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Josh's AS Psychology Core Studies > Individual differences > Flashcards

Flashcards in Individual differences Deck (9)
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Nature as some individual differences that the area looks at are innate. E.g. Baron Cohen studied autism which has been linked with genetics.

Nurture as some individual differences are the result of environmental factors. E.g. Freud studied Little Hans whose dreams and fears were the result of his personal experiences whilst going through the Oedipus complex


Free will/ determinism

Deterministic as the area looks at unique traits that can be brought about by factors we cannot influence, wither bio or env. E.g. Baron-Cohen studied individual differences relating to autism, an innate disorder beyond the free will of those who have it.



Tends to favour holism as the area looks ate a range of factors that lead to individual differences. E.g Freud looked at biological and environmental influences to explain to behaviour of Hans. Biologically we all go through the phallic stage, but how we go through it depends on environment, influence of parents.


Individual or situational

Individual as the things that make us unique come from within. E.g. Autism is a biologically determined disorder affecting social skills

Situational as there is acceptance that the environment can play a part in creating our uniqueness, e.g. Hans' experiences were influenced by his environment and parental relationships


To psychology in the form of improved knowledge

Useful for psychology as the area informs us of the rich tapestry of humanity. It highlights diversity in experience and biology. E.g. Freud looked at one boys journey through the oedipus complex and showed how he negotiated his way through the phallic stage.


Usefulness to society

In addition, the area also suggests ways that these differences can be managed so that problems with things like phobias/autism can be overcome. e.g. through psychoanalysis



Raises ethical issues if it highlights how people may be different, especially if these lead to negative labelling. However, if studying those differences improves people's understanding of disorders so that sufferers are treated better as a result then it may be justified e.g. we now know more about autism due to Baron-Cohen


Social sensitivity

Implications for the people characterised by the research. The area highlights the ID within society. E.g. B-C's findings suggest that individuals with autism lack TOM and this is mentioned as 'core deficit'. This may lead to misinterpretations by society that those with autism cannot function properly so may be viewed negatively.


Scientific or not

A basic principle of the area is that we shouldn't generalise from one person to another. FOr example, from Freuds study we can't say that any other boy would have a similar journey through the Oedipus complex as Hans. So it can be seen as less scientific