Issues and debates

Gender universality
All research is assumed to apply equally to both genders.
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Men's behaviour is taken as the norm to which women's behaviour is compared. e.g. Milgram's study
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What are the three main ways gender bias can occur?
Male samples Male behaviour as standard Emphasis of biological differeces
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Tavris (1983)
Most cultures take male behaviour as standard so women decide to either behave like men or differently.
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Hare-Mustin and Marecek (1988)
considered gender bias and distinguished two theoretical types - Alpha bias and Beta Bias
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Alpha bias
Exaggerates differences between genders. e.g. Freud's theory - women are less moral as they have weaker superego. Evolutionary theories portray men as dominant. Bowlby claims women need to stay at home and care for children or they damage child deve
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Beta bias
Downplays differences and suggests findings should be applied to both genders. e.g. Milgram (1963) - all male sample but applied findings to all Seyle's fight-or-flight - Lee & Harley (2012) found that women take a 'tend and befriend' response
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Emic construct
Test is creating and tested in one country, meaning it may reflect the norms and values of that culture
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Culture universality
Research is generalised globally
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Etic construct
Believing that universal factors hold true across all cultures.
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Imposed etic
Imposing judgements and values of one culture onto another.
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One ethnic group is superior and their behaviour. e.g. Ainsworth's strange situation found by Van Izjendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988) to be inappropriate method for non-american children.
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Cultural relativism
A belief that it is important to consider cultural context when examining behaviour. e.g. 'Kayak angst' syndrome in Greenland.
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What is the difference between alpha and beta bias?
Alpha bias exaggerates the differences between men and women, whereas beta bias downplays and minimises the differences between men and women.
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Give an example of cultural bias
Ainsworth's strange situation DSM-5 and ICD-10 Definitions of abnormality
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Free will
The ability to behave in the way we want and there are no restraints to freedom of choice.
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There is no control or choice on our behaviour and our actions are determined by external influences.
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What it the difference between hard and soft determinism
Soft determinism recognised that there is an element of free will in human behaviour if our actions are voluntary, whereas hard determinism proposes the free will is an illusion and we are all governed by external factors.
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Name the three main types of determinism
Biological Psychic Environmental
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Outline one problem with alpha bias and one problem with beta bias
Alpha bias misrepresents behaviour as the researchers will exaggerate gender differences. Beta bias misrepresents behaviour as the researchers underestimate gender differences.
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Outline what is meant by 'levels of explanation'
Levels of explanation is a structure of behavioural explanations varying from those at a lower level focusing on basic components (e.g. molecular physics) to those at a more holistic level (e.g. sociology)
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Use of methods from the natural sciences to find causal mechanisms for thought and behaviour.
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Give examples of the three types of determinism
Biological - Genetic bases to offending. Psychic - Women have weaker moral codes due to weaker superegos. Environmental - Conditioning
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What is one positive and one negative of determinism
- Determinism helps to predict behaviour in specific conditions - Determinism leaves people with no action responsibility
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What are the key features of a nomothetic approach
-Large samples and sampling methods that give representativeness -Collection of large amounts of data and quantitative methods of analysis. -Generalisable findings as opposed to in-depth thoughts
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What is the nature-nurture debate
The nature-nurture debate argues as to whether our behaviour is more influenced by our nature, genes and biological factors, or by nurture, environmental factors and experiences.
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Outline the key features of the nature part of the nature-nurture debate
Nature: Supported by bio approach Twin studies and heredity research Character and predisposition are innate Bio determinism Behaviour can only be changed physically Scientific method
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Outline the key features of the nurture part of the nature-nurture debate
Nurture: Supported by behavioural approach Environmental determinism Product of experiences and environment Behaviour can only be modified by changing environmental conditions.
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Plomin et al (1997)
Claims interaction between heredity and the environment can occur in three different ways: -Passive in which parents provide an environment that suits the genes they pass on. Reactive their traits effect the environment Active choose based on traits
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Interactionist approach and the nature-nurture debate
Claims nature and nurture interact with one another. Plomin adopted this approach. e.g. intelligence - we have a predisposition to attain intelligence and we either reach our potential or not if the evnironmental factors are not suitable.
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Nativism vs Empiricism
Nativism is the nature side of the argument. Empiricism is the nurture side of the argumemt.
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Focuses on a particular individual Data generalised is detailed, rich and extensive Unrepresentative sample due to case uniqueness Methods such as case study e.g. Little Hans Qualitative data analysis methods e.g. thematic. Generating new research
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Tests a larger sample Large amount of data generates Should be representative e.g. random sampling Tends to use experimental methods Quantitative data analysis e.g. stats tests General laws can be generated that are applicable to all.
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Evaluation of idiographic approach
-Rich detail -Prompts further research -Issue with population validity -Lack of generalisation
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Evaluation of nomothetic approach
-Generalisable -Rich and vast detail -Issue with individual differences
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Reducing a phenomenon into its' constituent parts and studying the underlying elements of a concept. e.g. breakdown of models of memory into individual components.
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Looks at the person as a whole and their social factors, including genetics.
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Evaluation of reductionism
Led to discoveries within schizophrenia.It may be possible to understand by breaking down parts. There are fewer factors to so studies can be carried out. Can control and make predictions about outcomes. Treatment of disorders. Lack validity.
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Holism evaluation
-Complex picture due to integration of levels of explanation -More functional explanation -Less scientific -Less economical -More difficult to control -Tends to ignore influence of biology on behaviour. -Explanations tend to be more hypothetical.
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Name the main ethical issues highlighted by the BPS and how they are dealt with
Deception Informed consent Protection from harm Privacy and confidentiality Debrief Obtaining consent Right to withdraw Ensuring privacy and confidentiality.
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Give examples of research that could have ethical implications on those involved.
Raine (1996) Study on violent 'killer brain' considered socially sensitive as children could be identified as having predisposition for violence. Humphreys' (1970) Tearoom trade investigated gay men at a time homosexuality wasn't widely accepted.
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Give examples of research that could have ethical implications on those involved.
Zimbardo and Milgram - Both carried out research that lead to psychological harm. Harlow - Unethical animal studies as it caused harm to the animals.
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What are the arguments for socially sensitive research?
Scarr (1988) suggested that regardless of outcomes there's a duty to carry our SSR as it raises awareness of topics.Aronson (1992) said stopping research due to sensitivity is a 'backwards step'. Better to educate than to shy. cant always predict eff
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Socially sensitive research
Term used by Sieber and Stanley (1998) to describe research that could have costs for the participants or groups they study.
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John Locke
People are born as 'tabula rasa' and life experiences form who they beome as adults.
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Raine (1993)
MAOA genes increase agression. Reviewed 13 twin studies. MZ 52%, DZ 21% suggests offending behaviour is an inherited trait.
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March et al. (2007)
found in treated depression of 327 adolescents, 81% of antidepressant and 81% of CBT improved, 86% with both improved.
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Libert (1985)
found evidence against free will using scans that showed decisions were made before they even consciously knew they decided.
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Men's behaviour is taken as the norm to which women's behaviour is compared. e.g. Milgram's study

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What are the three main ways gender bias can occur?


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Tavris (1983)


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Hare-Mustin and Marecek (1988)


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