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Flashcards in Gender bias Deck (20)
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What is universality?

Any underlying characteristic of human beings that is capable of being applied to all, despite differences of experience and upbringing.


What undermines psychology's claims to universality?

Gender bias and culture bias, they threaten universality of findings in psychology.


What is Gender bias?

When considering human behaviour, bias is a tendency to treat one individual or group in a different way from others based on stereotypes rather than reality.


How does gender bias threaten psychology?

In the context of gender bias, psychological research or theory may offer a view that does not justifiably represent the experience and behaviour of men or women.


What is Alpha bias?

Psychological theories that suggest there are real and enduring differences between men and women. These may enhance or undervalue members of either sex, but typically undervalue females.


What is an example of alpha bias?

The sociobiological theory of relationship formation.


What is the sociobiological theory?

It is in the males best interests to impregnate as many women as possible to pass his genes on, but for women it is best to preserve the offspring. Therefore when women engage in the same behaviour they are regarded as going against their 'nature'.


What is beta bias?

Theories that ignore or minimise differences between the sexes. Often occurs when female participants have not been included in studies and they assume the male findings apply.


What is an example of the beta bias?

The fight or flight response


How is the fight or flight response an example of beta bias?

Early research was based exclusively on male animals, as they were preferred to females fluctuating hormones, and was assumed to be a universal response to a threatening situation.


What evidence is there to support this beta bias in fight or flight?

Shelley Taylor
Suggests that female biology has inhibited the f or f response and adapted a tending or befriending response.


What is Androcentrism?

When 'normal' behaviour is judged according to a male standard (meaning that female behaviour is often judged to be 'abnormal' or 'deficient' by comparison.


What is a criticism based on Androcentrism?

There has criticism of the diagnostic category PMS as it stereotypes women's experiences. Whilst male anger is seen as a rational response women's is explained by hormonal terms.


What is the evaluation of gender bias?

Implications of gender bias
Sexism within the research process
Feminist psychology


Evaluation point: Implications of gender bias

It can provide scientific 'justification' to deny women opportunities within the workplace or in society.

Thus, gender bias in research is not a methodological problem but can have damaging consequences which affect the lives and prospects of real women.


Evaluation point: Sexism within the research process

A lack of women appointed at senior research level means that female concerns may not be reflected in the research questions asked.
E.g. men more likely to have work published
Therefore psychology may be guilty of supporting a form of institutional sexism.


Evaluation point: Reflexivity

Rather than seeing bias, as a problem many modern researchers embrace it as a crucial and critical aspect of the process.
This reflexivity is an important development in psychology and may lead to greater awareness of the role of personal biases shaping research in thee future.


Evaluation point: Feminist psychology

Judith Worrell put forward a number of criteria that should be adhered to in order to avoid bias.

Women should:

1. be studied in real-life
2. genuinely participate in research, not be objects
3. be studied in diverse groups of women

Finally there should be greater emphasis placed on collaborative research methods that collect qualitative data.


What is an example of gender bias - beta bias?

Milgram, he studied only men in regards to obedience but then generalised to everybody.


What is an example of androcentrism?

Freud's psychodynamic approach - Freud suggested the Oedipus Complex in men was 'normal' and the Electra Complex in women is 'abnormal'