Sociocultural studies and theories
Final exams 2013
Terms in this set (46)
Humans have an individual and social identity
Because human being are social animals, they have a social self. People do not only have an individual identity but also a collective social one. Social identities are very important to the definition of who we are, and many behaviors are determined by membership of a group, e.g.. princess Diana death
Human beings are social animals and have a basic need to belong
Psychologist recognize that behavior can only be fully understood if the social context in which behavior occurred is taken into account. The biological and cognitive systems that make up the individual are embedded in an even larger interrelationship with other individuals. As the individual is affected by being part of a group, the individual can also be effect behavior in the group.
Presented a group of boys aged 14-15 years old with slides representing different paintings by the to the boys unfamiliar artists Kandinsky and Klee. The boys were asked which paintings they preferred. In an independent samples design experiment, the 48 boys was randomly assigned to 2 groups. The boys though the grouping was based on their preference of art. Every boy was then asked to award points to one boy from each group. Results showed that the boys generally awarded more points to the member of their own group. These results suggest boys tended to identify with their group and created a positive social identity. In-group favoritism.
In sociocultural research the goal is to see how people interact with each other. It is important the the behavior of the participants is as realistic as possible, to avoid studies that lack ecological validity.
O'Reilly Overt observation
Studied British expatriates on the Costa del Sol. Contrary at the prevailing belief at the time she did not find that they were unhappy with their life in Spain- nor did they long to return home. In order to find this out, she had to spend a significant amount of time among the expatriates. She carried out several interviews and she observed their behavior in may situations. In order to guarantee that they would discuss openly with her, she had to develop a trusting relationship, in which she was non-judgemental of her participants.
Overt observations- lack of consent, etic studies- stereotyping
How people interpret and explain casual relationships in the social world. Humans have a need to understand why things happen. People tend to make an attribution of behavior depending on whether they are performing it or somebody else. Actor-observer effect. Own behavior, situational factors- that is, something to do with external factors; someone else's behavior, dispositional factors- that is, something to do with personal factors. Asch paradigm, Zimbardo's prison study
Hartshorne and May
The researchers conducted a study on honesty in schoolchildren. Children were put in a number of situations in which they had a chance to be dishonest and believed they would not be detected. The children were neither consistently honest nor consistently dishonest. This argues that honesty is not a dispositional factor, but rather influenced by the situation.
Fundamental attribution error
Since people gather information by observing others, this often leads to illogical conclusions. When people watch an actor play a nice and loving character in movies it is likely that they also think the actor is exactly as nice and loving in real life even though they never met the person and practically do not have a clue. - When people overestimate the role of dispositional factors and underestimate the situational.
Lee et al.
A study with the aim to see if student participants would make the fundamental attribution error even when they knew that all the actors were simply playing a role. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three roles in a gameshow. They found that the host who was asking all questions was ranked as the most intelligent by the observers. This shows that the observers attributed the host to dispositional factors- intelligence; instead of real situational factor- that they had just randomly be allowed to act as a host. Student- teacher authority, does not reflect population as a whole.
When people take credit for their successes, attributing them to dispositional factors, and dissociate themselves from their failures, attributing them to situational factors. Boost and protect our self-esteem. Depends on expectancy
Lau and Russel
AMerican football coaches and players tend to credit their wins to internal factors- being in good shape, hard work or natural talent- and their failures to external factors- injuries, weather.
Social identity theory Tajfel
Assumes that individuals strive to improve their self-image by trying to enhance their self-esteem, based on either personal identity or various social identities. This means that people can boost their self-esteem through personal achievement or affiliation with successful groups, and it indicates the importance of social belonging. Based on process of social categorization. Social identification may in fact underpin in-group favoritism, stereotyping, and conformity to in-group norms, because social categorization can produce competitive intergroup behavior. The individual's self-esteem is maintained by social comparison- that is, the benefits of belonging to the in-group versus the out-group.
Cialdini et al.
The outcome of social comparisons is critical because it influences our own self-esteem. This phenomenon was demonstrated among college football supporters. After a successful match, the supporters were more likely to be seen wearing college signs and clothing than after defeats. It is assumed that our need for a positive self-concept will result in bias in these intergroup comparisons, so that you are more positive towards anything that your own group represents.
Describes but does not accurately predict behavior, fails to address the environment that interacts with the "self"
Limitations of social identity theory
A social perception of an individual in terms of group membership or physical attributes. It is a generalization that is made about a group and then attributed to all members of that group.
Gatekeepers, grain of truth
Two key sources of stereotypes: - the media, parents and other members of our culture; - an experience with an individual from a group will then be generalized to the group. Campbell. Criticized because errors of attribution are common
People see a relationship between two variables even when there is none. For example when people form false associations between membership of a social group and specific behaviors such as women's inferior ability in maths. --> Confirmation bias
Snyder and Swann
Conducted a study in which they told female college students that they would meet a person who was either introverted or extroverted. They were then asked to prepare a set of questions for the person they were going to meet. In general, paticipants came up with questions that confirmed their perceptions of introverts and extroverts. The researchers concluded that the questions asked confirmed participants' stereotype of each personality type.
Rogers and Frantz
Stereotypes can also be formed as a means of taking on the in-group's social representation of the out-group. Individuals may conform to the group norms with regard to the "other". Found that with immigrants to Rhodesia developed more stereotypes- and prejudice- against the local people the longer they stayed there. They argue that this is because they adopted the social representations that were dominant in the group they were joining.
Social learning theory
One of the most predominant theoru of how society and culture pass on its norms to individuals within the group. Assumes that humans learn behavior through observational learning. People learn by watching models and imitating their behavior.
Attention, retention, motor reproduction, motivation
Social learning theory four different factors
consistency, identification, rewards and punishment, liking the model
factors that determine if people feel motivation to follow a model
Bandura et al.
Children aged 3-6 years old got to see a model of an adult aggressively bashing a bobo doll in a room with toys. When the children individually got to enter the same room the researchers saw a tendency of that most of the children went ahead and hit the bobo doll as well. The tendency was even greater when the model had been of the same sex as the child. Ecological validity due to real life, please researchers? ethical considerations of children with violence- permanent?
Huesmann and Eron
Carried out a longitudinal study, monitoring children's behavior over a 15-year period. They found a positive correlation between the number of hours of violence watched on television by elementary school children and the level of aggression demonstrated when they were teenagers. They also found that those who watched a lot of television violence when they were 8 years old were more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts as adults.
time gap, why some people never learn, reversed behavior
Social learning theory limitations
Defined as the result of direct pressure to respond to a request- for example, when people buy certain products, even though the direct pressure may not always be apparent to the individual.
Authority, commitment, liking, reciprocity, scarcity, social proof
Factors to comply
A request is made which will surely be turned down, then a second request is made which ask less of someone. People are more likely to accept the second request as they feel that the person has already lowered their request in order to accommodate them.
Cialdini et al
Stopped university students on campus and asked them if they would be willing to follow a group of juvenile offenders 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 to work for free two hours per week as counsellors for a minimum two years- no one agreed to volunteer. But when they followed up the students' refusal with the request to take the youths to the zoo, approximately 50% of the students agreed. Only college students, not same persons in the two tests.
More likely to comply if people already made a promise to part of the request.
Cialdini et al
Asked a class of first-year psychology students to volunteer to be part of a study on cognition that would meet at 7a.m. Though enthusiastic about psychology, there were only 24% who was willing to sacrifice their sleep. In a second group they were asked the same favor, but this time they were not told a time. Of these, 56% agreed to take part. When they were then told to meet at 7 a.m.- and that they could back out if they wished. no one backed out of their commitment. On the day of the actual meeting 95% of had promised to come showed up.
One of the key ways that a society or culture passes down its values and behaviors to its members is through an indirect form of social influence. The tendency to adjust one's thoughts, feelings, or behavior in ways that are in agreement with those of a particular individual org, or with accepted standards about how a person should behave in specific situations.
Wanted to find out to what extent a person would conform to an incorrect answer on a test if the response from the other members of the group was wrong. The participant entered a room where there were 6 people and the researcher. The people in the room confederates, which helped the researcher to deceive the participant. They were told that they were going to take part in psychological experiment on visual judgement. The participants was asked to select the line from the second card that matched the length of the first card. Some differences was hardly noticeable while others were obvious. The confederates had been instructed to answer right some trials but wrong in the majority. ABout 75% of the participants agreed with the confederates incorrect answer at least once. A mean of 32% half the trials. 24& did not conform. Self-doubt, ruin, did not dare to go against
Group size, unanimity, confidence, self-esteem
Factors influencing the likelihood to conform
Bond and Smith
A meta-analysis of 133 studies from 17 countries was conducted to investigate if conformity levels to Asch's paradigm have changed over time and if there were a cross-cultural differences. Analysis of US studies indicated that conformity levels had decreased since the 1950's. Analysis of cultural variables tended to show higher levels of conformity in collectivistic cultures than in individualistic.
Ecological validity, cultural differences, dated, ethical considerations
Limitations Asch paradigm
Mosovici and Lage
Four participants and two confederates, the minority of two confederates described a blue-green color as green. They found that minority was able to influence about 32% of the participants to make at least one incorrect judgement about the color. The participants continued to give their incorrect responses after the two confederates had left the experiment.
a cumulative set of knowledge, experiences, beliefs and behaviors shared by a group. Provides an ordered system of meaning and symbols that helps human beings interpret their experience and guide their social interaction
Shared and integrated patterns of beliefs and practices that characterize a cultural group. They are transmitted across generations and regulate behavior in accordance with the group's unique system.
Distinct value constructs that serve to distinguish one culture from another.
Classic study incolved asking employees of the multinational company IBM to fill in surveys about morale in workplace. He then carried out a content analysis on the responses he received, focusing on the key differences submitted by employees in different countries. His research looked at the 40 most represented countries in the surveys. The trends he noticed he called dimensions.
Markus and Kitayama
Characterized the difference between US and Japanese culture by citing two of their proverbs "In America, the squeaky wheel gets the grease; in Japan, the nail that stands out gets pounded down" Perceiving a boundary between the individual and social environment is distinctly western in its cultural orientation, and that non-western cultures tends towards connectedness.
Looks for universal behavior. The approach decides what is to be studied before arriving in the new culture. Study behavior from an ethnocentric viewpoint with the goal of comparing cultures.
Looks to understand culture ina nd of itself. After getting used to a culture, researchers then decide how to carry out their research with the help of local researchers.
Carried out a research in Rwanda to determine the level of PTSD and depressions among the local population after the genocide. Initial reports by aid workers had determined that the overwhelming majority of the population suffered from the disorder. Worked together with local people to determine a symptom list for what the locals determined to be abnormal grief reposes. Levels fell much lower.
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