PSY 201 Social Psychology: Cognitive-Experimental Approaches

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10 Questions

What happens when privileged groups universalize their experiences?

They maintain their power at the expense of others

According to Jahoda, what is a major shortcoming of social psychology research?

It assumes its findings are universally valid

What is the term used to justify the use of college students in social psychology research?

Psychic unity

Why does social psychology pay little attention to the process of socialization?

It is not considered a formal method of research

What is the main benefit of social psychology linking with anthropology, according to Jahoda?

It would enrich social psychology

What is the term used to describe the artificial setting of social psychology research?

Laboratory version

What is the main focus of Jahoda's research career?

Social psychology in West Africa

What is the main criticism of social psychology research, according to Jahoda?

It tends to ignore cultural influences

What is the main suggestion made by Jahoda for improving social psychology research?

Take a more wide-ranging approach

What is the title of the journal in which Jahoda's paper was published?

Journal of Social and Political Psychology

Study Notes

Conceptual Frameworks in Social Psychology

  • Mind-body dualism, a concept introduced by French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, posits that the mind and body are separate entities, summed up in his famous phrase "I think, therefore I am" (Cogito, ergo sum). This philosophical framework laid the groundwork for understanding human consciousness and the nature of reality.
  • Binary vs spectrum thinking is a critique of mainstream social psychology's tendency to simplify complex social phenomena into dichotomous categories, neglecting the nuances and complexities of human behavior. This critique highlights the importance of adopting a more nuanced and multidimensional approach to understanding social phenomena.
  • Experimental Psychology, exemplified by Stanley Milgram's obedience to authority experiment (1960-1963), has been instrumental in shaping our understanding of human behavior. Milgram's experiment, which explored the boundaries of obedience to authority, raised critical ethical concerns and sparked controversy.
  • Individualism, a pervasive trend in mainstream social psychology, has been criticized for focusing on individual characteristics while overlooking social, cultural, and economic factors that shape human behavior. This critique highlights the importance of adopting a more holistic approach that considers the interplay between individual and societal factors.

Historical Emergence of Social Psychology

  • Norman Triplett's 1898 study on social influence is often considered the myth of origin in social psychology, marking the beginning of a distinct field of study that seeks to understand human behavior in social contexts.
  • Stanley Milgram's experiment on obedience to authority (1960-1963) not only tested the boundaries of human obedience but also raised critical ethical concerns about the responsibility of researchers towards their participants.

Critiques of Mainstream Social Psychology

  • The Humanistic Crisis, a paradigmatic shift in the 1960s and 1970s, critiqued mainstream social psychology for its reductionism, artificial laboratory settings, and lack of communication with participants. This critique sought to promote a more human-centered approach to understanding human behavior.
  • The emphasis on measurement and quantification in mainstream social psychology has been criticized for oversimplifying complex social behaviors and neglecting the richness and diversity of human experiences.
  • Cognitive Psychology, with its narrow focus on cognitive processes and preoccupation with measurement and scoring, has been criticized for neglecting the social and contextual factors that shape human behavior.

Alternative Approaches

  • Social Identity Theory, developed by Henri Tajfel in the 1970s, focuses on social identity and intergroup relations, highlighting the importance of social categorization, in-group favoritism, and out-group discrimination in shaping human behavior.
  • Social Representations Theory, developed by Serge Moscovici in the 1980s, examines shared values, practices, and beliefs that establish social order, emphasizing the role of social knowledge and representations in shaping human behavior.

Psychology and Inequality

  • Mainstream psychology's underlying assumptions, often perpetuating inequality and oppression, have been criticized for universalizing privileged experiences and neglecting the experiences of marginalized groups.
  • Psychology's role in reinforcing inequality is multifaceted, involving the facilitation of oppression, ignoring cultural influences, and overlooking marginalized groups. This critique highlights the need for a more inclusive and diverse field of psychology that addresses the needs of all individuals, regardless of their background or identity.

This quiz covers critical social psychology, including mind-body dualism, binary vs spectrum thinking, and experimental psychology, as well as individualism, humanistic crisis, and cognitive psychology.

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