Individual Differences Approach (3)
Thigpen & Cleckley/Griffiths: Similarities: They both obtained Qual and Quan data. For example, T&C used a variety of Quan/Qual measures to measure Eve's different personalities (such as IQ scores and EEG readings) and data collected in the interviews. Similarly, Griffiths allowed for comparisons to be made between the RG and NRGs i.e. through the number of wins, total plays, money won etc and the post experimental semi-structured interview also provided qual data allowing the researcher greater insights into the heuristics used by the participants.Differences: T&C used a longitudinal case study which allowed the researchers to see the development of Eve's personalities over time. Whereas, Griffiths used a quasi-experimental method as participants were either RGs or NRGs.Strengths: A main strength of the individual differences perspective is that it can provide useful in improving the experiences of people with mental health problems. For example the Rosenhan study led to a revision of the way that people with mental health problems are both diagnosed and treated. Similarly the study by Griffiths suggests that a type of cognitive behavioural therapy may be successful with addicted gamblers.A further strength of the individual differences approach has been the development and use of psychometric tests to measure the differences between individuals in qualities such as personality and intelligence. These psychometric tests provide reliable and quantitative data which can easily be analysed and therefore similarities and differences between individuals can be discovered. Psychometric tests were used in the study of multiple personality by Thigpen and Cleckley and have also been used in other studies on this course such as in the BBC experiment. However, not all tests are reliable and objective. For example, the projective tests used by Thigpen and Cleckley have little evidence to suggest that they are reliable and rely upon the subjective interpretation of the researcher.