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1. You will be studying a variety of approaches within your A2 studies. Each topic area that you will be studying; relationships, eating behaviour and sleeping and…
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  • 1. You will be studying a variety of approaches within your A2 studies. Each topic area that you will be studying; relationships, eating behaviour and sleeping and dreaming each incorporate different approaches. Being able to balance your different approaches as an alternative argument provides SYNOPTICITY – an extremely important aspect within A2. Using your A2 textbook – at the start of the introduction will give you a guide into each approach with its strengths and limitations. Give a brief description for each of the following approaches: BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH: PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH: EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH: BIOLOGICAL APPROACH: COGNITIVE APPROACH:
  • 2. If you look at strengths and limitations for each of these approaches you will see that they are using an argument against that particular approach using an alternative approach to help explain it from a different viewpoint. You will see how they have extended the argument. For each approach, read the strengths and limitations and comment below where you think you can see the alternative argument using a different approach. Highlight on your writing where you can see that it explains it.
  • 3. An issue is: When we are discussing a topic, we have a variety of factors that cannot be ignored, at times we have called them ‘individual differences’ – which we look at differences between people. We extend this at A2 to make sure that we are not forgetting these as potential issues such as how males and females act differently, how someone’s culture influences how they behave and that different cultures may have different values. We also cannot ignore ethics – something we have studied at AS in some depth which we can now include the use of animals in research. Summarise into your own words. Gender bias Cultural bias Issues Ethical issues Role of animals in research
  • 4. A debate is: Even though we quite often extend the argument or put over a different point of view, we need to take a look at the bigger picture within psychological theories – whether it’s down to the environment or genetics, whether we decide something ourselves or we just get carried along with an idea and we are not able to decide. These are quite easy to put into arguments for each approach and really show the examiner that you understand the approaches you are talking about. Using the book summarise each debate: Free will Determinism Reductionism DEBATE Nature/nurture Is psychology a science? Related debate (idiographic/nomethic)
  • 5. As part of your A2 studies you will be studying in much more detail the research methods involved, however as part of your ongoing commentary using synopticity – you will need to comment on the scientific methods used. You have already been doing this in your AS studies, but not quite so explicitly. It has always been part of your AO2 evaluation and you have always answered questions for your AO3 about your knowledge of the research method. This time you will be awarded marks in your essay where you have shown you have looked at the research method and commented upon it – AO3. You will need to comment on the appropriateness of the research methodology, making sure that you contextualize at all times. Using your text book – answer the following questions: 1. What research methods do psychologists use to investigate their theories? 2. What will you need to discuss about these research methods in order to gain AO2/3? 3. Read the cognitive example in italics – how is the research method evaluated? 4. Describe Robin Dunbar and John Lycett’s 2000 experiment. 5. How would you comment on the methodology?
  • 6. THE SYNOPTIC TOOL KIT – checklist! Every time you write an essay, think about the following: APPROACH - can I use an alternative approach in my evaluation of it? ISSUE - does the theory/explanation show any gender bias? - alpha bias/beta bias? - Is the research socially sensitive research? - Have they used animals? - Are there any other ethical issues? - Is there any cultural bias? Use beta bias or alpha bias? - Is ethnocentrism being displayed? - is it Eurocentric? DEBATE - does the individual have any free will in their behaviour (link to the approach)? - is the behaviour of the individual determined by other factors (behaviourism, genetics/biology)? - Is the approach reductionist? - If it is reductionist, does this affect their ability to take responsibility (deterministic)? - Is the behaviour due to environmental factors? - Can the behaviour not be helped because it is genetic (definitely determined)? RESEARCH - what methodology has been used? METHOD - what is the design? - Are there demand characteristics? - Is there social desirability bias? - Does it show validity? - Ecological validity? Internal validity? - Is it a scientific design – whereby it has good control? - Idiographic approach? - Nomethic approach? - At what time period did the research take place (historical bias)? - Imposed etic (studied in one culture through another’s viewpoint) Point Evidence Explain/contextualise
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