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How to evaluate (and compare/contrast) an approach

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Presentation on theme: "How to evaluate (and compare/contrast) an approach"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to evaluate (and compare/contrast) an approach

2 What do we compare and contrast!?!
Can be anything!! Research methodology The debates…. Practical/ therapeutic applications Benefit to psychology/society Does the approach explain individual differences between people? Does the approach focus on the “here and now” or is it too focused on past events in a person’s life? Does the theory fully reflect the complexity of human behaviour? Does the approach “fill the gaps” of another approach? You must include similarities and differences

3 The AO1 description trap...
It is easy to fall into the trap of just describing the two approaches and not comparing or contrasting them. Read the example below. Compare and contrast the psychodynamic and behaviourist approaches in terms of similarities and differences [12] Answer 1 has fallen for the description trap. All it does is describe the assumptions with no comparison or contrast between them. Description is an AO1 skill, which means that they would receive no marks for this answer. Paragraph 1: The behaviourist approach suggests that all behaviour is learned from the environment. The psychodynamic approach suggests that we are born with innate drives, but also that the environment plays a role and that early experiences/relationships are important. Answer 2 however contrasts the two approaches. It has been clearly stated how the two approaches are similar or different in terms of a key debate. What key words in answer 2 demonstrate that this is an AO2 answer? Paragraph 2: One key difference between the behaviourist and psychodynamic approaches is where they stand in terms of the nature-nurture debate. The behaviourist approach supports the nature side of the debate as it argues that all behaviour is learned from the environment. However, the psychodynamic approach takes an interactionist perspective in that it believes we are born with the innate drives of the id (nature), but also that childhood experiences are important because fixations may develop.

4 Structure…Still need to PEE
state whether you are talking about a similarity or a difference first, and state what that similarity or difference is (this also makes it easier for the examiner). Next you give an explanation of why that particular aspect is a similarity or a difference. You need to make it clear how the two approaches are similar or different Remember you must be using evidence from the approaches / theory Avoid the ‘description trap’ Use a range of comparing and contrasting words in your paragraphs to show the examiner that you are fulfilling the requirements of the question: Similarly Likewise Correspondingly In the same way… Equally, Also In comparison In contrast However, A difference A distinction is.. Whereas On the other hand..

5 Compare and contrast questions
A graphic organiser to help


7 Non mentalist Focus on body Both use Experiments e.g. stress and
Effective Treatments e.g. lobotomies CBT Mentalist- considers thinking e.g attribution More Reductionist e.g. genes hormones neurotransmitters Both use Experiments e.g. stress and memory Less Reductionist looks at how external factors influences internal Cognitive approach Assumptions Brain works like a computer Processing in brain influences behaviour/feelings Processes like perception memory, thinking and language Biological approach Assumptions Genetics Bodily processes Hormones Neurotransmitters Lateralisation- areas of the brain Nature genes Nature and nurture Both use brain scans Deterministic Doesn’t allow for personal control More free will i.e. allows for some personal control Important Contributions e.g. Stress

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