Strengths and Weaknesses of Psychological Approaches

Robyn Chamberlain
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A-Level Psychology (AS - 15 Core Studies (OCR)) Mind Map on Strengths and Weaknesses of Psychological Approaches, created by Robyn Chamberlain on 05/19/2014.

Robyn Chamberlain
Created by Robyn Chamberlain over 5 years ago
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Strengths and Weaknesses of Psychological Approaches
1 Psychodynamic Approach
1.1 The psychodynamic approach enables the researcher to gain insight into internal processes that were not deemed suitable for study by behaviourists psychologist.
1.2 Data collection is subjective rather than objective and the therapist/researcher could plant ideas in the mind of the participant,
1.3 The emphasis on the individual inevitably leads to small sample size, which means the findings cannot be generalised.
1.4 Findings cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny.
1.5 The interview method enables the collection of rich, in depth data.
1.6 The focus on the individual enables the researcher to gain an in-depth understanding of that individual.
2 Physiological Perspective
2.1 The physiological approach enables us to understand the biological basis of human behaviour.
2.2 Recent advances in both genetic research and the application of modern technology (MRI scans) have greatly extended our understanding of how biology shapes behaviour.
2.3 The Physiological approach is generally scientific and uses rigorous and objective data collection techniques.
2.4 Physioloical research is ofter correlational which means that cause and effect may not be identified.
2.5 Physiological psychologists are sometimes criticised for determinism because they attribute behaviours to innate physiological factors rather than to choice/free will.
2.6 Physiological psychologists are sometimes criticised for reductionist because they reduce behaviours to specific physical processes.
3 Social Approach
3.1 Social psychologists have, in the past, sometimes broken ethical guidelines and risked causing psychological harm to participants. However, present-day social psychologists make every effort to maintain high ethical standards.
3.2 Social approach studies are often high in ecological validity because they often study people in real-life situations.
3.3 The social approach enables us to gain an understanding of the influence of situations and other peoples reactions to our behaviour.
3.4 The social approach enables us to understand social cognition - in other words, what we think and feel about our own behaviour.
3.5 With the social approach it can be difficult to devise a reliable, valid measure of human interactions.
3.6 Social psychologists do not always have control of variables as they study human interactions (using observations or field experiments) and these cannot be controlled in the same way as, for example, cognitive tasks in laboratory experiments.
4 Individual Differences Approach
4.1 The individual differences approach sometimes deals with very small sample sizes, which means the results are not generalisable.
4.2 The individual differences approach helps us understanding issues of mental health psychological dysfunction.
4.3 The individual differences approach enables us to determine which aspects of human behaviour are general to the species and which are shaped by individual factors.
4.4 The individual differences approach often uses a detailed case-study approach that provided rich data.
4.5 Individual differences psychologcy may lead to labelling if individuals are categorised as different from the norm, with labels such as 'dysfunctional' or of 'low intelligence' or neurotic'.
4.6 Psychometric tests attempt to ensure traits such as intelligence and personality that may not really be amenable to measurement,
5 Developmental Approach
5.1 A case-study approach is sometimes used, which enables the collection of rich, longitudinal data.
5.2 The developmental approach enables us to understand how cognition and behaviour change across a lifespan.
5.3 The developmental approach often uses well-controlled studies as experiments to investigate cognitive development.
5.4 Much developmental researcg focuses on children and this raises withical issues, particilaurly in the case of very young children who cannot give informed consent or understand debriefing.
5.5 There can be practical difficulties involved in working with children. It can be difficult to ensure that they understand instructions, they can have difficulty concentrating on tasks and they ay be more subject to suggestion than adults.
5.6 Developmental psychology tends to focus on developmental norms and may underestimate the ole of individual differences.
6 Cognitive Approach
6.1 The cognitive approach frequently deals with inner rocesses that are not observable. This means that researchers are often dependant on self0report for their data and such data are not always seen as objective.
6.2 The cognitive approach helps us theorise about the way in which mental processes occur it is not usually directed at answering questions about the physical processes that underlie processes, such as how memories are stored in the brain.
6.3 The cognitive approach applies rigorously, scientific approaches to the study of mental processes and how they shape behaviour.
6.4 Cognitive approaches studies often use the experimental methods which can limit the ecological validity of the findings.
6.5 The cognitive approach enables us to gain insights into the inner processes that are not observable behaviours.
6.6 Cognitive studies often use the experimental method, which enables identification of causes and specific behaviours.
7 Behaviourist Perspective
7.1 The behaviourist perspective is limited to observable behaviours and therefore do not provide insight into internal mental process.
7.2 The behaviourist perspective is determinist. If all behaviour is conditioned, there is no room for free will in explaining human behaviour.
7.3 The behaviourist perspective is reductionist. This means that it reduces the complexity of human behaviour to a set of stimulus responses relationships.
7.4 The behaviourist perspective applies the principles of the scientific method to the study of human behaviour,
7.5 The behaviourist perspective provides a useful framework for the treatments of a range of Psychological disorders.
7.6 The behaviourist perspective provides valuable insights into the effects and experience on cognition including, the developments of dysfunctional cognitions such as phobias.

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