Okay, so now the next two lectures this week are going to to some extent go together. In the sense that both of them are really going to focus on this interaction between our conception of who we are and our conception of well, really the influence of the world around us. So it's going to be a mix of those things. Of, of trying to think about, you know, when we emit some behavior, did that behavior come from us? you know, is it really our fault or are we the source? Of what we did, or is it something in the context around us, that ultimately was the cause of our behavior. And how do we know and how do we make those attributions. and, you know, in the next lecture just how powerful is our context determining our behavior. A really shocking study yes another one, that we'll talk about then. But, for this lecture, I want to kind of set up a lot of these issues and get you thinking about them. while also introducing you to some basic social psychology phenomena. So, let's do that. Week 6, lecture 3. Protecting and empowering the self. sounds kind of om-, I like ominous. I also like silly things. Like I noticed that I could have said, sort of, individual versus context but self versus else. It struck me while I was making this slide that these are the same letters in different orders. And for some reason That meant I had to use them. So, self versus else. that's really what we're going to be talking about here. We are, we find ourselves often embedded in some context, the social context usually. and that means that things that we do, or that things that others do We can attribute either to them or to context. How do we do that? There's something called the self serving bias, that's refers to or relates to the issue of when we're thinking about ourselves. So if we ourself are in some situation. How do we make that attribution, and, and the self serving bias says well it depends on what happens in the situation. That generally speaking, generally speaking, when we encounter some sort of failure or trouble or problem, we will attribute it to the environment. Okay so I come in and I do an exam and I do really poorly on an exam, well that's because it was a stupid exam and the professor created questions that made no sense, they created a bad exam, I did poorly because of them, not because of me... Now if I do really well on that exam, if I have success, then it was all me. So successes, we tend to attribute to ourselves, we are the cause of successes in our life. But other people, other events, the world around us is the cause of failure. Now this, this sounds kind of, well self-serving [LAUGH] as the notion would suggest. We're going to take credit for our successes and we're going to blame the world for our failures. but it turns out social psychologists argue that this is, in fact, very important for preserving our sense of self-esteem. That we have to have this notion, that we ourselves are we're people, that we're valuable. That we have some intrinsic worth, and that this self-serving bias is one way of doing this. So if we kind of take ownership of the successes and say, yeah, I did that, you know that makes us feel good. But we don't, if we don't take ownership of the failure so much then again, that doesn't bring us down so much. So it keeps our self-esteem reasonably high, which prevents us from feeling worthless. And depressed so the self serving bias can be really advantageous that way. It can help us keep on an emotional good level. now I certainly don't want to imply that this is true of every individual. The self serving bias is something that's seen when you look at a group of people, and you ask them to make attributions about successes or failures. But you will find some. Individuals, and in fact, depressed individuals are especially like this. They can reverse all of this. A depressed individual can think failures are all their fault, and successes, well, that was just lucky. That was just, they happened to be at the right place at the right time. So, a depressed person can sometimes take ownership of failure. And not of success. And that can be something that really feeds a depressive state. Some therapies, cognitive behavior therapy for example, tries to change that way of thinking and tries to get a depressed person to think more like non depressed people. To actually have this self-serving bias, because it's helpful. Well, all right. So, now we're talking about how we think of ourselves in situations. What about how we think of others? Well, it turns out that's a little more complicated and it depends a lot on our knowledge of the other persons, if somebody else if successful. Are they successful because they were good or were they successful because they were in the right place at the right time so to speak. it turns out our attributions of sucess are a little variable. Its not really easy to tell a clear picture. But attributions of certain kinds of failure Are much more predictable and in fact there's something called the Just World Hypothesis. It especially applies to victims. So imagine you see someone that's homeless, or perhaps a rape victim, or perhaps even a victim from a storm. There is a, a lot of examples that very often humans will show what's call this Just World Hypothesis, which actually means that they tend to think the victims deserved what happened to them in some way. That something about the victim themselves brought on their situation. So in a homeless case for example often people will assume that, well, somebody is homeless because they're lazy, because they are not trying to find a job. its their fault that they're in the situation they're in. perhaps even more extreme rape victims you will hear situations like that woman was dressing provocatively. She was kind of asking for it. you know asking for it does anybody ask to be raped. But literally you will in, in court cases sometimes you will get that sort of. Vibe from jurors that a woman was behaving in such a way, perhaps she was drinking a lot of alcohol in a place where there were a lot of men, perhaps she was dressing very provocatively, perhaps she was acting very sexual in some sense, now we all know intellectually none of those things justify somebody raping her... And yet when you look at people's discussion of these issues you see hints that yeah, she kind of brought it on. She wasn't just kind of like a pure random victim she had a role in what happened to her. Now of course it could be a he as well, I shouldn't be assuming only females can be raped. What about storm victims? I put a question mark after that. There have been some studies that have even asked about people who've been hit by hurricanes or something like that. where some, quite often participants will say things like well, they, they shouldn't live in an area that's susceptible to, to, sorry, if you're going to live in Florida, of course you're going to get hit by a storm. So it's your fault. or, well, if you're going to live in a storm region, you'd better build a strong house, and if a tornado comes through and rips your house apart, Well it's your fault for not having an appropriate house. So all of these things are consistent with this just world hypothesis. Now what we mean by just is just. As in justice. and the idea here is that we believe people become victims because of something they do. And the reasons psychologists thing we do this is because we all want to believe if we are good people, if we are smart people, then misfortune will not come to us. That it comes to those who deserve it and as long as we live a life that doesn't invite mishap. Then maybe we will be secure, everyone will be safe. So that notion is, this is really reflecting our, our desire for security ;our need to feel secure. And so by thinking that when bad things happen to other people, it's because they deserve it. We are actually telling ourselves we don't deserve it, bad things won't happen to us. So again, another form of sort of self-preservation of in this case the security of the self. Kind of interesting. Okay, now there's one other concept I want to bring into play here because it will come into play throughout this course. and it's related to this two, it's notion of locus of control. It's more forward looking. It's not so much about you saw something happen and what attributions you make, it's more about there's some challenge ahead of you. how likely do you think you, you will meet this challenge? And a difference has been drawn between people who have what is called an external versus an internal locus of control and what this actually means is. If you have an external locus of control, you think success depends a lot on chance, environment, the chance that things happen in the world. That the outcome is determined by the world than anything that you would do. So in a way, you are saying that you, yourself, do not have a whole lot of ability. In shaping how things turn out. That it's external forces that will shape that. You're kind of a passenger. That's someone who has an external locus of control. They see the control as being external. Someone with an internal locus of control, has the feeling that they, can determine how events unfold. So you know, if you really believe that, if you say, you know what, I'm going into a job interview, and I think that if I prepare well, and if I present myself well, and, you know, if I hit a certain few points I want to hit, I can land this job. It's within my power to do so. I have the control. That would be somebody with an internal locus of control. Somebody with an external locus will say well, you know, I will go and I will do my best but ultimately I don't think that I can have that much of an effect over this. They are probably for a certain kind of person that does the certain thing, so I'll go in, show them who I am and I'll either fit what they are looking for, I won't. And if I fit then I'll get the job, but it will be more because of them in the context them because of me. Or as the internal thinks it's because of me, okay? This relates to the issue of empowerment. People who have an external locus of control often feel like victims. They feel like things happen to them. Whereas people with an internal locus feel more like they are leaders or they are at least in command of their life. And often this is a very important thing for people to have to literally empower them. And let me give you one taste of that. one of the problems that Alzheimer's patients have Is early on in the disease they, they start wanting to wander and sometimes late at night, they want to wander. They feel hyperactive and so they, they leave the house and they start walking somewhere. And of course they often sometimes have major memory impairment, so they're out walking and suddenly they can't remember the way back home. they don't know which way to go. and so they get lost. at some point, imagine this is your parent that this is happening to. At some point the care giver will jail the patient. They will literally say, you know what? We're going to have to lock all the doors. You can now not leave unless one of us is with you. Because we don;t want you getting lost. But really what you've now done is take away some control from this person's life. It is no longer up to them to, when they can do things and how they can do things. It is up to you and you are an external force. So you're shifting that, you're, you're disempowering them, you're taking away this power, putting it to the environment and that's often where a lot of alzheimer's patients start getting a little nasty. And they start having a lot of negative emotionality. Disempowerment does that. You begin to feel like a victim and none of us like that feeling, that's locus of control. Okay, so we have those things in place. just to remind you, we have the self-serving bias, which tends to preserve our self esteem. we have the Just World Hypothesis, which makes us feel comfortable when we see bad things happening to other people, we think they deserved it, so that makes us feel a little more secure. And we have this concept of locus of control, which is just something that people vary on some people are more internal than others and even within our lives sometimes we feel more in control and then other times we feel less. So those concepts all relate to how we think of ourselves versus the environment we find ourselves in. And they're all going to be very relevant to the next lecture, which really addresses the, the, the critical question. Why do good people sometimes do evil things? And it's going to be about this interaction so thats why I want to send it out. Alright, so if you want to check out any of this any more I've got some videos here about each of the three things I just talked about, self serving bias, locus of control, belief in a just world... and similarly, I've got some, some websites that talk about these things, in different contexts. Including for the locus of control, I've brought in the depression context, and the feeling that most depressed people have, that it doesn't matter what they do, it'll turn out bad. That's what they think. they have no control in determining events. so check that out, that will show you how important this notion of locus of control is, alright, so that's what I have for this lecture, I'm going to leave it there, but I'm looking forward to the next one, so I will see you there.