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Presentation on theme: "SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 1"— Presentation transcript:


2 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: Definition & key social psychological terms
How other people, groups, culture & society can influence our behaviour. Individuals with perceived authority or charisma can influence us, e.g., obedience, self-fulfilling prophecy; groups can influence behaviour, e.g., compliance & conformity – Asch, Latane & Darley (Smoke filled room), crowd behaviour & diffusion of responsibility. Culture & society can influence us: our culture can affect our response to individuals & groups, who we believe has legitimate authority over us and may also affect our general tendency for obedience (we may have an ethnocentric bias). Culture & society may influence our beliefs about perceived attractiveness – rates of anorexia may reflect social & cultural influences. The power of the social situation can be very influential: even ‘good’ people will do evil things if they are in an evil situation

Agentic state: we surrender our free will & conscience to serve the interests of the wider group; we see ourselves as primarily the agents of those with power and in authority and only secondarily as individuals – responsibility shifts to those in charge and we become de-individuated, denying personal responsibility Autonomous state: essentially the opposite – we feel free to act as we wish, including how our conscience dictates. Moral strain: this is the result of having to do something we believe to be immoral in order to function as an agent of those with power & authority, and so benefit society. Denial (a defence mechanism) is often used to avoid the distress associated with moral strain and having to do things we might normally find abhorrent. In-groups/out-groups: in-group loyalty refers to our tendency to identify ourselves as part of a particular group group & to classify others as either within or outside that group; thinking of ourselves as belonging to one or more groups is regarded as a fundamental feature of human nature. We tend to judge people not in our particular ‘in-group’ more harshly than those we identify with, I.e., people are either ‘us or them’: in-group loyalty V out-group hostility.

4 Key Terms (continued) Social categorisation: categorising ourselves as members of a particular group; these categories are ones we learn to be important, e.g., Goths, Emos. Social identification: Adopting the identity of the group to which we have categorised ourselves, adopting consistent behaviours with this categorisation, adopting the attitudes & behaviours of the in-group to distinguish oneself from non-members. Social comparison: comparing your group favourably to others; we need to compare ourselves & our in-group favourably to others to maintain our self-esteem. In & out-groups are measured against each other, the out-group is devalued and the self-esteem of the in-group members is thus raised.

5 In depth area of study: Obedience & Prejudice
Define the terms prejudice & discrimination Social Identity Theory of prejudice Agency theory Milgram’s study & 1 variation of it Ethical issues & the study of obedience 1 cross-cultural study of obedience

6 OBEDIENCE Obedience: to allow ourselves to be directed by an individual[s] who we perceive to have power/authority over us. It differs from compliance, which means simply going along with suggestions or instructions without being directly ordered to; and conformity which is where we adopt the attitudes & behaviour of those around us without being directly ordered to by an authority figure. Studies of obedience, why people carry out orders which they seemingly find abhorrent and go against their moral believes and values, gained impetus after the destructive obedience demonstrated by some Nazis during World War II, such as the Holocaust. Genocide, as illustrated by the Holocaust, is the most obvious example of destructive obedience; other examples of destructive obedience include genocide in Rwanda, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, the Mi Lai massacre and human rights abuses in the US run military prison in Iraq – Abu Ghraib.

7 Milgram’s classic study of obedience (1963)
Name: Milgram’s study of obedience Aim: to investigate how obedient people would be in a situation where following orders would mean breaking participants’ moral codes & harming another person: to test the hypothesis that the ‘Germans were different’. Method: procedure-Milgram advertised for 40 volunteers (males aged 20-50) to take part in a study on human memory (really obedience). Each participant was introduced individually to Mr Wallace (a confederate) and told that either they, or Mr Wallace would be randomly allocated the roles of either ‘teacher’ or ‘learner’. Mr Wallace was always the ‘leaner’ who would receive an electric shock every time he got a memory question wrong (Mr. Wallace was in another room so could be heard but not seen). The ‘teacher’ (the naïve/real participant) was given a small shock at the beginning of the experiment to illustrate its effects. Shocks went up in 15v increments up to 450v marked ‘XXX’. The researcher & Mr Wallace followed a carefully scripted set of responses & prompts. Generalisability: can we generalise from Milgram’s sample to the wider population, I.e., is there population validity? Despite the fact that only US males were used, they were from a wide range of backgrounds & ages; furthermore, Milgram found very similar results with female participants and cross-cultural results tend to be similar (see table below). Reliability: a standardised procedure was followed, I.e., the same script & verbal prompts were used for each participant. Application to real life: there are numerous examples in real life where we have to obey authority figures. Validity: did the study have experimental validity? Did the participants really believe they were giving electric shocks? Milgram did his best to convince the naïve participants of the veracity of his research: he staged a sample 45v shock for the naïve participant, the equipment looked real and the cries of Mr Wallace seemed genuine. Ecological validity: do the results tell us anything about real-world behaviour? Would the participants really behave as they did in the real world and not in a laboratory situation?

8 Milgram’s study (continued)
Results: Before the research Milgram asked psychologists & psychiatrists to estimate what % of naïve participants would inflict shocks – the estimate was les than 1%. In reality 100% went to 300v & 65% went to 450v. [NB. Obedience is operationalised as going to 450v.] Conclusion: Milgram concluded that the power of the social situation is a powerful determinant of behaviour – we are socialised from an early age to recognise authority and obey those with perceived power. Validity cont’d: Variations of Milgram’s experiment, e.g., when done outside a lab and in a run down office block, saw obedience levels fall, but where still very high at 48%. Hofling’s (1966) field experiment found similar results and later real life incidents, e.g., Mai Lai, support the ecological validity of Milgram’s study. Sheridan & King (1972) conducted a procedural similar studies to Milgram’s on puppies, participants thought they were shocking puppies: similar results were obtained. Ethics: Participants were deceived but that was necessary to ensure experimental validity, but this meant they could not give informed consent. However, participants were fully debriefed at the end & 84% said they were glad or very glad they had taken part, only 2% said they were sorry to have taken part & 74% claimed to have learned something of personal importance. Withdrawal was made difficult, but in real life situations it is often not easy to disobey & follow your conscience, so it was important to make withdrawal hard to simulate real life.

9 Milgram’s study (continued)
Ethics cont’d: Participants were put under a great deal of stress and caused much distress, but they did not have to administer the shocks and could, in reality, withdraw whenever they wanted. Moreover, Milgram consulted experts before the research & no one predicted the level of obedience obtained. Finally, the wider benefits to society might be considered to outweigh the costs to the individual participants: a cost-benefit analysis.

10 Variations of Milgram’s original study
Prestige: the experiment was moved from Yale university to a rundown office block – obedience levels dropped to 47.5%. Responsibility: when the participant was not directly responsible for the shocks, I.e., they simply had to read the paired words & someone pressed the electric shock button, obedience rose to 92.5%. When the ‘teacher’ (naïve participant) had to hold the ‘learner’s’ hand on the electric shock plate obedience dropped to 30%. Buffer: if the ‘learner’ & ‘teacher’ were together in the same room so that the ‘teacher’ could be seen & heard, obedience dropped to 40%. When the ‘learner’ could not be seen or heard, all the participants went to 450v. Personal control: when participants were allowed to choose their own shock level they always choose the lowest. Witnessing disobedience: where a participant saw another ‘participant’ refuse to beyond administering 150v, only 10% then obeyed the experimental instructions & carried on to 450v. NB., these variations in the social situation, and their impact on the levels of obedience, illustrate how powerful the social situation is in determining human behaviour. NB., the evaluative points applied to Milgram’s original study basically apply to the variations.

11 Ethical issues & the study of obedience
Studies of obedience often involve deception, preventing participants giving informed consent, but this is often necessary to ensure experimental validity. Participants may experience significant distress, not least because they may find out quite negative things about themselves, I.e., they are prepared to obey & cause harm to others. Withdrawal is sometimes made difficult to simulate the effects of obedience in real life situations – but participants can be fully debriefed afterwards. The benefits of the research to wider society may outweigh the psychological & emotional costs to the participants, i.e., finding out why even good people do horrible things in order to understand why atrocities are committed & prevent them from happening in the future.

12 Milgram’s agency theory
Milgram argued that general tendency to obey those we perceive to have authority is a mechanism to ensure a stable society. To run smoothly, complex societies require us to obey a vast range of social rules; keeping to these rules means that we have to give up a certain amount of our free will. To enable us to give up a degree of our free will we have evolved 2 states: autonomous & agentic (see the definitions of these terms above). We are socialised from an early age into developing the capacity for the agentic state. This process starts in the home, continues in school and into the workplace: to maintain order in different social situations we give up our free will and obey parents, teachers & employers (people often put the needs of their employers above their own, e.g., they work longer than their contracted hours, take work home, sacrifice family & quality of life for their jobs). We use this agentic state to avoid moral strain; when we do things against our conscience we believe we have little choice as we are acting as agents of authority figures.

13 Evaluation of agency theory
It has face validity (on the surface it seems to explain human behaviour in many situations, school, the workplace, armed forces etc.) There is a lot of experimental support for it, e.g., the studies of Milgram & Hofling. A study by Blass (1996), where participants saw extracts from the original Milgram study, showed that these participants blamed the researcher for what the naïve participants did, i.e., they accepted that these naïve participants were the agents of the authority figure, in this case, the researcher. A study by Bushman (1988) varied the authoritativeness of the authority figure, when the authority figure had more authority/status (e.g., a uniform) obedience was more likely. We are more likely to become agents when perceived level of authority increases. When participants are reminded of their potential for autonomy, e.g., they see someone else disobey, obedience levels drop. Not everyone in the Milgram study gave up their autonomy and entered into the agentic state: this theory cannot explain individual differences in levels of obedience (see authoritarian personality to explain personality differences in obedience).

14 Evaluation of agency theory (continued)
The obedience alibi: David Mandel argues that agency theory ‘lets people off the hook’ for their heinous actions, I.e., it gives concentration camp guards an excuse for their deplorable behaviour; ‘I cannot be held personally responsible for my actions, I was only obeying orders’. This might have some validity in some cases but should be treated with caution. Circular argument: it cannot be defined independently from obedience – people obey because they are in an agentic state, but are in an agentic because they obey. Circular arguments have limited explanatory value – because you simply go around in circles! Personality (charisma): it doesn’t take into account personality variables & obedience, some people might be naturally more predisposed to obey, whilst some people can get others to obey them even when they have little or no authority over them, it is simply the force of their personality (charisma) which elicits obedience. There are other explanations of obedience, e.g., French & Raven (1959) Social Power theory. This theory states that different people in different social situations have different types of social power: Reward, punishment (coercive), legitimate, expert & charismatic power. Milgram’s researcher had some of these types of power.

15 Cross-cultural studies of obedience
Studies of obedience carried out across cultures find similarly high levels of obedience to those found by Milgram. This shows that we are, by nature, social beings, heavily influenced by our social environment & setting: the power of the social situation. However, cross-cultural studies of obedience often use different methodologies, so like is not always being compared with like. In an Australian study, Kilham & Mann (1974), the ‘learners’ had long hair & may have been perceived as more or less deserving of electric shocks as a result. Also, in this study female students were asked to shock another female (in Milgram, the ‘learner’ being shocked was always male). Hamilton & Sanders (1995) presented participants from US, Japan & Russia with scenarios where a crime was either an individual’s idea or the order of a superior. Little responsibility was attributed to the person who acted criminally under orders, but that reversed when they acted on their own volition. However, cultural differences emerged: US participants attributed more personal responsibility to individuals acting criminally under orders than did the Japanese & Russian ones; thus obedience might be deduced to be more important in Japanese & Russian culture than US culture, I.e., obeying even criminally wrong orders might be seen as appropriate more in Japan & Russia than in US. Finally, most obedience research involve studies that were conducted in western industrialised nations, so universal conclusions about human nature cannot necessarily be drawn (see table below).

16 Cross-cultural replications of Milgram’s obedience research
Study Country Participants % obedient Ancona & Pareyson (1968) Italy Students 85 Kilham & Mann (1974) Australia Male students Female students 40 16 Burley & McGuinness (1977) United Kingdom 50 Shanab & Yahya (1978) Jordan 62 Miranda et al. (1981) Spain 90+ Schurz (1985) Austria General population 80 Meeus & Raajimakers (1986) Holland 92

17 Meeus & Raaijmakers (1985) Administrative Obedience: carrying out orders to use psychological-administrative violence Name: Meeus & Raaijmakers (1985) Aim: To test the concepts of obedience illustrated by Milgram by in a more up-to-date way & in a culture more liberal than 1960s US – 1980s Holland. Would obedience still be high if psychological, as opposed to physical, harm was to be applied? Method: 24 naïve participants took part in what they thought was a job interview that required the applicant being able to tolerate stress. In 1 condition an experimenter sat in with the naïve participant who was to interview the applicant (a confederate or stooge, much like Mr. Wallace in the Milgram study). The naïve participant was told to cause the applicant stress being making a series of graduated cutting comments to the applicant, with 1 being the most innocuous & least offensive to 15 being the most offensive. Generalisability: adults from the general population, not just students, so is therefore more representative and so generalisable, and the results are consistent with other studies done in Europe, so arguably there is good population validity. Reliability: well-controlled, standardised statements, I.e., from 1-15 generating quantitative data which can be objectively & easily analysed & interpreted. The study supports the findings of Milgram & Hofling; the high levels of obedience found in this study can be explained by the non-physical nature of the abuse required to be obedient. Application to real life: psychological abuse is far more common in the real world than physical abuse, especially in the workplace.

18 Meeus & Raaijmakers (continued)
Validity: researchers maintained that ecological validity was high, arguing that the type of abuse depicted in the study was more common in society than the physical abuse depicted in Milgram’s study and therefore more realistic. However, experimental validity was still quite low because the scenario is still quite extreme and bizarre. Ethics: although the level of distress experienced by the naïve participants might be less than in Mlgram’s study, not giving electric shocks so no physical harm was thought to being perpetrated, it might still be distressing for the participants because they are seemingly causing mental stress to another person. The experiment also required a high level of deception to work. There was no ‘lie’ about the reality of the ‘shocks’ as in the Milgram study – so consent was more informed; however, deception was still used, the interviewee was an actor, but deception necessary for experimental validity. 1 = your answer to question 9 was wrong: 15=according to the test it would be better for you to apply for lower functions. The applicant would show increasing levels of distress as the offensive comments progressed up the scale to 15. Results: In the experimental condition, where the experimenter sat in on the interview, 22/24 (92%) of participants made all 15 stressful comments. In the control condition, where the naïve participant was alone, none did. Rates of obedience were higher than in the Milgram study. Conclusion: Even in a liberal culture like the Netherlands, people obeyed an authority figure & were prepared to abuse a stranger psychologically. People are even more willing to abuse people emotionally under direct orders.

19 In depth area of study: prejudice & discrimination
PREJUDICE: To pre-judge, when we allow our stereotypes to affect our beliefs & attitudes about a group of people (often based on little or no knowledge of them). DISCRIMINATION: Actions or treatment based on prejudice. Unequal treatment of individuals or groups – often based on characteristics such as race or sex. STEREOTYPE: A set of fairly fixed, simplistic generalisations (or characteristics) about a group or class of people.

20 Prejudiced Attitudes Attitude: how positive/negative you feel about something A=AFFECT – how you feel about something, e.g., mood, emotional state: anger, fear, suspicion, hostility. B=BEHAVIOUR – how you behave, e.g., insulting, avoidance, physical attack C=COGNITION – what you think about something: knowledge & attitudes based on stereotyping.

21 PREJUDICE: Social Identity Theory (minimal groups)
Social identity theory states that simply being in a group, or perceiving that you are in a group, is enough to create in-group loyalty & out-group hostility. Social identity theory & the process of generating in-group loyalty & out-group hostility is made of 3 features: SOCIAL CATEGORISATION SOCIAL IDENTIFICATION SOCIAL COMPARISON (SEE DEFINITIONS OF THESE TERMS ABOVE)

22 Social Identity Theory (continued)
Social identity theory is illustrated by the research carried out by Tajfel (1970). Participants were placed in groups according to minimal criteria – whether or not they liked the same paintings, or, when estimating the number of dots on a screen, they were under or over-estimators. In reality the participants were allocated to groups entirely randomly. A member of each group was then given the same task to perform. Members of each group then had to allocate rewards to the people performing the simple task. Despite the fact that the task being performed was the same for the individuals from each group, both groups decided to reward the member of their own group more highly than the member of the other group. There was no direct competition between the 2 groups and what members of each group thought they had in common with each other was minimal, i.e., liking the same painting, or being an under/over-estimator. Nevertheless, members of both groups were prepared to discriminate in favour of the member of their particular group; presumably because this increased their own social standing/self-esteem by the process of social comparison.

23 Evaluation of Social Identity Theory
The theory has a certain amount of face validity as it can successfully explain many aspects of real-world behaviour & be applied to a wide range of social situations, e.g., football teams, racism, Emos/Goths. There is great deal of empirical, scientific research which supports the theory, e.g., the research carried out by Tajfel, to an extent Sherif (1961), as the boys immediately developed strong in-group loyalty & out-group hostility when they knew there was another group of boys in the woods. The theory has useful applications: because it can explain how prejudice & discriminate originate, it can also be used to reduce prejudice & discrimination, i.e., by preventing in-groups from forming, mixing up social groups, trying to prevent social categorisation & identification.

24 Evaluation of Social Identity Theory (continued)
Some contemporary research into minimal groups suggests discrimination & prejudice is more complex. E.g., Dobbs & Crano (2001) showed that where individuals perceived that their in-group was in the majority there was much less in-group favouritism & out-group hostility than when they perceived their in-group was in the minority, (then the situation reversed); I.e., more likely to be anti-English if you are Welsh or Scottish than the other way around, because Welsh & Scottish people are the minority in the UK. Social Identity Theory cannot explain individual differences in levels of in-group loyalty & out-group hostility; not everyone in a particular in-group will have the same level of loyalty towards the in-group & hostility towards the out group (authoritarian personality theory may explain individual differences in prejudice better). Finally, people may have all sorts of complex reasons for identifying with each other, not just minimal reasons based on social standing/self-esteem, e.g., shared cultural history, shared histories of conflict & battles for resources.

25 2 studies in detail from social psychology
Can you describe & evaluate 2 key studies from the following?: One MUST be Hofling et al. (1966) nurses study. And 1 other Either Sherif et al (1961) Robbers’ Cave: OR Tajfel (1970) minimal groups

26 Hofling et al. (1966): Experimental study in nurse-physician relationships
Name: Hofling et al. obedience in a natural setting Aim: To investigate nurse-physician relationships, I.e., investigate effects of authority on obedience in a natural environment (a hospital) Method: field experiment; 12 graduate nurses & 21 student nurses asked to fill in a questionnaire about how they would act in the experimental situation. 22 nurses from 2 separate hospitals took part in experimental condition. While alone on a ward they were asked by an unknown doctor over the phone to break 4 hospital rules:. Generalisability: although the study only involved nurses, and nurses might conceivably be more inclined to obey doctors, the nurses in the study were simply those on duty at time, not specifically chosen. Also, nurses are not a particularly unique set of people, therefore, the study might be considered fairly good in terms of population validity. Reliability: the study was run 22 times with similar results, and the procedure was standardised. However, a field experiment has limited control over extraneous variables, so reducing reliability, I.e., the nurses might have been very tired, or overworked that particular day, so reacted unusually & without thinking, I.e., not how they would normally react, but Hofling did have an observer on the ward to ensure that conditions were right for the experiment to proceed.

27 Hofling et al. (continued)
Method cont’d: 1 Give an over dose of a drug {Astroten 5mg}to a patient (it was really a placebo) Instructions were given over the ‘phone, not in person The particular drug was unauthorised for use on that specific ward The instruction was given by an unfamiliar voice. The ‘doctor’ used a written script to standardise the procedure & all conversations were recorded. Results were operationalised thus: nurse complies & goes to give drug; consistently refuses to give drug; goes to get advice; becomes upset; call lasts longer than 10 minutes. Application to real life: this was done a in a real world environment and the negative effects of nurses obeying inappropriate instructions from doctors is very real & important. Validity: the study has very good ecological validity because it was done a real hospital with nurses who were unaware they were taking part in a study – it demonstrated real behaviour – nb., the difference between the questionnaire results 7 actual behavioural results. It also has experimental validity as the nurses were not aware they were in an experiment so behaved naturally, there were no demand characteristics so experimental validity was high, participant behaviour was not for the benefit of the study or the researcher.

28 Hofling et al. (continued)
Results: results of questionnaire=10/12 graduate nurses & 21/21 student nurses believed no one would give medication. Results of experimental condition=21/22 started to give the medication, calls were brief, only 11 nurses were aware of dosage limits for drug Astroten, none were hostile towards the caller & all admitted knowing what they were doing was against hospital rules but said it was a fairly common practice. Conclusion: the perception of authority (in this case a doctor) is enough to generate obedience, even when this could possibly endanger a patient’s life. Ethics: ethically the study was very dubious. No informed consent was obtained and the nurses were deceived. This was necessary for the experimental validity of the study & to avoid demand characteristics but would be upsetting for the nurses. Although the nurses were fully debriefed, to offset the deception, they admitted to feeling shame, guilt & embarrassment at their professional behaviour – research should ideally leave participants feeling positive about themselves, or they should leave in the same emotional state as they entered it. However, the nurses were reassured that they had acted normally, patient care had not been affected & they were not criticised for their conduct.

29 Sherif et al. (1961): Intergroup conflict & co-operation: The Robber’s Cave experiment
Name: Sherif et al. (1961). Aim: To see if prejudice can be created between two very similar groups by putting them in competition with each other. Method: A field experiment: year old white, lower middle-class protestant boys were taken to a summer camp in Robber’s Cave national park, Oaklahoma. They were all very similar & psychologically well-adjusted. They were put into 2 separate groups & for first 5 days each group given tasks to perform to help them bond as a group & given names (Rattlers & Eagles). Over next 4 days tension was generated between the 2 groups by staging a series of competitions between the 2 groups. Generalisability: The sample was not very representative, i.e., all white, protestant, middle class young boys – lacked population validity. Reliability: although the boys were all tested to ensure they were psychologically well-adjusted and they were all similar backgrounds, in a field experiment such as this it is very hard to control confounding & extraneous variables. Application to real life: There are many examples of tension & conflict over resources leading to prejudice & discrimination, e.g., Northern Ireland, race riots in northern England, Israel & Palestine. Also, how to reduce prejudice, e.g., through 2 opposing groups working together to solve a common problem – called a superordinate goal.

30 Sherif et al. (1961): Intergroup conflict & co-operation: The Robber’s Cave experiment
Method cont’d: Once hostility had been created the researchers tried to reduce it by bringing both groups together for joint activities and problem-solving tasks. Results: A strong in-group preference & out-group hostility was shown by each group; this was eventually reduced by the joint problem-solving tasks. Conclusion: Competition increased prejudice & discrimination, leading to clear inter-group conflict; however, there was some hostility between the groups as soon as they were aware of each other. Working together on co-operative tasks successfully, but not entirely, reduced prejudice & discrimination between the 2 groups. Validity: Ecological validity was high because they experiment was conducted in a natural environment, therefore, eliciting natural, uncontrived behaviour; also there was high experimental validity as the boys did not realise their behaviour was being observed & that they were in a experiment, so there would be no demand characteristics (trying to please the researcher). However, even before competition started, as soon as the groups knew of the existence of another group there was out-group hostility – simply being in a group seemed to be enough to create this, there was no need for competition. The competition simply strengthened that hostility. Ethics: the boys were not harmed or distressed, physical hostility was prevented & the researchers endeavoured to reduce the discrimination & prejudice at the end.

31 Sherif et al. (1961): Intergroup conflict & co-operation: The Robber’s Cave experiment
Ethics cont’d: Nevertheless, the did set out to deliberate create something negative: prejudice & discrimination, but do the benefits of the research outweigh the costs to the participants?

32 Tajfel et al. (1971) Social Categorisation & Intergroup Behaviour
Generalisability: The research has been replicated on many different social groups, not just schoolboys, as in the original studies, e.g. adults in Cardiff, female adults in California, soldiers in Germany: all showed similar minimal group effects. Therefore, this research does have population validity. Reliability: The study was easy to replicate because the procedure was strictly controlled & very similar results have been obtained across different cultures & groups. Application to real life: In the real world we are very often allocated to groups based on minimal criteria, e.g., school, workplace. Can be used to reduce prejudice, e.g., merging in-groups & out-groups. Name: Tajfel et al. (1971) Aim: To test whether the act of placing people into 2 clearly identifiable groups, based on minimal intra-group similarities & not in competition, would be enough to produce prejudice between groups of very similar people. (NB., inter=between/intra=within) Method: See explanation of Social Identity theory above. 2 versions of experiment, 1 involving paintings by Klee or Kandinsky, and 1 involving estimating numbers on a screen (being an under or over-estimator). The participants were initially placed into groups according to whether they were under/over-estimators, or their painting preference (in reality the allocation to groups was entirely random).

33 Tajfel et al. (1971) Social Categorisation & Intergroup Behaviour (continued)
Method cont’d: Participants were then given the opportunity to allocate points, which could be converted into prizes, to members of the two groups. The participants did not know who they were allocating points to, but did know which group they belonged to. In another variation, Tajfel further manipulated the experiment by ensuring that when participants favoured members of their in-group, the out-group would automatically get more points. Results: The participants overwhelmingly chose to favour their own group by allocating more points to members of their own group, even when this meant the out-group would then get more overall points, & therefore prizes. Validity: The study lacked ecological validity because it was quite removed from the real life experiences of the participants, I.e., being asked to estimate dots on a screen, or be placed in a group according to painting preference. Furthermore, the study was carried out in a university setting which would be unfamiliar to many of the participants. Experimental validity may be questioned because arguably there was implied competition created by the forced nature of the choice participants had to make between members of their in-group or those of the out-group.

34 Tajfel et al. (1971) Social Categorisation & Intergroup Behaviour (continued)
Conclusion: Even when categorised into meaningless/minimal groups, participants still chose to favour members of their own group over members of the other group. This shows we have a natural tendency in social situations to favour people we have identified & defined as being part of our ‘group’ & discriminate against those perceived to be members of a different group. One explanation of this is that by favouring members of our own perceived in-group, we boost our own self-esteem, because we are part of that group. Ethics: There are no real ethical issues and the participants were not caused distress. As some of the participants were schoolboys, informed consent & withdrawal may have been issue the boys had felt intimated by the adult researchers & university setting. The research does provide very useful insight into the mechanics of prejudice & discrimination and, therefore, ways of reducing prejudice & discrimination.

35 1 key issue in Social Psychology
Obedience during conflict: destructive obedience – Holocaust, Mi Lai massacre, Abu Ghraib Cult behaviour & obedience Race riots Football violence

36 Key issues in Social Psychology: destructive obedience, cult behaviour, football/race related violence All the above issues can be explained using ideas, concepts & research from social psychology But how? What ideas & research can be used? Agency theory Agentic V. autonomous states Moral strain Charismatic leadership & reward/punishment (coercive power) Social Identity Theory – in-group loyalty/out-group hostility Social categorisation, identification, comparison Self-esteem Soldiers who commit war crimes, football crowd violence & cult behaviour can be explained by: Agency theory, they become the agents of those with perceived authority/status/power; thus losing their own autonomy. Moral strain is the result, denying personal responsibility is a coping mechanism. Some people may have charismatic, or reward, or coercive, or expert power which gives them an ability to get others to do what they want them to. They may have a combination of these types of social power, thus eliciting obedience.

37 Key issues in Social Psychology: destructive obedience, cult behaviour, football/race related violence Being in the army, or a cult, or member of a football gang, or ethnic minority group can generate a strong sense of in-group loyalty & out-group hostility. A strong sense of in-group loyalty is often fostered by the army, cults etc., and the processes of social categorisation, identification & comparison can increase self-esteem. Any challenge to the in-group is also a challenge to members’ self-esteem and can be strongly resented. However, the level of in-group loyalty & out-group hostility varies between individual members of a group & whether the out-group is perceived as being in the majority or minority. All the above issues can be explained using ideas, concepts & research from social psychology But how? What ideas & research can be used? Agency theory Agentic V. autonomous states Moral strain Charismatic leadership & reward/punishment (coercive power) simplistic, emotional language Social Identity Theory – in-group loyalty/out-group hostility Social categorisation, identification, comparison Self-esteem De-individuation (Zimbardo-guards) De-humanisation(Zimbardo-prisoners, Milgram) Emotional contagion Conformity/obedience/power of social situation.

38 Key issues in Social Psychology: destructive obedience, cult behaviour, football/race related violence (continued) Not everyone becomes an agent of perceived authority & enters into an agentic state – some people disobey despite the social, & sometimes physical, costs to themselves. Agency theory struggles to explain this The concept of agency theory may provide an excuse for some people to commit horrible acts & atrocities – they were psychologically powerless to act any differently, but is this really case? Some conflict between groups is about competition for resources (Realistic Conflict Theory); or is the result of negative propaganda about out-groups & so is not a naturally occurring social phenomena.

39 Research Methods/How Science Works & Practical
For the social approach you will need to know a range of scientific terminology & be able to describe & evaluate a number of different social psychological research methods Many of these terms you will need to apply to a short practical based on principles from social psychology. When carrying out your own social psychology practical you will need to keep a record of:

40 Research Methods/How Science Works & Practical
How you planned it; How you carried it out/methodology & procedure; How you analysed it; Your conclusions; Your evaluation of your practical.

41 Research Methods/How Science Works & Practical
Qualitative data: descriptive, non-numerical information, such as generated by open-ended questions, unstructured interviews etc.. Difficult to analyse statistically & therefore to generalise from. Greater validity as provides more detail & means answers can be explored in more depth making conclusions more meaningful. Quantitative data: information is numerical in nature, such as generated by closed questions, likert scales etc.. Numerical data only tells you how often behaviour occurs, not the underlying motivation for behaviour, reduces thoughts & attitudes to numbers which undermines validity. Is reliable, as easy to repeat, easy to statistically analyse & therefore to generalise from.

42 Sampling methods (a representative sample is drawn from the target population)
Procedure Strength Weakness Random Every member of the target population has an equal chance of taking part in research: like names being drawn out of a hat Most representative, unbiased sampling technique of a ‘normal’ population, researcher has no influence over who is chosen. Very hard to do unless you have a small population group. Opportunity Participants selected from whoever is available at the time. Ethical, no pressure to take part , easy & quick Not very representative, I.e., sample drawn from who is available at time. Stratified A proportional representation of the target group, e.g., if target group=60%male & 40% female our sample will have same proportion of males & females Likely to be very representative of target population Time-consuming & difficult to establish correct proportions from target & sample populations. Volunteer/ self-selected Participants select themselves, e.g., respond to advert Well-motivated & people might not normally have access to As volunteers their high motivation may make them as differently to other types of participants.

43 Sampling methods (a representative sample is drawn from the target population) continued.
[For many psychological studies the sample is made up of students because researchers will often use opportunity sampling] Method Procedure Strength Weakness Systematic sampling This involves selecting every nth person from a list or group, e.g., from a list of 1000 selecting every 10th person Likely to be more representative than simply choosing first 10 on a list or from a group Still not entirely representative as method is not entirely random & need big sample for it to be effective, which may not always be practical.

44 Surveys: questionnaires & interviews
Method Description Strengths Weaknesses Unstructured interview Questions are open-ended, not systematic, each question depends on answers given previously: qualitative data Flexible, more detail can expand on answers, get information about attitudes, beliefs underpinning behaviour, high validity. Cannot be replicated, unsystematic, time consuming, subjective interpretation Semi-structured interview Is a schedule of questions but some flexibility to expand on responses See above Structured interview Systematic, pre=set questions asked of every interviewee Systematic, very reliable as easy to repeat & compare answers. Less detail elicited as little opportunity to expand on answers: lower validity Closed Questions 1 word, yes/no answers, Likert scales, limited responses, yields quantitative data Reliable, easy to replicate, easy to interpret & statistically analyse answers, objective, can be large-scale Low validity, little detail, superficial, only tells you how often, not why. Open questions Can be answered how participant chooses, words not numerical response, yields qualitative data Detailed, more valid (opposite to closed questions) Low reliability, subjective interpretation (opposite to closed questions)

45 Research Methods/How Science Works
Surveys – questionnaires & interviews generate self-report data, i.e., information elicited from questions which relies on the participants reporting their own behaviour, feelings, attitudes etc.

46 Research Methods/How Science Works
Before starting a piece of research a hypothesis has to be made: a hypothesis is a testable prediction. Prediction of human behaviour is made and then tested to ascertain if this hypothesis, or prediction, is actually true for most people There are 3 types of hypothesis.

47 Research Methods/How Science Works: Hypotheses
Experimental hypothesis: This is a prediction testable by means of either laboratory, field or natural experiment. Alternative hypothesis: This is a prediction testable by means of research methodology other than experiments, e.g., questionnaires, interviews, observations, correlation studies, longitudinal, Cross-sectional & cross-cultural studies. Null hypothesis: This is NOT the opposite of the alternative or experimental hypothesis – it is a rejection of it. The null hypothesis states that the prediction is wrong, there is no such effect (as had been predicted) other than effects produced by chance. E.g., Exp Hypothesis: coffee makes you more alert: Null hypothesis: coffee has no effect on alertness, any increase in alertness due to chance factors.

48 Ethics & research on human participants
Introduction: researchers must ensure that public, after taking part in research, have confidence in the psychology profession & have a positive perception of psychologists. All participants should be treated with respect & their dignity & well-being should be safe-guarded at all times. Informed Consent: participants must be made aware of the aims & procedure of the research to enable them to make a fully informed decision about whether to take part or not. Sometimes, to avoid demand characteristics, participants may be deceived about the nature of the research, or they may be in a field experiment or observation where informed consent cannot be obtained prior to research. In these cases participants must be fully debriefed after the research. Where informed consent cannot be obtained presumptive consent can be obtained (would other people, if the scenario was explained to them agree to take part in the study themselves). Debriefing: participants must be fully debriefed at the end of the research, I.e., everything about the nature of the research must be revealed to them, & they must be reminded of their right to withdraw their results from the study & given the chance to ask any questions about the study. They must leave in same emotional state as they arrived. Withdrawal: participants must be made aware that they can withdraw at any time, even if they have been paid, and they can also withdraw their data.

49 Ethics & research on human participants
Competence: Researchers should do research and make judgements only in areas appropriate to their area of expertise; must check with colleagues if there is any doubt – or not carry it out research. Deception: wherever possible participants should not be deceived unless vital to preserve experimental validity & should be fully debriefed at the end. Confidentiality: unless agreed with participants in advance, confidentiality should be maintained, no personal information should be disclosed & pseudonyms used. Protection from harm: Participants should be protected from physical & psychological harm & should be exposed to no more risk than they would normally encounter in their usual lives. Participants should leave the research feeling positive about themselves & the experimental experience. Observation: participants should only be observed in places where public behaviour is expected.

50 Research Methods/How Science Works
Reliability: this refers to the consistency of data – if the research is reliable we would expect that if it were repeated, with similar types of participants in similar circumstances, the same results would be obtained. Validity: Does the research actually measure what it is supposed to measure. In psychology testing abstract concepts can be difficult, we rely on observing measurable changes in behaviour & attitudes/beliefs; however, we cannot always be sure that what we think we are testing is actually being reflected in the participants’ responses – these responses may be due to factors other than the ones we are thinking we are testing. Subjectivity: This refers to the interpretation of data, could participants’ data be interpreted differently, is the interpretation of data completely free from bias? Objectivity: Essentially the opposite, is data able to be interpreted in such a way that it is deemed unbiased, untainted by attitudes, beliefs & values of the researcher.

51 Research Methods/How Science Works: The Practical
Develop a hypothesis & null hypothesis. Consider the ethics of your practical: questions should not cause distress, embarrassment. Consider how you will generate quantitative & qualitative data: closed questions & open-ended questions, questionnaire & small-scale unstructured interview/semi or structured interview. Sampling: who is your target group what type of sampling method are you going to use to ensure a representative sample, what issues are there with your sampling method, how big will the sample be? Operationalising your research: how will you operationalise your questions & variables, e.g., if you are trying to measure attitudes, levels of prejudice, out/in-group loyalty or obedience how will your define & measure these terms? What/who will you be comparing? Conduct a pilot study: ask a very small number of participants the questions you wish to first to ensure that they fulfil the criteria you want, if they don’t you have the opportunity to change them at an early stage. These responses can be included in your final results.

52 Research Methods/How Science Works: The Practical
Analysing the results: Quantitative data: look for numerical trends by establishing mean, median & mode, range & standard deviation. Analysing the results: Qualitative data: look for trends/themes in the answers given to open-ended questions. Reliability: is your study reliable? What have you done to standardise instructions & procedure to avoid experimenter bias & ensure the research is well-controlled? Validity: What have you done to ensure high validity & avoid demand characteristics and confounding/extraneous variables affecting your results? Do your results support the alternative/experimental hypothesis or the null hypothesis? Why? Have your participants been fully debriefed?


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