Nathan Marie 6BPage of 13Discuss the contribution of research methods used in the socio-cultural approach to understand human behaviour: A wide range of research methods are used in psychology which are divided between qualitative research with is a focus on an in-depth study of a particular phenomenon, while quantitative research uses variables which is any characteristic that can be registered and quanti?ed. There are three main types of research which are Experimental studies, correlational studies, descriptive studies. Research methods are affected by sampling methods, credibility, generalisability and biases. Moreover, this essay will discuss the contribution of research methods in the socio-cultural approach to understand human behaviour, thus culture is a product of society according to a renown anthropologist, Clifford Geertz argued that “culture is socially and historically constructed, we assemble the selves we live in out of materials lying about in the moiety around us and develop a theory of mind” Geertz (p. 196, 1997/2000). Therefore, this essay will observe and analyse the various research methods that contribute to understand the human behaviour through the lens of socio-cultural. While studying the human behaviour one should keep in mind that individuals from up with different cultural norms setup by society, environment and beliefs. Cultural norms show that a particular culture have different norms, this was supported by a focused experiment by Dov Cohen who led a quasi experiment between southern white males and northern white males to assess their reaction to threats and insults. The confederate bumped into a participant and then proceeded to insult him. The outcome showed that northerners were mildly affected by the insult compared to the southerners who reacted prone to aggression or retaliate. The study showed that thirty-?ve percent of Northners were upset compared to eighty-?ve percent of Southerners reacting negatively to the experiment. (Cohen et al 1996) This experiments thus shows that research methods such as an experiment come with a history bias as all individuals are biased due to their culture. Additionally, research methods also prove that an individual is affected by acculturation which is a process by the change or contact between cultures, which can conclude that changes to cultures can be done by the dominant culture or to both cultures as they impact on each other, these research methods support the theory that a clash of cultures can affect an individual. A research done by Jean Phinney who was studying adaptation of adolescent immigrants showed that culture had a lot of effect on their adaptation as the ?ndings of the case study showed that the age, gender affected the immigrant. An example would be The United States, Mexicans adapted faster as a lot of their culture is present in parts of the United States. These ?ndings therefore show that culture helps individuals adaptation and culture clashes affect them socially which eventually affects their behaviour towards society. Thus, this experiment is an example of culture being a byproduct of society, but affecting the social interactions of an individual.
Nathan Marie 6BPage of 23Furthermore the study of the human behaviour researcher found out that factors such as cultural transmission which is an individual relying on attitudes, behaviours and beliefs which has been from generation to generation to survive, this sheds light on the fact that humans are brought up with a folded mindset and ways of understanding survival which is affected by society and environment. The Bobo doll experiment of 1961 & 1963 by Albert Bandura was carried out by using 4 adults and 3 groups of children, a controlled group, an aggressive group and a non-aggressive group. In the Aggressive group the adult would abuse the Bobo Doll and then leave the child in the room alone to see if they would react the same way as the actions of the adult. This experiment supported the belief that all young individuals are affected by the behaviour of others and their surroundings as the children who were in the room with the aggressive adult repeated the same actions to the Bobo doll when they were left alone, the same thing was shown with the children who were in the same room with the non-aggressive adults, they did not do anything to the bobo doll. Thus, this experiment support the theory that that aggression is a behaviour that is people learn through observation of other aggression behaviour being exhibited around them. This experiment can therefore be used as an exemple of culture being taught and learnt through observation, surroundings and exposure. Moreover, studies and experiments cannot be done on a social group assessing them culturally or socially as all individuals are biased and as one assumption regarding the human being concerning our socio-cultural needs is that we are all social animals that need a sense of belonging instantly create a bias as one is believes not to be able to live without social interactions, therefore culture can be changed and broken down to ?t, thus not creating an accurate and valid ?ndings, but another assumption which is that humans are resistant to change contradicts the previous claim, therefore can the effect of socio-cultural effect on the human behaviour be fairly assessed. A claim by Clifford Geertz says that from the moment we are born we are all, “Meaning makers” looking for credible ideas and stories, thus our “mind cannot in any sense be regarded as ‘natural’ or naked, with culture thought of as an add-on” which supports the fact that we are all part of a bias. Which results in experiments regarding the human behaviour through the lens of socio-cultural may not be credible or valid which is why sociologists dispute over the methodological ground of their research as of the validity and reliability of the measures used, the manipulations conducted, and the experimental control employed. To conclude, it can be argued that the human behaviour may not be assessed through the socio-cultural approach as the research methods support ideas and theories about individuals and societies, but that none of the ?ndings may veer ba fully accurate, unbiased, credible as all participants are affected and created by their culture as it shapes in the way they think and act. Nonetheless, culture and society does not de?ne an individual so research can be done to assess the reasons why a participant or individual might act the way they do and understand the way the human mind thinks.
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