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Social Psychology Essay

Directions: Using Microsoft Word to save and submit your work, please complete the following homework assignment. Please include a title page with this assignment. Your title page should include the assignment number, course, your name, your instructor, and the date submitted. Please click HERE to view an example. **Remember to use proper APA formatting: Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double-spaced.

1.What does social psychology have in common with folk wisdom and philosophy? How does social psychology differ from both folk wisdom and philosophy? Answer: Social psychology, folk wisdom and philosophy all deal with people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all influenced by what other people think. Social psychology differs from both folk wisdom and philosophy in a variety of ways. Folk wisdom is common sense or the opinions and insights of philosophers, novelists, political pundits, our grandparents and otherwise in the ways of us human beings. Social psychology is an experimentation based science which tests guesses, assumptions, and ideas about human social behavior. While philosophy is the insight about human nature by philosophers or intellectuals. This has more than mere historical significance. In recent decades, psychologists have looked to philosophers for insights into the nature of consciousness and how people form beliefs about the social world but these philosophers usually contradict each other. This is when we are lost because we do not know who to believe.

2.Compare the self-esteem approach and the social cognition approach in terms of the motivations assumed to underlie human behavior. Answer: The self esteem approach is the need to maintain a positive view of ourselves in this world and the need to view the world accurately with no lies or misinterpretations is the social cognition approach.

3.Based on your text’s account of research on self-fulfilling prophecies, explain why some children in a class might perform better than others even if the children are all of similar ability levels.

Answer: According to our text, teachers have been found to treat bloomers (the students they expect to do better) differently in four general ways: They create a warmer emotional climate for bloomers, giving them more personal attention, encouragement, and support; they give bloomers more material to learn and material that is more difficult; they give bloomers more and better feedback on their work; and they give bloomers more opportunities to respond in class and give them longer time to respond.

4.Few would disagree that human aggression is a very pressing social problem that leads to violent criminal acts and that it is important to understand the causes of aggression before we can intervene to reduce it. How would a social psychologist approach this phenomenon? How would a social psychologist’s approach differ from the approach of a personality psychologist or a sociologist?

Answer: Most social psychologists agree that aggression is an optional strategy and a social psychologist would not assume that aggression is inborn or learned but will use experimentation to prove a point. A personality psychologist will use the differences of people about aggression. When trying to explain social behavior, personality psychologists generally focus on individual differences—the aspects of people’s personalities that make them different from others. A sociologist will look at aggression on how society views it, that is how he or she will come up with his or her views on aggression. When trying to explain social behavior—how an individual acts within a social context (in relation to others)—personality psychologists explain the behavior in terms of the person’s individual character traits. Although social psychologists would agree that personalities do vary, they explain social behavior in terms of the power of the social situation (as it is construed by the individual) to shape how one acts. In contrast, sociologists focus their analysis on groupings of people organized in social categories such as family, race, religion, and economic class. While sociologists aim to study larger social processes like historical and political changes or how larger social structures like race and class.

5.Suppose that in a restaurant, a waiter grows impatient with a customer, rolls his eyes, taps his pencil impatiently on his order book, and finally snaps, “I haven’t got all day, you know.” Compare and contrast how a personality psychologist and a social psychologist would attempt to explain such behavior.

Answer: A personality psychologist would say that the waiter is an aggressive and impatient person while the social psychologist would analize the situation by conducting a research on what happened to the waiter. The social psychologist, after coming up with a hypothesis will then come up with an answer on why the waiter acted the way he did.

6.A developmental psychologist who used the correlational method found that there was a positive correlation between children’s self-esteem and their academic achievement. First, what does a positive correlation mean in this case? Second, how might these results be explained?

Answer: A positive correlation means that increases in the value of one variable are associated with increases in the value of the other variable so the positive correlation is that because the group of kids that were expected to do good on the IQ test really did great on the test. It means that there is a positive correlation on what the teachers did even though these kids are not really above the average kids in class. The resulst are easily explained that if you label a certain individual or group to be good and you provide them with emphasis to perform then most likely they will perform on the level that you have predicted them to be at.

7.”What is the relationship between viewing violence on the one hand and behaving aggressively on the other hand?” How might an observational researcher, a correlational researcher, and an experimental researcher answer that question?

Answer: Viewing violence has been linked to behaving aggressively according to researchers. They cited an example about a Texas man who drove to a crowded cafeteria and started shooting people, killed 22 people and then himself. It was then found that he had a ticket of a movie called ‘The king fisher’. An observation researcher would conduct interviews, observations and write a report about his findings. A correlational researcher would study about watching violence and it’s relationship, then he will come up with his findings. An experimental researcher would conduct extensive studies about the subject and really experiment before coming up with a conclusion.

8.Describe three different ways that experimental social psychologists can enhance their faith in the external validity of their experiments. Answer: Three of the best ways to increase external validity is by conducting field experiments, replications, and psychological realism. Psychological Realism The extent to which the psychological processes triggered in an experiment are similar to psychological processes that occur in everyday life. Field Experiments are experiments conducted in natural settings rather than in the laboratory. Replications repeating a study, often with different subject populations or in different settings.

9.According to the authors, cross-cultural research “…is not a simple matter of traveling to another culture, translating materials into the local language, and replicating the study there.” What factors make conducting cross-cultural research difficult?

Answer: Cross cultural research is difficult because it requires more time and effort to conduct. Ussually other cultures will have a different language that they speak. This will add to the difficulty level. Deciphering historical data will also be much difficult and challenging. The cost of travelling to a different place where the culture is and all the equipment and manpower needed to conduct the experiment will add to the difficulty.

10.Dr. Julian conducts an experiment to test the hypothesis that when more witnesses to a crime are present, any one witness is less likely to help the victim. After providing a cover story, she randomly assigns participants to witness a staged crime either alone, in the presence of two other people, or in the presence of ten other people. Then, she assesses how many people make an effort to help. Identify the independent and dependent variables in Dr, Julian’s study.

Answer: Independent Variable is the variable a researcher changes or varies to see if it has an effect on some other variable. Dependent Variable the variable a researcher measures to see if it is influenced by the independent variable; the researcher hypothesizes that the dependent variable will depend on the level of the independent variable.


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