issues and debates paper 3

  • Created by: tapes4
  • Created on: 27-11-22 19:52


  • univerality= a claim that generalisations can be made about behaviour regardless of gender
  • bias= preconceptions held by psychologists about typical male/ female behaviour.
    • alpha bias: exaggerates differences between genders eg theories of sexual attraction (men=promiscuous, women=choosey)
    • beta bias: minimises the differences eg fight or flight responce was generalised to women 
  • androcentrism= a consequence of beta bias
    • where results from investigating men are generalised to women 
    • male behaviour seen as normal, women abnormal
    • eg the medialisation of premenstral syndrome 
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culture bias

  • universality and bias = research mainly conducted on white Americans. this is a problem if we generalise it universally.
  • ethnocentrism= belief that your own culture is superior.
  • cultural relativism= the acknoledgement that cultures are different and behaviours are not universal
    • imposed etic: a researcher imposes their own cultural views on the rest of the world.
    • etic approach: ethnocentric - another culture observed from our perspective.
    • emic approach: not ethnocentric - culture observed from within (local residence)
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free will and determinism

  • determinism= free will has no place in explaining behaviour
  • hard determinism= all behaviour has a cause dictated out of our control that can be identified and described.
  • soft determinism= all behaviour has a cause but there is some consious control (cognitive approach)
    • biological determinism: behaviour is cause dby biological factors (genes, hormones)
    • environmental determinism: Behaviour caused by features of environment (reward and punishment- skinner)
    • psychic determinism: behaviour caused by unconsious conflicts beyound are control (frued - psychodynamic approach)(instincts and drives)
  • the scientific emphasis on casual explanations
    • =every event has a cause that can be described by general laws
    • =laws are important to predidct future events 
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the nature nurture debate

the extent to which behaviour is caused by inherited or aquired characteristics

  • nature (nativists) = 
    • human characteristics and some knowledge is natural 
    • heritability coefficient (0-1) 1 = genetically determined
    • iq= 0.5
  • nurture (empricists)=
    • mind is a blank state at birth
    • environmental influences - key feature
  • relative importance of heredity and environment=
    • nature + nurture are hard to seperate eg twin studies 
    • the focus now is to see the relative contribution of both on behaviour
  • the interactionist approach= 
    • eg the theory that psychopathology is caused genetically but triggered environmentally
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holism and reductionism

  • holism=whole experince needs to be understood to understand behaviour
  • reductionism= behaviour is explained by breaking it down to simple parts 
    • biological: physical level (genes)
    • envirommental: stimulus and responce pavings 
  • levels of explanation=
    • high= social+cultural - influence of social groups 
    • middle=psychological - cognitive, behavioural, environmental
    • low= biological - genetics, brain structure, neurochemistry 
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idiographic vs nomothetic

  • idiographic= 
    • descirbes nature of individual 
    • suggests we should be studied uniquely 
  • idiographic research techniques= case studies- qualititive data
  • nomothetic=
    • establishes laws
    • behaviours are generalised and can be measured
  • nomotheic research techniques= lab experiments, quantative data
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