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University Degree: Social Psychology

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  1. Explain Milgram's concept of the agentic state and discuss whether it is a valid explanation for obedience. What other explanations for obedience have been put forward and what evidence support these?

    The autonomous state is where an individual assumes responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of their behaviour. However the agentic state is where an individual believes themselves to be acting only as an agent of another. Individuals renounce themselves of all personal responsibility while acting under this state, sometimes even believing their actions to be morally wrong, yet giving up their free will unconsciously making the decision to yield to explicit authoritative orders. While doing so they place any sense of responsibility on the authority figure. A majority of men were willing to electrocute another man up to maximum given voltage (450v)

    • Word count: 1704
  2. Internet Group Suicide in Japan

    It can give enough social support to them. Japan is defined as a shame society. (Benedict, 1946) Japanese feel shame when they do something wrong or cannot satisfy with the expectation of folk. This action is attributed to their high sensitivity and being eager for fame. The feeling of shame will become greater and being harmful to their fame when disgraceful affair is revealed. Also the Japan society regards seeking help as a sign of weakness. (Kingston, 2004) It can be revealed by the number of call for help to the suicide hot-line.

    • Word count: 2217
  3. Psychological Identity Theory

    Our personality and relationships with other people are factors that help us achieve our identity. Personal relationships, such as a parent or a wife was termed by Henry Tajfel (1971) as personal identity, while social identity included being a woman or white. The most common psychological method studies relationships and attempts to affect the results by introducing new variables depending on their chosen area of study. One common method for studying identity is the twenty statements test, devised by Kuhn and McFarland (1954).

    • Word count: 1491
  4. In The Future of Love by Barbara Graham, she cites a variety of people and opinions as research about views on romantic love. These views fall into two general schools; those two schools are biological and environmental.

    Graham didn?t seem to notice the disgusted look on his face in the picture her mother took. According to Graham, ?We put our hopes on romantic love so early? (Graham), this can be seen in the example of her first wedding. Graham goes on to say that we search for perfect love all too young, which could be a result of growing up with fairytales where everything ends perfectly or ?happily ever after.? One aspect she talks about is Joseph Campbell?s Myths To Live By, and explains how ancient India saw the relationship of marriage and passion.

    • Word count: 910
  5. The Behavioural Activation System: lateralization of the BAS and its role in mediating approach motivation

    Sensitivity of both systems has traditionally been measured using self-report questionnaires. A person can be understood to be ?high? or ?low? in strength of either system and these differences are understood to function with the same consistency as traits of personality (Pickering and Smillie, 2008). An individual, based on the subjective strengths of these two systems, can thus be described in the same way other theories would have classified them as being high or low in extroversion. Across all individuals, different combinations of BIS and BAS strength exist, creating rich variation within the population.

    • Word count: 3683
  6. Emotions and facial processing of emotions

    found out that it was the facial expression of happiness that was detected faster than other emotions. This occurrence is termed as the happiness superiority effect. Conclusively, there is evidence (through empirical studies) that some emotions expressed in the face can be detected faster than others, namely anger and happiness. Table 1-Criteria for ?basic emotions? Ekman (1999) When studying facial emotions and its effect on attention, psychologists use reaction time(s) (RT) and accuracy as measures of performance, the dependent variables. A typical experimental set up comprises of participants who have to look for a target stimulus amongst many other distractors.

    • Word count: 3090
  7. Are humans naturally aggressive or do we learn to be aggressive?

    ?is initially directed at self-destruction, but later in development it becomes redirected at others? (p448). According to this theory Thanatos energy builds up and, to prevent self-destruction, becomes displaced towards others in aggressive acts. There has been a criticism of Freud?s ?death instinct? theory however. Despite coming up with the theory, Freud did not actually run any experiments on subjects or produce any empirical evidence to back it up. According to Popper (1963) Freud?s theory was unfalsifiable and therefore pseudoscientific (as cited by Grunbaum, 1979, pg 131). It can be summed up in this quote by Chessick (1992)

    • Word count: 1786
  8. To what extent are social psychologists in agreement about how best to approach an understanding of the self?

    of self delivered through media and advertising and a more readily available ability to transform oneself to conform to a westernised ideology of self (plastic surgery, diets etc) (Holloway, 2007, p.123). As well as social influences, Goffman (1959) believed human interaction influences how we form self (Holloway, 2007, p.13) his theory suggested we project impressions of a desired self to others which again, questions who is the real ?me?? Two social psychological perspectives will be looked at on their approach to understanding self.

    • Word count: 1387
  9. With reference to psychological literature, explain the underlying processes regarding the effects of media violence and increased aggression.

    However, whether the intent to harm is internal or external, any drive towards aggressive behavior is one that should be curbed to reduce violence in society. One of the early drive theories was that of the frustration-aggression theory which was later modified and recently states ?that any unpleasant simulation will lead to emotional aggression to the extent that it generates unpleasant feelings (Kenrick, Neuberg, & Cialdini, 2010). Frustration-aggression theory further suggests that aggressive behavior is dependent on two factors: the characteristic of the person and the situation itself.

    • Word count: 3324
  10. Yawning through technical mediums. The object of the experiment was to see if yawns could be induced through a designed video

    Yawning has always been questioned either as a physiological habit or a psychological social cue. Research on yawning, contagion, empathy, and visual/auditory mediums were crucial in not only determining the appropriate video for the purpose of inducing yawns, but also understanding the current research on yawning itself. Yawning and Contagion As expressed earlier, theories have developed to explain yawning as a physiological habit, but none have succeeded in explaining its occurrence. In order to understand yawning better, contagion was also researched. Understanding the ideas of contagion also helped in the appropriateness in the aspects of the designed video for the experiment.

    • Word count: 4753
  11. Summarise two theories of identity and compare their usefulness for explaining real world issues.

    Life decisions have to be tackled during this period, i.e. employment and s****l relationships. The end goal is to have established a secure feeling of who and what one is. Erikson's term for this is 'Ego Identity' If young people failed to achieve a secure ego identity, problems could arise, such as the inability to hold down one specific job and constantly moving between different social roles. In extreme cases in western societies turning to drugs and even committing suicide.

    • Word count: 1498
  12. Personality trait theorists have suggested that there are as few as three or perhaps significantly more than three personality traits. What is the most appropriate number of personality traits?

    What is the most appropriate number of personality traits? Trait theory is the study and identification of the established habitual patterns of behaviour, thought and emotion over a prolonged period of time; these traits differ amongst individuals but can be categorized through similarities in personality. Personality traits are hard to generalize due to humans being so vastly different in many ways, making the selection of the ideal amount of personality traits precarious due to a human?s complex nature and dramatic behavioral differences.

    • Word count: 2264
  13. Drawing upon what you have learned about City Road in Cardiff, outline how differences are made and remade on a street which you know

    The High Street used to be the main road of the town centre many years ago. These days it is completely pedestrianised during the day then opened to the small amount of traffic that uses it in the evenings until the early morning. City Road has not changed in this way, but has become more used by people using it as a conduit to get through to other places (?Material lives?, 2009, scene 2). This highlights the change of social organisation of both streets. In the High Street, where years ago it used to be used as more of a through road with parking at the sides, it is now used as more of a shopping and relaxing environment during the day.

    • Word count: 891
  14. Multicultural Paper. This paper will discuss how psychologists are encouraged to understand and to become knowledgeable about other cultures and their belief of the world. Psychologists are also advised to examine their selves when interacting with clien

    In American Psychological Association, (2003) guideline 1 talks about psychologists may be bias and hold attitudes, beliefs that can have an effect on their perception with interacting with individuals who are different from themselves. Psychologists are encouraged to learn how other cultures view the world. This article expresses how psychologist or just people in general view other people in categories in order to understand that person?s behavior (American Psychological Association, 2003). These types of behavior easily lead to bias and ineffective communication. Psychologists are advised to be aware of their own attitudes and be more tolerant of other cultures.

    • Word count: 945

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