I really need help completeting this... PSYCHOLOGY

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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
This is a question I've been given: Students often struggle with evaluating the issues and debates. Complete the following structured paragraph by adding a point and explaination.

Point: [blank]

Evidence/example: For example, most experimental psychology is based on the assumption that human behaviour can be studied effectively in relatively simple experiments, where complex behaviour is reduced to isolated variables (known as experimental reductionism)

Explain: [blank]

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Report 2 years ago
This part of psychology is basically a section in A level that gets you to look across the whole of your course content and apply to it contemporary issues and debates. The point you've given is on the debate of reductionism.

Reductionism is the discussion of whether, in psychology, behaviour should be looked at in small, separate parts that can be drawn together to create overall theories, or if we should be more holistic and take the whole person into account.
An example of this is biological psychology. If you just looked at a person's brain structure/size when looking at the behaviour they produced, that would be reductionist. Through this, you could identity the parts of the brain that are linked to certain behaviours. E.g, the hippocampus for memory. Then, you could look at other areas of the brain responsible for other behaviours, and eventually you would have a lot of different components, such as the hippocampus for memory and the amygdala for fear response.
If you were to approach psychology holistically instead of via reductionism, you may look beyond just brain parts. Yes, you could consider that the hippocampus could be linked to memory, but that would not be the only thing. You may look at IQ, environmental stimuli, their history etc.

In terms of evaluating an issue and debate in a psychology exam, you basically need to describe reductionism and then say what is good or bad about it.
So, your structure would follow something like this:

Point: Reductionism in psychology can be seen as a weakness.

Example: Most experimental psychology is based on the assumption that human behaviour can be studied effectively in relatively simple experiments, where complex behaviour is reduced to isolated variables. For example, when studying memory, one could observe the functioning or size of an individual's hippocampus as an isolated variable in relation to how well they are able to remember items in a memory task.

Explain (Essentially, the evaluation): Human behaviour is composed of multiple variables and studying one area in isolation does not consider that our actions do not occur in isolation. Even within the brain alone, not one segment works alone and the process is often a complex interaction of multiple networks, and so explaining memory through one variable (the hippocampus) would not be sufficient as it would lack any applicatory purpose to real human lives. A more holistic approach may be better suited as it would take into account both a person's environmental and biological variables, therefore being more relevant to authentic human life.

Hope that helps! I am predicted (and hopefully will receive on the 17th...) an A* in psychology. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask! Many people in my class struggled with issues and debates, but I personally loved it!

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