From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Crystal Clear app kfm home.png This user is a participant in the Social psychology unit.
Writer1.gif This page is an e-portfolio. Also see other participants' pages.


Social Psychology.[edit]

So i tend to prefer to eat food by myself, yet always like to have friends around when i finish work, and then when my friends are in my house i sometimes clean my room while feeling bad about them being in my living room, only to return with some music or wine? Once the wine is open we always tend to keep drinking and it is accepted around my friends to bring alcohol everywhere and now i feel cliche because I'm a student talking about alcohol and did i mention how much i love music?

Umm... I did this semester last year but didn't complete it because i had too much going on all at the same time. You know? "That's the story of my life". This semester i would love to gain a more mature approach towards understanding at least some types of human nature. Possibly why i feel sick on every train, bus or public space, why my housemates fill the recycling bin with beer bottles when it's only Wednesday, why the girl i love always makes me feel nervous, why i lack Asian, African, Indian, and Turkish friends and finally why i don't want to conform to a suit wearing society when i finish my degree. Hopefully this semester will teach me "The Art of Letting Go".

Amsn icon 0.97.png This user is active on the social psych unit's discussion list. Also see list of other active contributors.

Weekend Benders[edit]

So what is the direction for Australians and our drinking lifestyles? I work two separate bar jobs in the city and am involved in serving people I would call alcoholics and binge drinkers. These people range in differing age groups and different lifestyles. Some are public servants/tradesman who sit in the pub/bar and drink all afternoon/evening with their mates consistently throughout the week. Yet it seems that they can uphold a substantial job and still support their families – I guess only to a financial point. God knows what their family/partners think of their drinking habits. Along with the older generation, the younger generations seem to be much worse. I can only tell the truth of my behaviour as a young lad, binge drinking underage at around 15. Now day’s it seems that not much has changed. Ok my friends and I have a few reds now and then, but the majority of the time wherever we are we don’t normally drink for the taste or in moderation. We drink to get drunk. At one of the bars where I work I can guarantee everybody in the vicinity is drunk after 1 a.m. This isn’t just over .05, I would say the average punter would drink over twelve standard drinks before leaving to another club. When looking at this from a social point of view, it occurred to me that unless your driving why not drink if you are out? Every single one of my close male mates will drink their fair share of alcohol if they are not driving. Women on the other hand tend to be different, I feel that they tend to enjoy more to life than going out with their friends and emptying their wallet into the vodka bottle. Many of my girlfriends have drinks now and then but nowhere near the amount of males around my age. Why is this? I don’t feel drinking to be part of a male stereotype, and I don’t feel the need to drink by myself. Yet when around my male friends, it seems that the alcohol is also always around us. I tend to hope that one-day we will kick this national habit. At least at some stage before I’m meeting my mates every afternoon for a lager while my family is sitting at home thinking… Lauten 06:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Rose wine .jpg

Weeks Two and Three[edit]

Social Psych really has a more intersting side to it when compared to some of the other units studies within this degree. I enjoy learning about the social aspects of life rather than than simply learning about mental disabilities and how the cones in my eyes recieve colour or light? The first couple of weeks seemed to be quite concentrated and i think that we all would have learned a lot about ourselves as well. I particualy enjoyed thinking learning about self esteem and the basking and blasting theory. I also took a strong interest at whether attitudes really predict behaviour. I always seem to assume that that behaviours predicted attitudes. Previously in Psych we have looked at scrips and schemas. It made me think about my work where i basically don't have to think for an entire shift on occasion. Making coffees and pouring beers and using the till. It was frustrating to learn at first, but these days for me work is essentially just thinking about everything else going on in my life while relying on the scripts to keep the boss happy. I also took particular interest in the attribution theory that deals with how the social uses information to arrive at causal explanations for events. My mother always does this and so do i, to an overly anxious state! I remember James talking about dual attitudes (Implicit and explicit) and how some of us are not entirely aware of our attitudes. I'm keen to give my girlfriend the good old (IAT). There is a lot to take in within this subject and although it's only week 3, I have learned a lot and have actually found myself interested within the unit. Lauten 04:08, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Week Four[edit]

To be honest, i found the 'Ghosts of Rwanda' to be very confronting and I'm sure most people did as well. But it really hit back at certain stages in my life where aggression has occured. Not just in sport, at school, or at the pub, but at home and hearing the neighnours fight and wondering why my parents didn't. Apparently there are four known types of stress which can cause aggression, and these are as follows; Frustration, Conflict, Change, and Pressure. And conflicts usually occur when two or more incompatible motivations or behavioural impulses compete for expression. So when viewing 'Ghosts of Rwanda' it seemed that the people in that situation were overly disregarding their human emotions by conforming to, i guess, an overall group aggression where people didn't hold back and aggression really took over. It was interesting how one the psychologists explained that once a human has participated in the shock murder of another, they seem to repress that memory and feel free about completeing that task again. Could this be one of the key explanations as to why so many people were murdered? Groups conforming and ignoring their morals?

Kigali orphans.jpg

Additional Links:

Fronline Website with further information like a timeline and additional interviews etc. [[1]]

Ghosts of Rwanda and how it relates to Darfur (by Youtube-User FragUPlenty) [2]

General Roméo A. Dallaire’s Website [3]

Lauten 02:18, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Week Five[edit]

After weeks five's lecture i have decide to write my first blog on the prejudice shown towards homosexuals within Australia. I have recently moved to Melbourne and when comparing the gay community to Canberra, there is obviously a larger numer of homosexuals down here. What i have noticed in the nights that I have gone out is that there are less stereostypical slurs delivered in Melbourne. It seems that they are overly more accepted in Melbourne. So why is this? Shall i argue that Canberran's are uncultured and out of touch with today's society or that Canberran's are simply sheltered by our own deep valley's? I think the second argument is as lame as (some) of Canberra's society who do not give time for the gay community. There are several times that i have walked past Canberra's well know gay nigtclub, Cube, and i have often heard unneccessary calls directed at the patrons who are out the front. These include many of my friends shamlessly yelling out! It's not right, but it seems to be drilled into the minds of many men in out society that gays are gay. Within my blog i will be focusing strongly on the intergroup relationships that make up prejudice towards homosexuals, the stereotypes that exist within the minority group and particualry how we can change these. x Lauten 04:39, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


Blog One[edit]

The stereotyping of homosexuals in Australia: Why do they exist, how are these stereotypes formed, how are maintained and how can they be changed?

Society around the globe has found it prominently difficult to recognise and socially accept people of homosexual status. Not only has this minority group been socially excluded, but embedded with a stereotype that has been influenced by several different aspects of society. This blog will focus on these aspects by researching the stereotype, looking at how it was formed, how it is maintained, and further, how this controversial stereotype could be changed.

Sexual orientation can be defined as having a romantic or sexual attraction, or arousal towards somebody by sexual behaviour or activity. The identity of having the attraction for somebody of the same sex is regarded as being homosexual. Homosexuals within Australia are not only frowned upon by many of the population, but also live with many mental health problems. Many of these health problems are considered contrary to the abuse the minority group receives from stereotypical identities. The influence of social stigma and discrimination is likely to be a powerful contribution towards this kind of exploitation. (Williams, 2006).

Self proclaimed homosexuality is sometimes associated with nonsexual behaviour, appearance, or personal style that does not fit a gender stereotype. In Australia homosexual men are often stereotyped as being very camp, feminine, weak, loud, and often not worthy of recognition and or friendships. In Australia the ideal man is stereotyped as tough, big, hardworking, and anything from feminine. Miller (2006), outlines that people who now identify themselves as ‘Gay’, tend to see themselves as something akin to a race or perhaps an alternative gender.

There are several strong reasons to how this stereotype was formed and still exists within the homosexual community of Australia and the around world. These include religious beliefs, old-fashioned ideals, parenting models and the lack of education among school children. Religion plays a major role towards the stereotype of homosexuals. The groups that seem to have held back on accepting homosexuality are those dominated by traditional religious beliefs. An example of this is the recent Vatican declarations about unsuitability of homosexually oriented men for the priesthood. Miller (2006), argues that certain religious arguments add impetus to the movements to defend the rights of people defined by their sexualities. It is important to note the influence the Church has on people’s views for differing problems. With regards to social psychology, many people see the Church as a lifestyle and live by it’s beliefs. Therefore, the majority of practicing Christians in Australia will be confronted with the decision to back their religion or to make up their own mind. In Australia, same sex relationships, regardless of their duration, are not legally recognised, and as a result, homosexual partners are denied many of the legal and economic privileges automatically bestowed by marital status. (Lauw ,1994). These include employment benefits, the ability to file joint tax returns and most importantly health benefits, including rights arising on the death of a partner.

It is important to note that many families look to religion and the law for guidance in everyday living. As a growing child, you are taught to obey the law, follow it for direction and strength towards successful living. Alongside the law, many youths are brought up in religious families and schools who’s Church does not support homosexual lifestyles. These are two basic foundations of growing up that contribute to an unsupported figure of same sex relationships. Recent evidence also suggests that there have been significant increases in the number of problems reported by students who identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual. (Vicars, 2005). These problems contribute towards the ever-increasing slurs against homosexual lifestyles. Much of this type of behaviour at schools can be allocated to homophobia. Homophobia refers to the fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.

The stereotype of homosexual men continuing in Australia can be looked at in many different angles; religion, the law, schools, parents etc. Yet another major contributor towards the homosexual stereotype could also be the Gay Mardi Gras that are held in Sydney each year. The general objective of this event is to raise the visibility of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities. Although this is a proud event for many members and homosexuals around the country, it often gives children and parents at home the chance to discuss the event while on television. This often involves men dressing in drag, and often offending clothes with obscure accessories. Viewing of this type of behavior can result in quite a shock to children who have never seen men dress in this way. For their first encounter with homosexuality, it is understandable why these particular stereotypes do exist although some of the gay community do not participate in the event.

Research has indicated that people who work with, or spend time with homosexuals, tend to become less inclined on stereotyping them. This can be achieved by experiencing positive exposure to homosexual lifestyles. One argument that needs to be considered if homosexual stereotypes are to be changed coincides with schooling and education. Education and enlightenment at early ages could be a major advantage towards the anger and aggression given to people of homosexual lifestyles. It is also important to look at the views of the governments and religions around the globe. Because many of these prominent sections of our lifestyles do not accept homosexuality, then why should the majority of the population? (Swank & Raiz, 2007). This question can be focused in contrast with stereotyping. In order for this to change, there is a need and a responsibility of the government and religions to not necessarily agree with homosexuality but support and welcome the gay community without excluding and demoralising this particular minority group.

A greater teaching of homophobia at both all-boys schools and coed-schools could be an important initiative. Along with school education, is the strength of strong role models at home with families. Much of what children learn are through parenting techniques and attitudes. If people in society want to help change this stereotype then modeling an appropriate attitude is the first step. Although much of the older generation are set in their patterns of thinking, I think the new generation of younger people are much more accepting of homosexuals within Australia and the world. Much of this I believe has to do with television, the internet and media. Homosexual behaviour and even lifestyles are not hidden to the extent they were many years ago. This is a good thing for people, as it advocates a chance for change and also an opportunity to learn about people who are in a minority group living with such difficult circumstances that are not initially their decision.

In conclusion, the apparent stereotypes of homosexuals are far from leaving the minds of youths in today’s society. This quick blog has explored the certain aspects of society that contribute to the unnecessary stereotypes employed by differing organizations. In order for this major stereotype to change people must become open minded and accepting of people who are not in the majority. Hopefully with the coming years we will see the Church and also the government recognise these people and give them the opportunities and acceptance they deserve.


Bernat, J., Calhoun K., Adams, H., & Zeichner. (2001). Homophobia and physical aggression toward homosexual and heterosexual individuals. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 110, 179-187.

Clarkson, J. (2006). “Everyday Joe” versus “Pissy, Bitchy, Queens”: Gay Masculinity on Journal of Men’s Studies, 14, 191-207.

Higgins, D. (2006). Same-sex attraction in heterosexually partnered men: Reansons, rationales and reflections. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. Vol, 21, No. 2.

Lauw, I. (1994). Recognition of same-sex marriage – Time for change? Journal of Current Developments. Vol 1, 13-26.

Miller, B. (2006). The analysis of the homoerotic and the pursuit of meaning. Journal of Analytical Psychology. 51, 381-399.

Mohipp, C. & Morry, M. (2004). The relationship of symbolic beliefs and prior contact to heterosexuals’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. 36, 36-44.

Swank, E. & Raiz, L. (2007). Explaining comfort with homosexuality among social work students: the impact of demographic, contextual, and attitudinal factors. Journal of Social Work Education, 43(2), 257(23).

Vicars, M. (2006). Who are you calling queer? Stick and stones can break my bones but names will always heart me. British Educational Research Journal. 32, 347-361.


Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria – Mardi Gras Website – Australian Psychology Society - Engaging Boys: Overcoming Stereotypes -

Lauten 03:42, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Todays Women[edit]

I was talking to one of my close girlfriends yesterday who is just about to finish her degree in Dentistry. We were chatting about the amount of money she can earn first year out and the constant demand for people in her occupation. One of her main interests was to work under a female practitioner. At first I joked about how she had this feministic view because of her mothers influence and the all-girls school lifestyle that she encountered during her years of education as a young lady. She responded in such a strong way that made me feel pretty awful for being a male. She argued the point that being a young girl in an office/workplace with older men is just uncomfortable. Then she moved onto the point that being a young attractive girl is quite hard in society, especially if you don’t like the attention that men give you. She mentioned several different occasions where men have harassed her at work and even at work placements as a dentist. One aspect that shocked me was that these incidents also included several fellow work employees at the time. It made me think about my workplaces, where I believe the girls I work with are treated with adequate respect. Yet I can think of plenty of situations where fellow staff have made remarks towards our female staff. In these situations I thought that girls have always found the joke quite funny. Or now, maybe they were just putting on a brave face and smiling, finishing work and thinking once again that men are all chumps for either commenting, not instigating or joining in. In this post (if anyone replies) I would like to know about the issues my fellow women in psychology feel towards their workplaces, men in general, and whether they feel uneasy within today’s society. I can understand that there may be instances where women feel disregarded and sexually abused on the odd occasion, yet I’m not too sure what exactly women feel in everyday situations. Thoughts? Lauten 03:43, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Asian woman shushing.jpg

Week 10[edit]

Relationships. I believe that feeling part of a group and belonging to that group are ever so important for social well-being and happiness. When I was younger, 15, my parents sent me to boarding school and for the first time I couldn’t physically get home or see a friend or a relative because I had none. I remember not sleeping well, feeling left out and anxious about what people thought of the new kid at school. It made me appreciate my friends at home and it definitely made me into a stronger person. It was Sydney, I was from Canberra and I didn’t have that strong one on one relationship with anyone. After a few months I was drawn to the people who were similar to me and I made great friends. One thing I do remember was trying to fit in with the other boys. I changed my attitude to become more similar to their behaviour. It made me think did I always do this? Now that I’ve moved to Melbourne, I’m again in the same situation, I have no friends here either. To make friends will I become a different person, maybe just slightly? When looking at my relationship with my male friends and comparing it to an intimate relationship with a girlfriend there were some greater differences. I felt that there had to be a definite understanding between what we both want out of the relationship (Balance Theory), the attraction side both physically and culturally, and I always hoped that a compassionate relationship would last forever. Intimacy always gets stronger right? Compared to my male friends (best mates) my girlfriend always seemed to have that stronger sense of understanding and maybe that’s just a girl thing but it was nice to have that there. Relationships for me definitely make my world go round, and if I wasn’t part of a group or a mutual understand or even being accepted for who I am, I believe I wouldn’t want to live in society. Society! What a word. A word for the masses! Lauten 05:58, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

1873 Pierre Auguste Cot - Spring.jpg


What is free culture? Explore the social psychological aspects and implications of the free culture movement.

Free Culture is new. It is a way of thought that highlights how society has become ignorant towards our rights as everyday consumers. It is about taking a step back and forming a richer more complex view to the world of media and legal principles. This essay will introduce ‘Free Culture’, discuss its new and informative ways of looking at copyright law and in particular focus on the social psychological aspects that build around it. These include the likes of pro-social behaviour, ethics, ‘the social exchange theory’ and crowd intelligence to name a few.

Free Culture (FC) has everything to with socially instigating a different pattern of thought towards today’s frustratingly painful copyright laws. It focuses on our own rights as societal consumers and in many ways has everything to do with much of what humans live for; entertainment, freedom and social justice. ‘Free Culture’ is basically involved with the distribution of intellectual property, that being any kind of creative work ranging from film, music publication, art, poetry and electronic software. The ‘Free Culture’ movement is about understanding that creative borrowing exists in the shadow of copyright law. ‘Free Culture’ is a mindset crafted by the American university professor Lawrence Lessig, an original intellect who focuses on the social dimension of creativity, how it works, how it is used and in general how society encourages and inhibits it’s own use of creative power.

Lawrence Lessig’s aim is to infiltrate people’s thoughts with regards to the protection of the imaginary piece of real estate known as “the public domain” and the “free culture” that has been built upon and interleaved with it. As a pubic figure in intellectual property, Lessig focuses on the culture of transformative art, of sharing and borrowing and re-borrowing and retransforming, of collages, cover versions, dramatizations, fictionalisations and adaptations. (Post, 2004). Essentially ‘Free Culture’ is looking at the whole universe of ways new art builds upon and emerges from old. It is argued that Lessig has some of the most important viewpoints and debates on today's most challenging legal and policy problems related to media and communications. The central premise of ‘Free Culture’ is that copyright policy needs to regain a balance that once existed and must continue for everybody’s fair use. (Taylor, 2004)

Looking back twenty years, creators were able to own their own work for a limited time and for limited purposes, yet normal citizens were able to borrow the work and use it for their own creations. Eventually everything ends up after a limited period in the public domain and this is what Lessig argues should be our right in a democratic society. Within today’s society the courts and congress have followed a stringent interpretation of copyright protection in responding to the new digital technologies, in particular the internet. (Purdy, 2004). A strong argument that Lessig projects is that people should refuse to accept the future of digital feudism where we do not actually own the products that we buy, but we are merely granted limited uses of them as long as we pay for it (Lessig, 2004).

The Internet has definitely changed the way people live their everyday lives. Much of what we do is easier, communications are faster and gathering data for day-to-day use is amazingly simple when compared to 15 years ago. Lessig’s book ‘Free Culture’ is about an effect of the Internet beyond the Internet itself, rather an effect upon how culture is made. His claim is that the Internet has induced an important and unrecognized change in that process. Lessig argues that today there is a rough divide between the free and the controlled. The Internet has set the stage for erasure basically because of the threat by big media and how the law has affected it. (Lessig, 2004). He argues that “for the first time in our tradition, the ordinary ways in which individuals create and share culture fall within the reach of the regulation of the law, which has expanded to draw within it’s control a vast amount of culture and creativity that it never reached before. The technology that preserved the balance of our history between uses of our culture that were free and uses of our culture that were only upon permission has been undone. The consequence is that we are less and less a free culture, and more a permission culture” (Lessig, p. 8, 2004). For everyday people, the Internet has allowed our society to participate in the process of building and cultivating a culture that reaches far beyond our local boundaries. For example; people can find different music from all over the world, not simply by marketed radio stations and television programs, people can learn without the need to buy expensive textbooks and in general our knowledge is shared with others in a big community.

What has stemmed from Lawrence Lessig’s work is a growing following ran by university students around the world. The organization is named ‘Students for Free Culture’ and is an international student organization working to promote ‘Free Culture’ ideals, access to information and an overall social networking base. Formerly known as, the group basis itself around Lessig’s theories and applies them to everyday forward thinking. ‘Students For Free Culture’ believes that culture should be a two-way affair, about participation and not just consumption. The website outlines that with the technologic advance of the Internet, there is a new paradigm of creation. One where anyone can be an artist, and anyone can succeed, based not only on their industry connections, but on their merit also. (, 2008). They base themselves on helping people understand the value of cultural wealth, promoting free software and the open source model by running online blogs, meetings and social awareness. Members see themselves as liberators and motivators that help fight to prevent this new technological advancement be locked down by corporate and legislative control.

When looking at the ‘Free Culture’ movement in social psychology perspective, there are several important issues that can be outlined with regards to its overall structure. It could be argued that much of what ‘Free Culture’ is about is that it is there to break away from a domineering presence of governing bodies such as big media control and the governments that surround it. It is there to give people the chance to disagree and be intelligent about alternative ways of thinking. Although ‘Free culture’ has big ideas and aspirations it is a minority. A minority group that focuses on group co-operation and stems from looking at living life in a fairer more just way. It bases itself on raising awareness, promoting creativity and innovation, communication, free expression, and public access to knowledge.

The ‘social exchange theory’ can be analyzed within the free culture movement. It provides a good insight into why people would choose to be involved within the group and in particular why members would continue to dedicate their ‘free’ time to such a cause. According to the social exchange theory, which was extensively developed by Homans (1963) and Blau (1967), social behavior is basically the result of an exchange process. The main purpose of this exchange is to maximize the benefits and minimize costs. The theory looks at how human relationships are formed and essentially what humans like to gain from these relationships (Molm, 1999). The Free Culture movement and especially, contain many of the social exchange theories traits. An example of free culture in a social exchange context could be its universal networking groups around different universities throughout the world. Many of which depend on networking for survival and effectively rely on individuals to work together for promoting free culture. It could be argued that participants within the ‘Free Culture’ movement work to gain members and rally to towards educating people about their cause. In terms of a social exchange, the hard work members put in is balanced out by the feeling of educating others and receiving new young enthusiastic members. Seeing their own dedication to the free culture cause become useful towards society is the main reward. As mentioned earlier, one of the main aims for ‘Free Culture’ is that of awareness and free expression.

Ethically the core of the book ‘Free Culture’ is an explication of Lessig’s ideas about self-realization and intrinsic concern for society. Socially, participants of the ‘Free Culture’ network have made an ethical choice to join the movement because they believe that there are problems that exist in society. Members choose to disagree on principle of their values and it could be argued, follow a common good approach towards living their lives. This ethical based approach suggests that the interlocking relationships of society are the basis of ethical reasoning and that respect and compassion for all others, especially the vulnerable, are requirements of such reasoning. (Plante, 2004.) In terms of free culture the systems of the law are judged on an ethical scale that perhaps outweighs people rights. The actions taken by members could be seen as ones that contribute to a better community life. Lessig argues that as a culture we have lost our sense of balance that ideally helps us see the difference between truth and extremism. The challenge for anyone who would reclaim the right is to cultivate our culture is to find a way to make this common sense open it’s eyes (Lessig, 2004). This common sense could be made evident by following the common good approach. Essentially people make an ethical decision to fight for what they believe is right.

Free culture has much akin with pro-social behaviour. According to, the movement has a strong sense of caring, cooperation, and helping that is embedded within its members. They work for free, for the community, for their own ideals to voice an opinion that holds strong hope for benefiting our rights in the community. Mastain, 2005 defines altruism simply as a motivational state with the ultimate goal of increasing another’s welfare. The motivation in terms of the ‘Free Culture’ refers to goal directed force. According to Baston, 1991, altruism is not defined in terms of behaviour, but rather in terms of motivation. Therefore it may not cost members much for their contribution towards the free culture movement, yet may provide them with some secondary rewards. Pro social behaviour describes acts that demonstrate a sense of generosity, ethics, co-operation, helping others, and supporting others. (Janssen, 2004). It could be many of these aspects that make ‘Free Culture’ appeal to people not familiar with their ideals. Sociologists and psychologists describe people’s behaviour as being influenced by a strong need to maintain conformity between one’ actions or even feeling’s, and certain values, long term goals or identities they seek to uphold.

Socially the free culture movement is seen as a minority group, one that has little voice in a world of big media and governing bodies. Minority groups are often oppressed or stigmatised based on their theoretical backgrounds and in the case of free culture their status is based on the solidarity of their ascribed characteristics. What is important to note is that ‘Free Culture’ could carry a social influence that is aimed at people in order to persuade their attitudes and beliefs.

Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies lead to new laws, never before have big cultural monopolists used the Internet to shrink the public domain of ideas. Free Culture is something that advocates change for the hope of giving back what we used to have, the rights to intellectual property. Socially the ‘Free Culture Movement’ is something that relies on the need for passion and is basically an ethical choice of life that follows the social traits of the theories discussed within this paper. One criticism of this particular research is the fact that ‘Free Culture’ has only been around for four years and really has little social research or even any research behind it. There are several book reviews on Lessig’s work yet the minority group is still very minor in terms of it is pubic awareness outside of American and Canadian Universities. The research found within this essay only leads to the book “Free Culture” and mainly the student website “”. Unfortunately there was unsatisfactory information in both libraries and Internet resources for additional information on this particular topic.


Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bernheim, Douglas B. “A Theory of Conformity.” Journal of Political Economy, October 1994, 102(5), 842—877.

Brekke, Kjell Arne; Kverndokk, Snorre and Nyborg, Karine. (2003). “An Economic Model of Moral Motivation.” Journal of Public Economics, September 2003, 87(9-10), 1967-83.

Free Culture, (2008, October 20). Free Retrieved October 15, 2008 from

Janssen, Maarten C.W. and Mendys-Kamphorst, Ewa. (2004). “The Price of a Price: On the Crowding Out of Social Norms.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 2004, 55:3, 377-395.

Mastain, L. (2007). A Phenomenological investigation of altruism as experienced by moral exemplars. Saybrook graduate school and research centre. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 38 (2007) 62–99.

Molm, Linda D. & Peterson, Gretchen. (1999). Power in negotiated and reciprocal exchange. American Sociological Review. Dec. 1999. 57 – 67.

Lessig, L. (2004). How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity. The Penguin Press, Chicago.

Plante, T. (2004). Do the right thing: Living ethically in an unethical world. New Harbinger, Chicago.

Post, D. (2004). Free culture vs big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity. Federal Communications Law Journal. Vol 36, 163 – 190.

Purdy, J. (2004). Free culture vs big media: Lawrence Lessig leads the charge to retake the public domain. The American Prospect Vol 15, 54.

Taylor, R. (2004). ). Free culture vs big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity. Federal Communications Law Journal. Vol 57, 16.

Lauten 21:51, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Week 11[edit]

When studying the lecture and chapter on groups it actually made me think back to my higher school years. I remember walking across the ovals after catching my bus to school and seeing all the groups that divided up my year at college. To name a few; The Rugbyheads, The Hackers, TUC (The Upper Class), The Muso's, Stoners, etc. When looking back at my group we all had a common identity, we all had similar ideas, taste, and never really wanted much from any of the other groups. The majority of my group got along fine with everybody in our year. Now after finishing school, all my friends whom had similar ideals totally changed and all went their own ways in terms of profession. Some are in retail, some trades, uni, even bus drivers. It's really funny when we meet up because we all seem to have lost our group identity even though we are still close... My mates are very passionate about their choices and when we get together it's so noticeable how everyone has changed, particularly in the clothes we wear, the places we go, and the music we listen to. All of which a few years ago made us a group, because these were our common interests. So now are we still a group because we don't have a strong common definition? I think so. It made me think of the reasons why we could have changed. Do we always conform to the people around us? Do groups follow a leader?


Some of the theories mentioned in this chapter made me think of my work. In particular interest was the 'Social Facilitation Theory'. When I was working at my small bar job in Canberra my boss would occasionally sneak in a watch how we used to work. We worked ridiculously hard everytime he was there. It made me laugh because I new i worked fine when he wasn't around, yet the others around me would pick up the pace and then so would I. So is this also a case of the 'Hawthorne Effect', where people modify their conscious and unconscious behavior due to a powerful outside bystander? Yet i remember sometimes when i was working and the bar was getting quite slammed, people eveywhere, drinks needed to be served and where was i in the midst of the fight? Taking it easy, looking like i was working hard but not really. The Loafer! When i was rowing at boarding school. The Loafer! Cooking with my girlfriend. The Loafer! I think it's really quite a funny concept that once understood is very obvious when looking from an outside view. And regards. Lauten 05:27, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Week 12[edit]

Pro-social behaviour is something that i found hard to understand at first. Are counsellors and social workers only working to help in order to help themselves? Is it just the money, surely not, they get paid next to nothing for the hard work they do. So it couldn't be the money, then what about social status. The art of looking great in societies eyes? I think plenty of disturbing stories would outweigh simply looking good for our neighbours. So where to now? Maybe judging a profession is the wrong way of looking at pro-social behaviour. I think pro-social behaviour exists in peoples lives and altruism exists only in certain circumstances. An example of altruism in my life in probably my mother quitting her job to help her elderly parents in law on a daily basis. She only helps because they are in need and i know that she doesn't do it for anything else than that very fact. Yet maybe she is there helping because if she didn't who would and she would personally feel guilt for not being there. Mmm. I particularly enjoyed learning of conformity as it interests me. Informational social influence in particular was something I should have explained in my essay on Free Culture as it relates to it directly. Essentially informational social influence is conformity based on actions of others as evidence about reality. Within the lecture James talked about conformity and how it has been given a bad name with regards to the foolish actions people perform in order to conform. I believe conforming has great tendencies to make people fit in. Particularly with new jobs, new schools, new environments. People don't necessarily forgot who they are and follow others, they just take interest in things would normally not, follow people experience new things and then make up their own name. Conforming really is a bad name right? I read an article in the newspaper last week titled 'Empathy makes the world go round'... I tend to believe if everybody had empathy levels like some of our mothers then the world would go around much faster. The empathy-altruism hypothesis that was mentioned in our lecture i believe proposed that empathy motivates people to reduce other people's distress. I totally agree with this. There's much to learn for the exam!!

US specialist helping Afghan nomads.jpg

Social Psychology Summary[edit]

The end of another semester! This is the last unit in my psych degree and also (having done it twice) one of my more favourite classes. I enjoyed this unit because we have been able to talk in our own point of view. Something i really disliked about psychology was being pressed to not really have a voice in our writing. Everything had to be referenced, our opinion didn't matter because previous research was more important. Cynical i admit, yet social psychology was great for research and reflecting what we learnt into our own lives. I like how James comes up with innovative ideas towards teaching his topics. This is new and fresh, not dull, and great for seeing where other people are in our unit.

Wikiversity was a pain to learn at first, i wasn't really interested in taking time to learn another new program for only a short period of time, but it was good i must admit. Google blogger was easier, but wikiversity is more elaborate in allowing change and contribution to other people's work. When focusing on the content within the unit it was so much more interesting than learning, cognitive etc. I like social studies, learning of relationships, groups, races and even genocide's. There was much to cover but i think most students would agree that this unit is something any university student would like to learn. How society lives in a social context.

My essay on the other hand was quite frustrating. I chose a late topic and one that i thought would be easy to find information. I really enjoyed learning about 'Free Culture' and read half of Lessig's book, yet i found it difficult to relate towards social psychology. Mainly references were the problem, i knew what i wanted to say but couldn't back it up with any journals. One particular criticism of Social Psych is the way the assessment is set out. I dislike going into a final exam without knowing where i stand with the unit as it's stressful. Overall though, i learnt much about myself in this unit and it felt like a positive unit rather than one where i only contributed because i had too. Lauten 05:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC)