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OCR G544 - Using examples of research that you have studied, discuss the strengths and limitations of using the nurture debate to explain human behaviour (12 marks)

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Introduction

Nature vs. Nurture Q1) Using examples of research that you have studied, discuss the strengths and limitations of using the nurture debate to explain human behaviour. (12) The nurture debate in psychology aligns itself with explaining all human behaviour as a product of the environment that an individual lives in. It suggests that the people we interact with, the homes we grow up in and even the school experiences we have as we grow up are all influential on our behaviour later in life. In the longitudinal study by Farrington, et al. into delinquent development of boys in East London, he found that there are environmental factors that directly influence why young offenders become adult criminals. ...read more.

Middle

treating abnormal behavioural functions ? and were said to have been cured of their phobias, but as stated by Meichenbaum, aiming to champion the cognitive treatment Stress Inoculation Therapy, this behavioural method of treatment is prone to relapse in the event of a traumatic experience with the cured stimulus later in life, so this suggests that to cure abnormal behaviour by means of learning to be relaxed in the presence of an anxiety-inducing stimulus is not a guaranteed, life-long cure and can be prone to relapse. A strength however, is that the nurture debate allows for longitudinal studies like Farrington, et al.?s, which was conducted over forty years and observed how the environment that the 411 boys lived in affected their behaviour over time, to be conducted. ...read more.

Conclusion

phobia, there is empirical evidence that suggests abnormal behaviour can be treated behaviourally, without invasive drug therapy which aims to change the biology of a patient if the abnormality is seen as genetic. However, McGrath showed that anxiety disorders such as a noise phobia can treated so that the patient learns to become unresponsive of the phobic stimulus. In conclusion, nurture is successful in providing treatments for irrational phobias without the need to prescribe patients to drug programmes (as shown by a review article by Karp & Frank, patients are less likely to leave the course if it is not exclusively a drug treatment), however, it has limitations in the fact that the studies used to explore it?s influence on behaviour are longitudinal and require dedication from both psychologists and patients in order to retrieve data. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay has much description, and is a perfect example of how to produce an essay answer to a question as complex as the ones presented here. This question, from the OCR G544 syllabus, expects candidates to discuss at length ...

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Response to the question

This essay has much description, and is a perfect example of how to produce an essay answer to a question as complex as the ones presented here. This question, from the OCR G544 syllabus, expects candidates to discuss at length the strengths and weaknesses of studies that use the nurture debate in order to explain behaviour. The candidate then does this with ease, but on top of that, integrates a number of other debates in Psychology, including the use of longitudinal research designs and the debate as to the scientific merit of Psychology. This brings the answer that little bit higher than the majority of answers who simply evaluate with linking to other debates, as it shows a greater range of knowledge.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is good. though not exhaustive, there is every indication the candidate is clearly well-equipped with the skills to effectively evaluate psychology, and knows how to appropriately cite important studies relating to the topic at hand in order to validate their analysis. There is every indication this candidate is operating at an A grade for A Level. I like the broad range of analytical skills, and also the broad range of studies chosen ranging from biological psychology (Raine, et al.), social psychology (Farrington, et al.), cognitive psychology (Meichenbaum) and the behaviourist perspective (McGrath). Overall a very confidently presented question.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is fine. There is no cause for concern with regard to spelling, grammar or punctuation and the candidate's use of psychological terminology is excellent too. This is a sign of a candidate who demonstrates either very high accuracy writing skills, or someone who takes the time to re-read their work to ensure that QWC is consistently high throughout. This is a recommended practice even if you think it's not, because when writing we all make small errors that our brains don't pick up until numerous re-reads.


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