Socio-Cultural Level of Analysis

Outline Principles that Define the Socio-Cultural Level of Analysis
Principle 1: Humans are social animals and thus have the need to 'Belong' Principle 2: Culture influences behaviour Principle 3: Humans have a social-self Principle 4: People's views of the world are resistant to change,developed by culture
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Outline Principles that Define the Socio-Cultural Level of Analysis Purposes
allow us to understanding how behaviour can be caused or influenced by social factors.
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Principle 1: Human beings are social animals with a basic need to belong. Definition/Study
This means that they are motivated to have important relationships with other people. Asch
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Solomon Asch
A: Investigate Conformity M: confederates lied about length of line to influence the participant R: 75% conform at least once C: We will go against our instincts to fit in E: low eco val., ethics, culturally bias (only done in US)
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Principle 2: Culture influences human behavior. Definition/Studies
This means that humans create and shape culture and they are influenced by their culture. Berry (1967)
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Berry (1967) Multi cultural look at Asch's conformity Study
A: Investigate conformity across culture P: Temne in Sierra Leone in Africa and the Inuits of Baffin Island in Canada R: Temme with agriculture high conform, inuits with hunting less confrom C: individual or collective cultures influence conformity
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Principle 3: Humans have a social self which reflects their group memberships. Definition/Study
Group memberships give rise to social identities (ingroups) and comparison with other groups (outgroups). This might lead to bias in information processing (stereotyping) and discrimination; Shown in Social Identity Theory by Tajfel and Turner (1979)
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Tajfel and Turner (1979) Social Identity Theory
(SIT)group-based social identities are based on categorization into ingroups (a group to which one belongs) and outgroups (a group to which one does not belong). In groups seen as more positive, outgroup seen as more negative
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Explain how principles that define the sociocultural level of analysis may be demonstrated in research (that is, theories and/or studies).
Use Asch and Zimbardo
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Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Study
A: How people react in diff. situations; IV: gaurd or prisoner DV: observed behavior M: Direct observation R: P's began to act like their role E: Physical Harm? observation(no cause/effect)
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Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the sociocultural level of analysis key words
define: socio-cultural level of analysis; triangulation; researcher bias; observer bias; experiments, observations, interviews, questionnaires
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Socio cultural level of analysis definition
The sociocultural level of analysis (SCLA) is the scientific study of how people"s thoughts, feelings and thus behaviours are influenced by actual, implied or imagined presence of others and the environment around them.
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Sometimes in research, researchers incorporate the use of 2 or more research methods of investigation to explore the same aspect, as using 2 or more may be more suitable and effective in finding out the necessary aims of the researcher.
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researcher bias
The researcher/s sees what they are looking for, in which the expectations of the researcher consciously or unconsciously affect the findings of the study.
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Observer Bias
The participant/s act differently or accordingly due to the consciousness of being observed by people (researchers), which may influence the nature of the study.
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Experiments Definition
Experiments are used to determine the cause and effect relationship between two variables (independent (IV) and dependent (DV) variables) Attempt to control as many extraneous variables, considered a quantitative research method
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Experiments used at the SCLOA
Asch (1955), Sheriff (1935)
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Sheriff (1935)
A:See if people conform to group norms IV:Autokinetic effect-how far a beam of light appears to move DV:How far they thought it moved(light didn't really move); Showed cause and effect-people changed answers to conform more with confederate responses
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Participant Observation Definition
when researchers immerse themselves in a social setting for an extended period of time and observe people"s behaviour. interviews/direct/indirect observations, behavior is categorized-qualitative method
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Participant Observations Advantages
observe normal behaviour; provide insight for new research; rich source of qualitative data; allows for more honest data (covert)
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Covert Observation
participants are not informed that they are being observed.
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Overt Observation
participants are not informed that they are being observed.
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Observation Limits
Lacks ecological validity. Lacks population validity. Observer bias. Observer effects; Qualitative data can't be quantified; low reliability; no cause and effect; costly and time consuming; large ethical concerns
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Observation supporting studies
Festinger et al. (1956); Kolo and Baur (2004)
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Festinger et al (1956) - When Prophecy Fails
A: covert observation of a religious group to understand their beliefs about the end of the world; used covert observation; researchers lived as part of the group and recorded behaviors; used because 'nonbelievers' were not allowed in; Ethics?
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Kolo and Baur (2004) - Massive Multiplayer online role playing game study
A: Investigate MMORPG; Researchers observed player dynamics, with direct play and stored online data; saw players in natural environment; R:Players treat the game as real life, game used as an escape, many were adapt at living both lives,
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Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the sociocultural level of analysis. Outline
Define SCLOA; Describe all ethical considerations; Use Zimabrdo; Milgram and Asch as examples
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Milgram (1963) - Shock study
A:test obedience to authority; M:Shock a confederate for getting wrong answers; R: 65% shocked to the highest level; deception, mental harm, participants could withdraw but were encouraged to continue
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Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour. key words
Fritz Heider, attributions, dispositional attribution, situational attribution; fundamental attribution error; self serving bias
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Fritz Heider
Introduced the attribution theory:all people have a tendency to try to predict, understand and explain human behaviour, in terms of what causes people to behave in the ways that they do.
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Attribution Theory
Attributions are "the beliefs about why people behave as they do" the end result of a process in which people use available information to make inferences about the causes of a particular behaviour.
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Dispositional Attributions
e explain people"s behaviour in terms of factors which are specific to them as a person, such as their personality or other internal and generally unchanging characteristics, traits, feelings, moods and abilities.
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Situational Attribution
One"s behaviour is assumed to be/dependent upon their current circumstances, situation or the environment that they are in.
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Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour. studies
Ross et al. (1977), Suedfeld (2003), Lau and Russel (1980),
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Ross et al (1977)
A:Do assigned social roles affect the judgement of the person; M: Game show - host, contestant, audience member(audience asked to rank intelligence); R:Host ranked as most intelligent C: audience focused on disposition and not situation
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Suedfeld (2003)
A:Determine how Holocaust survivors use attribution to explain survival; M:Survey given to survivors and control; F:Survivors said it was situational, control said it was dispositional; C: Att error happened with control groups reason for survival
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Lau and Russel (1980)
A:Do college football coaches show self-serving bias; M:examine sports pages to study coaches responses after a game R:coaches attribute wins to disposition and losses to situational factors
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fundamental attribution error
We tend to overestimate dispositional factors in others and underestimate situational factors
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self-serving bias
We tend to blame failures on situational factors and successes to dispositional factors
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Strengths of Fundamental Attribution Error
Promotes understanding of a common error people make; supported by many research studies
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Limits of Fundamental Attribution Error
May be culturally biased towards individualism, research is generally done in labs with college students
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Strengths of Self Serving Bias
Explains why some people (mostly from individualistic cultures) explain failures with situational factors
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Limits of Self Serving Bias
The theory is culturally biased, it does not explain modesty bias
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Kashima and Triandis (1986)
A: Determine if SSB is culturally universal; M:asked students of different cultures to try and remember info from infamiliar cuntries; F:US students success is disposition, Japanese failure attributed to disposition; C:Modesty bias depends on culture
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Discuss two errors in attributions key terms
Fritz Heider, define attribution error; discuss attribution theory; discuss disposition v situational attribution; fudamental attribution error; self serving bias
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Define attribution error
An attributional error (AE) can be defined as a false assumption or distortion in perception or judgement about the causes of our own or other people"s behaviour.
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Discuss two errors in attributions - studies
Ross et al. (1977), Suedfeld (2003), Lau and Russel (1980),Kashima and Triandis (1986)
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Comparison of FAE and SSB
the FAE primarily describes a trend while the SSB makes predictions of behavioroth errors in attribution, since they propose flaws in attribution theory and how people explain behaviour.
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Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies. Key terms
Define Social Identity Theory(SIT), Social Categorization; Social Identification; Social comparison;Category accentuation effect
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Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies. - Studies
Caialdini et al.(1976); Tajfel(1970)
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Define Social Identity Theory
SIT is based on the assumption that individuals strive to improve their self-image by trying to enhance their self-esteem, based on either personal identity or through various social identities (in-groups/out-groups). Proposed by Tajfel
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Social Categorization
Tendency to divide and therefore categorize individuals into ingroups (us) and outgroups (them)
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Category accentuation effect
Exaggeration of intergroup differences and intragroup similarities
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Social identification
We adopt the identity of the group we have "categorized" ourselves as belonging to, which means we may adopt some of the values and behaviours of that group. Self concept based on our social group SCLOA Principal 3
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Social comparison and positive distinctiveness
Social identity contributes to our self-image so we seek positive social identities to maintain and enhance self-esteem. discriminate against the outgroup
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Cialdini et al. (1976)
A:associate one"s self publicly with successful others, referred to as “basking in reflected glory” (BIRG); M:Observed college students clothing after a big footbal game. R:Fans wore apparel of the team when won, less when they lost.
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Cialdini Connection to SIT
People"s self-image was affected by their in-group in that the victory gave a sense of "positive- distinctiveness" for the group and therefore enhanced self-esteem.
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Social Identity Theory Explains what phenomena
Ethnocentrism, in-group favoritism, stereotypical thinking, conformity to group norms
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Tajfel (1970)
A: demonstrate group bias; M:Schoolboys randomly put in groups (told they were put in groups based off similarity), gave points to their group or the other in a matrix; R:gave more points to the ingroup; C:induced group bias
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Strengths of Social Identity Theory
Supported by hundred of empirical studies; shows the role of social categorization; explores basic need to belong; explains stereotypes, conformity; continues to generate further research
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Limits of Social Identity Theory
unrepresentative samples, some studies are too short to show true effects of ingroup positivity; aim of SIT to favor situational factors is not supported by evidence
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Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour. Key terms
Define/give examples of stereotypes, schema, stereotype threat;
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Define Stereotype
A "stereotype" is a mental representation and a form of social categorization made about specific individuals or a group and its members. give examples of positives and negatives
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How stereotypes and schema are similar
both are are organized internal representations of individuals and or groups, therefore guiding how people act towards them.
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Stereotype Threat
results from categorization, are resistant to change(SCLOA Prin 4), stereotypes can negatively affect a groups behavior-cause anxiety in those areas (all asians are good in math, males are better at science than females)
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Formation of Stereotypes
Used to be based of Tajfel's Social Identity Theorty - but this does not explain how it happens - more a result of cognitive schemas
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Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour. Key Studeis
Steele (1997); Campbell (1967); Spencer et al.
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Steele (1997)
A:Role of stereotype threat in academic performance; M:addressed students under emotional pressure to perform; R: those under threat often-underperformed C:Stereotype threat can affect any members of a social group and harm individual performance
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Spencer et al. - Stereotype Threat
A:Demonstrate stereotype effect; M:Gave math tests to male and females, idea that those females under threat that they were not good in math would do worse; R:Hypothesis True; C:Belief in a negative stereotype can harm performance
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Grain of Truth Hypothesis
Stereotypes must originate from some kind of truth in order to create the assumption.
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Illusory Correlation
Correlating the assumption with all individuals with the particular criteria.
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Confirmation Bias
Overlooking factors that might disproves one’s belief and over exaggerating factors that supports one’s point of view.
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Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour. Key Terms
Grain of truth hypothesis; illusory correlation; confirmation bias; Social Identity Theory
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Explain social learning theory making reference to two relevant studies. Studies
Bandura; Charlton et al.
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Explain social learning theory making reference to two relevant studies. Terms
Social Learning Theory (SLT), Attention, Retention, Reproduction, Motivation
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Paying attention to a model
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Retain the behavior of the model that was observed
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Replicate the behavior of the learning model
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Learner must want to display what they learned from the mode
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Factors influencing Social Learning Theory
Consistency, Relevance, Powerfulness, Identification, Reward
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Albert Bandura- Bobo Doll Experiment
A:Demonstrate observational learning; M:3 groups, of 36 boys and girls, 1 group showed violence toward doll, one group saw no aggression, one group had no model; R:those who saw the violence were more likely to imitate; C:Kidsshowed obs learnng
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Charlton et al. -St Helena TV Violence Study
Covert observation; A:Effect of TV on aggression in kids; M:TV introduced and behavior on playgrounds observed for 5 year; R:No signs of increased aggression; C:Withoug complete SLT process, Social learning can't be achieved
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Discuss the use of compliance techniques. Studies
Dickerson; Cialdini; Milgram;
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Dickerson - Take Shorter Showers
A:Investigate effect of compliance; M:P's were asked to sign a poster saying take shorter showers, shower times were monitored; R:Those who signed the poster took 3.5 mins shorter showers; C:Students felt committed by signing poster-foot in the door
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Foot in the door technique
Asking for a small behavior first, to get participant invested then increasing the request
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Discuss the use of compliance techniques. - Terms
Reciprocity, Foot in the door, Door in the face
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feeling the need to return a favor
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Door in the face
Asking a big request first knowing that the P is unlikely to comply, so that they will be more likely to comply with a smaller request later
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Cialdinia - Juvenile day trip
A: Investigate reciprocity and behavior:M:Asked people to go on a day trip with juveniles(83%-no); Then asked to do 2hrs a week for 2yrs (all-no) then lowered it to the day trip (50%-yes); C:P's accepted the 2nd offer seen as better than the 1st
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Evaluate research on conformity to group norms. Studies
Asch (1951), Berry (1967)
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Evaluate research on conformity to group norms. Key Terms
Informational Conformity, Normative Conformity
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Informational Conformity
When an individual turns to members of a group to obtain information about what is right (e.g. when the available information is ambiguous).
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Normative Conformity
When an individual conforms in order to be accepted or liked by other members of the group
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Factors that affect conformity
Group Size, group Unanimity, admiration of group
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Define the terms culture - Lonner(1995)
Culture can be defined as the common rules that regulate interactions and behavior in a group as well as a number of shared values and attitudes in the group.
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Define the terms culture - Hofstede
Culture can be defined as a collective mental programming that is the “software of the mind” that guides a group of people in their daily interactions and distinguishes them from other groups of people.
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Define the term culture - Matsumoto (2004)
Culture can be defined as a dynamic system of rules, explicit and implicit, established by groups in order to ensure their survival, involving attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, and behaviors.
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Define the term cultural norm
Cultural norms can be defined as the rules that a specific group uses for stating what is seen as appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, values, beliefs, and attitudes.
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Types of cultural norms
Cultural norms can be explicit (e.g. legal codes) or implicit (i.e. conventional practices and rituals)
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Examples of cultural norms
communication style, whom to marry and how, child-rearing practices, or interaction between generations.
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Examine the role of two cultural dimensions on behavior - terms
collectivism and individualism, longterm orientation and short-term orientation
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Collectivism and individualism study
Wei et al. (2001)
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Collectivism and individualism - description
Individualism (western countries)-see themselves as ind. who must take care of themselves. Collectivist (many Asian soc.)-ind. is tied to social group/family or clan
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Wei et al. (2001)
A:Examine individualism vs collectivism M: 600 Managers in Singapore given survey about culture and conflict resolution; R:Individualism led to a dominating conflict resolution style;C:Aim confirmed, but more complex; E:generalizable, self report
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Long-term orientation and short-term orientation (Hofstede and Bond 1988):
Describes societies time horizon, long term oriented societies focus on the future with values toward saving and capacity; Shortterm societies relate to the past and present, include steady progress, respect for tradition, fufilling social obligation
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Explain, using examples, emic and etic concepts - Studies
Bartlett, Yap, Berry
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Emic definition
Emic research studies one culture alone to understand culture-specific behavior.
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Emic description
Researchers attempt to study behavior through the eyes of the people who live in that culture. The way the phenomenon is linked to the culture (structure) and the meaning it has in this particular cultural (context) is emphasized.
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Bartlett (1932) - Emic Study
mentioned the extraordinary ability of Swazi herdsmen to recall individual characteristics of their cattle. He explained that the Swazi culture revolves around the possession and care of cattle and it is important for people to recognize their animal
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Yap (1967) - Emic Study
suggested the term “culture-bound syndrome” (CBS) as a culture-specific psychological disorder which can only be fully understood within a specific cultural context. Among the Yoruba people of West African a possession can only be healed by a local
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Etic - Definition
Etic research compares psychological phenomena across cultures to find out what could be universal in human behavior.
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Etic - Purpose
The purpose of research is to compare and contrast cultural phenomena across cultures to investigate whether phenomena are culture-specific or universal.
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Etic - Study to use
Berry - cross cultural look at Asch's conformity study
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Outline Principles that Define the Socio-Cultural Level of Analysis Purposes


allow us to understanding how behaviour can be caused or influenced by social factors.

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Principle 1: Human beings are social animals with a basic need to belong. Definition/Study


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Solomon Asch


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Principle 2: Culture influences human behavior. Definition/Studies


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