PY4 Controversies

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  • Created on: 25-05-14 17:21

Cultural Bias


Prejudice against the social pursuits, expression and behaviour valued by a society or class at a particular period. 

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Cultural Bias

64% psychological researchers operating worldwide are from the US. Increased no in Brazi;, Spain & South Afria but they focus on psychodynamic which is not yet classed as a science

Emphasis on western worlds, dominated by white, middle class US males

Ethnocentrism – strong tendency to use our own ethnic or cultural groups’ norms or values to define what is ‘natural’ for everyone.

Emic-Etic distinction. Etic- behav outside a particular cultural system. Emic – inside a culture, hard to understand. Imposed etic- researcher may fall into the ethnocentric trap of imposing concepts and methods from their own cultural setting into the cross cultural field of study.

Mental illnesses: many non-western cultures have a wide range of being defined as ‘mad’ many of these are not documented and recognised within the classification systems of western psychology Culture-bound syndromes usually described and interpreted in relation to the particular culture to which they are reported. 

Concept of CBS has been generated by the ideology of western psychiatry, therefore representing a form of ethnocentrism & the concept of a CBS has a distantly racist connotation

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Gender Bias


Gender bias in psychology is the preference in attitude or discriminatory behaviour towards one gender against the other

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Gender Bias

Alpha bias over emphasis on the differences between male & female physiology/behaviour. Betaunder emphasising. Androcentrism is bias towards males in aspects of behaviour

Discrimination against females: Crick and Watson published early work on DNA got the credit for this work however Rosalind Franklin found vital info on DNA structure but was written out.
‘Loftus’ commonly classed as ‘he’ or male. 
  2006 Riley et al identified both societal & institutional biases that do implicate psychology as having gender bias

Kohlberg’s levels of development theory, the original participants were male but very generalised statements were made about women at the same time, for example saying that they reach lower levels of development than men

Milgram intentionally used gender bias, only used males as he suspected that gender differences could have been a confounding variable during his study of obedience. However he still assumed that women would have the same responses as men when again 

Freud experienced androcentricism in the majority of his research only used Viennese women resulted in stereotypes 

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Genetics vs. Environmental Influences


Env: External factors that cause changes in development and subsequent behaviour

Genetics: Internal factors..

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Genetics vs. Environmental Influences

Nature: Determined by biology. Nurture: Determined by learning
Gottesman & Shields 1966: Schiz Twin Study. MZ & DZ. MZ severe = 75% Mild = 17% DZ = 22% mild = 0% expect MZ to be 100% - identical. Both influences it. Observer bias

Support Nurture: Bandura SLT, Low EV but high C and R, individual differences ignored

Bowlby - attachments & survival of genes maternal bonidng basis for development
Epic genetics: Env factos switch genes off/on switches inherited & passed down.
Nature forgets about homosexuality and contraception.

Galton 1869 - gifted children from gifted parents - nature? Learning = new neurological connections = higher intelligence, env influeces this as wel
 Behaviourism main focus for Nurt & determinism. Raine: murderers brains, structured differently but nurture means the respond more aggressively so is structure a result from this?  

Held and Hein 1963: 1 P 1A kitten. P attached to roundabout A move around apparatus 3hrs a day 6 weeks. A normal paw placement by 11 sessions. P didn't develop this same for blink response.  Both self produced movement & visual feedback needed for development of beha
 Both G & E needed for successful development  

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Is psychology a science


Systematic study of structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observations and experiments that produce both reliable and valid results 

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Is psychology a science

For: Use of scientific method lack of V. Asch/Milgram SD & DC influences results. Generalisability & use of stats make it accurate. Falsification: Popper 1959, gain knowledge but needs to be verified but also falsified to accept/ reject H
 Can benefit others as well as being able to apply findings to the real world 
Reliable: findings must be tested 

Against: lacks objectivity. unlike the natural sciences

although it can be argued that its because of the nature of the thing we are studying, and the fact humans can be influenced by demand characeristics etc makes psychologists more aware of this

ethics- mean we cant experiment fully, although we have virtual environments and animals, pop psychologists e.g. derren brown ruined the reputation of psych. FW means C&E not establised & cant make predictions

Humanistic and psychodynamic approach do not use scientific method and therefore are not classed as being a science. Other approaches are classed as a science in the UK. 

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Free Will vs. Determinism.


Free Will: The ability to make our own choices and detemine our behaviour through conscious thought processes = self directed behaviour 

Determinism: Individuals behaviour is shaped by both internal and external factors meaning that the behaviour can be predicted 

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Free Will vs. Determinism.

Libet measures FW, time between wish to act & actual actions. Trevana & Miller 2009 showed that the activity shown may not indicate a decision to move but readiness.

Bio D: internal. GAS stress response is determined at a purely biological level. S = nature & predictions W = reductionist
En Dexternal factors. Anorexia which proposes that body image is shaped by the media. A person is then positively reinforced for losing weight. Freedom an illusion, we are unaware of the environmental causes of behaviour. S = practical applications W= reductionists
Soft D:  Humans have choices & exercise FW, choices often constrained by I/E factors

Subjective experience: sense of having FW, this isn't proof due to, hidden factors e.g. genes.
self-determining: able to make decisions
. Freud FW illusion because he believed that causes of our behaviour is unconscious & still predictable.
Moral responsibility: individual is responsible for their actions. Rogers (1959) stated that taking responsibility for oneself is route to healthy self development.  Shown in Rogers’ client-centured therapy, therapist helps clients to make sense of current controls & the future. Moral development is determined by I/E factors
FW expresses ideas that behav's not passive reactions to forces, individuals actively respond to I/E forces. Soft D is used to describe this. People have a choice, but behaviours subject bio/ env pessure.

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