Why do people do the things they do? How accurate are our common sense beliefs about this? How do our beliefs about causes of behaviors differ for our own behaviors versus others’ behaviors? These are all fundamental questions within the field of social psychology. Social psychology is the study of how the real or imagined presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Specifically, social psychologists study and explain how people perceive social events and each other, how people influence each other, and how people relate to other individuals or groups.
You begin the course with an introduction to the field of social psychology and one of the most important concepts within it, construals. Then, you explore how a social psychological lens can be applied to help explain and even reduce one type of human behavior—aggression.
Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., & Sommers, S. R. (2019). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Chapter 1, “Introducing Social Psychology”
Chapter 12, “Aggression: Why Do We Hurt Other People? Can We Prevent It?”
Bushman, B. J., Newman, K., Calvert, S. L., Downey, G., Dredze, M., Gottfredson, M., & … Webster, D. W. (2016). Youth violence: What we know and what we need to know. American Psychologist, 71(1), 17–39.
Saucier, G., Akers, L. G., Shen-Miller, S., Knežević, G., & Stankov, L. (2009). Patterns of thinking in militant extremism. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(3), 256–271.
Davidson, J. (Director), & Davidson, F. (Producer). (2003). Bandura’s social cognitive theory: An introduction [Video file]. Palo Alto, CA: Davidson Films. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.alexanderstreet.com/pexp/view/work/1780107
Scroll down past “Segments” until you get to “Clips.” The relevant video clips are titled The Bobo Doll Experiments, clips 1 and 2 (46 seconds and 28 seconds, respectively). The entire video is approximately 37 minutes.
Before you begin to explore aggression and apply concepts from social psychology to it, it is important to examine one of the most fundamental social psychological concepts: construals. A construal is defined as the way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world. The concept of construal has its roots in Gestalt psychology—a school of psychology that stresses the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people’s minds, rather than the objective, physical attributes of the object.
Social psychologists have found that two motives are of primary importance in determining human thoughts and behavior: the need to feel good about ourselves and the need to be accurate. Self-esteem is people’s evaluation of their own self-worth, or the extent to which people see themselves as good, competent, and decent. Most people have a strong need to maintain a high self-esteem. This need can clash with the need for accuracy, referred to as the social cognition motive, leading people to distort their perceptions of reality (e.g., by explaining their personal deficiencies in more positive ways) so as to preserve self-esteem. Such distortions are more “spins” on the facts rather than complete delusions.
Consider, for instance, a man who proposed marriage and had his proposal rejected in front of his girlfriend’s entire family. This person faces a conflict between the need to maintain self-esteem and the need to be accurate. What should he think about being rejected by his girlfriend? He could protect his self-esteem and assume it was not his fault at all that she said no, or he could try to get an accurate assessment of what happened (e.g., perhaps proposing in front of her family was a bad idea; perhaps his relationship was not as solid as he thought) so it will not happen again. Social psychologists study people’s subjective construals of situations and how these construals are influenced by their self-esteem and social cognition motives.
An important application of this study is to better understand aggressive behavior, a social psychology topic that has far-reaching implications for individuals, groups, and society as a whole. One of the most important reasons for studying aggression is the goal of reducing violence. For example, individuals can be counseled to change the parameters of their situation, trained in communication and problem-solving skills, or provided with ongoing interventions such as anti-bullying programs. Social psychologists seek answers to questions such as: In aggressive situations, do people learn to be aggressive or is their behavior a function of their environment? Do some people have aggressive attributes and tendencies or do they become aggressive because of their unique situations? Are individuals from some cultures more aggressive than those from others?
A fundamental difference between social psychologists and lay people is the application of this construal approach in understanding how aggressive situations and other types of behavior arise. Social psychologists recognize and examine the power of the situation in influencing people. Lay people often cite the situation to explain their own behaviors, but they overlook the situation and instead cite personality to explain others’ behaviors. This is termed the fundamental attribution error.
For this Discussion, you consider why some individuals are aggressive toward others and how aggression escalates or can be reduced. You will compare how social psychologists and lay people might each explain various types of aggressive behavior, and in doing so, apply many of the concepts you explored in the Learning Resources this week, including construals, the fundamental attribution error, and the sometimes competing motives of self-esteem and social cognition.
Post a discussion of the following:
Note: You are required to create a thread for your initial discussion post before you will be able to view other colleague’s postings in this forum.
Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ Discussion postings. Be sure to respond to a colleague who discussed an aggressive act that you did not. Respond in one of the following ways:
Important Note: For all Discussions in this course, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleague’s postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your inital post. Remember, once you click Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit!
To access your rubric:
Week 1 Discussion Rubric
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 1 Discussion
Why Work with Us
Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers
We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.
Professional and Experienced Academic Writers
We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.
Free Unlimited Revisions
If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.
Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee
All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.
Original & Confidential
We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.
24/7 Customer Support
Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.
Try it now!
How it works?
Follow these simple steps to get your paper done
Place your order
Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.
Proceed with the payment
Choose the payment system that suits you most.
Receive the final file
Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.
No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.
No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.
Admission Essays & Business Writing Help
An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.
Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.
If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.