Ib Psychology Sociocultural Notes

3856 words 16 pages
SAQ OUTLINE: Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behavior.

• Definition: Stereotypes assign similar characteristics to all members of a group, despite the fact that the group members may vary widely from one another.
• Characteristics:
• social-cognitive theories:
• our social world is very complex and presents us with too much information
• since our capacity to process information is limited, there is a need to simplify our social way
• one of the way to avoid information overload is social categorization
• these are stereotypes
• Stereotypes simplify information processing in social perception
• stereotypes are schemas as they: are energy-saving devices, automatically activated, stable and resistant to change,
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Controlled 24 in a group
The findings support Bandura's Social Learning Theory. That is, children learn social behaviour such as aggression through the process of observation learning - through watching the behaviour of another person.
The findings from this and similar studies have been used in the argument that media violence might be contributing in some degree to violence in society. The obvious criticism of this argument is that there are many other factors influencing whether or not we are likely to imitate screen violence. One of the major factors is perhaps the level of aggression we already have, which might have been learned, in our family relationships or elsewhere.
The major criticism of the Social Learning Approach to child development is its oversimplified description of human behaviour. Although it can explain some quite complex behaviour it cannot adequately account for how we develop a whole range of behaviour including thoughts and feelings. We have a lot of cognitive control over our behaviour and simply because we have had experiences of violence does not mean we have to reproduce such behaviour.
It is also worth noting that the Social Learning Approach has little room for the role of inherited factors or for the role of maturation in development.
This theory assumes that humans learn behavior through observational learning - in other words, people can learn by watching models