Explain and Evaluate Question

Notes and evaluation on methodology for all approaches.

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  • Created on: 30-03-12 15:51
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Explain and evaluate the methodology of the _______________ approach.
Case Studies ­ This idiographic method is the main way a psychodynamic psychologist studies
human behaviour. It involves interviewing and observing a subject over a long period of time.
Freud based his personality development theory on several clinical cases eg: Little Hans
Qualatitive data ­ can be studied in detail
Gives a complete indepth conclusion for the individual
Cannot generalise results
Researcher bias/subjective results
Clinical Interviews ­ Client talks about their past and emotions ­ eg: dream analysis, free
association. The therapist can guide the client in order to find out more, following up relevant
Allows formation of a therapistclient relationship
Therapist can observe verbal and nonverbal behaviour
Cannot generalise results
Interviewer bias ­ can be guided to a hypothesis
Cognitive Approach
Lab experiments ­ studying thought processes in a lab environment, eg: memory test. This
area of research is relevant to the study of eyewitness testimony & accuracy of memory.
Can control extraneous variables
Experiments can be repeated to check reliability
Do not represent real life ­ lack ecological validity
Participants will not behave naturally as they know they are being observed
Case studies of braindamaged individuals ­ gives researchers insight into the working
mind. For example, the case of HM, where the removal of his hippocampus caused him to be
unable to form new memories, but his personality and intellect were intact.
True insight into the mind
Qualitative data
Cannot be generalised

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Brain scans ­ enables psychologists to measure brain activity ­ focus on the brain and nervous
system assumptions. EEG ­ electrodes, CAT scans ­ xrays, MRI scans ­ magnetic, and PET
scans ­ uses radioactive dye.
Provide clear evidence of certain abnormalities eg: abnormal brain structures and chemical
PET scans show the brain in action ­ useful for psychological research.…read more


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