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SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL pSYCHOLOGY (FEM 3103) PowerPoint Presentation
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  2. What is your reaction? • Heard your housemate was caught because of drugs ? • A beautiful lady smile at you? • Heard your cousin met with an accident? • Your parents wants to marry you to someone that you doesn’t like?

  3. What is Psychology? • Psychology is the science which seeks to understand and predict human and animal behavior. • Behavior  includes feelings, attitudes, thoughts, and other mental process (internal events which cannot be observed directly but can be measured indirectly) • Social? Society, socialization, community, interaction, relationship etc. • Environment? including physical & social environment

  4. What is Social Psychology? • According to Serge Moscovici, • “Social Psychology act as a bridge between other branches of knowledge” • According to Gordon Allport: • “Social psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods in an attempt to understand and explain how thoughts, feelings and the behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagining or implied presence of others”

  5. A broad definition which covers a wide range of phenomenon:- • How people form attitude? • How people attempt to persuade and are persuaded by others? • How people form close relationship with others? • Why people help or harm each other? • How people understand each other and themselves?

  6. What ever definition one chooses, it is clear that social psychology covers a lot of territory. • A social psychologist may focus on: • Social influences on the individual • Social interaction between 2 or more individual • Group process

  7. If the focus is on social influence: • Look into the social influences that have an effect on individual and the way in which they understand the world

  8. If the focus is on social interaction: • The focus is on the interaction between and among individual. • Aim:- to determine the unique characteristics of social behavior when 2 or more people are talking, working, bargaining, planning or engaging in any activities that people do together. • Specific Areas:- Communication process, social influence in attitude change, bargaining & negotiating, interpersonal attraction.

  9. If the focus is on Group Process: • Focus into the unique properties of groups, such as status, roles, group pressure and norms, and communication pattern. • ie. How people act in a group How group affect their members • Areas:- On a larger scale, social psychologist study organization, social institutions, physical environment in an attempt to determine how people respond to these influences.

  10. Conclusion • The major focus of social psychology is on: • people’s individual psychological process and their social interactions with others. • Social Psychology is scientific study of social behavior. i.e.:- • How we perceived other people & social situation • How we respond to others, and they to us • How we are affected by social situation

  11. What is Environmental Psychology? • The study of human behavior and well-being in relation to the socio-physical environment (Stokols & Altman, 1987) • The branch of psychology concerned with providing a systematic account of the relationship between a person and the environment. (Russell & Snodgrass, 1987)

  12. Environmental Psychology focused on: • The study of the relationship between humans and their physical environment. • Traditionally, the emphasis in environmental psychology has been on how human behavior, feelings, and well-being are affected by the physical environment (or environmental variables).

  13. Earlier studies focused on how human-made environment such as buildings & cities affected behavior. But, in the recent years, the focus is on: how humans are affected by natural environments, effects of humans on the environment (e.g., studies of littering, motivation for family planning, energy conservation, recycling, use of mass transportation etc.) the reactions of people to human-made and natural environmental hazards.

  14. Environmental psychology : • Investigates people's interactions with the environment - their perceptions, attitudes and actions. • It investigates the psychological processes which enable us to understand the meaning that environmental situations have for people acting individually or in groups, and how people create and use places. • The environment can be the elements in the city,neighborhood, home, office, factory, school, hospital, streets,retail or any recreational environment, and also sounds, weather, etc.

  15. Conclusion: • Environmental Psychology is the study of the relationships or transaction between individuals behavior and experience and their physical setting (built and natural environment). • It deals with the reciprocal relationship between human and the built and natural environment.


  17. Issues in Social Psychology • Prejudice, Discrimination and diversity • The Psychology of Gender • Cultural link • Social Influence • Interpersonal Relations • Self and social identity • Group behavior • Violence & conflict resolution • Prosocial Behavior

  18. Issues in Environmental Psychology • Human response to built and natural settings • Environmental perception and cognition • Problems of cities, population density, inner city decay, effects of apartment house living. • Driver stress, reduction of driver stress, aggressive behavior on roadways • Driver vengeance • Vandalism • The impact of technological &natural hazards • Research ethics • Housing needs of different groups • Effect of pollutions on human behavior • Designing and planning issues, etc.


  20. 3 major theoretical perspectives on human behavior: • Psychoanalytic Theory • (Sigmund Freud) • Behaviorism Theory • Pavlov, Skinner, Bandura) • Gestalt Theory • Wolfgang, Koffka, Lewin)

  21. PSYCHOANALYTIC • Freud proposed that behavior is motivated from within by powerful internal drives and impulses, such as sexuality and aggression. • Adult behavior is shaped by unresolved psychological conflict can be traced to childhood experiences in family. • Pschoanalitic theorist seek to understand the inner forces (conscious & unconscious)  that energize and direct behavior.

  22. BEHAVIORISM • Focused on observable behavior of human & animals  proposed that current behavior is the result of past learning. • Not really interested in subjective thoughts and feelings  prefer studying what they could directly observe& measure, i.e. overt behavior. • Behaviorist identified a series of principles to explain the specific process through which these learning occurs  through experiments. • Experiments were conducted on animals (rats, dogs, pigeons)  believe the same principles applied to human.

  23. Gestalt • Focused on how individual perceived and understand object, events and people. • People do not perceive situations or events as many discrete elements (separately)  but rather as “dynamic whole”.

  24. The legacy of these major theories help to explain a variety of difficult problems. • Psychoanalytic  can be seen in analysis of motivation & emotion in social life  Behavior is influence by personal motives & emotional reaction we have to situations & people. • Behaviorism  how learning shape social behavior e.g. How we learn to be helpful/aggrasive  experience shape our attitude & behavior. • Gestalt  how we perceived and understand our social world (social cognition).

  25. CONTEMPORARY THEORIES IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY • Motivational • Learning • Cognitive • Decision Making • Social Exchange • Socio-cultural

  26. TIME : 2 a.m LOCATION : A Grocery shop in Serdang A police officer saw a high school dropout, Ameng, coming out of the rear door of a shop, with a bag full of money. The shop has long been closed for the night. The officer shouted at Ameng to stop & put his hands up. Ameng turn, pulls out a pistol & shoot the officer, wounding him in the leg. Ameng is later caught & sent to jail. However, the statistics predicts that Ameng stays in jail will not be productive or happy, it will be costly for society, & the chance that he will commit further crime is fairly high.

  27. Motivational Theory • Focus on individual’s own need/ motives. • Our needs influences our perception, attitudes & behavior. • Eg. To enhance our self esteem & satisfy a need to feel good about ourselves  we blame others for our failure • Situations & social relationship can create & arouse needs and motivation. • Needs must be met  if unmet  create dissatisfaction/loneliness.

  28. Motivation (Con’t…) • Situations can creates or arouse needs, which in turn lead people to engage in behavior to reduce the needs. • Analyse Ameng’s case: • Why Ameng steals? Motivated by money? Hunger? Support family? Drugs? • Why Ameng shoot the Officer? • A social psychologist will analyse & try to identify in detail ways in which Ameng’s social environ. Fostered the particular needs & motives that led to the stealing & shooting.

  29. Learning Theory • For many years, learning theory was the dominant approach in Psychology. • According to A. Bandura (Social Learning theory), a person current behavior is determined by prior learning. • 3 general learning mechanism by which learning occurs: • Association (classical conditioning) • I. Pavlov • Reinforcement • B.F. Skinner • Observation • A.Bandura .

  30. Learning Theory (Con’t….) • Association (Classical conditioning) • Stimulus & Response • Exp on a dog Dogs learn to salivate at the sound of a bell because they were presented with food every time the bell was rung. • Later even without food, dog will salivate when he hears the sound of bells ringing. • Reinforcement (Operant Conditioning) • Reward & Punishment • People learn to perform a particular behavior because it is followed by something pleasurable and need-satisfying. Or • People learn to avoid certain behavior if it is followed by something unpleasant.

  31. Learning Theory (Con’t….) • Observation (Observational learning) • Observational learning can occur without any external reinforcement. • People learn social attitudes & behavior by observing the attitude & behavior of other people (model)  an important source of information. • Imitation or modeling occurs when a person observe and copy the behavior of a model. • However, whether a person actually perform a behavior observed depends on the consequences of the action.

  32. 3 distinct features in Learning Theory: • The cause of behavior are due to past learning history of the individual. • The cause of behavior are mainly in the external environment not in the individual’s subjective interpretation. • Learning approach usually aim to explain overt behavior instead of psychological/subjective states. • Analyse Ameng’s case: • Why Ameng steals? • Learn from what he observed from T.V, parents, siblings, etc. • Reinforced? Reward? • Why Ameng shoot the Officer? • Unpleasant past encounter with police/ authority?

  33. Cognitives Theories • A person behavior depends on the way he/she perceives the social situation. • People spontaneously organize their perceptions, thoughts & beliefs about a situation in simple, meaningful ways (grouping, categorizing) • The organization, perception & interpretation influence how we behave in social situation. • Kurt Lewin applied gestalt ideas to social psychology: • Emphasize the importance of social environment as perceived by the individual “psychological field”. • Behavior is affected both by the individual’s characteristics (ability, personality, genetic dispositions) & by the social environment he/she perceive.

  34. Cognitives Theories (Con’t…) • In Social Cognition, researchers (Psychologists):- • Study of how people process information. • Focus on how we put together social information about people, social situations & groups, to make inferences about them. • Examine the flow of information from the environment to a person. • 2 principles in cognitive approach (i.e. towards our central perception of physical objects & the social world) • We spontaneously group/ categorize the things we perceived. • We focus attention particularly on the most prominent stimuli

  35. 3 types of social cognition research: • Research on Social Perception • Examine how people perceive & encode social information • Why we pay attention to some action that people perform & ignore others. • Research on Social Inference • Examine how people integrate/put information together to arrive at a conclusion about the social world. • Research on Social Memory • Examine how individuals store & retrieve information about people and social events.

  36. Diff. between Cognitive & Learning approach:- • Cognitive = Focus on current perception, i.e. Emphasize on the importance of individuals perception/ interpretation of a situation. • Learning = Focus on past experience, i.e. Emphasize on the objective reality of the situation, as observed. ************************* Analyse Ameng’s case using Cognitive approach: • How did Ameng perceive his action in taking the money? • When the policeman shout at him, how did Ameng interpret the situation? • It was Ameng’s interpretation of the situation that led him to shoot the police officer.

  37. Decision-Making Theory • Assume that people are motivated to obtain reward & avoid cost. • People calculate the costs & benefits of various action, and pick the best alternatives • The decision that people makes based on logic & rational procedure.

  38. Other Theories Developed From Decision Making Theory:- • Incentive theory • Views decision making as a process of weighing the pros (positive incentives) & cons (negative incentives) of various possible alternatives  then adopt the best. • Expectancy-value theory • Decisions are based on the product or combination of 2 factors:- • The value of each possible outcome/ alternatives • The probability or “expectancy” that each outcome will actually result from the decision

  39. Social Exchange Theories • Focus on the interaction behavior of 2/more individuals. • Based on the work of both learning and decision-making theory. • Core idea  as 2 people interact with each other, they exchange benefits and costs. • The process of interactions creates reward or benefits & costs for the people involved. • Analized interpersonal interaction on the basis of the costs and benefits to each person on possible ways they can interact.

  40. Socio-cultural perspectives • How people’s diverse social and cultural background influences their thoughts, feelings and behavior. • Important aspect of culture:- • Social norms  rules & expectation about how group members should behave. • Social role  set of norms that apply to people in a particular position.

  41. Contemporary Theories In Environmental Psychology

  42. The Arousal Theory The Environmental Load Approach The Adaptation Level Theory The Behavior constraint Approach The Environmental Stress Theory The Ecological Theory Theories In Environmental Psychology

  43. What is Arousal? • Arousal is a heightening of brain activity by the arousal centre of the brain. • Arousal is measured physiologically by heightened autonomic activity, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate or adrenalin secretion, or behaviorally by increased motor activities.

  44. The Arousal Theory • Both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli will heighten arousal. • Example of pleasant stimuli: • A date with someone you adores • Sniffing your favorite perfume • Examples of unpleasant stimuli: • Huge fight /quarrel with your date • Foul smell from the garbage bin

  45. The Arousal Theory • The environmentcan influence human behavior, i.e. stimulation from the environment triggered our sensory organ  will increased arousal. • Stimulation from the environment (crowd, heat, noise, pollutions, etc.), will either improve or deteriorate one's performance, depending on their level of arousal. • However, too much environmental stimulation would have damaging effects on behavior & emotions.

  46. When the arousal level moves, several things occur, such as: • People will try seeking information about their internal states • People tend to seek other people opinion  compare their action to those of others around them. • Leads people to perform is a certain way  e.g. Yerkes-Dodson Law, where people normally will seek an optimal level of performance.

  47. Environmental Load Approach • Useful when explaining reactions to unwanted environmental stimuli. • Involves attention & information processing process. • What happen when a person is being confronted with several stimulus at once (overload occur)? • According to this theory  human being have limited capacity to process incoming stimuli & can invest only a limited effort in attending to inputs at any one time. • So, when the amount of information from the environment exceed the individual's capacity to process all that is relevant information overload occurs  “tunnel vision” occurs (focused on more relevant & important stimulus, and ignore less relevant one)

  48. The Adaptation Level Theory • Focus on the environmental mechanism that can help us to satisfy our ‘desired needs’ and privacy. • This theory assume that humans dislike crowds, and at the same time they also dislike total isolation. • The Adaptation Level Theory assumes that normal human being usually prefer an optimal level of stimulation  which is based on past experience. • And this experience contributes to their level of adaptation.

  49. Example: A person from rural moves to the city at first could not stand the noise & busy city  but after a while rural person will build up tolerance against the noise and crowd. This shift in optimal stimulation level is known as adaptation i.e. a shift in our judgmental or affective responses to a stimulus following continued exposure to it. Adaptation level differs from person to person, due to their experiences and exposure to a different level of stimulation.

  50. Behavior Constraint Approach (BHC) • CONSTRAIN something about the environment that limit/ interfere with the things we wanted to do. • According to this theory the constraint can be an actual destruction from the environment or simply our belief that the environment is putting a constraint on us. • For example, if we perceive the environmental events are constraining/restricting our behavior  we will first feel uncomfortable (negative/unpleasant feelings)  REACTANCE occur, i.e. we will try to reassert our control over the situation