Advantages and Disadvantages of the Approaches in Psychology

  • Created by: Gaynor
  • Created on: 13-10-18 12:20

Behaviourist Approach

Advantages:

  • Scientific credibility - objective and has experiments to support it (Skinner Box)
  • Real-life applications - token econmy used in prisons - treating phobias

Disadvantages:

  • Mechanistic - mental processes not taken into account
  • Hard determinism - all our behaviour is down to our environment
  • Ethical issues with experiments - using animals - rats and dogs
  • Lacks ecological validity - experimental findings generalised to humans
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Social Learning Theory

Advantages:

  • Takes into account both cognitive and environmental factors
  • Scientific - experiment with bobo doll
  • Explains culteral differences

Disadvantages:

  • Low validity - experiments done in a lab and so possibly of demand characteristics being shown
  • Underestimates influence of biology - aggression may be down to high levels of testosterone in boys
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Cognitive Approach

Advantages:

  • Scientific - experiments produce reliable and objective data
  • Real-life applications - devleoped therapies like CBT

Disadvantages:

  • Machine reductionism - ignores influence of emotions
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Psychodynamic Approach

Advantages:

  • Explanatory power - had a huge influence on psychology
  • Practical applications - psychoanalysis

Disadvantages:

  • Non-scientific - cannot study the unconscious mind
  • Hard determinism - denies possibility of free-will
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Biological Approach

Advantages:

  • Highly scientific - uses precise techniques like scans
  • Real-life applications - development of psychotheraputic drugs

Disadvantages:

  • Drugs are only used to treat the symptoms not the causes
  • Hard determinism - all our behaviour is down to genetics 
  • Cannot seperate nature and nurture
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Humanistic Approach

Advantages:

  • Not reductionist - places importance on the whole person
  • Positive approach - sees people as basically good

Disadvantages:

  • Non-scientific - vague ideas that are difficult to test
  • Limited applications
  • Culteral bias - only focuses on the individual
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