Study Guide for Final Exam Symbolic Interactionists

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Study Guide for Final Exam

Symbolic Interactionists

What does it mean to say “gender is socially constructed”? What is a “cultural cue” concerning the construction of gender? What is meant by “gender display”? What is a “gender boundary”? What is “borderwork”? What is the “gender transgression zone”?

We briefly discussed the social construction of the individual as we continue into adulthood. What is a “rite of passage”? What is a “turning point”?

(With all of these questions, like what is a “turning point,” besides defining the term you also ought to be able to give an example.)

Erving Goffman and “Face-Work”

Goffmann’s work is an example of “microsociology.” What does that mean? What is meant by a dramaturgical approach? How is this similar to what the Symbolic Interactionists mean by the looking glass self? What does Goffman mean by “face work”? What is a “line”? What is “face”? What does it mean to say that in our interactions with others, sometimes we are “backstage” and sometimes we are “frontstage”?

Hall & Hall

We might not get to Edward Hall on this exam. If we do, here are some questions to think about: what is “proxemics”? Be able to give some examples of cultural differences with respect to nonverbal communication.

Be able to give some examples of “nonverbal communication.” According to Ray Birdwhistell, what percentage of our communication is nonverbal? What is proxemics? Kinesics? Give some examples of Chinese/American differences.

Videos on the Bystander Effect (Including the Yue Yue story)

What is the “Bystander effect”? Give some examples. What are some of the conclusions made by researchers on Bystander Effect?

Milgram’s Obedience Experiments

Describe Milgram’s experiments on obedience. What percentage of people seemed willing to turn the voltage up to a lethal level?

What did Milgram conclude about “agency”?

Milgram thought these results told us some very bad things about humans. Why? Meanwhile, Meyer, the author of the article we read on Milgram’s experiments, disagrees with Milgram. Why?

What does Erich Fromm think the Milgram experiment allows us to conclude about how people will behave outside a laboratory, in the real world? What did Fromm think was the most important finding and main result to be drawn from Milgram’s experiment?

Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment

Describe Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment.

What does Zimbardo mean by “situationism”? Zimbardo’s conclusion is stronger than Milgram’s. In what way?

I said Zimbardo was reflecting a sort of microsociology version of a macrosociology thesis of Marx’s: that we humans are deeply conformist. Be able to explain that.

How might the Symbolic Interactionists criticize Zimbardo’s situationism?

What are some of the criticisms or Zimbardo’s experiment from the Skeptoid essay?

How to Lie with Statistics

This article describes a number of mistakes that people make, even experienced scientists, when evaluating statistical relationships that describe conditions in the real world. You should be able to state what at least two of these mistakes are, and why they are mistakes.

How to Think Straight About Psychology

According to this author, for scientific experiments to tell us anything they must do something that many actual experiments, particularly in psychology and social psychology and medical research do not. What must they do, and why is it a bad thing for their results if they don’t? Hint: the case of Clever Hans was a famous case of making a mistake in explaining a phenomenon because experimenters failed to include this feature of experimental design into their investigation of Clever Hans’ behavior.

What was demonstrated by the experiment in which people were asked to consider the results of a study designed to reveal whether a particular medical treatment was effective, or not. The study showed two sets of results: one set for the group that received the treatment, another for the group that did not receive the treatment. The report then showed how many people who received the treatment showed improvement (200) and how many showed no improvement (75), and how many people who did not received the treatment showed improvement (50) and how many showed no improvement (15). Hint: the experiment revealed that people do not interpret results correctly. What mistake did people make in assessing this evidence?

What did college students confronted with the string-on-a-ball test conclude about how the ball would behave if the string was cut while it was spinning, and what is the correct answer? On this and other parts of the ‘physics test’ given at the start of this reading, many, even most people get the wrong answer. What does Keith Stanovich think this shows?
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