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Flashcards in Social Control Deck (22):

What does Social Control mean?

•How have those in authority (e.g. the government) harnessed psychological theory and research to help control the population and ensure people behave appropriately in society?

•What positive effects does this control have on society?

•How has this control had negative effects in terms of violating people’s rights?


What do the A01 and A03 Points talk about when discussing Social Control?

AO1: Definition + the use of psychological knowledge

AO2: Issues with social control

AO3: Good for individuals/ society and why+ research evidence


What topics are looked at in the Cognitive Approach when discussing Social Control?



What is looked at in EWT regarding Social Control?

A01: -Belief in eyewitness testimony may not be reliable because their memory is reconstructed and prone to distortion. This has driven legal policies and practice in attempt to improve the reliability of testimony or to make sure that eyewitnesses are not used as the only evidence in court. This knowledge has effectively been used as form of social control dictating who can testify and under what conditions they can give an accurate testimony.

A03: -Justice system has been improved in convicting defendants as the court does not solely rely on eyewitness testimony as a form of evidence. Therefore social control is effective as more than one piece of evidence is taken into consideration before the judge's verdict


What topics are looked at in the Learning Approach when discussing Social Control?

Token Economy


What is looked at in Flooding regarding Social Control?

-As the therapist has power in the situation, the behaviour of the client is deliberately conditioned to conform to social norms of what is considered to be normal or acceptable in society, thus ensuring the client's well- being.
-Flooding: The treatment is based on the theory of classical conditioning. This form of therapy forces people to confront their phobia/ anxiety. The therapy provokes situations/ objects (e.g spiders) from which the patient cannot escape, thus it can be viewed as a distressing form of social control.

A03: -The procedure of flooding arguably goes against a person’s human rights as their freewill is not considered, however whilst the procedure may be severe, the outcome of social control benefits individuals in facing and eliminating their fears.


What is looked at in a Token Economy regarding Social Control?

- A treatment method that provides secondary reinforcement for a desirable behaviour that can be saved up or exchanges for a primary reinforcer.
-It’s aim is to encourage desirable behaviour through a system of reward, reduces undesirable behaviour through withdrawal of reward (punishment).
-Tokens are only given in return for showing the desired behaviour and can be exchangeable for primary reinforcers.
-desirable behaviour encouraged, undesirable behaviour discouraged

A03: -Implemented in institutions: schools/prisons e.g. school students being allocated tokens for good behaviour i.e. punctuality, rewarded by a trip perhaps.
-Effective as social control can be enforced through the use of 'token economy'. Beneficial for both society and individuals as behaviour can be tamed and controlled to ensure desirable behaviour.
-Paul & Lentz (1977) - token economy reduced some schizophrenic symptoms, although ineffective treating cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia ie delusions/hallucinations.
Issue = not morally correct for one person to control behaviour of another and that this experiment violated patients basic human rights.


What topics are looked at in the Social Approach when discussing Social Control?

Milgram + Burger
Sherif et al


What is looked at in Milgram and Burgers' Studies regarding Social Control?

-Looks at environmental factors that affect people's behaviour
Agency theory describes hierarchy in society and why people at the bottom of the hierarchy will listen to people at the top who are authoritarian figures
People have 2 states:
Agentic: when one acts as an agent for another
Autonomous: acting on one’s own free will

-Milgram and Burger did studies based around obedience: wanted to find out whether German soldiers followed Hitler's regime

–Milgram’s social control took place during the procedure of the study when the experimenters used verbal cues to try and control the participants to continue shocking the learner when the learner got a word pair wrong, they wanted to see how far the participants would have gone in terms of voltage, and look at the influence of authoritative figures on the participants.
-Burger replicated this study in a more ethical way
Deception involved in both.

-Social control is good for society as we can see why people take on moral strain, when listening to authority figures real life examples include Hitler's regime, and people joining the military, we can try and prevent possible moral strain by doing research into why people are obedient. Research evidence from Milgram supports this because, even in the variations of the experiment, it was about how authoritarian these people may be and factors affecting e.g. Proximity etc. We can make sure as a society people would follow the right authoritarian figures.

-Social control is bad and likely be unethical because of the amount of control authority figures would have on lesser individuals and how possible it would be for authority figure to change the behaviours of people lower down the hierarchy. So Therefore people in power such as Hitler would be able to control soviet do negative things.


What is looked at in Sherif's Study regarding Social Control?

A01: -Prejudice is an unjustified or incorrect attitude (towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group.

-Overview of Sherif’s study: It is an intergroup study, looking at what causes groups to change their behaviours when they come into contact with each other.

-Realistic Conflict theory looks at what happens when groups are forced to compete or cooperate. The idea that we divide people we meet into“in group” members with whom we share goals and values and “out group” members with whom we see ourselves in competition with. The study is linked to social control as it can be used to explain why prejudice exists in society and how prejudice can be developed.

-Procedure: The field experiment involved two groups of twelve-year- old boys. The 22 boys in the study wereunknown to each other. The groups were kept separate from each other and were encouraged to bond as twoindividual groups through the pursuit of common goals that required co-operative discussion, planning and execution. During this first phase, the groups did not know of the other group’s existence. The boys established their own cultures and group norms. The boys chose names for their groups, The Eagles and The Rattlers.Competition Stage where friction between the groups was to occur. It was intended to bring the two groups into competition with each other in conditions that would create frustration between them. At first,this prejudice was only verbally expressed, such as taunting or name-calling. As the competition wore on, this expression took a more direct route. The Eagles burned the Rattler’s flag. Then the next day, the Rattler’s ransacked The Eagle’s cabin and stole private property. The groups became so aggressive with each other that the researchers had to physically separate them. During the two-day cooling off period, the boys listed features of the two groups. The boys tended to characterize their own in-group in very favourable terms and the other out-group in very unfavourable terms. This study clearly shows that conflict between groups can’t trigger prejudice attitudes and discriminatory behaviour. This experiment confirmed Sherif’s realistic conflict theory.

A03: The study shows that hostility can be reduced if groups are made to interact and work together towards common goals. It is not enough for them to be “mere presences” living alongside each other.Therefore this study has practical application as it may help to reduce prejudice in society which links to the idea that social control is good for individuals and society.
-Social Identity Theory explains crowd behaviour because the people see the crowd as their in group but anyone else is viewed as an out group and shown less respect, which may lead to vandalism or violence. For example,in a football match, supporters see the other team as the out group and may verbally abuse them which is an example of prejudice. Therefore social control may be seen as it’s negative for the individuals. However, the Robbers Cave study can be criticised because the two groups of boys in the study were artificial, as was the competition, and did not necessarily reflect real life. For example, middle class boys randomly assigned into two separate groups is not rival inner city gangs, or rival football supporters. Therefore Sheriff’s study cannot be used to explain prejudice in society.
-Social Identity Theory suggests we can reduce prejudice by encouraging people to view others as members of their in- group.


What topics are looked at in the Biological Approach when discussing Social Control?

Brain Lobotomies
Brain Scans
Chemaical Castration of Males


What is looked at in Brain Lobotomies regarding Social Control?

-In the mid 20th century, Prefrontal lobotomy was an operation that severed the connection between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex. It has been used to control antisocial behaviour.

This knowledge was used to treat aggression in mental patients. This was effective in reducing aggression but it also reduced other emotional reactions too and is no longer regarded as ethical.


What is looked at in Brain Scans regarding Social Control?

-PET scans are a form of nuclear medicine procedure including injecting the patient with a small amount of radioactive material in order to conduct the scan. PET scans detect areas of damage by indicating which parts of the brain show abnormal levels of activity, helping researchers to see where the problem exists.

If research into brain dysfunction such as the studies of Raine et al uncover biological determinants of aggressive behaviour. Researchers may try to use this to scan people early on life to find out who is at risk. If we knew who will become violent, we may try to control them to prevent the behaviour developing.


What is looked at in the Chemical Castration of Males regarding Social Control?

- It involves giving anti-androgenic drugs (male hormone blockers) which reduces the sex drive and some us courts have sentence male sex offenders to undergo this therapy.

A study into the effects of one such drug found that when taken for a year it successfully reduced sexually deviant behaviour in males and that there was no lasting side effects from taking the drug.(Gagle 1981)


What topics are looked at in the Criminal Approach regarding Social Control?

Anger Management/CALM
Treating aggression with drugs


What is looked at in Anger Management/CALM regarding Social Control?

The patients may view anger as wrong, and their behaviour as wrong; suggests that certain behaviours and thinking patterns will definitely lead to aggression + criminal behaviour
Freud (i think lol) says that anger is natural behaviour and is okay to think; but it is only when in excess that it should be treated, as it’s just hurting the offender

-CBT allows individuals to recognise their triggers, and work to improve how they control their anger. This in turn reduces aggressive behaviour shown by individuals within society, hence less crime will be committed, therefore behaviour will be controlled.
-However, not everybody will respond to CBT the same. Some individuals may find that this form of treatment is time consuming and is not as effective as drugs may be. For this reason some patients may drop out and so their aggression will not be treated and behaviour within society will not be controlled and neither society nor the individual being treated will benefit.


What is looked at in Treating Aggression with drugs regarding Social Control?

-This would be beneficial for society as those with high levels of aggression could be prescribed with drugs to regulate their dopamine levels to control their aggressive behaviour. Therefore due to this the levels of aggressive behaviour within individuals in society will be reduced.

-However individuals may become dependant on those drugs, and being unable to function without them may lead them to have withdrawal symptoms, which can consequently lead them to behaving aggressively due to the reliance on the drugs.
-Le blanc’s study found that after 6 weeks of being treated with risperidone found that 56.4% reduction in aggressive behaviour compared to the placebo group which was 21.7%. This supports the idea that drugs will be a beneficial method of social control as research evidence proves aggressive behaviour is reduced.


What is looked at in the Clinical Approach regarding Social Control?

Biological treatment of Schizophrenia


What is looked at in the Biological Treatment for Schizophrenia regarding Social Control?

Discusses how those with schizophrenia are wrong and should be changed; can be prescribed without consent (Patients can be detained under section 3 of the mental health act), suggesting they have no control over the situation

- Many of the older typical antipsychotic drugs made patients passive and easier to deal with for staff which may have made the drugs open to abuse in busy wards.

They could possibly be threats to themselves/others; so it’s best that they get it, bc ultimately they’re ill get better


What is looked at in Rosenhan's study regarding Social Control?

Showed how staff treat the patients; make it seem like everything they do is wrong and a symptom of their disorder (e;g. Excessive note taking); were ignored 71% of the time suggesting the staff only help them when they want to

Now improved due to the shocking results of Rosenhan’s study


What is looked at in Diagnosis regarding Social Control?

Once someone is diagnosed, their whole life may changes: Everyone will view them differently/may treat them differently; they may be treated for their diagnosis which they won’t be able to control the treatment

Ultimately they do it for their wellbeing; treatment helps them improve

Socio economic groups are marginalised
Afro Caribbean’s thus are prevented from getting higher ranked jobs in society because of mental health and stigma.


What is looked at in ECT regarding Social Control?

Could be very much harming the patient with such severe + brutal methods

Only done as a method of last resort; very unlikely most people would get it nowadays
Recent guidelines for the use of ECT for schizophrenia have suggested that it could be an effective treatment for immediate relief of catatonic symptoms resistant to drug treatments.