Social Constructionism In Psychology

Powerful Essays
For the better part of the Century, psychologist has obsessed over one simple yet puzzling question… What causes the different behaviors in individuals? As everyday humans, it might seem like this question isn’t as difficult as previously thought. If you were to ask a person on the street this question they might give you an answer like,” we are who we are” or “we are born this way”. Psychologist knows better though; they understand that there is a multitude of components that attribute to human behaviors. Many psychologists in the late 1960s neglected the possibility that behavior was more than just biological in nature. However, some proposed that to answer this question we must consider that the psychology that would best explain this “crisis”…show more content…
This metatheory of social constructionism was first introduced in 1966 by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality. This book established a new ground of psychological knowledge, “As the combined product of a sociologist (Berger) and philosopher (Luckmann), this book set the stage early for the relevance of an SC approach to multiple disciplines and for the emphasis on the role of language in shaping human understanding of the world” (Leeds-Hurwitz). This book is referred to as the obvious choice for a place to start if you what to begin and the beginning. The subject of social constructionism was deemed as the work of post-modernist. This theory of social constructionism is so relevant to the field of psychology because it directly deals with how people think. The driving factors into why individuals might make the decisions they do or why they conduct themselves in a certain manner. Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and how it functions with regards to behavior. The basis on which social constructionism is informed by psychology because it is built upon the main focus of psychology, trying to determine how our minds work, what makes us do the things we do and how the outside world factors into these…show more content…
As stated in the introducing paragraph, this was a real-life experiment conducted by a psychology professor, Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his team of graduate students. They built their own version of a prison in the lower levels on one of the buildings on campus. Converting the offices into cells for the prisoners to sleep in. The goal of the experiment was to record the behavioral components, the way the prisoners react to the conditions and treatment by the guards, and the biological components of the experiment, how the prisoners are affected mentally and physically or how they are changed on a psychological level. This experiment generally focuses on the relationship between the guards and the prisoners to determine the psychological effects prison has on the human psyche and how it transforms their perception of what society used to be like and changes it into this harsh, unforgiving reality that no longer abides by the general societal structure they were accustomed to. The psychological effects of the prison aren’t felt by the subjects upon the realization that they are incarcerated or that they are tasked with maintaining these “prisoners”, it starts when they are first assigned their roles. Each group was under the assumption that they were picked specifically because of the traits they possessed when truthfully, they were all assigned by random. By doing this, Dr. Zimbardo stimulates a
Get Access