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A spectrum of two concepts. A disagreement about a range of issues. The different positions lead to different approaches. Holism Reductionism Emphasis on the Breaking down whole person. complex issues into simpler parts Gestalt Psychology. Biological Interactionist Reductionism. Approach. Hierarchy of sciences. Human behaviour is complex. It should be looked at as a whole rather than in parts. 1915-1945. Gestalt – German, meaning ‘whole configuration’. “The whole of behaviour and experience is more than the sum of its parts”. Kohler (1925) demonstrated insight learning in chimpanzee’s. Explains human behaviour in terms of links or interactions between different levels of explanations. Takes biological, psychological, social, etc factors into account to build a better understanding. Provides a complete picture. Does not ignore the complexity of behaviour. The person is seen as an entity to be considered in its own right. Seeks to integrate different components in order to understand the person as a whole. Does not lend itself to scientific inquiry and empirical testing. Tends to neglect the importance of biological explanations specifically the role of genes. More hypothetical than lower-level reductionist explanations and theories lack the predictive power of a scientific explanation. Complex phenomena can be explained by breaking them down into separate simpler components. Attempts to explain all behaviour in terms of biology. Assumes continuity of behaviour between animals and humans. Less precise, more general sciences at Sociology the top. More narrowly Psychology focused and precise sciences at Biology the bottom. Watson: “There is Chemistry only one science, Physics: the rest is just social work”. Physics Has brought with it both analytic and scientific ways of attempting to understand and explain behaviour. Scientific investigation allows for empirical investigation. Demonstrates how biology is for understanding and explaining behaviour. May lead to an over simplistic view of behaviour – the complexity is missed. Many theories have been developed but no attempt has been made to combine the theories. Some physicists argue it suffers from an infinite regress – parts can be reduced endlessly. Schizophrenia – in terms of neurotransmitters and genes (Reductionist) – in terms of socio-cultural explanations (higher level; more holistic). Humanistic – a person can only be understood as a whole (Holistic). Idiographic Nomothetic Focus on the individual Attempts to establish and recognition of laws and uniqueness. generalisations about Private, subjective and people. conscious Three kinds of laws. experiences. Objective knowledge Qualitative methods of through scientific investigation. methods. Quantitative methods of investigation. Suggests everyone is unique and therefore every one should be studied in an individual way. No general laws are possible because of chance, free will and the uniqueness of individuals. Tends to include quantitative data, investigating individuals in a personal and detailed way. Methods of research include: case study, unstructured interviews, self-reports, autobiographies and personal documents. Provides a more complete or global understanding of the individual. Satisfies key aim of science – description and understanding of behaviour. Findings can serve as a source of ideas or hypotheses for later study. The focuses mean the individual feels valued and unique. Difficult to generalise from detailed subjective knowledge about one person. Often regarded as non-scientific as subjective experience cannot be empirically tested. Largely neglects biological, especially genetic, influences. Focuses on similarities between people. Attempts to establish laws and generalisations about people. Laws can be categorised into three kinds: classifying people into groups; establishing principles and establishing dimensions. Classifying people into groups: › Such as the DSMIV for classifying people with mood disorders. Establishing principles: › Such as the behaviourist laws of learning. Establishing dimensions: › Such as Eysenck’s personality inventory which allows for comparisons between people. Uses scientific and quantitative data. Usually uses experiments and observations. Group averages are statistically analysed to create predictions about people in general. Regarded as scientific as it is: precise measurement; prediction and control of behaviour; investigations of large groups; objective and controlled methods allowing replication and generalisation. Has helped psychology as a whole become scientific by developing laws and theories which can be empirically tested. Combines biological and social aspects. Predictions can be made about groups but these may not apply to individuals. Approach has been accused of losing sight of the ‘whole person’. Gives a superficial understanding – people may act the same but for different reasons. Extensive use of controlled laboratory experiments creates a lack of generalisation to everyday life. Both have a role but relative value of each depends on the purpose of the research. Two approaches can be complementary – idiographic can further develop a nomothetic law. Both can contribute to scientific approach – idiographic suited to description; nomothetic to predictions. Child development – Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory (Nomothetic). Memory – case studies on how memory is affected by brain damage (Idiographic complemented nomothetic, furthering general laws). Humanistic – emphasises individual (Idiographic) Psychodynamic – use of case studies (Idiographic). Free Will Determinism The ability to make All behaviour is decisions and caused by prior choose behaviours events. freely. Internal and How is it tested? external. Hard and soft determinism. Biological, psychic and environmental determinism. Dictionary – A hypothetical and often reified internal agency that functions independently of externally imposed forces. Cannot meet the rigours of scientific testing due to the lack of an operational definition. Abstract and hypothetical concepts have to be turned into measureable and observable operations. Allows individual differences and the uniqueness of a person. Observable that some people choose to act in a way different to others. Difficult to measure/prove. Difficult to accept an explanation of behaviour if we follow free will. Not scientific. Nearly always there are some sort of forces in making a decision. All behaviour is caused by underlying factors. Internal Determinism External Determinism Internal causes of Behaviour occurs behaviour are seen because there is a as causes of cause in the behaviour. environment. Such as biological factors and mental processes. Hard Determinism Soft Determinism Behaviour is caused Behaviour is by events outside determined or one’s personal caused by a control. person’s own See’s free will as an character, wishes or illusion as behaviour conscious desires. is always predictable A compromise – free and therefore will plays a part but determined. there are always other forces. Includes the controlling role of different parts of the brain, hormonal system and genetics on behaviour. Some studies have indicated a genetic predisposition towards some behaviours. Represented by Freud’s psychodynamic theory. Human behaviour, thoughts and feelings are caused by the life and death instincts and by repressed conflicts, wishes and memories in the unconscious mind. Because it is unconscious people believe they are free. Behaviour is caused by factors within the external environment. The power of the situation (as demonstrated by Asch and Milgram) and how social factors can have a strong effect on behaviour. Free will is seen as an illusion. More scientific as it can be measured. Has a compromise for free will and explains why it seems as if it is free will when in reality it is not. Can be applied to many areas of psychology. Helps Psychology be seen as a science as it means all behaviour is predictable and can be controled. Some behaviour is unpredictable and does not follow the conventions/predictions. Takes away individuals choices and uniqueness. Obedience – Milgrim’s participants felt that had to obey him (Deterministic). Offending behaviour – most theories include some elements of determinism. Humanistic – people direct their own lives and goals (Free will). Cognitive – people select what they want (Soft determinism). Nature Nurture The effect of genes. The effect of the Methods of environment. investigating effect Types of of Nature. environmental influence. Levels of environment. Methods of investigating effect of Nurture. Nature - Introduction Concerned with how genes influence behaviour. Genes are passed to offspring from the parents. Genotype. Nature – Methods of Investigating Twin Studies – Using MZ twins; if they have a high concordance nature must play a part. Adoption studies – If the offspring act the same as their biological parents rather than adoptive parents nature must play a part. Largely scientific. Nature – Strengths Can be seen in many studies that Nature has a large part. Experiments have influenced useful applications for treatments. Scientifically tested. Nature - Limitations Neglects the role of the environment. Often hard to find twins or adoption studies to relate to the topic of interest. Nurture - Introduction Concerned with the role of the environment. The environment shapes all of a persons personality and behaviours. Phenotype. Nurture – Types of Environmental Influence External and individual. Post-natal. Acting on a passive individual. Nurture – Levels of Environment Sociocultural-historical level Lerner (1986). Physical Environmental Level The influence of the Individual Psychological Level environment can be Inner Biological Level narrow, such as pre- natal, or more general, such as Mother’s Psychological state During Pregnancy sociocultural Mother’s Psychological State environment. Postbirth Experiences Where and when born Nurture – Methods of Investigation Twin studies – Using MZ twins reared apart; if there is low concordance nurture may play a large part. Adoption studies – If there is a high concordance between adoptive parents and low concordance between biological parents nurture may play a large part. Nurture – Strengths Takes the environment into consideration. Has created useful treatments such as behaviour therapy. Nurture - Limitations Neglects the biological impact on behaviour. Often hard to find twins or adoption studies that satisfy the needs of a relevant topic of interest. Nature/Nurture Relating to Topics Biological – all behaviour is due to innate forces (Nature). Behaviourist – all behaviour is due to environmental forces (Nurture). Gender – Batista Boys; hormones overtook upbringing (Nature). Schizophrenia – Family and twin studies show high concordance rates (Nature). Child Development – Harlow’s Monkeys; they attached because of external forces (Nurture).
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