Premium Essay

Comparing and Contrasting Essentialist Approaches to Social Psychology with Social Constructionist Approaches to Social Psychology.

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Bogsterduck
Words 3936
Pages 16
Comparing and Contrasting Essentialist Approaches to Social Psychology with Social Constructionist Approaches to Social Psychology.

A widely recognised definition of social psychology is “an effort to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others” (Allport, 1985). However, how to measure this, the research methods to be used and what constitutes useful evidence has caused much debate in the history of social psychology. This essay will compare and contrast the two epistemologies of essentialist and social constructionist approaches to social psychology and the research methods of quantitative and qualitative used in each approach.
Essentialists’ view of the world is that the properties possessed by a group are universal in that group and do not depend on context. However, a member of a group may possess other characteristics that are not required to include it as a group member but, it must not have characteristics that preclude it from being a member of the group (Burr, 1995). For example, essentialists believe that personality consists of a number of traits and personality of an individual is established by the level of each of these traits. Essentialists also believe that these traits remain more or less stable over time and it is our personality that influences behaviour (Maltby, 2010). As essentialists are able to classify groups as such, they use quantitative research methods of controlling one or more variables to measure the effects or resulting behaviour of another variable and they posit this can be applied to the whole group. However, some psychologists have posited that this natural and individual approach to psychology is not sufficient and a more moral collective approach is required in the form of social constructionism (Hosking & Morley,...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Jjjjjj

...Volume 10 Number 6 June 4, 2007 Black Intellectual Genocide: An Essay Review of IQ and the Wealth of Nations Girma Berhanu Göteborg University Sweden Lynn, Richard & Vanhanen, Tatu. (2002). IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Westport, CT: Praeger. Citation: Berhanu, Girma. (2007). Black intellectual genocide: An essay review of IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Education Review, 10(6). Retrieved [date] from http://edrev.asu.edu/essays/v10n6index.html. Abstract I review the book IQ and the Wealth of Nations, written by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. I critique the authors’ major assertion that a significant part of the gap between rich and poor countries is due to differences in national intelligence. The authors claim that they have evidence that differences in national IQ account for substantial variation in per capita income and growth of a nation. This essay review debunks their assumptions that intellectual and income differences between nations stem from genetic differences. This critique provides an extended review of the research literature that argues against these assumptions and presents a different picture from that presented by Lynn and Vanhanen about the concept of intelligence, what IQ measures and does not measure. The essay exposes the racist, sexist, and antihuman nature of the research tradition in which the authors anchored their studies and the deep methodological flaws and theoretical assumptions that appear in their book. The low standards of......

Words: 13913 - Pages: 56

Premium Essay

Ethical Decision Making

...transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording, or otherwise, without permission in writing from the publisher. Edita Espoo 2010 ii ABSTRACT OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION AALTO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY P.O. BOX 11000, FI-00076 AALTO http://www.aalto.fi Author Helena Palmgren Name of the dissertation Leadership in a Small Enterprise Manuscript submitted Date of the defence 31.8.2009 Manuscript revised 7.3.2010 7.5.2010 Monograph Article dissertation (summary + original articles) Faculty Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences Department Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Field of research Work Psychology...

Words: 100514 - Pages: 403

Premium Essay

Will Do Next Time

...Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank to accompany A First Look at Communication Theory Sixth Edition Em Griffin Wheaton College prepared by Glen McClish San Diego State University and Emily J. Langan Wheaton College Published by McGraw­Hill, an imprint of The McGraw­Hill Companies, Inc., 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Copyright Ó 2006,  2003, 2000, 1997, 1994, 1991 by The McGraw­Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. The contents, or parts thereof, may be reproduced in print form  solely for classroom use with A First Look At Communication Theory provided such reproductions bear copyright notice, but may not be reproduced in  any other form or for any other purpose without the prior written consent of The McGraw­Hill Companies, Inc., including, but not limited to, in any  network or other electronic storage or transmission, or broadcast for distance learning. PREFACE Rationale We agreed to produce the instructor’s manual for the sixth edition of A First Look at Communication Theory because it’s a first-rate book and because we enjoy talking and writing about pedagogy. Yet when we recall the discussions we’ve had with colleagues about instructor’s manuals over the years, two unnerving comments stick with us: “I don’t find them much help”; and (even worse) “I never look at them.” And, if the truth be told, we were often the people making such points! With these statements in mind, we have done some serious soul-searching about the texts that so many......

Words: 159106 - Pages: 637

Premium Essay

Cyrus the Great

...critical theory today critical theory today A Us e r - F r i e n d l y G u i d e S E C O N D E D I T I O N L O I S T Y S O N New York London Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 270 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 2 Park Square Milton Park, Abingdon Oxon OX14 4RN © 2006 by Lois Tyson Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business Printed in the United States of America on acid‑free paper 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 International Standard Book Number‑10: 0‑415‑97410‑0 (Softcover) 0‑415‑97409‑7 (Hardcover) International Standard Book Number‑13: 978‑0‑415‑97410‑3 (Softcover) 978‑0‑415‑97409‑7 (Hardcover) No part of this book may be reprinted, reproduced, transmitted, or utilized in any form by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying, microfilming, and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publishers. Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging‑in‑Publication Data Tyson, Lois, 1950‑ Critical theory today : a user‑friendly guide / Lois Tyson.‑‑ 2nd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0‑415‑97409‑7 (hb) ‑‑ ISBN 0‑415‑97410‑0 (pb) 1.......

Words: 221284 - Pages: 886

Free Essay

Globalisation

...Critical Theories of Globalization Chamsy el-Ojeili and Patrick Hayden Critical Theories of Globalization Also by Chamsy el-Ojeili CONFRONTING GLOBALIZATION: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics FROM LEFT COMMUNISM TO POSTMODERNISM: Reconsidering Emancipatory Discourse Also by Patrick Hayden AMERICA’S WAR ON TERROR CONFRONTING GLOBALIZATION: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics COSMOPOLITAN GLOBAL POLITICS JOHN RAWLS: Towards a Just World Order THE PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS Critical Theories of Globalization Chamsy el-Ojeili Department of Sociology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Patrick Hayden School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, UK © Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili 2006 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents...

Words: 100030 - Pages: 401