Methodology: Health Psychology

Power point which covers areas needed in the Edexcel A2 specification:

- Animals Lab Studies: Practical Strengths and Weaknesses, Ethical Strengths and Weaknesses

- Human Studies: Lab Studies and Evaluation, Surveys and Evaluation

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Health Psychology
Unit 3- Edexcel…read more

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Lab Studies (Animals)
· Used to investigate psychological effects of drugs.
· In a lab, conditions can be carefully controlled, the researcher can
manipulate the IV and measure the effect on the DV.
· Animals have been used to measure effect of drugs, levels of
addictiveness, short and long term consequences and
effectiveness of therapy.
· Most studies look as behaviour change as a consequence of the
drug, though some studies may test areas of the brain which are
needed to produce the effect of a drug.…read more

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· Schramm-Sapyta 2008
· Investigates possible origins of alcohol abuse.
· Adolescent male rats were placed in cages for 16
hours a day for three days with the only liquid
available being alcohol.
· Afterwards, rats were given the choice of water or
· Rats who were given alcohol as an adolescent,
consumed more alcohol more frequently than those
who weren't exposed.
· They concluded that early exposure to alcohol is a
predictor for heavier consumption in later life.…read more

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Practical Strengths
· Animals are raised in a controlled environment so the
effects of prior experiences have been controlled.
· Conditions in a lab are more precisely controlled.
· Lab species have a shorter life span, so life span can
be easily monitored.
· Animals which are genetically similar can be tested to
remove the genetics variable.
· Animal research is cheaper as the amount of drug
needed is less. Time scales are shorter and adequate
conditions and welfare are less expensive.
· Results can produce a model of how addiction may
happen that can be investigated in humans under less
rigorous conditions.
· Animals reproduce much quicker than humans so the
effect of genetics can be studied.…read more

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Practical Weaknesses
· There is no guarantee that what occurs in animals will
occur in humans. Generalisations between them must
be done with great caution.
· It cannot be used to explain the interaction between
experiences, genetics and drugs found in human use.
· You cannot gain qualitative data on feelings as animals
can't communicate with us.
· The financial benefits may not be relevant if you can't
generalise results.
· Cue present in the environment can make people
respond more or less quickly to a drug and even make
a normal safe level of intake lethal. This can't be
investigated in animals.…read more

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Ethical Strengths
· Studies which are ethically impossible on
humans can be conducted on animals as
animals can be seen as expendable.
· If there are long term negative consequences
of a drug, it is thought better for a non human
animal to be effected than a human.
· Providing guidelines are followed, animal
research is more straight forward than human
research in terms of ethics.
· It is regulated by the Home Office, so it checks
on animals are more likely than on humans.…read more

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