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Social Psychology course

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By Grant D. Nelson, PhD Professor & Clinician of Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine
Geoffrey L Cohen, David K Sherman
People have a basic need to maintain the integrity of the self, a global sense of personal adequacy. Events that threaten self-integrity arouse stress and self-protective defenses that can hamper performance and growth. However, an intervention known as self-affirmation can curb these negative outcomes. Self-affirmation interventions typically have people write about core personal values. The interventions bring about a more expansive view of the self and its resources, weakening the implications of a threat for personal integrity...
2014: Annual Review of Psychology
Hing Keung Ma
Previous theories of moral development such as those by Piaget and Kohlberg usually focused on the cognitive or rational aspect, and seldom included the affective aspect in their construction. The characteristics of the stages of moral development in the present paper are elaborated with special reference to psychological needs, altruism and human relationships, and justice reasoning. The three stages are: (1) Physical Survival, Selfishness, and Obedience, (2) Love Needs, Reciprocal Altruism, and Instrumental Purpose; and (3) Belongingness Needs, Primary Group Altruism, and Mutual Interpersonal Expectations...
2013: Frontiers in Public Health
Patrick Bateson, Kevin N Laland
This year is the 50th anniversary of Tinbergen's (1963) article 'On aims and methods of ethology', where he first outlined the four 'major problems of biology'. The classification of the four problems, or questions, is one of Tinbergen's most enduring legacies, and it remains as valuable today as 50 years ago in highlighting the value of a comprehensive, multifaceted understanding of a characteristic, with answers to each question providing complementary insights. Nonetheless, much has changed in the intervening years, and new data call for a more nuanced application of Tinbergen's framework...
December 2013: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Shigehiro Oishi
Socioecological psychology investigates humans' cognitive, emotional, and behavioral adaption to physical, interpersonal, economic, and political environments. This article summarizes three types of socioecological psychology research: (a) association studies that link an aspect of social ecology (e.g., population density) with psychology (e.g., prosocial behavior), (b) process studies that clarify why there is an association between social ecology and psychology (e.g., residential mobility → anxiety → familiarity seeking), and (c) niche construction studies that illuminate how psychological states give rise to the creation and maintenance of a social ecology (e...
2014: Annual Review of Psychology
Virginie Ringa, Kevin Diter, Caroline Laborde, Nathalie Bajos
INTRODUCTION: Studies designed in northern countries show that most women are still sexually active after the age of 50. Many factors other than hormones influence sexual life in and after middle age; they include social status, personal characteristics, physical and psychological conditions, relationship factors, and social representations of sexuality. AIM: This study aims to analyze various components of sexuality, including its social representations, among women aged 45-55 years, as they reach menopause...
October 2013: Journal of Sexual Medicine
Stefan Stürmer, Alison E F Benbow, Birte Siem, Markus Barth, Alexander N Bodansky, Katharina Lotz-Schmitt
Building on an integration of research findings on intergroup behavior from multiple fields of scientific inquiry (biological and cultural paleoanthropology, social psychology), as well as research on the HEXACO personality framework (e.g., Ashton & Lee, 2007), 3 independent studies (total N = 1,007) were conducted to introduce and test a fresh personality perspective on human xenophilia. Even though the studies focused on different criteria (Study 1: favorable attitudes toward contact with immigrants, Study 2: habitual cross-cultural exploration, Study 3: favorable attitudes toward contact with indigenous people) and employed different operationalizations of major personality traits (the HEXACO Personality Inventory-Revised [HEXACO-PI-R], the 10-item Big Five Inventory [BFI-10]) results were remarkably similar...
November 2013: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Janis L Dickinson, Rhiannon L Crain, H Kern Reeve, Jonathon P Schuldt
The social Web is swiftly becoming a living laboratory for understanding human cooperation on massive scales. It has changed how we organize, socialize, and tackle problems that benefit from the efforts of a large crowd. A new, applied, behavioral ecology has begun to build on theoretical and empirical studies of cooperation, integrating research in the fields of evolutionary biology, social psychology, social networking, and citizen science. Here, we review the ways in which these disciplines inform the design of Internet environments to support collective pro-environmental behavior, tapping into proximate prosocial mechanisms and models of social evolution, as well as generating opportunities for 'field studies' to discover how we can support massive collective action and shift environmental social norms...
September 2013: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Ilia N Karatsoreos, Bruce S McEwen
The brain is constantly adapting to a changing environment. It detects environmental stimuli, integrates that information with internal states, and engages appropriate behavioral and physiological responses. This process of stability through change is termed "allostasis", and serves as a mechanism by which an organism can adapt to a changing environment to function optimally, and ultimately ensure survival. The ability to adapt to stressors in the environment by "bending" but not "breaking" can be considered as "resilience"...
2013: F1000Prime Reports
Krystine Irene Batcho
The concept of nostalgia has changed substantially both denotatively and connotatively over the span of its 300-year history. This article traces the evolution of the concept from its origins as a medical disease to its contemporary understanding as a psychological construct. The difficulty of tracing a construct through history is highlighted. Attention is paid to roles played first by the medical context, and then by the psychiatric, psychoanalytic, and psychological approaches. Emphasis is given to shifts in the designation of nostalgic valence from bitter to sweet to bittersweet, and the processes of semantic drift and depathologization are explored...
August 2013: History of Psychology
Ilia N Karatsoreos, Ilia N Karatoreos, Bruce S McEwen
BACKGROUND: Adaptation is key to survival. An organism must adapt to environmental challenges in order to be able to thrive in the environment in which they find themselves. Resilience can be thought of as a measure of the ability of an organism to adapt, and to withstand challenges to its stability. In higher animals, the brain is a key player in this process of adaptation and resilience, and through a process known as "allostasis" can obtain "stability through change"; protecting homeostasis in the face of stressors in the environment...
April 2013: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
Mattia Gallotti, Chris D Frith
According to many philosophers and scientists, human sociality is explained by the unique capacity to share the mental states of others. Shared intentionality has been widely debated in the past two decades in ways that also enlighten the current 'interactive turn' in social cognition. In this article, we examine the function and significance for interacting agents of sharing minds in an irreducibly collective mode called the 'we-mode'. This first-person plural perspective captures the viewpoint of individuals engaged in social interactions and thus expands each individual's potential for social understanding and action...
April 2013: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Jim Sliwinski, Gary R Elkins
Placebo effects are widely recognized as having a potent impact upon treatment outcomes in both medical and psychological interventions, including hypnosis. In research utilizing randomized clinical trials, there is usually an effort to minimize or control placebo effects. However, in clinical practice there may be significant benefits in enhancing placebo effects. Prior research from the field of social psychology has identified three factors that may enhance placebo effects, namely: priming, client perceptions, and the theory of planned behavior...
January 2013: American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis
Diana Boer, Ronald Fischer
This article examines how and when personal values relate to social attitudes. Considering values as motivational orientations, we propose an attitude-value taxonomy based on Moral Foundation Theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2007) and Schwartz's (1992) basic human values theory allowing predictions of (a) how social attitudes are related to personal values, and (b) when macro-contextual factors have an impact on attitude-value links. In a meta-analysis based on the Schwartz Value Survey (Schwartz, 1992) and the Portrait Value Questionnaire (Schwartz et al...
September 2013: Psychological Bulletin
Leda Cosmides, John Tooby
Evolutionary psychology is the second wave of the cognitive revolution. The first wave focused on computational processes that generate knowledge about the world: perception, attention, categorization, reasoning, learning, and memory. The second wave views the brain as composed of evolved computational systems, engineered by natural selection to use information to adaptively regulate physiology and behavior. This shift in focus--from knowledge acquisition to the adaptive regulation of behavior--provides new ways of thinking about every topic in psychology...
2013: Annual Review of Psychology
Dustin R Rubenstein
Males figured more prominently than females in Darwin's view of sexual selection. He considered female choice of secondary importance to male-male competition as a mechanism to explain the evolution of male ornaments and armaments. Fisher later demonstrated the importance of female choice in driving male trait evolution, but his ideas were largely ignored for decades. As sexual selection came to embrace the notions of parent-offspring and sexual conflict, and experimental tests of female choice showed promise, females began to feature more prominently in the framework of sexual selection theory...
August 19, 2012: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Nicholas O Rule, Jonathan B Freeman, Nalini Ambady
The aim of this review is to highlight an emerging field: the neuroscience of culture. This new field links cross-cultural psychology with cognitive neuroscience across fundamental domains of cognitive and social psychology. We present a summary of studies on emotion, perspective-taking, memory, object perception, attention, language, and the self, showing cultural differences in behavior as well as in neural activation. Although it is still nascent, the broad impact of merging the study of culture with cognitive neuroscience holds mutual distributed benefits for multiple related fields...
2013: Social Neuroscience
Cornelia Wrzus, Martha Hänel, Jenny Wagner, Franz J Neyer
For researchers and practitioners interested in social relationships, the question remains as to how large social networks typically are, and how their size and composition change across adulthood. On the basis of predictions of socioemotional selectivity theory and social convoy theory, we conducted a meta-analysis on age-related social network changes and the effects of life events on social networks using 277 studies with 177,635 participants from adolescence to old age. Cross-sectional as well as longitudinal studies consistently showed that (a) the global social network increased up until young adulthood and then decreased steadily, (b) both the personal network and the friendship network decreased throughout adulthood, (c) the family network was stable in size from adolescence to old age, and (d) other networks with coworkers or neighbors were important only in specific age ranges...
January 2013: Psychological Bulletin
Seth Dobson
Recent comparative evidence suggests that anthropoid primates are the only vertebrates to exhibit a quantitative relationship between relative brain size and social group size. In this paper, I attempt to explain this pattern with regard to facial expressivity and social bonding. I hypothesize that facial motor control increases as a secondary consequence of neocortical expansion owing to cortical innervation of the facial motor nucleus. This is supported by new analyses demonstrating correlated evolution between relative neocortex size and relative facial nucleus size...
July 5, 2012: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Matt J Rossano
Social norms are communally agreed upon, morally significant behavioral standards that are, at least in part, responsible for uniquely human forms of cooperation and social organization. This article summarizes evidence demonstrating that ritual and ritualized behaviors are essential to the transmission and reinforcement of social norms. Ritualized behaviors reliably signal an intentional mental state giving credibility to verbal expressions while emotionally binding people to each other and group-based values...
May 2012: Psychological Bulletin
Paula M Niedenthal, Markus Brauer
Answers to the question "What are human emotions for?" have stimulated highly productive programs of research on emotional phenomena in psychology and neuroscience in the past decade. Although a variety of functions have been proposed and examined at different levels of abstraction, what is undeniable is that when emotional processing is compromised, most things social go awry. In this review we survey the research findings documenting the functions of emotion and link these to new discoveries about how emotion is accurately processed and transmitted...
2012: Annual Review of Psychology
2014-05-28 03:54:42
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