issues and debates in psychology

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  • Created by: courteny
  • Created on: 23-02-16 13:47

issues and debates in psychology

usefulness

+ the main advantage of a study being useful is that it can be used to improve human behaviour 

- studies might be unethical in order to gain more valid results 

- studies need to have high ecological validity to be of more use to society but this can be quite difficult if they are conducted in a lab. 

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issues and debates in psychology

individual vs situational

+ findings can be very useful to society as a whole. if we find out which behaviours are down to individuals and which are down to situations we find ourselves in, thne we can explain human behaviour more clearly 

+ if they find interactions between both sides of debate then this is useful too 

- it can be difficult to separate what is down to environment and what is down to individual 

- studies need to have high ecological validity to be of more use to this debate but this can be difficult if studies are conducted in a lab.

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issues and debates in psychology

nature and nurture

+ if we find out which behaviours are down to nature and nurture then we can expalin human behaviour more clearly 

+ if psychologists find interactions between both then this is useful 

-  can be difficult to say what is nature and what is nurture 

- if behaviour is purely down to nature then this can be a socially sensitive. certain sections of society could use this to undertake a eugenic movement to get rid of people with inferior genes which is clearly unacceptable.

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issues and debates in psychology

psychometrics

+ as they are standardised tests on a large sample of people they can be seenas more objective '

+ comparisions can be useful as peoples results are being compared on the same standardised scale 

+ as they are standardised they can be seen as reliable measures becuase we can use them again and again to see if we get same results 

- issues with validty 

- ethnocentric bias 

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issues and debates in psychology

quantitative data 

+ as the data is numerical this allows easier comparison and statistical analysis 

+ as the data is numerical they are objective and scientific, there is minimal chance of psychologists miscalcualting the data 

- as the data is numercial they miss out valuable infomation, they do not know why they chose the answer that the did

- using this data can be seenas reductionist as psychologists are reducing complex ideas and behaviours down to percentage 

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issues and debates in psychology

qualititative data

+ the data collected is in detail and in depth and in the words of the pps and represents what the particpant truly beleives 

+ as the data is directly from the pps we can understand why they think or feel or act in a way 

- the interpretation of the data could be subjective as we are dealing with words rather than numbers , psychologists may misinterpret the pps meaning 

- there maybe researcher bias. psychologists may only select data that fits into the hypothesis or aim of their study 

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issues and debates in psychology

snapshot studies

+ these studies can be a time efficient way of collecting data 

+ these can be really useful as pilot research and exploring an area to see whether a study is feasible 

-as they do not follow people over a period of time thye are not useful in tracking the devlopment of behaviour or what the lnog term effects of something is 

- as they only cover one ponit in time they only represent those participants showing that behaviour or opininion at that point in time 

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issues and debates in psychology

longitindinual studies

+ these studies allow an analysis of how behaviour develops over time 

+ individual differences between people in the study are controlled for as it is the same people being tracked over a set amount of time 

- not all participants will want to be followed for the length of the study and wil drop out partcipant attribution this can reduce the sample size the sample size and then the study will not be generalisability 

- psychologists could become attached to the pps in the study which means they could be more subjective in thier analysis 

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