WJEC PSY1 compare and contrast approaches summary table

I teach psychology and this is a table I have prepared for my students that covers the compare and contrast between the psychological approaches. Includes reductionist, nomological/ideographic, determinism/free will and methods which should be covered to achieve an A. Please see my other resources for detailed notes on each approach individually

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  • Created on: 20-12-12 15:01
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Behaviourist Approach Psychodynamic Approach Cognitive Approach Biological Approach
Assumptions Relationship between stimulus and Behaviour is determined by Behaviour result of internal information Behaviour caused by activity in the
response ­ principles of classical and unconscious forces. Each manifest processing (schemas) . Make nervous system of the body throug
operant conditioning behaviour hides a latent intention or comparison between the mind and action of neurons, neurotransmitte
Believes there is little difference motive. Latent motive reflect our computers (computer analogy). Atypical and hormones. Different structures
between people and animals instinctive biological drives (id, ego behaviours due to faulty processing. the brain control different behaviou
Neo-behaviourism (social learning superego) and our early childhood Evolution has shaped our genes and
theory) experiences (psychosexual behaviour.
Nature/ Nurture Interactionist Interactionist Nature
Nurture Born as a tablula rasa (blank slate) and Adult personality is the product of Believe behaviour is influenced by A main assumption all psychologica
apart from a few innate reflexes we innate drive (nature) and childhood learning and experience (nature) but disorders can be explained by
learn from the environment through experiences (nurture). These drive also by our brain innate capacities as neurotransmitters, DNA and brain
classical and operant conditioning. E.g. include, id, ego and superego and the information processes (nurture). structure. E.g. schizophrenia caused
phobias are learnt via classical psychosexual stages of development. If high dopamine levels
conditioning eg. Little albert. The SLT do not pass these successfully leads to
states behaviour is moulded by society. abnormality.
Nomological/ Nomological Nomological/ideographic Nomological Nomological
ideographic Their insistence that all learning can be Takes the middle ground, whilst human Focuses on establishing the information Interesting in the features people h
accounted for in terms of law-governed behaviour governed by universal processes that are common to all in common and in understanding th
processes like classical and operant processes that apply to everyone people. fundamental laws of human behavi
conditioning, (although behaviourists (nomological) psychodynamic approach
never ignore individual differences, agrees ways that these manifest is
since every person's history of learning unique to the individual (ideographic) ­
is unique) use of case study ideographic.
Reductionism Reductionist (highly) Reductionist Reductionist Reductionist
/ Holism Focuses on environmental factors. Focuses on mechanistic factors that Mechanistic as portrays human Focuses on simple biological
Conditioning core assumption that affect behaviour as reduces complex behaviour as that of a machine - processes­ reduce complex behavio
influence human behaviour ­ reduced to behaviour to mechanics of the mind Compares to computers. E.g. Kelley to simple explanations e.g. reducin
basic elements (fundamental processes and manifestations of primitive covariance model assumed individuals stress to action adrenaline. Ignores
of conditioning). Ignores all biological biological drives (battle id, ego and behaved in a logical manner and ignores environmental or cognitive influenc
and cognitive factors. Considers it superego) and of childhood experiences possibility of irrational behaviour e.g. depression low serotonin levels
unnecessary to focus on internal mental (psychosexual stages). (individual differences). Neglects the
processes when explaining behaviour. influence of emotions and the role of
genes **
Determinism/ Deterministic (environmental) Deterministic Deterministic/free-will division Deterministic
Free will Behaviour determined exclusively by Behaviour determined by childhood Places importance on schemas and Behaviour determined by function
classical and operant conditioning ­ experiences and innate forces ­ stereotypes which determine way neurons and structures in brain.
predetermined to develop a phobia if therefore we have no free will on who interpret a situation ­ deterministic as `predetermines' our behaviour to
have negative association with it. Does we become and how behave. See can't decide behaviour any more than develop therapy e.g. high levels
not consider free will humans have personality as shaped by forces cannot computer. Other believe can choose our serotonin predetermines schizophr
when making choices change or have control over actions (free-will) characteristics.

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Methods used Laboratory studies with experimental Case-study method ­ techniques such Case studies with brain damaged Genetic studies - use of twin and fa
methods. Animals used as assume as free association and dream analysis. patients ­ draw comparisons with history. Scientific methods - brain
learn in same way as people ­ problems Gathers detailed qualitative data and healthy brains. Laboratory experiments scanning such as PET and MRI. Can
with generalisation.…read more


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