AS Psychology Section C - Approaches and Strengths and Weaknesses for each Approach

This includes a detailed outline of each approach the main assumptions and the strengths and weaknesses.I hope it aids your revision. Please comment and rate. Section C for OCR. - Cognitive,Developmental,Social,Physiological(Biological) and Individual Differences

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The Approaches in Psychology
In Section C of the exam you are required to have detailed
knowledge about the approaches.
Social Approach
All behaviour occurs in a social context, even when nobody else is physically present.
A major influence on people's behaviour, thought processes and emotions are other people and
the society that they have created
An individual's behaviour is effected by situational factors.
Strengths of the Social Approach Weaknesses of the Approach
Social influences have been shown to have a Underestimates what people bring to a social
often stronger effect than dispositional situation
factors Provides only superficial `snapshots' of
The approach can provide explanation for a behaviour and ignores their development over
great many phenomenon time.
The approach is useful in explaining Studies are often using unrepresentative
prejudice and discrimination samples
The approach often adopts scientific Often conducted in laboratories, therefore
methods to conduct research. lack ecological validity.
The Individual Differences Approach
Behaviour which deviates from the norm is considered abnormal.
Aims to make generalisations about differences between people
Focuses on the unique characteristics of the individual
Strength of studying Individuals Differences Weaknesses
The approach allows us to understand human The studies in this field often have small
behaviour and find causes for psychological samples due to the rarity of the participants
disorders. and so may lack generalisability.
The approach may help us to find causes for The studies may be susceptible to ethical
prejudice and discrimination and in turn help problems such as exploitation of the
to reduce it. participants.

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The Approaches in Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Behaviour can largely be explained in terms of how the mind operates
The mind works in a manner which is similar to a computer; inputting, storing and
retrieving data.
Strength of the Cognitive Approach Weaknesses
The cognitive approach used rigorous Can be over simplistic, ignores other
scientific methods to investigate behaviour complexities of human functioning compared
Has many useful applications to that of a computer.…read more

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The Approaches in Psychology
The Developmental Approach
All behaviour is adulthood is effected by experiences in childhood.
Development changes are a results of inherited factors (nature), which include events that
occur as a result of maturation, such as puberty.
Lifetime experiences (nurture), which include interactions with other people.…read more


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