Open main menu

IntroductionEdit

  • Hi guys welcome to my page cant wait to get into this subject looks so interesting im very excited!! hope you all feel the same!! chat soon!!!
  • Reido :)


Confused and PuzzledEdit

hi everyone

I found today’s lecture so interesting when James was talking about how we are more interested in the causes of our events than the actual events themselves. It made me think that I do this all the time as I sit and analyse quite small events in my life and wonder what caused these things to happen instead of worrying about the actual event, which causes the event to completely blow out of proportion. I guess what I really want to know is why we do this? I get that we are looking for a sense of cognitive control which in turn might help us predict the future, which will then hopefully prepare us for how we should react! But why do we need to do this, why cant we just let things flow and not worry???

  • Reido :) 5/8/2008



The Social SelfEdit

  • The purpose of a self is to enable us to relate to others and helps us claim, sustain and feel accepted within a culture or society
  • Its seems to be that the concept of the social self is a lot like Freud’s concept of our ego as the self (ego) has strong impulses to want what is best for itself (Id) but must be kept under control by our social conscience (super ego) so that we operate effectively in our social world.
  • According to our text our self is made up of three parts:

1) Self knowledge (also known as our self concept) – This is personal information about ones self, it is our self awareness, self esteem and self deception. It enables us to develop our own sets of beliefs, feelings and thoughts about ourselves. I feel this is true as I am and I’m sure many others are always reflecting and judging our beliefs, feelings and thoughts about our selves, whether it be in a good way or a bad way

2) Interpersonal self – This is our public self, the self we show to everyone we meet. I feel we need this self for protection from society and it is not until you truly know and trust someone that this mask of protection falls down. I also feel that in some circumstances no matter how well you know that person that this mask of protection will never fully come off and maybe it’s because you know subconsciously you don’t trust that person or you feel pressured to act a certain way with them?? I also feel the mask of protection must stay on in certain situations as we all must act in a certain way to be accepted by society as we all want social acceptance but why can’t we just simply be accepted for who we are??? Really why do we need this interpersonal self??

3) Agent self or executive function – we all need one of these as it is the self that makes our decisions and takes both self control and in some situations control of others to get things done, as we are all doers with some stronger then others!!

What makes the self the Individual or Society?????

  • I feel that it is mostly society that makes us ourselves of course with a touch of biological processes. But as I see it society is what we as a population are trying to be accepted in as we all have a need to belong and seek approval (with some more then others) which therefore I feel is in a way controlling how our selves act! But what I want to know is why, why do we need to have acceptance?? Does it come down to the sociometer theory where our self esteem rises with the more social acceptance we have, therefore making us feel better or what???
  • Reido :) 13/8/2008


Thoughts on the Genocide in RwandaEdit

  • Watching the Ghosts of Rwanda documentary was an eye opener into how cruel and prejudice people really are. I never heard about the Rwandan Genocide until now and it just made me feel sick watching it. I was completely shocked that just about everyone knew what was going on but no one was willing to help. Just listening to Laura Lane and how she tried to push for help but nobody wanted to take the risk of American casualties, just made me feel disgusted in America and ashamed to be associated with them. Why is it in today’s society that when one person tries to do something that is morally right no one will help because the majority doesn’t want to. Why is what the majority says always right and considered word. Did nobody do anything because Rwandan’s aren’t Westernised people as Clinton said “…it is not in the interests of America to save these people…” But why? They are still human beings like us?? Just because they are different in colour and cultural ways does not make them any less human then we are does it?? Is westernised culture really that self absorbed and we will only help those of the same colour and culture?? I’m pretty sure that one of the seven American core values for their Armed Forces is ‘Respect – treat others as they should be treated.’ What happened here America??
  • Reido :) 18/8/2008

AggressionEdit

  • Aggression is any behaviour intended to harm another person who is motivated to avoid the harm. According Baumeister and Bushman (2008) there are three parts to aggression.

1) Aggression is behaviour because you can see it. Aggression is not an emotion such as anger nor is it a thought that you mentally rehearse.

2) Aggression is intentional and the intent is to harm.

3) An act of aggression is only aggression when the victim wants to avoid harm so therefore situations such a suicide and sadomasochistic sex play are excluded because the victim is actually seeking harm. In saying this though I feel that such acts of suicide or sadomasochistic sex play should be seen as aggression as it’s not always the actual person seeking out harm but it is the emotional problems and feelings within them that are inflicting this harm upon them????

  • There are two types of aggression according to social psychologists and they are:

1) Hostile Aggression: this type of aggression is known as “HOT” as it is impulsive, angry behaviour that is motivated by a desire to harm someone. For example it is aggression that stems from emotional states, such as aggression towards someone you are arguing with (Bardens & Horowitz, 2001).

2) Instrumental Aggression: this type of aggression is known as a “COLD” pre-mediated calculated behaviour that is motivated by some other goal. For example shooting a homeowner during a burglary (Bardens & Horowitz).

  • The problem with these distinctions is that motives for aggression are often mixed. I support this as well because what if someone was robbing a house because that person always argues with them in class and they end up shooting them just because they don’t want to get caught????
  • There are also many more distinctions in aggression such as verbal aggression vs physical aggression and passive aggression vs active aggression.

Nature vs Nurture debate:

So in looking at aggression is aggression instinctual or a learnt behaviour????

Well the way I feel many behaviours such as aggression are learned and although behaviours such as aggression are innate it is the environment that teaches us how to use these behaviours. In other words we may all have a little aggression in us but we learn from parents, role models and the media what to do with our innate behaviours such as aggression. This therefore supports the theoretical model of social learning as it suggests that people learn aggressive behaviours through observing others. A perfect example of this is in Bandura’s BoBo Doll experiment (see link) [1] Banduras experiment looked at social learning through people learning from imitation. He used children because they haven’t been exposed to social conditioning as much as adults. In his experiment he exposed children to adult models exhibiting aggressive or non aggressive behaviour. After the children were exposed to the two conditions they were placed in a mutual environment where they were observed to see whether they imitated the adult role model’s behaviour. Basically it was found that the children exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to act in an aggressive manner then the children exposed to the non aggressive model. Therefore I feel this is demonstrating my point that aggression is more of a learned behaviour then an innate one. Again an advertisement by Children Friendly Australia (see link) [2] Also demonstrates a good example that behaviours such as aggression are learnt. In conclusion it is hard to fully take one side about aggression, but I feel I am leaning more towards the learning side then the instinct side as our environment clearly has a big influence on the way we act, and although it is an innate behaviour how would we know how to use aggression without someone or something modelling it for us???

 

  • Reido :) 19/8/2008

PrejudiceEdit

  • Prejudice is a negative attitude or feeling toward an individual based solely on that individual’s membership to a certain group.
  • Prejudice is an innate and natural human function and can be positive or negative (but I think it is mostly negative)
  • Prejudice illustrates racism which can be defined as prejudiced attitudes towards a particular race. However in today’s society racism is more subtle and is often seen as aversive racism, which can be defined as someone who simultaneously holds egalitarian values and negative feelings towards minorities. An aversive racist will often believe in racial equality and equal opportunity but they also feel uncomfortable around minorities and try to avoid them when possible.
  • Prejudice feelings also sometimes lead to people discriminating against others, meaning they give unequal treatment to different people based on the groups or categories to which they belong.

Some common terms belonging to prejudice:

  • Stereotypes: Beliefs that associate groups of people with certain traits
  • Subtypes: Categories that people use for individuals who do not fit a general stereotype e.g. career women, athlete
  • Outgroup members: Often referred to as ‘Them’. They are people who belong to a different group or category than you or I do.
  • Ingroup members: Often referred to as ‘Us’. They are people who belong to the same group or category as you and I do.
  • A well known example of prejudice is the Ku Klux Clan to read more about them click here on link [3]
  • As a society I think we need to be less prejudice especially against certain subtypes and stereotypes, such as obese people and people from different races as we have become a very multi-cultural place. In order to do that we need to consciously override our automatic system and change our views consciously; increase available contact as well as contact under the specific conditions such as the members from different groups must be of equal status, the contact must be positive, and the outgroup members must be perceived as typical members of their group (read chapter 12 for more information on this); and set subordinate goals between different groups so they get a chance to work together.
  • Reido :) 22/8/2008


Jane Elliot's Brown Eye Blue EyeEdit

 

  • I thought Jane Elliot’s brown eye blue eye experiment was one of the most interesting things I have watched I really enjoyed it. The aim of her experiment was to teach her little third class children about prejudice after Martin Luther King got killed. On the first day the blue eyed children were seen as the superior race and brown eyed children were discriminated against because of their eye colour. It was just so interesting to see little kids discriminating against each other because of eye colour in such a short period of time. This obviously shows how easy it is to form discriminative opinions against others, therefore supporting what was said in our text about the automatic system. On day two Jane Elliot changed the conditions and the brown eyed children became superior and the blue eyed kids were discriminated against, thus giving them all a chance to see both sides. I thought this experiment was very effective as watching the follow up 14 years later and seeing what those children had to say was just amazing. The children (now adults) said that they really learnt a lot out of that experiment and it has helped them change their views towards racism. It has also helped them as parents teach their kids about racism, as they said “our kids won’t learn prejudice first hand.” I think after watching something like this maybe all schools should implement this in early years of schooling to help consciously override that tendency we have to automatically process information about prejudice thoughts and racism. It was also interesting that this experiment changed children’s grades for the better within a space of 24 hours, therefore again suggesting that it is an effective tool for learning and should be placed in more schools today!

Here is information on the experiment I totally recommend you watch it, it is great!!! [4]

  • Reido 4/9/2008

Social ThinkingEdit

 

  • Social psychologists study how people think about people as it something we think about more than any other topic. I think it is so true when it is said that people are lazy when it comes to thinking because I know just being a busy uni student I never want to think about stuff because my brain gets so fried from studying.
  • There are three types of goals that guide how people think:

1- People want to find the right answer to a problem or question

2- To confirm the desired answer to a problem

3- To reach a pretty good answer of decision quickly

  • Some thinking is automatic whilst other thinking needs conscious control. The four elements that distinguish automatic thinking from a controlled process of thinking are:

1-Intention

2-Control

3-Effect

4-Efficiency

  • Automatic thinking relies on knowledge structures that can be defined as organised packets of information that are stored in memory. They are created by sets of related concepts that are frequently brought to mind or activated. Once activated these knowledge structures simple run their course like an airplane set on autopilot.

Schemas: are knowledge structures that represent substantial information about a concept, its attributions and its relationships

Scripts: are knowledge structures that contain information about how people (or other objects) behave under varying circumstances

Priming: means to activate a concept in the mind which in turn can influence the way we interpret new information.

Framing: means that we see every decision as having potential gains and losses.

SELF SERVING BIAS

  • As I was reading chapter five I came across the part about attributions and it’s not my fault explaining success and failure and found it very interesting. They suggested that the attribution theory was a map into how people interpret success and failure. Fritz Heider analysed what he called the “common sense psychology” by which people explain everyday events. Heider suggested that there are many explanations for behaviour but most fall into two categories.

1- Internal factors – such as ability, attitudes, personality, mood, and effort 2- External factors – such as the task, other people, or luck

  • After reading about this all I could think was when something goes wrong are we more likely to blame it on external factors compared to internal factors?? I feel the answer is yes because that is what the self-serving bias suggests that we are more likely to give credit for our successes and attribute our failures to external circumstances such as bad luck and task difficulty. But why? According to Rosenfeld (1990) the traditional view is that these self-serving biases result from a person’s need to enhance, maintain and defend self-esteem through the attribution of success to the self and failure to the environment to protect their self esteem. Rosenfeld also offered an alternative view and that is that the self-serving bias can be explained by a persons need to have high self-presentation or impression management, meaning it is mediated by a desire to gain a positive public image rather than by a concern for one’s private image. Although both explanations seem like valid points research shows that the self-esteem theory best explains the self serving bias meaning that we have this bias to protect our self esteem (Rosenfeld). What do you guys think??

Rosenfeld, P. (1990). Self-esteem and impression management explanations for self serving bias. Journal of Social Psychology, 130, 495-500.

ATTITUDES

  • What are attitudes? Attitudes are global evaluations toward some object or issue. According to Eagly and Chaiken (1993) attitudes are “a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavour.”
  • Are attitudes the same as beliefs? No because are pieces of information about something, facts or opinions.
  • Dual attitudes are defined as different evaluations of the same attitude object. There are twos parts:

1- an implicit attitude: are automatic and nonconcious evaluative responses 2- an explicit attitude: are controlled and conscious evaluative responses

  • The dual model means that a person can have different competing attitudes in the conscious as opposed to the automatic parts of the mind.
  • So why is it we have attitudes? Well as I see it life is complex and with out some form of attitude how will we make decisions and get through life. They help us in many ways such as helping us to adjust to new situations, help us seek out things that reward us and avoid things that punish us. With out some form of attitude you could get very lost in this big wide world!

INFLUENCES

  • As social influence is such a broad topic social psychologists distinguish between two major forms of social influence.

1 - Normative Influence: this means a person will go along with a crowd in order to be liked and accepted within the group. This may stem from our survival instincts to insure we are not excluded from a group as being with a social group enhances your survival rate. Many people learn to conform to group rules for example when living with someone you have to agree on common beliefs and values or in a work place you have to abide by certain rules to stay there. A good example I can think of is when people first met on ressies and everyone had a need to drink just so they could fit in and not be rejected from the group. Being rejected can be very painful for some people and is maybe why normative influence is so powerful. A famous experiment that demonstrates normative influence is by Asch in the 1950’s click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments to see. In his experiment people followed the group when judging the lines even when the group was wrong. This just shows how powerful groups are and our great need to belong.

2- Informational influence''': means that people go along with a crowd because they feel the crowd knows more than them. Two types of situations produce informational influence:

1- Ambiguous situations – meaning people do not know how to behave 2- Crisis situations – meaning people don’t have time to think for themselves

  • When reading about informational influence all that came to mind was that so many people do this in new situations or in situations of panic for example so many people on the first day of uni were just like follow the crowd of people surely they know where they will be going, I even remember doing this myself. When thinking about the influence of a group in a crisis all I could think is maybe that’s why everyone panics without even knowing what is going on for instance in the boxing day tsunami people probably didn’t even know there was a tsunami but they saw everyone else in a panic so they would have been more likely to get themselves in a panic, even though that’s probably the worst thing they could do. I guess it’s like a form of observational learning??
  • I found it very interesting reading the box about “scared into safe sex?” from chapter 13. It was basically about people trying to stop AIDS by using fear-inspiring anti-AIDS films. The findings suggested they didn’t work on people engaging in sexual behaviour because people often try to resist feeling bad. They also found that people tended to lower the risks for themselves contracting AIDS, maybe meaning that people have an optimistic bias about the risks for contracting AIDS. However findings also found that the fear-inspiring films did work on virgins and suggested this is because they were able to attend to the films as they were not currently at risk for getting AIDS. The reason I thought this was so interesting is because all I could think about was the fear-inspiring anti-smoking ads on TV. Are these ads really helping people quite smoking or just creating a higher optimistic bias towards the effects of smoking? I guess if you based this question off the AIDS findings it’s helping maybe prevent non-smokers from taking up smoking which is good, but it wont be helping people quite smoking or lower their optimistic views about the effects from smoking. So although these fear-inspiring ads may prove useful for influencing non-smokers they might not be very useful for influencing people to quite and reduce their levels of optimism towards their health. What do you guys think??
  • Reido :) 11/8/2008


RelationshipsEdit

  • Whooo the “L word” it can be overused and nothing for many but it also can be such a cherished and special word for others! What is this word we call Love anyway??

According to much research over the years the experts suggests there are two types of love:

1) Passionate Love: Passionate love means having strong feelings of longing, desire and excitement toward a special someone. Passionate love may also be called “Romantic Love.” Passionate love makes people want to spend as much time as possible together, to touch each other and engage in other physical intimacies. People who have this type of love often find joy in just seeing the one they love.

2) Companionate Love: Companionate love is also called “Affectionate Love.” It is less strongly emotional and tends to be calmer and more sincere. People who experience this type of love often perceive each other as their soul mate or special partner. It signifies a high level of mutual understanding and caring and in many cases a commitment to make a relationship succeed, such as marriage. Someone who has high levels in this type of love will often say something along the lines of “my wife is my best friend.”

  • Something I found super interesting whilst reading was that people who feel passionately in love have higher levels of phenylethylamine and this chemical is responsible for that tingling feeling when you are with the person you love!
  • But why is it we make relationships with certain people?? It is obvious that we seek out someone to love and love us back because we have a need to belong but what is it about a certain someone that draws us to them??
  • Firstly I feel physical attractiveness plays a large role. Physical attractiveness seems to significantly effect how society views that person. Physically attractive people are often seen to be happier, have greater sexual warmth, are more popular with others, have a greater intelligence and are often more successful. Therefore a person is more likely to choose someone as a potential partner based on their external appearance. Buss (1994) suggests that both heterosexual and homosexual men are more likely to put greater emphasis on physical attractiveness! Why? Well Buss suggests this may fall back on the evolutionary perspective as men selected partners based on their secondary sexual characteristics, for example symmetrical features, level of fitness, age and physical appearance. These characteristics displayed by a woman were signs of a high fertility rate which means the man viewed a greater reproductive success rate for them and their potential partner. In today’s society I also feel the media has placed emphasis on having a physical attractive partner because any magazine you pick up is smothered in celebrities (both male and female) who are air brushed, super thin, tanned and made symmetrical looking to appear attractive. Even when you type in good looking people to google these types of images pop up. I feel that this may be unconsciously making an ideal partner who is physically attractive in people’s heads, which consequently makes them feel they need to have this ideal person to be accepted in our society. For example, according to magazines good looking men are supposed to be tanned and muscular, therefore to be accepted in society a female may need to find this tanned and muscular male to be with. But this is jus what I think anyone agree??
  • Leading on from attractiveness is similarity. Similarity may play a role in who we pick as a potential partner. The matching hypothesis proposes that we do not seek the most attractive person but that we are attracted to individuals who match our own attractiveness. One of the reasons we do this is to protect ourself from rejection (Eyesneck 2004). There is limited research in the area but one of the most known studies is by Walster and Walster (1969) (cited in Eysneck) where they repeated their computer dance experiment and found support for the matching hypothesis. But why do we pick similar people to ourselves is it because we have been naturally selected for culture and we evolved under the conditions of competing cultures, and it would be to our advantage to be with someone similar or is it a social thing we have facilitated through groups to help each other live better?? I was thinking about this and thought to myself what about all the people out there that aren’t equal in attraction?? Is our decision based on our self esteem? Is it all about how good we feel, for example a person who thinks they are really good looking will go for a really good looking person because that’s their equal according to them, even though when other people look at them physically they are not equal in terms of their attraction. Maybe other characteristics such as personality and intelligence over ride the physical characteristics, but again attractiveness is usually the first thing that draws us to person so I don’t know?? Any thoughts???
  • What about proximity? Proximity or nearness can apparently influence our choices of friends and romantic partners. In the 1930’s Bossard looked at 5000 marriage licences in Philadelphia and found for couples who got married they did previously live in close proximity before they were married. Now I do think that proximity plays a role in some cases as I speak from experience because living on ressies and going to school can make relationships a bit incest at times, but do you think this applies to today’s western world?? I think proximity might not play such a big role anymore because in western society we have a lot of technology to help us communicate with people all around the world. For example you can now date over the net and potentially meet or find someone you want to be with and they could come from Europe or America.

Reference:

M.W. Eysenck (2004) Psychology: an international perspective. Published by Taylor and Francis

Buss, David [1994] (2003). The Evolution of Desire (hardcover), second, New York: Basic Books, 57, 58, 60–63.


  • Reido :) 25/9/2008

Playing Hard To GetEdit

 

  • Does playing hard to get make the human female more attractive to the human male? Well this was my first essay question I received but as there appears to be a paucity of research in the area and consequently I had to change. The only relevant article about this topic is by Walster, E., Walster, G. W., & Piliavin, J. (1973). “Playing hard to get” understanding an elusive phenomenon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 26, 113-121. The article suggests that according to folklore the woman who is hard to get is a more desirable catch than the woman who is too eager for an alliance. The researchers conducted five experiments based on three theoretical models (Dissonance theory, Learning theory, & Schachterian theory) to test the suggestion that a hard to get female is more desirable than an easier to catch female. Researchers basically found that all experiments failed to offer any support. Therefore a sixth experiment was done and hypothesised that a selectively hard to get woman (meaning a woman who is easy to get for the subject but hard to get for other men) will be especially liked by her date compared to a hard to get woman for everyone or an easy to get woman for everyone. Results demonstrated that this hypothesis was supported and basically found that for a man’s choice in a date the selective woman is far more popular. As this article was done so long ago do you still think these same results would be found? I think there is a need for further research in the area as I asked many people this question (both male and females) and they all answered ‘yes it does!’ what does everyone else think??? (Please look it up and read it, it is very interesting).
  • Reido :) 26/9/2008

GroupsEdit

Groups can be defined in many ways:

  • A group is a collection of people usually people who are doing or being something together
  • A group can even be a dyad (meaning 2 people) as they can make decisions jointly, but in saying this, a group of two people would have very different dynamics than a large group of three or more people.
  • Groups can be seen as whole culture, football team, study group, friend group, even people on a bus can be a group. However some groups are more of a group than other groups!

What makes a group feel united?

  • Have a common identity
  • Interact frequently
  • Depend on each other
  • Work towards similar goals
  • Have common beliefs, values and practices
  • Members are often similar to each other
  • Can share emotionally powerful experiences
  • One of the main linking factors in a group is whether members of a group feel similar to each other because if they are too diverse they may find it harder to bring themselves together as a group. Also groups usually have some type of outgroup like an enemy or rival and this also distinguishes them as a group.
  • From an evolutionary perspective groups are important because loners equal losers and groups are people that have survived and passed on their genes. Groups can also be social and culturally orientated.

Social facilitation:

  • Robert Zajunc proposed a theory called the social facilitation theory and it stipulates that being in the presence of others is arousing, which in turn makes you breath faster, makes your heart beat faster, makes adrenaline pump through your system and so on. Zajunc’s theory suggests that being in the presence of others increases your dominant response tendency. Your dominant response tendency can be defined as the most common response in that situation therefore meaning that what ever you are use to doing in a situation you are more inclined to do when in the presence of others. I feel this theory might help explain why athletes and football players might perform better with a bigger crowd in the stands, as they are so use to performing well in those situations and the more people the greater chance have of having a dominant response tendency. Although in looking at this theory if an athlete gets too aroused by the crowd could they be at risk of not performing so well or choking, even though they are so familiar with what they have to do to perform (meaning they are not an amateur)? Therefore maybe the theory should explore to what point arousal makes us perform what we know so well, for example is there an optimal arousal point in which we must be at to perform a well known response and if so when we go above this or under this optimal arousal will performance suffer??

Power:

  • Power in a group context means that one person gets control over another person or others. Power can be very addictive and once you have had a taste of it, it is hard to stop sometimes. An imbalance of power within a group can cause many different effects most of which are harmful. Lord Acton, a British nobleman quoted that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A good example of power becoming harmful and out of control is the Stanford Prison Experiment, as prison guards who became in charge of the prisoners let the power get to their heads and the experiment as I’m sure you all know got out of control. Don’t get me wrong I do believe power is ok in small and controlled doses (just like Keltner, Grunford and Anderson suggested in their theory that power has five crucial effects) but it can easily get out of hand and people need to be cautious of this. Click here for more information on the Stanford Prison Experiment [5] and [6]
  • Reido :) 1/10/2008

Prosocial BehaviourEdit

 

  • Prosocial behaviour can be defined as doing something that is good for other people or for society as a whole. It includes behaviour that respects others or allows society to operate. It is the opposite of antisocial behaviour which means doing something bad for others or for society. Prosocial behaviour is about obeying rules, conforming to socially accepted standards of proper behaviour and cooperating with others.
  • People may wish to engage in prosocial behaviour for many reasons such as self-interest, reciprocity, altruism, social status, guilt, reward, or convenience But do our reasons for engaging in prosocial behaviour mostly stem from the fact that we are born to be fair. Fairness is said to be a part of culture and humans are said to be cultural animals with an impulse to belong to a culture. We have been designed by nature to belong to a culture that works on fairness and social exchange. It is said that if we don’t subject ourselves to sharing (meaning we don’t share with others) it makes us feel bad as a person and can cause psychological disorders such as depression. Therefore it is important to be fair to live a happy healthy life I feel. There has been a distinction between two types of unfairness. These are:

1-Underbenefited - meaning you get less than you deserve

2- Overbenefited – meaning you get more than you deserve Humans who understand fairness fully will understand both these concepts well.

  • Something I thought was so true and very interesting is the effects the rule of law has. A society in which people respect and follow the rules is said to have an effective rule of law and with out laws or ignoring existing laws, the rule of law is said to be lacking and people become unhappy. This can create total chaos for example I remember at school being in a classroom that didn’t have strict rules the class would just run wild and nothing would get done, so I can’t even imagine how life would be without rules in the real world. What do other think???
  • Something I also found interesting whilst reading this chapter (Chapter 8) is that the basic motive to bring help and benefit others is uniquely human. But what is it that makes us help others?
  • Firstly people are more likely to help those who are of the same genes and this is known as kin selection. This applies in any situation where help is needed but strengthened immensely by life and death situations for example rock climbing and two people fall one being your brother and one your mate your more likely to save your brother first. This has also been supported through many twin studies as monozygotic twins are more likely to help one another than dizygotic twins (segal 1984).
  • Secondly there are there are two types of motives for helping people

1- Egoistic helping – in which the helper wants something in return for helping you, meaning they want to increase their welfare in the situation at hand.

2 – Altruistic helping – in which the helper expects nothing in return for helping you out, meaning the helper does not want to increase their welfare in the situation at hand.

  • The main difference between the two is their motive with an egoistic person’s motive being egoism and an altruistic person’s motive being empathy. That is according to the empathy – altruism hypothesis empathy motivates people to help reduce other people’s distress no matter what, whereas someone with a egoistic motive will only want to reduce their own distress by helping the person in need or if they can’t reduce their personal distress that way they will leave the person suffer. Therefore an egoistic person may fall under the negative state relief theory which states that people help others in order to relieve their own distress.
  • Something I found funny is that males are more helpful than females in the broader public sphere towards strangers and in an emergency. This got me thinking why is this? Is it because our world has become so scary due to crime that females feel unsafe to help strangers such as a broken down car on the highway, or do you think it’s got something to do with our social norms, or maybe females are seen as more attractive than males therefore linking up with the beautiful victim research????
  • Reido :) 7/10/2008


Social DisengagementEdit

  • I thought Hugh Mackay brought up many interesting issues that I would love to look at in more depth such as issues with marriage going out of fashion and technology growing at the speed of light but one thing that really stood out for me was his comments on antidepressants tripling over the last 10 years. I think that the ever increasing number of antidepressants is disgraceful, the fact that it has tripled in the last 10 years is just astonishing. Is it really because the world is changing that much that we can not handle life? Or is it because professionals such as doctors and psychiatrists are trying to minimise their workload and give people a quick fix? I just feel that using the excuse that world is changing so fast is just not good enough. I feel some of this comes down to laziness. I feel it is times like this the government and communities need to get up and start developing community based programs where people can come and share their problems and find a sense of support. I feel family values need to be promoted more instead of advertising expensive goods that we apparently need, for example trying to make Sunday a family day to have a picnic or roast together, instead of going shopping for material possessions. Obviously if everyone is not coping we all need to slow down then and start realising that things like money and material possessions aren’t the be all and end all, as they say you can’t take them with you. We just all need to stop for a while and make time for ourselves family’s and friends. I also feel that professional need to seriously start thinking about other ways to approach mental health such as therapy sessions either group or individual and stop turning to drugs just because they are seen as easy because they are less time consuming. I know that in some cases drugs might be the only option and are sometimes needed straight away but in all other cases I feel other approaches are needed before the drugs are introduced. Maybe the fact the APA is thinking about letting psychologists administer small amounts of antidepressants might actually be a good thing as psychologists will be more likely to use therapy before drugs!
  • Reido :) 8/10/2008

EnvironmentalEdit

  • Till this day I have never heard of environmental psychology so it was so interesting to read all about it and listen to James talk about it. Environmental Psychology studies the interactions between people and their environments. Traditionally the field only looked at how the physical environment affects human thoughts, feelings, and behaviours but now it focuses on our actions against the environment. Environmental psychologists can work with many other professionals to study all the aspects about the person/environment relationship. They work with people such as architects, city planners, geographers, sociologists, political scientists or engineers.
  • According to the readings crowding is one of the most heavily studied topics in environmental psychology. Density is a term that refers to the number of people in a given space at a given time. Crowding actually refers to the negative subjective feeling people get when there are too many people in a given space at a given time. People have the ability to adapt to crowding but in some cases it really can decrease a person’s performance, because the feeling of being crowed is considered a stressor. For example I hate crowds and people touching me in a certain space it really frustrates me especially when the temperature is hot and sticky!!
  • There are many areas in which an environmental psychologist can study the how the physical environment affects human thoughts, feelings and behaviours such as:

1) Environmental stress: this term refers to environmental conditions that interfere with optimal human functioning. For example cataclysmic events (like a tornado, tsunami), stressful life events and daily hassles (noise and temperature).

2) Environmental risks: looks at peoples perceptions of the risk posed by our environment and their reactions to this perceived risk. For example we take many risks everyday like crossing the road and eating different types of food.

3) Behaviour settings: looks at how our surroundings such as our physical and social settings influence our behaviours, such as the settings we live in, work in, and play in. But how is it we know what to do in these certain settings like be quite at church and loud in the park is it through observational learning or what???

4) Architectural psychology: focuses on the interaction between the environment and behaviour and how we should design our buildings to meet human needs such as our comfort levels, safety and happiness.

5) Assessing environments: attempts to describe and predict how physical attributes of different places affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

6) The natural environment: looks at how we enjoy and prefer natural settings over man made settings. I totally agree with this one! Since I have moved to Canberra for uni I have missed the beach terribly because I find Canberra so man made and full of concrete it makes me a bit claustrophobic and depressed! Why is this but? Well apparently viewing a natural scenery stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which causes us to relax especially when we are under stress.

  • When looking at the part about how deep are you? I felt I fell into level 2. This is because I understand nature exists for human use but so many people are polluting and damaging our earth. People definitely need more education about the environment and I feel that proper laws and regulations need to further enforced to help manage our planet wisely so that all the future generations great and small can enjoy what we enjoy today!
  • According Sundstorm (1996) the trends of environmental psychology are publication, research, and theory. Since theory would be the basis of the other two here we will look at some of them because environmental psychologists can not seem to make their minds up on a theory so there is a choice of many. So some of the theories for environmental psychology are:

1) Arousal: looks at the influences environmental features such as sound and temperature have on us as humans. The arousal hypothesis predicts optimum performance and satisfaction under conditions of moderate arousal.

2) Environmental load: the overload hypothesis assumes that humans have finite capacity for processing stimuli and information. If we do have an overload we can cope by using selective attentions and ignoring certain bits of information.

3) Stress and adapting: suggests that we have environmental stressors such as temperature and noise but we have certain adaptive mechanisms to reduce stress and its impact. The only thing I thought of with this is I don’t think these mechanisms would work so well under prolonged periods of stress??

  • In looking at environmental psychology I feel it is a very important part of life because we need to understand how our environment influences us but even more so what we can do to preserve it and keep it useful for future generations. Without our environment, who are we going to be because it’s our environment that help us live so we need to help it live too!
  • A good link to find information and get started in helping the environment is right here [7]
  • Reido :) 20/10/2008

ReviewEdit

  • Wow what a unit! I am so glad I got the opportunity to study Social Psychology it has really opened up my mind to many new aspects of psychology. I loved every topic! I also really enjoyed the assessments you gave us James for example I really liked doing the e-portfolio as it gave me a chance to reflect on my readings and lectures and i never normally take the time to do that! It has also been a good way to express my opinions as you don't always get that opportunity in class! I also have found Wikiversity pretty easy to use so I definitely think you should continue using this program! Another good aspect about this unit was the free choice to write about an essay topic that i enjoyed for once! Not many units will let you do that and I really think more units should. I hope my e-portfolio is as useful to everyone else as it has been for me! thanks for everything James!!
  • Reido :)2/11/2008