Issues, Debates and Approaches in Psychology

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Socially Sensitive Research

  • An issue with the research that may cause social consequences or implications either for the participants themselves or the sample of people being represented.
  • Implications; labelling, blame, change in policy, change in approach, affects peoples lives
  • Evidence must be strongly supporting (1% probability the results are due to chance)
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Approaches

  • Includes the biological approach, behavioural, cognitive, psychodynamic and evolutionary.
  • Is the approach flawed?
  • Is the approach logical?
  • Is the approach difficult to support with evidence (e.g. evolutionary)
  • Is there another approach that explains the behaviour better?
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Nature/Nurture

  • Nature: Behaviour is inherited
  • Nurture: Behaviour occurs from influences from the environment
  • Does the theory accomodate both nature and nurture, or just one side of the theory (why)? If so, does it possibly ignore the effect the other side has on the behaviour?
  • Is the role of one side, i.e. nature or nurture questionable? Perhaps it is the other?
  • Is it difficult to test the role of just one side?
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Determinism

  • Behaviour is determined by our biology or our environment
  • Therefore behaviour is predictable (what does the theory predict?)
  • People have little conscious control over their behaviour
  • Everyone is affected in the same way (especially for biological determinism) however is this true? is everyone the same?
  • What could account for the differences between people?
  • Is this an oversimplification?
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Ethics

  • Deception
  • Right to withdraw
  • Informed consent
  • Protection
  • Privacy

(DRIPP)

(animal research - animals harmed, problems of generalising to humans)

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Reductionism

  • Explanations are reduced to their simplist parts. 
  • Ignoring other possible explanations
  • Good becuase allows you to make predictions
  • May not fully explain some parts of the behaviour
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