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Section A 
A1. Why can implicit attitudes differ from explicit attitudes? Which one are one’s true attitudes?
A2. Using Latané and Darley's cognitive model, how could the likeliness of people helping in emergency situations be increased
A3. Describe and illustrate at least four strategies that people use to cope with threat to their self-concept.
Section B 
B1. Imagine being a social psychologist who wants to investigate the relationship between hunger and aggressive behavior in children. Explain and justify how could you examine this issue with two different research designs.
B2. How may the fact that the content of the self differs across cultures be reflected in the way that members of those cultures manage their impressions?
B3. What is the social psychological connection between the concepts of social representations and rumour; and between rumour and conspiracy theories?

Explicit and implicit attitudes explained

Solution to A1

Explicit attitudes is defined as a situation wherein a person shows his feeling knowingly. A person expressing his cognisant outlook to an individual, article or thought and is well acquainted with the feelings he/she holds towards a particular situation is said to have an explicit attitude (Grinnell. 2010). Whereas by implicit attitude it means that a person is showing his/her feeling unconsciously without being aware of the full scenario or situation (Zimmerman, 2012). Thus it is clear that both the attitudes differ from each other.

Implicit attitudes as defined by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji as imprecisely recognized traces of past understanding that arbitrate constructive or adverse feeling or thought towards a social thing. Thus implicit attitude is outside the control of a person. Whereas explicit attitude differs in this wherein a person is well aware of the surroundings and reacts after understanding the entire situation consciously. The former may end up hurting a person but is the true revelation of one’s feelings without any camouflaging. But the latter is a more planned behaviour which can be fake as well. An explicit attitude is full of prejudices and stereotypes in nature whereas implicit attitude is not fake, instant and not labelled in nature (Rydell, & McConnell 2006). Explicit attitudes gives weightage to the social and the personal relationships and hence a person behaves after paying heed to the various situations, but in case of implicit attitude the person would behave instantaneously without thinking about the consequences.

An attitude defines the thinking and perception of people about the social world around. It is  a psychology tendency wherein it discusses about the way a person reacts to a particular situation. If a number of participants are chosen and there opinion about a particular is asked about then they would either give their consent or give their dis-consent (Echabe, 2013). These answers would be explicit which basically would reveal the actual and true answer to the situation without any make-ups being done. But the same has some limitations attached. Simple reason being that many a times people are not aware as to how to react to situations situation may arise wherein an individual may want to react in a positive manner but the mind and the social pressure forced him/her to react in a negative manner. Thus here the true attitude gets hidden. Had the person reacted without giving being influenced by the social pressure then the reaction would have been considered to be a true one. Thus it can be said that implicit attitude is useful for testing the articulacy and power of the contentious approach and the stereotype links (Cooper et.al. 2016). Thus although it can rightly be said that implicit attitudes are one’s true attitudes yet it becomes difficult at times due to socio-psychological pressure to adhere to the same.

Latane and Darley’s cognitive model for emergency situations

Solution to A2

It is a very common phenomena that the likeliness of people who help during emergency situations increases. The same is explained using the Latane and Darley’s cognitive model. The model is designed in five steps which will help to decide whether a bystander will help during emergency or not. By a bystander we mean the general public who is not related to the person seeking help. First the individual will have to identify the fact that there is a problem. Secondly, he will have to understand that the problem calls for an emergency situation or not. Basis this third step arises, whether the individual has a responsibility to help or not. Fourth and fifth step enable the individual to think after understanding his responsibilities as to how he should do to help the person and how (Roth, 2008).

However as the bystander effect, the more number of spectators to the situation, the less are the chances that the person in emergency will be able to get help. Unfortunately, whenever someone is in an emergency, the spectators do not come up to help. There have been several incident in real life wherein people have been found watching the incident but fail to move ahead to help the victim thinking that somebody else will help. The likeliness of people helping in emergency situation increases as per the Latane and Darley cognitive model because most of the people watching the happening of a crime are unable to perceived the situation as that of emergency and fail to help (Burkley, 2009). They often depends upon the nearby crowd and how they are reacting. Secondly even if they realise that they are watching a crime, even then they would not intervene and come forward to help simply because since there is no one taking responsibility then why should they take alone. The reason is more number of watchers means the responsibility of helping the victim is diffused amongst all of them. The most striking example which led to the formulation of the said model was the murder case of Kitty Genovese which took place in 1964 when there were 38 people watching the crime happen but nobody came up during such an emergency to help the victim.

Thus on understanding the model stated by them, it is very true that those actually helping during emergency situation are respected and liked more by everyone simple because in the general course first and foremost people will not even understand that there is an emergency and even if they do, they will not move ahead to take the responsibility simple because there are many spectators. Therefore the helpers are appreciated and applauded by all since the number is very few.

Strategies to cope with threats to self-concept

Solution to A3

Self concept is a socio-psychology terminology which talks about how a person thinks and perceives oneself. Thus it can be rightly said that to be aware of one’s own self is what construes as self-concept. People crave for a positive view for oneself and thus use various strategies to cope up with the same. These strategies are brought to action whenever the person comes across certain events which are likely to threaten the positive attitude of one’s self. These strategies are a must for the psychological well being of a person The four strategies that people use to cope with threat to their self-concept are as under:

  1. SELF AFFIRMATION THEORY:Under this theory individuals try to overcome threats to self concept which occurs due to feelings of self-discrepancy by concentrating upon and asserting their significance in another sector. For example if a person has become addicted to a thing which is illegal then instead of trying to diminish the impact of the discord created by the usage of such a substance, he or she tried to engage into healthy food habits and proper workout routine which would automatically help him to overcome the stress and threat created to one’s own self concept ((Stangor, 2010).
  2. AVOIDANCE STRATEGY: One of the most common threat to self concept is the impact of persuasion. It is a common phenomena that individuals try to change others attitudes and way of looking life through persuasion and it is not necessary that the same will always be positive. It can at times also cause threat to self concept. Thus avoidance is one of the most straight forward method of dealing with the said stress of persuasion. By avoidance it does not mean total ignorance, it also means being selective with regards people with whom we are interacting (Fransen et.al. 2015). However this strategy works well if a person is constantly staying within people who have a positive attitude towards life.
  3. POSITIVE THINKING AND ENVIRONMENT: This method although seems easy, but is the most difficult one where the person has to cope up with his threats to self concept by deliberately thinking positive about oneself specially when the people around do not think so. Improving self esteem is a must and for the same one may even have to overestimate oneself. Self esteem helps to cope up with the threats. Positive thinking is directly related to a high self esteem which has in turn a direct impact on the mental health of a person (Mann et.al. 2004). Thus looking at oneself with a positive attitude is one of the biggest strategy which helps one to cope up with the threats with ease.
  4. SELF CONSCIOUS THEORY: Another strategy which would help a person cope with the threats related to self concept is the self conscious theory. It relates to a state when a person gives importance to one’s own concern as well as the concern of the others. Thus the former is termed as private self consciousness when one probes one’s own thoughts and feelings towards one’s own self and the latter concentrates upon paying heed to how public consider them as a person. Thus the public self consciousness (Parmar. 2004). Both these self consciousness will help a person think about one self from a dual perspective thus enabling him/her to cope up with any such threat which relates to self awareness.

Solution to B1

There exists a close relationship between hunger and aggressive behaviour amongst children. It is a common observation that whenever children are hungry, they start throwing tantrums on issues which have no point at all. Lack of proper food leads to developmental issues amongst children thus leading to psychological as well as emotional stress (Centre on Hunger and Poverty. 2002). Thus there is a close knitted relationship between lack of proper food and aggressive behavioural patterns.

Researches have been conducted that justify this relationship distinctly. Research makes it evident that mal nutrition amongst kids impacts their brain development as well as impulse control mechanisms. Children who are found starving for food may go to any extent to procure food. For a brain to work normally at least a 20% intake of nutrition is a must and when the same is not enough the brain starts to function in an irrational manner. Lack of proper nutrition in food can erase cognitive advancement in a child thus impacting as many as 18 points of IQ Thus the research has shown that persistent underfeeding at the early stages of life permanently effects the impulse control. A study of researchers in 2016 at the University of Texas of Dallas have concluded that lack of proper control over impulses which lead to violence and aggression is due to poor nutrition (Ledger. 2016). Therefore it can be rightly said from the research that brain development is impacted due to hungry stomachs which has led to aggression and also eating of food which lack nutrition. Thus hunger is linked to intake of adequate nutrition as well.

Another research in Australia has proved that one out of every six children ranging between the age of 8-14 years go to sleep with empty stomach. They have various issues such as headache, stomach aches, irritable attitudes and nervousness. There emotional quotient is hit the most. An American Study revealed that hunger amongst children was directly associated with depression and aggression. Research has also proved that satisfying the hunger is not enough to prevent aggression within kids. If food is given to them which lack nutrition then also it will have a negative impact on the brain. For example if the intake of iodine is not sufficient then it is directly linked with low cognitive performance of a child. Thus it can be rightly concluded fro this research that even though hunger leads to aggression, intake of improper food just to satisfy the long hunger can also be equally detrimental to the behavioural pattern of a child (Parletta, & Segal, 2016). Thus it shows that hunger leads to consumption of unhealthy food and in turn is very dangerous for the development of brain and behaviour.

Impact of hunger on aggressive behavior

Solution to B2

Self content is a very crucial expression for successful survival strategy. If one is not satisfied from one’s own self then it becomes very difficult to interact with the members of the similar as well as different cultures successfully. There are various areas where the cultural difference impacts interactions which in turn impacts the content of self also. By the term culture we mean the language, beliefs, values, dress, knowledge, customs, food habits as well as skills. Culture is said to be passed on from generations.

Research has been conducted in twin areas. Firstly, it deals with those for whom culture matters a lot and secondly those for whom culture is overshadowed by other factors. Thus self content would differ from person to person and not culture to culture. Some may highlight their culture while doing any kind of cross-cultural conversations thus finding contentment in doing so whereas in the second thought people have a strong inclination towards their culture but find self-contentment in maintaining uniformity in the relations.

Increasing globalisation has changed the concept of people with regards cultural differences and so has their thought process which makes it very evident that it is psychological with regards finding contentment and satisfaction only in one’s own culture.  Differences with regards the impressions and interactions across cultures can be minimised if a person is mentally able to adjust and find satisfaction basis the situation.

However, there are individuals for whom culture has an effect in giving them satisfaction, interact and express themselves in front of other cultures differently. Many times we find people interacting and expressing in their own regional language without paying heed whether the other person is being able to comprehend or not. This gives them a sense of satisfaction that they are well aware of their language and are making efforts to keep their culture alive amongst the various other cultures of their present location (Neyer, & Harzing, 2008). However, psychologically it is appreciable but socio-psychologically the same is not welcomed simply because it shows that the person is not social and cannot adjust with the environment. This problem is more prevalent amongst the minority culture.

Thus if a person is culture specific only in a cross cultural environment, then his impressions would be taken in a negative perspective by the society and he would never find satisfaction within oneself due to the social cut off. Thus even if a person finds satisfaction only by accepting his own culture, yet he/she should respect the other culture as well in order to survive in the society.

The influence of cultural differences on self-contentment

Solution to B3

Before the socio psychological connection between the concept of social representations and rumour is discussed upon it is very important to understand the meaning of these concepts. By the term social representation it is meant as a cluster of values, ideas, beliefs and practices which are interacted amongst the various members of the groups or the society to which a person is representing to. Basically it is a technique of communicating about topics with which a person is already aware. Whereas a rumour is defined as a piece of news or story which of interest to public at large who are totally unrelated to the situation and it may be either true or false. Such a story spreads like a fire in the forest and there is no sanctity of the news being spread.

There exists a deep linkage between the two concepts. To survive in this world, it is a necessity that a person is socially active else it may have a deep impact on the psychological development of the individual. Further, to become a part of a community or a group he has to also participate in rumours. Attitude is closely linked to these concepts wherein it defines opinion and social representation as well as rumoured stories both demand opinion even if not asked fro by the other members of the group. However social representation theories are more inclined towards how a person interacts with the various environmental factors, social factors and common situations. Social representation is termed as social as a particular piece of news is discussed by various people and thus influence the behavioural pattern (Howarth, 2006). The people interacting do not think about the sanctity of the news but end up discussing about the same just to be a part of the society. Thus rumours are a part of the social representation since it cannot spread in isolation (Baxter.et.al. 2015). A person has to be a part of the social conversation. Thus this shows that rumours spread amongst groups of people who are socially connected to each other and are representing a group.

Another concept linked to rumour is conspiracy theory. This theory highlights the events which occur due to a secret plot created by a group of powerful plotters. The two are closely linked to each other as rumour related to uncertain stories and conspiracy theories arise when individuals do not have any control over the present situations and thus try to make sense out of it by simply putting up stories (Oaklander, 2015). This leads to a situation wherein individuals are trying to connect dots which are basically unreal. Due to this they spread a different a version of their understanding of the story which takes the turn of a rumour.

Just as a rumour is the reason for the birth of another rumour similarly trusting a conspiracy is a result of believing in another conspiracy. There was a rumour of millennium bug in 1999, however more and more people agreed to the said bug more they were inclined towards believing of some other conspiracy theory which was also false. Conspiracy generally make people scary and suspicious towards more powerful individuals. But if people have control over their feelings then they can easily getaway from these conspiracy theories and thus not even become a part of the rumours which follows (Brotherton, 2015). Thus it can be rightly concluded that there exists a deep socio-psychological connection between rumour and conspiracy theories as the latter gives birth to the former. 

References:

Centre on Hunger and Poverty . (2002). The Consequences of Hunger and Food Insecurity for Children. Retrieved from https://www.nkyhealth.org/docs/FitClassrooms/docs/ResourcesforTeachers/Articles/ConsequencesofHunger.pdf

Baxter,C. Barratta,P. & Thomson,M. (2015). Social Media and the Generation, Propagation, And Debunking of Rumours. Retrieved from https://cradpdf.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/PDFS/unc200/p801886_A1b.pdf

Brotherton,R. (2015). Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories . Retrieved from https://conspiracypsychology.com/

Burkley, M. (2009). Why Don’t We Help? Less Is More, at least When It Comes to Bystanders. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-social-thinker/200911/why-don-t-we-help-less-is-more-least-when-it-comes-bystanders

Cooper,J. Blackman, S. & Keller,K. (2016). The Science of Attitudes. Routledge. New York.

Echabe,A.E. (2013). Relationship Between Implicit and Explicit Measures of Attitudes: The Impact of Application Conditions. Europe’s Journal of Psychology. 9(2)

Fransen, M.L. &, Smit, E.G. & Verlegh, P.W.J. (2015). Strategies and motives for resistance to persuasion : an integrative framework. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4536373/

Grinnell,R. (2010). Explicit Attitudes. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/explicit-attitudes/

Howarth,C. (2006). How Social Representations of attitudes have informed attitude theories: the consensual and reified. Theory and Psychology. 16(5). 691-714

Ledger,T. (2016). Hunger feeds high levels of violence. Retrieved from https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/business-day/20161130/281612420011479

Mann,M. Hosman,C.M.H., Schaalma, H.P. & Vries, N.K. (2004). Self-esteem in a broad-spectrum approach for mental health promotion. Health Education Research. 19(4). Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/her/article/19/4/357/560320/Self-esteem-in-a-broad-spectrum-approach-for

Neyer,A.K. & Harzing, A.W. (2008). The Impact of culture on interactions : Five Lessons learned from the European Commission. Retrieved from https://www.harzing.com/download/culteu.pdf

Oaklander,M. (2015). Here’s Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories. Retrieved from https://time.com/3997033/conspiracy-theories/

Parmar,N. (2004). Self Conscious? Get Over It. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200405/self-conscious-get-over-it

Parletta,N. & Segal, L. (2016). Poor Nutrition can put children at higher isk of mental illness. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/poor-nutrition-can-put-children-at-higher-risk-of-mental-illness-54836

Roth,E. (2008). Psychology of the Bystander and tips for increasing chances of receiving help. Retrieved from https://magazine.fighttimes.com/psychology-of-the-bystander-and-tips-for-increasing-chances-of-receiving-help/

Rydell,R.J. & McConnell,A.R. (2006). Understanding Implicit and Explicit Attitude Change : A systems of Reasoning Analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 91(6). 995-1008

Stangor,C. (2010). How the Social Context Influences Helping? Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/how-the-social-context-influences-helping/

Zimmerman,I. (2012). Implicit Attitudes Predict Impulsive Behaviour. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sold/201210/implicit-attitudes-predict-impulsive-behavior

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