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22 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What is the free will/determinism debate?

This debate is concerned with the extent to which people are free to choose how to think and behave or whether behaviour is determined and caused by factors outside an individual's control.

What are the three different types of determinism?

Biological, environmental, and psychic. There is also soft (some free will) and hard (no free will) determinism.

Biological Determinism AO2s

• Localisation of function supports this as there is no choice that can bring back speech if Broca's area is damaged.

• Ohman et al (1975) found that participants developed a stronger skin response to pictures of snakes than houses, suggesting that some fears are already determined. Torgesen, frequency of anxiety disorders is twice as high in MZ twins.

Environmental Determinism AO2s

• This is evident in the learned helplessness explanation of depression.

• Gender theories suggest that we are conditioned to behave in ways that are appropriate.

• This has been applied in Token Economy Programmes.

• Behaviourists support this theory.

• SLT takes a less deterministic approach.

Overall Evaluation of Free Will/Determinism

• Deterministic is scientific, whereas free will isn't.

• If we accept free will, we can't predict behaviour.

• Free will gives us moral responsibility (eg crime).

• Free will is abstract and hypothetical, so all evidence for it is subjective.

What is the reductionism/holism debate?

This debate is concerned with whether behaviour should be understood by breaking down into its component parts or whether we need to look at the whole person to understand them.

What is the aim of systematic experimental introspection?

Reductionism is linked to the study of consciousness and the suggestion that all conscious experience can be reduced down. One way of explaining how the mind works is introspection with trained psychologists, which is used in order to discover laws by which basic components come together to create consciousness.

Systematic experimental introspection AO2

• Little practical use outside of labs and was criticised as being too subjective.

Reductionist AO2s

• Gender -- biological factors are reductionist, ie Dabbs.

• Schizophrenia -- genetic or DA theories, contrast with Diathesis-stress.

• Scientific.

• Simplifies behaviour and makes it easier to explain.

• Meaning is lost.

Holistic AO2s

• Kohler's insight learning.

• Anxiety/OCD -- combination of therapies and drugs, eg Prozac and ERP.

• Conformity -- there is a social context to behaviour.

• CCT is holistic.

• More complete understanding.

• More meaningful.

• Difficult to integrate and investigate different levels of explanation.

• More hypothetical, lacks predictive power of reductionism.

What is the nature/nurture debate?

This concerns the extent to which particular aspects of behaviour are a product of either experience or inheritance. A genotype is the inherited genetic material, and a phenotype is the observable characteristics of an individual.

Nature AO2s

• PKU is a condition where ingesting dairy can cause learning problems. This can be stopped by not eating dairy.

• Family studies can be used to measure heredity.

• Psychosexual stages are an interaction of both.

Interaction AO2

• Diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia.

Nurture AO2

• This suggests that all behaviour can be unlearned, which has been applied using TEPs in prisons.

Nature/Nurture Topics

• Phobias -- innate or conditioning.

• OCD -- McKeen & Murray, twice as common in relatives of people with OCD than control.

• OCD -- PET scans show high levels of activity in orbital frontal cortex (nature).

• Gender -- Money, Batista, Mead, Baby X.

• Forensics -- Lombroso's explanation is a nature explanation.

What is the idiographic/nomothetic debate?

This is concerned with whether we should see people as unique and different to everyone else or whether we should assume that everyone is more or less the same and that we can therefore establish general laws of behaviour.

Idiographic AO2s

• Qualitative methods used give a full, detailed insight.

• Case studies can be used to challenge existing theories or suggest others.

• They can also be used to uncover causes of behaviour eg Phineas Gage.

• Little Hans.

• Unscientific.

• Can't generalise case studies.

• Applied in memory with studies like KF or HM.

• The study of Genie in attachment added a lot to the theory.

Nomothetic AO2s

• Scientific.

• Predictions don't tell you who will have it -- eg 1% of people are schizophrenic but this doesn't tell you who.

• Many studies lack ecological validity.

• Schizophrenia/Depression -- drugs work differently for different people.

• Gender -- Biological and Behaviourist theories allow general laws.

What are the key features of a science?

• A paradigm (set of agreed assumptions which we use to make sense of the world).

• Objective collection of facts and organisation into theories.

• Research methods should be objective, systematic and replicable.

• Produce general laws of behaviour.

Which approaches are scientific?

• Behaviourist.

• Cognitive is mainly.

• Psychodynamic and humanistic aren't.

What are the strengths of a scientific approach?

• Gain credibility.

• Scientific testing has lead to stronger theories .

• The scientific approach has also lead to the development of applications, eg CBT which can be objectively tested.

What are the weaknesses of a scientific approach?

• Mechanistic.

• Demand characteristics -- Orne (1962) points out that if you're asked to do push-ups by an experimenter, you don't ask why (like you would with a friend). He found that he could get people to tear pieces of paper up for five hours just by saying it was a study.

• Experimenter bias -- Rosenthal & Fode (1963), rats seemed to learn better when experimenters were told they were bright; Valentine (1992), experimenters get results that match their hypothesis by changing the environment by accident.

• Not all studies can be generalised (eg those with students as participants).

• Very Western.

• Lack ecological validity.

• Research has to be ethically sound, which puts limitations on study.

• Much of psychology (eg the unconscious) is unobservable and cannot be studied scientifically.