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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
The effect of situational factors (other people and social) on behaviours:
- majority influence on conformity
- collective and crowd behaviour, including deindividuation
- culture on pro-social and anti-social behaviour
- authority figures on obedience
Criticisms of the effect of situational factors, including the free will/determinism debate.
Situational Factors Research Study - Bickman (1974): study into obedience and the social power of a uniform.
This sub topic focuses on the effects of situational factors, both other people and social, on behaviour. The area of majority influence and obedience provide opportunities to establish links with research methods in both designing research and evaluating the use of different research methods. This is useful for the research methods sections in both examination papers.
The internet has a variety of different videos and articles that can be used to illustrate concepts.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
Learners may find the role of culture challenging. Using an introductory task highlighting differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures can help to contextualise the material.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
There is an opportunity for learners to design their own research. This provides a good opportunity to compare and contrast different research methods and discuss evaluation and ethical issues.
Criticisms of the effect of situational factors, including the free will/determinism debate provides synoptic links with other areas of the specification.
Original footage of Milgram’s famous study on obedience can facilitate learner’s appreciation of the significance of Milgram’s findings. Looking at more recent studies can demonstrate that situational factors continue to play a role in obedience in current times.
Through designing their own research into obedience, learners can gain an understanding of how different research methods are used and the issues that surround using them.
A very recent replication of Milgram's study demonstrating Milgram’s original findings have not changed.
This could be used to facilitate a discussion into the possible reasons why obedience has not changed. Questions such as: would doing the research in different cultures make any difference? Why did obedience levels drop when the learner was female? Would the results be different if the authority figure was female? could be posed.
Situational factors refer to external influences on our behaviour like the effect of the setting or others around us. As such, they are considered determinism; rejecting the idea that we have a choice in how we behave. Learners can assess the extent to which they think situational factors are deterministic by using the ‘Sliding debate scale’ worksheet. Blow the sliding scale up to A3 (or bigger); using stick notes, learners add the situational factors to where they believe they should be placed. They then justify their decision.
Once dispositional factors have been taught, the same worksheet can be used to add these factors. This will enable learners to compare the explanations.
A brief YouTube clip featuring Philip Zimbardo. He explores the effect of wearing a uniform on obedience verses plain clothes, describing the context to introduce Bickman (1974).
There are many YouTube clips featuring footage of Zimbardo’s original ‘prison study’. This research is a good example where both situational and dispositional factors influencing behaviour are explored, and their role in explaining behaviour is illustrated.
Learners design their own study into obedience. Small groups are each given a different research method to investigate obedience. Designs are shared with the class to facilitate a discussion into the strengths and limitations of each design/method.
This provides an opportunity to link to research methods –this activity is useful for studies and applications in psychology component 1, Section D.
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