Issues and Debates


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Issues and Debates von Mind Map: Issues and Debates

1. Gender bias

1.1. Types of Gender bias

1.1.1. Alpha bias - this occurs when the differences between men and women are exaggerated. Therefore, stereotypically male and female characteristics may be emphasised.

1.1.2. Beta bias -this occurs when the differences between men and women are minimised. This often happens when findings obtained from men are applied to women without additional validation.

1.1.3. Androcentrism - taking male thinking/behaviour as normal, regarding female thinking/behaviour as deviant, inferior, abnormal, ‘other’ when it is different.

1.2. Examples

1.2.1. Kohlberg based his stages of moral development around male moral reasoning and had an all-male sample. He then inappropriately generalized his findings to women (beta bias) and also claimed women generally reached lower level of moral development (androcentrism).

1.2.2. In depression women's depression is much more likely to be explained in terms of neurochemical/hormonal processes, rather than other possible explanations such as social or environmental (e.g. domestic violence, unpaid labour, discrimination).

2. culture bias

2.1. Cultural Realative

2.1.1. is the principle of regarding the beliefs, values, and practices of a culture from the viewpoint of that culture itself.d

2.2. An emic approach refers to the investigation of a culture from within the culture itself. This means that research of European society from a European perspective is emic, and African society by African researchers in Africa is also emic. An emic approach is more likely to have ecological validity as the findings are less likely to be distorted or caused by a mismatch between the cultures of the researchers and the culture being investigated.

2.3. Etic construct is a theoretical idea that is assumed to apply in all cultural groups and are considered universal to all people, and are factors that hold across all cultures (similarities between cultures). Etic constructs assume that most human behaviour is common to humans but that cultural factors influence the development or display of this behaviour.

2.4. Ethnocentrism occurs when a researcher assumes that their own culturally specific practices or ideas are ‘natural’ or ‘right’. The individual uses their own ethnic group to evaluate and make judgments about other individuals from other ethnic groups. Research which is ‘centred’ around one cultural group is called ‘ethnocentric’.

2.5. Examples:

2.5.1. *An example of an etic approach which produces bias might be the imposition of IQ tests designed within one culture on another culture. thetest is designed to measure a European’s understanding of what intelligence is it may not be a valid measurement of an African’s , or Asian’s intelligence. *IQ tests developed in the West contain embedded assumptions about intelligence, but what counts as ‘intelligent’ behavior varies from culture to culture. Non-Westerners may be disadvantaged by such tests – and then viewed as ‘inferior’ when then don’t perform as Westerners do.

3. free will & Determinism

3.1. free will

3.1.1. Free Will suggests that we all have a choice and can control and choose our own behavior. This approach is all about personal responsibility and plays a central role in Humanist Psychology.

3.2. Determinism

3.2.1. Types of Determinism •Environmental Determinism: This is the idea that our behavior is caused by some sort of outside influence e.g. parental influence. Example • Biological Determinism: Our biological systems, such as the nervous system, govern our behaviour. example • Psychic Determinism: Freud believed childhood experiences and unconscious motivations governed behaviour. example

3.2.2. Levels of Determinism Hard Determinism sees free will as an illusion and believes that every event and action has a cause. Soft Determinism represents a middle ground, people do have a choice, but that choice is constrained by external factors e.g. Being poor doesn’t make you steal, but it may make you more likely to take that route through desperation.

4. Nature & Nurture

4.1. Nature

4.1.1. Nature is the view that all our behaviour is determined by our biology, our genes. This is not the same as the characteristics you are born with, because these may have been determined by your pre-natal environment. Example Bowlby suggested that attachment behaviors are displayed because they ensure that survival of an infant and the perpetuation of the parents’ genes. This survival value is further increased because attachment has implications for later relationship formation which will ultimately promote successful reproduction.

4.2. Nurture

4.2.1. Nurture is the opposite view that all behaviour is learnt and influenced by external factors such as the environment etc. Supports of the nurture view are ‘empiricists’ holding the view that all knowledge is gained through experience. Example The behaviourist approach assumes that all behaviour is learned through the environment. The best known example is the social learning explanation of aggression, using the Bobo doll

4.2.2. Tabla rasa The idea that humans are born with a blank slate

4.3. The relative importance of Hereditary and environment in determining Behaviour

5. Holism and Reductionism

5.1. Reductionism

5.1.1. Holism argues that behaviour cannot be understood in terms of the components that make them up. This is commonly described as ‘the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.’

5.1.2. Reductionism is the belief that human behaviour can be explained by breaking it down into smaller component parts. Reductionist say that the best way to understand why we behave as we do is to look closely at the very simplest parts that make up our systems, and use the simplest explanations to understand how they work. Example mostly applies to biological explanations (e.g. genetics, neurotransmitters, hormones) of complex human behaviors such as schizophrenia, gender and aggression. Such reductionist explanations can be legitimately criticised as ignoring psychological, social and cultural factors.

6. Idiographic & Nomothic

6.1. Idiographic Approach

6.1.1. looks at how our behaviours are different to each other. Psychologists interested in this aspect of experience want to discover what makes each of us unique. Tend to use qualitative methods. Example Gordon Allport found over 18,000 separate terms describing personal characteristics. Whilst some of these are common traits (that could be investigated nomothetically) the majority, in Allport’s view, referred to more or less unique dispositions based on life experiences peculiar to ourselves. He argues that they cannot be effectively studied using standardised tests. What is needed is a way of investigating them idiographically

6.2. Nomothetic Approach

6.2.1. looks at how our behaviors are similar to each other as human beings. The term “nomothetic” comes from the Greek word “nomos” meaning “law”. Example In schizophrenia an Nomothethic approach of treatment is used called drug therapy the treatment is can be applied to any patient as biologically the patients will have D2 receptors there for the treatment is available for anyone

7. Ethical Impications of Research