PAPER 3: ISSUES AND DEBATES (NATURE v NURTURE DEBATE ( concerned with the…
PAPER 3: ISSUES AND DEBATES
GENDER AND CULTURAL BIAS.
- when psychological research or theory offer a view that does not justifiably represent the experience and behaviour of men or women.
Exaggerates or overestimates
differences between the sexes. E.g. sociobiological theory of relationship formation.
Minimises or underestimates
differences between the sexes. E.g. fight or flight response research as female hormones fluctuate, though this wasn't initially taken into consideration.
- male-centred, this is where 'normal' behaviour is judged according to a male standard (female behaviour is often therefore judged as 'abnormal' or 'deficient' in comparison.
- underlining characteristic of human beings which are capable of being applied to all different people.
- tendency to ignore cultural differences and interpret all phenomena through the 'lens' of our own culture (usually western).
- Judging other cultures by the standards and values of one's own culture. In extreme cases this often means people view themselves as superior to another culture.
AINSWORTH'S STRANGE SITUATION (1970)
- works inside a specific culture and attempts to discuss that culturally specific behaviour.
- looks at behaviour outside of a specific culture and attempts to discuss this behaviour universally.
- norms, values, ethics and moral standards can only be meaningful and understood within their own specific social and cultural contexts.
FREEWILL AND DETERMINISM
- the notion that humans can make choices and are not determined by biological or external forces.
advocated by the
a belief in freewill does not negate the biological impacts, but states we can ignore these urges.
- the view that an individual's behaviour is shaped or controlled by external forces rather than an individual's will to do something.
- implies that free will is not possible as our behaviour is always caused by internal or external events beyond our control.
- all events, including human behaviour, have causes but behaviour can also be determined by our conscious choices and the absence of coercion.
Branches of determinism
- behaviour is caused by biological (genetic, hormonal, evolutionary) influences which we cannot control.
- behaviour is caused by features of the environment (such as systems of reward and punishment) that we cannot control.
- behaviour is caused by unconscious conflicts that we cannot control.
THE SCIENTIFIC EMPHASIS ON CAUSAL EXPLANATIONS
basic principle of science
suggests that all things which happen can be explained with a cause
causes can be explained using general laws
allow scientists to control and predict events in the future
e.g. why we use lab experiments - control for extraneous variables which may present themselves in the environment we are in.
NATURE v NURTURE DEBATE
concerned with the extent to which aspects of behaviour are a product of inherited or acquired characteristics
= genetic transmission of mental and physical characteristics from one generation to another.
= any influence on human behaviour that is non-genetic.
= nature and nurture are linked and so we cannot separate them from one another, instead it is how they interact and influence one another.
DIATHESIS STRESS MODEL
- suggests was are biologically predisposed to something, however it is a trigger in the environment which causes us to form this disorder - this is an example of the INTERACTIONIST APPROACH to explaining behaviour.
HOLISM AND REDUCTIONISM
= suggests that behaviour must be considered as a whole, that we cannot break our behaviour down into constituent parts
= human behaviour is best explained when we break it down into different levels.
= tries to explain our behaviour on a physiological level - e.g. genes and hormones
= attempts to explain all behaviour in terms of stimulus response (these are LEARNT behaviours from the environment).