Final Examination Essay Sample

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Question 1
What are minimal groups? How does group membership lead to prejudice and discrimination? Minimal groups are small assembly of people that are considered together. These people share common interest, beliefs and political goals. Group membership leads to prejudice because people discriminate against them simply because they are a part of the group. Most groups are singled out and seem to be different is another reason they are discriminated against. For example, a group of males that hang out and seem soft would be considered a group of homosexuals. Others would discriminate and act prejudice toward them because they seem different.

Question 2
What is modern racism, and how is it studied?
Modern racism is when someone from the outside shows no sign of prejudice but inside uphold prejudice attitudes. The modern racism is a form a racism that is deceptive in the eyes of people. Most people tend to hide behind this type of racism more toward the inner feeling than the outer feeling. This type of racism is most likely in middle and wealthier class people in today’s society. Psychologist using self-effacing measures such as a bogus pipeline and paper questionnaires treats modern racism. These research studies are used to get student responses on their true feelings on prejudice. The bogus pipeline study seems to be the more accurate study.

Questions 3
What is stereotype threat, and what are the consequences of stereotype threat? Be sure to provide an example to illustrate your point. Stereotype threat is when different people of different races believe their behavior or performance may affect their culture. A consequence of stereotype threat is minorities in college or high professional jobs. These students or professionals believe if they fail or show poor performances in their field they will make a bad impression on their race or culture. They believe that if they are not successful at what they do society will feel no one in that race could be successful.

Questions 4
Compare and contrast procedural justice and the deterrence theory as explanations for why people obey the law. When a person is faced with the deterrence theory and procedural justice, they will think before making an illegal decision. In procedural justice, a person is concern if the crime they are charged with is fair. A person will be concern with if they are innocent or guilty of the crime that they are charged with. The deterrence theory is a person will think before committing a crime because of the severe penalty for committing the crime. In the deterrence theory, a person will be more likely not to commit the crime because of the severe legal penalties once the crime has been committed. The deterrence theory is a definite reason for why people obey the law; no one wants to go to jail. Knowledge of punishment for a crime will make a person thing before they take a chance to do something illegal. Questions 5

Summarize the recovered memory debate and research. Should we believe a person who comes forward with a recovered memory? Recovered memory is recollection of a past event that has been forgotten or repressed, most likely sexual abuse experience. Most people will have repressed the memories because they do not want to remember because of the tragedy of the event. Most sexually abuse women will repress the memories and then years later when something else tragic happens or they meet a man that remind them of the abuser the memory will be retrieved. I do believe that people with recovered memory are capable of believing, unless the person is a proven diagnose compulsive liar.

Question 6
Describe at least three ways eyewitness memory can be affected, and how we can determine the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. Many of ways can affect eyewitness memory, but there are three important ways that the eyewitness memory can be affected. One way eyewitness can be affected is that most people have problems identifying people of other races. Many Caucasian people have made statements that most African Americans look alike to them. A second way a memory can be affected is the location where a witness testifies that they saw a person committing a crime. The confusion on the location can come from reconstructive memory. The eyewitness may positively identify the person, but memory on location can be inaccurate. The third reason an eyewitness memory can be a problem is there is not a way to prove that the witness is telling the truth. A human cannot tell if another human is telling, the truth and polygraph are not perfect and can be inaccurate. These three problems could cause a judge and jury not to believe an eyewitness and end up erroneously sending someone to jail.

Question 7
Explain how empathy is related to helping.
Empathy is when a person put themselves in someone else shoes and experience an emotional event that person experienced. Empathy related to helping is that most people will help others simply because they have been or know someone that has been in the same position as that person. When a person sees someone having difficulty in their life, they will have the same emotions as that person and feel the need to help that person. People with help their friends for different reason than they help their family members. When people help, friends they do it because of empathy but when helping family it is done because they feel family will return the favor.

Question 8
Summarize the effects of mood on helping behaviors.
The effects of mood on helping behaviors play an important role of when people choose to help or be a bystander. The mood that a person in will make the deciding factor if they are going to help a person. People or in good moods will be most likely to stop and help others. A person in a bad mood 90% of the time will choose not to help a person in need. It has been said that some people in bad moods will help to relieve their sad mood.

Question 9
Imagine the following scenario: You are dating a person that you have fun with, and bring new and interesting hobbies into your life. Your dating partner is funny and attractive. Your dating partner treats you well, but you often think about a colleague at your office, and wonder what it would be like to date someone other than your dating partner. The colleague at your office is more attractive than the person you are dating, and this colleague has asked you out on a date. What you do not like about the person you are currently dating is that he or she is a bit needy. At times, he or she seeks you out constantly, calls frequently wanting to do things and is almost clingy. When you ask for space, your dating partner gets upset. On the other hand, you do not want to be that close to another person. You prefer to keep your distance and want a relationship with less commitment. Analyze the relationship you have with this dating partner in terms of social-exchange theory (comparison level, comparison level for alternatives, rewards and costs) and attachment style. What I do not like about the current dating partner is that he is too needy and controlling. The person wants too much of my time. Even though I have fun with the dating partner, there are times when I need to be alone.

In social exchange theory knowing that my dating partner enjoys being with me could lead to a great future with this person. Even though I am curious about my colleague, I may want to look at long term with my current dating partner. The reward of being with my current dating partner is that he could be a future husband and not just someone I am spending time with. Comparison level for my current dating partner to a colleague I am interested in could be risky. I think I am more curious about the colleague because he is more attractive and something different. In the end, my curiosity could cause me to loose someone I really care for and cares for me. In the comparison level for alternatives, my colleague could also be husband material since I have a strong interest in him. The attachment style with my current partner could be compared to a fathers love. He cares so much about me that his strong care for me could seem controlling, but really be is connection with caring for me. There could also be a different interest of love between my current partner and my colleague. I could have companionate love for my colleague and enjoy the time that we spend together. For my current partner I have passionate love because of the strong love we have for each other, should not even be thinking of my colleague.

Question 10
Consider the social cognitive cause of prejudice, specifically the idea of the activation of stereotypes. How does the activation of stereotypes explain prejudice behavior? Summarize Devine’s research on automatic and controlled processing of stereotypes, and how it can explain prejudice behavior. How does the justification-suppression model of prejudice explain how prejudice works? How does the illusory correlation explain prejudicial thinking? When you consider the research and meaning behind all of these theories, what conclusions can be drawn about our ability to change stereotypical beliefs? The activation of stereotypes explains prejudice behavior by explaining how people make decisions after hearing a stereotype comment about someone. There could be a group of people watching a performance or simply judging someone. Someone in the group can make a negative comment about one of the performers or competitors. Once that comment is made another person’s decision on those individuals they are judging has been affected by the stereotype comment. Devine’s research on automatic and controlled processing can be summarized by saying that automatic processing of stereotypes are mostly race related and people have no control over them. Even though these automatic stereotypes are with a person does not mean the person is prejudice. A person cannot control or stop these automatic stereotypes about people that come in to mine. The controlled processing on stereotypes a person or aware of and has the option to disregard or ignore the stereotypes. These process of stereo types can have an effect on how people act towards people they may be prejudice against.

People will make decisions on how they will deal with situations and other people by which stereotype is instilled in them. In the justification-suppression model of prejudice it is explained how prejudice works by describing the energy people use to suppress prejudice. People try to prove they are not an extremist or rapist to keep others from thinking negative of them. An example of the justification suppression is how we deal with homosexuals. I can remember when I worked in FT Lee at the Advance Individual Training for new Soldiers coming in the Army. I notice three Soldiers who always took showers last, found out it were not by choice. The other Soldiers assume these Soldiers were homosexual and force them to take showers when all the other males were finished. The leaders tried to act as if they did not see this was happening and felt the Soldiers were doing no wrong. I could believe the leaders suppress their feelings against the Soldiers and let this happen to those Soldiers because of their personal beliefs and stereotypes about the soldiers. The illusory correlation is when people think things are related that actually are not related. In the text it is mention that all African American women like opera, that is a great example of illusory correlation. I am an African American and not a fan of Oprah I have probably watched her show no more than five times. Considering the research and beliefs behind all of these theories, conclusions can be drawn that our ability to change stereotypical belief is impossible.

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