Week 6 Motivation and Emotion Task A.

Week6: Motivation and Emotion

Task A.

Q. I. Motivation

Motivation refers to that intrinsic force that drives or influenceindividuals to behave in certain ways and leads people to pursuecertain things or avoid others. Psychologically, motivation refers tothat intrinsic desire to do certain things based on internal orexternal stimulus. Individuals are motivated by both psychologicaland biological needs. Biological needs are instinct driven (internaltensions) that builds up until they are satisfied. Some motivationsare explicit while others are implicit and occur unconsciously(Atkinson and Birch, 1978).

Q.II. Different Perspectives of motivation

Behaviorist perspective

According to the behaviorists motivation arises when a response tothe first act of behavior is reinforced through positive or negativereinforces. The environment dictates how individuals are motivated.In this case, the behaviorist perspective view motivation asinfluenced by external aspects that ‘encourage’ or ‘discourages’the repetition of a given behavior (Reeve, 2009: Lorelle, Drewm andRobin 2011, p.371).

Psychodynamic perspective

Biological or innate impasse is the source of individual motivation.Internal drives, needs and desires create biological tension thatmust be satisfied and this influences how individuals consciously orunconsciously engage in certain behaviors. The underlying aspect isthat innate drives lead to conscious and unconscious motivations. Forinstance, someone who engages in lust consciously experiencesinternal tensions to satisfy sexual drives.

Cognitive perspective

Cognitive perspective is based on the theory that individuals arerational beings and that motivations are as a result of psychologicalneeds. Individuals’ participation in certain acts is as result ofrational decision on expected outcomes (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin2011, p.372: Atkinson and David, 1978).

Humanistic Perspective

Humanistic perspective believes that individual’s basic andsecondary needs for survival influences one’s behavior. Accordingto the humanistic theory individuals are motivated to act in certainways to meet physiological and psychological needs (Reeve, 2009).

Evolutionary perspective

The assumption is that motivation is as a result of evolved responsefunctions due to certain pressures. As such, individuals’motivation is influenced by response-pressures that have evolved overtime.

Q.III. how eating behaviors are biologically regulated

The need to satisfy hunger tensions emanates from biological drivesto fill the empty stomach. As levels of glucose in the bloodstreamreduce, the brain (hypothalamus) switches on the eating behavior(Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.376). Destruction of thehypothalamus leads to obesity. In this case, as one overeats orsnacks regularly like in Western countries, the hypothalamus isdestroyed and cannot control eating behaviors leading to obesity oroverweight.

Q.IV.How sexual motivation involves hormones and social and culturalfactors

Sexual motivation is an innate drive that arises from hormonesbehaviors. Alteration of hormones leads to alteration in intensity ofsexual behavior. Some cultures view one gender such as male as havingmore sexual drive than female and this means one gender may exhibitmore sexual orientation than the other (Reeve, 2009). On socialaspect, sexual motivation varies based on sexual orientationhomosexual men have varying hormonal influence than heterosexual menand thus difference in motivation and sexual orientation (Lorelle,Drewm and Robin 2011, p.375).

Q.V. Emotion theories

James-Lange theory of emotion

This theory is based on the premise that physiological arousalinfluences emotion experiences. The body reacts (responds) toemotions rather than feeling emotions. The assumption is that thefeeling of emotion comes after the body reactions (Lorelle, Drewm andRobin 2011, p.374).

Cannon-Bard theory of emotions

Cannon-Bard theory postulates that emotional expressions arises fromthe function of hypothalamic structures emotion feelings arises fromstimulations of dorsal thalamus.

Task B

Q.I. Paul Ekman six core emotions

After series of studies Ekman found that most emotions could bedetected universally through facial expressions. The six universalemotions are anger, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise.

Q.II. How did Ekman demonstrate that emotional expression wasuniversal?

Ekman demonstrated that emotional expressions were universal bymeasuring non-verbal communication cues. Through empiricalobservation of facial expression on human subjects, Ekman was able todetect six universal facial expressions that exhibit anger, disgust,happiness, fear, sadness and surprise.

Q.III. what is funny or sad or makes one angry? is universally determined through distinct facial expressions. Almost all culturesexhibit similar facial expressions when angry.

Q.IV. whether we will publically display our emotions? Is aculturally determined aspect learned through behavioral learning?

Task C

The most interesting aspect learned in this chapter is theexplanation given by Paul Ekman on the universality of emotions basedon facial expressions. I have interacted with many people fromvarious cultures and I agree with Ekman that most emotions such asanger, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise are expressedsimilarly by people from all cultures. However, based on lifetimeobservation through interactions with various people of all ages andcultures, I discovered that the expression of emotions variesconsiderably with age.

Word Count: 794


Atkinson, John David Birch 1978. Introduction to Motivation.New York: D. Van Nostrand Company.

Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology (3rdAustralian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg 372-843

Reeve, J 2009. Understanding motivation and emotion (5 ed.).Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Week 7: Personality

Task A.

Q. I. Personality: Personality is a summation of individualpatterns of feelings, thoughts, motivation, behaviors as expressed indifferent circumstances and scenarios.

Q. II. Psychodynamic theory of personality: this theory isbased on Freud’s work.This theory is based on the assumption thatindividuals personality are defined by three elements conscious,pre-conscious and the unconscious aspect of a human being. The basictenets of psychodynamic theory are that individual’s behaviorconsciously or unconsciously determines ones personality (Lorelle,Drewm and Robin, 2011, p. 422).

Q.III. Cognitive-social theories of personality: thisperspective is based on behaviorist and cognitive approaches oflearning and postulates that individual’s expectations, beliefs,learning and information processing determines individual’spersonality (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.423).

Q. IV. Major trait theories of personality

This perspective is based on the assumptions that the summation ofindividual’s cognitive, emotion and behavioral tendencies definesindividual’s personality. Based on the summation ofcognitive, behavioral and emotional tendencies an individual can becategorized as psychotic, neurotic and extroverted (Lorelle, Drewmand Robin 2011, p.423).

Q.V. Humanistic theories of personality: this approach isbased on the assumption that as individuals strives to find meaningof life, they develop distinct personality types. The humanisticapproach further stipulates that humans have no fixed nature but theyconsistently recreate their personality as they search for meaning inlife (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.423).

Task B

Q.I. Big Five personality dimensions

Openness this are type of personalities who exhibitcuriosity, unusual ideas, emotion and are adventurous. In addition,open personality are creative, independent and imaginative.

Conscientiousness This category of people are well organized,dependable, dutiful, well disciplined and strives for achievement(Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011: 424).

Extraversion People, who exhibit positive emotions, areassertive, sociable and tendency to consistently seek stimulation inthe company of others.

Agreeableness these people portray tendency for friendlinessand cooperativeness with others. Agreeable people are rarelydetached, suspicious or analytical.

Neuroticism Neurotic people are sensitive, constantlyexperience unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, anger, vulnerabilityand depression.

Q. II. My Personality Ranking based on the big five personalitydimensions

Openness I am relatively open to experience since am lesscurious, adventurous and emotive. However, I am independent andcautious. I am average in openness.

Conscientiousness I am highly dependable and well organized.I tend to follow strict discipline in all my activities. I am aboveaverage in conscientiousness.

Extraversion I am relatively outgoing and prefer beingreserved. However, I have positive emotions I am assertive andrelatively sociable. I am average as an extravert.

Agreeableness I am friendly, cooperative and compassionatewith relatively low suspicious trait. I am above average as anagreeable person.

Neuroticism I am relatively nervous, anxious and tend toexhibit unpleasant emotions when disturbed. I am average as aneurotic person.

Q.III. Online personality test results and comparison withpersonal ranking in Q.II


Your Results



Open to New Experiences







Calm / Relaxed

Nervous / High-Strung

Openness to Experience/Intellect


High scorers tend to be original, creative, curious, complex Low scorers tend to be conventional, down to earth, narrow interests, uncreative.


You typically don`t seek out new experiences.

(Your percentile: 41)




High scorers tend to be reliable, well-organized, self-disciplined, careful Low scorers tend to be disorganized, undependable, and negligent.


You are very well-organized, and can be relied upon.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp (Your percentile: 94)



High scorers tend to be sociable, friendly, fun loving, talkative Low scorers tend to be introverted, reserved, inhibited, and quiet.


You are neither particularly social nor reserved.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp (Your percentile: 42)



High scorers tend to be good natured, sympathetic, forgiving, courteous Low scorers tend to be critical, rude, harsh, and callous.


You tend to consider the feelings of others.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp (Your percentile: 69)




High scorers tend to be nervous, high-strung, insecure, worrying Low scorers tend to be calm, relaxed, secure, and hardy.


You are generally relaxed.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp (Your percentile: 22)

Comparison Personality Ranking in Q.II and Personality Results inQIII

Openness In my personal ranking, I ranked myself asrelatively open to experience less curious, less adventurous andemotive. The online personality results confirm this and indicatethat I am less creative, down to earth and conventional. The onlineresults indicate that am below average (41% in openness) but Ithought that I am average.

Conscientiousness in my individual ranking, I ranked myselfas a highly dependable, disciplined and well organized person. Theonline test confirms this and indicates that am highly dependable andself-disciplined at 94 percentile.

Extraversion I ranked myself as average. I havepositive emotions, assertiveness, sociable and tendency toconsistently seek stimulation in the company of others. The resultsslightly ties with my ranking at 42 percentile, I am an introvert,quiet and inhibited.

Agreeableness In my personal ranking I am average infriendliness, cooperative and compassion trait. In tests I am aboveaverage as a good natured, sympathetic and courteous person.

Neuroticism In my personal ranking I am relatively nervous,anxious and tend to exhibit unpleasant emotions when disturbed. I amaverage as a neurotic person. In online test, I rank at 22 percentilewhich means I am calm, secure and hardy.

Task C: Humanistic theories of personality

The humanistic theory of personality is interesting and one thatadequately explains how people’s personality develops. Based on myobservation and interactions with others I believe that individual’personality changes with time and circumstances. For instance, atschool we interacted well with friends who were sociable and humble.However, my friend’s personality changed he is arrogant, proud andinsensitive. Therefore, I believe in the humanistic theory ofpersonality that people change their personality as they seek meaningin life (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 423).

Word Count: 767 (Exclude the attached test score chart).


Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology (3rdAustralian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg 422-843

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. Schurer, Stefanie (April 2012). &quotThestability of big-five personality traits.&quot Economics Letters115 (1): 11–5.

Week 8: Health, Stress and Coping

Task A.

Q.1. Social-cognitive theories of health behavior

Theory of planned behavior utilizes the aspect of self-efficacy andattitudes in determining good health behaviors. Reasoned Actiontheory postulates that individual’s engage in rational behaviorsthat promote good health. The main difference is that the theory ofreasoned action is based on intention to engage in healthy behaviorswhile the theory of planned behavior is based oneself-efficacymotives (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 549).

Q.II. Barriers to good health promotion and preventive health

Individual barriers

When an individual lacks information on good health habits, theyexperience bad health. Other individuals’ pursues short-term healthrewards such as overeating thereby compromising health. Gender is afactor that impedes good health for instance, men pay less attentionon their body health compared to women (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin2011, p. 555).

Family barriers

Families’ socio-economic status may impede good health. Somefamilies have bad health habits or lack information on good dietingleading to compromised eating habits.

Health system barriers

In some countries such as the less developed nations, healthcaresystems are ill equipped with adequate resources for enhancing goodhealth. Additionally, some health facilities, personnel and programsmay not be sufficient in facilitating good health.

Ethnic barriers

Cultural and ethnic values and norms inhibit some people fromaccessing good healthcare. Some cultures live in bush and have littleinformation or access to good health services or good diet and thisleads to bad health (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 555).

Q III. The nature relationship between stress and health

Stress is a psychological process that takes place through variousphases of biogical mechanisms. Stress is activated when the brainreleases adrenalin in the body system. The body responds to the‘alarm’ created by stress through increased heart rate andrespiration (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 552). As the stresshormones remain high in the body, increased heart rate andrespiration leads to the breakdown of body mechanisms thus making thebody vulnerable to infections.

Q IV. Major strategies of coping with stress

Individual based stress coping mechanism

Individual based strategy should be focused on changing the situationcontributing to stress (problem focused approach). Additionally,individuals can change the thoughts leading to stressful conditions(emotion-focused approach) (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 549).

Social support strategy

Social support is an effective strategy through which individuals canuse to cope with stress. Social support provides individuals withhelp, concern and psychological comfort that in turn lower stresslevels. Social support helps to alleviate loneliness and serves as abuffer against stress effects (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.549).

Task B: Online Life Stress Test Activity

Test score=164http://www.cliving.org/lifestresstestscore.htm. A test scorehigher than 150 to 299 indicates that one has a moderate chance ofbecoming ill as a result of stress in future.

Q.I. Major Stressors in my life

Fired from work I was recently fired from work and this hasexposed me to stress due to overwhelming responsibilities expectedfrom me by parents and my family.

Q. II. Possible coping strategy to solve this stress

i. Be actively engaged in volunteer and business activities toavoid idleness

I discovered that my stress increases when I am idle or when I am notactively engaged. As a result, I plan to volunteer in the neighboringchildren home as I make plans to start a business or find anotherjob.

ii. Social support

I plan to interact with my friends and relatives whenever I am freeto avoid stress while am alone. As I engage with friends, I will beable to share and network with them for possible job or businessopportunity and this will help me escape stress associated with jobloss (Cohen and Wills 1985, 334).

Q. 3. Involving others in stress resolution

Disclosure is an important mechanism of coping with a stressingissue. I plan to share my situation with immediate family members sothat they provide moral, social and psychological support. Inaddition, I believe that by sharing my situation with my trustedfriends, I will get help and possibly get another job thus resolvingmy stress (Cohen and Wills 1985, 324).

Task C: Interesting aspect from the Chapter

Individual barriers to Good health

Individual barriers to good health are the most interesting aspect Ilearned in this topic. Good health is an individual’sresponsibility and this means adopting behaviors that promote goodhealth. In part, good health is defined by how individual exercisegood physiological and psychological health. It is important thatindividuals apply the right approach to enhance their health. In mylife, I apply the theory of reasoned action in pursuing actions thatpromotes the overall health of my body.

Word Count: 786


Cohen, S. Wills, T. A. 1985. &quotStress, social support, and thebuffering hypothesis.&quot Psychological Bulletin 98 (2):310–357.

Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology(3rd Australian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg547-843.


Task A

Q I. Psychopathology and the cultural context of psychopathology

Psychopathology is a psychological problem that signifies abnormalityon thought, feeling and behavioral patterns. Usually, psychopathologyinterferes with an individual’s overall wellbeing in social andoperation astuteness (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 601).Psychopathology can be regarded as a state of sick mind.Psychopathology is tied to cultural context in which the patient isliving. Certain social aspects such as anxiety of being in a newenvironment, culture-shock or beliefs may lead to psychopathology.However, various cultures have different cases of psychopathologybased on the nature of cultural exposure and interaction normsexpected while interacting with others.

Q. II. Differentiate between the contemporary approaches topsychopathology

Psychopathology is viewed from various perspectives in an attempt toexplain the root cause of mind abnormality. According to the labelingtheory, psychopathology is viewed as a form of deviant behaviors. Thepsychodynamic theory explains psychopathology as a result of enduringneurotic problems, personality disorders and diminished loss ofreality (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 602). In this case, thepsychodynamic approach view psychopathology as high level minddisturbance that makes individuals lose their sense of reality.

The cognitive-behavioral approach on the other hand, viewspsychopathology as a result of dysfunctional attitudes or the‘thinking’ process. The cognitive-behavioral theory also statesthat individuals are conditioned by circumstances that in turn makethem exhibit disturbed or dysfunctional ‘thinking’ and emotionalinstability. The biological perspective on the other hand, viewspsychopathology as a result of failure in the brain structureespecially the neurotransmitter pathway.

The system theory views psychopathology as influenced by socialgroups such as families- interactions within systems lead topsychopathological condition. Evolutionary theory explains thatpsychopathology arises due low adaptive genes in the genetic makeupof a person thereby inhabiting one’s capacity to adapt in differentenvironments (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 603).

Q. III. Key symptoms of substance-related disorders

  • Impaired physical and social functioning


  • Less severe depression (Dysthymia)

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Seasonal disorders


  • Individuals’ experiences constant intense and irrational apprehension or anxiety

  • High levels of depression.

Task B

Why the pseudo-patients were misdiagnosed in the Rosenhan study(1973)

The Rosenhan study misdiagnosed the pseudo-patients because most ofthe ‘patients’ were sane people but when they appeared at thepsychiatric clinic they were misdiagnosed with Schizophrenia. Thepsychiatric failed to establish if the patients were pretending ornot (Rosenhan, 1973). In a surprise, misdiagnosis the psychiatricassessed that the patients were indeed ill. The pseudo-patientsbehaved as mentally ill and all the hospital staffs took notes andnever assessed if they were imposters (Rosenhan, 1973). In this case,the psychiatric took wrong diagnosis and even admitted the‘pseudo-patients’ as well as administering antipsychoticmedications (Gaughwin 2011, p. 306).

Misdiagnosis occurred when the staffs thought that it was a sign ofmental illness for patients to look bored outside the lunch cafeteriaand ‘note taking.’ Lack of clear assessment on psychotic symptomsother than what the pseudo-patients claimed to ‘hear’ made thepsychiatric concluded that the patients were indeed schizophrenic.Furthermore, the psychiatrics failed to take historical forensicanalysis of the ‘patients’ to establish their mental stabilitythereby misdiagnosing them (Gaughwin 2011, p. 305).

Task C

The misdiagnosis of pseudo-patients in Rosenhan study

Rosenhan study was indeed an interesting and informative study thathelped establish how inefficient diagnosis might lead to wrongmedication and stigmatization of mentally ill people (Rosenhan,1973). In real life and in the modern society, the methods used toassess one’s mental stability are questionable given that mostpsychotherapist and psychiatrics do not take time to assess thenature and status of individuals’ mental illness. In part, mostmental patients’ may not be suffering from adverse mental healthconditions if effective psychiatric assessment is carried out.Misdiagnosis of mental illness explains why the prevalence rate ofmental stigmatization is still high in the modern society.

Word Count: 658


Gaughwin, Peter 2011. &quotOn Being Insane in Medico-Legal Places:The Importance of Taking a Complete History in Forensic Mental HealthAssessment.&quot Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 12 (1):298–310.

Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology(3rd Australian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg600-843.

Rosenhan,D.L. 1973. “On being sane in insane places.” Onlinehttp://holah.co.uk/study/rosenhan/

Week10:Attitudesand social cognition

Task A.

Q. I: Social Psychology

In the Psychological field, social psychology is a field of studythat postulates that individual’s feelings, thoughts and behaviorsas influenced by imagined or actual presence of others. Theunderlying theory is that individuals’ behaviors are influenced bythe perception held about them by others who may be present orimagined (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.691).

Q.II. Attitudes and their role in predicting future behavior

An attitude is an expression of liking or dislike towards aparticular issues, person, subject or thing. Attitude may also inferto what one feels or thinks about something, someone or a place.Individual’s develops certain feelings or thinking towards aparticular issue, person or thing and this feeling determines how anindividual relates or behave towards the subject or object eliciting one’s ‘attitudes.’ In this case, attitude leads toconsequential behavior or action towards a particular issue, objector someone (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 691). When one has aparticular attitude (either like or dislike), there are thoughts andfeelings that arises and this influences one’s motivation to behavein certain way depending on the nature of attitude positive ornegative. For instance, if a friend exhibit pride and arrogance, onemay develop a negative attitude towards such a person and try toevade his/her company in future.

Q.III. Persuasion and the influence of the five componentsof persuasion

Persuasion is the deliberate effort to alter one’s attitude.Persuasion aims at changing one’s beliefs, intentions, behaviors,motivations and attitudes. The effectiveness of persuasion dependson source, channel, message, receiver and context. The source ofpersuasion is more appealing if it comes from a prominent or likeableperson or organization (Alan &amp Gary 2011, p. 24). The mode orroute of persuasion determines the effectiveness of persuasion faceto face is more appealing than email or phone persuasion. The contentof the message may positively or negatively influence persuasionunimportant message content may not elicit the required persuasion.The receiver of the persuasion message also matters when consideringeffective persuasion. For instance, it is unlikely for an adult to bepersuaded by a child or young person. Context of persuasion means thelocation and time when one is in a hurry it is unlikely that one canget persuaded.

Q. IV. Social cognitive processes people use to try andunderstand themselves and others

First impression Individuals use social perception to makeimpression of others when they meet for the first time. To learnabout the person met, the physical information observed from thesubject (both verbal and non-verbal information) is used tounderstand and ascribe personality traits concerning the person. Inthis case, social interaction helps the mind to decode meaning or‘understand’ the nature of the person met. However, the firstimpression may lead to wrong ‘understanding’ or perception ofthe subject since non-verbal cues may be hard to interpret.

Task B

Samsung new LED TV Advert

Analyzingthe advert poster from the perspective of persuasion

SourceThisposter is made by Samsung-the largest innovative electronic firm.This advert is bound to persuade many consumers across the globebecause Samsung is a global brand recognized for quality andinnovative products.

MessageThemessage conveyed through the poster is appealing and persuadespotential consumers to try the new modern sleek shaped LED TV thisenhances customers’ perception of a good television. The inclusionof natural features such as the colourful bird and budding flowergives the poster a captivating and appealing sense of reality.

MediumTheadvert message is conveyed through a poster that is well designedwith brief but convincing message. The poster gives an appealingimpression to viewers thereby projecting the perception of anadvanced product.

ReceiverThemessage is intended forconnectmodern consumers to this new brand of Television. The design andcolourful display is meant to raise consumers’ positive emotions tobuy the product.

Contextthetiming of this poster advert is meant to influence potentialconsumers about the Samsung’s new LED TV product. The market isflooded with various sleek television design models and this advertis used to influence potential client’s attitude about the product.

Task C

Perception Perception is the most interesting aspect in thischapter. People develop different perception based on differentsituations, social groups or issues encountered in life. Theinteresting aspect is that as people interact in social groups, oneis bound to form a certain perception about someone and thisperception affects future attitudes and behaviors towards thatperson. At times, people make wrong perception of others based onselective attention on certain aspects of a person and thus formwrong or ‘positive’ perception of others.

Word Count: 782


Alan S. &amp Gary J. 2011. “Perception, Attribution, and Judgmentof Others: Organizational Behavior: Understanding and Managing Lifeat Work.” Vol. 7

Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology(3rd Australian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg 600-843

Week 11: Interpersonal processes

Task A

Q. I. Factors that attract people to each other

I). Interaction accessibility people who spend great deal oftime together are attracted to each other. The basis of attraction isdaily interaction with others and this leads to breakdown ofinterpersonal barriers that impede deep interactions.

ii). Social exchange when individuals exchange goods orrewards, interpersonal attraction develops. Exchanges of goods,gifts, wits or rewards increases one likes for another.

iii). Shared values, attitudes and interests when twoindividuals shares similar interests, values and attitudes, a likingfor each other develops and this leads to interpersonal attraction(Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 734).

iv) Physical attractiveness individuals are attracted toothers who are physically attractive. Each person has distinctfeatures that captivate one to the other person.

Q. II. What is altruism? Distinguish among the theories ofaltruism

Altruism is any behavior that is intentional and aimed at helpinganother person and no gain is expected. The giver covers the costs ofthe altruistic behavior to benefit another person.

Perspectives of Altruism

According to the ethical hedonism theory, altruism is acts that areaimed at benefiting the provider through emotional satisfaction andreduce negative feelings that the giver might be holding. Theevolutionary perspective holds that, individuals behave in certainways to maximize inclusive fitness towards others and relativesalike. Another perspective is that individuals engage in altruism asa result of natural compassion for others (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin2011, p. 734).

Q. III. What is aggression? Describe the major theoreticalapproaches to understanding aggression

Aggression is an act that is aimed at harming the other personverbally or physically. In other words aggression refers to hostileanger towards another being to inflict harm.

Theoretical approaches of aggression

Psychodynamic view instinctive or innate factorsinfluence acts of aggression. The basic assumption is that humanbeings experience internal tensions that triggers frustration, shameand anger which is in turn directed to another person.

Evolutionary view This perspective argues that all animas aswell as human beings posses ability to harm others of similar specieswhen their reproduction or survival is threatened.

Cognitive neoassociation theory this theory postulates thatexposure to certain aversive stimuli leads to aggressive thoughtsthat in turn leads to actions. The assumption is that frustrationstriggers aggression.

Cognitive-social perspective this perspective holds thataggression is influenced by factors such as social learning,cognitive processes and rewards.

General aggression model this perspective holds thatsituations or person variables determine an individual’saggression.

Q.IV. Forms of social influence

a) Obedience occurs when one person follows another person’sorders or instruction to accomplish a given task. Obedience is a formof social influence because it leads to the execution of a task thatis appreciated by the person issuing orders.

b) Conformity is when an individual ‘accepts’ and‘internalizes’ attitudes and others behaviors as a way ofidentifying with the group or peers. Conformity may be voluntary orcoerced (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p. 735).

c) Leadership leaders’ possess different forms of influenceon their subject based on various styles or acts of authority. Someleaders use coercion, others use democracy while others usecharismatic influence.

Task B: Online Activity

Q. I. Migrain study (destructive obedience)

Migraim study sought to examine if people obey orders just for thesake of obedience or to serve as accomplices. The study involvedparticipants ‘obeying orders’ to expose their colleges to extremepower shock after making mistakes. In this case, one ‘confederate’learner would serve as the experimenter and subject other learners tovarying degrees of electric shock. The results were that 65 percentof all participants ‘obeyed’ the orders to inflict shock on totheir subjects (Milgram 1963, p. 373).

Q. II Factors that affect conformity

Group size individuals are influenced to conform more if theyare in large groups compared to small groups.

Culture Societies that are more collective and pursuescollective interests influence many people to conform to givenstandards or values.

Personality A person’s psychodynamic factors such as lowself-esteem lead to easy conformity than those individuals withhigh-esteem.

Dissention individuals will always follow group standardseven after the influencer dissents from the group.

Task C: Most Interesting aspect learned from the Chapter

Conformity is one of the most interesting aspects learned in thistopic and shows how people conform to certain social aspects withoutconsidering their meaning or relevance in the larger social group.Conformity to social fads, fashion and other modern trends is acommon occurrence in the modern society. Most young people areinfluenced to conform to certain mode of dressing, behavior andlifestyle. In part, this is attributed to increased interaction(group size) and need to fit in the prevailing sub-culture.

Word Count: 789


Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology (3rdAustralian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg 735-843.

MigraimStudy Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOYLCy5PVgM

Milgram, Stanley (1963). &quotBehavioralStudy of Obedience.&quot Journal ofAbnormal and Social Psychology 67 (4): 371–8.

Week 12: Cross-Cultural and Indigenous Psychology

Task A

Q. I. Culture

Culture refers to shared values, norms, fads or standards that guideindividuals’ behavior in a social group. Culture ensures thatpeople survive and co-exist mutually in the society. Culture changesfrom one generation to the other and consistently undergoes theprocess of enculturation (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.778).

Methodological problems in the study of culture

The study of culture face methodological challenges such as

  1. Challenges of research methods

  2. The challenge of getting equivalent samples

  3. The challenge of interpreting results.

  4. The challenges of research bias

  5. The challenge of examining sensitive issues

Q. II. Dimensions of distinguishing groups

-Cultural groups are distinguished along time and cultureMonochromic and polychromic

-Emotion and culture cultures are distinguished based on how certainemotions are displayed in social settings.

-Interpersonal space One’s culture is indentified based on publicand intimate space maintained by individuals while interacting insocial settings.

-Context and culture some cultures have higher attention tonon-verbal communication cues while some cultures have low attentionto non-verbal cues. Other cultures have loose or tight culturesstrictness on adherence to cultural practices.

-The level of collectivism and individualism also determines one’sculture some cultures exhibit strong collective interest whileothers are based on individualism.

Q. III. Culture shock

Culture shock is an extreme anxiety and disorientation feeling thatarises when one visits another culture that is different. Cultureshock results due to inability to adapt understand or integrate inthe new culture’s expectations and rules.

Phases of culture shock

-Honey moon phase individuals are welcomed to the new culture andenjoys the attention

-Disenchantment phase an individual realizes that he/she cannotpractice or integrate into the new culture. Consequently, he/shedevelops disillusionment or hostility towards the host culture.

-Resolution phase one realizes that in order to coexist peacefullywith others, one needs to understand the new culture so as to fit in.

-Functioning stage actual adjustment and practice of new culturebegins to enable the person integrate well with members of the newculture.

Q. IV. Factors that explain the high rates of suicide andself-harm among indigenous


The increased rates of suicide among the indigenous Australians couldbe attributed to decades of marginalization, discrimination andneglect by government which is mainly composed of immigrants(non-indigenous cultures). The Aboriginal group has for decades beingdiscriminated and negatively stereotyped by the government and thelager society in general. Racism, racial prejudice and discriminationof the Aboriginal groups lead to increased cases of inferiorityfeelings by Indigenous Australians (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011,p.779). Most indigenous Australians are unfairly treated and thiscould explain the high rates of suicide.

Task B

How media contribute to the negative stereotyping of IndigenousAustralians

The mainstream media in Australia portrays indigenous Australiansnegatively and this has affected social cohesion due to increasedracism and racial prejudice. The media portrays AboriginalAustralians as lazy, primitive, devious, violent, drunken and unableto contribute positively to social economic and politicaldevelopment. In most cases, the media associate the indigenousAustralians with incompetence in government and terrorist activities.However, some indigenous Australians have been able to overcome thesenegative stereotypes and acquired national and international fame. Agood example is rugby most celebrated sportsman Chris Sandow who wonthe George Green Medal. Aaron Peterson is another indigenousAustralian who has gained international fame for his acting career.These individuals project positive stereotype of indigenousAustralians (Lorelle, Drewm and Robin 2011, p.778).

Task C.

Racism racism is one of the worst prejudice against another person’sracial background (Smedley and Smedley 2005, p.17). Racism is apredominant problem across the globe and this has led to increasedcases of aggressive violence and discrimination. Althoughglobalization has opened up and integrated various societies, racismremains a great challenge towards social economic development. Mostdeveloped countries such as the U.S, UK, France and Italy continuesto experience serious cases of racial prejudice and this impedessocial, economic and political development.

Word Count: 664


Lorelle Burton., Drewm Westen, Robin, Kowalski 2011. Psychology(3rd Australian and New Zealand Edition). Wiley.pg777-843.

Smedley, Audrey Smedley, Brian D. 2005. &quotRace as Biology ofFiction, Racism as a Social Problem is Real.&quot AmericanPsychologist 60: 16–26.