Issues and Debates

AQA Specification:

  • Gender and culture in psychology – universality and bias. Gender bias (including androcentrism and alpha and beta bias: cultural bias, including ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
  • Free will and determinism: hard determinism and soft determinism; biological, environment and psychic determinism. The scientific emphasis on causal explanations.
  • The nature-nurture debate: the relative importance of heredity and environment in determining behaviour, the interactionist approach.
  • Holism and reductionism: levels of explanation in psychology. Biological reductionism and environmental (stimulus-response) reductionism.
  • Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation.
  • Ethical implications of research studies and theory, including reference to social sensitivity.
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