Social Psychology E-Portfolio 
Hello to everyone that is interested in Social Psychology and my thoughts and opinions on this unit. Feel free to input on anything that I express on this page. I should be discussing work done in Tutorials, Lecture material, textbook readings and anything that pops into my mind about Social Psychology. I find this topic really interesting and I hope you will enjoy my page. I decided to not summarise the whole text book, but instead pick a few things that i found highly interesting to show my understanding and opinions on them.
What is Social Psychology? 
I thought I had first better understand social psychology in general. Some definitions of social psychology include:
- it is the science that studies individual beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours in settings where other people are present
- the branch of psychology that studies persons and their relationships with others and with groups and with society as a whole.
I believe this is a very important branch of psychology as it focuses on our everyday living and how we interact with one another. I believe I am going to find this unit very interesting and exciting.
Opinions,Thoughts and Ideas 
Here are a few points that I believe to be very interesting.......
Number 1 
Social Psychology has got me thinking about my current situation. At the moment I am currently trying to find a new home to rent but I am finding no luck. I am stereotyped against due to the fact that I am young. It is considered a new ‘norm’ for young adults to continue to live at home for a longer period of time than once first did. I believe that it is not just the fact that renting costs a great deal of money but actually it is almost impossible for young adults to even be considered in renting a property. I feel that I am greatly stereotyped against, owners take one look at me and see an unreliable person who will not clean the house, who will not pay the rent or bills and just destroy their home. I have been house sharing for nearly three years now and I clean, I am the first to pay bills and I do not destroy other people’s property. So what makes these people believe that an older person will look after their property better than I? Some owners are even selecting a couple with children over me, do they believe that I will destroy their house more than what children will? I feel discriminated against and it makes me so mad that no one will even give me a try. It is interesting to see that this is considered a social ‘norm’ and I feel as if it will never change. How are young adults ever supposed to move out of home when there is no replacement home readily available. I feel something needs to be done to change thoughts about young adults. I am not saying that all young people are a great choice of tenant, but there are a number of older people not worthy of renting a home either who are still chosen over a younger person. This also includes a group house, instead of just being one or two incomes coming in there are three or four, this means that rent should always be payed no matter what.
Number 2 
These days’ couples are waiting longer to start their families. It is not until around the age of 30 when most women are having their first child and getting married. Being in my early 20s I have a great partner who I have been with for five and a half years. If I even mention a wedding I am told that I am too young and that I need to wait until I am older. In the past getting married and having babies were more likely to happen when couples were in their early 20s but now it seems not right. How did the norm change? When we see a young woman pregnant we always look, and thoughts begin to come to mind such as the women’s behaviour and the type of person the baby’s father is. We are all stereotyping against this young woman, and if it was the same situation in the past nobody would have looked or thought anything. People are staying at school longer, living at home longer, everything is more expensive and people are working longer hours, is this what has driven the norm to change? I believe that it is a personal choice for when a couple may decide to get married and begin a family although there are more health risks involved in having a child later in life. I find it so interesting to see how societal norms are able to change and adapt.
Number 3 
I am a huge fan of the crime shows on television at the moment including Criminal Minds, NCIS, CI, CSI, Law and Order SVU and City Homicide to name a few. Although I find these shows highly entertaining, it makes me think whether they are truly appropriate to be viewed by everyone. I sometimes feel that they could be teaching some people ways of hurting others. I was considering whether having so many different crime shows can also normalise harming others. It seems like the more I watch these shows the more the behaviour seems normal even though chopping other humans up with an axe obviously isn’t normal. There is another show on SBS which involves men cutting up actual human bodies they show things such as which vein to cut through for the fasted blood loss. I feel this is some what inappropriate as I can picture mentally unwell people at home taking notes for their next victims. It is said that we are all not as shocked to horrible news anymore as once was due to the media. I believe that this is definitely true and crime shows certainly help this. Then there is the debate that such crime shows open our awareness and help us to stay alert, and protect ourselves. I find socially these shows are appropriate to most of the general public and extremely inappropriate to the mentally unwell people out there that enjoy hurting others. I think it's only time that someone may begin copying these shows.
Topic 1- Introduction 
Social Psychology can be applied to many different fields including business, health, education, law and environment. I think this shows the great practicality of this approach to psychology. Although there are some problems associated with social psychology. One of these problems includes: reducing behaviour to the individual, ignoring social context (Reductionism). In psychology one conducts studies so that the results are able to be generalised to a larger population. But in social psychology results are often only about an individual which cannot be generalised to the whole population. A second problem associated with social psychology is the researcher’s biases. A researcher must be aware of their own biases as they can greatly influence results. I very much agree with the theory that the mind is duplex and has an automatic system (outside of consciousness) and a conscious system (complex operations), I enjoyed reading about this and learning more about it.
Chapter 1: The mission and the method
This chapter helped me understand more about social psychology. Social psychology has helped me make sense of my social world. I now understand more about myself in the way I think, feel and act in certain social contexts. It has also helped me understand social situations that happen around me and why other people act the way they do. I found the quote “Individual effort decreases as group size increases” in this chapter highly interesting as I feel this is definitely true. My boss is always telling me that I work better on my own then I do in a group (meaning I work more productively). I feel this is because in a group there are many distractions. In a group you can split tasks to how many people there are (resulting in less effort placed upon just one person) and as a result of this, tasks are started later, and not done with as such great effort because we rely on other people to assist us. But if only one person does the tasks, they usually begin the tasks early to ensure they finish it on time. This reliance on other people saves individuals energy and time so in one sense it seems smart to rely on others. But if each individual efforts remained the same besides being in a group or not then think of this groups capability. They would definitely get the job done well and in good time. This also makes me think of other situations in life. Is this why we get a partner, so that in our life we use less effort?
Chapter 2: Culture and Nature
I enjoyed reading the story of Brenda, a boy who was raised as a girl due to a doctor performing a circumcision and burning off a large part of the boy’s penis that was unrepairable. I found it very interesting that they believed that boys and girls were not born different, but were made different by how they were brought up. When I first thought about this statement I believed that it would be very hard to prove this incorrect as it is hard to determine whether nature or nurture has the biggest impact on a child. I believe that this story shows that one’s environment can not change the type of person one becomes. I found it interesting that people treat babies differently because of the sex of the child. People treat babies differently due to the sex for example when a baby girl falls over parents often say, “Are you alright”, but with boys if a boy falls down they usually say, “You’re tough that didn’t hurt”. There have been studies with babies that wore both a pink shirt and a blue shirt and then people’s reactions were noted. There are definite differences such as people would ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhh’ over a baby girl more then for a baby boy. It’s interesting that Brenda was told she was a girl, treated like a girl but yet she still acted like a boy and wanted to do boy things. I believe it doesn’t matter, what sex a baby is, what toys children play with, what colour they wear, and how they have their hair. I believe that they should be able to do whatever they like no matter the sex and when I raise my children I won’t mind if my baby boy wants to play with a doll or if my baby girl wants to play with a truck I will let them. Because these material things to not change the child. Learning, culture and innate all are relevant in how a child grows up and what they become. I believe they are all equally as important as each other and I don’t think that someone can be raised by just one and I am glad that it involves all of them, as this is what makes us unique and why brothers and sisters though similar are still very different people.
Topic 2- Social Self 
During this lecture I got to learn more about the ‘self.’ I found out that the psychological self includes things such as attitudes, cognitions, emotions, group memberships, ideal/imagined selves, memories etc. I found it interesting to learn that the human is a group based creature and is socially directed and influenced. To me this makes plenty of sense as I can now see why I do some things for example because other people have wanted me to do it, because everybody else was doing it etc. I agree with social comparison; how we understand how one is doing through comparison with similar others and how we feel better through downward comparison and to improve on ourselves we use upward comparison. I believe I do this all the time, especially at work comparing myself to my work colleges. I also agree on the spotlight effect. How people tend to think other people notice and evaluate them more than they actually do. For example if I go to the mall wearing a pair of jeans and they have a tear in the back leg and I wasn’t aware of it, I believe that everyone would have been looking at it and judging me because of it even though they probably never even noticed it.
Chapter 3: The Self
This question got me thinking:
If the inner self is different from the way the person acts all the time, why is the inner one the “true” one?
I believe that we act differently in different situations. At a party I am loud, crazy and just want to have loads of fun. At university I am quite, patient and act appropriately. Since we act differently all the time, how are we supposed to have a “true” self compared to the way we act? I don’t believe that our inner self is different to the way someone truly is. Although some people do act differently then who they truly are. I believe that they are acting different to impress someone else and are not being true to themselves. For example, if you are usually rude and annoying and try to act polite and charming in front of your mother-in-law this is not being your true self. I also don’t understand why the self that we display to every body else would not be our true self. It is too hard to always put on a show and not let other people see the type of person that you really are. I believe that one should act the way that they believe to be their true self and if other people don’t like it then they will have to just get used to it and accept them as they are. Otherwise you are not being accepted as yourself, but as a made up fake person.
Chapter 4: Behaviour Control- The Self in Action
‘Imagining something makes it more likely to happen.’
I believe that just imaging something will not make it more likely to happen. I think it takes determination, hard work and motivation to make something happen not just sitting around at home imagining. For example you are not going to get a distinction on an exam by just imaging it and not studying for the exam. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne believes that imaging something makes it more likely to happen. Thinking you are going to obtain something that you wanted puts you into a good mind set. It makes you a more positive person which results in better things coming to you, for example thinking you won the lottery is definitely going to make you happier. This positivity can help motivate one to want to do something that will help you achieve your goal for example being positive and saying, “if I study for this exam I will get a distinction” there is better chance you will get the distinction then thinking, “if I study for this exam I will get a pass”. The secret says that if you imagine getting a car park, the car park is yours and it will just come to you, foe example if there is a car in your parking spot that you really want, the person will leave allowing you to park there. I’m a little sceptical about this theory as I am always imagining I win big on a prize in a competition but never do. For more information on The Secret go to http://www.thesecret.tv/living-the-secret.html, but it is best to watch the movie as it actually goes into a lot of detail, with examples of how it has worked in other peoples lives. Overall, I believe being positive can help you do better in something, so imagining positively can help. But I believe it also takes motivation, hard work and perseverance to obtain what you want.
Topic 3- Social Thinking 
In this weeks lecture the statement, “The causes of events always interest us more than the events themselves.” I believe this is because as humans we always want to learn. We learn off past experiences and other people’s experiences. I believe that if something caused a bad event we are going to be more focused on what caused this bad event just so that we do not let the bad event happen again. For example when a couple fight they will probably be more focused on what caused the fight, then the fight itself, so that they do not fight again. The next statement, “Happy is he who has been able to perceive the causes of things” also shows this. The mere-exposure effect is the tendency for people to come to like things simply because they see or encounter them repeatedly. I believe this to be very true. I know that if I first hear a song on the radio I might not like it that much at first but with repeated listening to this song I begin to like the song a lot more. I also agree with the social learning theory in that people are more likely to imitate behaviours if they have seen others rewarded for performing them, and less likely to imitate behaviours if they have seen others punished for performing them. For example its like when you watch somebody do a speech, you see all of their mistakes and you see that they get a bad grade so you do not do the bad things that they did which helps you get a better grade.
Chapter 5: Social Cognition
The internal-external distinction amazes me. I always find myself believing when I fail something or don’t do that well in something, I blame it on external factors such as the task and other people. But when I succeed in something I believe it to be due from internal factors such as my ability, attitudes and effort. When I compare myself to others, if they do well on an exam and I don’t, I blame my failure due to external factors and when they fail I blame it on their internal factors. But when they do well on an exam I always believe it is from an external factor such as the tutor marked there’s easier, or they do less hours at work then what I do and therefore have more time to study and work on their assignments. I believe I use the self-serving bias to make myself feel better in bad situations as I put blame on things that I feel are not under my control. I know that this is wrong to do this but I believe it really does make me feel better and enables me to cope with my failure much better then if I always blamed my failure on myself. Blaming external factors for my failure allows my brain to believe that I am not a complete failure and allows me to continue my life and not get down whenever something does not go well.
Chapter 7: Attitudes, Beliefs and Consistency
In the opening story of this chapter we are told about a man named Jack Kevorkian who helps people commit suicide. The statement, “Was Dr Jack Kevorkian a murderer or a saviour?” got me thinking. I believe that every body has a right to choose whether they should be in this world or not. If they truly believe that they have no reason to live, that they are depressed and need to escape, I feel that they should be able to leave. I do believe that they need to consider loved ones around them and need to look at whether if they leave this world would it affect anybody around them and if the answer is yes, then I believe that they should not want to die. I also believe that people need to look into the future and look at all the things that they will be missing out on in life for example getting married, having their first child, watching their children grow and have their own family, having grandchildren etc. So if the person still thinks that they should not be here, the way that they decide to end their own life also needs to be considered, as I am a strong believer in that if someone is going to take their own life they need to not be selfish and make sure that they are not putting others in danger for example if one chooses to end their life while driving a car, they should not purposefully drive into another vehicle hurting and killing others. So now back to the statement of whether I believe Kevorkian is a murdered or a saviour? I do not think he is a murdered. I believe that the people that he helped end their lives, considered other possibilities, considered the loved ones in their lives, and were not putting other people at risk. He was not pushing the button to end the participants life’s, they were doing that on their own. Only if he convinced them, that their life was not worth living and if he pushed the button I would consider him to be a murderer, or if he received pleasure from watching them die. I would not encourage other people in helping assisting people’s deaths, but I do understand that people dying of a painful terminal illness often would like to leave this world in their own terms not from the illness.
Chapter 13: Social Influence and Persuasion
One thing that I always find it so hard to believe is when people will follow a group and put their life at risk. They put behind all of their own beliefs, attitudes and normal behaviour and follow the group. It is interesting how a group of people will follow a particular leader, what makes this person different? What makes other people follow every single word that they say? I believe it is different in every situation, and that the leader offers them something that no body else can such as protection, money etc. It’s interesting that conformity increases as group size increases. I feel this must be because there are so many other people telling you one thing that you are just going to go along with it and a fear of rejection. I found the story of Jonestown terrible. I couldn’t believe that one man was capable of getting over 900 people to drink poison and kill themselves. The biggest shock for me, would have had to of been how the mothers poured poison into their own babies throats. I think that this is terrible and disgusting. Why didn’t more group members come out and say we need to stop this, it is wrong. If I was in that situation, I could not see myself drinking poison and ending my own life just because a “leader” told me too. But I guess I can’t say this as I haven’t experienced anything like this before. But, I definitely would have been asking more questions and trying to leave. If all 900 people wanted to leave I am sure he wouldn’t have shot them all.
Topic 4 – Aggression 
When I think of aggression I first thought about negative things associated with it including pain, fighting etc. This week’s lecture made me consider advantages to aggression. Aggression in animals has a protective function which can assist with survival. For example prey defending against a predator. Aggression is also good for defence of the young. For example when an animal gets too close to a younger animal it may become defensive, allowing it to fight for its home. This results in spacing out animals so that they don’t compete for the same resources and starve. Aggression establishes a “pecking order” encouraging some animals to become the leaders. In some animals aggression is important in establishing a bond for mating. All of these things made me think about how aggression is of any use in humans. I believe that aggression allows us not to be “push overs”. It allows us to stand up for ourselves in our beliefs and attitudes. We have aggression so that people don’t take what we have and push in front of us. Without aggression we would all be too afraid to leave our homes. We use aggression to get in front of other potential mates to find the “perfect one.” We use aggression for sex so that we are able to pass on our genes. Aggression is very useful in today’s world.
Chapter 9: Aggression and Antisocial Behaviour
This chapter discussed how media can influence aggression. In the average American home, the TV is on more than 7 hours a day. Content analysis shows that 60% of TV programs contain violence. Research found that violent media can cause aggression. This makes me think about children’s video games. So I decided to look at some research around children’s video games and aggression. Research found that violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because of the interactive nature of the games, they are very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor. They can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviour. So why play video games then? Well research has found positive benefits to playing video games including problem solving skills, perseverance, pattern recognition, hypothesis testing, estimating skills, inductive reasoning, resource management, logistics, mapping, memory, quick thinking and reasoned judgements. Playing video games also can lead to anti-social behaviours if children are playing them on their own. Parents need to keep an eye on the types of video games played by their children and their child’s behaviour. Games, TV and movies come with the recommended viewing ages for example G, PG, M, and MA 15+. This help assist parents in knowing whether the item is suitable for their child’s age group and maturity. I believe it is up to the parents to ensure that their child acts appropriately and does not copy the aggressive behaviour of characters.
For more information look up:
1. Anderson, C. A., & Dill, K. E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 772-790.
Topic 5- Prejudice 
I found it very interesting to learn that eyewitnesses are more accurate identifying people of their own racial group. I think that it is pathetic in bad time people behave aggressively toward out group members. I also can’t believe how in certain situations when an individual does the wrong thing people blame a group of people not just that individual for example if a Chinese man murdered a rich family who everybody liked all Chinese people would be hated. But in a similar situation if it was an “Australian” man we would not hate all “Australian men.” I do believe that people exert themselves consciously to overcome and hide prejudices. I found that sometimes in certain situations I believe I am also a culprit of doing this. I try to treat every body fairly and equally. But I do this no matter what the differences are for example older people, younger people, obese people, homosexual people etc. I think we do this because we learn from our mistakes for example something’s are more appropriate to say in front of one crowd but not another crowd. Overall, it doesn’t matter what peoples race is we are all people that deserve exactly the same things in life. Why should one culture believe that they should be treated more superior then others?
Chapter 12: Prejudice and Intergroup Relations
Discrimination against homosexuality needs to end. In the last month two of my good friends told me that they were gay, and in both cases their own mothers flipped out and went crazy. One mother told her son that he had to move out of home. The other mother made religious people of her church talk to her son (to try and talk him out of it), and asked him to go to a doctor (because doctors can obviously prescribe “straight pills”). I was completely disgusted and angry at both of theses mothers. They are supposed to be supportive and caring but instead they made their own son’s feel depressed, wrong, and afraid. Why would they tell other people, or act on their feelings if their own mother reacted this way. I believe one’s sexual preference is no body’s business but their own. People just need to be supportive and offer them a friend, someone that they can talk to in this tough and confusing time. If any body has a friend who they suspect to be homosexual do not confront them about it, wait until they feel they are ready to tell you and when that time comes just be supportive. They are still the same person that they have always been. Suicide rates are high among homosexuals. We need to be supportive – not discriminate against them.
Topic 6- Relationships 
This topic would have to be my favourite. This lecture taught me a lot of new and interesting things. I greatly believe that everybody does have a need to belong. This need to belong includes the desire to form and maintain close, lasting relationships with other individuals. I found it very interesting to see that typically humans need 4 to 6 close relationships to be happy and not feel lonely. I also find it interesting that people who marry live, longer, healthier lives then people who are divorced, single, living together etc. My only wish is that the divorce rate was not as high as what it is so that more people can enjoy living a longer healthier married life. I do believe that we like others who are similar to us. This goes for not only partners but also friends. I believe this is because you have more things in common so you have more things to talk about and will not get bored in their presence. I find the statement, ‘that people change to become more similar to those with whom they interact’ interesting as I believe you should not change for other people but you do compromise and do similar things together, experience similar things etc. The reinforcement theory is that behaviours reinforced tend to be repeated because people tend to be attracted to those who are rewarding to them. I believe this to be very true. When you get presents, cards, flowers, chocolates etc from people you love the nice gesture and it makes you feel good. It also makes you like the person a bit more. If someone is very nice to you, always complements you and makes you feel good you are going to want to spend more time around them, and will probably develop strong feelings for them, if they are a suitable life partner.
Chapter 10: Attraction and Exclusion
After reading this chapter it made myself look into what attracts me to the opposite sex. At the start of the chapter it talks about a girl called Melena who says she would not choose a man over looks but over personality and in the end she chooses a man with good looks and a bad personality. This may sound shallow but I do understand why looks are attracting. When I first approach a guy obviously he needs to be presented well other wise I would not approach him. For example a man with messy clothes, messy hair, unshaven and smells a little, would tell me that he doesn’t look after himself that he doesn’t clean (himself or his house) and that he probably has little money. Which in today’s world, I am sorry but yes that is important. I’m sure he could be a lovely person, but I would not be physically attracted to him. But on the other hand what does one find attractive in the other sex. For me personality does also play a large part and I would definitely choose a moderately looking man with a good personality over a good looking man with a horrible personality. It takes humour, friendliness, a little bit flirty and confidence to win over most people’s hearts. Also smart people are attractive, I think there is nothing worse then going on a date with someone and finding that you have nothing to talk about. I do believe in the matching hypothesis that the textbook mentions. In that people tend to pair up with others who are equally attractive. Research shows that people who are equally attractive are more likely to have a successful relationship then in a case where the male or female is more attractive because other wise their partner believes they will leave them and find someone else who is more attractive. I also believe people with similar interests are better suited but if you and your partner do not share the same interests I think you should take time to experience each others interests even if that means going along and taking photos of them, having lunch with them or joining in.
Chapter 11: Close Relationships- Passion, Intimacy and Sexuality
This chapter first described the difference between passionate love (romantic love) and companionate love (affectionate love). Passionate love is strong feelings of longing, desire, and excitement toward a special person. While companionate love is a mutual understanding and caring to make the relationship succeed. I believe that one person can experience both types of love towards the same person. For example, I want to spend as much time as I can with my partner and think about him all the time (passionate) but I also believe that he is my soul-mate and we have mutual understanding of each other (companionate). I believe in a successful relationship you need both types of love to succeed for example you need passionate love to keep the relationship fun and exciting and you need companionate love so that you are both in a committed, trusting relationship. In this chapter I didn’t enjoy reading that people in happy relationships consistently said that their relationship was better each year, but when you compared how they rated it this year and compared it to last year there was no change. Good relationships essentially stay the same over long periods of time and the only alternative to staying the same is to get worse. I would like to think that relationships do improve and my reasons for this are: - You get to learn more about each other what they like what they don’t like. - You get to experience more things with them for example if you have a child together for the first time. - You get to develop their trust more, talk about more things as you are more comfortable with them. - You get to experience growing old with someone and helping them through life each and every day.
Topic 7- Groups 
During this lecture I found it very interesting that people who know that they are being observed modify their behaviour not only consciously but also unconsciously. I also found it interesting that a group becomes more willing to take greater risks than individuals. I believe this is because members in the group feel that the blame (if it went wrong) would not just be on the one individual but on the whole group itself, which results in less blame placed upon each individual person (this is a much better outcome). If one person took the risk and the risk went bad then they were the only ones to get the blame. I always find what makes a person become a leader very interesting. The traits of leaders include: drive, ambition, energy, desire to lead, honesty, integrity, self-confidence, intelligence, job-relevant knowledge and technical expertise. So does this mean anyone with these traits can become a leader, or do they need to be popular within a group in the first place to become the leader? It’s interesting that most leaders go crazy with all their power. When you think about it, having many people who follow your every word, every movement and will do anything for you, would probably send every one a little crazy.
Chapter 14: Groups
Can a 10 person group out perform 10 people working on their own?
Advantages of a 10 person group
- A group is capable of brainstorming, meaning encouraging group members to share and generate as many ideas as possible without holding back.
- Large groups can make better predictions.
- Social facilitation theory states that the presence of others can make people perform better, especially on easy and familiar tasks.
- The more people you have with different abilities you can put people into a specified area that they would be good in.
- It takes smaller amount of energy from each person so that people will not get worn out.
Advantages of 10 people working on their own
- Social loafing refers to the finding that people reduce effort when working in a group, compared to when working alone.
- People can get distracted when in a group and talk to one another.
- People can work especially hard in an area and not have to worry about the other participants.
Overall I believe that it depends on the situation that the people are in and the type of people in the group for example some people work better in a group while other people work better on their own.
I find the theory of reciprocity very interesting. This says that people are only willing to request or accept help if they think they can pay it back. I believe I do this because I never ask for favours off people unless I know I can pay them back for example I will only ask to borrow like $2 off someone if I know I can pay them back straight away. I believe that we will help people who we are genetically closest too more than others. For example I am more likely to lend my sister $500 then a friend. I find reasons as to why people volunteer interesting these include values, understanding, enhancement, career, social and protective reasons. I believe that volunteering is a fantastic thing to do and if anyone has free time on their hands and is considering volunteering they should have a go and experience it and help others. I am disgusted that people are more likely to help attractive individuals than unattractive individuals. It should not matter what people look like, if that need help they should be able to achieve assistance no matter what they look like. I think that every body should have an equal chance of being helped and it should depend on anything not even age or gender.
Chapter 8 = Prosocial behaviour doing what’s best for others.
In this chapter it talks about motives for helping. There are two types egoistic helping, in which the helped wants something in return for offering help and altruistic helping in which the helper expects nothing in return for offering help. I believe that no type of helping can be considered altruistic. Because no matter what the circumstance one will always feel good helping others for example donating money to the poor makes you feel good. I believe that people have good intentions and want to help only so that other people benefit. But I do believe that one gets a sense of satisfaction from helping others. I believe that this sense of satisfaction though is very important otherwise we wouldn’t be so generous and donate our time, money and effort to helping others. If we didn’t get anything out of it, even just the mere pleasure of helping somebody I don’t think we would really do it. Although this is a sad thing, that we wouldn’t help someone unless there was something in it for ourselves, I think we need it to be this way to encourage us to keep doing it and more often. I believe that it doesn’t matter anyway the type of motive that encourages people to participate in pro-social behaviour. It doesn’t hurt anyone if we gain pleasure with helping improve other people’s lives. I believe if you help a complete stranger that you have never met before, why is it so wrong to feel pleasure in this? You should feel proud that at least you are helping and not worry about feeling bad because you get pleasure out of it. I know whenever I donate money I feel good afterwards. It makes me feel like a great person. One could either donate and have a positive feeling knowing that you have helped other people or you can not donate and get no positive feeling from it, resulting in people who are of need not receiving any help.
Topic 9- Environment 
This week’s lecture talked about different environmental conditions that interfere with optimal human functioning. I never considered these things before but now when I look back on them I can see how they interfere with ones optimal human functioning. I find that when I am over crowded I feel much stressed. I find myself being aware of the limited space that I have which makes me uncomfortable. I become very aware of the people around me and try to escape for example if I am on a crowded bus I will look out the window and not into the bus. Daily hassles and life events also create a great deal of stress for me. At the start if I only have a few life stressors I deal with them as best as I can. External events that I have no control over can make me more stressed than if I did have control over them. Daily hassles can all accumulate creating a larger problem which results in more stress. Depending on my mood, noise can be a stressor also. If for example, I am trying to study I need complete silence to concentrate, noise stressors me out when I am trying to study. If I have a headache or am feeling sick noise seems to cause more stress. Lots of noise causes more stress than less noise. I get very stressed in extreme hot weather. I got very agitated and angry which causes a lot of stress. Cold weather doesn’t stress me out unless I can not get warm enough and then I stress. This lecture also talked about children spending less time outside and developing more behavioural problems such as ADHD. I believe this is to be very true, there are now so many different types of video games, computers, televisions etc that children are spending all of their time indoors. Going outside seems to be only a once a week event. Children need to go and play sport outside, get some Vitamin E from the sun, have fresh air and experience nature.
E-reserve Reading: Environmental Issues Energy and Resource Conservation
In this reading it says that the traditional Western belief system about the environment is human-centred- stressing materialism, economic growth, dominance over nature, and reliance on technology to solve environmental problems. The deep-ecology paradigm is nature-centred – it holds that nature does not exist for human use, but has inherent value in itself. Among its goals, this movement advocates a major reduction in human population, living a lifestyle that is “voluntary simple,” and reconnecting with nature through outdoor experiences such as hiking. I believe at this movement in time, we are living in the human-centred belief system far too greatly. We all rely on our material objects to get us through each day. I believe that we do need to turn to the deep-ecology paradigm and experience nature more; we need to be outside more, planting trees etc. I think we need to go on more walks instead of driving our cars, not just to save fuel and the environment but also to experience the environment. Human actions are destroying the planet. Should we go back to basics, and throw away all of our TV’s, cars, fridges, dryers, washing machines etc? This will never happen, because once you experience a “better” way of living you can never go back. Although life would be so much more simple, we would not need to worry about working lots of hours every week, we could all spend more times with our families and not worry about having to pay the rent, or the mortgage or rising fuel prices and food prices. Should we all just live in little huts and grow our own food?
Tutorial Thoughts 
This was the very first tutorial and involved a “get to know your classmates exercise” about different groups that you are involved in. I found this lots of fun. I not only got to learn more about myself as a person but I also was able to learn more about my classmates. I found it interesting to see which groups I was part of for example religion, what colour eyes people have and where the classmates lived in Canberra. After this tutorial I went home and thought about all the different types of groups that I am part of. There is just so many different types of groups for example family, friends work etc. I believe doing this exercise really helped me gain a better understanding of myself. We were also told to write down things that we did know about social psychology and things that we didn’t know. I found this really useful because although I knew some things about social psychology (not in depth) it was not much compared to things that I don’t know about social psychology so I believe this unit will really broaden my understanding and I hope that I will learn many new and exciting things.
I found this tutorial highly interesting. I really enjoyed listening to other classmate’s ideas as they helped my understanding of the topics and gave me another view point. I really enjoyed the discussions on communication and what I felt was the most important kind of communication either verbal or non verbal. It is really fascinating to me that when we communicate with one another it is not just what we say to one another but how we actually say it. After the tutorial it got me thinking about group situations and how we determine who the leader in a group is by using communication for example, the participant speaking louder, faster, more often, but also by their body language, posture and gestures. This tutorial also had me thinking about animals and how they communicate for example a dog. They too communicate verbally by barking, crying, whimpering, growling etc and by non verbal behaviour for example such as wagging their tails when happy and putting their tail in between their legs when scared. Life depends on communication with one another and humans adapt to communicate even in difficult situations for example blind people communicate by feeling and speaking while deaf people communicate with hand gestures. I also found what situation the communication is in and how it differs very interesting, for example whether it is face to face, in an email/letter, text message, on the phone and whether you are in a noisy environment or have many different distractions going on as this can limit communication. I also found the different levels/Depth (Shallow/Deep) of communication interesting due to some communication being both Shallow and Deep for example emotions can be seen as both shallow and deep because generally anyone can see if you are happy or sad but then there are more private emotions such as love that most people could not tell you had.
During this tutorial we watched a show about the blue eyed brown eyed exercise. This involved discriminating against people about the colour of their eyes. It showed differences among people. The participants with blue eyes were placed in the middle of the room surrounded by participants with brown eyes. This made the participants with blue eyes uncomfortable, and then they were made to feel worthless compared to brown eyed participants for example, when scored low on a test the results were called out to the rest of the group. This exercise allowed the blue eyed participants to experience what brown eyed participants experience on a regular, everyday basis for example a person with dark skin is often discriminated against and they are not able to hide what colour they are. This exercise made the blue eyed participants feel insecure, scared, nervous, and uncomfortable. I believe that it is a good exercise to make people aware of how another person may be treated differently just because they may look a bit different. I feel the exercise was to empower the brown eyed people for a change and gave great insight into their lives. I now understand more what someone who is discriminated against has to deal with most days of their lives. I feel debriefing is definitely necessary for all participants involved in this program because it brought up a number of emotional issues, and some participants seemed in distress afterwards. I found it interesting to see how the brown eyed people acted when they had the power, and how group conformity occurred. The brown eyed people did gang up on the blue eyed people as soon as they released that they had the power. I believe this happens in the community and why we do have problems in the first place with racial discrimination, the majority believes they have power because there are more of them, resulting in the minority group being discriminated against. I enjoyed viewing this exercise, I believe I have learnt a great deal about discrimination from it and I highly recommend others watch it too.
During this tutorial we discussed our name (first, middle and last) with another class member and then shared it to the rest of the group. We discussed how our parents picked our first name, if we were named after any one, where our last name came from, and how we first got into Australia. I found this very interesting as I was able to learn more about my class mates, who had some very interesting stories to share for example past relatives were convicts, in the first settlers etc. We also talked about culture shock and how it occurs after the honeymoon period. This is similar to being a tourist; you visit a strange new place and at first your experience is quite positive but then becomes negative when one experiences culture shock for example feelings of isolation, incompetent, worthlessness etc. After this culture shock one learns more about the culture and then becomes culturally competent allowing for a positive mood affect. I believe this too be very true and very interesting. This tutorial taught me about Cultural Mapping. It taught me how to do it for example:
Approaching lecturer for help
Time- find the right appropriate time for lecturer.
Method- email, phone, office hours
Preparation- have clear questions written down for example this is where I am having problems, these are the problems I am having.
Knock on the door-wait until invited in
Introduce yourself- “Hi …… I am a student in XYZ unit ABC is now a good time that I could ask you about the assignment”.
Wait for invitation to sit down
Ask for more information if you do not understand
Use appropriate body language for example eye contact
Take turns in talking
5-10 minute interaction
Thank the lecturer and have a farewell greeting for example “look forward to seeing you next time!”
I would use cultural mapping in a number of other things to help me be organised and so that I do not get anything wrong for example when planning a holiday or planning to tell my boss I am leaving work. I found this tutorial fun, creative and interesting.
This week’s tutorial was very engaging. We first discussed:
- quality of social networks
- community involvement
- positive connections
- “spirit of the times”
- flavour of the times
- collective consciousness
- social isolation
I found it interesting how in today’s society people are doing a lot of things alone for example in the past people would go ten pin bowling as a group, but today a lot of people go bowling on their own.
In this tutorial we listened to a speech by Hugh Mackay. I found it very interesting that 8-9% of marriages end in divorce, now it has grown to 45% of marriages ends in divorce. I believe something needs to be done including:
making people that want divorce to live together for X amount of time.
Couples must participate in marriage counselling
Remarriage is only allowed after death of a spouse or in an abusive relationship.
Make the cost of divorce extreme.
People must be in a defacto relationship for over 5 years before the option of marriage.
Couples college for marriage education
Yearly information on marriage techniques including the 5:1 ratio of positive: negative interactions.
(These are extreme ideas on reducing divorce rates, none are to be taken seriously or are meant to offend anybody).
Hugh Mackay also stated that 30 years ago, three quarters of Australians were married by the time they were 30, when today it is about one third. I believe this is due to a number of things including people staying at school for longer, staying at home for longer and wanting to pursue careers. Statistics show that highly educated women tend to have fewer children. I find this to be interesting and can see issues as to why this is true for example highly educated women want to be financially secure before having a child.
I found this tutorial to be very thought provoking, interesting and educational. It made me think more about my current situation and the Australia that we now live in.
Ghosts of Rwanda 
During Week 4’s lecture we watched a movie called Ghosts of Rwanda. I do not understand how other countries did not help the 800,000 people who lost their lives in 100 days. It makes me so angry that very little was done and that only a few people helped. This disaster did not happen all that long ago. It boggles my mind to think that this tragedy was able to happen and nothing was done until it was too late. I would like to thank and congratulate the people that did something, that did help. I am ashamed for everyone else that knew what was going on and did not even help. I am disgusted that if you were white you were able to be saved and if you were black you were left in Rwanda to die. The killings were horrific. Men, women, children, babies and the elderly were all victims. Little children’s faces were bashed in which shows the complete evil and aggression of these people. The Hutu people who had already killed Tutsi people just wanted to keep killing and the Hutu people who hadn’t killed anyone yet really wanted to kill. I feel horrible for all the Tutsi people who believed they were safe in a church, but the Hutu people just killed them and left the bodies to be eaten by rats. I could not even imagine the amount of pain and suffering the Tutsi people felt after seeing their friends and family being brutally slaughtered by the Hutu people. I am angry with the U.N. peacekeepers that were ordered not to intervene. I do not understand why they didn’t try to do more, they were there experiencing what was going on, why did they not stress what was actually happening and how much help they really needed. It really annoyed me how the U.S would not use the term genocide and tried so hard to make their way around this term in interviews because they were afraid of making themselves look terrible because they did absolutely nothing to help. While watching this movie it made me think what I would have done in that situation and how I would have tried to survive and I couldn’t think of anything. It made me feel so helpless. The people that you love and trust and who protected you were being murdered around you and there was no one to help. I am so grateful to of not been there. It frightens me to think what if this happened in another country, and again we did nothing about it. I hope at least a tiny amount of good can come out of this in that countries look out for one another and actually intervene and help each other to save lives.
While looking up information on Social Psychology I found this very useful website: http://www.socialpsychology.org/. It includes things such as links to more information on the Stanford Prison experiment, the jigsaw classroom, understanding prejudice and more resources. I encourage people to go and have a look at this!
Social Psychology Experiment: Conformity I found this social psychology experiment at http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=a71h6LZKXTc. It is about conformity. It has 2 doors with a male picture on one door and a female picture on another door. Both doors lead into the same room. It is funny to watch because participants go up to the “wrong” door and then when they see the sign, change to the “correct” door. Couples that walk up to the door together go through their correct gender door. Finally at the end a man goes through the woman door. I found this experiment interesting because we as humans can be influenced in our life as easily as a sign on a door. If one sign can determine what door we walk through what else are we doing unconsciously? What else influences our life that we don’t even notice? This experiment shows how we all conform without even realising it.
Concluding Remarks 
Overall I definitely feel like I have learnt a great deal from social psychology. I feel that every thing that i have learn't while studying social psychology is important. It is all important and relevant in everyday life and in my studies of psychology. I found it very interesting. I encourage other people to learn more about Social Psychology and I am very happy that I participated in this unit. I would like to thank everyone that has visited my page and encourage more comments. Thankyou!