Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lecture 2: Social Thinking (Brief overview)

In Lecture 2 we focused on: a) Culture and Nature (Ch2); and b) The Self (Ch3).

The key purpose in discussing Culture and Nature was to appreciate and explore Baumeister and Bushman's (2008) argument, based on socio-biology, that the human being has evolved a brain which is particularly receptive to learning culture. Becoming a member of a culture and groups within a culture brings many survival advantages. This culture consists of all the abstract ideas and knowledge created historically and kept alive in a culture. If a new born child is to be allowed to access the resources of this culture, then it must undergo considerable mentoring and training in order to be accepted as a member and given access to rewards.

The key purpose in discussing The Self was to examine and explore the major ways psychologists operationalise feelings, attitudes, and thoughts which people have about themselves. Some of the most commmonly discussed self-constructs are self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy. The lecture also considered Baumeister's criticism that Western cultures have become overly obsessed with enhancement of the self, as oppposed to focusing on learning skills which arguably then leads to increased self-esteem. The "cult of the self" also appears to have had detrimental effects of our social systems, a theme we pick up on in the final tutorial on Social Disengagement.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lecture 1: Evolution, change & challenge (Reflections)

In the first lecture I tried to paint something of the picture ("Zoom") of where we've come from as a species from a cosmological perspective, and highlighted some of the social change trends which are impacting and likely to impact on humanity and social systems into the future.

There is of course much more about this story which could be discussed...

e.g., I heard about an interactive drama/play recently (Of All The People of the World) which is based around 6.6 billion grains of rice - each grain representing a person. The actors move the rice around from table to table , sometimes in wheelbarrows, and the audience can mingle and go from table to table. The piles of rice on each table represent people in a certain category (e.g., a pile of rice on one table might represent all the people living with HIV+). This was a dramatic technique to try to communicate and explore the volume and distribution of people into different groups.

I also came across and enjoyed this slick presentation "Shift Happens" which picks up on and extends similar themes related to social evolution and change.

The presentation lacks referencing, so perhaps some of the claims should be taken with a grain of salt?

(BTW: This is an example of embedded multimedia - in this case, a slide presentation. slideshare has many shared presentations. You can also embed video sharing sites such as youtube)

What are your favourite "World Facts/Trends" and how do they bear on the topic and nature of social psychology?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Purpose of this blog

The purpose of this blog is to share:
  • Info
  • Ideas
  • Issues
  • Lecture reflections
  • Tips & Training
(and to show large font size)

Friday, July 6, 2007

UCSpace as a LMS?

I thought I'd have a go at using UCSpace (which uses Confluence, a corporate wiki) in semester 2 as the unit homepage, linking out to various Web2.0 tools.

Basically, I'm going to use three Google tools:
WebCT is only used for the gradebook.

Proof of concept for the 7125/6666 Social Psychology wikispace.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Blogger: Configuration & Settings

I went through all the Blogger configuration options and made a few changes to the 'look and feel':
  1. Added a page element for the social psychology image
  2. Added a page element for Links, with a link to the Unit Materials
  3. Added some details to About Me and uploaded an image
  4. Added email settings, so that I receive email notifications of postings and comments, and so that I can send emails as blog posts
  5. Chose the Minima template and edited the html to change the layout of Blog Title (colour, font, size, removed border)

Such customisations are not necessary. But they can help to give your blog a unique identity.

Changes 1 to 4 are reasonably straightforward; 5 requires knowledge of html.

Test Blogger Post sent via Email

This is a test blog post sent and published via email.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Test Blog

This is simply a test blog posting.

Edited and republished 2007-09-06