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Psych 355 Notes

by: Shelby Nesbitt

Psych 355 Notes PSY 355

Shelby Nesbitt
GPA 3.26

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week 7 notes
Psychology & Culture
Dr. Kristy Dean
Class Notes
Psychology & Culture
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Nesbitt on Saturday February 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 355 at Grand Valley State University taught by Dr. Kristy Dean in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Psychology & Culture in Psychlogy at Grand Valley State University.


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Date Created: 02/27/16
Psychology & Culture Week 7 Notes Class #16  Self-Enhancement o Motivation to view one’s self positively o Evidence?  High self-esteem scores (in U.S.)  Compared to other cultures  U.S. scores on the rise with each generation  Better-than-average effect  Say we are better than average at something  Prevalence of other self-enhancement strategies  Self-Enhancement Strategies o Self-Serving Attribution  *video shown in class  “Mimi” gave herself all of the credit for a work fundraiser going so well  Don’t see this strategy in collectivistic cultures o Downward Social Comparison  Comparing ourselves to those who are “worse” than us  Ex) “I got a C on a test, but at least I did better than Sally who got a D.” o Compensatory Self-enhancement (aka self-affirmation)  In response to receiving negative feedback about ourselves, we focus on our positive attributes o Bask in reflected glory  Feel good about ourselves when a group we support did something good  Ex) see this with sports teams o Cultural differences?  Maybe members of collectivistic cultures just self-enhance differently? What about in-group enhancement?  Study: What do you think of students of your university vs rival university? (Snibbe et al., 2003)  U.S.  Stanford vs Wisconsin students  Japan Kyoto vs Ritsumeiken students  U.S. students rated their rival students more negatively compared to students of their school  Japan students rated students of each university evenly  When studying…. o What are some other alternative explanations for the cultural difference just mentioned?  Self-Improvement o Motivation to identify weaknesses & improve them o Evidence?  Anecdotal  Gambaru in Japan o “Gambi” perseverance o Origami in preschool teaches kids perseverance (seen in “Preschool in Three Cultures” movie)  Cram school in South Korea o After regular school program when kids work on their academic weaknesses Class #17  Self-Improvement Strategies o In general, identify & accepting negative information about the self  Self-Critical bias  Opposite of self-serving  Success due to external environment or group of people  Failure due to self  *mostly found in collective cultures, east Asia  Upward social comparison  Comparing self to someone “better off” than ourselves, someone we aspire to be  Opposite of downward social comparison o Social comparison across cultures (White & Lehman, 2005)  Euro-Canadians & Asian-Canadians  Completed a spatial reasoning task, all participants told they scored “about average”  Opportunity to see up to 7 rankings of other students (88 possible because there were 88 participants)  Dependent variable- the number of upward & downward comparisons  Prediction: Euro-Canadians will do more downward comparison; Asian-Canadian will do more upward comparison  Results:  Euro-Canadians & Asian-Canadians engaged in both upward and downward social comparison  Both did engage in upward comparison more than downward comparison  What exactly is being sought during social comparison?  Downward comparison could be serving a different purpose for Asian participants o See what they did wrong (upward) & what they should avoid doing (downward) o Tells us how we can improve ourselves by showing us what to not do  Implications of SE & SI o Motivations impact how we behave  Study:  Participants told if they succeeded or failed word association task  Success condition= easy questions  Failure condition= hard questions  When the researcher leaves the room, the participants are allowed to do whatever they want  Results: o Canadian participants in the success condition kept doing the word association task o Japanese participants in the failure condition kept doing the word association task o Example: You are playing a game & have just passed a level. Do you keep playing or do something else? Why?  Keep playing because we feel good about how well we’re doing; if we struggle with the game we could get frustrated and quit  Stop playing because it’s easy; keep playing while struggling to prove we can still persevere  Choice o A decision impacts you. Do you want to make the choice, or do you want someone else to make it?  Examples of when we allow to let someone else make the choice:  Minor choices that only impact us temporarily like where to go to eat dinner  Major choices having a baby or choices that involve a relationship with someone else Class #18  Social Class & Implications of Choice o Snibbe & Markus (2005) study  “Thanks for your help, here is a pen”  Free choice vs usurped choice of pen  Usurped choice told to choose but then the researcher chooses for them  Educational attainment- BA (college bachelor’s degree) or HS (high school diploma)  Q: How much do you like this pen?  HS- usually have not been given choices (told “you can’t always get what you want”) so they showed no difference in likeness of the pen whether it was chosen by them or it was chosen by the researcher  BA- have been told they can be whoever they want/make their own choices so they showed a decrease in likeness when the pen is chosen by the researcher  Social class & the reasons for our choices o Study 1: preferences for objects/images  Participants were college freshmen whose parents earned a BA (MD) or not (WK)  MD choose more unique object  WK choose an object that looked similar to others, to fit in o Study 4: how would you feel if your friend bought the same car as you?  Participants were business school students (MD) or firefighters (WK)  MD react negatively  WK weren’t threatened by it; more open to choices that make them seem similar  Video: TED Talk by Sheena Iyengar o What are the three assumptions about choice?  Make your own choices  More options better choices  Never say no to choice o Why should we doubt the veracity of these assumptions? What arguments/evidence does she provide to support her points?  Anagram study with kids: making your own choice only works best when the individual is separate from others (NOT a collective)  Eastern Europe former communist study: they felt overwhelmed with the number of choices  Baby situation study: American parents made the decision to take their baby off life support and they thought more negatively afterwards; French parents let the doctors make the decision and they did not think as negatively afterwards compared to Americans


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