aice psychology paper 2

question

What is meant by ‘generalization’?
answer

A generalization is an assumption that everyone is the same and are conclusions that can be drawn about the population from the findings of a representative sample
question

What problems may psychologists have when they investigate whether behavior develops through nature or nurture?
answer

obtaining consent • distress and other ethical issues • measuring variables in babies • obtaining sample, etc. (note: Description of point with example and analysis (comment with comprehension) about nature/nurture. 3 )
question

Outline what is meant by quantitative and qualitative data
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Quantitative data are those that focus on numbers and frequencies rather than on meaning and experience. Quantitative methods (e.g. experiments, questionnaires and psychometric tests) provide information that is easy to analyse statistically and is fairly reliable. Quantitative methods are associated with the scientific and experimental approach and are criticised for not providing an in depth description. Qualitative data are those which are concerned with describing meaning, rather than with drawing statistical inferences. What qualitative methods (e.g. case studies and interviews) lose on reliability they gain in terms of validity. They provide a more in depth and rich description. Quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting data have both come under considerable criticism. In modern research, most psychologists tend to adopt a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, which allow statistically reliable information obtained from numerical measurement to be backed up and enriched by information about the research participants’ explanations.
question

Using the studies from the list below, answer the questions which follow. Nelson (children’s morals) Langlois, Ritter, Roggman and Vaughn (attractive faces) Held and Hein (kitten carousel) (b) Describe whether each of these studies supports the nature or nurture view.
answer

Nelson: • younger children were less sophisticated in their judgements of morality (they linked motive and outcome) than older children, supporting nature although the differences were not great and the younger children in the verbal only condition identified motive as important Langlois, Ritter, Roggman and Vaughn: • babies show consistencies in facial preferences (for race, gender and age) supporting nature • they may have an innate preference for average facial prototypes • this could evolve if mean characteristics of a population were more successful/extremes represented (potentially harmful) mutations Held and Hein: • kittens were impaired by deprivation suggesting nurture • visually guided paw placement / visual cliff / blink were impaired in the passive kittens
question

‘Halo dumping’ was one possible threat to validity considered by Demattè, Ősterbauer and Spence. Discuss the validity of this study.
answer

Validity is the degree to which the study measures what the researchers claim to be measuring. In Dematte, \”halo dumping\”would mean the sample participants were simply mixing the smells with attractiveness in the same way smells are often mixed up with taste ( \”that smells so sweet\”). Using a repeated measures design meant that all the faces were presented to all the women with varying order (counterbalancing) to prevent them figuring out the true point of the study (order effects). This would have improved validity in that no faces and smells were ever presented the same way. However, the procedure required them to breathe in through their nostrils in between faces, then the olfactometer released the odors into the room. This repeated procedure for 40 faces would almost certainly result in some kind of order effects as the women knew a smell (pleasant or unpleasant) would always follow each face. The researchers did the best they could in maintaining validity and they waited until after the rating of facial attractiveness to have them rate the intensity of the smells.
question

To what extent are the findings of Demattè, Ősterbauer and Spence generalisible?
answer

The sample in Dematte, et al, was 16 college-age females. They only represent a small proportion of the population and would therefore not be generalizable. It could be argued that physiological studies are similar due to biological characteristics being similar in all people, and from that standpoint the results could be considered generalizable. However, a small sample of all females seems weak.
question

what is the difference between nature and nurture
answer

From this point of view psychological characteristics and behavioral differences that emerge through infancy and childhood are the result of learning. It is how you are brought up (nurture) that governs the psychologically significant aspects of child development and the concept of maturation applies only to the biological. Height, weight, hair loss (in men), life expectancy and vulnerability to specific illnesses (e.g. breast cancer in women) are positively correlated between genetically related individuals. These facts have led many to speculate as to whether psychological characteristics such as behavioral tendencies, personality attributes and mental abilities are also \”wired in\” before we are even born. therefore (nature)
question

in the dematte(d) Discuss the practical and ethical issues raised by the briefing questions in this study. [10]
answer

All psychological studies involve issues (not necessarily violations) of ethics as well as practical concerns. The Dematte study, for example, had to involve deception in order to be valid. If the women knew they were being tested on smells and their relation to facial attractiveness, they would almost certainly have yielded to demand characteristics. The briefing involved questions about past experiences with olfactory problems, illnesses, etc. These questions relied on self- reports which can be unreliable if the participant isn’t truthful or just forgets something relevant. Privacy and confidentiality also must be considered when asking questions about someone’s past, especially if the questions include mental illnesses of any kind. Thorough background checks can be expensive and time-consuming as a practical problem as well.

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