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Questions:

1.Person Perception : To what extent can people influence others' impressions of them by making changes to their physical appearance (make-up, clothing, etc)?

2.Attribution : What role does attribution play in mental illnesses like anxiety and depression? (Guidance - pick one – either anxiety or depression – to focus on)

3.Self & Culture: Compare Western and Asian views of the self – what are the most important differences in how members of Western and Asian cultures conceive of ‘self’?

4.Attitudes: How, and to what extent, do attitudes influence behavior?

5.Social Influence: What strategies can we use to resist obedience to authority?

6.Why are people less likely to help in emergency situations when in the presence of others vs. alone? 

7.What characterizes relationships in which aggression is most likely to occur (i.e., what are the features of the aggressor, the victim, and the relationship between them)? 

8.What role do attributions play in romantic relationships? 
 

Person perception: Influencing others’ impressions through physical changes

It is an established fact that the first impression of a person has significant impacts upon how the person is liable to be treated by others. How one appears, i.e. the physical appearance of a person has a lot to do with how the first impression is going to be established to another person. However, the extent to this or whether it is the very same for every person, is yet to be known (de Vries & Kühne, 2015). Humans have always attempted to look better to others and a number of artificial and/or natural products have used for centuries by the humans to enhance their appearances.

The human psychology is conditioned to believe that whatever that is beautiful is good. Hence, better looking people are perceived to be more gentle, kind and even warm hearted than those who are not (Fink et al., 2015). For this reason, people have always tried to look better so that they will be perceived as more attractive, both physically and socially or emotionally. For this reason itself, humans always try to appear better, so that the others around them or the people who come across them would see them to be a better and more interesting person.

Politics is one of the major fields where appearance of a person is greatly emphasised upon. Hence, moulding the opinion of the people through different ways that change the way that one looks, would seem to be a rational one for most people. 

Humans, inherently, do not simply perceive and notice the events that happen in the world. Rather, they also try to understand why do these events occur as they do. This, the attribution theory, is mostly concerned with why do people explain events and other experiences as they do. It can be perceived as every human being a psychologist and trying to analyse and makes sense of the social world (Graham, 2014). People always try to establish a cause-effect relationship between facts and events, even if there is none to begin with, and the two events are completely mutually exclusive and the entire situation being co-incidental.

Depression is one of the most serious mental health problems that are engulfing every individual in today’s world. There are profound implications for depression, and in most cases, the attributes that instigate depression are different and often unique in nature. The attribution models of depression say that the duration, magnitude and onset of depression is often influenced by the attributions of the important life events that people take at different times. These theories explain that humans accept their fates in hard times passively and understand that they cannot do anything about it and simply move on to accept the hardness and the pain or suffering that they have to endure. When people view important life events to be beyond their controls, they develop a certain mentality known as learned helplessness (Dolphin & Hennessy, 2014). The attribution models elaborate that humans feel depressed when they perceive their important life events to be beyond their controls and when they believe that the attributes that cause these events are more internal, rather than any fault in the situation itself and also that these events affect their lives completely and not just one aspect of their lives.

Attribution: Mental illness and attribution

The western and the Asian cultures have always varied massively and the philosophies of the two hemispheres have also presented the world with stark contrasting ideas about the different aspects of life and views on how to perceive things. It is documented fact that more members of any eastern or Asian cultures are found to have lower self-esteem than their counterparts in the western cultures (Hattie, 2014). Across different cultures of the world, the concept of “self” vary significantly. While, the western cultures put much more emphasis upon individualism and lays significant importance upon independence and the expression of personal attributes, the eastern cultures are more reliant and believers in an interdependent view of the self.

Asian cultures maintain that the collective relationships and intra-relationships are much more important than individual accomplishments and groups can help individuals to feel and sense of oneness. However, it must be noted here that such fusion of the identity of a person can have both positive and negative implications on a person. Even within cultures, there are differences in how self is perceived (Joshanloo, 2014). Clans and sects within the religious groups have highly contradicting values and beliefs or established ideologies and views that set differing views and make individualism and interdependence to be implemented in different ways. 


While the western cultures are more leaned towards existentialism, the Asian cultures are more reliant upon essentialism. The western cultures view life as the substantial impact that a person makes on the world and the Asian cultures are more accepting towards fate and believes that a person cannot in any way stray away from their destinies.

Among a number of drivers and attributes that dictate how we would behave under certain circumstances, attitude is one of the most major ones. However, there are also arguments against it that says that attitude is not a very strong driver of behaviour. In many cases, behaviour can be indirectly influencing behaviour, which may always not be very apparent. For example, if a person dislikes another person, that dislike may be portrayed by a reluctance to join that person for any social gathering and not by an explicit display of the same. Despite strong favours, some arguments maintain that overall attitude towards something cannot necessarily be depicting a particular behaviour (Pratkanis, Breckler & Greenwald, 2014). A person’s attitude is derived from the person’s total expanse of feelings, beliefs and their behavioural intentions towards an object and is a hypothetical concept. This way, it can be inferred that a single specific behaviour may be completely unrelated to the overall attitude of the person and, moreover, it can even be negatively related.

Self and culture: The differences between the eastern and the Western concepts of “self”

Attitude and behaviour often has the issue of consistency, which means that humans are normally expected to be consistent with the attitude that they portray towards others or objects. This principle of consistency says that humans are rational and under specific conditions, they would try to act rationally. This says that a person’s behaviour should be consistent with their attitudes that they hold towards objects and people. Despite this theory being sound, it is a fact that the people do not always follow this. Humans, in reality, behave in ways, which at times may seem to be bizarre or completely illogical to others, and even to themselves in retrospect (Petty & Krosnick, 2014).

While the society provides individuals with a great sense of security and provides a number of other advantages for the members of a community, it also has some negative implications and disadvantages as well that needs to be addressed in order to understand the idea of proper security in the context of social attribution and position of the human phenomena. To make sure that the society is a harmonious one and has smooth functions, it almost always asks its members to conform to a single and linear way of life (Fransen, Smit & Verlegh, 2015). In this manner, a structure is often encouraged that erases any dissimilarity between people. For this matter, there have been countless arguments from time and again by contemporary groups against the functions and authoritative position of the society, which forces its members to conform to its norms and imposes its own beliefs and ideals on individuals (Klenk & Pavolini, 2015). Private sphere has been argued to be dismantled by the societal pressure countless times and freedom to express oneself has been reported to be curbed on a number of occasions. 


There are a number of strategies that are used by people to resist the social influences on themselves. Having an ally is important and can help a person resist the conformities that the society tries to levy upon people. This helps a person’s confidence to be boosted and makes the resistance to be somewhat easier.

It is evident that people are more likely to be helpful when they have other human beings around them. The act of helping other people in the emergency is actually termed as the pro-social behaviour of the human beings in the context of the human psychology. Psychologists have been trying to understand this interesting phenomena of the human nature since long regarding the sudden change of the helping approach that a human produces in the state of emergency in two different contexts, one individually and second in front of others (Vogel & Wanke, 2016). However, in a recent assessment done by some psychologists it is evident that human nature consists of fear and coming out of the fear. While helping others in an emergency condition human beings try to evaluate the sense of coming out of the fear or coming out of the danger. In addition, it is also interesting that the approach of human nature is more in the process of receiving appreciation. Therefore, whenever one human being finds out the state of helping others in the emergency, he or she is more likely to be engaged in the process when there are more people (Webber, 2015). This is because that specific person having the opportunity of offering help understands that having more human can provide him the ability to do the necessary work in a better terms with more coordination and strategic ideas and second is he or she believes to receive the token of appreciation from the present human beings for the effort of helping someone in real emergence.

Attitudes: How it influences behaviour

It is important to identify the nature of individuals in a relationship in order to understand or whether the relationship is toxic or developing the scopes for aggression. Psychologists say that living beings tend to get more aggressive and violent out of utter insecurity. Therefore, it is important to identify the insecurities of a specific individual in order to take precautions so that their aggression can be dismantled through various psychological assessments (Berscheid & Regan, 2016). In most of the cases it is evident that the aggressor is  having a mixed emotion of power and authority. The assertion of dominance is common cause of the aggression in the different kinds of living beings. Be it any relationship the common cause of violence in the society is the dominance that the individual wants to enforce on another which causes aggression. Aggression may dwell out of other reasons as well such as failure or lack of self worth amongst the peers. The common cause is often seen as the different aspects affecting the cognition and development of the individual. The social identity and the social behaviour in the society among the individuals in a society cause aggression towards the others. Another deep-seated emotion, which causes the development of aggression, is the sense of competition faced in the society (Chadee, 2015). This competition may be for different reasons and the aggression may fuel the individual to success of lead to rage of failure. The aggression that the individual has is also the result of the nurturing and the availability of resource they have. 

 The understanding of a romantic relationship involves the idea of perfect romance between two people combined in the essence of love. Romance is a situation that distinguishes the attributes of two different people in the act of perceiving the idea of sensuality while contributing in the process of being with each other in the need (Kimmes et al., 2015). Psychologists say that in general cases, most of the humans are unaware of the general functionality and the characteristics of romantic relationships. The attributions are very important to run a romantic relationship with its natural flow that provides both the partners the willingness to be with each others. These attributes can be the art of forgiveness, the ability to compromise, the understanding attitude of the partners and most importantly the willingness to be with each other in the need (Kimmes & Durtschi, 2016). The presence of the attributes in the romantic relationship helps both the partners to maintain the harmonious bong among them along with the concept of understanding the characteristics of the individual in a relationship so that the partners can peacefully wish to stay with each other without any confrontation. The attributes in a romantic relationship develops the characteristics of a human being as an individual and makes them a better person in the society. It is necessary to implement those attributes in a relationship in order to make the relationship more comfortable and desirable for the partners. 

References

Berscheid, E. S., & Regan, P. C. (2016). The psychology of interpersonal relationships. Psychology Press.

de Vries, D. A., & Kühne, R. (2015). Facebook and self-perception: Individual susceptibility to negative social comparison on Facebook. Personality and Individual Differences, 86, 217-221.

Chadee, D. (Ed.). (2015). Psychology of Fear, Crime and the Media: International Perspectives. Psychology Press.

Dolphin, L., & Hennessy, E. (2014). Adolescents? perceptions of peers with depression: An attributional analysis. Psychiatry research, 218(3), 295-302.

Fink, B., Weege, B., Neave, N., Pham, M. N., & Shackelford, T. K. (2015). Integrating body movement into attractiveness research. Frontiers in psychology, 6.

Fransen, M. L., Smit, E. G., & Verlegh, P. W. (2015). Strategies and motives for resistance to persuasion: an integrative framework. Frontiers in psychology, 6.

Graham, S. (2014). Attribution theory: Applications to achievement, mental health, and interpersonal conflict. Psychology Press.

Hattie, J. (2014). Self-concept. Psychology Press.

Joshanloo, M. (2014). Eastern conceptualizations of happiness: Fundamental differences with western views. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15(2), 475-493.

Kimmes, J. G., & Durtschi, J. A. (2016). Forgiveness in romantic relationships: the roles of attachment, empathy, and attributions. Journal of marital and family therapy, 42(4), 645-658.

Kimmes, J. G., Durtschi, J. A., Clifford, C. E., Knapp, D. J., & Fincham, F. D. (2015). The role of pessimistic attributions in the association between anxious attachment and relationship satisfaction. Family Relations, 64(4), 547-562.

Klenk, T., & Pavolini, E. (Eds.). (2015). Restructuring Welfare Governance: Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State ProfessionalismQuasi-markets and managerial steering techniques have spread in the provision of welfare state services and are now a salient feature. This innovative book explores the introduction and impact of marketization and managerialism in social policy by adopting a dual perspective–one on regulation and governance, the other on human resources–covering five fields of social service delivery. Welfare governance (for .... Edward Elgar Publishing.

Petty, R. E., & Krosnick, J. A. (2014). Attitude strength: Antecedents and consequences. Psychology Press.

Pratkanis, A. R., Breckler, S. J., & Greenwald, A. G. (2014). Attitude structure and function. Psychology Press.

Vogel, T., & Wanke, M. (2016). Attitudes and attitude change. Psychology Press.

Webber, J. (2015). Character, attitude and disposition. European Journal of Philosophy, 23(4), 1082-1096.

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