⒈ Sociocultural Perspective Case Study

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Sociocultural Perspective Case Study



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Vygotsky sociocultural development - Individuals and Society - MCAT - Khan Academy

Define the sociocultural level of analysis 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. Or simply — the study of how society and culture can affect behaviour. Outline what is a research method?

Research methods are ways that researchers use and manipulate to conduct their studies. It also increases credibility. State introduce the research methods used at the SCLA In sociocultural psychology, testable theories, and assumptions of a human"s social self and how we come to communicate and interact with the environment are observed through the social environment, which, unlike in the BLA and CLA, can be undergone. These ideas are tested and observed using research methods such as experiments, case studies, correlational studies, and interviews to focus on groups and individuals, in order to collect to develop and or support a theory.

At the SCLA the main research methods used are experiments, observations, interviews, and questionnaires. State what you are doing in the essay These will be further analysed in the body of the essay, looking at studies and how and why these research methods are used. The research methods that will be discussed in the following essay will be experiments and observations. These will be further analysed in the body of the essay, looking at examples and the strengths and limitations of these research methods.

Though experiments are sometimes used, the majority of research today is more qualitative in nature. It is important that the behaviour of the participants is as realistic as possible, to avoid studies that lack ecological validity. Early research mostly carried out laboratory experiments, because that was considered to be the most scientific way of obtaining data. Define an experiment? What is the purpose of an experiment?

Experiments are used to determine the cause and effect relationship between two variables independent IV and dependent DV variables. Outline how experiments are used Researchers manipulate the independent variable IV and measure the dependent variable DV Attempt to control as many extraneous variables as possible to provide controlled conditions laboratory experiments Experiments are considered a quantitative research method, however qualitative data may be collected as well Types of experimental settings There are three different types of experiments, which include a laboratory experiment, a natural QUASI experiment and a field experiment.

DV: Their estimate on how far the light moved except for the fact that the light didn't really move which is an issue, because how can you test conformity to something that doesn't actually happen. But really Sheriff was testing the level of conformity within a group, not the actual estimate of how far people think the light had moved the autokinetic effect. The conformity was based on if the individuals conformed to the more similar answers within a group, if their estimate had a large difference. IV: Experimental Type: Laboratory Experiment because the study was conducted in a laboratory setting and the IV was manipulated Why was an experiment used?

Allowed a cause and effect relationship to be developed and recognised Cause: The group situation formed when Sheriff brought the participants together to tell the answer in front of the group. Effect: Level of conformity between the individuals in the group How many people conformed to the answer which was the most popular, from their first or original guess. The cause and effect relationship would not have been able to be found using other research methods e. This would not be able to be able to be found as effectively with other research methods such as a survey or case study, as experiments are the most suitable type to use for this particular study. A: To investigate conformity in an unambiguous task. How does it reflect an experiment?

IV: Line Judgement Task — He manipulated the length of the "test" lines to the "original" line but since he was investigating conformity, the IV was the confederates correct or incorrect DV: The participants" line judgement how they match up two lines of the same length ; when really Asch was measuring the level of conformity between the individuals in a group situation. Experimental Type: Laboratory Experiment because the study was conducted in a laboratory setting and the IV was manipulated Why was an experiment used? Allowed a cause and effect relationship to be developed and recognised Cause: The group situation formed when Asch asked the participants to tell what they thought each answer was in front of the group.

This would not be able to be able to be found as effectively with other research methods such as a survey or case study, as an experiment was the most suitable type to use for this particular study. Like experiments, another key research method used frequently in the SCLA is participant observations. Define participant observations Participant observation is when researchers immerse themselves in a social setting for an extended period of time and observe people"s behaviour. Outline how participant observations are used: Participant observations are used to observe normal behaviour of participants in their normal environments. Covert observation —participants are not informed that they are being observed. Overt observation —participants know they are being observed.

Outline why observational studies are used - strengths Participants are likely to behave normally because they are in their normal environments It can provide new insights and direction for research. Participant observations can provide a rich source of qualitative data, including detailed conversations and descriptions of participant"s feelings. Covert participant observations allow researchers to study a group that may be hostile or dishonest to an outsider observing their behaviour. For example, groups that participate in illegal activities e. Observer effects - the presence of the observer affects the behaviour of participants. Demand characteristics — effects that occur from participants guessing aims of the study and acting accordingly Audience effects — exaggeration or concealment of behaviour because of being watched Sample sizes are usually small because a researcher can only be in one place at one time and can only obtain in-depth research on a small number of people.

Lacks ecological validity. Lacks population validity Qualitative data cannot be quantified Cannot be replicated due to lack of fixed procedures and interpretative skills of the researcher. Low reliability Cannot be used to explain cause -effect relationships like experiments. In overt observations, participants know they are being observed But informing them of the true nature and aims of the study may reduce validity or credibility of conclusions of the study Withdrawal In covert observations, if participants are not informed about the study, they are not aware of their right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty Deception Covert observations involve deception as people do not know they are being observed Participants do not know the true reasons for the presence of the researchers Researchers are rarely truthful if they reveal the reason for their presence Debriefing In covert observations, participants are typically not debriefed But debriefing is considered unnecessary if participants did not know they were in a study But if harm is inflicted, there are no records by which they may be followed up or counselled upon Outline observational studies used in the CLA: Festinger et al.

Festinger and his team carried out a "covert" observation on members of the cult, by joining the cult themselves allowing them to observe the behaviours of the group"s members in their natural environment Researchers participated in the lives and activities of the group Researchers gained the group"s trust Why was an observation technique used? Participants are likely to behave normally because they are in their normal environments Covert observation was used because the cult would not approve of an outsider observing their behaviour Cult members were not allow to interact with non-believers To study and monitor the group"s doubt, debate and rationalisation when "nothing" had occurred.

Participant observation allowed researchers to gain enriched qualitative data including detailed conversations and descriptions of participants" feelings In depth qualitative information would not be able to be collected by using other research methods e. Ethical issues Privacy may be violated by the researcher. Skinner saw human behavior as shaped by trial and error through reinforcement and punishment, without any reference to inner conflicts or perceptions. In his theory, mental disorders represented maladaptive behaviors that were learned and could be unlearned through behavior modification.

In the second half of the 20th century, behaviorism was expanded through advances in cognitive theories. While behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in practical therapeutic applications like cognitive-behavioral therapy CBT , which has been used widely in the treatment of many different mental disorders, such as phobias, PTSD, and addiction. This later gave rise to applied behavior analysis ABA , in which operant conditioning techniques are used to reinforce positive behaviors and punish unwanted behaviors.

Cognitive psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines of psychological study, including social psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, and behavioral economics. Cognitive psychology is radically different from previous psychological approaches in that it is characterized by both of the following:. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms, heuristics, or insights.

Major areas of research in cognitive psychology include perception, memory, categorization, knowledge representation, numerical cognition, language, and thinking. Cognitive psychology is one of the more recent additions to psychological research. Though there are examples of cognitive approaches from earlier researchers, cognitive psychology really developed as a subfield within psychology in the late s and early s. The development of the field was heavily influenced by contemporary advancements in technology and computer science. In , Donald Broadbent integrated concepts from human-performance research and the recently developed information theory in his book Perception and Communication, which paved the way for the information-processing model of cognition.

Although no one person is entirely responsible for starting the cognitive revolution, Noam Chomsky was very influential in the early days of this movement. Chomsky — , an American linguist, was dissatisfied with the influence that behaviorism had had on psychology. He is most widely known for his stage theory of cognitive development, which outlines how children become able to think logically and scientifically over time. As they progress to a new stage, there is a distinct shift in how they think and reason. Jean Piaget Piaget is best known for his stage theory of cognitive development. Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that rose to prominence in the midth century, drawing on the philosophies of existentialism and phenomenology, as well as Eastern philosophy.

It adopts a holistic approach to human existence through investigations of concepts such as meaning, values, freedom, tragedy, personal responsibility, human potential, spirituality, and self-actualization. The humanistic perspective is a holistic psychological perspective that attributes human characteristics and actions to free will and an innate drive for self-actualization. This approach focuses on maximum human potential and achievement rather than psychoses and symptoms of disorder. It emphasizes that people are inherently good and pays special attention to personal experiences and creativity.

This perspective has led to advances in positive, educational, and industrial psychology, and has been applauded for its successful application to psychotherapy and social issues. Despite its great influence, humanistic psychology has also been criticized for its subjectivity and lack of evidence. In the late s, a group of psychologists convened in Detroit, Michigan, to discuss their interest in a psychology that focused on uniquely human issues, such as the self, self-actualization, health, hope, love, creativity, nature, being, becoming, individuality, and meaning.

Abraham Maslow — is considered the founder of humanistic psychology, and is noted for his conceptualization of a hierarchy of human needs. Self-actualized people, he believed, have more of these peak experiences throughout a given day than others. At the bottom of the pyramid are the basic physiological needs of a human being, such as food and water. The next level is safety, which includes shelter and needs paramount to physical survival. The third level, love and belonging, is the psychological need to share oneself with others.

The fourth level, esteem, focuses on success, status, and accomplishments. The top of the pyramid is self-actualization, in which a person is believed to have reached a state of harmony and understanding. Individuals progress from lower to higher stages throughout their lives, and cannot reach higher stages without first meeting the lower needs that come before them. Carl Rogers — is best known for his person-centered approach, in which the relationship between therapist and client is used to help the patient reach a state of realization, so that they can then help themselves. The therapist encourages the patient to express their feelings and does not suggest how the person might wish to change.

Instead, the therapist uses the skills of active listening and mirroring to help patients explore and understand their feelings for themselves. Carl Rogers Carl Rogers was one of the early pioneers of humanistic psychology, and is best known for his person-centered approach to therapy. He believed that those raised in an environment of unconditional positive regard have the opportunity to fully actualize themselves, while those raised in an environment of conditional positive regard only feel worthy if they match conditions that have been laid down by others.

Rollo May — was the best known American existential psychologist, and differed from other humanistic psychologists by showing a sharper awareness of the tragic dimensions of human existence. May was influenced by American humanism, and emphasized the importance of human choice. Humanistic psychology is holistic in nature: it takes whole persons into account rather than their separate traits or processes. In this way, people are not reduced to one particular attribute or set of characteristics, but instead are appreciated for the complex beings that they are. Humanistic psychology allows for a personality concept that is dynamic and fluid and accounts for much of the change a person experiences over a lifetime. It stresses the importance of free will and personal responsibility for decision-making; this view gives the conscious human being some necessary autonomy and frees them from deterministic principles.

Perhaps most importantly, the humanistic perspective emphasizes the need to strive for positive goals and explains human potential in a way that other theories cannot. However, critics have taken issue with many of the early tenets of humanism, such as its lack of empirical evidence as was the case with most early psychological approaches. Because of the inherent subjective nature of the humanistic approach, psychologists worry that this perspective does not identify enough constant variables in order to be researched with consistency and accuracy. Psychologists also worry that such an extreme focus on the subjective experience of the individual does little to explain or appreciate the impact of external societal factors on personality development.

In addition, The major tenet of humanistic personality psychology—namely, that people are innately good and intuitively seek positive goals—does not account for the presence of deviance in the world within normal, functioning personalities. Sociocultural factors are the larger-scale forces within cultures and societies that affect the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals. These include forces such as attitudes, child-rearing practices, discrimination and prejudice, ethnic and racial identity, gender roles and norms, family and kinship structures, power dynamics, regional differences, religious beliefs and practices, rituals, and taboos.

Several subfields within psychology seek to examine these sociocultural factors that influence human mental states and behavior; among these are social psychology, cultural psychology, and cultural-historical psychology. Cultural psychology is the study of how psychological and behavioral tendencies are rooted and embedded within culture. The main tenet of cultural psychology is that mind and culture are inseparable and mutually constitutive, meaning that people are shaped by their culture and their culture is also shaped by them.

A major goal of cultural psychology is to expand the number and variation of cultures that contribute to basic psychological theories, so that these theories become more relevant to the predictions, descriptions, and explanations of all human behaviors—not just Western ones. The evidence that social values, logical reasoning, and basic cognitive and motivational processes vary across populations has become increasingly difficult to ignore.

By studying only a narrow range of culture within human populations, psychologists fail to account for a substantial amount of diversity. White American culture Populations that are Western, educated, and industrialized tend to be overrepresented in psychological research. By studying only a narrow range of human culture, psychologists fail to account for a substantial amount of variation. Cultural psychology is often confused with cross-cultural psychology ; however, it is distinct in that cross-cultural psychologists generally use culture as a means of testing the universality of psychological processes, rather than determining how local cultural practices shape psychological processes.

Cultural-historical psychology is a psychological theory formed by Lev Vygotsky in the late s and further developed by his students and followers in Eastern Europe and worldwide. This theory focuses on how aspects of culture, such as values, beliefs, customs, and skills, are transmitted from one generation to the next. The growth that children experience as a result of these interactions differs greatly between cultures; this variance allows children to become competent in tasks that are considered important or necessary in their particular society.

This subfield of psychology is concerned with the way such feelings, thoughts, beliefs, intentions, and goals are constructed, and how these psychological factors, in turn, influence our interactions with others. Social psychology typically explains human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and immediate social situations. Social psychologists, therefore, examine the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, as well as the conditions under which certain behaviors, actions, and feelings occur.

Thus, social psychology studies individuals in a social context and how situational variables interact to influence behavior. Essentially, people will change their behavior to align with the social situation at hand. If we are in a new situation or are unsure how to behave, we will take our cues from other individuals. The field of social psychology studies topics at both the intrapersonal level pertaining to the individual , such as emotions and attitudes, and the interpersonal level pertaining to groups , such as aggression and attraction.

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