Put yourself in this scenario: You join an Internet chat group with a random assortment of people participating. No one shares their picture or real

Put yourself in this scenario: You join an Internet chat group with a random assortment of people participating. No one shares their picture or real name or stops to say much about their background. Nonetheless, in the process of chatting, you learn a lot about the other people online. This is how some of the posts read: Person 1: “I like to play slot machines. I just lost big time but I’m sure the machine was broken.” Person 2: “I was in college, but I dropped out. I couldn’t find the time to study.” Person 3: “I told a Polish joke at work. Some people got mad, but I thought it was funny.” Person 4: “Everyone on my street is pitching in with money to our neighbor. I don’t really have extra money, but I’m going to chip in anyway.” Person 5: “I didn’t date many men because I had an arranged marriage.” Each of these comments represents a concept in social psychology, which studies how individuals behave in social situations. This week, you will analyze the relationship between culture and social behavior and examine similarities and differences across cultures. As you investigate and share conclusions in your coursework this week, continue to focus on developing your skills in scholarly writing and providing strong evidence to support your conclusions. Watch for “Just in Time” links for the Learning Resources, Discussion, and/or Assignment this week. When you see a “Just in Time” link, hover to get ful tips or other guidance for completing your best coursework. You may not realize this, but you are always explaining things to yourself.  Any time something happens, you reflexively try to figure out why it happened.  The explanations we come up with are called attributions.  If a student—not you, of course—does not do well on a test, that student has to decide why things went poorly.  The student might attribute the poor performance to not studying hard enough, or they might decide that the test was completely unfair.  As you can imagine, the attributions we make are really important!  Explaining poor performance by focusing on lack of studying is an example of making an internal attribution.  The cause is something within the student and therefore something that can be controlled.  If the problem is studying, just study harder for the next test, right?  But if the student decides the test was unfair, that is an external attribution, focusing on a cause that is outside of the student’s control.  You can’t do anything about that, can you? The test is just an example, of course, but our sense of control is a big part of who we are.  People with a strong internal locus of control tend to see things in light of their own efforts and abilities, while those with a more external locus of control feel that much of what happens is random, or uncontrollable, or caused by other people.   You can see how these different interpretations make a huge impact on how we respond to our life experiences!  For this reason, we want to understand our own attributional style, but of course we also want to be able to understand other people and other cultures.  In order to work with or others, we have to understand where they are coming from, and that includes their cultural background.  It should not surprise you at this point to find out that culture can impact our sense of control and the types of attributions we make! This week you will have the opportunity to assess your own locus of control. Then you will consider how locus of control impacts attributions; you will also consider how culture plays a role. Just like last week, our goal is to generate conversation. Post one question to the discussion and respond to at least two questions (or responses) posed by your peers. your one question with background to the discussion board. Put your question in the subject line of your post and put your supporting text in the message area of the post. Discussion Tips: to at least two peers’ main questions (or their response). Colleague replies do not need to be supported by a reference.

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