Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rethinking Gender Roles

After watching the Stanford Prison experiment, I began to think about how roles affected everyday society. When I found this article, I was immediately drawn to how apparent this influence of roles really is in our lives. The article talks about a video that the author watched where the roles of men and women in society were reversed. It's frightening to think of how much our gender roles define how we're treated in society.

Link: Gender Roles

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I found this article really interesting because I have seen this happen in the classroom before. I also have seen it with men though. Many times men will work hard on something and not take credit for something because they are trying to fit in or fly below the radar. This begs the question as to whether it is an issue with men vs women or personality types. I believe it is a bit of both.

This is an article about an online drinking game where contestants one up each other with drinking challenges. These challenges have led to the deaths of multiple men now. I found this incredibly funny/disturbing. It is disturbing to see the amount that online community can influence people in such negative ways. However it is darkly funny due to these people's idiocy. I also found it interesting that no women have found it necessary to drink themselves to death over online competition. This article reaches a disturbing middle ground between funny and tragic that I find interesting on it's own.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jane Elliott

This article deals with Jane Elliott’s experiment with the class and her life after teaching.  Jane Elliott interestingly says, “We are constantly being told that we don't have racism in this country anymore, but most of the people who are saying that are white," she said.  "White people think it isn't happening because it isn't happening to them."  Elliott’s experiment is simple and effective as the participant firsthand experiences what racism feels life.  It is interesting to see the application of the experiment to the work place and what problems it can solve.  It is also interesting to see the public’s reaction after she appeared on television to her experiment despite the fact that years later the kids said it was beneficial.  Racism is a charged issue that some people do not know how to talk about.  It is admirable that Elliott was able to make a difficult issue talk-able in a simple way.


The psychological influence of the police uniform

In this article, we see the way that uniforms are perceived by the public, as well as how the police view themselves when wearing their uniform. We see the historical reference the modern day uniform is influnced by those of London police officers.
The color of the uniform also affects our perception of the officer, for example, the usual color is blue, yet for the California sheriff, it is tan and dark green, which gives a more approachable feeling to the officer. The police uniform give people around the officer a sense of security, knowing that it is a police officers job to serve and protect. This uniform also gives the officer the entitlement and right to step if he sees danger.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Nature of Conformity

In this article, the "nature" of blind obedience in questioned. With an emphasis on Milgram's shock experiment, and Zimbardo's Stanford Prison experiment, the article takes a look at what made those studies so effective, and whether it's just about humanity's blind instinct to obey an authoritative figure, or whether specific individuals are what makes the difference. As one of the "prisoner" contestants states to one of the students who played a guard: "If I had been a guard I don't think it would have been such a masterpiece."
The article states that "the Zimbardo-inspired tyranny was made possible by the active engagement of enthusiasts rather than the leaden conformity of automatons."
The article goes on to question the BANALITY OF EVIL thesis, which suggests that all men and women becomes subjects to authority through obedience eventually. The article states that in order for people to become truly obedient and successful participants for studies such as Milgram and Zimbardo's, it requires a certain amount of creativity, active action, and involvement. Although I agree with them in some respects, I think that they are diminishing the feel of a "role" that people take on. Zimbardo's Prison experiment shows us how people conform to what they feel they should be doing in their given role. Although some took more of an initiative when given the role, and played a more active role, the initial spark that began those reactions and thoughts came from the idea of a role to play, and the power or submission that comes along with it.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Looking Glass Selfie

I've always been intrigued with the fact that as a human being it is impossible to see ourselves without the aid of a reflection or capturing an image. Our reflections are personal, unique to the exact moment of being in the location and seeing ourselves but an image can be held on to and shared with others, completely changing the reason for seeing one self. Currently, in our society the act of taking a "selfie" has become a definition of our self image and the image that others have of us. The article I stumbled across, The Social Psychology of the Selfie, has both answered questions and lead to more questions about self perception and the perception we have of one another through the use of foreign mediums rather than experiencing and seeing someone in the flesh.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Power of Roles in Breaking Bad

The power of roles. When we were assigned this blog post, something that came to mind was Breaking Bad, especially Walter White.

      Most of us know that in the beginning Walt was a father of two and a chemistry teacher who play the classical role of the American man. By the end of the series, though, Walter becomes the enemy, he is no longer any of these things.
      One idea this article mentions is that maybe Walter was never a family man. That Heisenberg, as we know to be his alias for drug dealing, was in fact his true self. That though he has been the nice guy for so many years he didn't truly know that his real self was the 'role' of Heisenberg.
      This role consumes him so completely that when he is forced to return to his 'Walt-self' he is so bad at it and completely transparent in his lies.
You can read about it on The Atlantic.

Dear Heavenly Fanatics,

At the Mike Kelley exhibition at PS1 MoMA, there was a poster series entitled The Secret, 1999. The poster to the far left was most controversial and seemingly unique amongst the series because of its political headline. After closer reading, the article taken from the Sunday Telegraph speaks on the inhumane connection people make to celebrities because of their exposed life that create a sense of intimacy, extending itself further to desire. Without even meeting or interacting, fans become obsessed, respecting and investing in a person they see as a deity. However the lacking fulfillments of a tangible relationship causes negative affects on the relationships people have with those directly around them and themselves spiritually, emotionally and physically. A celebrities fame surpasses the screen and becomes intwined in an average persons life, setting standards and achievements to be meet. This inevitable causes a power of roles between leader (celebrity) and follower (fans). This article comments of other aspects of Celebrity Worship for further reading.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Growth Charts for Cognitive Development lead to earlier Diagnosis for children with risk for psychosis Penn Medicine researchers have developed a better way to asses and diagnose psychosis in young children. The researchers used growth charts for cognitive development to demonstrate that the most significant lags in cognitive development correlate with the most severe cases of psychosis. The researchers administered a structured evaluation and observed symptoms of psychosis, which are anxiety, mood, attention-deficit disorder, disruptive behavior and eating disorders; in young children. They found that children who had  greater developmental lags had the most extreme symptoms of psychosis compared to the typical developing group. They also found how how such disorders such as schizophrenia manifests themselves across the sexes. They found that boys in the spectrum show an earlier decline in memory and social understanding, whereas girls showed minimal lag in memory across all age groups.

Loneliness is a major health Risk for adults In this Article the author discusses how loneliness increases an elderly's chances of premature death and how socioeconomic status contributes to this as well. Researchers in this experiment found that satisfying relationships of the elderly helps develop their resilience. It is true that even though some people prefer to have alone time, most people thrive from social situations in which they provide mutual supportCacioppo found that it wasn't physical isolation itself but the subjective sense that is disruptive.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All Power Tends To Corrupt

Like the video we watched in class, this article talks about a different study that was conducted by Nathanael Fast at the University of Southern California.  By combining status and power together, he tested if that would be abused.  The whole idea of abusing power because one has authority is interesting but also scary because it obviously happens in the world.  In this article, they use the term “little Hitler”. Not ever hearing this term before, it does relate well to these studies.  As long as people have the ability to be in a certain role, there is always the change of this happening.  There has to be some influence of personality with this situation, however how can you know who has that personality to prevent situations like this occurring?  In a way, maybe one will not know until they are put in that situation, such as one of these studies.  

Brain stimulation affects compliance with social norms

In this article, author tries to say that brain stimulation can effect and influence one's normative behavior towards to social norm. This article suggests with an example of experiment excited to study how prefrontal cortex has a relationship with human behavior. Throughout the biologic mechanism of the brain, there is also a relationship of neural activity changing normative behavior in their experiment. They learned that norm compliance is impartial of knowledge about the norm and can be augmented by means of brain stimulation.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Brain stimulation and social norms

This article discusses how brain stimulation can affect one’s compliance with social norms. Through a new study conducted at the University of Zurich, it has been discovered that human norm compliance behaviors are determined by the prefrontal cortex and is, in fact, impartial to previous knowledge about the norm. Specifically, results from the experiment have concluded that neural stimulation in the prefrontal cortex enhances one’s decisions to abide by social norms.

Turkish-Armenian conflict
This article discusses the Turkish-Armenia conflict, which is the belief that in 1915, there was an Armenian genocide by the people of turkey. As of right now, turkey still does not recognize that that has happened, as do many of our past presidents of the United States. The idea of a "perpetual state of mourning" is used to describe Armenians reaction to this historical event. The Turkish, on the other hand, refuse to acknowledge it's defeats and put more emphasis on its victories. This article really touches on the idea of inter group contact, seeing as these two groups still have conflict today.

The End of Social Norms?

According to a poll conducted on over 40,000 children, teenagers and adults, behavior amongst the youth is becoming less dependent on societal expectations. Based on their answers to a series of questions, it was determined that about 25% more of the teenage population disregards public opinion. This ignorance to expectation isn't necessarily something new but it is more abundant, and is quickly becoming a majority opinion. This in itself is ironic to me; a majority opinion of ignorance to the majority means that the notion of a dominant "popular" belief should be dead. The nature of the experience at Pratt makes it hard to judge what societal norms truly are, but the indifferent attitude of youth today to tradition is certainly apparent. The example of a girl's lacrosse team wearing flip-flops to meet Obama rang true as a moment of rebellious informality. Greeting the highest authority in the land with such an appearance suggests that they had no sense of inferiority to a man that runs their nation. Along with the poll results, its evident that the attitude towards adults, seniority and each is becoming less formal across the board. This leaves more room for personal interpretations of behavior, resulting in a wide variety and more sincere interactions, whether they are polite or not.

Social norms-the food we eat

In this article, we see that the what we choose to eat is a part of social norms. We make decisions on what to eat based on what others are eating around us. This definitely is something that makes food trends, for example, juicing. I feel like this also based on location as well. There's a reason why in Southern California there's a froyo place literally on every corner; there it is a social norm, as well as being something popular and trendy, to eat.
The article also talk about how social norms can divert us from eating certain things. If one were to see an unhealthy person eating mcdonalds they probably would choose a healthier option seeing as a cause and effect situation right in from of them.

Cassandra Rodriguez

Athletic Victory Dances Are Byproducts of Cultural Norms

A study of many of the athletes from a wide variety of disciplines has shown that human "triumph poses" are fairly consistent across cultures. Popping out one's chest, raising their head in the air and exuberant smiling are all but irresistible to athletes who have experienced victory. Even blind victors share these commonalities with their sighted peers. Yet, differences do exist. The study showed that athletes who came from cultures with greater levels of social equality had more subdued, shorter celebrations than the alternative. Those who came from societies with more rigid social hierarchies put on a more elaborate show, a claim to dominance directed at the other athletes. This is a remnant of the evolution man experienced, serving to assert the chain of command amongst clans members. What's most fascinating is that this behavioral trait effects victories throughout our lives from work to love to the inconsequential activities we participate in. The society we live in asserts influence on our behavior in subtle, yet tangible ways such as this.

Social Psychology and Divorce

This article talks about how marriage currently has changed and divorce rates have gone up drastically. Reasons for getting married have changed, and the role the spouse plays is also very different now. The image of a successful marriage has a lot less to do with the simplistic roof over the couple or families head, steady job and sexual interactions. There are a lot higher expectations for each spouse now and it has a lot more focus on the emotional levels of support, rather than just the financial support. There is a focus on support for finding oneself, as well as the chance to follow ones dreams, and this relates a lot more to women as their roles have changed as time has progressed. Both sexes do have more of a desire and need to be involved in actives to better their life, instead of solely being concerned with bringing home the bread. The high divorce rates are due to the many spouses that cannot meet the psychological expectations of their partner. They end up getting divorced in order to search for a person or life style that promotes their well being. I can definitely see this in people that I know or once knew. I can also see it in couples that end up cheating on each other.

-Kieva Campbell

(this is a late article from last week)

Social Norms and Romantic Selectivity

This article discusses how social norms affect both sexes and how they make their choices on who to choose for romantic partners. There was a study done that included 15 speed dating events and there were 175 women used and 176 men. The people used had a heterosexual orientation so the women and men were all alike the other participants of the same sex in orientation. The speed dates were about 4 minutes each and a single person would see about 12 people of the opposite sex in each event. It shows similarities within the more specific groups of people, meaning male and female and their sexual orientation. It also goes into detail about how the decision may change based on if the person is approached by someone, or if they approach the other person. It seemed that if the person was the approacher, they would be more likely to say 'yes' and be open than the person being approached. It's funny how there is such a rigid formula for people to follow when it comes to choosing a romantic partner due to social norms. I'd love to see a reality tv show where someone were to violate social norms on a date or when trying to pick a person up.

-kieva campbell

Bronze Beats Silver

People tend to appraise their achievements based the successes of their competitors. A small success can feel like a huge victory to someone who has surpassed a personal goal. Conversely, an immense accomplishment such as winning an Olympic silver medal often feels painfully inadequate when compared to the gold medalist's performance. It goes without saying that the gold medalist is in the happiest possible position on the podium, because they have achieved the goal that all other competitors failed to meet. It would seem that the obvious next tier on the happiness scale would also belong to the silver medalist, but some social psychologists suggest that bronze medalists are actually more content than the silver medal recipients. 

The logic behind this assumption is that Silver medalists face an emotional conflict that the bronze medalists avoid. A person in 2nd place is at the same time celebrating their substantial success and also grieving the loss of "what might have been". They knew that number one was in their reach, and because of that potential nothing short of gold is acceptable. Bronze medalists tend to be more content with their standing because there was a very real possibility that they wouldn't place at all, which would not reap the same honor and recognition that medalists receive.  The story of the bronze medalist is not one of personal conflict like the 2nd place competitors experience. Third place means that they have made it against great odds, and by the skin of their teeth. 

Social Norms Damaging Vaccination Rates

In most parts of North America the social norm is for parents to vaccinate their families. This norm is also implicated by regulations that are enforced by public school systems to prevent the spread of disease among students. Some coastal Californians have their own norms when it comes to vaccines, which conflict the viewpoints of the rest of the country. Parents in this part of the country are increasingly applying to refuse vaccinations for their children, under the belief that they actually have an adverse effect on their bodies and the spread of disease. The decision to forego vaccination is spreading on the west coast slowly but surely, with numbers of declined vaccinations on the rise in Washington and Oregon.

The problem with this trend is that when enough families go without their vaccinations, disease directly impacts their domain. The spread of disease out of these non-vaccinating epicenters can lead to epidemics such as the Whooping Cough epidemic of 2010, which originated in that same area of the west coast where an alarming 9% of parents neglected to vaccinate their babies. The rising popularity of this decision not to vaccinate comes out of a trending social norm that can be described as "vaccine fear culture".

The parents in these coastal areas of California, Washington, and Oregon are strongly influenced by one another. The social norm is to exchange parenting and wellness advice with other parents, and to regularly read up on those topics. This progressive parenting culture has good intentions behind it, but it can be dangerous when uninformed ideas become popular belief. Luckily this growing demographic is traceable in it's popularity with distinct parenting styles, and the fact that this behavior is bred in clumps of tight knit communities that all express the same skepticism in relatively routine medical practices.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Who Are You? (BuzzFeed)

We have all done a self evaluation or personality quiz at some point or another. Reasons are vary from wanting to learn or confirm something about yourself. Our generation is absolutely obsessed with this. I've shared a link to the personal quiz section on BuzzFeed. I see it in my own friends. It becomes some kind of event where we must all take a specific quiz to validate or share something about ourselves.

Socially I find it a bit ironic. You are not going to actually be surprised by the results, but then again maybe thats the point. It just struck a chord with me, because it is hard to talk about yourself sometimes and the information you give can be misleading. How others see us is so engrained that even when it has to do with our opinions, we have the world's in mind. What city, typeface, food, or emoji are you? The list goes on and on, but in the end I do think it's a healthy important part of our lives. We should always be striving to learn or evaluate ourselves, hopefully we get more authentic to more we do!

The psychology of being a sports fan- SOCIAL NORMS

The psychology of being a sports fan

I think an important part of social norms is environment. Something that is consider socially normal in one environment can be deemed inappropriate in other locations. This article looks into the psychology of the super fan, specially using the Seattle SeaHawks fans as example because of their recent SuperBowl win. The identify to being from Seattle makes is the norm for people to be fans of teams were as if you were not to be a fan it goes to into a low leave violation of the seattle norm. On a more extreme scale the normal behavior of the super fan at a Seahawks game or function warrants erratic behavior that is only the norm when these people are in the certain situation of the game.

Using Social Media as New Tool to Explain Human Behavior

Using Social Media as New Tool to Explain Human Behavior

Social Media has became such an important part of the new generation, so I found this article talking about looking at social media as a way to examine the people posting. This article focuses on Facebook and twitter. For example looking "Facebook posts to determine differences in how parents talk to their children versus other friends and how they address their adult versus teen children." 

How We Make Friends

Hey Everyone this is an article on how and why we make friends! I've always found it to be very interested in what our friends say about who we are and how we choose them subconsciously or consciously. The article also reminded me of a video a saw a while back. SoulPancake sets up a ball pit with the middle of a walkway. The banner says "Take a Seat & Make a Friend." It was a cute but fascinating concept of that first interaction you make with a potential friend.

There are specific stages we go through when we become closer to a friend. This ball bit had "Life's Big Questions" printed on them and two people would go into the ball pit at a time, asking each other these questions.

The "dark matter of friendship" that the article touches base on is evident here. There is a self disclosure that makes a a true friendship. These two strangers are becoming closer with every question. They are disclosing information about themselves that forms the buddy effect. It is not the most conventional way to make a new friend, but seems like a guaranteed good time :)

Food Choices Are Influenced By Social Norms

Social Norms influence how people dress, act, etc however I never thought that they would have an impact on our food choices.  The article talks about the influence of social norms on our food choices, consciously or unconsciously.  Studies were conducted about the amount of food intake and eating habits, such as eating healthy.  Thinking about this information, I began to realize the influence peers can have on eating and what that could mean for the future.  From personal experience, I have been less inclined to eat unhealthy foods while around friends and family who eat extremely healthy.  Today, there are major health issues related to what type of food is eaten and the amount that is consumed of that food.  If social norms influence that, it opens up a whole different range of ideas in relation to dealing with certain eating disorders or health problems.  It might be reconsidered how rehabilitation centers are organized, etc.  Although more research needs to be done, this idea can change a lot of aspects about our society today.

Cocaine Users Enjoy Social Interactions Less

Based on a study at the University of Zurich, there is evidence that cocaine users find social interactions “less rewarding”.  It goes on to explain other problems for those who chronically use cocaine, such as a lack of empathy.  Obviously, this lack of interest in social interactions supports the fact that users are less likely to stop using when urged by family and friends.   The article points out aspects of cocaine users, which are striking: “difficulties to take the mental perspective of others, show less emotional empathy, find it more difficult to recognize emotions from voices, behave in a less prosocial manner in social interactions, and they reported fewer social contacts”.  All of these aspects are alarming.  It seems as though they are heading toward traits that can cause problems.  All of these traits would make it easier for a chronic cocaine users to break the law.  I am thinking in the context of attacking another person.  If they are less likely to show emotional empathy and recognize emotion in voices, they would be more willing to attack someone, because they do not put themselves in the other persons shoes and feel sorry for them for what they are doing.  Are cocaine users more likely to commit certain crimes because of these attributes?

Social norms strongly influence vaccination decisions and the spread of disease

This article is about the dangers of social norms and how they can affect critical thinking regarding matters such as vaccination.  When vaccine scares are on the rise, it becomes more socially acceptable for parents to refuse to have their children vaccinated.  Many vaccines are mandatory for children attending public schools, but even then, parents can apply for an exemption. The more people refuse vaccinations, the less effective the vaccination is toward the disease, and the disease will eventually come back. Because the opinions of others are so important to us, if we see other people refusing to vaccinate their child, we accept that it is okay to also refuse it.

Dreams of 'self-discovery' destroying marriage, claims psychologist

This article provides some insight on the role of marriage, how it has changed over time, and how it affects the marriage success rate of today.  The divorce rate has grown since the 1800s, when a successful marriage was more about bearing children and putting food on the table. In present day, however, there is a higher emphasis on love and companionship, and many look for a relationship in which they can grow psychologically over time to be the best person they can be with the help of their spouse. Because of hectic lives and limited time to focus on this, people find themselves feeling emotionally unfulfilled in their marriages.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The First Impression Sticks

The article opens up about a new paper that was presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual conference that says that even when told whether a person was gay or straight, participants generally identified the person’s sexual orientation based on how they looked.  The paper says appearance shapes everything from whether we end up liking someone to sexual orientation and trustworthiness.  This is interesting to how it applies to everyday social interaction.  Everyday is filled with new social interactions and its interesting to think about what we might be subconsciously each time.  The article states that these judgements happen with a fraction of a section.  It is interesting how to see whether or not these judgements are accurate or not.


Are social norms steadily unraveling?

This article in USA TODAY is about research that has been analyzed across six decades that concludes that “young people today are less concerned about social approval and society’s standards than their peers of generations past.”  Out of the responses from 40,745 children, adolescents and young adults find less need keep to social norms and accepted standards of behavior.  To me these findings aren’t all that suprising.  Perhaps certain etiquette isn’t as highly valued as it was in the past.  Michael Haines a director at the National Social Norms Resource Center at Northern Illinois University isn’t concerned as he says “other measurements of conformity to society’s accepted norms, such as teen drinking and teen pregnancy are down, indicating to him that the need for conformity depends on which standards are being considered.”  Perhaps social norms unraveling doesn't mean all that much but our society is changing and adapting and some things aren't valued as highly for good or bad.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Social Psychology of the Selfie

Selfies or self portraits are widely used across social media platforms as a way to gauge social rank. As much as the selfie is visibly about the photographer, it is also very much about the way a person's recognition surrounding their portrait stacks up against the praise and recognition of their peers. In social media culture, appreciation of a person's posts are measured in "likes" and comments. The aftermath of these posts can deeply affect a person's self esteem whether the photo is received well, poorly, or goes completely unnoticed by others. Many people feel driven to compete with others in their network, and focus the material of their selfies as an attempt to directly one- up the other person's post. If the self initiated competition ends in victory, it provides an extra dose of self esteem, even more so than a randomly taken selfie that collects a satisfactory amount if attention. All of this attention helps a person learn about which of their assets are the most popular whether physical or social. It seems to me that this feedback could be both practical and detrimental to a person. In some ways a person learns about themselves and how others value what they have to offer, but in other instances a person might turn off or hide aspects of themselves that are actually really great and genuine qualities, but resulted in negative social feedback for whatever reason (which is a shame). That being said, if a person drastically changes themselves because of a previous experience with a selfie, they probably have a larger self esteem issue which is influenced by pretty much any social encounter, not just ones that occur on Instagram.