Social Psychology Questions

Section A – Short Answer Questions
Briefly outline the key features of the Theory of Planned Behavior.
The theory of planned behavior stresses on the social pressures that influence human behavior. It states that not only do personal attitudes shape the human behavior but the social influence from the external environment possesses a strong control over the behavior. ‘Rational considerations’ are given importance in the formation of personal choices and behaviors (Baron et al., 2008).
What is social learning theory and what is its contribution to our understanding of gender?
According to the social learning theory, people learn about behavior, attitude and norms based on observations taken from the social environment. They observe, learn and model the observed behaviors in relation to different social situations and transform them into action when they face similar situations in future. Social-learning theory contributes to the understanding of gender. It treats gender as a role that comprises of a set of behaviors that is learned and captured from observation of the social environment (Baron et al., 2008).
Outline the contribution that liberal humanist psychologists have made to our understanding of sexuality.
Alfred, Kinsey, Erik Erikson, Harry Harlow and Karen Horney were among famous liberal humanist psychologists who have contributed towards our understanding of sexuality. Alfred Kinsey researched on the connection between social and cultural values and human sexuality taking into account the sample units of the US. On the other hand, Erik Erikson focused on the social development and social identity that affect sexuality. Harry Harlow explored and tested affection and social development. Karen Horney countered Freud’s ‘penis envy’ theory by coining ‘womb envy’ theory (Baron et al., 2008).
Why are discursive psychologists interested in the ‘purpose’ or ‘function’ of expressing an attitude?
Discursive psychologists are interested in the ‘purpose’ or ‘function’ of expressing an attitude so as to link human language with human behavior and action. The psychologists study beliefs, values and memories as real entities that transform purpose and function of expressing attitude. These are believed to be real entities and not necessarily expressed that are easily observable but can be tested and explored (Baron et al., 2008).
Explain the difference between ‘theory-driven’ and ‘data-driven’ approaches to schema.
There are two approaches to schema: theory-driven and data-driven. Under the theory-driven approach, schemas are fitted by distorting of information collected. This is different from the data-driven approach whereby schemas are formed in response to learning and modification of existing learning (Baron et al., 2008).
Section B – Essay Questions
‘Men are fundamentally different from women.’ Discuss with reference to psychological theory and research.
According to Steven Goldberg, males and females are different in their genetic make-up as well as in their hormone-driven behavior. However, this does not translate into superiority or inferiority of any gender. Each gender has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. But males resume dominance owing to their high level of testosterone. Females, owing to their lack of testosterone, form a more emotional and natural role in the society. The fundamental difference between the genders lies in the biological make up that directly impacts their physical realities. The differentiation takes place before people are born (Baron et al., 2008).
‘Sexuality is biologically based.’ Discuss with reference to psychological theory and research.
It has been stressed in the psychology literature far and wide that sexuality is dominantly innate and biologically based. According to the early fixation hypothesis, the brain’s masculinization is controlled in the womb during prenatal development that is affected with the environmental factors. Sexual orientation is also influenced by the hormone exposure during the pre-natal phase of development (Baron et al., 2008).

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