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1. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach OCR Core Studies – Section C The Individual Differences Approach The 3 Core Studies in the Social…
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  • 1. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach OCR Core Studies – Section C The Individual Differences Approach The 3 Core Studies in the Social Approach are: 1. Thigpen & Cleckley 2. Griffiths 3. Rosenhan What will I have to know for Section C of the exam? In Section C of the core studies exam there will be TWO questions. You must answer ONE of these questions. Each question is worth 24 marks and will include a 12 mark essay style question. Each question will relate to one of the five approaches you will study (Cognitive, Social, Cognitive Developmental, Physiological and Individual Differences) or may relate to one of two perspectives you will study (Psychodynamic and Behaviourist). Questions will relate to an assumption of the approach, how the approach can explain a specific behaviour, similarities and differences between the 3 core studies in the approach and finally strengths and limitations of the approach. An example of a Section C question from the January 2010 exam paper. (a) Outline one assumption of the individual differences approach (2) (b) Describe how the individual differences approach could explain multiple personality disorder. (4) (c) Describe one similarity and one difference between any studies that take the individual differences approach. (6) (d) Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the individual differences approach using examples from any studies that take this approach. (12) 1
  • 2. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach One Assumption of the Individual Differences Approach. The main assumption of the individual differences perspective is that to understand the complexity of human behaviour and experiences it is necessary to study the differences between people rather than those things that we all have in common. For example the individual differences approach largely focuses on things such as personality differences, and abnormality. Produce an answer for the following question: Explain how the Individual Differences Approach could explain multiple personality disorder (4) ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Hints – try to make four clear points. Include reference to the Thigpen & Cleckley study. Eve White, Eve Black, symptoms, diagnosis etc Similarities and Differences between the 3 core studies. Try to think of some similarities between Griffiths’ study and Rosenhan’s study. Also think of some differences between them. 2
  • 3. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach Similarities and Differences between the 3 core studies. Griffiths Thigpen & Cleckley Rosenhan Thigpen & Cleckley Generate some similarities and differences for the studies above and fill them in on the diagram. Consider points such as the sample size, the method used, the type of data collected, the participants and whether the study is snapshot or longitudinal. There are other points you can use. 3
  • 4. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach Answer the following question using the diagrams on page 3 and expand one similarity and one difference for 3 marks each. Describe one similarity and one difference between any Individual Differences approach studies. (6) ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Strengths and Limitations of the Individual Differences Approach. 4
  • 5. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach Start by looking at the evaluation of each core study. Try to identify any evaluation issues that come up several times and use these as the strengths and limitations for the approach. Try to find two strengths and two limitations and note down the relevant core studies as examples. STRENGTHS LIMITATIONS 1. A main strength of the individual 1. differences perspective is that it can be useful in improving the experiences of people with mental health problems. For example the Rosenhan study led to a revision of the way that people with mental health problems are both diagnosed and treated. Similarly the study by Griffiths suggests that a type of cognitive behavioural therapy may be successful with addicted gamblers. 2. 2. Now use the table on page 4 to produce a detailed plan of how to answer the following question: Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the Individual Differences Approach using examples from any studies that take this approach (12) ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 5
  • 6. OCR CORE STUDIES – Section C The Individual Differences Approach ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Hints – Include two strengths and two weaknesses in your answer. Start with the strength or limitation and explain the issue (why is it a good/bad thing). Next bring in a suitable example from a relevant core study. You may also develop your answer and bring in another suitable example from another of the core studies to compare to the first. Comment on what this means…..’so what?’ Suitable issues to consider for the strengths and limitations might be reliability, validity, ethics, ecological validity, longitudinal Vs snapshot and qualitative and quantitative data. 6
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