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Flashcards in Issues and debates Deck (11):

Universality (Gender)

Research is assumed to apply equally to both genders (this assumption is an ideal)


Gender bias (Gender)

− The idea that men + women are treated differently + or the representation of men + women is based on stereotypes rather than real differences; it is a distorted view of what behaviours may be typical or not typical for men + or women
− This can occur in male only samples e.g. Milgram, Asch + Zimbardo
− Male behaviour is often seen as the standard – if the behaviour of women differs from that of men this may behaviour may be seen as a deviation from the norm
During research male + female ppts should not be treated differently


Androcentrism (Gender)

− Theories + studies that are centred or focused on men, often neglect or exclusion of women
− Psychology had been male dominated, theories tend to have a male world view
− Asch’s research into conformity was conducted on an entirely male sample, he suggested that findings would be the same for both males + females, this is an example of beta bias
− This is a view that the behaviour of men is the norm so of the behaviour of women differs to that of men then it must be abnormal in some way
This would apply when women are compared against male standards of behaviour


Alpha bias (Gender)

− Exaggerates the difference bet. men + women, this tends to result in one gender being devaluated or seen as inferior
− E.g. Freud’s theories reflected the culture in which he lives – in the 19th century men were more powerful and regarded as superior to women, in this theory Freud viewed femininity as failed masculinity + he exaggerated the differences bet. men + women
In Freud’s theory women are seen as being inferior to men because they are jealous of men’s penises (penis envy) + because they cannot undergo the same Oedipus complex as boys do (as the superego develops from the Oedipus complex women must therefore be morally inferior because they have a weaker identification with their mothers


Beta bias (Gender)

− Occurs when it is assumed that what is true for men is also true for women therefore falsely minimising the difference bet. the genders, the consequence of this is that the needs of one gender are ignored
− E.g. the fight or flight response to stress was seen as universal + it assumed that male only samples in research wouldn’t matter because what is true for males would be true for females
− However Shelley Taylor later found evidence that females produce a ten and befriend response to stress which is adaptive as it ensure the survival of their offspring
The beta bias approach of ignoring the possibility of a difference meant that female behaviour went undiscovered + meant that the stress response was not fully understood


Culture (Culture)

The rules, customs, morals + ways of interacting that bind together members of a society or some other collection of people


Culture bias (Culture)

The tendency to judge all people in terms of your own cultural assumption, this distorts or biases your judgement


Cultural relativism (Culture)

− The view that behaviour cannot be judged properly unless it is viewed in the context of the culture in which it originates
− The idea that all cultures are worthy of respected + that in studying another culture we need to try to understand the way that a particular culture sees the world
− E.g. the work of Margret Mead in Papua New Guinea who studies differences in gender roles in three tribes illustrated cultural relativism + how the western gender stereotypes odes not generalise across the world
− Also the issue of mental illness – one definition of mental illness is statistical infrequency, behaviours that are statically infrequent in one culture may be statically more frequent in another
E.g. one symptom of schizophrenia is claiming to hear voices however this is an experience reported by many people in some cultures but not in others


Ethnocentrism (Culture)

− Seeing things from the point of view of ourselves + our social group, evaluating other groups using standards + customs of one’s own culture
There is a tendency to view the beliefs, customs + behaviours of one’s own culture is normal + even superior


Alpha bias (Culture)

− This occurs when a theory assumes that cultural groups are profoundly different
E.g. the notion that we find individualistic + collectivistic cultures (e.g. USA + Japan) different in terms of conformist behaviour, however this distinction may be exaggerated at times – some argue that the distention is no longer useful


Beta bias (Culture)

− This occurs when real cultural differences are ignored or minimised + all people are assumed to be the same, resulting in universal conclusions
− E.g. a good example is the strange situation + attachment types
Also IQ tests developed by western psychologists that may not be appropriates for testing individuals in non-wester cultures