• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Rosenhan, Thigpen and Cleckley - Describe what each of the studies tells us about individual difference.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Psychology Essay. Some of the core studies take an individual approach to human behaviour and experience. This includes individual factors such as intelligence, mental health and race and how these characteristics determine our behaviour and experiences. Using the studies below, answer the questions: Gould Hraba and Grant Rosenhan Thigpen and Cleckley a) Describe what each of the studies tells us about individual difference.(12) b) Using examples, give 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses of the individual differences approach. (12) a) Gould's study looks into the fundamental problems involved in the attempts to measure intelligence. Gould analysed the procedure completed by Yerkes and found that he had ignored individual differences when doing the intelligence tests. Yerkes believed that intelligence was down to genetic differences in races and tested the participants with three tests, the alpha test, the beta test and the individual examination. ...read more.

Middle

The children were asked questions which showed their racial preference, awareness and knowledge and racial self-identification. The study showed that the white children were significantly more ethnocentric and the black children were more likely to pick a doll with the same colour as themselves. Rosenhan's study tested the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between a mentally sane person and an insane one. The study showed that in all cases the pseudopatients were admitted to the hospital and once they had got in it was difficult for them to leave. When doing relatively normal things such as write in a diary, the nurses took this as abnormal. It was also found that individual differences such as abnormality tended to stick as a psychiatric label whereas if it were just a medical label the patient would not have been treated in the same way. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, in Rosenhan's study the hospitals were deceived, with no consent and no right of withdrawal. In Thigpen and Cleckley's study, it is not certain that Eve gave her consent for her case to be so widely publicized. Also not all her personalities gave their consent to be studied and it is unclear which personalities Thigpen and Cleckley should have blocked out. Another weakness to the individual approach is that in some cases it is not very valid. An example of this is in Hraba and Grant's study as the doll may not have been a good representation of a black child or a white child. The participants may have just chosen those dolls because they had to choose one of them and not because it was their preference. Also the question, 'which doll looks bad' is unclear as it may mean a number of things and the children may have interpreted it in a number of ways. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay consists of two answers to two questions, which are both weighted equally at 12 marks each. The first question concerns AO1 (Assessment Objective 1: knowledge and understanding) only, and the candidate displays a very extensive knowledge of a ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay consists of two answers to two questions, which are both weighted equally at 12 marks each. The first question concerns AO1 (Assessment Objective 1: knowledge and understanding) only, and the candidate displays a very extensive knowledge of a selection of studies concerning individual differences. The comments about Gould/Yerkes' study are entirely valid and are nicely linked to the individual differences approach and the difficulty presented by using one test to measure intelligence of people of many different racial and social backgrounds. The comments about Hraba & Grant's, Rosenhan's, and Thigpen & Cleckley's studies are considerably lesser than Gould/Yerkes' study, but there is still a good link to the individual differences approach, However, the candidate cannot expect to achieve top marks because there is simple not enough detail in the last three studies. Some examiners may argue that there is too much detail in Gould/Yerkes' study, so an equal application of detail to each studies is important to achieve this. As it stands, the marks for this question (with 3 marks attributed for each study) would look something like 3 (Gould/Yerkes) + 2 (Hraba & Grant) + 3 (Rosenhan) + 2 (Thigpen & Cleckley = 10/12.

As for question two, the candidate is marked on AO1 (Assessment Objective 1: knowledge and understanding) and AO2 (Assessment Objective 2: critical evaluation). This question requires a very regimented structure and is often very prescriptive. Whilst some candidates worry about this it may be the only way to write all that is required in the time allotted. This candidate makes a very good argument for and against the practical and psychological application of the individual differences approach, each time citing a useful piece of evidence and clearly stating why the mentioned weakness/strength is as such. For this question, the candidate would elicit the full twelve marks.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is also going to be prescriptive and often very rehearsed-sounding. This will not prevent candidates from scoring highly if they manage to cover everything that is required. 3 marks are awarded for each strength and each weakness, though, as this candidate has been good to adhere to, the question does ask for only two of each, meaning the discussion must be balance and there must not bee 3 of one and 1 of the other. This candidate forms two strong strengths and two strong weaknesses with the individual differences approach, and gains their three marks for each of them by mentioning a strength/weakness (e.g. - ethics), giving a study to validate them (e.g. - Rosenhan) saying WHY it's a strength/weakness (e.g. - no right to withdraw from Rosenhan's study can cause mental harm).

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is very good. From both a psychological and an English perspective. There are no issues with grammar, punctuation or spelling and the candidate writes fluently, using psychology-orientated terminology where appropriate.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 03/08/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Behavioural Study of Obedience - Stanley Milgram

    5 star(s)

    The victim has been asked by Milgram prior to the experiment to perform at chance level. For those interested in the technicalities of this experiment (and that should be all of you Oxford and Cambridge students), the strapped down victim can indicate his answer by pressing one of four conveniently placed levers.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the five main perspectives in psychology

    3 star(s)

    An imbalance between these, leads to psychological problems. This was developed into treatment which was very much client centred, which gives help to the clients clarification of their thoughts on problems and gain greater insight into them. The humanistic approach explicitly states that people have free will, which sets it apart from other approaches (with the possible exception of some cognitivists).

  1. Outline and Evaluate the Biological, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Explanations of Abnormality

    Because the event happened in the past it is almost impossible to tell whether it really happened or not- the evidence is reliant on the client's belief and memory recall. This could invalidate any research conducted as the retrospective data cannot be relied upon.

  2. Psychological Abnormality

    depending on the context, be entertaining for others and profitable for the person engaging in such behaviour. Overall, such an approach avoids labelling which poses problems to the individual who has been labelled long after the cause has been removed.

  1. The Gestalt Approach to Psychology

    The cycle of contact can be interrupted by danger and/or fear or inevitable frustration. Instead of making contact and experiencing the pain of the original situation an individual usually prevents contact by using neurotic mechanisms as explained briefly below. Projections are parts of a person's personality that they disapprove of

  2. Atypical Psychology: Describe and Evaluate Perspectives of Psychological Disorders (Studies and Theories).

    (Coordination Group Publications 2009; Richard Gross 2010). The social causation hypothesis states that people with low social status are more likely to suffer from either schizophrenia or depression, equally factors such as poverty and discrimination cause higher stress levels which are thought to be potential triggers. Harrison et al (2001)

  1. Level 2 Counselling skills. Theories -CBT, Psychodynamic and Person Centred.

    When they do so, their distress usually decreases; they are able to behave more functionally. Individuals also learn to identify and modify their distorted beliefs: their basic understanding of themselves, their worlds, and other people. These distorted beliefs influence their processing of information, and give rise to their distorted thoughts.

  2. The contents of this essay will explain different psychological approaches to health and social ...

    has a strong likelihood of being accepted and thus reinforced by that group. Describing the consequences of behaviour can effectively increase the appropriate behaviours and decrease inappropriate ones. This can involve discussing with learners about the rewards and consequences of various behaviours.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work