Navigation Links
Social ecology: Lost and found in psychological science
Date:8/5/2010

Various aspects of our environmentincluding political systems, economic systems, and even climate and geographycan affect our thinking and behavior, a field of study known as socioecological psychology. In a report in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientists Shigehiro Oishi and Jesse Graham from the University of Virginia examine the impact of social and physical environments on human thought and behavior.

A society's economic system may have long-reaching effects on its citizens' behaviors, beyond how much money they can make. Research suggests that willingness to cooperate with others depends on the economic system in which individuals live in: In an economic game, participants from a whale-hunting society (in which cooperation is important for survival) were more likely to exhibit cooperative responses than were participants from a horticultural society (one in which cooperation is not critical).

However, the relationship between economic systems and behavior goes in the other direction as wellthe mind and behavior can influence economic systems. For example, nations high in general trust have more subsequent capital investment and economic growth that nations that are low in general trust.

Climate can also have an influence over the mind and behavior. Studies have shown that violent-crime rates are higher during warmer months compared to colder months. Research has also suggested that prosocial behaviors are affected by the weather: In one study, pedestrians were more willing to help a survey interviewer on sunny days (in both summer and winter) than they were on cloudy days.

In the history of psychological science, there have been several waves of socioecological research, each having a distinct focus. "However," write Oishi and Graham, "sustained attention to current and chronic macroenvironments has not been widely recognized in psychological science." In recent years, the rise of cultural psychology has emphasized cultural factors in basic psychological processesinvestigating culture-specific meanings and practicesbut less attention has been paid specifically to socioecological factors.

The authors note that taking socioecological perspective on psychology research could be extremely useful to the field and can present a complimentary perspective to cultural psychology and evolutionary psychology. They observe that the "socioecological approach to psychology offers testable hypotheses not only concerning cultural differences but also concerning individual and regional differences in the phenomenon under study."

Oishi and Graham conclude by suggesting some ways that researchers can begin adopting a socioecological approach to their work, for example, by considering distal factors (e.g., weather, population density) that may impact proximal factors such as mood and beginning with informed curiosity to generate hypotheses about cultural or regional differences and looking to features of the environment to identify the origin of those differences.


'/>"/>

Contact: Keri Chiodo
kchiodo@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Engineering textbook promotes social justice
2. Social context may be a better indicator of obesity disparities than race
3. Communication trumps penalties in new study of social-ecological systems
4. Social networking helps hermit crabs find homes
5. Giggles give clues to hyenas social status
6. Major report reveals the environmental and social impact of the livestock revolution
7. Local social dynamics key to success of tropical marine conservation areas
8. Making the case for the social sciences
9. Researchers find genetic link between physical pain and social rejection
10. Social separation stops flu spread, but must be started soon
11. LabRoots Launches Social Networking Site for Scientists & Engineers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/9/2016)... Elevay is currently known as ... for high net worth professionals seeking travel for work ... world, there is still no substitute for a face-to-face ... your deal with a firm handshake. This is why ... of citizenship via investment programs like those offered by ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 The ... 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) ... guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... introduce a new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for ... September 12–17 in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... The global biomarkers market ... 2013. The market is expected to grow at a five-year compound ... from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion in 2020. ... (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, new products approved in ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016   ... the first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for ... two presentations at ISSCR 2016 Annual Meeting.  ISSCR 2016, ... 22nd to 25th at Moscone West in San Francisco.  ... Details of the presentations are as follows:Event: , Focus ...
Breaking Biology Technology: