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Cultural And Gender Issues In Psychology Alevel Essay

804 words - 4 pages

Gender Issues in psychology relate to differential treatment and/or representation of males and females, based on stereotypes and not on real differences. In psychology this involves alpha and beta bias. Alpha bias refers to theories that exaggerate the differences between males and females. Whereas, beta bias refers to theories that ignore or minimise sex differences. These theories often assume that the findings from studies using males can apply equally to females.
These gender issues relate to both Sherif et al (1954/1961). The study aimed to find out what factors make two groups develop hostile relationships then to see how this hostility can be reduced. However, the sample consisted of 22 white, middle class and protestant 11-year-old boys. Therefore, it can be argued the results can only be generalised to males in relation to hostility and conflict due to the lack of girls in the sample leading to low population validity. Consequently, the study also has potential to hold beta bias. This is because researchers may assume that the findings from studies using males can apply equally to females which may not be the case. For example, girls may not replicate the studies three stages the boys went through. Although they may begin group formation and engage in competition, it may be harder to initiate the final stage of cooperation. Therefore, this limits the real-life applications of the study. For example, if these ideas were to be applied to situations like football games to reduce hostile relationships such as providing a common goal for teams such as raising money for charity, these methods may fail to have any effect on cooperation and eliminating hostility between female football fans.
These gender issues are less present in Rosenhan’s study (1973). Rosenhan tested the validity of diagnosis of mental disorders and see if health professionals could distinguish between those who were genuinely mentally ill and those who were not. The sample consisted of 8 pseudopatients (5 men and 3 women). Consequently, it can be said results are credible for both genders.
Culture Bias is the tendency to judge people in terms of one's own cultural assumptions.
While ethnocentrism means seeing the world only from one’s own cultural perspective and believing that this one perspective is both normal and correct. It is a lack of awareness that other ways of seeing things can be as valid as one’s own. For example, when definitions of abnormality vary from culture to culture. Cultural relativism insists that...

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