Gender and culture in psychology: Gender bias:

  • Gender and culture in psychology: Gender bias:
  • AO1:
  • Gender bias:
  • Psychologists seek universality but bias may be inevitable. Psychologists possess beliefs and values influenced by the social and historical context within which they live. This may indermine psychologists' claims to doscover facts about human behaviour that are objective, value-free and consistent across time and culture (universality). One form of bias is gender bias: psychological therory and research may not accurately represent the experience and behaviour of men and women. 
  • Alpha bias exaggerates differences. Differences between the sexes are usually presented as real enduring, fixed amd inevitable. These differences occasionally heighten the value of women, but are more likely to devalue females in relation to males. 
  • An example of alpha buias is the sociobiological theory of relationship information. Wilson explained human sexual attraction through 'survival efficiency' - it is in a male's interests to try and impregnate as many females as possible to increase the chances of his genes being passed on to the next generation. The female's best chance to preserve her genes is to ensure the survival of the relattively few offspring she may produce. Sexual promiscuity inmales is naturally selected and genetically dteremined but females who engage in the same behaviour are seen as going against their 'nature' - an exaggeration of the difference between the sexes (alpha bias). 
  • beta bias minimises differences. Ignoring or understanding differences bwtween men and women often occurs when female participants are not included in the researh process and it is assumed that research findings apply equally to both sexes. 
  • An example of beta bias is the fight or flight response. Early research into fight or flight was based exclusively on male animals (preferred for research because female hormones fluctuate). The fight or flight response was assumed to be a universal response to a threatening situation. taylor et al suggest female biology has evolved to inhibit


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