Issues and Debates

Define androcentrism
When studies are centred or focused on men, often to the neglect of women. Studies often have an understanding of women based upon studies of men.
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Define alpha bias
assumes real and enduring diffferences between men and women. Can sometimes heighten or devalue women.
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Define Beta bias
Studies ignore or minimise sex differences. This is done either by ignoring questions about women or assuming dindings apply qually to men and women.
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Define an emic
Focuses on the various ways in which activities and development can be observed and interpreted based on the cultural setting.
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Define etic
An etic analysis of behaviour focuses on universals of behaviour, we all experience the same developmental processes, regardless of culture.
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Define ethnocentrism
The assumption that one ethnic group is superior to another, or to all other ethnic groups. Considers the behaviour of that group to be the 'norm'
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Define imposed etic
Can occur when a construct from one culture is applied inappropriately to another.
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Define cultural relativism
This refers to the belief that it is essential to consider the cultural context when examining the behaviour in a culture. There is no global right or wrong, it varies across culture.
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Define nativism
Nativism is the concept that individuals are born with dispositions and preprogrammed behaviours.
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Define empiricism
Empiricism suggests we are born without any innate mechanisms, as a blank slate.
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Which approach supports empiricism?
The empiric approach is supported by behaviourism, which suggests that instead of innate mechanisms, it is interactions with the environment that influence behaviour.
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What is the interactionist approach?
This approach argues that both genetics and the environment play a role in determining behaviour. We may have a predisposition to act in a certain way, which is then moderated by environmental factors.
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Define holism
Holism is the arguement that behaviour must be viewed as a whole, rather than constituent parts, as the sum does not equal the whole. It argues that many different levels must be considered when explaining behaviours.
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Which approach supports holism?
Holism is supported by the humanistic approach as it focuses on individuals as an organised whole, rather than individual stimuli and responses.
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What is reductionism?
Reductionism is the view that compelex phenomena are best understood in terms of a simpler level of sexplanation, and involves breaking down these complex behaviours into more simple components.
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When can you use reductionism?
There are two examples of when you can use reductionism, the biological approach and he behavioural approach.
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What is the interactionist response to the holism vs. reductionism debate?
The interactionist response is that there is a form of interaction between the mind and the body - the concept of duality.
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What is free will?
The notion of freew ill suggests human beings are free to choose their thoughts and actions. there are biological and environmental influences on behaviour, but free will implies we can reject them, we are active agents.
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Which approach supports free will?
Humanism approach
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Define determinism
The view that events are predetermined and necessitated by antecedent events and conditions, external and internal pressures.
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What are the two severities of determinism?
Hard and soft determinism.
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Describe hard determinism
The view that environment, heredity, unconscious impulses and other influences determine how people act and their behaviour. This view states that people are not responsibile for their actions, as they are predetermined.
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Describe soft determinism
Soft determinism is a version of determinism that allows for some element of free will. The approach is that human behaviour is determined by general laws but free will operates in certain situations.
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What are three subsets of determinism?
Biological determinism, environmental determinism and psychic determinism.
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What is biological determinism?
The view that behaviour is controlled by physiological, genetic and hormonal processes
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What is environmental determinism?
The belief that our behaviour is determined through conditioning (behaviourist approach)
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What is psychic determinism?
That we are directed by unconscious conflicts repressed in childhood. Free will is an illusion, places an emphasis on biological drive and instincts.
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What is the idiographic approach?
This approach is concerned with the individual, stating that every individual is unique, and therefore generalisations made from quantitive methods are irrelevant. This approach uses qualitative methods.
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What approach supports the idiographic approach?
The psychodynamic approach supports the idiographic approach
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What is the Nomothetic approach?
Aims to establish laws of behaviour which can then be generalised. Uses qualitative data
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What are the three key types of nomothetic behavioural laws?
Classification into groups, establishing principles and establishing dimensions.
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Which approach supports the nomothetic approach?
the cognitive approach, as it suggests we can create laws from representative samples to predict human behaviour
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What is socially sensitive research?
Socially sensitive research refers to studies that have potential social consequences for the research participants or for the class of individuals who are impacted or represented by the research. Research can be used constructively or abusively.
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What are some ethical issues that must be considered before socially sensitive research takes place?
Privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, ownership of data
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Describe why privacy may be an ethical issue
more information may be revealed by the participant than they intended to give
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Describe why confidentiality may be an ethical issue
If confidentiality of the data produced by the process is breached, participants may be less likel/willing to disclose further information in the future, possibly compromising further studies and research.
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Card 2


Define alpha bias


assumes real and enduring diffferences between men and women. Can sometimes heighten or devalue women.

Card 3


Define Beta bias


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Card 4


Define an emic


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Card 5


Define etic


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