lack generalisability due to
interactions with other samples used & may ignore historical
people. & cultural influences.…read more