Web Exercises

  1. Social Psychology in the News; Social Psychology, Social Media, and Technology. October has been designated the awareness month for intimate partner violence. Go to the American Psychological Association’s page on intimate partner violence at http://www.apa.org/topics/violence/partner.aspx. Read the introduction and explore the links. Describe the prevalence of intimate partner violence. In one of the most widely-publicized recent cases of intimate partner violence, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was seen striking his fiancée, Janay Palmer, in a leaked surveillance video. Visit the HuffPost  page at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ray-rice-janay-video-domestic-violence_55ec7228e4b002d5c07646cb for a brief description of the incident and a discussion of the ensuing response on social media. In light of the risk factors listed on the APA site, identify at least one way that Rice may be an atypical perpetrator and Palmer an atypical victim of intimate partner violence. Briefly distinguish between expressive aggression and coercive control. Think back to Chapter 9 in your text. Which types of aggression do these types of intimate partner violence represent? With which type of intimate partner violence was Ray Rice accused? Based on the APA site, list some of the consequences for victims of intimate partner violence. Based on the HuffPost  article, identify three reasons that victims leave the perpetrators of intimate partner violence; identify three reasons that partners stay with the perpetrators. Note that fear for one’s safety or that of one’s children is both a benefit and a cost of leaving. How might social exchange theory explain why fear is sometimes a benefit and sometimes a cost of leaving an abusive partner? Finally, in your own words, explain how social media has changed our understanding of intimate partner violence. This exercise provides a general introduction to the topic of intimate partner violence. It also affords an opportunity to apply social exchange theory and to revisit the types of aggression described in Chapter 9.
  2. Social Psychology Applied to Health: The Importance of Being Social. Read your textbook’s feature on social psychology applied to health. Identify four negative outcomes associated with loneliness. (Visit http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/scientists-reveal-being-lonely-increases-6887390 for a breaking-news, hot-off-the-presses report on the cellular mechanisms underlying the negative health impacts of loneliness.) Although relationships with companion animals do not substitute for connections with other people, the bonds we share with our pets offer benefits similar to those described in your text. Read the article at http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/11/21/4-ways-your-pet-makes-your-life-better.html. Among the results reported in the article are: 1) “researchers have found reduced stress in owners interacting with their dogs after stressful tasks, compared with interacting with friends and spouses”; 2) “[researchers] have seen reduced loneliness in nursing home residents after animal-assisted activities”; and 3) “looking at an aquarium improved people's moods—and that the more fish [that researchers] added, the more those folks' heart rates fell.” Suppose you wish to replicate these results. For each result, identify the independent and dependent variables and the control and experimental groups in your experiment. Finally, explain why relationships with companion animals cannot replace human friendships. Make explicit reference to the functions of affiliation, I-sharing, and self-disclosure in your answer. This exercise helps you understand the needs for affiliation and belonging, the role of I-sharing in liking, and the influence of self-disclosure on relationship satisfaction.
  3. Based on information provided in your textbook, discuss the prevalence of same-sex attraction. Briefly review the evolutionary and biological theories of same-sex attraction provided in your textbook. Visit http://borngay.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000019 for a historical timeline of theories of the origins of homosexuality. Scroll past the list for a fuller description of each theory. Briefly describe one theory from the list that best represents each of the three levels of explanation used in your text: the evolutionary, individual, and contextual levels. Cite one contemporary theory (1990–present) to support the idea that psychologists today recognize that complex phenomena are best explained as “multiply determined, at multiple levels.” This exercise will build your understanding of the research on the origins of homosexuality.
  4. Identify and define the two major dimensions underlying attachment. Identify and describe the four attachment styles and outline their ramifications for close relationships and sexuality. Determine your attachment style at http://www.psychalive.org/what-is-your-attachment-style/. Scroll past the descriptions of the styles and click the link in the phrase, “To see what your attachment pattern is, take the following quiz.” On the quiz page, select Option B before you start. Report your score on each of the two major dimensions; report your attachment style. To what extent is/was your attachment style reflected in your current romantic relationship, or a past one? How does/did the relationship you described additionally reflect the apparent attachment style of your partner or ex-partner? This exercise helps you identify the four attachment styles and how they affect adult romantic relationships.
  5. Social Psychology, Social Media, and Technology. Describe the romantic relationships of adults with each of the four attachment styles. Which style do you think is most prone to “Facebook stalking”? Why? Read the scientific article examining attachment style and interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES; “Facebook stalking” in everyday parlance) at http://www.cs.vu.nl/~eliens/serious/local/cyber/romance.pdfor https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwin7OmL-LjJAhUKQiYKHTphCMEQFgggMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cs.vu.nl%2F~eliens%2Fserious%2Flocal%2Fcyber%2Fromance.pdf&usg=AFQjCNG4g2f-vYEpvy6TCXFhWznH4UsqfA. How might social media use exacerbate relational uncertainty? Why is relational uncertainty associated with IES? Did the researchers’ results confirm their hypothesis regarding attachment style and IES? How did the researchers explain the lack of association between relational uncertainty and IES? Identify one limitation of the study and one avenue for further research. This exercise helps you identify the four attachment styles and how they affect adult romantic relationships.
  6. Doing Research. This exercise develops your knowledge of event sampling. Identify two drawbacks of laboratory research for studying interpersonal relationships. Define the event (or experience) sampling method and suggest how it may overcome the shortcomings of laboratory research. Read Larson and Csikszentmihalyi’s (1983) brief chapter on experience sampling at http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9789401790871-c2.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1481923-p176723966. Try searching for “Larson and Csikszentmihalyi (1983) pdf” from your browser if this pdf link fails to open. Answer the following questions from each section:


1) Describe the limitations of questionnaire and interview methods.

2) Explain the advantages of experience sampling methods over questionnaire and interview methods.

Description of the Method

1) Briefly outline the procedure involved in experience sampling research and describe the type of data that is collected.

2) Describe what is meant by a research alliance and explain how it is established. Might the importance of a research alliance in experience sampling research limit the utility of the method in any way? If so, how?

Findings Obtained with the Method

1) Outline the benefits and liabilities of solitude.

2) Based on experience sampling research, how does the experience of bulimic women differ from that of nonbulimic women?

Limitations and Prospects of the Method

1) Identify and explain two important methodological questions concerning experience sampling research. How might researchers attempt to address these questions and overcome any limitations they might represent?