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Issues and Debates – Approaches in Context

3. Individual Versus Social Factors

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About this Lecture


In this third module, we think about individual and social research methods, focusing in particular on: (i) the individual approach, which focuses on how an individual differs from another and promotes the idea that attributes drive behaviour; (ii) individual research approaches which link to the idiographic approaches discussed in lecture two; (iii) social research methods, which consider that people’s behaviour can be heavily influenced by circumstance; (iv) the strengths and weaknesses of individual and social research methods.


In this course, Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya (University of Birmingham) explores context-based approaches in psychology. In the first module, we think about an unusual social interaction and the ways in which a psychological researcher might approach understanding it. In the second module, we think about idiographic and nomothetic approaches to investigation, and how these tie into personal and social factors. In the third module, we think about individual and social research methods, including the role of attributions and circumstances. Next, we think about attribution models, focusing on Jones and Davies’ theory and Kelly’s covariation model. In the fifth module, we think about biases, including gender bias (within which are alpha and beta biases) and culture biases. In the sixth and final module, we think about some conclusions and controversies within this field, including the importance of psychology pursuing both scientific methodologies and compassion.


Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. His research centres around social psychology and how knowledge from that field can be applied to others, particularly health. Dr Bouguettaya is interested in how we can apply social identity theory to societal problems, as well as investigating the different perspectives one might taken on those issues. His recent publications have spanned a breadth of topics including social identification, eating behaviours, conspiracy theories, and behavioural economics.

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APA style

Bouguettaya, A. (2022, April 07). Issues and Debates – Approaches in Context - Individual Versus Social Factors [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bouguettaya, Ayoub. "Issues and Debates – Approaches in Context – Individual Versus Social Factors." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Apr 2022,

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