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MCFT-006: Applied Social Psychology

MCFT-006: Applied Social Psychology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

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Assignment Code: MCFT-006/TMA-6/ASST-6/2023-24

Course Code: MCFT-006

Assignment Name: Applied Social Psychology

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Note:- (i) Answer all the questions in both sections.

(ii) Answers to questions of Section “A” should not exceed 300 words each.

Section A - Descriptive Questions

Q1) “Socialization and child rearing practices vary from one culture to another, and also with time in the same culture”. Do you agree with this statement? Give examples to substantiate your answer.


a)    Cultural Variation:

1)      Cultural Differences: Different cultures have unique beliefs, traditions, and values that shape child-rearing practices. For instance, in collectivist cultures like many Asian societies, there might be an emphasis on community involvement in child-rearing, while individualistic cultures like those in Western societies may prioritize independence from an early age.

2)     Parenting Styles: The authoritative parenting style, characterized by warmth and control, is prevalent in some cultures, while others might adopt authoritarian or permissive styles. For example, Nordic countries emphasize democratic parenting, fostering open communication and equality within the family.


b)   Changes Over Time:

1)      Technological Advancements: With the advent of technology, parenting practices have changed. Screen time regulations, digital device usage, and concerns about online safety are relatively new challenges that today's parents face, which were not prevalent a few decades ago.

2)     Societal Shifts: Societal changes impact parenting practices. In contemporary society, there's a growing emphasis on gender equality, leading to shifts in how children are raised regarding gender roles, with a move towards more gender-neutral upbringing compared to traditional norms.


Examples of Cultural and Temporal Variations

a)     Breastfeeding Practices: In some cultures, extended breastfeeding is common, while in others, it might be less prevalent due to cultural norms or societal pressures. Additionally, breastfeeding rates might vary over time due to changing perceptions and healthcare recommendations.

b)     Educational Emphasis: Different cultures prioritize education differently. Some might emphasize academic achievement from a young age, while others focus more on holistic development, including emotional and social skills.

c)     Discipline Approaches: Discipline methods vary across cultures and time periods. While corporal punishment might have been widely accepted in the past, there's a growing shift towards positive discipline methods emphasizing communication and empathy.

d)     Independence and Autonomy: The age at which children are encouraged to become independent varies. In some cultures, children might stay longer in the parental home, while in others, they might leave earlier to pursue education or work opportunities.



Variations in socialization and child-rearing practices across cultures and within the same culture over time are evident. These differences stem from cultural norms, societal changes, technological advancements, and evolving understandings of child development. Acknowledging and understanding these variations is crucial in appreciating the diversity of parenting practices and in fostering intercultural understanding.


Q2) Discuss management of aggression with reference to teenagers.

Ans) Managing aggression in teenagers involves understanding the underlying causes, promoting healthy coping mechanisms, and fostering positive behaviour. Here are some strategies:


a)    Understanding Causes:

1)      Identifying Triggers: Recognize triggers that provoke aggressive behaviour in teenagers. These triggers could be stress, peer pressure, family conflicts, academic pressure, or mental health issues like anxiety or depression.

2)     Communication: Encourage open communication. Teens often resort to aggression when they feel unheard or misunderstood. Establishing a supportive environment for dialogue helps address underlying issues.


b)   Promoting Healthy Coping Mechanisms:

1)      Teaching Emotional Regulation: Educate teenagers on recognizing and managing their emotions. Techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, or journaling can help in regulating emotions and reducing impulsivity.

2)     Stress Management: Encourage stress-relief activities such as exercise, hobbies, or relaxation techniques to help teenagers manage stress in healthy ways.


c)    Positive Behaviour Reinforcement:

1)      Positive Reinforcement: Acknowledge and reward positive behaviour. This could include praise, encouragement, or small rewards to reinforce non-aggressive responses.

2)     Conflict Resolution Skills: Teach problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Help teens understand how to negotiate, compromise, and find peaceful resolutions to conflicts.


d)   Seeking Professional Help:

1)      Therapeutic Interventions: Therapy or counselling can assist teenagers in understanding and addressing underlying issues contributing to their aggression. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or anger management programs can be beneficial.

2)     Medical Consultation: In cases where aggression stems from underlying mental health issues, seeking guidance from a mental health professional or psychiatrist is crucial for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.


e)    Setting Clear Boundaries and Consistency:

1)      Consistent Consequences: Enforce consistent consequences for aggressive behaviour. Consistency helps teenagers understand the repercussions of their actions.

2)     Clear Rules: Establish clear rules and expectations. Clearly outlining boundaries and expectations helps prevent misunderstandings that may lead to aggression.


f)     Role Modelling and Support:

1)      Positive Role Models: Be a positive role model. Modelling healthy communication, conflict resolution, and emotional regulation sets an example for teenagers to follow.

2)     Support System: Ensure a supportive environment. Encourage relationships with peers and adults that provide support, guidance, and a sense of belonging.


g)   Community Involvement:

1)      Community Programs: Involvement in community-based programs, such as youth groups or volunteering, can provide a sense of purpose and belonging, reducing aggressive tendencies.

2)     Education and Awareness: Educate parents, teachers, and communities about recognizing signs of aggression in teenagers and providing appropriate support.


Managing teenage aggression involves a multifaceted approach that focuses on understanding, support, skill-building, and creating a conducive environment for healthy emotional and behavioural development.


Q3) Describe the elements of non-verbal communication.

Ans) Non-verbal communication encompasses various elements that convey messages without the use of words. These elements are fundamental in human interaction and contribute significantly to understanding and interpreting social cues. Here are the key elements:


a)    Body Language:

1)      Gestures: Hand movements, facial expressions, and body postures convey emotions, intentions, or emphasis. Examples include nodding, pointing, or crossing arms.

2)     Facial Expressions: The face is a primary source of non-verbal cues. Expressions like smiling, frowning, raising eyebrows, or eye contact convey emotions and attitudes.


b)   Paralinguistics:

1)      Tone and Pitch: Variations in voice tone, pitch, volume, and intonation communicate emotions, attitudes, and emphasis. For instance, a high-pitched voice might convey excitement, while a lower tone could express seriousness.

2)     Speech Rate and Pauses: The speed of speech and the use of pauses convey meaning. Rapid speech might indicate excitement or nervousness, while deliberate pauses can signify emphasis or contemplation.


c)    Proxemics:

1)      Personal Space: Cultural norms and individual preferences dictate the comfort level regarding personal space. The distance maintained during interaction conveys intimacy, formality, or discomfort.

2)     Territoriality: People mark territories or spaces around them, which can indicate ownership, comfort, or boundaries.


d)   Eye Contact:

1)      Duration and Intensity: Eye contact varies in duration and intensity across cultures. It communicates interest, confidence, sincerity, or dominance.

2)     Avoidance or Gaze Shifting: Lack of eye contact or frequent gaze shifting might suggest discomfort, dishonesty, or shyness.


e)    Touch:

1)      Haptics: Touch can convey various messages based on its duration, intensity, and context. It expresses comfort, support, intimacy, or aggression.

2)     Cultural Variances: Cultural norms influence the appropriateness and interpretation of touch. In some cultures, frequent touching during conversation is common, while in others, it might be considered intrusive.


f)     Appearance:

1)      Clothing and Grooming: Attire, grooming, and accessories communicate social status, professionalism, personality, or cultural affiliation.

2)     Non-verbal Cues: Hairstyles, makeup, tattoos, or jewellery serve as non-verbal cues expressing individuality or cultural identity.


g)   Posture and Body Alignment:

1)      Body Alignment: The alignment of the body concerning others reflects interest, attention, or authority. Leaning forward signifies engagement, while leaning back might indicate relaxation or disinterest.

2)     Posture and Movement: Upright posture, relaxed movements, or pacing can convey confidence, nervousness, or boredom.


Q4) Analyse the changing societal attitude towards sexuality.

Ans) Societal attitudes toward sexuality have undergone significant transformations over the years, reflecting shifts in cultural, social, and political landscapes. These changes are influenced by factors such as globalization, technological advancements, advocacy for human rights, and evolving gender roles. Here is an analysis of the changing societal attitude towards sexuality:


a)    Historical Perspectives:

1)      Repression and Stigma: Historically, many societies have been marked by a conservative approach to sexuality, often characterized by the repression of sexual expression and the imposition of strict moral codes.

2)     Taboos and Silence: Open discussions about sexuality were often considered taboo, leading to a lack of education and awareness, fostering a culture of silence around the topic.


b)   Sexual Revolution (1960s-1970s):

1)      Liberalization: The Sexual Revolution challenged traditional norms, promoting sexual liberation, gender equality, and reproductive rights.

2)     Contraception and Women's Rights: The availability of contraceptives empowered individuals to make choices about their reproductive health, contributing to the women's rights movement.


c)    HIV/AIDS Crisis (1980s):

1)      Shift in Attitudes: The HIV/AIDS crisis prompted a re-evaluation of societal attitudes toward sexuality, emphasizing the importance of sexual health, education, and destigmatization.

2)     Advocacy for Safe Practices: The epidemic led to increased awareness about safe sex practices, challenging existing norms and encouraging open conversations.


d)   LGBTQ+ Rights Movement:

1)      Recognition of Diverse Sexual Orientations: The LGBTQ+ rights movement has been instrumental in challenging heteronormative perspectives, advocating for acceptance, and fostering legal recognition.

2)     Legal Reforms: Many societies have witnessed legal reforms, including the decriminalization of same-sex relationships and the recognition of same-sex marriages.


e)    Internet and Technology:

1)      Access to Information: The internet has facilitated greater access to information about sexuality, contributing to increased awareness and education.

2)     Online Communities: Technology has enabled the formation of supportive online communities, providing a platform for individuals to share experiences and seek guidance.


f)     #MeToo Movement:

1)      Empowerment and Consent: The #MeToo movement has sparked conversations about consent, power dynamics, and the importance of respecting boundaries in sexual relationships.

2)     Accountability: There is a growing demand for accountability in cases of sexual harassment and assault, challenging traditional patriarchal structures.

g)   Changing Gender Roles:

1)      Evolving Definitions of Masculinity and Femininity: Shifting gender norms have influenced societal expectations regarding sexual behaviour, challenging stereotypes and promoting equality.

2)     Recognition of Sexual Diversity: There is an increasing acknowledgment of the diversity of gender identities and expressions, contributing to a more inclusive understanding of sexuality.


h)    Sex Education:

1)      Comprehensive Sex Education: Efforts to introduce comprehensive sex education in schools aim to provide accurate information, dispel myths, and promote healthy attitudes toward sexuality.

2)     Empowerment: Education plays a crucial role in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their sexual health and relationships.


Q5) Discuss challenges to family cohesion in the context of your culture in the present times.

Ans) Family cohesion faces several challenges in the present times, and these challenges can vary across different cultures. While specific issues may differ, certain common trends can be identified. In the context of many cultures, including contemporary societies in Western countries, here are some challenges to family cohesion:


a)    Changing Social Dynamics:

1)      Urbanization and Mobility: Increased urbanization often leads to family members living apart for work or education, disrupting traditional close-knit family structures.

2)     Nuclear Family Trends: There's a shift from extended to nuclear family setups due to career opportunities or lifestyle preferences, impacting intergenerational ties.


b)   Technology and Communication:

1)      Digital Distractions: Excessive screen time and engagement with digital devices can reduce face-to-face interactions within families, affecting bonding and communication.

2)     Social Media Impact: Overuse or misuse of social media can lead to conflicts, misunderstandings, or disconnect among family members.


c)    Work-Life Imbalance:

1)      Work Pressure: Long working hours and demanding jobs can lead to stress, affecting family time and the quality of relationships.

2)     Financial Strain: Economic pressures and the need for dual incomes might limit family time and increase stress levels.


d)   Generational Conflicts:

1)      Differing Values: Generation gaps in beliefs, lifestyles, and values can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between older and younger family members.

2)     Cultural Shifts: Changing societal norms challenge traditional values, causing tension between generations regarding social practices or ideologies.


e)    Individualism vs. Collectivism:

1)      Emphasis on Individual Needs: There's a growing emphasis on individual aspirations and autonomy, sometimes conflicting with collective family expectations.

2)     Personal Space: The need for personal space and independence might clash with familial expectations of togetherness or interdependence.


f)     Parenting Challenges:

1)      Parent-Child Relationship: Parenting styles, generational differences, and cultural shifts pose challenges in maintaining harmonious relationships between parents and children.

2)     Pressure on Children: Academic stress, peer influence, and societal expectations can strain parent-child dynamics.


g)   Crisis Situations and External Stressors:

1)      Health Crises: Health issues, especially in aging parents or family members, can cause emotional strain and require additional caregiving responsibilities.

2)     Social Unrest: Sociopolitical tensions or external crises can impact family unity, causing anxiety and disagreements over ideologies or safety concerns.


h)    Cultural Changes:

1)      Globalization: Exposure to diverse cultures and lifestyles through globalization can create identity conflicts or influence cultural values within families.

2)     Cultural Adaptation: Balancing traditional values with modern influences poses challenges, leading to identity crises or conflicts among family members.


Q6) Describe positive approaches to conflict management.

Ans) Positive approaches to conflict management focus on resolving disputes in a constructive, respectful, and collaborative manner. These strategies aim to address underlying issues while preserving relationships and fostering mutual understanding. Here are several positive approaches to conflict resolution:


a)    Effective Communication:

1)      Active Listening: Encouraging open and active listening allows each party to feel heard and understood, laying the groundwork for constructive dialogue.

2)     Use of "I" Statements: Expressing feelings and perspectives using "I" statements helps avoid blame and promotes a non-confrontational atmosphere.

3)     Clarification and Summarization: Clarifying and summarizing each other's viewpoints ensure accurate understanding, minimizing misunderstandings.


b)   Collaboration and Compromise:

1)      Win-Win Solutions: Encourage the exploration of mutually beneficial solutions rather than a win-lose outcome, emphasizing compromise and collaboration.

2)     Brainstorming: Encouraging brainstorming sessions where both parties contribute ideas helps generate creative solutions.


c)    Empathy and Understanding:

1)      Empathetic Approach: Understanding each other's perspectives and acknowledging emotions fosters empathy and promotes a sense of understanding.

2)     Seeing the Other's Point of View: Encouraging individuals to consider the other person's perspective helps in finding common ground.


d)   Focus on Interests, Not Positions:

1)      Identifying Interests: Encourage parties to identify their underlying needs and interests rather than focusing solely on their positions. This helps in finding common ground.

2)     Separating People from the Problem: Emphasize that the conflict is about the issue at hand and not about personal differences, reducing defensiveness.


e)    Time and Space for Reflection:

1)      Taking Breaks: Encouraging breaks during intense discussions allows individuals to calm down and reflect before continuing the conversation.

2)     Postponing Discussions: Sometimes, postponing discussions to a later, calmer time can prevent escalation and allow for more productive conversations.


f)     Establishing Ground Rules:

1)      Setting Boundaries: Establishing ground rules for respectful communication ensures that discussions remain focused and respectful.

2)     Maintaining Confidentiality: Agreeing on confidentiality when discussing sensitive issues builds trust and encourages open communication.


g)   Learning and Growing from Conflict:

1)      Post-Conflict Reflection: Encouraging parties to reflect on the conflict afterward can lead to insights and learning opportunities for future conflict resolution.

2)     Continuous Improvement: Viewing conflicts as opportunities for growth and learning helps individuals and groups refine their conflict resolution skills.


Section B - Short Answer Type Questions


Q1) Write short notes (in about 150 words each) on the following:

i) Priming

Ans) The psychological phenomenon known as priming describes the way in which exposure to a stimulus effects later behaviour or responses without the individual being consciously aware of the influence. The initial exposure to a specific stimulus can mould or impact an individual's response to a similar stimulus later on, according to this notion, which argues that this interaction can take place. As an illustration, if a person is presented with phrases that are associated with the concept of "kindness" before to engaging in a conversation, it is possible that they may demonstrate more compassionate behaviour throughout the conversation. Priming can take place as a result of a variety of stimuli, such as words, images, smells, or sounds, and it has the potential to alter individuals' perceptions, judgments, attitudes, and behaviours without their being consciously aware of the influence. This process exemplifies the many ways in which our brains receive information and are impacted by small cues that are present in our surroundings.


ii) Existentialism

Ans) Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries, emphasizing individual experience, freedom, and the inherent meaninglessness of existence. Key figures include Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Søren Kierkegaard.


a)    Key Tenets: Existentialism posits that existence precedes essence, asserting that individuals create their essence through their choices and actions. It rejects universal truths, emphasizing subjective experience and personal responsibility. The movement grapples with the anxiety and despair arising from the awareness of human freedom and the absence of inherent meaning in life.

b)   Freedom and Responsibility: Existentialists celebrate human freedom but underscore the heavy responsibility that accompanies it. Choices define one's essence, and individuals must confront the consequences of their actions without relying on external moral or religious frameworks.

c)    Impact on Literature and Arts: Existentialist themes have had a profound impact on literature, drama, and art. Camus' "The Stranger" and Sartre's "No Exit" are notable works exploring existential concepts. Existentialist ideas have also influenced the works of filmmakers, playwrights, and artists, shaping narratives that delve into the complexities of human existence.

d)   Critiques: Existentialism has faced critiques for its perceived pessimism, individualism, and the challenge of providing concrete ethical guidelines. Critics argue that the emphasis on individual freedom may lead to moral relativism and a lack of societal cohesion.

e)    Legacy: Despite critiques, existentialism's legacy persists in contemporary philosophy and cultural discourse. Its exploration of freedom, choice, and the search for meaning continues to resonate in discussions about personal identity, ethics, and the human condition.


iii) Emotion regulation

Ans) A person's capacity to comprehend, control, and modify their emotional experiences and manifestations is referred to as their ability to regulate their emotions. The mental well-being, interpersonal interactions, and overall adaptive functioning are all significantly impacted by its presence.


Strategies for Emotion Regulation:

a)     Cognitive Reappraisal: Involves reframing or reinterpreting situations to alter emotional responses. This strategy focuses on changing the way one thinks about an event.

b)     Expressive Suppression: Involves inhibiting the outward expression of emotions. While it can be useful in certain situations, chronic suppression may lead to negative outcomes.

c)     Mindfulness: Encourages non-judgmental awareness of present emotions. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, help individuals observe emotions without being overwhelmed by them.

d)     Problem-Solving: Addresses the source of emotional distress through practical solutions, promoting a sense of control and efficacy.

e)     Social Support: Seeking support from others can provide comfort and perspective, aiding in emotion regulation.


iv) Objective self-awareness

Ans) Objective self-awareness involves the ability to view oneself from an external perspective, akin to being observed by an impartial spectator. It revolves around the conscious evaluation of one's thoughts, emotions, and behaviours as if scrutinized by an objective observer. This state prompts individuals to step outside their immediate experiences and critically assess themselves, often leading to a more detached and unbiased evaluation. Achieving objective self-awareness requires reflection and introspection, allowing individuals to gain insights into their behaviours and motivations. It plays a pivotal role in behavioural modification as individuals, aware of being observed objectively, tend to align their actions with internalized standards and societal norms. This form of self-awareness also involves social comparison, where individuals evaluate themselves against personal and social benchmarks, influencing their self-esteem and pursuit of goals. Achieving objective self-awareness requires creating a psychological distance from immediate experiences, enabling a more dispassionate and rational self-evaluation.


v) Negotiations

Ans) Negotiations encompass a dynamic process wherein parties engage in discussions to reach mutually acceptable agreements or resolve conflicts. It involves a series of interactions aiming to reconcile differences and achieve common goals. Core elements include communication, compromise, and the pursuit of shared interests. Effective negotiation hinges on active listening, where each party comprehends the other's perspectives and concerns. It often involves give-and-take, emphasizing compromise without compromising core values. Strategies like win-win approaches encourage solutions beneficial to all parties involved. Additionally, negotiations leverage creative problem-solving to explore alternatives and generate innovative solutions. Building rapport and trust is crucial in negotiations, fostering an environment conducive to open dialogue and collaboration. The negotiation process may involve multiple stages, from preparation and discussion to bargaining and reaching a final agreement, requiring adaptability and resilience to navigate complexities and disagreements. Successful negotiations often culminate in agreements that satisfy the interests and needs of all involved parties.


vi) Bisexual

Ans) Bisexual refers to a sexual orientation characterized by emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to individuals of more than one gender. Bisexuality encompasses a spectrum, allowing individuals to be attracted to both genders, often not limited to binary definitions of male and female. It acknowledges the potential for attractions across a wide range of gender identities, including but not limited to cisgender, transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals. Bisexuality is distinct from other sexual orientations, such as heterosexuality or homosexuality, as it doesn't adhere to exclusive attraction to a single gender. Despite misconceptions or stigma, bisexuality is a valid and legitimate sexual orientation, emphasizing the capacity for diverse attractions and relationships regardless of the gender of the partner. Understanding and respecting bisexuality promotes inclusivity and diversity within discussions of sexual orientation.


vii) Escapism

Ans) Escapism refers to the tendency or desire to seek relief from reality, often through various forms of distraction, fantasy, or entertainment. It manifests as a psychological coping mechanism, allowing individuals to temporarily detach themselves from stressful or unpleasant aspects of their lives. Engaging in activities like reading fiction, watching movies, playing video games, or daydreaming are common forms of escapism. While moderate escapism can provide a healthy break and relaxation, excessive reliance on it might hinder facing challenges or responsibilities, leading to avoidance behaviours. It becomes problematic when used excessively as a means of evasion from confronting reality, potentially impacting one's ability to address real-life issues and hindering personal growth and development. Recognizing the balance between healthy relaxation and over-reliance on escapism is crucial for maintaining a well-rounded approach to life.


viii) Multi systemic therapy

Ans) Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a comprehensive, evidence-based therapeutic approach primarily used for adolescents exhibiting serious behavioural issues. It operates on the principle that individual behaviour is influenced by multiple systems—family, school, peers, and community. MST targets these interconnected systems to bring about positive behavioural changes in the adolescent. Therapists work directly with the family within their natural environment, focusing on empowering caregivers, improving family communication, and addressing factors contributing to the adolescent's behaviour. By incorporating various systems into the therapeutic process, MST aims to promote sustainable changes in the adolescent's environment, enhancing their well-being and reducing delinquent behaviours. It's an intensive and time-limited intervention, typically lasting three to five months, emphasizing practical strategies tailored to the specific needs of each family. MST has shown success in reducing behavioural problems and preventing out-of-home placements for troubled youth.

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