Open main menu

Teall McQueen

Joined 22 July 2008

IntroductionEdit

I am really excited about taking this course this semester...and let me tell you I don't say that kind of thing often! I had my first tutorial on Tuesday and what interested me the most was just how diverse one little tutorial class can be! We played a game in which we got into groups based on our social world (things such as religion, relationship status, where in which Canberra we lived), which was an excellent way to get to know people better. I am now in my third year and have been with most of the people in our class throughout that time and never knew much more than their names.

I hope I am not the only one who is scared off at the thought of such an assessment item...as I am about as computer illiterate as they come...so any feedback or comments are very welcome! --Teall McQueen 10:23, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

An interesting/funny social experimentEdit

I found this clip on youtube...What i find so interesting is that some people react with shock and dismay..yet others don’t really seem that phased? Are they scared of making a scene? One thing i would like to learn this semester is why people react so differently in confronting situations? Take a look...it made me laugh [1]--Teall McQueen 06:57, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Introduction to Social Psychology:Edit

a branch of psychology that seeks a broad understanding of how human beings think, act, and feel!

Social psychology is the study of how individuals and groups interact. Social psychologists main aim is to gain an understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals. They use this knowledge to find the effect that the presence of other people (real or imagined) have on the thoughts feelings and behaviours of individuals. Social psychology is built around a concept known as the ABC triad.

ABC triad:

Stands for Affect - how people feel about themselves - how people feel about others - Individuals attitudes towards various issues

: Stands for Behaviour - what people do - various actions individuals engage in such as falling in love, beating someone up, joining then netball team ect.

: Stands for Cognition - what people think about - how people think of themselves and others - what individuals think about the problems and issues in their social environment.

Some topics in which social psychologists are interested in are: Attitudes, Social cognition, Social influence, Altruism, Aggression, Prejudice and Environmental psychology. You can gain an insight into each of these topics (and more) by reading on - Enjoy!

The SelfEdit

The Self:

  • 'The essential qualities distinguishing one person from another'
  • 'One's identity'
  • 'An essential part of being a person'
  • 'The understanding of one's own nature or basic qualities'

According to Baumeister & Bushman (2008) the self contains three parts: self-knowledge, interpersonal self and agent self.

Self-knowledge: is the beliefs an individual holds about themselves - the book states that you could probably think up 15 - 20 specific answers without thinking that hard - however, i had trouble thinking of 5 let alone 15 - i then asked around at my workplace and they were even worse - is this because we lack self-knowledge? or is the idea of self- knowledge to broad? (like most concepts in social psychology)

Interpersonal self: the self we put on when we walk outside of the house or the image we like to upkeep in public - this idea of an interpersonal self got me thinking if one single person can have a number of public selves? and does our public self change as we get to know a certain person? In my own experience...i have different self’s for different situations...i have a work self where i am polite and overly nice to customers even though the majority are rude...i have a family self where i have an ever changing self (all the emotions encase this self)...i have a friend self who tries to listen and comfort in times of crisis and laugh in times of joy...but i find as i get to know someone well, my public self slips and they see less of my public self and more of my 'real self'

Agent self: Your decisive self - this is the self that gets things done and makes decisions - a very good self to have!

Another aspect of the self is self-awareness which consists of two parts: private self-awareness and public self-awareness. Private self-awareness consists of attending to inner states such as emotions, thoughts, desires and traits. This concept reminds me of emotional intelligence (the ability to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self). Public self-awareness refers to attending to how you are perceived by others. This concept also reminded me of another intelligence - social intelligence. Edward Thorndike defined social intelligence as "the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations" - Are these the same concepts with different names?

Whilst reading the chapter on the self, i came across an idea that applies to university students - the idea of self-handicapping. Self-handicapping refers to the idea that some individuals place obstacles in the way of their own performance. An example of self-handicapping is a student going out drinking all night long before an important exam. Instead of attributing the low exam score to lack of intelligence - the student can blame the low score on the amount of alcohol they consumed the night before. But what if the student did really well on the exam? would they take extra credit for doing well, considering the circumstances? This idea reminded me of another social psychology concept known as self-serving bias - the tendency to take credit for success by deny blame for failure. Using this principle, the student may do well on the exam and attribute exam success to the fact that they are a genius! If the student does badly on the exam they would be more inclined to attribute the failure to an outside source (drinking the night before).

When thinking about the idea of self-handicapping i thought of a musician who may be utilising this strategy - Amy Winehouse. She had a sensational career ahead of her with # 1 hits all over the world - why then would she turn so drastically to drugs and alcohol? According to the the self-handicapping strategy, Winehouse may believe she is unable to repeat her previous success and instead turn to drugs and alcohol. This way she still receives attention for being a trashbag, which in turn reminds people about the successful music career that once was.

Social ThinkingEdit

Social Cognition: Attempts to explain the behaviour of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985).

Social Influence: When we change our beliefs, or how we behave, after observing the attitudes or actions of others. This change occurs due to social influence. This influence changes our attitudes, values and behaviours in response to the attitudes and behaviours of others.

One area of social influence that really interests me is normative influence. Normative influence involves conforming with a certain groups standards in order to be liked and accepted. Whilst at school a group was formed called the 'goths' (also known as gothics), this group started dressing in black clothing and wearing heavy eye make-up. This group claimed to dress this way to avoid conforming to society’s dress code. What i found interesting about these anti-conformists was that every new group member started to wear black clothing and heavy eye make-up. Why does this anti-conformist group end up to conforming to the gothic ideal? By reading the chapter i learned that humans have a fundamental need to belong to social groups. Humans learn to conform to their groups rules to avoid rejection. This concept was studied by Solomon Asch in his 'conformity study'. This experiment studied the extent to which pressure from others will affect ones perception and the effect a large group has over one individual. A video of this can be found through this link[2].

 
Soloman Asch’s Famous Conformity Experiment During these conformity studies, participants frequently followed the majority judgement, even when the majority was wrong!

With this in mind, i wonder if the experiment would work on a bunch of social psychology students? We have all learnt the outcome of the experiment throughout our degree - something tells me however that even though we understand the aim of the experiment, the drive to gain social acceptance and avoid rejection would keep us from answering correctly.

One concept from social cognition that i sure most of our social psychology class can relate to is an Information overload. An information overload occurs when there is too much information to comprehend or integrate. It is defined as a state of having too much information to make a decision or remain informed about a topic - good luck with exams everyone! dont let the overload get you down! :)

AggressionEdit

After watching the very confronting documentary 'Ghosts of Rwanda' i had many mixed emotions of the issues that were raised in the film. For the first time in my life i felt a sense of guilt to have white skin. This division between Rwandans and 'white people' was portrayed perfectly in the film where the UN and media went to save an American from a refuge... Rwandans were pleading with the media to help them, yet all they did was drag a hysterical American woman through the crowd of blank faced Rwandans. When i saw their faces i thought to myself are they blank because they know their fate?...have they accepted that they have no choice but to stay there and face whatever may come?

 
Aggression is not an emotion, such as anger!
 
I had to laugh at the title of this image: "shut up you white bitch!"

This awful act of aggression was made into a Hollywood film called 'Hotel Rwanda' [3]. The documentary made reference to a hotel that later became a refuge for Rwandans and a base for the UN. This hotel is known as 'Hotel Des MilleCollines' (see image) and is where the movie is set. It is a must see film and touches on most of the issues raised in the documentary (also slightly less graphic). More details about the genocide and the films plot can be found in Wikipedia.

Definition: Any behaviour intended to harm another person who is motivated to avoid the harm.

  • Aggression is any beahviour that you can see
  • Aggression is not an emotion such as anger
  • Aggression is intentional - and the intent is to harm!

The theoretical model of social learning stipulates that people learn aggressive behaviours through observing others - also known as modeling. This idea was studied by Albert Bandura in his classic 'Bobo doll experiment'. The experiment had a model bash and beat a blow up doll while children observed their behaviour. Children were then allowed into play with the doll - what Bandura found was that children who had witnessed the aggressive act also acted out aggressively on the poor bobo doll. A video of the experiment can be found here: [4]. So to what extent does this apply to the real world? I found this clip on you tube - It portrays perfectly that what children see...they do!! Check it out [5]

A few questions arose in my mind when reading about the social learning theory and modeling - Do children who play violent video games act violently towards others? & could these video games be to blame for the high school massacres in America? What do you guys think???

PrejudiceEdit

Prejudice is defined as a negative feeling toward an individual based solely on their membership in a particular group.

Prejudice = to 'Pre-Judge

Prejudice comes in many forms: Disability, Racial, Ageism, Sexism and Socio-economic class.

While researching this topic i came across a quote by Gordon Allport: “Why do human beings slip so easily into ethnic prejudice? They do so because of two essential ingredients…--Erroneous generalisation and hostility – are natural and common capacities of the human mind” According to Allport, prejudice attitudes are not necessarily the result of a hateful ideology, limited intellect, or a disordered personality. Group attitudes affect people's social perceptions and behaviours implicitly, without a person being aware of such influences, or having any control over them. Does Allport believe that prejudice is innate? According to the textbook (Baumeister & Bushman)he may be correct. Children are taught through socialisation to dislike and reject certain groups. Such stereotypes are learned through socialisation. Both the authors of the text and Allport believe that prejudice is innate and a natural occurrence. To read more: Reference: Allport G.W.(1954). The nature of predjudice.Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Whilst reading the chapter i came across an interesting topic of prejudice against the obese. What intrigued me was that obese individuals are likely to earn up to 6% less income than others. According to the text, the cumulative effect of this over a 40 year period is that an obese worker will actually loose $100,000 of their income.

Keeping this in mind, i came across this blog entry by Perez Hilton (a hollywood gossip blogger):

If you're overweight in Alabama, you better start getting in shape or the government is going to start charging you fees!

That's the case for their over 37,500 state employees. The state government is giving all of their employees one year to start getting fit. If not, they're going to be charged $25 a month, basically to pay for insurance which is otherwise free. It's similar to the legislation they already have where they charge employees that smoke a fee of $24 a month. Though that resulted in some success in getting people to quit smoking. But it's going to suck if Alabama thinks you're too fat and smoke too much. Double the fees! This will be the first state ever to charge overweight state workers who don't try and slim down. Why can't Alabama be proactive like other states and just reward those employees that "adopt healthy behaviours"? Alabama is the currently the second most obese state in the country. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30.3% are now obese. But is this the right way to go about things? Just this week, the State Employees' Insurance Board approved a plan to charge state workers if they don't have free health screenings starting in January 2010. And if those screenings show that there are any serious problems with obesity, cholesterol, blood pressure and the sort, employees will have one year to see a free doctor and enrol in a wellness program. If not they can take their own measures to improve their health. But if they don't show any progress in a follow-up screening, they'll have to start paying the fee starting the following year. Anyone found with a body mass index of 35% or hight, or who is not making progress, will be considered obese and be required to pay up. A BMI of 30% is what's considered "the threshold for obesity." Robert Wagstaff, a state employee that serves on the insurance board, says" We are trying to get individuals to become more aware of their health." Many employees are not too thrilled with the decision. Duh!

College professor and founder of a body acceptance workshop, E-K. Daufin, says "I'm big and beautiful and doing my best to keep my stress levels down so I can stay healthy. That's big, not lazy, not a glutton and certainly not deserving of the pompous, poisonous disrespect served up daily to those of us with more bounce to the ounce."

It seems it pays to lose weight! What do you guys think? is this an extreme strategy to help people become healthy? or prejudice against the overweight?

For more information check out this video of a knowledgeable man speaking about the prejudice and discrimination of obese individuals [6]


Jane Elliot's Blue Eye/Brown Eye ExperimentEdit

 
Brown eyes: The superior group
 
Blue eyes: The inferior group

Jane Elliot first conducted the Blue eye/Brown eye experiment with her third grade class to demonstrate prejudice. The basic idea was to separate the class into two halves - those with blue eyes and those with brown. She spoke and treated the blue eyes as inherently inferior to the children with brown eyes - they were denied access to play equipment, told they were stupid, and not allowed to socialise with members of the 'superior group'. The next day the roles were reversed, with the blue-eyed children treated as superior. What she found was that prejudice caused students in the inferior group to obtain lower test scores, have lower enthusiasm levels, and show more hostility towards activities in the classroom.

The experiment has since been repeated with both children and adults. We were lucky enough to watch a more recent experiment conducted by Jane in Australia in 2001. I watched in shock as Jane Elliott unrelentingly ridiculed and humiliated the blue-eyed people. When participants expressed sadness, shame, or tears, she drilled in the point that participants only have to live this reality during the workshop, while Indigenous Australians receive this treatment for their lifetime.

While i agree that this experiment achieves the aim of demonstrating prejudice in its purest form, i disagree with the way in which the experiment is carried out. Firstly, this experiment seems to conflict with ethical considerations. I find it appalling that she carried out such an exercise among third graders - who in my opinion would not have the capacity to understand the concepts behind the experiment. i also disagreed with the way she handled participants who wished to leave the experiment - what happened to the famous experiment saying "you are free to leave at any time"??? In her case it should have been adapted to "you are free to be ridiculed for leaving". Finally, It was clear that some were deeply affected by the experiment and i wonder to what extent, if anything, participants were debriefed??

RelationshipsEdit

 
Relationships: The connection between two or more people, and their involvement with one another, especially in regards to the way they behave towards and feel about one another.

"The best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are...good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you...The right person's still going to think the sun shines out of your arse...That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticken with!" The Supportive Dad from JUNO the movie

All humans have the need to belong - we need both positive social contact and ongoing relationships in which people share mutual respect, concern, and care for each other in order to belong.

Love: The 2 kinds:

Passionate Love: strong feelings, longing, desire and excitement for each other. This type of love is accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate ect). This type of love reminds me of the type of love an individual experiences in the beginning of a relationship. As love changes it progresses into companionate love.

Companionate Love: strong affection remains however, may not be accompanied by physiological arousal. A companionate lover is also known as an individual’s soul mate and best friend in life. This type of love reminds me of say the love that my grandparents share...they bicker one minute then laugh the next.

Why do people stay with their long-term relationship partners? According to the investment model of maintaining relationships, there are three factors that hold it all together!

  1. Satisfaction: If you like your partner, you are more likely to stay together
  2. Quality of available alternatives: You may not be satisfied in your relationship, therefore you may look for alternatives. If a high-quality alternative partner (say Brad Pitt) came along your commitment to your current partner may weaken.
  3. How much you have invested in the relationship: Investments consist of time, effort, emotion, friendships made during the relationship, and other resources that you cannot replace. If you are married to a person for 40 years, the investments that you have made during that relationship such as children, joint savings, owning a home, mutual friends, ect. cannot be replaced by another person. These three factors significantly predict whether couples stay together or separate.

To sum up, the investment model stipulates that the more people have to lose by leaving the relationship, the more they should be committed to it. To read more about the investment model and how it contributes to commitment take a look at this study: [7]

AttractionEdit

If you are to pick up any fashion magazine today you will probably be mistaken into thinking that the ideal female body shape is that of an adolescent boy. However, this has not always been the case. Stars such as Marilyn Monroe's waist hip ratio helped her attractiveness. Slender women (see image)

are only found alluring by certain cultures. According to Furnham (2008), individuals value slenderness more as they move up the social and economic ladder. In comparison, poorer cultures desire a plumper appearance as it represents wealth. What i found more interesting is that body size matters very little in attractiveness...what individuals find more appealing are faces and how attractive they are.

What makes an attractive face?:Symmetry!

Symmetry occurs when a face is exactly the same on both sides. It represents health and good genes (something we all look for in a potential partner). James touched on this topic during the lecture but for more information take a look at this [8]

 
Males tend to look for physical attractiveness, whereas women tend to look for wealth and status

Is beauty blind? In the 'looking for love' section of the newspaper you will always find a man looking for physical attractiveness, whereas women will look for wealth and status. This difference in priorities may explain why Donald Trump is married to a stunning woman. Something i found interesting is that women find feminine features attractive on a man. This is because women look for a trade-off between good friends and good fathers. According to Furnham (2008), a man with feminine features has better parenting skills.

For more information on attraction find a copy of: Swami, V. & Furnham, A. (2008). The psychology of physical attraction.UK: Routledge.

Here is the book's website - listen to the interview with one of the authors for information about research in this field. [9]

 
Best friends: Similarity also occurs in friendships! By and large a best friend is someone who is most similar to you - usually in age, sex, size, intelligence level, & social class!

What are we really attracted to?:

Do opposites attract or do birds of a feather flock together??? It seems that birds of a feather wins this round - social psychologists have found that similarity is a common and significant cause of attraction! I had to laugh whilst reading the example in the textbook of the poor young man who made contact with an internet lover only to find that it was his mother! - i would just like to add that she must have been concealing more than just her identity because i have no idea how either of them did not piece together the clues previously?? Building of the previous idea of Donald Trump and wife Melania - is this an example of opposites attract or birds of a feather? On the one hand it may be possible that ugly old men may be your thing and that she was attracted to the opposite of her - or - it is possible that he is a rich man that mingles with high-class women such as Melania and are therefore very similar and share many of the same interests?

One love story that i love is the fairy tale of our own Princess Mary and the Crown Prince of Denmark: Prince Frederick. What i wonder though about these two is what attracted him to her?? Is it the matching law that states that people tend to pair up with others who are equally attractive - well yes! they are in my eyes equally attractive, but is that it? i cant imagine that they would share many similarities seeing that she was a business woman from little old Tasmania and he was the Crown Prince!! Is this relationship an exception - maybe this is one circumstance in which we can use the old cliche that opposites really do attract!

Groups and LeadershipEdit

Case Study: The Experiment Film - A dark testament to the corruption born of absolute power

This film was recommended to me by a friend who said that if i am studying the effects of leadership and groups it was a must see! And he was right! this film shocked me to the core...i was so disgusted to see the effect power and authoritarianism can have on an individual. Here is a brief summary of the film..

The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971 by Phillip Zimbardo. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. The 'prisoners' are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the 'guards' are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting the payment they would have received if finishing the experiment. In the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. After about 3 days in this simulated environment however, the participants begin to convincingly behave as their roles. What you notice so strongly when watching the film is how thick and fast power takes over the guards...they become very arrogant and cruel. Prisoners were made to clean toilets with their clothing and bare hands, the main character was urinated on, suffocated and his head shaved to stop him from speaking out of turn. Whilst the authoritarian tendencies began to escalate among the 'guards', the 'prisoners' became withdrawn and developed neurotic like symptoms. The climax of the film is where the 'guards' sense that the experiment will be aborted and abduct the actual experimenters to exert their dominance. I wont spoil the rest of the ending for those who wish to see it.

What shocked me the most was that these events really did occur (not to the same extent as it was dramatised for the film). One third of the guards developed real sadistic tendencies whilst the majority of the prisoners were psychologically traumatised. Zimbardo recognised that roles had been taken on too seriously... beyond what he had expected and terminated the experiment after six days. Thankfully ethical considerations have since been developed and an experiment like this will never be repeated.

Groups:

A group: a collection of people that share common expectations, obligations & identity. I love this clip from you tube capturing the many different groups that make up one American high school! check it out here -> [10]

Group Action:

Social facilitation: Social facilitation proposes that individuals are aroused into performing whilst being watched by others. Social facilitation has three sub-categories:

  1. Audiance effects: Stipulates that tasks are performed better whilst being watched by others, rather than when they are alone.
  2. Coactor effects: Are caused when individuals are in competition with each other, they perform better! Was this why James chose this assessment item??
  3. Evaluation apprehension: Individuals increase their effort when others are present because they want others to evaluate them favorably - Maybe another reason James chose this assesment item???
     
    Social loafing occurs a lot in university settings.

I went out to dinner last week with a group of friends (3 males and 3 females). Our group had ordered loads of food. What i noticed throughout the meal was two of sub-categories of social facilitation in action! Firstly, coactor effects were evident by the males in the group - they ate and ate and ate, not because they were hungry but because they were in competition with each other! The girls on the other hand were eating tiny portions, did they not want to get fat? My bet is that they wanted the males to evaluate them favorably (evaluation apprehension!).

Social loafing: We are all part of a group. We are all a group of university students. We all belong to a particular tutorial group and we have all participated in group presentations and assignments. What interested me the most in tuesdays lecutre was the idea of social loafing. The idea that peoples effort on a task decreases when working within a group, compared to working alone. If this is a known phenomenon, why is it that there is such a preference for them throughout an undergraduate degree?. Maybe it is to learn to work within a group and learn that there are people that will free ride off the work of others. When i think about it, this lesson is a valuable one! We all may whinge and moan that we have to work twice as hard to cover for the slack one in the group and that group assignments are the worst thing in the world, but having not learnt that this actually occurs and how to prepare for it makes us all better group contributors for when we face the big wide world of the work force!.

Social disengagement: Breeding ground for fundamentalism. By Hugh MackayEdit

Hugh Mackay's lecture brought up many issues that are relevant to todays society. What i loved most about the lecture was that he was not talking about vague issues, but rather issues in which we can all relate to in some way or another! His lecture was based around four main themes that encompass the 'revolution' that Australia has been living through. The four themes consist:

  • Gender
  • Economy
  • Technology
  • Identity

One topic that caught most of my attention was marriage or lack of it! - Mackay stated that due to the high divorce rate in Australia (45% of marriages end in divorce) the marriage rate has decreased. This may be due to a numerous amount of reasons, however Mackay suggested that it may be due to the ever increasing amount of choice that we have all been given and we want to keep our options open, or that females are becoming more educated causing them to put off child bearing all together or until they are older. As a young female, this got me thinking! - how do i feel about marriage and childbearing? Firstly, i agree with him entirely that our generation (the Y2K generation that is) are given opportunity after opportunity and almost every option is available to us. When i left school i was able to travel and live in a different country for a year, then i was able to come to university and attain a degree, after i leave uni i have ample choices that i can make and let me tell you marriage nor babies comes even close to many choices that i may take. If my feelings are shared by other young females out there, what hope do we have for the future? Does this mean that females will push the boundaries of child birth and have them at a much older age? And marriage, will the divorce rate continue to dwindle? causing the marriage rate to follow suit? Let me know your opinions on this - are there any young females out there who hold differing views and cant wait to have a child and settle down??

ProsocialEdit

 
Doing what is best for an organisation, without necessarily gaining selfish benefits is known as the "good soldier" syndrome.

Prosocial Behavior: Doing something that is good for other people or for society as a whole.

Forms of Prosocial Behavior:

  1. Obeying the rules to have 'effective rule of law'.
  2. Conforming to socially accepted standards of proper behavior.
     
    Prosocial Player?
  3. Cooperating with others for the greater good of mankind.


Much of prosocial behaviour is stimulated by others. One concept of prosocial behaviour that interested me is the idea that prosocial actions are motivated by wanting to make a good impression. The textbook provides a good example of people donating large amount of money at church hand arounds because they are in the presence of others. This got me to thinking about the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. This foundation has been set up to help the poor, grow infrastructure and agriculture in developing countries, and develop initiatives to reduce poverty. The foundation plans to spend a large amount of Mr Gates wealth on these initiatives. This is a good example of prosocial behaviour. However, is he spending this money because the whole world is watching? It is no secret that he is the wealthiest man in the world and clearly has money to burn. Is it his self-interest dictating this prosocial act? By spending this money, he will be admired for his behaviour. My point here is…because Mr Gates has so much to spare is this really a prosocial act?…or just an attempt to look good in front of others?

The Bystander Effect: The bystander effect intrigued me so much that I chose it as my essay topic. If you are interested in reading more I have made a sub page including useful references and my actual essay. To see click here: Bystander effect

Following on from the bystander effect, why do people help?? There are two motives for helping behaviours. The first is known as egoistic helping and the other is called altruistic helping!

Egoistic helping: occurs when a helper seeks to increase his or her own welfare by helping another person. This motive for helping reminded me of a situation i encounted last week at a shopping centre where a little old lady had dropped her shopping and out of no where a big handsome man (with an ego the size of America) run over to help...i thought to myself, did he help her because he really wanted to...or to show off to the young lady walking beside him which would in turn raise his ego even further? Im placing my bets on the fact that he was increasing his own welfare!

Altruistic helping: occurs when a helper seeks to increase another's welfare and expects nothing in return. I also encountered a situtaion recently in which this motive occured. I was driving along with my dad when we noticed a man on the side of the road with a flat tyre. My dad being mr fix-it pulled over to help him. He had no reason to help him other than to increase the welfare of the poor man stuck on the side of the road...because it did nothing for our welfare...it just made us late!!!

Environmental PsychologyEdit

What is it? Environmental psychology studies the interactions and relations between people and their environments.

This aspect of psychology really interested me as it is so different in comparison to what we normally learn about throughout our degree (for example, Freud, Skinner, Maslow, Bandura, ect.). This lecture brought to my attention just how important the environment is to each and every one of us! Just think about the photos, artworks and screensavers around our home involving nature, not to mention the dream of owning a house overlooking the ocean. Though we all love the environment, do we forget about it?

I actually should thank James for the lecture as i believe i was suffering nature-deficit disorder (spending too much time indoors and not enough time outdoors). In my day-to-day life i spend to much time indoors, i even exercise inside at a gym, however since the lecture i now try to get out into nature and exercise and you know what...i feel better for it! I definitely think that the 'green prescription is a great idea and i will be interested to see the effectiveness of such programs in the future years. While i am interested to see the effectiveness, i agree with Howard Frumkin and his idea that "yes we need research, but we know enough to act".

Our Beautiful Environment

 
Canberra - A city which lacks environmental stressors!

Another topic of interest is the idea of environmental feedback! Im sure by now we have all seen the big signs on the side of the road providing feedback about our water consumption. I am really interested in its effectivness! I know that when i see that we are using under the target amount i generally take a longer shower the next day! It works the other way aswell when i see that we are using beyond the target i generally cut down my water use...what i would like to know is if others share my mentallity?? Does this type of feedback help the situation? or hinder it? I would be really interested in what you guys think???

I have lived in Canberra for most of my life and am not afraid to say that i absolutely love this city! However, Canberra reciveves a lot of flack becuase it is too quiet and reminds many city slickers of a ghost town! According to the readings however living in this small city may be good for us! Unlike other cities (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne) Canberra has, in my view, the least amount of environmental stressors. We do not have an international airport which means less noise, we hardly have any traffic (which means again - less noise and pollution), our city is not a concrete jungle with vast open green spaces, and no one can say that Canberra's population is crowded!. The only stressor that Canberra may have is temperature - when its hot its hot and when its cold its cold! So for all of you out of towners - take a moment to think about the environmental benefits of living in such a wonderful place!

In ConclusionEdit

This unit of psychology has definalty opened my eyes to many different concepts! It has made me question,adapt and change my views on many different situations. Another aspect that i enjoyed was the assesment items that James has set. Being able to choose the topic in which you write about was liberating but also created more interest in the topic that was chosen. The e-portfolio was also interesting and so different to any assesment item i have ever encountered!

One suggestion James would be to hold one tutorial in the computer labs to educate people about wikiversity and provide some sort of introduction into editing.

Will definalty be recommending this class to others! --Teall McQueen 03:18, 1 November 2008 (UTC)