The Social Approach 

AS edexcel psychology notes from the angles textbook. 

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  • Created on: 27-04-14 17:41
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  • The Social Approach
    • Obedience
      • Following direct orders of a person who is in a position of authority over us.
      • Destructive obedience: Following orders which leads to the harm of another person or people.
      • Milgram's study of obedience:
        • Aim: Aimed to see how obedient people would be in a situation where following orders led to breaking participants moral code.
        • Procedure: Advertised for volunteers to take part in a memory experiment for a fee of $4.50. 40 male participants aged 20-50 arrived at Yale University. The participants were introduced to Mr Wallace, the learner. He was strapped in a chair and the participant had to administer a shock every time he got a question wrong. The experimenter was in the room and gave comments like "The experiment required you to continue. Mr Wallace then fell silent at 300V.
        • Results: All 40 participants went up to 300V. 65% went up to 450V and the average shock voltage given was 368.25V. Many participants protested and showed signs of stress saying "don't you think we should check on him" but they continued to obey
      • Variation of Milgram's study
        • To test whether levels of obedience would be affected by witnessing obedient or rebellious stooges.
        • Procedure: 80 participants aged 20-50 took part in one of two conditions. In the experimental condition they were with two rebellious stooges. One refused to administer more shocks at 150V and the other refused at 210V. In the 2nd experimental condition, the two stooges remained obedient and gave shocks without protest.
        • Results: In the rebellious condition, only 15% of participants gave the full 450V and 50% of participants refused to give shocks past 150V. In the obedient condition, 72.5%/ 29 participants went up to 450V. Slater et al found that we respond to people in virtual reality in the same way that we do with real people as 73.9% gave all 20 shocks to the avatar
      • Hofling et al
        • Aim: To see whether a nurse would obey a doctor despite going against hospital regulations and endangering the lives of a patient. To see whether nurses were aware of how obedient they tended to be.
        • Procedure: In one condition 22 nurses were given a survey on whether they would give Astroten to patients above the maximum safe dosage by phone orders. In the experimental condition, 22 nurses were instructed to give the drug by "Dr Smith" even though written authorization was not given yet.
        • Results: 21/22 of the nurses surveyed said they wouldn't prescribe the drug but 21/22 nurses actually did give the drug. 11/21 didn't even know it was above the maximum safe daily dose.
      • Cross-Cultural Study: Meeus
        • Aim: To see to what extent people will obey orders to psychologically abuse an interviewee. To investigate destructive obedience in an everyday situation of a job interview.
        • Procedure: 24 Dutch participants were asked to interview a stooge and were told that the job required the ability to handle stress. They were told to give 15 negative comments like "it would be better for you to apply to lower functions". The stooges showed signs of distress.
        • Findings: In the experimental condition where the experimenter was present 22/24 participants gave the 15 mean comments. in the control condition where the experimenter wasn't present no one gave the mean comments. Rates of obedience was higher because people thought they were upsetting rather than physically assaulting.
    • Agency Theory
      • Autonomous state: The state in which people have free will
      • Agentic State: When people surrender their free will to serve the needs of society. We primarily see ourselves as the agents of those in authority.
      • Moral strain: An unpleasant sensation resulting from pressure to carry out an immoral act.
      • Evolutionary theory: People follow leaders and those in authority to increase chances of survival as it is better than working alone.
      • Blass found that when watching a film of Milgram's study people found that Milgram was the perpetrator and authoritative figure so the participants were in the agentic state. Therefore, they were not to be blamed for their actions.
    • Prejudice
      • Making judgments on an individual based on their group membership rather than their individual nature.
      • Discrimination: Treating people differently based on their group membership.
      • Cognitive Element: Beliefs held about the group due to stereotypes. The affective element is the thoughts and feelings experienced in response to a group. The behavioral element consists of our actions towards the object of our prejudice.
      • Sheriff Study:
        • Aim: To investigate relations between groups. To see if group categorization leads to hostility and to see if having common goals can reduce hostility.
        • Procedure: 22 12 year old boys (white, male, lower-middle class protestants) were taken to Robber's Cave National Park in Oklahoma. The group was split into Eagles and rattlers. Group building activities were given. During the 2nd stage competition was introduced to encourage friction between the two groups for prizes like penknives. In stage 3 joint-problem solving activities were introduced to reduce tensions e.g freeing a truck in the mud and remove a water supply blockage.
        • The initial categorization of Eagles and Rattlers led to initial hostility The competition increased hostility because they started burning each others flags and raiding each others huts. The 3rd stage where common goals were introduced through joint-problem solving reduced hostility.
    • Social identity theory
      • Social Categorization: When we categorize individuals as members of particular social groups.
      • Social Identification; This is when we start to identify with our in-group so we start to follow behavioral norms of our in-group.
      • Social comparison: comparing ourselves with out-groups. This is to raise self-esteem of our in-group.
      • Tajfel: Aim: to see whether two identifiable groups not in competition with each other would still favour their own group over the other.
        • Procedure: 64 14-15 year old British schoolboys were told the experiment was about investigating vision. they were separated into over-estimators and under-estimators. They were told to choose one boy on their accuracy of the number of notes.
        • Untitled
        • Findings: They were more likely to chose boys who were in their own group either underestimators or overestimators. This showed group favouritism towards in-groups.
    • Sampling
      • Opportunity sampling: Asking whoever is easily available e.g classmates.
        • Self-selecting sampling: Seeking volunteers by word of mouth or advertising.
        • snowball sampling: recruiting an initial participant who in turn recruits further participants.
      • Systematic sampling: selecting every nth person on a list.
      • Random sampling: every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected.
      • Stratified Sampling: When they try and make the sample proportional to the population.
    • Reliability
      • Test-retest reliability: give people same survey on two occasions. If there' a strong relationship between results on both occasions this means good reliability.
      • Split-half reliability: Split the survey into two smaller tests. If they both show the same thing its a good indicator of reliability.
      • Inter-rater reliability: This is when two or more interviews conduct the same interview with the same participants and get the same response/
    • Validity:
      • Face Validity: Making a crude judgement by looking at the survey and seeing if it measures what it sets out to.
      • Predictive Validity: Seeing if the results can predict people's behavior in the future.
      • Counter current validity: Comparing the findings of the survey to already existing measures.
      • Content Validity: Asking a panel of judges to see if the interview and survey questions are appropriate.
    • Social Approach Key Issue:
      • Football hooliganism refers to destructive behavior that is performed by football fans and is widely considered to be unruly and destructive behaviour. Actions such as fighting, vandalism and intimidation are carried out by football fans participating in football hooliganism. The behaviour is often based upon rivalry between different teams and conflict may take place before or after football matches.
    • Social Approach Evidence of Practice
  • Results: All 40 participants went up to 300V. 65% went up to 450V and the average shock voltage given was 368.25V. Many participants protested and showed signs of stress saying "don't you think we should check on him" but they continued to obey
  • Procedure: 22 12 year old boys (white, male, lower-middle class protestants) were taken to Robber's Cave National Park in Oklahoma. The group was split into Eagles and rattlers. Group building activities were given. During the 2nd stage competition was introduced to encourage friction between the two groups for prizes like penknives. In stage 3 joint-problem solving activities were introduced to reduce tensions e.g freeing a truck in the mud and remove a water supply blockage.
  • Self-selecting sampling: Seeking volunteers by word of mouth or advertising.
  • Split-half reliability: Split the survey into two smaller tests. If they both show the same thing its a good indicator of reliability.

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