Social Dynamics and Its Problems

It is argued that teaching and studying are determined by social dynamics (Colvin, 2005, p. 10). Some of the most influential factors which affect these activities in the classroom are the classroom atmosphere (which influences the students’ enthusiasm for learning and their engagement in classroom activities significantly), relations and expectations between participants (primarily between the teacher and students; e.g., how much students admire their professor and what they expect from the educator significantly influences how hard they will study), cultural sentiments (which often influence the perceptions of material, etc.), and so on (Colvin, 2005).

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Social dynamics in online course rooms are dependent on the relationships between group members and the way they interact with each other (Çelik, 2013, p. 666). Dominance might develop among group members due to the fear of criticism and the difference in the level of knowledge; more assertive students “may inhibit participation by those who are less confident” (Çelik, 2013, p. 677). It is noteworthy that participants of big discussions are sometimes likely to form many smaller discussion groups, in which they could ask questions that they think would be perceived as too simple for the main discussion.

I have partially taken a few Coursera courses, and I am also considering enrolling in some single courses at Capella University. I use both internal (fear of criticism) and external (difficulty of the course) attribution for the members of a course. When I participate in discussions, I try to provide arguments for my point of view and listen to other reasons, but if the belief perseverance of some participants is too persistent, I usually disengage so as not to waste time.

The audience of courses is not homogenous regarding age, nationality, personal views, but is expectedly homogenous concerning the interest in the subject. I believe that taking active part in discussions and not being shy in this are rather beneficial, because it allows to fill some gaps that might result from a person’s level of knowledge or from the peculiarities of the course being taken.

Our study has some important implications for the promotion of products and the provision of information about them depending on the sex of the buyers. We have concluded that it is useful to employ social networks to promote products for both genders (which is justified by Correa, Hinsley, and De Zúňiga (2010), who note that it is not clear if men use social networks more seldom than women do).

We have also reached the conclusion that, while selling products for women, shop assistants should be prepared to provide information on these products, because women tend to ask them for this information; also, word of mouth should be paid attention to. On the other hand, there should be plenty of information on products for men’s products on the Web, for men often use their devices to find data about products. This is also confirmed by Kraft and Weber (2012), who highlight that men look for information about products online more often.

After attending this course and taking part in the activities, I was able to understand how social psychology studies the relationships between people, their feelings and thoughts about the ties between them. While it appears that psychology is primarily the study of an individual, social psychology allows for researching an individual in the social context. Social psychology is vital because it allows to tie two different fields of study, namely, sociology and psychology, and allow for a mutual exchange of knowledge between them.

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Social psychology is also important because it has direct practical applications, allowing for deeper understanding of social problems and for creating methods to overcome these problems and better the functioning of the representatives of a society on all levels, namely, individual, group and organization levels, as well as on the level the whole society (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012, p. 8).

References

Çelik, S. (2013). Unspoken social dynamics in an online discussion group: The disconnect between attitudes and overt behavior of English language teaching graduate students. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 61(4), 665-683. Web.

Colvin, J. W. (2005). Peer tutoring and the social dynamics of a classroom: A dissertation. Web.

Correa, T., Hinsley, A. W., & De Zúňiga, H. G. (2010). Who interacts on the Web?: The intersection of users’ personality and social media. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(2), 247-253.

Kraft, H., & Weber, J. M. (2012). A look at gender differences and marketing implications. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(21), 247-253.

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (Eds.). (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

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