Strength & Weaknesses Approaches in Psychology AS WJEC


Psychology AS strengths & weaknesses of approaches. Revision for 2016 Summer exam.
Obri Gonzalez
Flashcards by Obri Gonzalez, updated more than 1 year ago
Obri Gonzalez
Created by Obri Gonzalez about 8 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
Psychodynamic Strength Considers: Nature & Nurture Takes into account influence of both E.g: Freud adult personality innate drives(nature) Id, Ego, Superego & childhood experiences(nurture) Psychosexual stages. Freud considers influence of things we are born & develop through experience.
Psychodynamic Strength Successful Therapeutic Application Freud's theory had major impact on understanding the link between childhood development & adult behaviour. 1st person recognise psychological factors such as childhood trauma used to explain disorders, i.e depression.
Psychodynamic Weaknesses Freud's theory Determinist Freud saw infant behaviour as determined by innate drives & adult behaviour being determined by childhood experiences.
Psychodynamic Weaknesses Non-Scientific Cannot be studied scientifically because unconscious NOT observable. E.g: homosexual tendencies repressed cannot be disproved. As good theory is one that can be falsified (tested to see if wrong)
Biological Strength Scientific Approach Scientific research can be used to support biological explanations of behaviour. Psychosurgery therapy involves removing part of brain. E.g: Raine et al. Used PET scans Have variables can measure, i.e different areas of brain. Objective, controlled research.
Biological Strength Successful Therapeutic Application E.g: Effectiveness capsulotomy for OCD recovery rate 67%. Drug treatments are popular as have been successful in treating psychotic disorders, depression. Strength as approach has led many forms of treatments & helped people live normal lives 'out' of hospital.
Biological Weakness Reductionist Approach Reduces complex behaviours to set of simple explanations. E.g: Depression=low levels of Serotonin As reducing behaviour to simple explanations may prevent reaching true understanding of behaviour.
Biological True cause of Depression? Depression=repressed memories & unresolved conflicts from childhood experiences or maladaptive learning. Antidepressants increase level serotonin relieving symptoms-NOT solving underlying problem.
Biological Weaknesses Ignoring Individual Differences Assumes everyone's biological systems behave same way. Only conducted research on males. Men respond to stress="fight/flight" Female respond to stress="tend/befriend Producing untrue picture of behaviour.
Cognitive Strength Research is Scientific Demonstrates CAUSE & EFFECT E.g: Loftus & Palmer research major impact on understanding link between leading questions & inaccurate EWT. Led development of "Cognitive Interview" by avoiding leading questions & maintain accuracy EWT.
Cognitive Strength Successful Therapeutic Application E.g: Successful treatments for mental disorders (anxiety, depression). REBT aims to change irrational thoughts caused by emotional distress into thoughts that are more reasonable & rational. Ellis 90% success rate. REBT=27 sessions
Cognitive Weakness Lab Experiments are Artificial Lab experiment artificial. Behaviour different in real world. E.g: Loftus & Palmer examined effect leading Q's had on memory. Experiment lacked mundane realism & result in low ecological validity. E-W viewing real car accident have much greater motivation to memorise event.
Cognitive Weakness Reductionist Approach E.g: cognitive approach suggests depression is the result of faulty processing & irrational thoughts. Doesn't take into account medical history as may have biological explanations for behaviour. E.g: lack serotonin=depression.
Behaviourist Strength Research is Scientific Only focuses on behaviour that can be observed & objectively measured E.g: Bandura's observational learning of aggression. Demonstrates children observe & imitate aggressive behaviour of role models. Looks @ cause & effect in relationship to I.V & D.V.
Behaviourist Strength Successful Therapeutic Application E.g: Demo phobias are learnt through classical & operant conditioning & observational learning. SD (class cond.) success rate in treatment of phobias 80%-90% of patient As patient can be reconditioned & replaced w/ new learnt adaptive behaviours. 25-30 sessions.
Behaviourist Weakness Lab Experiment are Artificial E.g: findings generated in Lab cannot be generalised to aggression in real world. Imitating in Lab is different in real-life. Bandura's research=children responded aggressive because they believed they were invited to hit the Bobo doll. Lacking ecological validity.
Behaviourist Weakness Reductionist Approach E.g: Suggests depression is the result of maladaptive learning of helplessness or loss of reinforcement. Medical influences, cognitive & cultural influences affect persons behaviour. Simplified explanation prevent reaching true understanding of cause of depression.
Positive Strength Free Will Approach Not argue behaviour is determined but instead we have Free Will. E.g: Individuals are neither predetermined/restricted. Psychologists recognise humans are self-regulating & NOT victims of their past=have personal freedom to grow & develop Authentic Strengths & Virtues
Positive Strength Shift in Focus for Psychology Moved focus away from explaining & treating mental disorders = NOW focusing on our Authentic Strengths to experience greater life contentment. Celebrating the good things in life instead of magnifying the worse. Raising awareness of Happiness
Positive Weakness Ignores Individual & Cultural Differences By proposing a one size fits all philosophy. E.g: approach ethnocentric based on western ideals of individual autonomy & fulfilment. USA culture preoccupied w/ idea of positive thoughts, attitudes & emotions for Good Life. Negative emotions something to be avoided or controlled.
Are positive qualities beneficial to be universally developed? This is a danger for "Defensive Pessimists" as they deal w/ anxiety by thinking of everything that could go wrong. Processing realistic possibilities they work harder to avoid anticipated pitfalls. Forcing optimism/positive mood on Anxious Defensive Pessimists can change performance.
Positive Weakness Can Happiness be measured? E.g: defining happiness proven challenging as individuals will have different ideas of what happiness means to them. Subjective as 2 people could be referring to different states of mind. PROBLEM: measuring happiness & developing "Scientific" measures for SWB.
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