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IB Psychology Sociocultural LOA
Principles, theories, studies, research methods
Terms in this set (90)
Sociocultural Principle 1
Human beings are social animals with a basic need to belong
Sociocultural Principle 2
Culture influences behaviour.
Sociocultural Principle 3
We want connectedness with, and a sense of belonging to, others.
Melville Herskovits (1948)
Culture is the human-made part of the environment.
Triandis et al. (1972)
Culture has both physical components (tools, buildings and works of art) and subjective components (roles, values and attitudes).
The implicit or explicit rules a group has for the acceptable behaviors, values, and beliefs of its members.
The enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
Hofstede (1980) Cultural Dimensions of behavior
Collectivism and Individualism
Masculinity and Femininity
Hofstede the actual study
Classic - employees responses in 40 nations in uncertainty avoidance. High uncertainty avoidance - greater amount and specificity of social norms. High uncertainty avoidance (Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Japan and several South and Central American countries). Low uncertainty avoidance (most Scandinavian and English speaking countries).
Giving priority to group goals ahead of personal goals and defining one's identity in terms of the groups one belongs to.
Giving priority to one's own goals over group goals, and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications. U.S. can be considered as individualistic with a high score (91) on the scale of Hofstede compared to countries like Singapore (20) and Guatemala where they have strong collectivism (6 on the scale).
A society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity and to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Germany has a reasonably high uncertainty avoidance (65) compared to countries as Singapore (8) and Denmark (23).
Masculinity v Femininity
Assertive and competitive society versus one that is more relationship oriented. Masculine cultures' values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life. In masculine cultures, the differences between gender roles are more dramatic and less fluid than in feminine cultures where men and women have the same values emphasizing modesty and caring.
The extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. Compared to Arab countries where the power distance is very high (80) and Austria where it very low (11), Germany is somewhat in the middle. Germany does not have a large gap between the wealthy and the poor, but have a strong belief in equality for each citizen. Germans have the opportunity to rise in society.
-ordering relationships by status and observing this order
-having a sense of shame
Tajfel (1970) what theory did he develop
Under Social Identity Theory (SIT), this psychologist found that prejudice can develop as a result of wanting our group to be on top. His conclusion was that we want to have positive self-concepts and we manage this by identifying with a group that is doing well. Therefore, we want the group we belong to, to do better than other groups. He randomly allocated participants to two groups. The participants did not know who else was in their group, or who was in the other group. Then he asked if money should be divided equally between a member of the participant's own group and a member of the other group. Even without knowing who the money was going to, he found that the majority of participants said that more money should be given to the participant in their own group.
Social Identity Theory
The ways in which people perceive and categorize themselves. Individuals form self-conceptions that are based on two parts: 1) personal or self identity, and 2) collective identity. Personal or self identity refers to our unique, personal qualities such as our beliefs, our abilities and skills, etc. The collective self includes all the qualities that arise from being part of a society, culture, family, groups, clubs, etc. For example, you may identify yourself as a protestant, male, football player, who is very popular with people at school.
Strengths of SIT
SIT assumes that intergroup conflict is not required for discrimination to occur which is supported by empirical research (Tajfel, 1970)
Limitations of SIT
SIT cannot fully explain how ingroup favouritism may result in violent behaviour towards outgroups
Research methods used in Scoiocultural Level of Analysis
Laboratory Experiment i.e. Tajfel (1970) or Bandura (1977)
Observation i.e. Festinger (1937)
Laboratory Experiment- definition
Scientific method of isolating and observing variables in a controlled environment. An I.V.(s) is manipulated and D.V.(s) measured in order to establish cause and effect.
Strengths of Laboratory Experiment
Allows valid cause and effect conclusions to be made. Method usually with highest reliability as can be repeated.
Limitations of Laboratory Experiment
High levels of control over extraneous variables can lead to low ecological validity. Difficult to generalize beyond situation due to demand characteristics present in artificial lab setting.
Gathering of data for scientific studies by recognizing and noting facts (occurrence, event, or existence)
Strengths of observation
Provides descriptive data about behavior presumably uncontaminated by outside influences.
Limitations of observation
Depending on type of observation - can have high ecological validity where participants are unaware of being observed. Low demand characteristics can lead to greater ecological validity.
Simplified mental images which act as templates to help interpret the social world (Lipmann,1922)
The mental process of categorizing people into groups (or categories) on the basis of their, perceived or real, shared characteristics.
Any person or group that has control over what material eventually reaches the public. The filters between the event and the receiver i.e. parents, media and culture. (Campbell, 1967)
Grain of Truth Hypothesis
A theory stating that the experience which results from interaction with an individual will be generalized to others who are from that group. Because of this, stereotypes have some basis of truth in them. (Campbell, 1967)
Perception that a relationship exists when there is none, or of a stronger relationship than actually exists between two variables e.g. "the belief that men are better at maths".
A tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence.
Snyder & Swann (1978)
They conducted a study in which they told female college students that they would bee a person who was either introverted or extroverted.They were then asked to prepare a set of questions for he person they were going to meet. Generally the participants came up with questions that supported their beliefs about introverts and extroverts. Those who thought they were going to meet an extrovert asked "What do you dislike about parties?" and the extroverts "What do you do liven up the party?". This is an example of confirmation bias: people tend to overlook information that contradicts what they already believe.
Rogers & Frantz (1962)
They suggested that expats developed more stereotypes and prejudice the longer they stayed in a foreign country (Zimbabwe) against the local population. They suggested that this was because they adopted the social representations that were dominant in the group they were joining.
Social Desirability Effect
Tendency of research subjects to respond in a socially acceptable manner; an effect which occurs when some people try to present themselves in a favourable light.
Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group's members
Social Learning Theory
The theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating role models of behaviour (Bandura, 1961).
Factors involved in Social Learning Theory
Attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation.
Motivation to learn through SLT is influenced by:
Consistency, identification with the model, rewards/punishment, liking the model and self-efficacy.
Laboratory experiment where young children watched adults being aggressive to a bobo doll, children exposed to the aggressive model played more aggressively than children in the other conditions. we learn by watching the social behavior of other and copying them. social learning works best when child sees the model being rewarded.
Huesmann & Eron (1986)
Longitudinal study, following children over a 15-year period. A correlation was found between the violence the children exhibited as teens and the amount of time they spent watching violence (TV) in elementary school. Found that children that watched a lot of TV violence were more likely to later become aggressive adults.
Charlton et. al. (2002)
Introduction of TV in ST. Helena. Watched kids through cameras in playgrounds. Increase in aggression was negligible. Challenged social learning theory to a certain extent
The Sabido Method
• A method for designing and producing radio and television drama that aims to change people's behavior.
Tthe act of responding favorably to an explicit or implicit request offered by others.
Ways in which individuals are influenced to comply with the demands or desires of others.
Factors that influence likelihood that people will comply
Authority, Commitment, Liking, Reciprocity, Scarcity, Social Proof
The social norm that we should treat others the way they treat us.
Lynn & McCall (1998)
Found that when restaurant customers are given a mint or sweet with their bill, the size of the tip they leave increases.
Door-in-the-face Technique (based on reciprocity principle)
Making a large request that is likely to be turned down as a way to increase the chances that people will agree to a smaller request later.
Cialdini et al. (1975)
Posing as representatives of the "County Youth Conselling Program", he and his team stopped university students on campus and asked them if they would be willing to chaperone a group of juvenile delinquents on a day trip to the zoo-83% refused to volunteer. Another time they stopped students and first asked if they would be willing to sign up and work for two hours per week as counsellors for a minimum of two years-no one agreed to volunteer. But when they followed up the the student's refusal with the zoo trip, approximately 50% agreed to serve as chaperones.
When a person makes a commitment or to take a stand, they feel pressure to behave consistently with that commitment.
Kurt Lewin (1951)
Argued that behavior is motivated by goal gradients. The longer people commit themselves to something, the less likely they are to abandon the goal.
Foot-in-the-door Technique (based on commitment principle)
A compliance technique in which one makes an initial small request to which nearly everyone complies, followed by a larger request involving the real behaviour of interest.
Dickerson et al. (1992)
Wanted to see if they could give university students to conserve water in the dormitory showers. They did this by asking the students in Santa Cruz to sign a poster that said, "take shorter showers. If I can do it, so can you." Then they were asked to take a survey that would make them think about their own water waste. Those who signed the poster and took the survey had an average shower time of 3.5 minutes, significantly less than the average shower.
Low-balling (Cialdini et al. 1974)
Asked a class of first-year psychology students to volunteer to be part of a study on cognition that would meet at 7a.m. Only 24% agreed to the study when starting at this time. In the second condition students were not told the time and 56% agreed to participate. On being told that the study would be at 7am no one backed out.
A series of initiation rites done in order to join an exclusive group, such as a sports team, or a college or university fraternity. It is potentially dangerous or humiliating but participants rationalize that it is "worth it".
Studied 54 tribal cultures and found that those with most dramatic and stringent ceremonies had greatest group solidarity.
Aronson & Mills (1959)
Female participants, who were joining a discussion group about the psychology of sex, were either accepted into the group (control condition), had to go through a mild initiation, which involved reading aloud sex-related words, or had to go through a severe initiation by reading aloud explicit sex words (Aronson 1959). When the participants were later asked the rate the discussion and the group members, those who went through severe initiation rated both categories much higher than both the control and mild initiation groups. Because the female participants had to justify the effort and humiliation they experienced to enter the group, they rated the group as more attractive than the other conditions.
Gerard & Mathewson (1966)
Found that women who endure pain as part of their initiation were more likely to find their group interesting, intelligent and desirable.
The tendency for people to adjust one's thoughts, feelings, or behaviour in ways that are in agreement with those of a particular individual or group.
Line test. Experiment in which one person set in a group of confederates and is asked to identify what lines are the same size in length. 75% of participants conformed in order to not stand out. Conformity went up as the number of confederates increased. If even one confederate did not conform, the conformity of the victim decreased.
(Group Size) - Found that with only one confederate, just 3 per cent of the participants conformed; with two confederates the rate rose to 14 percent and with three confederates it rose to 32 per cent. larger groups did not increase the rate of conformity.
(Unanimity) - Conformity was most likely when all confederates agreed. if one of them disagreed even if it was was also an incorrect answer the participant was significantly less likely to conform.
Perrin & Spencer (1988)
(Confidence) - When they replicated Asch's study with engineers and medical students, conformity rates was almost nil.
Found that participants with high self-esteem were less likely to conform to incorrect responses.
Friend et al. (1990)
Argued that there is a bias in the interpretation of the findings from Asch's Paradigm. It should be striking to us that in the face of unanimity so many people did not conform. The question should be which factors allow people to dissent, rather than which factors influence conformity.
Moscovici & Lage (1976)
Found that participants were influenced by the minority (confederates) in their assignment of colour when minority described a blue-green colour as green in 32% of the cases.
Hogg & Vaughan (1995)
Argued that dissenting opinions cause uncertainty and doubt, these opinions show alternatives exist, and consistency shows that there's commitment to the alternative view, giving the minority a greater ability to influence the majority.
Thinking in which maintaining group cohesiveness and solidarity is more important than considering the facts in a realistic manner.
Deutsch & Gerard (1955)
Argued that conformity is the result of informational social influence and normative social influence.
People evaluate their own opinions and ideas through social comparison, by looking at what others do.
Festinger (1954) said that this unpleasant state arises when a person recognizes the inconsistency of his or her actions, attitudes, or beliefs.
Cashmore & Goodnow (1986)
Found that there were high levels of conformity in Italians.
Burgos & Diaz-Perez (1986)
Found that with regard to child-rearing, Puerto Ricans valued conformity and obedience in children.
Smith & Bond (1993)
Found that conformity levels (% of wrong answers) ranged from 14% among Belgian students to 58% in Indian teachers in Fiji. Conformity was lower among participants form individualist cultures than in those from collectivist cultures.
Bond & Smith (1996)
Found that people who score high on Hofstede's collectivism scale conform more than people who score lower.
Modification of the Asch experiment used between two cultures: the Temne culture (agricultural-based, need to cooperate to feel the community) and the Inuits (hunting-based, need to be independent). Inuits were generally non-conforming, whereas Temne were conforming.
Culture is complex concept that is used in many different ways (describe food, eating habits, clothing, rituals, communication patterns, religion and status behavior).
Culture can't be seen but we can see manifestations of it. Deep culture which is related to beliefs, attitudes and beliefs underpin cultural manifestations. Claimed that culture cannot be used as an explanation of behaviour.
Culture can be defined as common rules that regulate interactions and behavior in a group as well as number of shared values and attitudes in the group.
Described culture as "mental software", that is , cultural schemas that have been internalized so that they influence thinking, emotions and behaviour.
"Simply, acting in accordance with rules or orders" (Reber, Reber, & Allen, 2004).
A theory that attempts to explain the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other people's behavior.
The tendency for individuals to attribute their own successes to internal factors while putting blame for failures on external factors.
The tendency to make situational attributions for our own behaviours while making dispositional attributions for the identical behaviour of others
The tendency in some cultures in which modesty is valued to explain your successes in terms of situational factors.
Fundamental Attribution Error
The tendency for observers, when analyzing another's behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition
Forces outside an individual's immediate control such as environmental conditions.
Individual personality characteristics that affect a person's behaviour.
Short term orientation
-personal steadiness and stability
-protecting your 'face'
-respect or tradition
-reciprocation of greetings, favors, and gifts.
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