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SocioCultrual Psychology


Kelli Kurle

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of SocioCultrual Psychology

Psychology Social Norms General Learning
Outcomes Sociocultural
cognition the social and cultural environment influences individual behaviour Cultural norms -Define the terms “culture” and “cultural norms”.  
-Examine the role of two cultural dimensions on behaviour (for example, individualism/collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, Confucian dynamism, masculinity/femininity).
-Using one or more examples, explain “emic” and “etic” concepts. Outline principles that define the sociocultural level of analysis (for example, the social and cultural environment influences individual behaviour; we want connectedness with, and a sense of belonging to, others; we construct our conceptions of the individual and social self).
Explain how principles that define the sociocultural level of analysis may be demonstrated in research (that is, theories and/or studies). 
Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the sociocultural level of analysis (for example, participant/naturalistic observation, interviews, case studies).
Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the sociocultural level of analysis. Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour.
Discuss two errors in attributions (for example, fundamental attribution error, illusory correlation, selfserving bias).
Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies.
Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour. Explain social learning theory, making reference to two relevant studies.
Discuss the use of compliance techniques (for example, lowballing, footinthedoor, reciprocity).
Evaluate research on conformity to group norms.
Discuss factors influencing conformity (for example, culture, groupthink, risky shift, minority influence). Human behavior is explained by the social situation more than individual personality. Situations play a more important role than believed
The importance of social situation evolved as most important adaptation for survival over time with cultures
People in all cultures are motivated to belong but the need to belong differs according to culture A common way to study culture is dimension of culture
Best studies offer triangulation between levels of analysis
Experiments-shows cause and effect, clarify theory and supposed to be artificial
Quasi-experiments: variables emerge from ethnographies in cultural psych Surveys & questionaires used in correlation studies
No manipulation of variable
Collect and relate to selected variable
Naturalistic Observation (ethnographies)-observations of cultural group practices
Ethnographies gather detailed knowledge about a group through observations, interviews and focus groups COSI (causality, operationalism, sampling and interpretation)
Causalilty: if you want to infer cause it is unlikely underlying dimension
Operationalism: all operational definitions and methodologies must be the same when comparing cultures
Sampling: research must control all variables that might confound comparisons
Interpretation: problem is cultural attribution fallacy-researchers claim the difference is due to culture when there is no evidence 1. Social psychology research often involves deception.
2. Informed consent is desired, but might negatively influence outcomes. Participants may not be informed on all parts.
3. Participants must be debriefed at end of study
4. Self-efficacy-be careful not to lower somone’s self-efficacy Culture is “a unique meaning and information system, shared by a group and transmitted across generations, that allows the group to meet basic needs of survival, pursue happiness and well-being and derive meaning from life”. Human culture is learned and shared
Language is the most obviously shared pattern of behavior. In order to share cultural practices there must be a way to communicate
Enculturation-how children learn go about learning the practices of culture
Narratives- primary way that children learn about their culture
Need other humans to have culture Rules of a cultural group
Subjective culture-how people view the man-made aspects of their culture Folways-a subgroup has a particular way of doing things
Mores-an accepted set of behaviors
Taboos-what should be avoided
Laws-created and enforced by governments Types of Norms Emergent Norm Theory Turner and Killian (1972) explain the behavioral contagion often shown by crowds by proposing that the collective action of crowds is triggered off by the first people to show a clear pattern of behavior.
Emergent norm becomes “applause”, “run for the fire escape”, or “throw bricks”-> crowd members will blindly follow Norm Theory Marsh (1978) has found that regularly occurring crowds develop implicit roles and norms that guide and regulate behavior.
From studying football crowds Marsh distinguished and named different groups among supporters (novices, rowdies and nutters)
Football hooliganism is not as wild as reported Etics-universal behaviors all families raise their children Emics-culture specific behaviors Latin American families live with extended family in one household and all members take part in child rearing Difference between emics of depression and Western etics Tabassum and colleagues (2000) conducted interview study comparing emic definitions of depressive symptoms from Pakistanis living in UK with existing predominant etic descriptions used by Western psychiatrists treating them
Study explored women’s mental health needs and clarified inconsistencies about frequency of mental disorder, attituds toward mental disorder and attributions contributing to attitdues about mental disorder The study 1st and 2nd generation Pakistani women
29 1st gen, 23 2nd gen
Lived in poor UK urban area
Interviews conducted in family groups
Males would not allow females to meet with researchers alone
Difficulty translating questions because western symptoms didn’t have translation Emic description of mental disorder centered on physical symptoms
Western etic model uses aggression as main symptom of abnormality, but Pakistani is collectivist society and emphasizes politeness
Used “anxiety” and “depression” but words had different meaning
25% attributed disorders to supernatural causes and 35% believed in faith healers
Belief that families should take care of the mental disorders avoiding hospitalization
Fear of the stigma of disorder
Western research models are not the best method to collect data in a collectivist society The Results Berry’s 3 steps to create universal categories 1. Researchers start with an imposed etic, needed for true emic descritptions
2. Researchers create new categories that reflect what is observed in another culture, derived etics
3. Derived etic categories are applied to new research settings, modified emically again and then more new etic categories are created positive pole reflects an orientation toward the future (behaviors such as thrift) and negative pole reflects an orientation toward past and present (behaviors such as respect for tradition) Zimbardo (1972) assigned the roles of guards and prisoners to random students and found that guards and prisoners developed role- appropriate attitudes. Zimbardo’s experiment Tendency in individualist societies to attribute behavior to dispositions
Zimbardo believes our attributes in degrees, such as degree of evil, we show in different situations
His experiment made sure to have deindivudation (same clothes, glasses, etc.) Ethics of SPE Study caused human suffering. Several prisoners had severe stress
Guards suffered because they realized what they had done
Informed consent contained nothing about surprise arrests
Researchers should have shut it down before they did Arguments why it was ethical All participants signed consent forms
Only deception used was surprise arrests
Were extensive debriefing
Some positive outcomes. Scientific benefits outweigh cost-many said valuable learning experience Making attributions is universal
Helps us understand others intentions
Products of the human mind that are influenced by culture Compliance means conforming or adapting one's actions to another's wishes, to a rule, or to necessity Foot in the door: Tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with larger request If you use the free return address labels are you going to donate money to the organization
Homeless people asking for the time first then money lowballing: strategy to gain compliance by making a very attractive initial offer to get a person to agree to an action and then making the terms less favourable Social Learning Theory Humans learn behavior through observational learning
-involves following factors
*attention-pay attention to the model
*retention- observer must be able to remember the behavior
*motor reproduction-observer has to be able to replicate action
*motivation-learners must want to demonstrate what they've learned
*consistency-behaviors across situations
*identification with model
*rewards/punishment-don't have to experience consequence itself,
can learn by watching others
*liking the model Studies Bobo Doll
Huesmann and Eron 91986)-correlation over 15 years
with violence watched and aggression
Kimball and Zabrack (1986)- children were significantly
more aggressive 2 years after television was introduced. Evaluation of social learning theory although behavior can be acquired it may not always be demonstrated-if gap exists hard to establish that behavior learned by watching model Group members having a unanimous opinion on an issue and don't seek out alternative opinions Culture difference on conformity -bad for Americans
-good trait for Asians
Cashmore and Goodnow found high level of conformity among Italians-can't be East vs. West Asch Study likelhood to conform: group size, unanimity, confidence, self-esteem Moscovici and Lage (1976) minority was able to influence 32% of the participants if views were consistent over time
Reasons why minorities can have influence
-dissenting opinions produce uncertainty and doubt
-such opinons show that alternatives exist
-consistency shows there is a commitment to the alternative view A generalized (sometimes accurate but often over generalized) belief about a group of people Social Identity Theory -formulated by Henri Tajfel and John Turner
derived from percieved membership in a social group
Kandinsky vs. Klee ExperimentTajfel et al. (1971)
(our art study example) Rosa parks influenced a whole group during the civil rights movement by not giving up her seat on the bus.
Mahatma Gandhi refused to eat and India won Independence from Britain. Individualism stresses personal achievements and
individual rights societies tolerance for uncertainty
and ambiguity.
-members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty.
-high uncertainty avoidance=emotional Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed equally
-cultures that endorse low power distance expect and accept relations that are more conservative and democratic
-high power distance countries, less powerful accept power relations that are more autocratic and paternalistic distribution of emotional roles between the genders
-masculine cultures value competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism and ambition
-feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life actor-observer effect-
when people are performing a behavior
they attribute it to the situation, while observing others they attributite the behavior to the disposition of the person Self-serving bias--taking credit for your own success attributing it to a disposition, and attributing failures to the situation SIT: improve self-image by trying to enhance their self-esteem.
-based on social categorization (used to explain in-group, polarization, stereo-typing, etc.)
-in group (us)
-out group (them)
Self-esteem maintained by social comparison-benefits of belonging to in group vs. out group Spotlight anxiety-comes from stereotype threat, which causes emotional distress and pressure that may undermine performance Campbell argues that there are two key sources of stereotype formation: personal experience with the group, and gatekeepers-the media, paretns and other members of our culture
-Grain of Truth Hypothesis: argues that an experience with an indiviudal from a group will then be generalizaed to the group
---criticized since errors of attributions are common Illusiory correlation-people see a relationship between two variables when there is none.
-once illusory correlation is made people seek out info that supports this relationship: CONFORMATION BIAS social desirability effect: a confounding variable in research with stereotypes and prejiduces. Often want to look good for the researcher so people say what is socially acceptable about their feelings. Reciprocity:
People feel they need to return the favor
-free return address labels
-mailing someone a dollar to ask for $20 Compliance Technique:
Scarcity- opportunities seem more valuable when when they are less readily available.
-last chance, limited time offer Compliance Technique: Hazing-performing rituatuals to join a group Study where they asked college psych studetns to participate in a psych experiment at 7:00 am-only 24% willing
The second group was asked to participate in a psychology experiment. Once agreed they were then told the time. 95% showed up at 7:00am Informational social influence-based on the way people cognitively process information about a situation (Festinger stated evaluate based on what others do. Cognitive dissonance is when other people in group perform differently and it causes anxiety)
Normative social influence-based on our nature as social animals. Humans want to be accepted and belong. If multiple face piercing means never being invited to social gatherings. . . . http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1516 Due 1/28
In the social psychology unit we learned about conforming, obedience, bystander effect, in-group bias, deindividuation and the overall power of the situation. Let’s apply it!

You are to do something out of the social norm. You may work by yourself or in a group.
You may not wear anything that could offend anyone, dress out of dress code, or disrupt a teacher’s class. Do not tell people what you are doing as that would negate your results. You need to record people’s reactions to you and your feelings of those reactions. Turn in a description of the event answering the following questions.

1.What was your experiment?
2.When did it take place?
3.Where did it take place?
4.What were your observations?
5.You should write a conclusion that explains what you learned from the experiment. How did it make you feel?
6.Why do you think it’s important to conform?
7.Do you believe there are times when a person should question the urge to conform?
8.After taking part in this exercise, do you think you will look differently at people who do not seem to conform to society? Please Explain. Stanley Milgram's Study Testing obedience to authority while he was a professor at Yale.
Participants thought they were testing memory administering volts for wrong answers. They were not actually administering shocks-but did not know that.
In this experiment, 26 out of 40 participants administered the full range of shocks up to 450 volts, the highest obedience rate Milgram found in his whole series. Thus, according to Milgram, the subject shifts responsibility to another person and does not blame himself for what happens. Now we'll watch "How Evil Are You?" Bystander Effect Brown eyed/Blue eyed Individuals do not offer help if others are present.
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