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Idiographic Vs Nomothetic (12 marks)
1. Define the debate Concerned with whether we study people as individuals or whether we
study similarities between people and develop laws from which we can generalise.
2. Define terms Idiographic refers to looking at individual, unique, subjective experiences. Uses
case studies, qualitative. Nomothetic refers to similarities to develop laws, try to generalise to the
wider population. Uses experiments, quantitative.
3. Perspectives Idiographic Psychodynamic and Humanistic. Nomothetic Behaviourist and
4. Two topics Memory Adopts both idiographic and Nomothetic methods. Nomothetic because
they use experiments e.g. Peterson and Peterson, Experiment on the duration of the short term
memory and they generalised the results. Idiographic Case studies e.g. HM, Clive Wearing. Can't
carry out these experimentally as unethical. Mood Disorders Nomothetic biological.
Genes/catecholamine hypothesis. Generalise. Drug therapy for everybody. Idiographic Client
centred therapy (CCT Rodgers) Individual approach to treating depression.
5. Evaluation +Nomothetic uses scientific methods + Idiographic considers individuals
experiences Nomothetic ignores individual experiences Idiographic doesn't use scientific
Holism Vs Reductionism (12 marks)
1. Define the debate Whether it's better to study behaviour by looking at one single component
or looking at many different explanations and how they interact.
2. Define terms Reductionism focuses on one explanation but ignore others. Holism is many
different explanations e.g. involves biology, environment, cognitive processes etc.
3. Perspectives Reductionism Biological/Behaviourist. Holistic Psychodynamic/Humanistic
4. Two topics Schizophrenia Biologytwin studies. Not 100% concordance rate, therefore a
biological reductionist approach doesn't fully explain behaviour. BehaviouristAlso doesn't fully
explain behaviour. Diathesis Stress is more holistic. Criminology biological. Dabbs et al. How do
we know that it is the environment controlling aggression or if its biology?
5. Evaluate. +Holism brings together different levels of explanation and thus provides a more
realistic and complete understanding of behaviour. Holism is difficult to investigate and integrate
explanations from difficult levels. +Reductionism focuses on a particular aspect of behaviour in detail
If we only look at one factor at a time we may miss the complexity of influences on any one
Mind Vs Body (4 marks)
1. Define debate Concerned with whether the mind and body (brain) are the same (monism) or
whether they are completely separate and interacting things (dualism)
2. Schizophrenia High dopamine levels (in brain) causes schizophrenia symptoms e.g.
hallucinations (in the mind). Support for this comes from drug therapy e.g. Chlorpromazine reduces
the level of dopamine (in the brain) which then relieves the symptoms (in the mind). Therefore, the
brain affects the mind (Epiphenomenalism)