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Post 1: (Write a 50-100 words response)

Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

History of Attitude Research (Write a 50-100 words response)

Social psychologists of the 1920’s and 1930’s saw attitude and behaviors resulting from those attitudes of interest, not only qualitatively, but quantitatively as well. This period was aptly called the attitude measurement era. To bring greater credibility to the study of what is now known as social psychology, major theorists felt it necessary to identify measurement procedures which could be utilized.

Group dynamics was a movement during a period from 1935 through 1955 which brought a shift in thought regarding attitude measurability and sought to find ways to manipulate social actions thus change attitude and behavior. The social psychologists were eager to do more to facilitate change and not focus so heavily on observing and measuring attitudes.

Both the attitude measurement era and group dynamics were directly influenced by war. The brutality and destruction experienced by people during the war as well as the emotional devastation gave psychologists the impetus to suspend concerns of how to quantify attitudes and behaviors and focus on facilitating change. The dynamics of war altered the way in which psychologists perceived their position as social scientists.


McGuire, W. J. (1986). The vicissitudes of attitudes and similar representational constructs in twentieth century psychology. European Journal of Social Psychology, 16(2), 89-103.

Post 2: (Write a 50-100 words response)

Respond the following ways: “respond to at least one colleague’s post and comment on how we as social change agents and critical consumers of research can balance the usefulness with the error in the research. Do we throw the research out because of too much error, or is there something useful that it can tell us?

The Logic of Inference: The Science of Uncertainty

Lyall, J. (2009). Does Indiscriminate Violence Incite Insurgent Attacks? Evidence from Chechnya. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 331-362.

This article tested using a natural experiment that draws on random artillery strikes by Russian forces in Chechnya to gauge the impact of indiscriminate violence on subsequent insurgent violence. This research studies the subject and helps to understand the causes of insurgent attacks which in return could help society. All of the empirical and existing theories conclude that indiscriminate violence reduces insurgent attacks.

Using the Y=f(X) +E notation, this study can be expressed as:

Attacks=violence (treatment) + error

Dependent variable is attack and independent variables are treatment, distance population, base terrain, dead ground, and rebel. This natural experiment cannot be taken in a broader claim that use of indiscriminate violence can be counterproductive. There could be many variables and context. There are also other situations that should be considered. The same results that are produced in this particular region may not represent the same results in another region. Comparatively, there could have been other factors that incited the insurgent attacks that may have been less powerful. The existing theories of the study were challenging and could not be taken as conclusive.

Cassandra James

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