Emotions – Critical Social Psychology
2a.What is our current knowledge from the point of view of Mainstream (experimental) social psychology, regarding the essential questions?
Social psychology the process of understanding and explaining how the idea, the thought, feeling and the real behavior of individuals are directly influenced by the real actual, imagined or implied physical presence of others.
Emotions are not chosen and people cannot decide what emotions to experience because emotions are practically phenomenon and happens to all people whether they like it or not. (Rorty, 1980)
People from different cultures and regions exhibit different emotions depending on their beliefs which they acquire while still young. (Husain, 2012) Emotions are senses that describe the self relevance of realities. These emotions do not exist by themselves like in a vacuum. Instead, their existence is characterized by the social structures in the society. Emotions are ways of discovering buried perspective on issues whose feelings are normally determined by ideologies and regulated by the same feeling rules. The literature on issues of emotional labor confirms that women are naturally expected to nurture most of the emotional needs of the people both at home and work. For instance families in Philippines and in many other average families, consider women as nurturer and also as the central determinant of emotional needs and other expectations of its society. The more the children become aware of the existence of the internal determinants of all emotional reactions and experience, their dependant on attentional deployment to control emotions increases, for instance , children who are expecting delayed awards (Mischel and Ayduk, 2004)
The initial modern social psychology was a real experiment carried out by Norman Triplett on the social facilitation. It was based on the social development of the early invention of bicycle whose increasing popularity of competitive sport was still improving. What Triplette had first noticed was that the present observers and lovers of the sport had made assumptions that those who were competing currently had a better opportunity of winning than just competing against others. To test and prove this assumption, Triplett invented an analogue of the general situation by use of school children trying to wind fishing reels while jumping and counting at the same time and he noticed most of the children did far much better when they were exposed to a competitive environment. The most notable feature and the one that made the most impact in this experiment was not actually the results but the real life application of the experiment and its analogue application. Triplett experiment marked the beginning of the use of real life experimental social psychology. The application and the writing of the very first social psychological books by Ross in the year 1908 marked another pillar in the development of experimental social psychology. The last landmark was during the Second World War and Hitler, leader of the then Germany, and one of the European psychologist finally fled the Nazi regime he had founded, and brought about the gestalt perspective or view to social psychology. Also that period saw social psychologist began serious scrutinizes at issues that affected and reflected the Zeitgeist of that period. The issue of constant immigration to parts of North America from Europe where they were searching and looking for attitudes among the ethnic minorities that were migrating. Finally the following issues need to be raised.
- What prompts these attitudes among the migrating classes? Before migrating, what eventually convinces them that they have made the right decision? Does mainstream social psychology (MSP) naturalized the phenomenon and if so how? What is the role of the subject (the individual) and what model of human beings is it using.
The current and relevant multi-processes models in social psychology put more emphasis on behavior and judgment which in some cases are based on positive relative simple cues and heuristics, but in some instances are the outcome of an effortful analysis and evaluation process. For instance, in Philippines the number of women who are migrating to the west to provide for their families is increasing. This effect has created households with the dependants living in one country and the bread winner operating from another country. The transnational parents work hard to provide for their families and deeply regret the separation but they are able to survive the hardships expecting to gain financially from the migration. The main aim of migrating is to provide for their families and to them it’s the only option have. (Basch, Schiller, Blanc and Parrenas, 1999)
In another a sturdy to determine levels of conformity, where students read a proposed policy that didn’t affect them directly and personally, they were largely influenced by the mere number of the arguments as presented before them and not the real issues and quality of the arguments. The mere reliance on the numbers or numerosity heuristic actions led to maladaptive analysis and evaluation when the actual arguments were weak i.e. the weaker the proposals the more support it drew and received from the students. However, when the same proposal was later characterized with issues that had a direct impact on them, on personal relevance, the evaluation process changed. This time round the number of arguments did not matter but the issues and substance of the argument were the only ones being favored. Increasing the number of arguments made a change only when they were strong. (Petty and Cacioppo, 1984). When the arguments were not strong and more arguments were presented, the less the number of students who favored it. This approach was rational and meaningful. Many situational and personal individual differences variables have been known to moderate the extent and range of information processing methods in this manner. These are multi-process models i.e. ELM, HSM and MODE. These models are of significant importance because they account for the paradoxes in most of the psychological literature. For instance, some researchers have proved and demonstrated that some critical judgements can be wrong when the dependants rely wholly on limited individuating information instead of the useful category information. At the same time, some other researchers have also shown that some individuals rely too much on the category kind of information. The multi-process models combine all these sources and provide an integration of all these perspective by the identification of all the conditions that people rely on when seeking each type of information. (Krueger and Acevedo, 2002).
Irrationality stems from the sturdy of judgment errors where the lack or failure to analyze facts constitutes an error, the irrationality paradox. The basic concept of ecological rationality or irrationality of a decision or judgment can only be made by an analysis and evaluation of the structure of the natural environment or the experiment. Human rational behavior is ultimately shaped by a scissors whose cross blades are the existing structure of the real task environment and the calculations capabilities of the participants. By just looking one single blade, someone may not be able to understand how the scissors cut. The environmental structures also include the statistical structures, for instance the signal to noise ratio, the structure and shape of the distributions, the size and nature of the sample and the social structures. The real structure of the information in the natural environment, what initially appeared like a dull cognitive dream or illusion turns out to be a razor sharp scissors. The environmental structure together with unbiased mind is the logical sufficient to produce the existing phenomenon. The argument that environment plus an unbiased mind is enough to produce the phenomena. The moral question is that people normally make mistakes but for someone to understand and differentiate accurate from bad judgment, one has to analyze the nature and structure of the environment. For instance, a task environment that has substantial and unsystematic error, for instance when people are asked current and general knowledge questions they are confident of answering correctly at least 100% but the average correct answers is 80%. This is known as the overconfidence bias and it’s mostly attributed to wishful thinking. The analysis and evaluation of the environmental structure reveals however the large unsystematic error which if there are non cognitive bias leads to regression that leans towards the mean. Therefore the environmental structure is logically and reasonably sufficient for the conditions. Now it can be asked if there is a natural trace of the real cognitive bias.
- Are attitudes invariably or relatively rationalized? Consider whether the relative social influence research has emphasized the mindless conformity to majority from the perspective of Critical social psychology.
The social psychology is overly engaged with maladaptive heuristic, biases and attitudes. This characterization sums up the focus to consider the constant multi-process models of the social thought and ultimate action. These models, especially those ones in reference to attitudes have emphasized the situational and the fundamental individual differences.(Krueger and Acevedo,2002 ). The major variables responsible for the determination of attitudes and real actions are the relatively thoughtful ones verses when they mostly reliant on some mental shortcuts. The positive psychological movement aims at focusing on human actions, capabilities and talents. However the exclusive focus is limited to whichever direction i.e. adaptive or maladaptive. Social psychology is slightly more than actual social cognition and actual social cognition is even more than work on heuristics and biases i.e. the burgeoning work on the implicit processes. There are several work processes and behavioral effects that are consistent with the implicit process while those that are inconsistent with their relatively narrow and biased characterization of the field are excluded. For instance the implication that dominates the view on work attitude and social influence is literally that attitudes are normally rationalized after a fact rather than based on careful and natural thought, and that people mindlessly go with the majority i.e. they naturally conform to the principle of majority rules.
First there is need to ask whether attitudes are invariably or relatively rationalized. Attitudes are the single most outstanding and indispensable construct in social psychology as researchers have considered their relative thoughtful and non thoughtful processes of effectiveness and influence. (Kelman and Hovland, 1953)
The most prominent models of attitudes and behaviors is the theory of reasoned action. (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975) The model is based on the overall subjectivity utility theory that entails that people’s evaluation and analysis are determined by the basis of information based on the underlying information and knowledge that people have regarding those existing objects.
Consider whether the relative social influence research has emphasized the mindless conformity to whims and wills of the majority. The research has revealed that the majority influence is not always a mindless endeavor. The hearing of what others think motivates and influences issue relevant thought that may result in different opinions. The conformity to majority in some cases may represent the simple heuristic process but may also represent some effortful and more relative reasoned cognitive process.
5) In conclusion, the problem oriented method and approach of social psychology has not fully answered and fulfilled its promise, other research alternatives are needed to contribute to the eventual maturation of the field. Other researchers have imputed that social psychology is not really focused on negative aspect as claimed or that the negative focus has eventually laid the most efficient path that leads towards the general and rewarding understanding of the social cognition and natural behavior. The researchers have reiterated that, in their pursuit to discuss the initial exposition, they only seek not a disproportionate positive and enhanced social psychology but a real balanced field that addresses all the range of human behavior. The modern and contemporary social psychology is characterized by unwavering preoccupation with almost natural troublesome behavior and a tendency of flawed cognition. These properties and traits of social psychological research have ultimately impeded the development and continued research on the theories with explanatory power and the ample ability to generate fiction books and nontrivial conclusions. For instance in from the perspective of the orthodox game theory, the average cooperative behavior in a non zero sum game like the prisoners dilemma gives an anomalous and irrational appearance. If rationality is normally defined in terms of only self interest then rational players will definitely defect, which will eventually lead to poor outcomes for all the players. Many players however cooperate and make positive contribution to social psychology. In one framework and in analyzing the social judgment beyond the actual utilization stage or cognitive stage that may include interpersonal and other contextual effects and influences. Accurate judgment can only occur if the judge has access to the relevant Information who then detects and correctly applies and utilizes the right information. The contemporary and relevant multi-processes models in social psychology put more emphasis on behavior and judgment which in some cases are based on some relative simple cues and heuristics, but in some instances are the outcome of an effortful analysis and evaluation process. For instance, in the sturdy to determine levels of conformity, the students were largely influenced by the mere number of the arguments as presented before them and not the real issues and quality of the arguments. There are some decisions which are largely influenced by the decision of others and not the issues at hand. In forecasting and predicting the future theoretical developments a tentative estimate is that some success will be achieved by importing directly the theoretical advances and experiences from the neighboring fields. The relative influence on social research has left the mindless conformity to whims and wills of the majority but in some cases the decisions of the minority takes precedent. The research has revealed that the majority influence is not always a mindless endeavor. There are some cases where the decisions are influenced by the genuine concerns. The hearing of what others think motivates and influences issue relevant thought that may result in different but accurate decisions. The conformity to majority in some cases may represent the simple heuristic process but may also represent some effortful and more reasonable approach.
Kelman, H., Hovland, D.(1953) Reinstatement of the communicator in delayed measurement of opinion change. Journal of abnormal and social psychology.
Krueger, J., Acevedo, M., (2002) Why cooperate? Social projection as a guide to doing good, Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Psychology press
Fishbein, M, Ajzen, I. (1975) Belief, attitude, intention and behavior. An introduction to theory and research. Addison- Wesley
Petty, R., Cacioppo, J (1984) The effects of involvement on response to argument quantity and quality. Central and peripheral routes to persuasion. The journal of Personality and Social psychology.
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