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Flashcards in holism / reductionism Deck (14)
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1
Q

what is the holism / reductionism debate concerned with

A

the level at which it is appropriate to explain human behaviour

2
Q

define holism

A
  • idea that behaviour must be viewed as a whole

- we cannot predict how the whole system will behave by only looking at the individual components

3
Q

give examples of holism from research

A
  • MENTAL DISORDERS - viewing whole experience rather than individual factors
  • HUMANISM - individuals react as organised whole
  • COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY - memory networks behave differently as a whole than when individual parts are separate
4
Q

define reductionnism

A

belief human behaviour can be explained by breaking it down into individual components

5
Q

define levels of explanation

A
  • for any behaviour there are many different possible levels of explanation
  • the debate asks if it is appropriate to look at one level specifically and whether it will tell you enough about human behaviour
6
Q

outline and explain the first level of explanation

A
  • SOCIAL AND CULTURAL EXPLANATIONS

- eg. memory; research suggests cultural expectations affect what we remember and how we recall it

7
Q

outline and explain the second level of explanation

A
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS

- eg. memory; cognitive psychologists study particular aspects eg duration and capacity

8
Q

outline and explain the third level of explanation

A
  • BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS

- eg. memory; found association between size of hippocampus and memory for spatial navigation

9
Q

define biological reductionism

A
  • explanations of behaviour can be reduced to work of chemicals/neurotransmitters/hormones
  • eg. excess dopamine = schizophrenia
10
Q

define environmental reductionism

A
  • explanations of behaviour due to stimulus-response links

- attachment to mother caused by her providing food - rewarding

11
Q

outline the strengths of the holism side of the debate

A
  • looks at all factors that may impact behaviour
  • does not ignore complexity of behaviour
  • looks at different components to understand person as a whole
  • higher ecological validity
12
Q

outline the weaknesses of the holism side of the debate

A
  • over complicates behaviours
  • not scientific
  • hard to determine cause and effect
  • neglects importance of biological explanations
  • almost impossible to study all factors influencing behaviour
13
Q

outline the strengths of the reductionism side of the debate

A
  • scientific as it requires isolation of variables

- led to development of effective chemical treatments

14
Q

outline the weaknesses of the reductionism side of the debate

A
  • can be over simplistic so lacks ecological validity

- does not address larger societal issues such as poverty