Considering Context


One of the central premises of social psychology is the power of the situation. The very definition of social psychology reflects this, pointing out the influence of others on thoughts, feelings, and actions.  In this discussion, we will consider contextualization by evaluating the fundamental and far-reaching role of culture.

To inform your thinking on this topic, begin by reading “Toward a Psychological Science for a Cultural Species” (Heine & Norenzayan, 2006), “Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Applied Social Psychological Research” (Ross, 2004), and “Reflections on the Stanford Prison Experiment: Genesis, Rransformations, Consequences” (Zimbardo, Maslach, & Haney, 2000).

Then, locate a peer-reviewed empirical article (see Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)) describing a research study that examines a psychological phenomenon from a cultural perspective.  Discuss the research, considering the various elements of a critical review (see Using a Scientific Journal Article to Write a Critical Review (Links to an external site.)) with reference to/explanation of the more broad social-pychological domain (social thinking, social relations, social influence).  Appraise the role of culture in our psychological understanding of this phenomenon.  Assess the relevance of one “lesson” of applied psychology (Ross, 2004) to your selected study.

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