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Short and Long Answer Questions

Short and Long Answer Questions

Short Answer Questions

Question 1

How did the authors ensure a representative sample of American Indians was involved in their study?

Authors ensured representative sample of American Indians by ensuring that 2 tribes were represented in their study. The East Woodland tribe included around 280, 000 individuals while the South West Plains tribe had an estimate of around 10,000 individuals. In addition, some of the authors who were carrying out the study were familiar with some tribes involved in the study and also had good relationship with community leaders and the society members, where they managed all research instruments in the study and also performed the role of field researchers. The research had 171 study participates where there were 84 individuals from the Eastern Woodland Oklahoma and 87 individuals from the Southwest Plains Oklahoma American Indians.

Question 2

Summarise in one paragraph, the recommendations made by the authors for researchers involved in sensitive research

Self-care is an important strategy for reducing harm during research and strategies like counseling, debriefing and having breaks during the project, as well as physical and emotional safety should be ensured. Researchers should also have profession supervision during studies where the role of professionals should be debrief, mentor and help researchers in skill development to help them carry out studies without harming their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Researchers should also ensure that they have adequate space between interviews to enable them to process any information from an interview that may have shocked them and hence harmful to them and guidelines regarding termination of study relationships and how to handle emotions in case of traumatic happenings during studies. Finally, ethics committees and universities should come up with strategies of identifying physical and psychological safety issues when carrying out sensitive research and how the risks can be reduced.

Question 3

What does the first research question mean?

The first research question is questioning identity formation as well as developmental issues like the separation-individuation process in twins. The main focus of social genetic studies such as Horwitz et al (2003) is to find out the effects of genetics on social behaviours and organization at large. Therefore, the research question sought to find out the co-twin relationship in regard to the context of context of psychological and physical characteristics of natural selection and exploration of issues involved in promotion of the survival and reproduction of the genetic attributes.

Long Answer Questions

Question 4

Overall, males and females have similar intellectual capacity. However, males are usually better at spatial tasks than females, while females generally perform better on verbal tasks. Find a second article and critically discuss in your own words, the possible reasons for these differences.

Analysis of gender differences in cognitive abilities has been done for long and some of the key differences include higher verbal abilities that favor women and higher spatial abilities that favor men. According to (Cherney, 2008), women have higher performance in various verbal tests and they normally develop language faster than men.(Collaer & Hines (1995) is in line with this and explains that women have wider vocabulary, more perfect speech production and better fluency in language. In addition, studies show that women perform better in word list learning activities. All this evidence indicates that women have higher verbal abilities when compared to men. Studies have also shown that men outdo women in spatial activities like navigations strategies and geographical coordination.

According to Cherney (2008), these differences are as a result of biological and environmental factors. Some of the biological factors that cause these differences include variations in neurological structure and function. In addition, women have different hormones from men and according to Collaer & Hines (1995) hormones are allied to certain aspects of brain differentiation. Androgens and ovarian hormones play a big role in sexual differentiation and evidence demonstrates that there are sensitive periods where inducing of the differences occurs. The initial period is known as organizational where key and permanent structural changes takes place within the brain (Collaer & Hines, 1995). During this period, there is stimulation of brain sensitivity to circulating hormones. The level of steroid hormones over prenatal development prompts the changes that are allied to structural and functional variations between the brains of women and men. The second period is typified by the impact of circulating hormones on behavior and in this period hormones are not able to induce permanent changes in the CNS. This therefore indicates that biological factors such as neurological and hormonal differences play a big role in determining differences in the brain which in turn impacts the evident cognitive abilities between men and women (Collaer & Hines, 1995).

Collaer & Hines (1995) provides that environmental factors, educational background as well as cultural characteristics influence gender differences noted in cognitive abilities. Blum (1998) conducted a study and found out that gender variations in cognitive abilities indicate a big interrelation with educational levels where there are differences in test scores between men and women with low educational levels and the differences disappear gradually as educational levels rise. The study also found that men outdid women in almost all cognitive realms where participants had no or limited education. Participants with medium or higher educational levels showed similar performance in all cognitive domains irrespective of gender (Blum, 1998). The relationship between gender and level of education can be attributed to the fact that in settings of low levels of education, men have higher exposure of environmental stimulation when compared to women. This is because while in most cases women stay at home taking care of children and doing household chores on the other hand men take part in diverse tasks and activities that need moving in and out of towns, handling finances as well as numerous interactions with diverse individuals and having continuous information flow on numerous social and political occasion. Perhaps higher exposure of men to different and diverse settings when compared to women is the reason behind higher spatial abilities in men than women (Cherney, 2008).

Question 5

There are three main parent-child attachment styles that are demonstrated by the observational experiment called the “Strange Situation”. Compare and contrast the parental and child behaviours commonly attributed to each attachment style.

According to Steele et al (1996) there are three types of parent-child attachment styles namely, secure, insecure-ambivalent, and insecure-avoidant. A study conducted by Ainsworth et al (1978) and found that secure infants demonstrated moderate distress when mother when away from the room, went to the mother when she returned, were comforted by the mother and explored the room adventuresomely as long as the mother was there. On the other hand, ambivalent infants demonstrated increased distress levels when the mother went away and even after seeking proximity to the mother after she returned they did not get comforted easily. In addition, the child demonstrated high levels of anxiety while exploring the room, even though the mother was there (Arriaga et al, 2014). Lastly, avoidant infants demonstrated negligible distress when the mother let and showed no excitement when the mother came back. This study indicated that only children who had secure attachment style highly desired their mother’s proximity and perceived their mother as a secure base from which they explored their world (Ainsworth et al, 1978).

Studies have shown that behaviors of mother or caregivers partly influence attachment styles to children. Children of mothers who always responded to their children’s needs had a secure attachment style while children of mother whose children were not consistent in their response to their children and often interfered with their children’s activities had ambivalent attachment style. On the other hand, children whose mothers often rejected physical contacts the children demonstrated avoidant attachment style (Arriaga et al, 2014).

Arriaga et al (2014) explains that the attachment or bonding behaviors are adaptive and increase the ability of people to survive. This is illustrated by the tendency of children to stay near people they are familiar with. Therefore, cues that indicate likely threats, for instance unfamiliar people elicit attachment system in children and this invokes behaviors that maintain closeness to their carers. Secondly, various phases in life shape development of attachment o children where development is inclined to cues and events particularly during their early years. Steele et al (1996) also provides that the tendency of children to prefer certain figures such as their parents is not inherent. Children develop the need to have principal attachment figures and base their attachment with their experiences. Children tend to have their primary attachment figure as the individual who is mostly available and always responding to them, particularly when they feel threatened or stressed (Ainsworth et al, 1978). Steele et al (1996) further explain that children normally develop order of relationships, and range from the individuals who favors them most when they go or support or closeness to other people who they do not favor as significantly. In addition, the tendency of children to prefer a primary attachment figure or their caregivers is normally influenced by the provision of support and sensitivity during social interactions, particularly during distressful or threatening contexts (Arriaga et al, 2014). This therefore means that mere provision of food or relief during discomfort does not primarily influence the preference of children.

According to Arriaga et al (2014), the experiences of children with their caregivers combine to influence their thoughts, beliefs, emotions as well as their behaviors regarding the self and other people. This is known as internal working models of social relationships and it directs the social interactions of people such as friendships, relationships, parenting and such. For instance, this model guides children on how to treat adults differently from their peers (children). Children who think that they are worthy to be supported by their carers and their respond to their needs normally assume that the attachment figures respond to their needs (Steele et al, 1996). Therefore, how parents or caregivers treat their children has a big influence on their behavior.


Arriaga, X. B., Kumashiro, M., Finkel, E. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Luchies, L. B. (2014). Filling the void: Bolsteringattachment  security in committed relationships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 398-406.

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns ofattachment : A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Blum, D. (1998). Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women. New York: Penguin.

Cherney, I. D. (2008). Mom, let me play more computer games: They improve my mental rotation skills. Sex Roles, 59, 776- 786.

Collaer, M.L. and Hines, M. (1995). Human behavioural sex differences: a role for gonadal hormones during early development? Psychological Bulletin, Vol 118 (1): 55-77.

Dickson-Swift, V., James, E. L., Kippen, S., & Liamputtong, P. (2007). Doing sensitive research: What challenges do qualitative researchers face? Qualitative Research, 7, 327-353.

Horwitz, A.V., Videon, T.M., Schmitz, M.F. & Davis, D. (2003). Rethinking twins and environments: Possible social sources for assumed genetic influences in twin research. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 44, 111-129.

Pace, T.M., Robbins, R.R., Choney, S.K., Hill, J.S., Lacey, K., & Blair, G. (2006). A cultural- contextual perspective on the validity of the MMPI-2 with American Indians. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(2), 320-333.

Steele, H., Steele, M., & Fonagy, P. (1996). Associations among attachment classifications of mothers, fathers, and their infants. Child Development, 67, 541-555.