Issues & debates - Social


Ethics - during the 50/60's experiments into prejudice & obedience were conducted that would be considered ethically/morally wrong by today's guidelines so little experimental research has been conducted & no direct replication has been carried out without modifications made 

-obedience research has the risk to cause psychological harm & the removal of a pp's right to withdraw as they are gradually ordered to comply with requests, prejudice research creates the potential for psychological harm as conflict is encouraged between 2 groups 

-researchers may justify their ethical problems due to the achieved results but the harm caused cannot be excused 

Practical issues - demand characteristics can be displayed in obedience research if the pp is aware of the aims of the study, deception is often used to prevent these from occurring e.g., Milgram, prejudice research has practical issues as most people hide their prejudices so measuring it can be affected by social desirability bias, questionnaires on prejudice can be too vague - test-retest methods used to ensure prejudice being measured is consistent, split-half techniques assess validity of questionnaire

Reductionism - many theories can be criticised for focusing on specific data from their research to explain complex human social behaviours e.g Latane developed 'equation' to calculate how people will behave under social conditions but doesn't explain how social conditions & the


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