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What is the aim of psychology?



Definition of Universality

The idea that theories of psychology, can explain behaviour that is accurate to the experiences of men and women.


What is a bias?

A view that is distorted in some way


Definition of Gender Bias

The idea that research and theories in psychology, don't equally reflect the experience of men and women.



The male view of behaviour dominates in theories because psychology is male-dominated.

This causes a male world view and may negatively affect women.


Defintion of Alpha Bias

The differences of men and women are exaggerated and over emphasised.


Example of Alpha Bias

Freud's Psychodynamic approach:

- Saw femininity as 'failed masculinity.'

- Bc girls can't experience castration anxiety and Oedipus conflict.

- Therefore, they have weaker identification with their mothers, superegos and lower morality than men.


Definition of Beta Bias

The differences between men and women are minimised, ignored or underestimated


Example of Beta Bias

Taylor et al (2000) = Fight or flight research:

- Fight or Flight based on male animal response bc female hormones fluctuate

- Taylor et al = saw female evolved to have fight or flight to protect their young. And show 'tend and befriend' bhvr to get social networks for support

- shows men and women are different.


Strengths of reflexivity

Increased the validity of research and reduced gender bias.

This is when researchers can objectively look at their work and identity how it can affect society.


How can alpha bias lead to the discrimination of women?

Freud = 'femininity is failed masculinity.'
Could have less opportunities for women


How does Androcentrism lead to institutional sexism?

Men predominate at senior researcher level. So their researcher agenda will follow male concerns and female concerns will be marginalised/ ignored.


How does androcentrism lead to dissemination of results?

Publishing bias towards positive results.
Results showing gender differences are more likely to get published.


Definition of Culture Bias

The tendency to judge all people in terms of your now cultural assumptions.


Definition of Ethnocentrism

A from of cultural bias. This is when we judge other cultures by the standards of our own culture.


Definition of Cultural Relativism

This is the view that bhvr cannot be judged properly, unless viewed in the context of the culture it originates.


Example of Cultural Relativism

Auditory hallucinations = listed as symptom of Sz in DSM, but not a mental illness in all cultures.


Cultural Relativism is the opposite of what?



Definition of IMPOSED ETIC

Associated with ethnocentrism. This is when a technique or theory, developed in one culture, is used to study the bhvr of people in another culture.


Definition of EMIC

Associated with cultural relativism. This is when indvls are studied and generalisations are only made within that culture.


What is the problem of culture bias?

The findings only apply to the people in the research.

Culturally biased theories = problems with validity so generalisations can't be made.


Problems with ethnocentrism?

In its extreme form, a researcher could assume their culture is more superior (which may be intentional or unintentional). This can depict other cultures as less or inferior which is wrong.


Example of Ethnocentrism and how is this a weakness?

Ainsworth Strange situation, showed an etic approach and didn't incorporate cultural differences.

Depicted 'secure' attachment as the ideal.

Socially sensitive = showed German mothers as cold and rejecting.


What is W.E.I.R.D?

Educated people from


Why is W.E.I.R.D participants a weakness of Culture Bias?

Heinrich (2010) showed 68% of participants were from the US and 95% were from industrialised nations.

Therefore, theories are based on WEIRD participants and non- WERID participants can be seen as inferior or abnormal.


Strength of Culture Bias

Validity - Emergence of Cultural Psychology

Cultural Psychology is the study of how people shape and are shaped by their cultural experiences.

This aims to avoid ethnocentrism by, using an emic approach with local researchers.

This shows, modern researchers are becoming more mindful and aware of the dangers of cultural bias - taking steps to avoid it.


Definition of Determinism

Individual behaviour is controlled by either internal or external forces. Behaviour is predictable.


Definition of Hard Determinism

The view that all behaviour can be predicted bc there’s no free will.


Definition of Soft Determinism

A version of determinism which acknowledges some level of free will.


Definition of Psychic Determinism

Behaviour is determined by innate drives + early experiences. Associated with Freud + the psychodynamic approach.