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University Degree: Social Psychology

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  1. A Critical Evaluation of the Statement "I Am Free to be Whatever I Want to be"

    The experiential perspective combines humanistic notions of autonomy with the existential quest for self-definition. Autonomy requires that the person has alternatives to choose from, that they are able to reflect upon those alternatives and commit to one of them. At the level of action, to achieve authenticity they must also take responsibility for their choices and be accountable to others for their actions. We undoubtedly do define ourselves by our actions but a more interesting aspect of self-definition is our capacity to choose how we perceive ourselves. James (1890) refers to the mind as a "Theatre of simultaneous possibilities" (in Stevens, 1996, p156), and since consciousness involves the ability to selectively attend to those possibilities, our experience of reality is self-determined.

    • Word count: 2154
  2. Pro and anti social behaviour

    Examples of Aggression. * Getting even, cursing when you hurt yourself * Substitute responses help deflect aggression * Aggressive behaviour is frequently forced into culturally defined patterns. Some of these are prohibited, some are permitted and some are actually rewarded by social approval. Dollard et al (1939)

    • Word count: 285
  3. relative deprivation theory

    This states that aggression may arise if we feel we are 'hard done by'.

    • Word count: 90
  4. OUTLINE AND EVALUATE TWO explanations of aggression

    Children see many examples of aggressive behaviour at home and at school, as well as on television and in movies. Therefore by observing the consequences of aggressive behaviour for those who use it, children learn that this is appropriate conduct and learn when this should be used. The other process is mental representation; Bandura claimed that in order for social learning to take place the child must form mental representations of events in his or her social environment. The child must also represent possible rewards and punishments for the aggressive behaviour in terms of expectancies and future outcomes.

    • Word count: 1535
  5. Sport and Exercise psychology

    For example within sport long distance runner tend to be more of a ectomorph structure and we could see them as being shy and introverted as many of the hours training are spent alone and on an individual basis. Footballers and rugby players are predominantly mesmomorphic due to amount of physical contact their sport requires. These people tend to be extroverted and group centred. Shot putters are usually of an endomorph build in order to get maximum power from their throw.

    • Word count: 2391
  6. Is Behaviour Learnt or Innate? Whether our behaviour, actions and conduct are determined by nature, the genes given to us by our parents or by nurture,

    and experience records itself in such a way that each individual becomes a unique being. We inherit nothing and all behaviour is acquired as a consequence of experience." It is a very difficult question to answer because it is almost impossible to ascertain whether someone's actions are due to genes or environment. One method used to try and determine whether genes are the most important factor are with identical twin studies. If two monozygotic twins have the same characteristics as each other then it suggests that genes are causing this effect. There are however flaws with this reasoning as twins generally experience the same environment e.g.

    • Word count: 1037
  7. Evaluate The Influence Of Nature And Nurture On The Development Of Aggression

    Studies on infant and child temperament have revealed the most crucial evidence for nurture theories.2 There many ways of explaining aggressive behaviour in humans. Some theories view aggression as an important part of our evolutionary heritage, others as an imbalance in hormones or neurotransmitters in the brain. Early psychological theories of aggression explained aggressive behaviour as an automatic consequence of personal frustration. Social learning theories see the cause of our aggressive behaviour as arising out of our interactions with others in our social world.

    • Word count: 1678
  8. Explain the concept of social control and how the criminal justice system deals with crime and deviance

    Traditionally social control was managed by the Parliament, Churches, and Kings. However in the present day the most common form of social control is managed by the government in the form of Laws. Social control is managed by two different means, these being informal and formal processes. In order for social control to be effective the structure of the control must be managed by those with authority and control. At present the Criminal Justice System deals with the majority of formal social control. The rest of this paper will endeavour to look at the concept of social control in more detail and go on to explain how the criminal justice system deals with crime and deviance.

    • Word count: 1895
  9. Outline and critique experimental media effects research.

    First, the classical studies by Bandura (1961) will be outlined, to demonstrate where this belief about the negative effects of the media may have originated, next a critique of Bandura's work will be offered with reference to methodological and theoretical flaws. Then more recent studies of media effects conducted by Anderson and Dill (2000) will be outlined, to demonstrate that current anxieties regarding media effects relate to others forms of media and that approaches to media effects research has changed. It will then be argued that whilst Anderson and Dill provide a good theoretical framework with GAAM, and a better approach to the study of media effects,

    • Word count: 2439
  10. Personality Correlates (Aggression and Impulsivity) and their Predictive Ability to Self-Report Delinquency

    Society needs to acknowledge that adolescent crime and violence may be more multifaceted than popularised media reports suggest (Mak, Heaven, & Rummery, 2001). For years, criminologists and other professionals have maintained a socialization-based theory behind delinquent activities (Rivera and Widom, 1990; Farrington, 1989; Widom, 1996 cited in Sigurdsson, Gudjonsson & Peersen, 2001). These suggest that criminal behaviour may be a result of unemployment, r****m, poor housing, education and other socio-economic factors (Slayton, Kern & Curlette, 2000). Nevertheless, although different learning patterns may be an important source of the individual differences in moral behaviour that are found, it is also possible that these may associate with certain "personality dispositions" (Rushton & Chrisjohn, 1981).

    • Word count: 5002
  11. Discuss the causes of Conformity and Obedience

    In 1963 Milram's behavioral study of obedience took place. It consisted of volunteers being asked to initiate electric shocks to strangers. Milgrim took only male participants between 20 and 50 years old. They were labeled as the teachers; in another room were the learners, who were part of the experiment although the volunteers didn't know this. Milgrim dressed in a white lab coat and gave the instructed the teachers which were to administer the shocks when the learners who were strapped into a chair gave the wrong answer. On the machine there were 30 different switches ranging from 15v to 450v.

    • Word count: 1453
  12. Psychological Perspectives of Aggression and Violence: A comparison of psychodynamic and behaviouris

    By drawing on Pavlov's earlier work, they were able to develop major theories of learning, such as classical and operant conditioning, which were applied to the study of aggressive or violent behaviour in order to understand its origins and if possible reduce its effects. In general, the psychodynamic approach arose from Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory, but also encompasses those later theories of Jung, Alder and Erickson. This approach focuses on internal forces within the personality, and argues that conflict between the individual parts of the personality; Freud identified three, defines our behaviour and shapes our character.

    • Word count: 2571
  13. My objective for this paper is essentially to establish how the children are affected by divorce. Judith Wallerstien, who is known as an innovator in the research concerning divorce and its effects on children, conducted a major study in 1971. This partic

    Younger children may have less ability to sense and get involved to stop arguments, possibly leading to less risk, but they also have fewer cognitive resources to make sense of events and emotions, possibly leading to higher risks. Thus, determining how any specific child will deal with a divorce requires understanding of the child's strengths and the demands of the specific situation. Seeing the parents after divorce resolve problems and disagreements, and recover from angry exchanges may be helpful to children.

    • Word count: 1168
  14. What has the experimental study of attitude change told us about the process of persuasion?

    to occur: 1. attention to message 2. comprehension of the message 3. yielding to (acceptance of) the message 4. retention of the message in memory 5. acting as a result For example, someone who is scared of the message may reduce attention, hence their ability to learn. When identifying the source we may have additional fear alongside the message. There are two types of source effect; attractiveness and credibility which have influential effects. We evaluate the source on personal judgement or attribution. For example, one person may like a particular actress and the other may not. Attributions may be made on race, s*x, and physical appearance, all of which are irrelevant information. Hovland & Weiss (1951)

    • Word count: 2163
  15. In what ways do you think television can be rightly regarded as a medium in its own right

    With the public mass-viewing broadcast of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II broadcasters could see the true transmission potential that they had in their grasp and I believe that this event could have also been dubbed 'the coronation of the television' because "public appetite is insatiable and our activities must be extended and the standard of programmes continually improved at all costs" (Briggs; 1995, p. 209). The essence of the television began in the early nineteenth century with the development of the telephone and the radio; then came cinema and now the convergence of all of these have created innovative

    • Word count: 2260
  16. The Mertonian Principles Revised: Can the Normative Structure of SciencePrevent Fraud?

    many years, scientific fraud as defined above was not perceived as an issue of concern, given that the normative structure of science would make such acts unlikely. This view was most clearly articulated by Robert K. Merton4, who understood the institutional goal of science as being the "extension of certified knowledge" and outlined four norms that he saw central to this pursuit. Universalism, as he maintained, implies that the validity and truth of scientific statements be totally separated from the personal characteristics of the one who initiates them.

    • Word count: 3935
  17. To what degree does social psychological research support the claim that non-verbal behaviour is a

    It is within this debate that the distinction between non-verbal behaviour and non-verbal communication is emphasised. Non-verbal behaviour can be seen to be compromised of a great range of non vocal responses, without necessarily conveying any information, while non-verbal communication, still compromising of a great many non vocal responses but also transmitting information about the sender to the receiver. Three differing views have been put forward on this debate; each with different theories as to what non-verbal behaviour's can be seen to be communicative.

    • Word count: 2441
  18. Assess the usefulness of functionalism in explaining the causes and the extent of deviance in society.

    To sum up, it is evident that the ideological commitments of particular researchers have influenced their definition of religion and their view of its role in society. (216 words) 2. Deviant behaviour may be studied using a variety of sociological methods. Examine some of the problems of using observational methods to study deviance. (12 marks) All sociological research involves observation of some sort, especially when studying deviance. However, problems often occurred. To begin with, observation is often very time-consuming. Cicourel (1976)

    • Word count: 2330
  19. Discuss the role of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous Zeitgebers in biological rhythms

    However, this is only one study and so cannot be used to generalise to everybody and therefore lacks validity. Morgan (1995) removed the SCN from hamsters and found that their circadian rhythms disappeared. These rhythms could be re-established by transplanted SNC cells from foetal hamsters. Morgan also transplanted the cells from hamsters who had been bred to have shorter cycles than normal and found that the transplanted hamsters took on the mutant rhythms. However, the validity of animal research is questionable, as the results cannot be generalised to humans. Another endogenous pacemaker is the pineal gland and melatonin. This gland contains light receptors that respond to external light via the thin layer or skull that lies above the gland.

    • Word count: 847
  20. How important are the media to the formation of youth as a social category? Discuss in relation to either sociological approach, cultural studies or subculture perspectives.

    In other, words it means that youth are seen as people who are always having fun, partying and clubbing most of the time. They spend money on unnecessary things even that they do not need such as jewellery, clothes and drugs. The importance of media in the formation of youth as a social category in relation to the subcultural perspective The media "sells the way of thinking, seeing and talking about the world" (Schirato & Yell 1996: 174). People live in a media society according to Baudrillard (1983: 07). The society that we live in is constituted by the media.

    • Word count: 1399
  21. What Is The Difference Between Agencies Of Formal And Informal Social Control And Evaluate Their Relative Effectiveness, Including Legal Sanctions and Informal Sanctions

    Socialisation is important in order to maintain a pleasant society which is free from crime and deviance. There are two types of social control. Formal social control is shown by the written law and rules and regulations. The police, the government and judiciary and prison services are some of the organisations responsible for seeing that law and order is obeyed. If a person fails to comply by the law, they are likely to receive punishment, which could entail; a prison sentence, penalties and fines or community service. The police are an important part of society; they can be seen as an effective agency of formal social control.

    • Word count: 1407
  22. Media Violence Effects

    But firstly, let us take a look of what the psychologists speculate. SEPCULATION OF PSYCHOLOGISTS Early research Albert Bandura, from Stanford University, was one of the psychologists who did experiments concluded that violence on media would cause people whatever their age imitating what they saw. In the middle of last century, he demonstrated experiment in which one group of children were shown a violence involved film clip and the other group of children were not. Later statistical result showed that the group of children who had seen the violent film behaved and acted more aggressively than the other group who had not seen it.

    • Word count: 1638
  23. Using your own illustrations and examples, outlinethe social constructionist thesis.

    For example, until the late 18th century, constant drunkenness was usually associated with demonic possession, or sin (Conrad & Schneider, 1980). These days, alcoholism is known as a disease by the medical community and the general public. This change in knowledge did not arise on its own. Real people, doctors, psychiatrists, and academics presented enough convincing theories and evidence about the nature of constant drunkenness that the general public was ultimately persuaded to look at things differently. (Berger & Luckmann 1967)

    • Word count: 1036

    Provisional Adjustment As time passed, such feelings began fading away. Many were doing their best to help me out in every way possible. Knowing people wanted me to return to my normal self, instilled some hope. I altered my behaviour to adapt to the circumstances helping myself out, by returning to university and attending gym. Inner Contradictions Around June, I felt I was going down. I began questioning myself, and felt that my will was decreasing. Questions such as: "Will I ever manage to return to normal?"

    • Word count: 2491
  25. Outline and assess the structionalist themes of crime and deviance Structural theories of deviance are similar to Merton's theory. They

    Deviance occurs when they reject the goals of success and/or the legitimate means of reaching that goal. For example, some people are tempted to use nay means of getting to the top-even if that involves criminal behaviour. Merton refers to this pressure as a 'strain to anomie'. Anomie means normlessness - it refers to a situation where norms no longer guide behaviour, where 'anything goes'. Despite what the American dream says, not everybody has an equal chance at success. The social structure prevents equal opportunity.

    • Word count: 934

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