Outline the principles of social cultural level of analysis and explain how they maybe demonstrated through researches and theories

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Sociocultural level of analysis is the study of the role of the individual and its bidirectional effect with a group. Psychologists have recognized that human behavior can only be fully understood if the social context in which the behavior occurred is taken into account .Whether physically present or not ,other people exert profound influences on the ways we think, feel and behave .Throughout this essay we will outline ,that is provide a brief summary of the principles of  SCLOA and provide a fundamental understanding of these principles by providing a detailed account of studies with relevant and explicit reasons and causes . The principles that define socio cultural level analysis is that human beings are social animals and have a basic need to belong, being social animals they have a social self. The norms and values that define a society influences their behavior and people’s views of the world are resistant to change.

People have a desire to be accepted by others, to belong. Humans experience a need to form and maintain interpersonal relationships and group memberships. This "need to belong" is innate, This is so strong that all too often it makes us behave in a way that surprises us or shocks us. In 1951 Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. Asch used a lab experiment to study conformity, where 123 male students from Swarthmore College in the USA participated in a ‘vision test’.  Using the line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a room with four to six confederates.  The confederates had agreed in advance what their responses would be when presented with the line task.  The real participant did not know this and was led to believe that the other seven participants were also real participants like themselves.  Each person in the room had to state aloud which comparison line (A, B or C) was most like the target line. The answer was always obvious.  The real participant sat at the end of the row and gave his or her answer last.  In some trials, the seven confederates gave the wrong answer.  There were 18 trials in total and the confederates gave the wrong answer on 12 trails. Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence).In this study we can see a bias sample has been used as all the participants were males of the same age group and were all from the same culture, which brings out a concern whether this study can be replicated. The other issue that is raised when talking about generalization of this study is whether the findings can be valid outside the lab and to the real world, that is does a participant’s answer in a laboratory about the length of some lines have much to do with the conforming behavior in life? This is also a valid criticism for all research that is being carried out in a controlled laboratory setting which has lower ecological validity than other research methods. Finally, there are a few ethical issues with the experiments such as participants were not protected from psychological stress which may occur if they disagreed with the majority.  Asch deceived the student volunteers claiming they were taking part in a 'vision' test; the real purpose was to see how the 'naive' participant would react to the behavior of the confederates. To provide a more generalized experiment a larger population with a more cross cultural and unbiased gender sample should be used.

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Our next principle states that ‘Humans are social animals and have a social self.’ People not only have a personal identity but also a collective or social one. Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership. Tajfel proposed that the groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem. Identification with and membership of a group give us a social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world. Our thinking and behaviour may be strongly influenced by membership of a group. In ...

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