Strengths and Weaknesses of Approaches

12 mark answers on evaluating all 7 Approaches. 

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Developmental

Strength 1            P - Practical Applications; can be used in real life to help people. 

E - Farrington's Study 

C - Treat & benefit individuals e.g. teaching strategies - Psychology's main aim 

Strength 2            P - Can be applied to real-life

E - Samuel & Bryant's Study

C - Academic knowledge is increased, which could inspire future research. 

Weakness 1            P - Ethical issues 

E - Samuel and Bryant's Study

C -  Damages reputation of Psychology, which may reduce future participation in Psychological research.

Weakness 2            P - Participant attrition

E - Farrington's Study

C - Biased samples; affect validity of results; practical applications aren't developed.

   

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Individual Differences

Strength 1            P - Practical Applications; can be used in real life to help people

E - Case Study of John Duffy

C - Treat & benefit individuals - Psychology's main aim.

Strength 2            P - Combines both qual. and quant. data, giving us insight into rare behaviour

E - Thigpen and Cleckley's Study

C - More insight into the behaviour, as it collects reliable, objective data as well as in-depth insightful data. 

Weakness 1            P - Generalisability of findings

E - Case study of John Duffy

C - Research into individual differences can't be generalised to a wider population due to unique nature of findings; limits usefulness of findings for helping others in the future. 

Weakness 2            P - Can create labels, which may be ethnocentric. Due to label placed on them, stereotypes would be associated with that behaviour. 

E - T & C's Study 

C - Individuals may be treated differently due to label; may lead to prejudice and discrimination. 

 

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Social

Strength 1            P - Practical Applications; can be used in real life to help people.

E - Kanner's Study

C - Treat & benefit individuals - Psychology's main aim, as stress can be reduced through social groups

Strength 2           P - Use of qual./quant. data

E - Milgram's Study

C - Allows social psychologists to objectively conclude that a social situation does have a clear effect on people's behaviour and also allows us to understand how and why that effect occurs. 

Weakness 1            P -  Ethical issues, which could affect results 

E - Kanner's Study

C - Damages reputation of Psychology, which may reduce future participation in Psychological research. 

Weakness 2            P - Reductionist 

E - Milgram's Study

C - Limits the usefulness of any practical applications, because only social factors will be dealt with.

 

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Cognitive

Strength 1            P - Practical applications; can be used in real life to help people.  

E - Yochelson and Samenow's Study

C - Treat & benefit individuals - sychology's main aim; brings something useful to society to contribute to knowledge, and understanding of people's behaviour. 

Strength 2            P - The studies all employ scientific procedures; allows for cause and effect to be established. 

E - Baron-Cohen's Study

C - Increases the credibility of Psychology as a subject. More knowledge of influence of cognitive processes. 

Weakness 1            P - Low validity, as mental processes being measured aren't observable.   

E - Baron-Cohen's Study

C - Limited usefulness; further research needs to be carried out to establish cause and effect. 

Weakness 2            P - Reductionist, as processes are reduced to a single explanation and ignoring others.

E - Yochelson and Samenow's Study

C -  Practical applications (e.g. into CBT) may not be effective, as behaviour could be due to other factors.

  

 

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Physiological

Strength 1            P - Practical applications; can be used in real-life to help people in terms of treatment.

E - Dabbs' Study

C - Treat and benefit individuals and society - Psychology's main aim

Strength 2      P - Physiological approach uses very scientific and controlled methods to investigate behaviour. 

E - Raine's Study

C - Increases credibility of Psychology as a subject, and validity of research; more funding for future research

Weakness 1        P - Determinism; suggesting that individuals don't have free will to choose how to behave.  

E - Dabbs' Study

C - Suggests behaviour is out of the individual's control; can remove a person's responsibility for their actions.

Weakness 2        P - Reductionist; all studies believe behaviour is due to biology and ignore other explanations. 

E - Raine's Study

C - Limits the usefulness of any practical applications into biology to improve/treat the behaviour if biological explanations aren't the sole cause of behaviour. 

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Behaviourist

Strength 1        P - Practical applications; can be used in real life to aid people through programmes to help people's development. 

E - Watson and Raynor's Study

C - Treat and benefit individuals in terms of treatments of disorders - Psychology's main aim; furher research.

Strength 2            P - Scientific nature; operationalised behaviours are observed to produce objective data. 

E - Bandura's Study

C - Increases the credibility of Psychology, and ensures that findings and applications are seen as useful. 

Weakness 1   P - Deterministic; suggests that if environment provides certain conditions for learning, we'll adapt

E - Bandura's Study

C - May limit ability to hold people responsible for actions, as their behaviour is determined by their environment

Weakness 2   P - Reductionist; no  biological explanations (e.g. genetics) to explain a person's behaviour

E - Watson and Raynor's Study

C - By ignoring other possible explanations, behavioural treatments developed may not be totally successful. 

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Psychodynamic

Strength 1                 P - Practical applications; access and solve unconscious conflicts that can stem from early childhood. 

E - Kivlighan; provides insight into feelings and motives to treat patients with a variety of mental health issues. 

C - Treat and benefit individuals - Psychology's main aim

Strength 2                P - Focus on individual, using a case study to get a detailed insight of a person's behaviour. 

E - Freud's Study; used several methods to study Hans to gain detail on his fears and anxieties to find cause.

C - Provides a detailed insight into behaviour and the impact of early experience on behaviour. 

Weakness 1            P - Reductionist; fails to consider the influence of biological factors.

E - Kivlighan's Study only focuses on psychodynamic therapy to treat people with mental health problems.

C - ignores the many factors linked to mental health and suggests insight is the key. Insight can't aid depression

Weakness 2           P - Subjective; different psychologists can interpret behaviour differently.

E - Freud's Study; giraffe dream interpreted in a particular way to support the Oedipus Complex.

C - It's unscientific, which means that it lacks credibility and the findings may be of limited usefulness. 

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