Key Issues
Do you know
what they
If you know what the key issue is
for each approach
• Next you need to select some studies to use as
evidence. In psychology, evidence is always
required as it backs up the point you are
• The Key issues allow you to apply what you
have learnt to real life situations.
Most psychological research
would indicate that E.W.T. is not
reliable (Loftus & Palmer 1975)
This is really important
Because if it is true it may mean that an
innocent person goes to prison
or a guilty person goes free
One key issue of the
Cognitive approach
is whether
Eye witness testimony
is reliable or not
Jill Dando was a well known
presenter of Crime watch. She
was murdered in 1999. The man
charged with her murder, Barry
George , was set free in 2008
because the evidence, much of it
eye witness was deemed unsafe!
Most of the evidence
supporting the view that E.W.T.
is not reliable comes from laboratory
studies. (L & P 1975)
More realistic studies indicate
E.W.T. is fairly reliable especially on
the non peripheral (important)details.
Can you provide evidence from another
Name that theory....
Name the psychologist
Name the psychologist...
Name the study....
On 27th Oct 2004 Staff Sergeant
Ivan ‘Chip’ Frederick, aged 38
was sentenced to 8 years
imprisonment for sexually and
physically assaulting detainees
(including carrying out a mock
electrocution on an individual).
Psychologists have simulated
This type of behaviour and found many
people behave this way when given
direct orders . This has lead many to
believe that it is fairly normal to obey
even immoral orders given by a superior
A key issue of the
is Who was responsible
for the torture of prisoners in
Abu Ghraib
Warrant Officer Kevin Kramer, a
military intelligence officer referred
to an email sent by US Command in
Baghdad telling him to order his
interrogators to be tough on
prisoners. The email said that they
“wanted the detainees to be
In the army soldiers are trained
to obey all orders without thinking
too much about them and so the defence
of Fredrick and others charged was
that they were following orders and so
not fully responsible
Name that theory...
Name the psychologist.....
The Rwandan Genocide was the
1994 mass killing of around
800 000 of Rwanda's Tutsis by
Hutu militia.
Despite endless requests from the peace
keeping group UNAMIR in Rwanda, the
United Nations refused to help
Another key issue of the
is whether psychologists can
explain the genocide in Rwanda
This genocide was one in a very
long line of mass murders
committed by one group against
another in countries throughout
history all around the world
Psychologists have tried to explain
ethnocentric and other discriminatory
behaviour , but the issue is whether
they contribute at all to our understanding
when things have escalated to mass murder
Name another key issue from this
Name that theory
Name the
Other issues in the social approach
•Cult behaviour
•Race riots
•Football hooliganism
Women's car insurance is less
than men's indicating that
insurance companies for one
think that women are at least
safer drivers which surely is a
key component in good driving.
Despite this very few men will
concede that their partner is a
better driver than them
A key issue of the
could be whether or not
women are bad drivers
News papers regularly run stories on this issue
and rather than safety the focus will often
Be on parking ,for example Dec2009 story in the
Telegraph focussed on a study done by Dr
Claudia Wolf from Ruhr University in Germany,
who found that men have better co-ordination
and spatial awareness when parking than
So is there any evidence of
males being better drivers and
if so can psychologists explain
why this might be –what
evidence can you think of?
Can you identify another key Issue?
Children as young as 4 are said
to be behaving badly in ways
they copy from TV according to
an article in the telegraph 2009
reporting on claims made by ATL
teaching union
This bad behaviour is making.
effective teaching more difficult and
so is hampering learning and is
detrimental to the environment for
both staff and pupils.
A key issue of the
Learning approach
is whether or not
children copy violent
behaviour from role models seen
on T.V.
It might be that bad behaviour and
language witnessed in soaps is
seen to be normal and so
copied by children
Or it may be that the adults are
seen as role models by the
children and so copied.
Name that theory
Alternatively a key issue could be
the increase in female violence
related to changing role models
• There has been an increase in female violence, one cause of which could
be cultural images that are copied.
• It is thought that now, in the early twenty-first century, there has been an
increase in female violence and in ‘ladette’ culture. In the 1990s, ‘ladettes’
were drunk and disruptive as only males were formerly. This in itself is not
violence but female violence seemed to increase at around the same time.
Lara Croft is a PC games ‘heroine’ who is violent and kills to get her way.
‘Bad girls’ occur in films, such as Daryl Hannah’s role in the film Kill Bill.
Senior police officers in Scotland have said that there is an increase in
actual violence among young women. This is backed up by the number of
women being sent to prison in Scotland, which is rising at four times the
rate of males.
The rise in anorexia
Interpretation of dreams is a
multi million pound business.
There are many books and DVDs
and lectures taking place on the
subject .
There are many psychologists who
use dream interpretation as a way of
accessing peoples fears and worries ,or view
dreams as actual access to the unconscious mind
A Key issue of the
approach is do dreams
have meaning?
There are some who think
dreams have no meaning at all
they are just a physiological
result of things that happen in
the brain while we are asleep.
Those who believe this
obviously think interpreting
dreams is a totally pointless
And so the issue is Do dreams have
meaning and if they do can a third
party interpret another person’s
Name another key issue
from this approach
Name that theory
Or a key issue from the
psychodynamic approach could be
Debate concerning the issue of
how early childhood experiences
may guide later sexual
Gender is a theme that has run
through a number of approaches
• Can you identify which ones?
• Which explanation of gender do you find the
most convincing?
• Can you explain why?