OCR AS Psychology: Core Studies - Individual Differences Approach (1)

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  • Created by: Majid
  • Created on: 19-03-13 13:08

Individual Differences Approach (1)

Assumptions:The main assumption of the individual differences perspective is that to understand the complexity of human behaviour and experiences it necessary to study the differences between people rather than those things that we all have in common. For example the individual differences approach largely focuses on things such as personality differences, and abnormality.

Describe how the individual differences approach explains the diagnosis of insanity: It is difficult to distinguish between sanity and insanity. Pyshciatrists cannot accurately (validly) diagnose mental disorders as they may make a Type 2 error (diagnosing a healthy person as mentally ill) or a Type 1 error (diagnosing a mentally ill person as healthy). A person's situation can be just as much of a factor in their diagnosis as the actual behaviour they are displaying.

Describe how the individual differences approach explains gambling addiction: Heuristics are rules used in problem solving and everyone uses them. Cognitive biases become apparent when heuristics are used on wrong occasions. Regular gamblers show more cognitive biases than non-regular gamblers and they tend to have irrational thoughts about gambling.

Describe how the individual differences approach explains Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD): MPD is a condition where more than one personality coexists within one person. MPD often develops as a response to extreme trauma (e.g. child abuse) as a coping mechanism. It is problematic for the individual to have several personalities, but unethical to extinguish any of them.

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