Sunday, October 28, 2012

First Impressions (Online)

A field of research relevant to social psychology is interpersonal perception, a subject focusing on the beliefs and impressions between two interacting people. First impressions are always a major concern (I read in The Social Animal by David Brooks that a majority of the long-lasting judgments you make on a person become solidified in the first 20 seconds of meeting them) when it comes to meeting people for the first time and has manifested itself into a manipulable form when it comes to making first impressions via online social networks. YouJustGetMe is a site developed by social psychologists attempting to determine the significance of a few autobiographical details in relation to the accuracy with which you can judge another person's personality online. To participate, you have to create a free account, fill out a 40 question personality test, and from there you can select random profiles, look at their photo and read their about me, and then evaluate how you perceive their lifestyle, behavior, and attitude. Your score is then assessed in comparison to how they view their self and, as if to add just another twist to the site, if you receive a high enough score, you are allowed to contact them for further communication. The site offers some interesting commentary on the accuracy in which you can judge others on dating sites or social media while also admitting to the skepticism from the ability to screen your own personality online.

I suggest that you take a moment to check the site out, yourself. Can personality tests like these accurately assess people and are the methods being employed here successful in measuring a first impression? I invite you to take a look through my profile, evaluate me based off of the information I have given, and see if your impression of me rings true. If you decide to create one for yourself, I suggest posting it here to see how accurately others can assess you online.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

By Fore of Arms

By Force of Arms: Rape, War, and Military Culture

Pg 725 Deindividuation Norms in Primary Groups;

Upon reading the theory of deindividuation I was interested in this notions role in the army. I found this article on Jstore that is a researche that focuses on  variety of issues but what was really interesting was how they broke down the fluxuation of issues of sexual assault by military forces in peace time and war time and also wether the deindividuation pay particularly and important role in offiicers participation in sexual assault. And seeks a solution for to solve these existing issues within the military. 
As it turn out in, war time instances of sexual assault by military forces does change quite a bit compared to civilian rates of incidents. The article focuses on how some aspect of military culture: military organization being composed of bonded groups of individuals who share group norms which revolve around masculinity, sexuality might cause this fluxuation of rape incidences as specially by indirectly forging deindividuation due to the nature of it's structure. 
In general , i found the article to be very well documented ,non biased and insight full. It is quite interesting to she how the individual character play a big role within the process of deindividuation. It is quite interesting to see how the context effect the individuals internal constrains on behavior. What is exteremly intriguing is the potential of deindividuation for  both extreme positive and negative behaviors.However that being said, it is also quite disturbing to see that military needs deindividuation to some extent to functions as an enforcing mechanism where individuals are called upon to act on external cues. With that in mind this dynamic presents a quite intriguing dilemma with the whole military culture and functioning.
What do you guys think ? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Does Flirting Help Women Get Ahead?


The Telegraph recently posted an article about how if women use flirtatious behavior while doing business, they will have positive results. Researchers from UC Berkeley and University College London conducted a test in which 100 participants were polled on their reliance on charm while doing business negotiations. The results found that women who flirted during these negotiations achieved more favorable results than those who try to appear tough. In a second experiment, the volunteers were asked to imagine a scenario in which they are selling a car, and how much they would ask for it. They were asked to imagine two situations, one in which the woman selling the car is warm and flirtatious, and another where they are colder and more stern. The study found that more affectionate women could sell the car for less. In contrast, a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that men who utilize their charm in business situations with the opposite sex perform no better than women who use the same technique.

The results of this test makes sense, although their would be more effective ways to carry out the experiment. It appears to have been a descriptive study, in which people were simply asked to imagine certain scenarios or report how they acted in certain situations of their past. These tests are tricky because people cannot be trusted to tell the truth, and will usually modify their response if they know they are part of an experiment. A correlational or even an experimental study of some sort would have gained more reliable information on the topic. If successful women were studied concerning how they got to their positions of power, this could be an effective correlational study. An experimental study in which men were tricked into thinking they were interviewing two different woman, one flirtatious and one with a more cold demeanor, this could have had interesting and telling results.

Nevertheless, this topic of this study is fairly important. Gender equality in high-paid jobs seems to be on the rise, but how the women get these jobs seems to be overlooked. It does not surprise me that women who are more flirtatious achieve better results, this seems to be a real world truth that many people have accepted. Men react well to women who they think are interested in them. Men do the same thing to women, and it is how a lot networking goes down in the business world.

Personally, I am not sure how to react to these results. They seems pretty obvious, but I wonder if the results would anger anyone. I think it is hard to draw the line between confidence and the ability to talk comfortably and flirting. We live in a very shallow world, and what is perceived flirting can be many different scenarios between genders. What one person could consider flirting, another person may not. When does flirting in a business environment become unprofessional? There are so many variables, but it seems apparent that when business takes place between genders, men will react more favorably to women who seem interested in them.