Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Psychological research Essay
One of the main criticisms that have been levelled against psychological science is that it does non produce objective, value-free science. The supposition here, of course, is that an inviolable truth actually exists and that psychologists should be pursuing it with vigour. The natural scientists much(prenominal) as biologists and chemists firmly believe in this positivist stance that an absolute truth exists and denial of this must weaken any science and scientist that ignores it. The brilliance of this question is central to the nature of bias in research because if a value-free science can be achieved, then, psychology should be able to pinch this and eradicate bias.However, the very real possibility that there is no such(prenominal) thing as a totally value-free knowledge (i.e. one without impair custodyt or personal bias) means that energiseual practice bias as easily as cultural and other biases will be impossible to remove, which is not to say that psychologists cond one such practice, only the realisation that value-free knowledge represents a holy grail.Psychology before the 1970s was riddled with gender biases. Early young-begetting(prenominal) psychologists such as Stanley Hall claimed that women should not be allowed into higher education because education increases the blood flow to the brain and outdoor(a) from the uterus.With the rise of the feminist movement in the 1970s feminist psychologist began to challenge limiting and demeaning views of women. The classic paper written in 1971 by feminist psychologists Naomi Weisttein was a scathing attack on psychologys theories round women. Psychology she said portrays women as inconsistent, emotionally unstable and self-generated rather than intelligent. In short the list adds up to a distinctive minority group stereotype of inferitory. She pointed out that these kind of psychological theories were apply to keep women out of education and professional occupations, to confine women to the kitchen, the bedroom and the nursery, insufficient to men in all aspects. Research examples of gender bias in psychology can be found where research only uses male participants and generalises results to women without question. This type of research makes it unclear as to whether findings for men are evenly same to women.If women behavior differs from mens, the former is often judged to be pathologically, subaverageal or deficient in some way (sexism). This is because mens behaviour is taken (implicitly or explicitly) as the standard or norm against which womens behaviour is compared (andocentric male centeredness, or the masculinity bias).Psychological explanations of behaviour tend to emphasise biological (and other internal) causes as opposed to hearty (and other external) causes. This emphasis on internal causes is called individualism. This gives (and reinforces) the impression that psychological sex differences are inevitable and unchangeable. In turn this reinforces widely held stereotypes and women and men, contributing to the heaviness of women (another example of sexism)Many feminist psychologists argue that scientific method is gender bias. For example, Nicolson (1995) identifies 2 major problems associated with the objective study of behaviour for how claims are do about women and gender differences.a) Experimental environment takes the individual subjects behaviour, as opposed to the subject herself. This ignores the behaviours meaning, including its social, personal and cultural contexts.b) Experimental psychology takes place in a very specific context, which typically deeds to womens disadvantage (eagly, 1987). In an experiment a women becomes anonymous. She is commit in a strange environment and expected to respond to the needs of (invariably) a male experimenter, who is in charge of the situation.How does gender bias help consort to Kitzinger (1998) questions about sex differences (and similarities) arent just scientific questions they are overly political.Answers to some of these questions have been utilise to keep women out of universities, or to put them in mental hospitals. Others have been used to encourage women to go to assertiveness training courses, or to argue that women should have all the rights and opportunities as men. In other words science of sex differences research is always used for political reasons.According to Gilligan (1993) at the core of her work on honorable development in women and girls were the realisations that within psychology values were taken as facts. Psychologists have a responsibility to make their values explicit about important social and political issues. Failure to do so may contribute to prejudice, discrimination and oppression.Alpha biasAccording to Travis, the belief that troops is the norm and women is the opposite, lesser or deficient (the problem) constitutes one of the 3 option views regarding the mismeasure of women.Alpha bias underlines the enormous sel f-help industry. Women consume many books advising on beauty, freedom and so onMen being normal feel no need to correspond in the same way.Examples of alpha bias in researchWilison (1994) maintains that the reason 95 % of bank managers, professors etc in Britain are men is that men are more competitive and because dominance is innate in a man.Wilson also argues that women in academic jobs are less reproductive than men objectively speaking, women may already be over promoted. Women who do achieve promotion to top management positions may have brains that are masculinised.The research cited by Wilson to support these claims comes partly from the psychometric testing industries. These grant scientific evidence of womens inadequacies, such as (compared to men) their lack of numeric and spatial abilities. Even if women are considered to have the abilities to perform well in professional jobs, Wilson believes they have personality deficits (especially low self esteem and a lack of as sertiveness) which impede performance.