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Project part 1

By Atlantis2028 Jul 10, 2015 1134 Words

Project Part 1

The way we perceive ourselves in relation to the rest of the world plays an important role in our choices, behaviors and beliefs. Conversely, the opinions of others also impact our behavior and the way we view ourselves. Social psychologists investigate how people view themselves and others, how they interact with and influence others, and how people act when part of a group. Given the amount of time spent thinking about and interacting with other people, it follows that much of our lives are spent with the subject matter of social psychology. People see themselves differently from how they see others. They are immersed in their own sensations, emotions, and cognitions at the same time that their experience of others is dominate by what can be observed externally. This basic asymmetry has broad consequences. It leads people to judge themselves and their own behavior differently from how they judge others and the others’ behavior. Often, those differences produce disagreement and conflict. Understanding the psychological basis of those differences may help mitigate some of their negative effects. A self-schema is a belief or idea about oneself that leads to a bias that is self-perpetuating. It could consist of a particular role in society or a generalization based on social stereotypes. If a mother tells her daughter she looks like a tom boy, her daughter may react by choosing activities that she imagines a tom boy would do. Conversely, if the mother tells her she looks like a princess; her daughter might choose activities thought to be more feminine. The self-schema becomes self-perpetuating when the individual chooses activities based on expectations instead of desires. Self-esteem is a motivator that inspires behavior, but behavior also inspires self-esteem. Therefore, there is a continuous feedback loop between the way you act and the level of your self-esteem. For example, with high self-esteem you are more likely to persist in the face of difficulties. But with low self-esteem, you are more likely to give up or go through the motions without really trying or giving your best. If you are persistent, then in all likelihood you will succeed more times than you fail. The net result of which will increase your level of confidence and self-worth. But if you give up easily, or don’t try your best, then you will likely fail more often than you succeed which will then reduce your level of confidence and self-worth. Either way, your view of yourself will be reinforced. Self-efficacy is commonly defined as the belief in one's capabilities to achieve a goal or an outcome. Students with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to challenge themselves with difficult tasks and be motivated. These students will put forth a high degree of effort in order to meet their commitments, and attribute failure to things which are in their control, rather than blaming external factors. Self-efficacious students also recover quickly from setbacks, and ultimately are likely to achieve their personal goals. Students with low self-efficacy, on the other hand, believe they cannot be successful and thus are less likely to make a concerted, extended effort and may consider challenging tasks as threats that are to be avoided.

In the social categorization process, we mentally categorize people into different groups based on common characteristics. Sometimes this process occurs consciously, but for the most part social categorizations happen automatically and unconsciously. Some of the most common grouping people use include age, gender, occupation, and race. One of the strengths of social categorization is that it allows people to make judgments very quickly. Social cognition is the area of social psychology that examines how people perceive and think about their social world. This module provides an overview of key topics within social cognition and attitudes, including judgmental heuristics, social prediction, affective and motivational influences on judgment, and explicit and implicit attitudes. Every one of us has encountered a new person and immediately made initial judgments as to who this person. Sometimes we are right but many times we have used preconceived notions to categorize their being. I did not learn much new about this topic but I did solidify my knowledge that first impressions may not always be accurate and that it is very important to take the time to get to know a person before making permanent judgments. Attribution theory is concerned with how individuals interpret events and how this relates to their thinking and behavior. Attribution theory assumes that people try to determine why people do what they do. A person seeking to understand why another person did something may attribute one or more causes to that behavior. Attribution theory is seen as very relevant to the study of a person’s perceptions, event perceptions and attitude change, which can then lead to individuals impacting their own self-esteem, as well as their own levels of anxiety.

Attitude refers to a set of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors toward a particular object, person, thing, or event. Attitudes can positively or negatively affect a person's behavior, regardless of whether the individual is aware of the effects. A person may not always be aware of his or her attitude or the effect it is having on behavior. A person who has positive attitudes towards work and co-workers (such as contentment, friendliness, etc.) can positively influence those around them. These positive attitudes are usually manifested in a person's behavior; people with a good attitude are active and productive and do what they can to improve the mood of those around them. A Justice Department civil rights investigation has concluded that the Ferguson Police Department and the city's municipal court engaged in a "pattern and practice" of discrimination against African-Americans, targeting them disproportionately for traffic stops, use of force, and jail sentences. From 2012 to 2014, 85% of people subject to vehicle stops by Ferguson police were African-American; 90% of those who received citations were African-American; and 93% of people arrested were African-Black. We all see others discriminating based on race. But we want to live in a perfect world without racial discrimination.


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