Social Psychology 2nd Morality Term Paper

Pages: 9 (2970 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics

Specifically, the research question was to see if competence, when examined alongside morality, might affect ingroup behaviors and the perceived level of threats for individuals within the group.

Study Design

This transition in the design of the study resulted in the researchers once again showing an image of an Italian and an Indian male, and presenting the participants with a variety of information about this individual pertaining either to his morality or competence -- from low scores in these two qualities to high scores. The research design, therefore, was well suited to study the effects of both morality and competence. However, by continuing to utilize the picture of an individual who was different from the 165 participants in this study, the researchers again inadvertently incurred a bias related to both nationalism and ethnic factors.


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Despite this fact, however, it would be hard pressed to say that the researcher conducted in the second study was not generalizable. The research can be considered generalizable largely due to the notion that the findings were once again in accordance with the hypotheses and the purpose of this particular study. The results indicated that it was only information directly resulting to the morality, not the general competence or the intellectual and industrial proficiency of the person shown in the picture, which played a significant role in affecting the behavioral intentions (Brambilla et al., 2013, p. 817). Once again, the researchers obtained this information by manipulating the degrees of competence of the targets shown to those taking the study -- instead of manipulating the morality of these people. The findings were aligned with the predictions of the study, which the following quotation suggests. "…as predicted, only group image threat mediated the effect of perceived morality on behavioral intentions toward the ingroup target," while the only variable to affect the "perceived morality and behavioral disposition towards the outgroup target" was "group safety threat" (Brambilla et al., 2013, p. 817).

Measurement Concerns

Term Paper on Social Psychology 2nd Morality and Assignment

The measurements concerns in study two were both those related to the first variable, morality, and those pertaining to the second variable, competence. The ramifications of these measurements concerns is that morality has a more pronounced and direct effect on the behavioral intentions of various individuals.

Strengths and Weaknesses

This is a relevant time to discuss another potential weakness of the study -- the fact that there are a lack of males who are utilized as participants. Study two only had 31 men as participants as compared to 134 women. The effects of this type of population on the results -- especially since the individuals are being shown pictures of males from a different ethnicity, who might be considered threatening regardless of their competency or their morality -- are not discussed by the researchers. But there certainly is reason to believe that Indian males may be conceived of as a threat to Italian women, regardless of their social standings. This oversight on the part of the authors is one of the many forms of an invariance assumption (Fiske et al., 2010, p. 115)

Study 3

Research Question

Again, the research question was whether or not there were any other variables other than morality that influenced the level of threat in a group as well as influenced the behavior of ingroup members. The researchers were looking to see if sociability might be one such variable.

Research Design

The design of the research in study three was very similar to that in studies one and two, although the variable manipulated in the third study was sociability. Due to the similarity in the designs of study 3 with studies 1 and 2, the design of the study was well suited to answer the research question with one huge qualification -- the previously mentioned research bias towards the quality of ethnicity/nationalism mitigated the efficaciousness of this study design.


However, since the authors do not discuss this bias in their paper, it is not surprising that this third study is as generalizable as the others. Its generality is largely attributed to the fact that by cleverly manipulating the degree of sociability in the same sort of questionnaire based, multiple-choice study, which is an example of non-laboratory research (Fiske et al., 2010, p. 83), the researchers were able to find that "sociability of the target & #8230;did not affect the experience of threat" and that "behavioral intentions toward the ingroup and outgroup targets are primarily influenced by information concerning their morality" (Brambilla, et al., 2013, p. 811).

Measurement Concerns

The measurement concerns in the study related to quantifying data about the sociability of targets (Indians and Italians) and seeing if they had any effect on behavior intentions and threat experience. It is difficult to accurately measure such data with a potential bias towards racism and nationalism skewing the data.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Upon examining study three in this document, the prudent reader is able to clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of this study as they pertain to the entire document and the two studies conducted previously within it. Of the former, it is necessary to denote the highly stratified way in which the researchers have analyzed the data and discussed the findings. As was the case in each of the other two studies, the results of study three were categorized according to the variable manipulated, its effect on behavioral intentions and threat scores, respectively, as well as to an analyses of the mediation. Considering the results as they relate to these four highly interrelated aspects of the researchers' premise is an extremely comprehensive and thorough means of doing so, and is definitely a nod to the organization and quality of researcher that the individuals writing this study conducted.

Nonetheless, it is difficult to balance this particular strength with what, on the third time around, is nothing less than an egregious oversight on the part of the researchers. In this study, there are 108 participants, nearly 90 of which were women. There is a general ambiguity about the population in this study as is the case with that of the other two studies, since these individuals are only stratified as "Italian citizens" (p. 817) with little other information in regards to their ethnicity. Still, the most alarming aspect about this population is the fact that some of these women are 63 years old. Again, it is difficult to believe that when a 63-year-old Caucasian women (as the aforementioned allusion to Italian nationality implies) sees a, for example, 22-year-old ethnically diverse (which some Caucasians would consider Indian males) man with say, perhaps a scowl on his face or a perhaps a full-length goatee or maybe even a heavy beard, that she is only considering his morality and, as was the case in study three, his sociability to determine his threat level and the sort of behavior he would incite in her. If such women were to see such men on the street, with no more knowledge about them than their opinions, their physical characteristics would certainly play a role in their regards of his level of threat and the way they would behave towards them. It just does not seem credible that the researchers did not consider this bias or these additional variables that their results were also indicating. It is possible that 63-year-old Italian women might consider any 20-year-old man, under the right conditions, on a dark night, when the woman is alone, a threat and an incentive for negative behavior on the part of the woman.


Fiske, S.T., Gilbert, D.T., Lindzey, G. (2010). Handbook of Social Psychology. New York: Wiley.

Tuffin, K. (2004). Understanding Critical Social Psychology. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Brambilla, M., Sacchi, S., Pagliaro, S., Ellemers, N. (2013). Morality and intergroup relations: Threats to safety and group image predict the desire to interact with outgroup and ingroup members. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 49: 811-821.

The purpose of this article is to extend on previous rsearch relating the issue of group morality to the perceived threat and influential behavior within an ingroup as actuated on the part of an outgroup. The researchers studided an ingroup of Italian nationals and an outgroup of Indians who were living Italy. Therefore, there ethnic differences between these groups as well as those which may have been perceived related to nationality.

The article begins with a fairly detailed literature review of research that indicates that morality is a principle factor in determining group behavior. Specifically, the authors denoted a research question in which they were attempting to distinguish the effects of morality on the perceived experience of a threat of influential behavior on the part of in group members who might be adversely affected by several variables related to the outgroup. Those variables included competence and sociability in addition to morality.


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APA Style

Social Psychology 2nd Morality.  (2013, October 7).  Retrieved September 22, 2020, from

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"Social Psychology 2nd Morality."  7 October 2013.  Web.  22 September 2020. <>.

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"Social Psychology 2nd Morality."  October 7, 2013.  Accessed September 22, 2020.