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Learning Journal in the Social Psychology Study Report (Assessment)

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Introduction

What is a Learning Journal?

A learning journal shows a set of collected works, thoughts, notes, and other relevant course materials gathered after a period of learning course contents. One may intend to use the journal to improve his or her learning activities through writing and developing critical thinking about learning experiences. The learning journal might show elements of personal experiences, personality, and unique preferences.

Why am I completing a Learning Journal as part of my study of social psychology?

The learning journal shall help me to collect and master knowledge about my growing comprehension of social psychology experiences. It would show me how I have developed personally through learning processes. The journal shall help me to capture my thoughts in writing throughout the entire learning process of social psychology. Besides, I believe that the journal would also help me to identify my areas of strengths, preferences, and weaknesses in the social psychology course. This will allow me to formulate effective strategies for improvement.

Overall, the learning journal would help me to be critical and reflective about the course. It shall allow me to communicate my thoughts about the course and reflect on my actions and their importance.

What do I hope to learn from this assignment?

This assignment provides an opportunity for me to engage in activities that would allow me to understand the concepts of social psychology. Such activities will allow me to relate positively with myself and with groups in society. It allows me to explore several areas of social psychology, which range from basic concepts to complex applications of theoretical concepts in real-life situations. Moreover, I believe that I will grow personally through critical thinking and writing.

Reflective Learning Journal

Which aspect of the topic has interested me most? Why?

The self-esteem aspect of the topic recognizes the importance of understanding ourselves first before exploring relations with groups. I realized that one can only develop self-esteem and self-image if he or she can positively relate with others and self. The aspect of self-esteem provided people with opportunities to reflect on their lives, achievements, and failures. These are parts of individuals’ experiences, which they have to embrace positively. Self-esteem provided an opportunity for us to engage our inner selves and voices for positive reflections and growth.

One can argue that self-esteem is an important concept in social psychology because it helps one to develop self-confidence, solve issues, confront fears, and engage in reasonable activities.

What are the main ideas, concepts related to this aspect?

The two major ideas related to self-esteem are personal worth and self-efficacy. These two concepts reflect one’s self-confidence and self-respect because they show an individual’s worth and competence.

What short quote from the text or reading illustrates an important point related to this aspect?

“It is in this light that one can argue that our modern science of relationships, as rich as it is, does us a disservice” (Miller, 1997, p. 12).

“Communication is social in several ways:

  • It involves our relationships with others.
  • It is built upon a shared understanding of meaning.
  • It is how people influence each other” (Vaughan and Hogg, 2007, p. 602).

“There is some evidence that women can adopt a ‘powerless’ form of speech when addressing men or in the company of men… Women tend to adopt a more masculine (more powerful) speech style when speaking to male strangers or acquaintances … but a more feminine (less powerful) style when speaking to intimate male friends” (Vaughan and Hogg, 2007, p. 616).

How is this aspect relevant to my social world?

Self-esteem influences almost all aspects of one’s personal life. It affects an individual’s happiness, achievements, communication, success, or even relationships with others. High levels of self-esteem allow a person to relate and conduct activities effectively. Besides, individuals who express positive self-esteem also display signs of high levels of productivity, effectiveness, and goodness. Moreover, they also healthily relate to others and grow positively. Self-esteem helps people to discover that they are loveable and can achieve their dreams. It shows that people care about others and themselves. Self-esteem does not allow an individual to demean others.

In most circumstances, an individual’s background has significant influences on his or her self-esteem and personality. The concept of self-esteem triggers people to wonder about factors that contribute to feelings of worthlessness. Such feelings of worthlessness could originate from those with whom people interact frequently. These interactions would affect how a person relates to others and expresses himself or herself later in relationships. People tend to make such experiences part of their self-esteem. Overall, people can always enhance their self-esteem by living positively and positively interacting with others because individuals can control their thoughts and embrace positive decisions.

Prejudice and Discrimination

Which aspect of the topic has interested me most? Why?

Social Identity: In-groups and Out-groups

I have noted that social identity shows who we are about our group membership. These groups could be football clubs, families, race, or even social classes. They give us pride and self-esteem. We get a sense of social identities and belonging from our groups in a social world.

What are the main ideas, concepts related to this aspect?

The concepts of in-group and out-group are interesting to understand in a social world. They reflect a person’s beliefs in ‘them’ and us’. ‘Us’ and ‘them’ are social groupings people have used to identify others and themselves. These concepts have helped people to understand that in-groups may condemn or discriminate against the out-group just to raise their self-image.

A short quote from the text or reading illustrates an important point related to this aspect

Pedersena, Clarkea, Dudgeonb, and Griffiths (2005) noted that “On the surface, Australia may appear a tolerant and successful multi-cultural society. However, upon closer examination, it is evident that many inequities exist, and that certain cultural groups fare worse than others” (p. 171).

“However, groups can also vary in their orientation towards defining themselves through comparisons or not-they can vary from a comparative ideology to a non-comparative ideology (Vaughan and Hogg, 2007, p. 660).

“In a violent video game the player has to identify with the aggressor – you become the aggressor, the character whose actions you control. It is known that identification with an aggressive character increases the impact of that character’s behavior on the viewer or the consumer” (Anderson, 2004, p. 2).

How is this aspect relevant to my social world?

Social identity groups have affected people directly in a social world because people belong to a given group or groups. A person can observe that principles of social psychology have demonstrated that people tend to define and identify themselves alongside their social groupings. Moreover, they may be quick to dismiss other groups who do not fit in their groups. In some instances, such cases may lead to group violence and aggressive behaviors.

Experiences have shown that social identity issues have contributed to struggles among groups. Hence, an individual must understand the dangers associated with the in-group and out-group struggles. As a result, people should learn to reduce these gaps and improve their social relations with others.

People should recognize the random features of in-groups and out-group differences. This can help them to understand that in-groups may change within a short time. For instance, a person may be a pedestrian now, but become a motorist in the next minute. In this case, the change of role should provide insights into differences between groups.

People should recognize the situations of other groups. An individual should strive to understand how the other groups feel or react to different situations. When a person thrusts herself or himself into other groups, then he or she can understand others’ experiences and learn from them.

Commonalities in groups may reduce tensions in different groups because individuals have basic needs, which transcend beyond group differences. For instance, the desire for football can eliminate barriers between groups. There are always areas of commonalities in diverse groupings.

In some instances, a person may feel insecure and stereotype others. This happens whenever one feels that he or she can lose his or her position to the other group. On this note, people should work on their sense of security and improve self-confidence. This helps individuals to recognize their self-worth and avoid criticism.

Finally, people should strive to teach others the importance of overcoming group stereotyping and encouraging positive social relations. Individuals must overcome group bias to improve their fulfillment and continued relations.

Attraction and Close Relationships

Which aspect of the topic has interested me most? Why?

Does the Internet create intimacy or isolation?

Today, majorities use the Internet for communication and the growth has been rapid in less than a decade. As a result, the Internet has affected how people relate and maintain their intimate relationships.

What are the main ideas, concepts related to this aspect?

The major idea is how the Internet has affected individuals’ intimacy and communication. The focus on online relationships has evoked interesting debates on whether the Internet has improved people’s intimacy or enhanced their isolation. This paper shows that the Internet has led to great isolation among friends and lovers.

A short quote from the text or reading illustrates an important point related to this aspect

“Limiting sexually explicit material from being shown at times when children might be watching reflects the belief that such media contents adversely affect young people’s development” (Media Violence Commission, 2012, p. 335).

“After playing a violent video game, we found that people expect others to behave aggressively. That expectation may make them more defensive and more likely to respond with aggression themselves, as we saw in this study and in other studies we have conducted” (Nauert, 2012, p. 1).

How is this aspect relevant to my social world?

The Internet has led to impoverished communication. For instance, people who engage in online communications do not convey the nuances that come with face-to-face communication and other nonverbal cues of communication. It would be difficult to know what kind of emotions people express through online communications. Online communications eliminate the tone of voice, gestures, and other forms of expression between parties. This could lead to ambiguity when interpreting the message.

People may find it simple to express themselves or feign over the Internet for various reasons, including sexual exploitation, cybersex, and aggressive behaviors among others. These are notions, which only distort individuals’ views about intimate relationships, affect their perceptions of sex, physical attractiveness, and enhance sexual harassment. Moreover, people who engage in such activities may also consider other parties as objects of sexual gratification through the Internet. This situation eliminates real intimacy between partners. Moreover, it may have negative impacts among young adults, who spend time on the Internet in search of partners.

The Internet may divert a person’s attention from physical, real intimacy and relationships. Some individuals have resorted to Internet romance where they engage in cybersex. This is not real intimacy, but rather a fantasy and an artificial way of getting personal fulfillment. This is a regrettable situation because it is not tantamount to real-time relationships and contact between individuals. In reality, people tend to spend more time on the Internet than with families, friends, colleagues, and others. This leads to isolation.

Although there are social benefits of Internet relationships, one cannot ignore the digital divide that contributes to isolation among generations. Moreover, there are educational inequalities, which imply that not everyone can use the Internet to enhance his or her relationships. The tool only empowers specific groups.

Conclusion

What value has this journal been for my learning of social psychology?

The major value of the journal is that it has improved my personal development and learning. It has evoked and strengthened my capacity to capture my critical thoughts in writing about social psychology.

The journal has introduced me to the concept of personal reflection by engaging in personal assessment and reviewing course materials for important details. It has been my learning tool in social psychology due to its critical and reflective nature on issues of personal and group development in the social world.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of my Journal?

My journal reflects my strong opinions about the course, personal thoughts, experiences, and insights in different areas. I engaged in a personal conversation to write the journal. As a result, it provides clear reflections and advanced insights, and clarification on social issues.

On the other hand, the journal may be subjective because of personal opinions, which may reflect some aspects of bias to other readers. Nevertheless, I tried to remain objective throughout the process.

Did I get out of this assignment what I hoped (tie to introduction)?

I got what I had expected from this task. I have been able to develop journaling techniques for critical reflection on social psychology in which I have reviewed and questioned some worldviews like the Internet and intimacy, social identity, and self-esteem. Above all, I have developed reflective and critical thinking strategies and problem-solving approaches. I can express myself because I have discovered my inner thoughts about critical issues in the social world. This has led to my personal growth and development.

References

Anderson, C. (2004). Violence in the Media: its effects on children. Web.

Media Violence Commission. (2012). Report of the Media Violence Commission. Aggressive Behavior, 38, 335–341. Web.

Miller, R. S. (1997). We always hurt the ones we love: Aversive interactions in Close Relationships. In R. M. Kowalski (Ed), Aversive Interpersonal Behaviors (pp. 11- 25). New York: Plenum Press.

Nauert, R. (2012). Negative Effects of Violent Video Games May Build Over Time. Web.

Pedersena, A., Clarkea, S., Dudgeonb, P., & Griffiths, B. (2005). Attitudes toward Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers: The role of false beliefs and other social-psychological variables. Australian Psychologist, 40(3), 170-178. Web.

Vaughan, G. M., and Hogg, M. A. (2007). Introduction to Social Psychology. Australia: Pearson Education.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Learning Journal in the Social Psychology Study." January 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-journal-in-the-social-psychology-study/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Learning Journal in the Social Psychology Study'. 10 January.

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