Disadvantages of Scientific Method in Psychology

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            Problems such as experimenter effects, order effects and demand characteristics mean that psychology experiments may lack internal validity. This is a disadvantage because it means that the effects on the DV that are observed may not be due to the manipulation of the IV. For example, Buss asked participants to vote characteristics such as ‘good looks’. Answers to these questions may have been affected by social desirability as they may not want to appear shallow.

            Due to the artificial environment, scientific methods can often lack external validity. This is a disadvantage because it may not be possible to generalize the findings from the experimental situation to real life settings. For example, the aim of Milgram’s study was to understand behaviours of perpetrators of atrocities in Nazi-death camps. However, this experiment involving giving unwanted electric shock bore little relationship with the killings in WW2. In particular, during the holocaust perpetrators were willing to torture and humiliate victims to death, suggesting the motives


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