Wednesday, December 1, 2010
In class, we learned that because of the bystander effect, a person who is in emergency is more likely to be helped by others when there is only one witness than when there are several. Also, the text book says, "people are less likely to help in urban areas than in rural ones." Bibb Latane and Judith Rodin at Columbia University conducted a study about Inhibiting Effects of Friends and Strangers on Bystander Intervention, and explained that the reason is because "there are too many strangers in cities." In their study, each participant was assigned to fill out a questionnaire in one of four situations: 1. alone in the testing room, 2. with an unresponsive confederate of the experimenter, 3. with another participant who was a stranger, 4. with a friend. While they were filling out their questionnaires, a loud sound of an accident and scream were heard from the representative's office. The result showed that the most helpful situations were when the participant was alone, and when he was with a friend; 70% of the participants in both cases helped out. In contrast, 40% of the participants with strangers, and only 7 % of those with the unresponsive confederates offered help. This result explains that people in rural areas are more helpful, because not only there are less people, but also they are more likely to know each other than people in large cities do.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I don't recall anyone being assigned to make a blog post last class, and since no one is posting I figured I'd put up a post.
In this article, social psychologists discovered that when girls are in a learning environment in which they are being reminded of negative gender stereotypes, they will end up learning less. The way they studied whether negative stereotypes would hinder a woman's learning was by having a group of woman perform a certain visual perception task. Before doing the task, some of the women in the group were reminded of various stereotypes about women being bad at math and visual processing abilities while women were told nothing at all at the beginning of the task. Surely enough, the woman that had been reminded of the stereotypes ended up performing poorly on the task in comparision to the woman that had been told nothing at the beginning of the task. When looking into these stereotypes in younger children in schools, the psychologists looked into who was perpetuating these stereotypes, and they had come to realize that in many situations it was the female teachers themselves that enforced these stereotypes, thus leading these young girls to perform poorly in subjects like math.
This study can be applied to any group of persons that have been negatively stereotyped, and this makes me wonder about our school systems and how they alone can have such a great impact on our futures and whether or not they succeed. Would the enforcement of positive thought from a young age in our school systems be enough to help so many more children succeed who have been previously left in the dust due to negative stereotypes? What are your thoughts?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Based on the history of the region and the psychological differences of each group(ethnicity and age), we will plan out how the play-structure can force the children to get together.
The purpose of designing such structure is to set up a common goal to achieve so they feel they are forced in the same situation.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
We have each chosen two sources and written two (or more) pages per person on the problem presented in our articles, the theoretical solution they have proposed, and finally how it relates to solving our problem of creating this playground.
We are now reading through all of our papers together and have created an introduction and are working to create an outline and order to when we will site each of our points and sources.
We have also begun to create the actual model of our playground out of recycled materials and metal.
Along the line, after our first draft (which will be finished by Monday) we will then begin to draft an actual presentation , refine our model, and begin collecting imagery for a slide show to go along with our presentation. All of this will be done alongside also refining our paper.
The Front Row
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The group decided on trying to integrate Hasidic Jews and Hipster children. We've each put research from different categories together (Hipsters, Hasidism, Child Psychology, Integration, Gender Roles), and have chosen a category to write about. There are six of us, so one person in the group will edit the papers together rather than writing their own section. Hopefully, this will allow the paper to flow naturally.
One unexpected challenge that came up is separating the children by sex. Hasidic Jews keep their children separated by sex. Typically, children are only allowed to interact with the opposite sex if they are closely related. Because of this, we are planning to design a playground that naturally encourages the children to separate by sex.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I'm sure that everyone has heard about the obscene number of internet bullying-related suicides in recent news. When I read chapter 8 and came to the section on deindividuation, that was the first thing I thought of. This article talks about bullying (while physically in school), and blatantly leaves out the whole concept of internet bullying which single-handedly led to the 10 suicides in September. I was shocked when I read this - clearly, the issue has gone beyond the playground, and this article gives parents/guardians a false sense of security. "A Glimmer of Hope"? Really? Do you guys think this article is an example of flawed groupthink which the textbook at one point refers to as a "social disease"?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Just letting you guys know that I'm working on putting up the new blog design. I'm having some problems with things like the link color etc so just bare with me for the next few days as I work on fixing up the kinks.
If there's anything that is bothering you about the new layout then let me know and I will do my best to fix it.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This article is about replicating an experiment done by Stanely Milgram in 1961. It was a social experiment about obedience and asked for the participants to act as "teachers" and "learners". Teachers had to administer electric shock therapy on the learner. Groups of learners and teachers would administer shocks that they believed were real but the machine was fake. "Milgram found that, after hearing the learner's first cries of pain at 150 volts, 82.5 percent of participants continued administering shocks; of those, 79 percent continued to the shock generator's end, at 450 volts." This experiment is very interesting when dealing with obedience and authority. It's hard to believe humans are so accepting of authority and social obedience. Has there ever been a situation in which you had to conform to a practice which you did not agree with?
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
You wouldn't think the people preaching to us about what not to do, would be participating in those same activities themselves. It does make sense that older folk who are going back out into the dating world after divorce, or being widowed would not be as protective with sex. As mentioned in the article they have been spoiled, and I guess they forget that they are with a new partner who has new things, such as an std, that they may not know about. It's really interesting to think that more teenagers are being safer about sex than adults. Because our generation has grown up with extremely progressive science, we are constantly learning about knew things that are harmful. We've grown up knowing about the effects of smoking, the possibility of becoming pregnant of getting and stds without proper protection, and things of that nature, whereas people from older generations, were not exposed to the same information. Although they are now aware of these things, I think growing up without having them being drilled into your constantly by parents, media, etc. has an impact on your decisions later on in life. Because our friends and people of our age are the people we normally talk to about sex, there are a lot similarities, but when it comes to someone who is 20 or 30 years older than us, that is a different territory, which we normally don't think about or talk about. After reading this article though, it does seem like we should be the ones lecturing the people ages 40-100 about safe sex.
Friday, October 15, 2010
We've been talking a lot about attitudes and stereotypes in class. As former high school students, we all know what it's like to have awkward sex talks with parents/guardians where they assume you're being reckless when it comes to sex. This article debunks this stereotype, suggesting that older generations could benefit from a sex talk, whereas the vast majority of 14-17 year olds that are having sex, are using condoms. It seems like the first step to changing some gaping, inaccurate attitudes/stereotypes about teens.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
So what constitutes a “fag hag” anyways? And where does the term “fag hag” in particular come from? This article touches upon a study done to see whether or not the common stereotypes of straight women with many gay male friends are in fact correct. In order test the stereotypes, a group of straight women were asked to share how many gay male friends compared to other friends they had, their relationship history, their amount of self esteem through the “Body Esteem Scale”, and finally if they had been recently dumped or if they were the dumper. These results were all compiled in order to test the common stereotype that these women with mostly gay male friends have low self esteems and feel unattractive to straight men. If these “fag hags” did in fact meet this stereotype, then the hypothesis was that their level of self-esteem would correspond with their number of gay friends. To put it simply: the sadder the straight women’s love life, the more gay male friends. The final results? Quite the contrary. It turned out that there was absolutely no correlation between these women’s relationship statuses, their self-esteem, or the amount of times they had been broken up with by a boyfriend. Another interesting find was that the more gay friends a women had the more sexually attractive she actually found herself. The end of this study even brings up that why does this stereotype not exist in the reverse? A straight male with many lesbian friends? Thoughts?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
ScienceDaily (June 6, 2008) — A new study appearing in Personal Relationships shows how “connections” to celebrities, i.e. parasocial relationships, can allow people with low-self esteem to view themselves more positively
For many people, the admiration of celebrities can have some important benefits. Jaye L. Derrick and Shira Gabriel of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York illustrate how parasocial relationships can provide a safe route for people who have a difficult time with real interpersonal relationships. People with low self-esteem can use their parasocial relationships to feel closer to the ideals they hold for themselves.
Researchers conducted three studies using approximately one hundred undergraduate university students each to examine the relationship between self-esteem, parasocial relationship closeness, and self-discrepancies. Participants identified their favorite celebrity and described that celebrity in an open-ended essay. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale assessed global self-evaluations.
Results showed that people with low self-esteem saw their favorite celebrities as very similar to their ideal selves. Low self-esteem people primed with their favorite celebrity felt more similar to their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a control celebrity. Also, people with low self-esteem primed with their favorite celebrity felt more similar to their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a close relationship partner.
The current research demonstrates that parasocial relationships can have self-enhancing benefits for low self-esteem people that they do not receive in real relationships. These parasocial relationships, which have very low risk of rejection, offer low self-esteem people an opportunity to reduce their self-discrepancies and feel closer to their ideal selves.
“Even ‘fake’ relationships with celebrities, relationships without any actual contact, can have benefits for the self,” the authors conclude. “We found that parasocial relationships can sometimes have benefits for people with low-self esteem that ‘real’ relationships do not.”
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell.
- Parasocial relationships and self-discrepancies: Faux relationships have benefits for low self-esteem individuals.JAYE L. DERRICK, SHIRA GABRIEL, BROOKE TIPPIN.Personal Relationships, 15 (2) , 261%u2013280 DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2008.00197.x
Through scientific analysis researchers debunked the commonly believed myth that boys are more inclined to show aggression physically (i.e. through hitting, fighting, etc.) and that girls are more prone to social aggression (i.e. gossip, social rejection/exclusion). The study found that boys are just as likely as girls to show both physical and social forms of aggression, and that children who exhibit one form are more likely to exhibit the other form as well.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
IS your social network making you fat? Are your friends and family influencing you to smoke and drink more, or to sleep less?
And if our relationships contribute to behaviors that erode our health, can social networks be harnessed to improve it?
According to this article, movies that portray actors and actresses smoking should be rated R so that kids who are not legally old enough to smoke are not exposed as often to smoking. In 2008 the National Cancer Institute did a study that showed kids being very influenced by all the tobacco products they saw in movies. This article shows the influence one group has on another, the media on the viewer, role models and the people that look up to them.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Study Links Religious Groups and Racial Bias
By Carl Marziali on February 10, 2010 7:57 AM
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus warned religious listeners against what today would be called “ingroup prejudice”: the tendency to think less of outsiders, especially those of another race.
The Samaritan, a member of a group despised by Israelites of that time, proves himself more charitable to an injured traveler than two members of the Jewish clergy.
Devout listeners startled by the Samaritan’s charity would have had to confront a difficult message: Piety and prejudice keep close company.
It appears not much has changed.
A meta-analysis of 55 independent studies carried out in the United States with more than 20,000 mostly Christian participants has found that members of religious congregations tend to harbor prejudiced views of other races.
In general, the more devout the community, the greater the racism, according to the authors of the analysis, led by Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at USC College and the USC Marshall School of Business. The study appears in the February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review.
“Religious groups distinguish between believers and non-believers and moral people and immoral ones,” Wood said. “So perhaps it’s no surprise that the strongly religious people in our research, who were mostly white Christians, discriminated against others who were different from them — blacks and minorities.”
Most of the studies reviewed by Wood’s team focused on Christians because Christianity is the most common religion in the United States.
Her analysis found significantly less racism among people without strong religious beliefs.
Wood speculated that racist tendencies would not be limited to one religion: “All religions offer a moral group identity, and so across world religions — including Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Judaism and Christianity — the religious ingroup is valued over outgroups.”
Wood and her co-authors — Deborah Hall from Duke University and David Matz from Augsburg College — analyzed data from all available studies on religion and racism since 1964, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. A quarter of the studies in the analysis were conducted after 2000 and just over half after 1990.
Despite the involvement of religious individuals in the civil rights movement, and in later struggles for racial equality, the authors found a strong correlation between religious belief and racism, as measured through commonly used survey tools that rate respondents’ attitudes toward religion and racial minorities.
Studies of highly devout groups showed the greatest correlation between religion and racism.
“The effect is strongest in the seminary,” Wood said. Of the 55 studies, 14 dealt with highly religious populations such as frequent church attendees and seminarians.
The results may ring false to practicing Christians in mixed-race congregations. But those are only a minority, according to Wood.
“There aren’t many churches that practice with a mixed-race congregation,” she said.
Wood emphasized the value of religion.
“Religion has clear benefits for the individual who is practicing that religion,” she said.
However, “religion has a downside, like any group membership, particularly a group membership that is associated with morality.”
She attributed the association between religion and racism to the combination of ingroup identity and morality, which encourages distinctions between people. The appeal of tradition and social convention also played a role.
“People who were religious because of their respect for tradition and social convention were especially likely to be racist,” Wood said, though adding that the strength of the correlation declined somewhat as racism became less socially acceptable.
“The effect stays significant even in recent years. For people who are religious for conservative reasons [respect for tradition, social conventionalism], they have become less racist in recent years as racism has become less socially acceptable. But even they are still significantly racist, just that the effect has reduced in magnitude,” Wood explained.
Wood and her co-authors also found little difference in racist attitudes between religious fundamentalists and more moderate Christians. The second group tended to pay lip service to racial equality but harbored the same prejudices.
“What we found with that group of people was really no different from everyone else,” Wood said.
Wood’s analysis echoes what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote more than 40 years ago in his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in which he reserved some of his sharpest criticism for religious leaders who, with few exceptions, embraced integration in principle but resisted it in practice.
Do the findings mean that being religious makes one a racist? Not necessarily.
The Samaritan in Jesus’ parable himself was a member of a religious group that held other religions in contempt.
Yet he stopped for an outsider who needed help.
An abstract of Wood's review, titled "Why Don't We Practice What We Preach? A Meta-Analytic Review of Religious Racism," is available at http://psr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/14/1/126
The study of religion and racism is not new. In a 2001 study, included in Wood's review, the authors cite some major studies in the field: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1388176
The causes of religious racism are complex. For example, while noting that "decades of research have demonstrated an empirical relationship between religion and prejudice," the authors of the 2001 study blame right-wing authoritarianism rather than religious belief for instances of racial prejudice among Christian fundamentalists.
Wood's review places her among those scholars who find evidence of racial prejudice in a wide range of religious groups, from the highly devout and evangelical to the more moderate and less vocal.