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83 Cards in this Set

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What is universality?

Anything that can be applied to all


- psychologists beliefs cause bias


- bias threatens universality

What is gender bias?

The tendency to treat one sex in a different way to the other


- view that doesn't represent the behaviour of men and women

What is alpha bias?

Psychological theories which suggest real differences between men and women


- typically undervalues females

What is an example of alpha bias?

Sociobiological theory of relationship formation


- male sexual promiscuity innate but not for women

What is beta bias?

Theories that ignore and minimise differences between the sexes


- when females not included in research process

What is an example of beta bias?

Fight or flight response


Taylor: females have tend-and-befriend response

What is androcentrism?

When behaviour is decided as 'normal' from a male standard


- female behaviour is seen as abnormal

What is an example of androcentrism?

PMS diagnosis


- trivialises female experience


- social construction to invalidate human emotion

What are the evaluation points of gender bias?

- implications of gender bias


- sexism within the research process


- reflexivity


- essentialism


- feminist psychology

What is the 'implications of gender bias' evaluation point of gender bias?

- creates misleading assumptions of female behaviour=validate discrimination


- scientific proof to deny opportunities


- damaging consequences that affect lives of real women

What is the 'sexism with the research process' evaluation point of gender bias?

- less women in senior research=fem. concerns not reflected


- males researchers=published work


- fem. participants w/male researcher=labelled unreasonable/irrational

What is the 'reflexivity' evaluation point of gender bias?

- embrace bias as critical aspect of research


Dambrini/Lambert: study of women executives in accounting;reflection on gender experiences influencing interpretation


- awareness of personal bias

What is the 'essentialism' evaluation point of gender bias?

- gender difference is 'fixed' in nature

1930s: scientific research;intellectual activity shrivels ovaries


- politically motivated;disguised as biological;creates double standard

What is the 'feminist psychology' evaluation point of gender bias?



Worrell: criteria to avoid gender bias in research;women studied in real context and participate in research


- diversity within women examined;greater emphasis on qualitative data

What is cultural bias?

- tendency to ignore cultural differences and interpret everything from own culture perspective


- 1992: 64% psychology researcher were American

How does cultural bias affect the universality of findings?

- psychology claims to find universal truths, but findings only apply to studied culture


- assumes Western culture applies to the world

What is ethnocentrism?

- judging a culture by the standards of another


- believing own culture is superior=discrimination of other cultures

What is an example of ethnocentrism in psychology?

- behaviour not 'typical' in Western culture=unsophisticated e.g Ainsworth's Strange Situation


- only reflected Western norms/values (separation anxiety)


- German parenting seen as cold than encouraging independence

What is cultural relativism?

- idea that norms/values (including ethics/moral standards) only understood in specific social/cultural contexts

How does Ainsworth's resarch show cultural relativism?

- imposed etic: imposed her own cultural understanding onto other countries

According to Berry, what is emic and etic?

Emic: identifying behaviours in a culture specific to that culture


Etic: looks at behaviour outside a culture and describes these behaviours as universal


- psychology uses etic approach when research is emic

What are the evaluation points for cultural bias?

- individualism and collectivism


- cultural relativism versus universality


- unfamiliarity with research tradition


- operationalisation of variables


- challenging 'implicit' assumptions

What is the 'individualism and collectivism' evaluation point of cultural bias?

Individualist: Western;value independence


Collectivist: China;needs of the group


- global communication=no longer distinction


Takano/Osaka: 1415 studies of USvsJPN=no evidence of distinction


- cultural bias less of an issue than the past

What is the 'cultural relativism versus universality' evaluation point of cultural bias?

- shouldn't assume all research culturally relative/no human behaviour is universal


Ekman: basic emotional facial expressions same across humans/animals

What is the 'unfamiliarity with research tradition' evaluation point of cultural bias?

- knowledge/faith in scientific research not extended to other cultures


- demand characteristics exaggerated when working with local population=adverse effect on validity

What is the 'operationalisation of variables' evaluation point of cultural bias?

- variables not experienced same by all


- emotional behavioural expression different across cultures


- invasion of personal space normal in China not West

What is the 'challenging implicit assumptions' evaluation point of cultural bias?

- cross-cultural research challenge Western ways of thinking


- promotes sensitivity to individual difference


- conclusions more valid if they recognise culture influence

What is free will?

- idea that humans choices aren't determined by biological/external forces e.g. humanistic approach

What is determinism?

- view that individual behaviour controlled by internal/external forces than free will


- two types: hard and soft determinism

What is hard determinism?

- free will doesn't exist


- behaviour always controlled by internal/external events beyond control

What is soft determinism?

- all events have causes, but behaviour can also be determined by conscious choice

What is biological determinism?

- behaviour is caused by biological influences we cannot control e.g. biological explanation for schizophrenia

What is environmental determinism?

- behaviour caused by features of the environment (reward systems) we can't control


e.g. SLT of gender development/behaviour modification/BF Skinner

What is psychic determinism?

- the belief that behaviour is caused by unconscious conflicts we cannot control


e.g. Freud's psychoanalytic theory of gender development

How are determinist approaches more scientific?

- every event has cause explained by general laws


- allows scientists to predict/control events in the future


- lab experiment=stimulate conditions/remove extraneous variables=control

What are the evaluation points for free will and determinism?

- case for determinism


- case against determinism


- case for free will


- case against free will


- compromise

What is the 'case for determinism' evaluation point of free will and determinism?

- consistent with established sciences


- prediction/control led to treatment development e.g. psychotics for schizo


- schizo=lose control=doubt of free will

What is the 'case against determinism' evaluation point of free will and determinism?

- hard determinism not consistent with legal system (offenders morally accountable)

- cases of behaviour may not be found=unfalsifiable


- determinist approach not entirely scientific

What is the 'case for free will' evaluation point of free will and determinism?

- everyday experience of choice gives impression=face validity


- research: internal locus of control=more mentally healthy


- illusion of free will has positive impact on mind/behaviour

What is the 'case against free will' evaluation point of free will and determinism?

Libet: brain activity determining simple choices occur prior to awareness of choice (ten seconds before)


- basic free will determined by brain before we're aware

What is the 'compromise' evaluation point of free will and determinism?

- interactionist approach=best compromise e.g SLT adopts soft determinism


- environment=learning;choose attention/performance of behaviour

What is the nature nurture debate? How did it originate?

- the extent to which behaviour is inherited or learned


Descartes: human characteristics innate


Locke: mind is blank/learn from environment

What is heredity?

- genetic transmission of mental/physical characteristics from generations

What is the heritability coefficient?

- 0 to 1 indicating extent of characteristic's genetic basis

Why is the nature-nurture debate nearly impossible to solve?

- environmental influence straight after birth


- difficult to separate

What is the interactionist approach to the nature-nurture debate?

- attachment: child's innate behaviour influence parent response=nature creates nurture

What is the diathesis-stress model approach to the nature-nurture debate?

- mental illness caused by genetic vulnerability


- expressed with environmental trigger

What are the evaluation points of the nature-nurture debate?

- implications of nativism and empircism


- shared and unshared environments


- constructivism


- genotype-environment interaction


- relationship to other debates

What is the 'implications of nativism and empiricism' evaluation point of the nature-nurture debate?

- two different schools of thought


- nativists: determinist stance=controversy (link race, genetics and intelligence)


- empiricism: behaviour changed by environment=practical application

What is the 'shared and unshared environments' evaluation point of the nature-nurture debate?

- siblings raised together may not have same upbringing


Dunn/Plomin: individual differences=experience life events different (age/temper)


- MZ twins not 100% concordance=gene/environ not separable

What is the 'constructivism' evaluation point of the nature-nurture debate?

- notion that genes and environment interact


- create nurture: seek environment appropriate for nature


Plomin: niche picking/building=impossible to separate influences

What is the 'genotype-environment interaction' evaluation point of the nature-nurture debate?

- passive interaction: parent genes influence child treatment


- evocative interaction: child genes shape environ


- active interaction: child creates environment through selected experiences


- complex multi-layered relationship

What is the 'relationship to other debates' evaluation point of the nature-nurture debate?

- nativists emphasise nature


- empiricists emphasise nurture


- equates to biological and environmental determinism

What is holism?

- argument proposing it only makes sense to study indivisible system that has constituent parts as a whole

What is reductionism?

- belief that human behaviour is best explained by breaking it down into smaller constituent parts

What are levels of explanation in psychology?

- different ways of viewing the same psychological phenomena e.g. OCD:


Socio-cultural: OCD produces repetitive behaviour


Psychological: experience of obsessive thoughts


Physiological: hypersensitivity of the basal ganglia

What is biological reductionism?

- attempt to explain social/psychological phenomena at lower biological level


- application e.g. psychoactive drugs for schizophrenia

What is environmental reductionism?

- attempt to explain all behaviour in terms of stimulus-response links learned through experience e.g. Watson (learning behaviour)

What are the evaluation points for holism and reductionism?

- case for holism


- case against holism


- case for reductionism


- case against reductionism


- the interactionist approach

What is the 'case for holism' evaluation point for holism and reductionism?

- aspects of social behaviour only understood in group context e.g. conformity


- holistic explanation provides complete understanding of behaviour

What is the 'case against holism' evaluation point for holism and reductionism?

- can't be scientifically tested;vague as more complex (humanistic psychology)


- depression: accept many factors=hard to establish most influential


- for practical applications, lower level explanations more appropriate

What is the 'case for reductionism' evaluation point for holism and reductionism?

- forms basis of scientific research


- create operationalised variables=experiments


- better credibility=equal to natural sciences

What is the 'case against reductionism' evaluation point for holism and reductionism?

- oversimplify complex phenomena=lose validity


- genetic explanations don't include social contexts (behaviour meaning)


- only form part of the explanation

What is the 'interactionist approach' evaluation point for holism and reductionism?

- different levels of explanation combine e.g diathesis-stress for schizophrenia


- led to more holistic approach (drugs+therapy)=lower relapse rates

What is the idiographic approach?

- approach focusing on individual case to understand behaviour than aiming to form general laws of behaviour


e.g. case studies/unstructured interviews (qualitative data)

What is the nomothetic approach?

- attempts to study human behaviour through developing general principles/laws

What are examples of idiographic approach in psychology?

Psychodynamic: Freud used case studies when detailing patients lives


Humanistic: only documented conscious experience of individual

What are examples of nomothetic approach in psychology?

Reductionist/determinist: atavistic form

behaviourist/cognitive/biological: Skinner=laws of learning

What are the evaluation points of idiographic and nomothetic approaches?

- case for idiographic approach


- case against idiographic approach


- case for nomothetic approach


- case against nomothetic approach


- complementary rather than contradictory

What is the 'case for idiographic approach' evaluation point for idiographic and nomothetic approaches?
- complete global account of individual=complement nomothetic

- generate hypothesis for further study


- insight to normal functioning (HM)

What is the 'case against idiographic approach' evaluation point for the idiographic and nomothetic approaches?

- concepts developed from single case=no meaningful generalisations


- methods least scientific


- conclusions=subjective interpretation

What is the 'case for nomothetic approach' evaluation point for the idiographic and nomothetic approaches?

- methods more scientific (standardised conditions/statistical analysis)


- establish norms of behaviour=psychology scientific credibility up

What is the 'case against nomothetic approach' evaluation point for the idiographic and nomothetic approaches?

- lose the whole person in psychology e.g. knowing about schizo doesn't tell what its like


- lab=treated like scores=subjective experience ignored


- overlooks richness of human experience

What is the 'complementary rather than contradictory' evaluation point for the idiographic and nomothetic approaches?

- not mutually exclusive;consider both idiographic/nomothetic

- e.g. gender development:nomothetic=Bem's BSRI;idiographic=David Reimer


- both involved in modern psychology

What are ethical implications?

- impact on research on rights of others (participants) = influencing how groups are regarded

According to Sieber and Stanley, what is social sensitivity?

- studies with potential consequences for individuals represented by the research


- e.g. research into genetic basis of criminality

What should researchers be concerned with when conducting socially sensitive research?

Implications: wider effects of research considered;could give scientific credit to discrimination


Uses/public policy: what will research be used for? Used by govt to shape policy


Validity: findings shown as objective when not

What are the evaluation points of ethical implications of research studies and theory?

- benefits of socially sensitive research


- framing the question


- who gains


- social control


- costs and benefits

What is the 'benefits of socially sensitive research' evaluation point of ethical implications of research studies and theory?

- studying minor groups promotes acceptance


- benefit society: research to reliability of eyewitness testimony=down miscarriages of justice

What is the 'framing the question' evaluation point of ethical implications of research studies and theory?

- phrasing influences interpretation of findings


Kitzinger/Coyle: research to homo relationships judges from hetero norms


- approach research with open mind

What is the 'who gains' evaluation point of ethical implications of research studies and theory?

- used by govt=shape policy despite invalid


1950s: subliminal message research used;Coke sales up;Packard: made findings up


- research to manipulate=ethical implications

What is the 'social control' evaluation point of ethical implications of research studies and theories?

1920s: US;compulsory sterilisation of lower people in society (low IQ, alcohol addicts)


- supported by scientific/psychological research


- socially sensitive research can promote discrimination

What is the 'costs and benefits' evaluation point of ethical implications of research studies and theories?

- some social consequences of vulnerable group research hard to predict


- assessments of worth subjective