What Is A Learning Journal Psychology Essay

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A learning journal is a way of capturing and recording your thoughts, impressions, concerns, questions and reflections. This provides an informal yet focused place to express whatever comes to mind. Its purpose is to enhance further insights on how you learn experiences through the process of writing and thinking about how you learn. Your learning journal is personal and will reflect your experiences, preferences and personality.

Why am I completing a learning journal as part of my study of social psychology?

The learning journal will help enhance further understanding about social psychology and how we can adapt these personal experiences individually, as social psychology mainly focuses on dealing with social interactions this can help us understand how we can socially connect with ourselves and others through interacting insights and experiences that are reflected in our learning journals. This can influence our perceptions and interpretations of how each of us understands social psychology and how we can observe it which also indicates implications it may have had on your level of understanding and to help identify your strengths, weaknesses and preferred preference of the unit.

What do I hope to learn from this assignment?

From this assignment i hope to learn skills and abilities that will give me a thorough and deeper knowledge as to how i can express and reflect on my own ideas and to help me understand how they build on what i already know using it in my own independent research. Through the development of this learning journal I also hope that this will not only broaden and reflect my personal views and ideas of the content but to further extend my knowledge of the assignment. This will enable me to gain experience and to help me understand and accomplish intellectual processes, goals and tasks that are required in order to reflect upon.

Self and Identity

Which aspect of the topic has interested me most? Why?

The aspect of this topic that caught my interest would be “development of the social self”

I have found this topic aspect very interesting as it explains and reflects on how people see and identify ones social self. To me this broadens my insights as to how and why each individual is looked upon socially because of their self concept, self esteem, self knowledge and social self. This also demonstrates how each individual is looked upon and how their roles can vary from others which help show the social world that surrounds us and how each one of us can develop and become part of the social world. This not only relates to me but to any individual according to the development of the social self.

What are the main ideas, concepts and evidence related to this aspect?

The main ideas that cover multiple concepts on how the social world is developing includes the roles we play, the social identities we form, the comparisons we make with each other, our successes and failures, how other people judge us and the surrounding culture. In relation to the development of the social self a concept that related towards this aspect include the ‘looking – glass self’ which is a social psychological concept which was created by Charles Horton Cooley in 1902. This concept states that a person self grows out of society’s interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others. This mainly refers to people shaping their self-concepts based on their understanding of how others perceive them. One evidential way this can be perceived is through social comparisons (Festinger, 1954) which help us evaluate ourselves compared to others.

What short quote from the text or reading illustrates an important point related to this aspect?

An important point that signifies this aspect is found in the text book states that” The self- concept has become a major social-psychological focus because it helps organize our thinking and guide our social behaviour”. (PP.68) In stating this tells us that according to our self image we can base this on the way we live in a social world which can have an influence on the way we think and how we portray ourselves and other individuals we can also say that social experiences also play a part in developing ones social self.

How is the aspect relevant to my social world?

This aspect is relevant to my social world because it demonstrates how our social image and social perceptions can shape who we are and how we are viewed upon.

The self can be analysed through multiple stages for the development of the social self, the social self concept ‘Who am I?’ comes from ones self, social knowledge can explain how an individual predicts themselves. Self esteem self sense of how much their worth and social self which shows how roles as a student, family member and friend which can be used for a group identity.

Prejudice and discrimination

Which aspect of the topic has interested me the most? Why?

An aspect of the topic ‘Racial Prejudice’ has interested me the most because it shows how people can have a negative evaluation towards certain individuals or groups based on attitudes with certain biological characteristics. I find this of great awareness because racial prejudice affects people and populations all over the world and is linked with discrimination which also exists in today.

What are the main ideas, concepts and evidence related to this aspect?

The main ideas that come with racial prejudice can somewhat come out of ignorance for disliking others. As racial prejudice has common similarities with stereotyping, discrimination and hatred we know that prejudice is an attitude which is a distinct combination of feelings, inclinations to act, and beliefs. Further Concepts and evidence relating to this aspect include racial prejudice has been found between several self-report measures of religiousness and racial prejudice; however, no experiment has examined the direct effect of religion on racial attitudes. An experiment that was conducted by ‘Jane Elliott’ (Born 1933) who was an anti-racism activist illustrated how biological characteristics through the experiment ‘Blue eyes, brown eyes’ which was conducted to identify how biological features play a role in racial prejudice.

What short quote from the text or reading illustrates an important point related to this aspect?

Racial prejudice illustrates important points that relate towards the topic “In the context of the world, every race is a minority.” The individual in society (PP.182). This is an important point which clarifies how each individual is categorised in certain groups based on their biological characteristics and how they are viewed based on that fact which connects with racial prejudice and how individuals shape our understanding of racial prejudice to not only use certain attitudes towards biological differences but to categorise and judge that is based on the racial prejudice perspectives of the world. Multiple statements can help shape up how racial prejudice is present “I’m a ‘Cablinasian.” Tiger Woods, (1997) describing his caucasion, black, Indian and asain ancestry is a good example.

How is the aspect relevant to my social world?

As social reality is distinct from biological realities racial prejudice is relevant to my social world because it exists within today’s society and is put into different groups within the sociological world. This is relevant in terms of judging and classifying based on race and, or gender which complies with racism and discrimination that also take place within the social world we live in today because of this racial justice is a problem and puts negative insights on minority groups based on biological characteristics.

Due to this aspect becoming relevant to the social world racial prejudice affects many people in the social world based on each individuals attitudes towards certain individuals that shape the social world we live in today.

Conformity and obedience

Which aspect of the topic has interested me most? Why?

One of the interesting aspects i have found in this topic is ‘Milgram’s obedience experiment.’ By Stanley Milgram (1963). I find this aspect of the topic interesting because his experiment demonstrates conformity and obedience to determine how far people were willing to go in order to obey the commands of an authority figure and how this experiment illustrated social influence.

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What are the main ideas, concepts and evidence related to this aspect?

Main ideas that relate to this are evidently contrary to Milgram’s conclusion that people blindly obey authorities to the point of committing evil deeds because we are so susceptible to environmental conditions. Because of this social psychology has become one of the most famous and controversial experiments. There are concepts behind conforming as it can be defined as adjusting one’s behaviour and or thinking to match those of other people or group standard, the base line as to why people confirm is because it is suggested that ‘everyone does it’.

It is evident to say that when the first subject of the Milgram experiment, Emily, quit the moment she was told the protocol. “This isn’t really my thing,” she said with a nervous laugh when our second subject, Julie, got to 75 volts and heard Tyler groan, she protested: “I don’t think I want to keep doing this.” Jeremy insisted: “You really have no other choice. I need you to continue until the end of the test.” In saying so this demonstrates how social influence can affect individual’s thoughts, perceptions and behaviors in order to confine with obedience.

What short quote from the text or reading illustrates an important point related to this aspect?

“Milgram’s (1965, 1974) experiments tested what happens when the demands of authority clash with the demands of conscience.” This illustrates an important point in relation to this aspect because according to Milgram human moral nature includes a tendency to be empathetic, kind and good according to our relationships and group members, this also shows inclination towards being chauvinistic, cruel and evil to others. According to the shock experiments reveal not blind obedience but conflicting moral tendencies that lie deep within based on this social influence plays a role in Milgram’s experiment in order for people to show signs of obedience and conformity.

How is this aspect relevant to my social world?

This aspect is relevant to my social world because in society today we are conforming and being obedient under certain instances for example schools require conformity such as wearing school uniform is an example of compliance conformity which is like norms that we must order and obey. An example of being obedient in today’s society would be joining the army you must follow and obey instructions in order to qualify the required norms they have set for you. These are all things that happen in the social world we live in because of this the social world and the larger world we are part of is when an individual fully understands the events that are happening around them. This involves the part of life that affects them and their surroundings and in this case conformity and obedience are clearly recognised in today’s social world this is the result of social influence.


What value has this journal been for my learning of social psychology?

This journal has valued in teaching me about social psychology and how it deals with social interactions. This has also helped me understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other people because of this i now have a higher level of knowledge about social psychology. The journal has also observed social psychology as to how it looks at ranges of social topics that have been explained and how people can interact and understand how social psychology is being used.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of my journal?

For me figuring out my weaknesses is just as important as figuring out my strengths because I believe that our strengths come from our weaknesses and our weaknesses come from our strengths. I think that a strength that is present in my journal is that it is structured briefly yet descriptive at the same time which makes it reflect upon my understanding of tasks and at the same time has the required information in order to properly state and explain my information. My learning journal is slightly focused more on the topic and should evaluate my points into further detail but aside from that I believe my journal has a good and brief layout in order for anyone to reflect upon.

Did I get out of this assignment what I hoped for?

Yes i believe that i have acquired some more knowledge towards the desired skills and abilities that I hoped for when writing my journal. This has given me deeper insights to each aspect of the topics. I have expressed and reflected my own personal ideas, this has also helped me build up on what was required for the completion of this learning journal. As I mentioned earlier in my introduction the learning journal has helped enhance my understanding about social psychology and has demonstrated how social psychology can be adapted in the society we live in and how it works around us.


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Approximately 250 words