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Social Psychology

Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

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  1. Social Psychology David Myers 11e Chapter 5: Social Influence Genes, Culture, and Gender -How we influence one another

  2. How Are We Influenced by Human Nature and Cultural Diversity?What is your belief/affect response to Jan and Tomoko? • Genes, Evolution, and Behavior • Natural selection • Heritable traits that best enable organisms to survive and reproduce are passed to ensuing generations • Social animals Join, conform, recognize social status • Social as well as biological evolution occurs (still does) • Such as trust, disapproval, punishment, altruism, morality • Social behavior genetics are harder to see because they interact (happens along with) cultural changes • Evolutionary psychology • Study of the evolution of cognition and behavior based on principles of natural selection • There has been enough time for variance in genes • Variation has been recent , copious, and regional (N.Wade)

  3. How Are We Influenced by Human Nature and Cultural Diversity? • Culture and Behavior • Culture • Enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next • Cultural diversity • Our behavior is socially programmed • Could it also be influenced by genes? • One in eight Americans is an immigrant

  4. How Are We Influenced by Human Nature and Cultural Diversity? • Culture and Behavior • Norms: Expected behavior by the group • Norms (implicit rules for getting along) • Standards for accepted and expected behavior • Expressiveness - German v. Greeks? • Punctuality - U.S. v. Caribbean ? Jamaica? • Rule Breaking – a social norm for rule breaking? • what’s the benefit of that? • Personal Space – prison inmates v. us • Buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies Eye contact –when is it appropriate? How long? a “stare (creepy)” v. “he’s looking at me”

  5. How Are We Influenced by Human Nature and Cultural Diversity? • Culture and Behavior • Cultural similarity • What is a ‘theory of mind’? • Universal friendship norms • Universal trait dimensions CANOE • Universal social belief dimensions • Cynicism, social complexity, reward for hard work, spirituality, fate control • Universal status norms (R. Brown) • Intimacy (you must call me “professor”!!) • Incest taboo –why is this universal? • Norms of war –except for Iraq and a few others

  6. How Are Males and Females Alike and Different? • Gender • Characteristics, whether biological or socially influenced, by which people define male and female • Females: • 70% more fat, shorter, weigh less • More sensitive to smells and sounds • More vulnerable to anxiety disorders, depression • Males: • Slower to reach puberty, die younger • ADHD!!!! • Commit suicide (more women try but don’t succeed)

  7. How Are Males and Females Alike and Different? Women Men • Describe themselves in more relational terms • Experience more relationship-linked emotions • More empathetic • Gravitate toward jobs that reduce inequalities • Focus on tasks and on connections with large groups • Respond to stress with “fight or flight” response • Gravitate toward jobs that enhance inequalities

  8. How Are Males and Females Alike and Different? • Social Dominance • (when is it better to be socially dominant?) • Men are socially dominant • Women’s wages in industrial countries average 77 percent of men’s • Men tend to be more autocratic; women more democratic • Men take more risks

  9. How Are Males and Females Alike and Different? • Aggression • Physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone • In the U.S., the arrest ratio of male to female is 9 to 1 • When provocation occurs the gender gap shrinks • Women are slightly more likely to commit indirect aggressive acts • Spreading malicious gossip

  10. How Are Males and Females Alike and Different? • Sexuality • Men: • More often think about and initiate sex • Women: • Are more inspired by emotional passion

  11. Evolution and Gender: Doing What Comes Naturally? • Gender and Mating Preferences • Men seek out quantity (reproduce widely) • Spreading genes widely • Women seek out quality (wisely choose) • Protecting and nurturing of offspring

  12. Evolution and Gender: Doing What Comes Naturally? • Reflections on Evolutionary Psychology • Evolutionary psychologists sometimes start with an effect and work backward to construct an explanation • Way to overcome the “hindsight bias” is to imagine things turning out otherwise. (find the function it provides) • Evolutionary psychologists disagree with this theory • Same criticism for “cultural theories” • Their opponents worry that accepting genetically driven differences reinforces gender stereotypes. • Is evolution genetic determinism? Or can we adapt to different environments?

  13. Sample Predictions Derived from Evolutionary Psychology

  14. Evolution and Gender: Doing What Comes Naturally? • Gender and Hormones • Gender gap in aggression seems influenced by testosterone • As humans age they become more androgynous • Mixing both masculine and feminine characteristics

  15. Culture and Gender: Doing as the Culture Says? • Gender Role • Set of behavior expectations (norms) for males and females • Confess: did culture form you develop “roots” or “wings”? • Discuss: Is gender role “inequality” good or bad? • Gender roles vary over culture • Should both spouses work and share child care? • 41 of 44 countries prefer sharing • What are the implications for each option? • Gender roles vary over time • Evolution and biology do not fix them.

  16. Culture and Gender: Doing as the Culture Says? • Peer-Transmitted Culture • 50% of personality (and predisposition to respond) • is inherited • 0 -10% percent of individual variations in personality traits is by • parental nurturing • The other 40 -50 % is peerinfluence! On values/ preferences • What are some that you learned /adopted? • What are the implications for values and behaviors having the • boy/girl scout v. gang group influence? • Extremism Islamist v. other religious influence? • Change comes from the youth. Some examples?

  17. What Can We Conclude about Genes, Culture, and Gender? • Biology and Culture • Biology and experience interact when biological traits influence how the environment reacts • Epigenetics – environment triggers biological gene expression • E.g. diet, drugs stress • But some stress is good for us • (at cellular level and for physical development) • E.g. Hostility of cop killers in Bronx and Jihad John • Great truths: B = f (p * e) – • Power of the situation • Power of the person • interaction (*) plays a big role • A social situation affects different people differently • People often choose their situation • People often create their situations