PY4 - Controversies

  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 11-06-13 19:00

Gender Bias

a) DEFINE: Differential treatment of men and women based on stereotype not actual difference, eg under/overemphasising difference. Can exist in way research is carried out/biased theories

b) Intro: Genuine difference/stereotyping. Aristotle women = inferior, 'deformity', rooted in biology. Kitzinger research used for political reasons, Wilkinson theories exclude women, male norms suggests male dominance + sex role stereotyping

P1: Alpha bias, Williams + Best universal stereotypes (male dom/female nurture) socially desirable answers conform to expected stereotypes. Evolutionary psych explain differences but changes = more difficult to justify stereotypes. Journals only publish significant, no differences = insignificant + unpublished = exaggerated differences

P2: Beta bias, Kohlberg development theory based on boys, applied to girls who scored lower = both genders not same. Gilligan critises dillemas were male dominated. Rosenthalresearchers = more encouraging to females = researcher bias participants treated differently

P3: Androcentrism, Tavris rephrased findings to make male behaviour sound abnormal, open to interpretation based on researcher's gender

Conc:oestrocentric (+feminist psych stereotypes contribute more than genuines differences), emphasise value of women, not ignore gender specifics

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Culture Bias

a) DEFINE : Interpreting and judging behaviour and psychological characteristics of one culture by holding them to characteristics of your own. Culturally unrepresentative participants,theories developed in one culture

b) Intro: define culture, why bias is an issue, define cross cultural psychology, genuine difference/systematic bias? 

P1: Alpha bias, Buss no subcultures, Vandello + Cohen subcultures in US

P2: Beta bias, Asch conformity, generalised one culture's findings. Amir + Sharon repeated 6 US studies found 24/64 findings and 6 new ones. Eurocentric findings are generalised but are inaccurate cross culturally

P3: Imposed etic (western ideals), intelligence universal, Cole et al sort objects fuctional/category

P4: Eurocentrism, ICD + DSM, Rosenzweig 64% American psych, non westerners found disorders ignored by DSM IV, Rosenhan bias beyond research

Conc: Culture bias is mainly due to Westernised ideals being applied universally to define abnormality. Overcome - Indigenous pysch (cultures carry out research on own culture), take an emic aproach (acknowledge culturally specific phenomena) 

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Free Will and Determinism

a) DEFINE: FW- behaviour is determined by our own will, we have an active role in choosing our behaviours and it is not determined by internal/external pressures
DET- behaviour is controlled by internal/external pressures, and can be predicted as an effect in behaviour is attributal to a cause

b) Intro: Most are det, behaviourist = empirical, past experiences, external factors. Environmental determinism, Skinner free will illusion, repeat reinforced,structed society = behaviour modification.

P1: Classical conditioning (animal studies, Skinner's rats), conditioned to give predictable response, Bandura if determined by reward/punishment behaviour would always change, humans influenced by long term. 

P2: Psychodynamic, Freud psychic det - unconscious libido, can't be reached so can't be falsified, Motely et al Freudian slips with female researcher. Potential for free will, can change behaviour in therapy

P3: Biological det, genetics etc, Bennett-Levy + Marteau, Buss. treat with drugs but free will = impossible to treat no definite cause. 

P4: Humanism's core is free will, outside forces are dehumanising, if don't take responsibility then won't change it

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Free Will and Determinism (cont)

Concmoral implications det, can't hold accountable, ethical qsMobely incosistent with society's ideal of self control and respnisbility that underlies legal system. free will fits society that choose behavious, hard to define so can't objectify it. BUT free will is product of conscious thinking = brain activities = FW and DET are interlinked. However, Valentine det has the edge

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Psychology as a science

a) DEFINE: science= definable subject, unbias and objective theories, falsifiable hypothesis and use empirical methods eg lab experiment

b) Intro: Many aspects are reductionist, desirable allows testable predictions + controlled exps,Rahe et al operationalised life events = allowed hypothesis = falsifiable. Popper non-falsifiable theories not science so red. is not enough alone. Psychodynamic = red. but not falsifiable - can't test subconcious 

P2: Popper - can't observe and remain objective, even with atoms, observe what is expected and that can alter behaviours. Human behaviour relies on interpretation, Bandura looking for aggression may have over-recorded. Also people are not passive and react to researcher = demand charac, Heather lab = too artificial and only measure how strangers react in unusual situations 

P3: Shares goals of science, prediction, understanding and control, uses emprical methods eg lab in Loftus and Palmer. Miller argues pseudoscience 'dressing up'. Science is a poor tool for understanding human exp, Maslow Hierarchy of Needs is unscientific but influencial and humanists favour ideographic methods + social construct psych can't be science as it's a version of the truth, no objective reality

Conc: science is desirable, only way to separate fact/opinion, empirical = credibility, but some aspects aren't completely scientific which is unavoidable with human behaviour

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Genetic and Environmental Influences

a) DEFINE: Gen: nativist - all human behaviour is a product of our genes and DNA
Env: empiricist- behaviour is learned through experience and due to the environment, we are born a blank slate

b) Intro: empiricist/nativist or interactionist (combination). behaviourist - classical learning through association and operant learning through punishment, social learning theory learning through observation. biological, polar opposite genes and neurochemical processes. both reductionistic and deterministic. Psychod = interactionist, look at innate characteristics (eg id) and environment (eg. parents) but abstract concept

P1: Evolutionary, Bennet-Levy + Marteau could be learned Reisen wild snakes fear through imitation/experience, Buss universal behaviours - innate but eurocentric, Gibson and Walk depth perception but 14month baby could experienced depth. Difficult to separate innate/exp. Abnormalities, schiz - twin studies conc rate 48% MZ BUT learnt reinforcement 'labelling theory' live up to labels given. 

P2: Genes modify environ, Plomin et al 3 indirect influences, reactive:creates microenvironment, passive:unsettled environment due to parents genes, active:seek out experiences/environment to suit their genes.

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Genetic and Environmental Influences (cont)

P3: Neuroplasticity, experience effects genes, innate systems eg brain. Maguire et al London taxi drivers had larger spatial memory, hippocampus responded to incresed use.

Conc: Best way to understand behaviour is to take interactionist approach, our behaviours are predetermined by innate characteristics but shaped by the environment, to take a solely empiricist or nativist approach is too simplistic for something as complex as human behaviour

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