SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND PERCEIVED FREEDOM

Social Psycology & Percived Freedom are used widly in Marketing, Advertizing, Media, Public Relations, Government and Law. 

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

Within the context of psychology, social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.

The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all psychological variables that are measurable in a human being. The statement that others’ presence may be imagined or implied suggests that we are prone to social influence even when no other people are present, such as when watching television, or following internalized cultural norms.

Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and immediate social situations. In general, social psychologists have a preference for laboratory-based, empirical findings. Social psychology theories tend to be specific and focused, rather than global and general.

Social psychology is an interdisciplinary domain that bridges the gap between psychology and sociology. During the years immediately following World War II, there was frequent collaboration between psychologists and sociologists.[2] However, the two disciplines have become increasingly specialized and isolated from each other in recent years, with sociologists focusing on “macro variables” (e.g., social structure) to a much greater extent.

History

The discipline of social psychology began in the United States at the dawn of the 20th century. The first published study in this area was an experiment in 1898 by Norman Triplett on the phenomenon of social facilitation. During the 1930s, many Gestalt psychologists, most notably Kurt Lewin, fled to the United States from Nazi Germany. They were instrumental in developing the field as something separate from the behavioral and psychoanalytic schools that were dominant during that time, and social psychology has always maintained the legacy of their interests in perception and cognition. Attitudes and small group phenomena were the most commonly studied topics in this era.

During World War II, social psychologists studied persuasion and propaganda for the U.S. military. After the war, researchers became interested in a variety of social problems, including gender issues and racial prejudice. Most notable, revealing, and contentious of them all were the Stanley Milgram shock experiments on obedience to authority.

In the sixties, there was growing interest in new topics, such as cognitive dissonance, bystander intervention, and aggression. By the 1970s, however, social psychology in America had reached a crisis. There was heated debate over the ethics of laboratory experimentation, whether or not attitudes really predicted behavior, and how much science could be done in a cultural context. This was also the time when a radical situationist approach challenged the relevance of self and personality in psychology.

Social psychology reached a more mature level in both theories and methods during the 1980s and 1990s.[citation needed] Careful ethical standards now regulate research. Pluralisticand multicultural perspectives have emerged. Modern researchers are interested in many phenomena, but attribution, social cognition, and the self-concept are perhaps the greatest areas of growth in recent years.

Social psychologists have also maintained their applied interests with contributions in health, environmental, and legal psychology.

John Neulinger

(April 26, 1924 – June 20, 1991) was a noted German-American psychologist and Professor Emeritus of psychology atCity College of New York. Neulinger is best known for contributing a social psychological theory of leisure to the field of leisure studies.[1]Neulinger’s theory of leisure is defined by a psychological state of mind that requires two criteria for leisure: perceived freedom andintrinsic motivation. In Neulinger’s theory, individuals can be said to be in a state of leisure if they simply perceive that they have the freedom to choose activities and are motivated by an activity for its own sake, not just for its consequences. Neulinger first popularized his ideas in the 1974 book, The Psychology of Leisure.

Leisure Theory

“Leisure is a state of mind; it is a way of being, of being at peace with oneself and what one is doing…Leisure has one and only one essential criterion, and that is the condition of perceived freedom. Any activity carried out freely without constraint or compulsion, may be considered to be leisure. To leisure implies being engaged in an activity as a free agent, and of one’s own choice.”

~John Neulinger, in The Psychology of Leisure (1974)[6]

Neulinger’s leisure theory, sometimes referred to as the Neulinger paradigm,[7] was first published in his 1974 book, The Psychology of Leisure. The theory is a continuum model of leisure, with the criterion a condition Neulinger calls perceived freedom. This perceived freedom is a state of mind where one freely chooses to perform an activity—any activity—because one “wants to do it”.[8] If an individual is involved in an activity that offers only intrinsic reward and perceived freedom, that person is said to be at leisure. However, if the activity involves only extrinsic reward and the absence of perceived freedom, leisure is not present. Neulinger described six states: Pure leisure, leisure-work, leisure-job, pure work, work-job, and pure job.[7]

Neulinger’s theory of leisure argued that intrinsic motivation and perceived freedom can directly change the perception of leisure.[9] But, like other social psychological theories of leisure, Neulinger’s theory was criticized for its lack of “discriminant power”. The criterion of perceived freedom is not exclusive to leisure activities, and the failure of the theory to account for the differences between real freedom and the illusion of freedom was challenged. Nevertheless, Neulinger’s theory exerted considerable influence on the social theory of leisure, and perceived freedom is still a popular concept in leisure studies.[8]

Neulinger believed that human civilization could one day look forward to a society based on leisure, a leisure society where technology and science free the average person from concern over subsistence. Neulinger envisioned a world where the very concept of a “job” was no longer plausible, where work would be leisure-oriented.[clarification needed] Neulinger’s vision was of a society where non-leisure activities form a minimal part of our day, where work would be carried out with meaning and without coercion, freely chosen, self-rewarding, and intrinsically motivating.[2][3] In his final publication, Neulinger advocated for a societal transformation to that of a “universal leisure society instead of more centuries of useless destruction and worldwide conflicts”.[1]

Perceived Freedom

A state in which a person feels that what she/he is doing is done by choice and because one wants to do it

• Everyone knows the difference between doing something because one:– Has to do it– Wants to do it– If it is truly freedom or the Illusion of Freedom is irrelevant!

• Implies that the setting provides at least more than one opportunity for action

• Not an all or nothing deal– Most situations are constraining in some way– Only free within certain limits

Reactance

is a motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away his or her choices or limiting the range of alternatives.

Reactance can occur when someone is heavily pressured to accept a certain view or attitude. Reactance can cause the person to adopt or strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended, and also increases resistance to persuasion. People using reverse psychology are playing on at least an informal awareness of reactance, attempting to influence someone to choose the opposite of what they request.

Types of Motivation

• Extrinsic– When activity is engaged in because it leads to rewards external to the activity itself– Money, trophies, status– Threats of punishment, evaluation, deadlines, obligations

• Intrinsic– Rewards for participation are seen as coming from the activity itself

• I just love skiing!

• Ski accident, but motivation for continued participation

Intrinsic Motivation

•In freely chosen situations it is assumed that they were intrinsically motivated to choose– Behaviors are engaged in out of interest

• You construct the experience: You Are Optimally Challenging and result in Flow Experiences– You Will be motivated to conquer challenges– Based on your needs (antecedents)

• Some basic needs: competence, control, and success

(an·te·ced·ent)

[an-tuh-seed-nt]  Show IPA

adjective

1.preceding; prior: an antecedent event.

noun

2.a preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon,etc.

3.antecedents.

a.ancestors.

b.the history, events, characteristics, etc., of one’s earlierlife: Little is known about his birth and antecedents.

4.Grammar . a word, phrase, or clause, usually a substantive, thatis replaced by a pronoun or other substitute later, oroccasionally earlier, in the same or in another, usuallysubsequent, sentence. In Jane lost a glove and she can’t find it, Jane is the antecedent of she  and glove  is the antecedent of it.

5.Mathematics .

a.the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of aproportion.

b.the first of two vectors in a dyad.

6.Logic. the conditional element in a proposition, as “Caesarconquered Gaul,” in “If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a greatgeneral.”

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