Thursday, 9 June 2016

Strengths and weaknesses of the debates and approaches

Biological approach, Cognitive approach Individual debate, Reductionism debate & Nature debate

1.       Practical/useful applications: understanding and identifying certain behaviours that are inherited or specific to the individual can help us to intervene accordingly.
2.       Uses objective scientific measures. This means that extraneous variables are highly controlled and cause and effect can be established, increasing validity.

1.       Reductionist as it tries to explain complex behaviour with one influence. It doesn’t consider how other factors interact together in influencing behaviour.
2.       Discovering that certain behaviours are inherited (e.g. personality, intelligence) may not be helpful. It can lead to the assumption that these types of behaviour are difficult to change through the environment. This restricts the useful applications.
3.       Specific to Cognitive – lacks ecological validity due to high use of lab experiments.

Social approach, Behaviourist approach, Situational debate &
Nurture debate
1.       Practical/useful applications: has real life relevance as it focuses on real life social issues. It has key relevance to the majority and helps our understanding on how human behaviour can be changed in a positive way.
2.       It is very scientific and usually uses controlled experimental methods in order to establish cause and effect – increasing validity
1.       It is very difficult to separate the effects of a situation/social/environmental influences from the individual. This is very similar to the nature/nurture debate, in the sense that it is impossible to study them separately as they will always influence together – reducing validity of the approach/debate.
2.       Ethical issues can arise due to deceiving participants in order to achieve valid results of environmental/social/situational influences.
Individual differences approach & Psychodynamic approach
1.       Research has practical applications. It helps us to understand how we measure differences and develop support for certain disorders.
2.       Different types of data are used. Freud uses qualitative and Baron-Cohen uses quantitative. Using both types enables researchers to obtain comparable and measureable results as well as an in depth exploration into individual differences.

1.       Methodology is sometimes subjective and therefore open to bias. Freud is a perfect example of this, reducing the validity. Theory of mind is also a subjective construct which could be difficult to measure in a valid way.
2.       Ethical issues tend to arise. People with disorders are classed as vulnerable and therefore informed consent is sometimes questionable. In addition, participating in certain tasks may cause psychological harm e.g. people with Asperger's out of their normal routine.
Developmental approach & Holistic debate
1.       Useful/practical applications i.e. holism - more reflective or how factors interact in real life, developmental – understanding children and cognitive – understanding memory.
2.       More holistic as considers more than one factor as it looks at interactions: Developmental – interaction between nature and nurture.

1.       Ethical issues: Relies heavily on the use of children Issues with gaining parental consent and debriefing children in a way that makes sense to them.
2.       Issues with validity. Holism – difficult to measure all factors reducing cause and effect. Developmental - measuring children’s thoughts and behaviour accurately is difficult due to adult’s perceptions.

1.       Understanding ethnocentrism can help us to understand how discrimination arises in the first place so that other cultures can be studied in more depth.
2.       By understanding ethnocentrism, researchers are better prepared in addressing it, in order to improve researches generalisability.

1.       Ethnocentrism causes prejudice and discrimination which raises moral ethics, by discounting some cultures as unimportant and therefore no researching them.  
2.       Researchers must be aware of ethnocentrism when generalising and interpreting data in order to avoid biased and invalid findings.
Socially sensitive research
1.       Carrying out socially sensitive research usually means that the researcher develops a personal relationship with participants and can often gain insightful data.
2.       Building an understanding of these sensitive issues can allow useful applications by finding out info that wouldn’t usually be accessible.

1.       Building relationships when carrying socially sensitive research can open issues with bias and subjectivity.
2.       Interviewing participants about sensitive topic may induce painful emotions and memories and therefore cause harm.
Determinism debate
1.       Having deterministic views helps the world to be more understandable and predictable.
2.       Determinism is very scientific in this sense that it tries to highlight certain factors have an influence. This makes this debate more acceptable in society with its explanations and scientific basis.
1.       An extreme determinist would say that free will in an illusion - we think we have choice, but we do not. Therefore how could we punish others if it wasn’t their fault?
2.       Determinism can never fully explain behaviour because behaviour is far too complex and a deterministic view is often a reductionist one.

Psychology as a science
Is a science:
1.       Psychology uses scientific methods in its investigations. Research is carried out through experimentation and uses many controls, which means cause and effect can be established.
2.       Like other sciences, psychology has theories. Theories generate hypotheses and these are tested empirically.
Is not a science:
1.       Psychologists study humans. They cannot be investigated in the same way as subject matter of e.g. chemistry or physics. People are aware of being investigated and this can alter behaviour.
2.       Even with hypotheses, lots of material which is called psychology is clearly not a science e.g. Freudian theories.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

To what extent can diagnosis to dysfunctional behaviour be ethnocentric [15]

Points to consider in your essay:
  1. High focus on mental health issues within western cultures - Stigmatised - seen as more important in western cultures. 
  2. Ethnocentric because it is reflective of what most people in a particular place and time do - Ethnocentric and lacks historical validity. 
  3. DSM is specific for certain cultures so not as ethnocentric when applied to that specific culture.
  4. Dysfunctional behaviour - one definition of it is a failure to function adequately - least ethnocentric as this will vary accordingly to each culture in a similar way. 
  5. Trying to generalise to other cultures - ethnocentric - but only applying to studied culture less ethnocentric. 
  6. If research into dysfunctional behaviour has diverse sample - less ethnocentric.
  7. Cultural definitions of health compared to objective definitions of health.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Past and Future questions Disorders

Study / example
Exam Questions
Classification and symptoms of disorders

Anxiety disorder: SPADE

Affective disorder:

Psychotic disorder:

a)      June 2010: Describe the characteristics of a affective disorder [10]
b)      Jan 2010: Describe the characteristics of a psychotic disorder [10]
c)      Jan 2010: Evaluate difficulties when identifying characteristic of psychological disorders [15]
d)      June 2010: Outline one way (e.g. classification system) in which dysfunctional behaviour can be categorised [10]
e)      June 2010: Discuss limitations of diagnosing dysfunctional behaviour [15]
f)       June 2012: To what extent may diagnoses of dysfunctional behaviour be considered ethnocentric [15]
g)      Jan 2013: Evaluate the validity of diagnoses of dysfunctional behaviour [15]
h)      June 2013: Describe the characteristics of one anxiety disorder [10]
i)        June 2013: To what extent is it valid to identify a disorder from a list of characteristics [15]
j)        June 2014: Outline the characteristics of an affective disorder [10]
k)      June 2014: Assess the reliability of identifying a disorder from a list of characteristics [15]

Explanations of schizophrenia
Liberman: Behaviourist

Mahler: Cognitive irrational schemas

Gottesman and Shields: Genes
a)      June 2010: Outline how the biological approach would explain one of the following disorders; affective; anxiety; psychotic [10]
b)      June 2010: Evaluate different explanations of the disorder you referred to in part a [15]
c)      Jan 2011: Outline a biological explanation of dysfunctional behaviour [10]
d)      Jan 2011: Discuss whether explanations of dysfunctional behaviour are reductionist [15]
e)      Jan 2011: Outline a behavioural explanation of one disorder [10]
f)       Jan 2011: Compare explanations of the disorder you referred to in part a [15]
g)      June 2011: How might cognitive psychologists explain dysfunctional behaviour [10
h)      June 2011: Assess the appropriateness of different explanations of dysfunctional behaviour [15]
i)        Jan 2013: Outline a cognitive explanation to of dysfunctional behaviour [10]
j)        Jan 2013: Compare explanations of dysfunctional behaviour [15]

Treatments of schizophrenia
Paul and Lentz: Behaviourist – positive reinforcement

Sensky: Cognitive – CBT

Kane: Biological – drugs fluphenazine

a)      June 2011: How could a psychological disorder (either affective or anxiety or psychotic) be treated biologically? [10]
b)      June 2011: Compare approaches to treating the disorder you referred to in part a [15]
c)      June 2012: Outline a cognitive behavioural therapy as a treatment for one disorder (either affective or anxiety or psychotic).
d)      June 2012: Assess the effectiveness of the treatments for one disorder [15]
e)      Jan 2012: Describe a behavioural treatment for dysfunctional behaviour [10]
f)       Jan 2012: Discuss ethical considerations regarding the treatment of dysfunctional behaviour [15]
g)      Jan 2013: Outline a behavioural treatment of a disorder [10]
h)      Jan 2013: Assess the strengths and weaknesses of treatments for the disorder you referred to in part a [15]
i)        June 2014: Describe how dysfunctional behaviour could be treated biologically [10]
j)        June 2014: Discuss ethical issues in the treatment of dysfunctional behaviour [15]

Past and Future questions Stress

Study / example
Exam Questions
Causes of stress
Johansson: Work

Geers and Maisel: Lack of control

Kanner: Hassles
a)      Jan 2010: Describe one piece of research which considers work as a source of stress [10]
b)      Jan 2010: Discuss problems of conducting research into the causes of stress [15]
c)      June 2011: Outline one piece of evidence which suggests that stress can be caused by hassles and/or life events [10].
d)      June 2011: Evaluate the reliability of methods of measuring stress [15]
e)      June 2014: Outline how work can be a source of stress [10]
f)       June 2014: Evaluate the use of quantitative data when researching causes of stress [15]
g)      Outline how a lack of control can lead to stress [10]

Measures of stress
Johansson: Combined approach 

Geers and Maisel: Biological

Kanner: Hassles
a)      June 2010: Describe one physiological measure of stress [10]
b)      June 2010: Assess the validity of different methods of measuring stress [15]
c)      June 2012: Describe self-report as a method of measuring stress [10]
d)      June 2012:Compare different measures of stress [15]
Managing stress
Waxler-Morrison: Social support

Meichenbuam: SIT – CBT

Budzynski: Biofeedback
a)      Jan 2010: Outline a cognitive technique for managing stress [10]
b)      Jan 2010: Compare techniques for managing stress [15]
c)      Jan 2011: Discuss whether stress would be managed by treating the individual or their situation [15]
d)      Jan 2012: Outline the social approach to managing stress [10]

Past and Future Questions Healthy Living

Study / example
Exam Questions
Healthy living
Theories of health belief 
Becker: Health belief model

Rotter: Locus of Control

Bandura: Self-efficacy
a)      June 2010: Describe self-efficacy as a theory of health belief [10]
b)      June 2010: Discuss the theoretical approaches to beliefs about health [15]
c)      June 2012: Describe the Health Belief Model [10]
d)      June 2012: To what extent is there freewill in relation to the health belief model [15]
e)      June 2013: Describe locus of control with reference to health behaviours [10]
f)       June 2013: To what extent are theories of health belief reductionist [15]

Methods of health promotion
Dannenberg: Legislation

Cowpe: Media campaigns

Janis and Feshbach:
Fear arousal
a)      June 2011: Describe one piece of research into media campaigning as a method of health promotion [10]
b)      June 2011: Discuss the ecological validity of research into the methods of health promotion [15]
c)      Jan 2011: How can fear arousal be used as a method of health promotion
d)      Jan 2011: Assess the effectiveness of methods of health promotion [15]
e)      Jan 2013: How has legislation been used as a method of health promotion [10]
f)       Jan 2013: To what extent is research into methods of health promotion limited [15]
g)      June 2014: How can media campaigns be used to promote healthy behaviour [10]
h)      June 2014: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research into methods of health promotion [15]
Adherence to medical regimes
Bulpitt: Reasons for non-adherence

Lustman: Measuring non-adherence

Watt: Improving non-adherence
a)      Jan 2010: Describe one way to measure non-adherence to medical advice [10]
b)      Jan 2010: Assess the reliability of research into non-adherence to medical advice [15]
c)      Jan 2012: Explain why people may not adhere to medical regimes [10]
d)      Jan 2012: Discuss the difficulties of researching adherence to medical regimes [15]
e)      June 2013: How could adherence to medical regimes be improved? [10]
f)       June 2013: Discuss the usefulness of research into adherence to medical regimes [15]

Past and Future questions After a Guilty Verdicts

Study / example
Exam Questions
After a guilty verdict
Dooley: Suicide and depression in prisons

Zimbardo: The prison situation and prison roles

Gillis and Nafekh: Planned behaviours once freed from jail
a)      Jan 2010: Identify the link between imprisonment and suicide [10]
b)      Jan 2010: Evaluate the usefulness of research into the psychological effects of imprisonment [15]
c)      June 2011: Describe one piece of research into looking death worthy [10]
d)      June 2011: To what extent can research into alternatives to imprisonment be considered ethnocentric
e)      Jan 2013: Describe research into planned behaviours once freed from jail [10]
f)       Jan 2013: Evaluate the use of qualitative and quantitative data when researching imprisonment [15]
g)      June 2013: Describe research into the prison situation and roles [10]
h)      June 2013: Evaluate the methodology used in research into imprisonment [15]
i)        June 2015: What have psychologists learned about depression and suicide risk in prisons [10]
j)        June 2015: Discuss the reliability of research into imprisonment [15]
k)      How can the prison situation and roles effect behaviour [10]

Alternatives to imprisonment
Mair and May: Probation

Sherman and Strang: Restorative justice

Eberhardt: Death penalty – looking death worthy  
a)      June 2012: How can probation serve as an alternative to imprisonment [10]
b)      June 2012: Evaluate limitations of research into alternatives to imprisonment [15]
c)      June 2013: How is restorative justice used after a guilty verdict? [10]
d)      June 2013: To what extent are alternatives to imprisonment effective [15]
e)      June 2014: Outline research into looking death worthy [10]
f)       June 2014: Assess the validity of research into alternatives to imprisonment [15]
g)      Explain how the death penalty could be considered ethnocentric [10]
Treatment programmes
Wheatley: Ear acupuncture

Cann: Cognitive therapies

Ireland: Anger management programmes
a)      June 2010: Describe anger management as a treatment programme for offenders [10]
b)      June 2010: Assess the effectiveness of offender treatment programmes [15]
c)      Jan 2012: How has ear acupuncture been used as a treatment programme? [10]
d)      Jan 2012: Compare the strengths of different offender treatment programmes [15]
e)      June 2014: Describe a cognitive skills programmes that is used with offenders [10]
f)       June 2014: Assess the usefulness of offender treatment programmes [15]