Social and Multicultural Psychology

Topics: Sociology, Psychology, Behavior Pages: 7 (934 words) Published: May 19, 2014
Social Psychology and Multicultural Psychology
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PSYCH/620 Multicultural and Social Issues in Psychology
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April 28, 2014

Social Psychology and Multicultural Psychology
People are influenced by many people, things, and situations. The impact of their social interaction is influenced by the way they think, feel and behave. Understanding how people form attachments and get along within society is essential, especially since there is a growing number of individuals with ethnic or minority and cultural backgrounds. Although “norms of behavior” are promoted by all cultures, other multicultural variables such as contextual factors, racial and ethnic identity, religious/spiritual beliefs, parenting factors, student attitudes must also be consider when dealing with diverse populations. In this discussion, social and multicultural psychology will be defined, various research strategies used to assess social interaction will be identified, and similarity and distinctiveness of the two branch of psychology will be explained. Social Psychology and Primary Research Strategies

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary online, social psychology is defined as “the study of the manner in which the personality, attitudes, motivations, and behavior of the individual influence and are influenced by social groups." In other words, social psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the interaction of individuals in various social contexts (Kong, 1996). It looks at how and why people think, feel, and do the things they do as a result of the situation they find themselves in (Kong). Social psychology and sociology are similar except sociology focuses on group factors such as race and socioeconomic class while social psychology concentrates primarily on how the individual acts in certain circumstances. Some essential research strategies (McLeod 2007) utilized by researchers to assess an individual’s social interactions include: RESEARCH STRATEGIES

(Lab, field or natural)
Accurate and objective measurements in a well-controlled environment (artificial setting) Researcher determines place, time, participants, circumstances and standardized procedure real life setting Stanley Milgram, a Yale University psychologist, experiment on obedience focused on the three-way conflict between obedience, authority. and personal conscience. Case Study

In-depth investigations of a single person, group, event or community Gathers qualitative data and levels of ecological validity
Sigmund Freud detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses. Interviews

Unstructured (informal) casual conversation with no set questions. Structured (formal): Fixed, predetermined set of formal questions. Questionnaire: written interview.
Collect qualitative and quantitative data.
Skinner Behavior Study modified operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals in 1948 to reinforce or punish. Observations
Covert Observations: Pretend to be an ordinary member of the group and secretly observes. Creates ethical problems or deception and consent. Overt Observations: Inform the participant(s) that he or she is being observed so they will be aware. Record behavior in natural, controlled, participatory, and non-participatory settings. Kathy Sylva and a team of researchers from Oxford and the University of London's Institute of Education, discovered in the 80s/90s that a child's academic, social and behavioral development is substantially enhanced by going to pre-school, particularly if they are poor. Content Analysis

Indirectly observe the presence of certain words, images or concepts within the media, politics. Content Analysis of TV shows containing violent content or study sex-role stereotyping. Pilot Study

An initial run-through of the procedures to be used in an investigation; select a few people...

References: Cherry, K. (2008).What Is Cross Cultural Psychology? Psychology. Retrieved from
Kong, K. T.(August, 1996 ). Social Psychology on the Net. Education 113,University of California at Berkeley. Retrieved from
McLeod, S. A. (2007). The Interview Method. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from
Stamatouras, A. (2010). Multicultural Psychology. University of Phoenix
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