Theories of Behavior
In Week 2, you were introduced to the bystander effect (Darley & Latané, 1968). The perceived diffusion of responsibility makes bystanders less likely to intervene in an emergency situation. It might be tempting to assume that aggressors and the bystanders who do nothing to intervene are just “bad” people; however, the reasons for how and why these behaviors occur are much more complex. In this assignment, you will consider how factors such as obedience to authority, perceived power, and diffused responsibility in the presence of others may explain varied responses to potential or actual harm to others.
Darley, J.M. & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander interview in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8(4), 377-383.
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- Review the Hock (2013) readings on social psychology theories and principles. Think about the influence of environmental and social context on behavior.
- Reflect on the following social media scenario:
You are reading posts in your favorite social media site, when you come across a post by a 19-year-old male. He writes that he was raped at a party last night and he’s afraid they will post pictures of it online. He is contemplating suicide. You notice three types of behaviors in the comments to him:
- A small group of individuals are using profanity and belittling him. They are encouraging him to commit suicide.
- A larger group of individuals are making supportive comments and providing the number for a crisis help line.
- Many of his online followers have not responded to his post.
- Think about how social psychology theories or principles could be applied to explain the types of comments made to the 19-year-old in the scenario.
By Day 7
Submit a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:
- Describe the impact of social context on conformity, obedience, and helping behaviors.
- Explain how social psychology theories or principles could be applied to account for each of the responses in the scenario (e.g., which principles/theories could explain response type A; which principles/theories could explain response type B, and so on). Be sure to support your assertions with scholarly content.
- Provide at least one recommendation to help reduce the derogatory comments or increase the number of supportive comments in the scenario, based on what you have learned about social psychology.
Note: Support your statements with specific references to the Learning Resources and any additional sources you identify using both in-text citations and references. It is strongly recommended that you include proper APA format and citations.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
- Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
- Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
- One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
- I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
- Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
- In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
- Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
- Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
- Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
- Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
- I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
- I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
- As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
- It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
- For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
- Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
- Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
- Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
- The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
- Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
- If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
- I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
- As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
- Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
- Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
- Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.