G544 Strengths and Weaknesses of Approaches and Perspectives

Strengths and Weaknesses of explaining behaviour using the approaches and perspective.

2 strengths and 2 weaknesses with links to studies from AS and A2

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  • Created by: Gemma
  • Created on: 01-06-12 14:49

Cognitive Approach

Strengths

  • Very scientific approach with high control which produces valid results. Loftus and Palmer
  • Good practical applications in producing treatments for dysfunctional behaviour. Succesful treatments show a strong explanation of behaviour. Beck - comparing cognitive therapy to pharmacotherapy where cognitive was most succesful.

Weaknesses

  • Findings often lack ecological validity due to artificial settings of studies. Baron-Cohen and the eyes task test.
  • Lacks qualitative data which does not provide an explanation into why participants behaved in the way they did.
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Physiological Approach

Strengths

  • Takes scientific approach using MRI and PET scans which produce valid results. Maguire and Raine
  • Lead to development of drugs as treatments of dysfunctional behaviour like depression. Karp and Frank - compared drug and psychotherapeutic treatment where drug was more succesful

Weaknesses

  • Reductionist as it reduces behaviour down to chemical processes, too simplistic. Brunner et al, said that it was only serotonin leveles causing the males in the family to have the syndrome, ignored the environment.
  • Lack of qualitative data, does not provide an explanation for why they got their results. Maguire, could have interviewed participants
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Behaviourist Perspective

Strengths

  • Can provide an explanation for dysfunctional behaviour. Lewinsohn - found that positive reinforcement was directly linked with causing depression.
  • Helps us to understand how the nurture side of the nature nurtute debate can affect behaviour. McGrath's study on Lucy

Weaknesses

  • Reductionist. Only explains behaviour through our environment, too simplistic. Bandura - only explained children's behaviour due to learning from the model, ignored any biological factors which might have made the children more pre determined to agressive activity.
  • Uses animals in studies so hard to generelise the explanations of their behaviour to humans. e.g. Pavlov's dogs
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Developmental Approach

Strengths

  • Provides an explanation for why people turn to crime. Bowlby's attachment theory + Farrington who suggested your upbringing affected whether you turned to crime
  • Provides an explanation as to how cognitive processes develop over time. Piaget suggested children develop through stages e.g. sensorimotor and pre-operational

Weaknesses

  • Longitudinal studies are lengthly and take a long time to provide an explanation for a behavior. Freud's case study lasted two years.
  • Reductionist as only provides one explanation of behaviour and ignores any other factors. Freud, said Hans' phobia was due to oedipus complex, ignored other factors which may have caused it e.g. passed experiences.
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Social Approach

Strengths

  • Research is often carried out as field experiments so has high ecological validity. Piliavin
  • Provides an explanation for criminal behaviour. Farrington, suggests upbringing determines criminal behaviour

Weaknesses

  • Reductionist. Ignores any individual explanations of behaviour. Milgram, suggests it was only the presence of the authority figure and prestigious uni causing the participants to be obedient.
  • Can raise ethical issues such as deceit and distress. Piliavin.
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Psychodynamic Perspective

Strengths

  • Recognises that childhood is a critical period in our development. Bowlby's study on 44 thievs, break in attachment can lead to criminal behaviour
  • Uses the idiographic approach where one participant is studied. Provides lots of in depth data. Thigpen and Cleckley

Weaknesses

  • Psychoanalytical therapy is not always succesful in curing dysfunctional behaviour. Ellis compared it to rational and rational was more effective in treating depression
  • No emperical evidence or quanititative data. Susceptible to researcher bias producing less valid results, weakening explanation of behaviour
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Individual Differences Approach

Strengths

  • By understanding what causes prejudice it can be reduced by  providing interventions such as training of nurses to interact with patients on a more personal level. Rosenhan
  • By understanding how people behave differently treatments can be made which are tailored to the individual. Cann, found that women did not respond to the cognitive therapy because they thought differently.

Weaknesses

  • Samples can often lack generalisability due to the rarity of participants. Griffiths, Regular gamblers are rare and findings can't be generalised to other addictions
  • Can raise ethical issues as participants may be exploited. Eve White's headaches and blackouts were made worse by treatment.

 

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