Socio-psychology is a discipline that utilizes scientific models to comprehend and expound on how the real, perceived or involved company of others affects the ideas, emotions and conduct. In fact, the discipline highlights the impacts of group and individual actions and beliefs on the self as well as customs and behaviors of other people. Often, concepts such as individualism and collectivism are used to explain various aspects of socio-cultural psychology.
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Conformity, majority influence, and minority influence
The change in conduct as an outcome of grouping pressure though devoid of direct demand to abide by the activities of the group is termed as conformity. Coworkers influence individuals regardless of the position they hold in the society. In workplace, several factors come into play regarding how individuals perform in the face of increasing demands.
At the core of these requisites is the perception by self as well as how coworkers influence the individual. Inherently, differences are bound to arise due to social factors such as the urge to be identified with a specific grouping. For instance, the working class spends more time with colleagues.
Consequently, the colleagues influence the behavior of the individual. Irrespective of the career, coworkers tend to influence an entity and an urge develops within the person ‘to belong’ to such a group. Accordingly, the individual experiences pressure from colleagues to conform to the established custom of the majority. This could possibly influence an individual when expressing personal opinion.
The majority influence occurs when individuals adopt the manners, approach, values and stance of the majority upon exposure to their aforementioned aspects. In developing a new product for a company, the individuals are given the same opportunity.
Thus, one is likely to agree with a product that the majority of the colleagues view as better. This may be irrespective of the view of an individual as having the best idea of a new product. The normative aspect of the majority influence happens when a worker conforms to the expectation that they will gain respect or be impressive to the colleagues.
Apparently, lack of self-perception on worthiness may result into an individual being influenced by the information they receive from colleagues. It is imperative for an individual in the workplace to have high self-esteem regarding their profession.
However, in developing a new product for a company, many aspects must be put into consideration. Although one may have high self-esteem and judgment, the perception of the self should not prevent one from making the right decisions regarding the welfare of the workplace in general. Personal opinion though good should not stand in the way when others make constructive contribution.
With respect to conformity and influence, an individual is likely to be aligned with what is best for the company as opposed to self-perception of what is best. This may be in respect to the view of the majority with regard to how one is to express the self. When the majority is opposed to the product that one develops, one is likely to use charismatic language in an attempt to win them in accepting the new product one suggests.
The workplace setup often requires individuals to work in harmony with others. Therefore, individualism is not always welcomed in any successful corporation. In this view, it is tasking for an individual to influence the views of the majority into accepting the view of the minority. This is inherent unless one holds an influential position.
Alternatively, one may have a better idea regarding the development of a new product in order to influence the opinions offered by the majority. Thus, the minority influence in developing a new product is closely linked to the superiority of the product to be introduced in the market. As a worker, one has to convince the decision-makers that the product they suggest for development will present the organization with value.
Liberal, northeastern values and customs
The pattern of covariation regarding the principal personality traits is a common feature of the human species. Studies reveal that a universal five-factor structure of traits is found in all ethnic and cultural backgrounds (McCrae and Costa 512). Despite this eminent fact, other values are universal to personality.
In fact, a research study found that in all cultures, women perceive themselves as possessing high level of sociability, neuroticism, honesty and warmth. In view of men, males in all cultures are assertive and open to ideas (Voracek and Allik, 1718). These gender differences increase with high levels of human development. Such developments include longer and healthier life, equivalent access to knowledge and education as well as economic prosperity (Allik, Realo, and Mottus 878).
Cross-cultural correlation between sex differences in personality is inherent and more replicable than the correlation between the average levels of traits. In the mid-eastern communities, gender roles are not evident as the society regards the contribution of individuals at workplace irrespective of gender. In essence, the society expects both males and females to contribute to the daily routines in their homes.
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In the mid-western communities, the society is restrictive regarding what an individual should or should not do. This is irrespective of their statuses in the society. Apparently, the individuals in these societies are expected to be observing the unwritten societal laws. These laws include the view of men regarding women. Women in these societies are expected to be submissive to their husbands irrespective of their education, wealth or family backgrounds.
However, the culture in the northeast is rather flexible. Women are treated in a more or less the same way as men. The gender of individuals is not a significant factor in aspects such as employment, exposure to education and career. The culture recognizes the efforts, contribution and competence of individuals as opposed to viewing the individuals from a gender perspective. Besides, women are expected to handle the domestic roles while men are expected to be largely the breadwinners.
Similar to the northeastern culture, age plays a central role in every culture. People become less assertive and open to new initiatives with age. They also become more pleasant and reliable with age. This is irrespective of gender. The common difference between the older and younger people is even and highly replicable across cultures.
Younger people in both the east and west are expected to have respect for the older people. However, in the western communities, the raising of children influences self-perception as well as how individuals view others. In these communities, the way people view others and self-perception emanates from the unavoidable imbalance between the internal and external perspectives (Mottus and Allik 153).
Hence, the migration from Massachusetts to the more conservative mid-western societies means that the cultural environment changes. In this context, the liberal views will be restricted by the conservative approach of issues and daily lives.
Social influences that may alter perceptions of the self
Self-concept regards the way individuals view themselves. It is about how individuals consider and evaluate themselves. The awareness about oneself is possessing self-concept. The development of the self takes two views as discussed below.
The Existential Self
According to Voracek and Allik 174), this self is the principal part of the self-concept. Primarily, it is the logic of being detached and being unique from others. That is, it is being aware of the constancy of the self. At early stages of growth and development, the individuals recognize that they survive as detached bodies from others.
The individual realizes that he/she continues to survive over space and time. Existential self starts as early as two months. It arises to some extent due to the link a newborn has with the world. In order to illustrate this, when infant smiles, it is apparent that those around will smile back.
After the realization that one exists as a detached individual, the infant gains awareness that it is an ‘object’ in existence. Thus, similar to other ‘objects’ such as people and buildings, the infants realize that they also have the characteristics that can be experienced such as tall, black, and other features. The infants gradually gain awareness of themselves that they are also objects that can be experienced as they have characteristics. Moreover, kids realize that they can be put in categories including age, sex, skills, and size.
Despite the fact that individuals can develop self-concepts of themselves, social interactions influence self-perception. However, self-perception is impacted by experiences as an individual develops from childhood to adulthood. Many social factors contribute towards the alteration of self-perception.
For instance, parental influences, association, the media and experiences shape the way individuals view themselves. The reaction of those with whom one interacts with plays a role in shaping self-perception. When others respect, compliment, pay attention to what we say, want to be in our companionship and concur with us, it helps one to develop a positive perception. When people around keep away from us, ignore, state things that we would rather not listen to, one develops negative own-perception.
A female engineer comparing herself with others is a social factor that contributes to self-perception. When one compares herself with others and feels as though one is superior to others, such a belief develops into a positive self-perception. When the group for comparison seems to be doing well, more contented and wealthier compared to ourselves, we build up a downbeat own-perception.
Social roles also play a significant part in influencing self-perception. Inherently, the role of boys is typically different from the roles performed by girls in the society. Often, males seem to have a perception that they are superior to girls.
That aside, when different boys are given different roles, those who are assigned to do what appears to be masculine roles develop positive self-perception. Those who are assigned feminine roles tend to have negative self-perception. In an engineering company, this aspect comes up founded on the fact that the roles are part of our personality.
Conversely, people identify themselves with the positions they occupy. There are social roles that are identified to possess prestige such as being a pilot. Thus, holding a prestigious role such as of an engineer builds positive self-perception. However, there are social roles that carry stigma.
For example, playing the role of a garbage collector is typically degrading. When one plays the role of an inmate or a mental patient, it becomes stigmatizing leading to negative self-perception. Thus, as a female engineer working in an ultra-masculine environment, having a positive self-perception is fundamental in ensuring that one interacts well with co-workers.
Allik, Juri, Anu Realo, and Rene Mottus (2010). “How People see others is Different from How People See Themselves: A Replica Pattern across Cultures.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99.5(2010): 870-882. Print.
McCrae, Robert and Paul Costa. “Personality Trait Structures as a Human Universal.” American Psychologist, 52.4(2005): 509-516. Print.
Mottus, Rene and Juri Allik. “Toward More Readable Big Five Personality Inventories.” European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 22.2 (2006): 149-157. Print.
Voracek, Martin and Juri Allik. “Why Can’t a Man be more like a Woman? Sex Differences in Big Five Personality Traits across 55 Cultures.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94.2(2008): 168-182. Print.