AppliedResearch in Psychology
Psychologicalmethods have been used to solve practical problems facing humanbeings in the society today. Social psychology, a branch of appliedpsychology, provides a clear understanding of human social behavior(Ajzen,2011).For instance, social psychologists explain why people give in tosocial pressure. Many problems in the society, if not all, are rootedon human cognitions. Social psychology has been applied to solvespecific problems as explained below.
Researchersin the north of the Netherlands, Drenthe Province, were concernedwith the traffic safety in the region. The analyzed traffic datashowed that moped riders are twenty-two times more prone to trafficmishap than other average users, and fifty times more likely thannormal car users (Steg& van Brussel, 2013).The researcher’s goal was to develop a program, aimed at increasingthe safety of moped riders.
WhichBehavior Causes Accidents?
Afterclose examination of the behavior that causes accidents among mopedriders, it was realized that the accidents were related to thetraffic defiance (e.g., speeding), and not to lapses such as notnoticing the traffic lights. From the analysis, the research teamdeduced that moped riders do not observe speed limits and they weremore prone to fines for speeding. According to the team, speeding waspropelled by conscious decision making (Ajzen,2011).
Followingthe theory of planned behavior (TPB), the team scrutinized how socialnorms and attitude influenced speeding. It was realized that mopedriders with strong social norms and positive attitude towardsspeeding were more vulnerable to speed violation compared to thosewith weak social norms and negative attitudes (Ajzen,2011).Besides, it was noticed that no significant relationship existedbetween behavioral control and speeding.
Basedon the results of the research, it was affirmed that traffic safetyprograms should be on changing the attitude and social norms of themoped riders. They also suggested that laying emphasis on the riskassociated with speeding made the prevalent attitudes more negative,thus controlling the accidents. Also, the team suggested that socialnorms would be weakened through the provision of youngsters whodisapprove speeding in information campaigns against speeding.
Theproblem of accidents among the moped riders was curbed byunderstanding which factors caused the behavior. Secondly clearintervention techniques were laid out to change the behavior. In thiscase, speeding is strongly aligned with social norms and attitude.The intervention focused on changing social norms and attituderelated to speeding (Steg& van Brussel, 2013). For example, in our case campaigns which stressed on the riskassociated with speeding were designed. This was an intervention ofapplied social psychology. The psychologists also play a key role inevaluating the effectiveness of the various interventions and howthey can be improved. Moreover, these evaluations createopportunities to test social psychological theories in real lifesituation. In conclusion, applied psychology helped to solve themenace of accidents by moped riders. This is a well-developed casestudy where knowledge from social psychology has been applied tosolve social problems.
MethodsUsed in the Research
Theresearch used scientific methods, which entailed both quantitativestatistical and qualitative ethological modalities. These methodswere used to develop and assess explanatory hypothesis about thepsychological phenomena of accidents caused by moped riders (Steg& van Brussel, 2013).The qualitative methods used involved a wide range of observationmethods such as ethnography, structured interviews, participantobservation, and action research. The above methods aided ingathering quality information in the field of study. Knowledge fromother scientific areas aided in explanation of the psychologicalphenomena. Various aspects of mental function were tested usingstatistical and psychometric methods. The psychologist in theresearch used applied psychology to deploy the knowledge forpractical benefit. Also, quantitative psychology methods were used tomeasure and explain the behaviors of the moped riders. Psychometrics,a branch of quantitative psychology, helped in the application of thestatistical analysis to the psychological case study of the mopedriders (Ajzen,2011).Moreover, psychometric aided in the measurement of attitudes,abilities, and personal traits. Analysis of these phenomena is quitetricky however, knowledge from psychometrics was used to properlydefine the phenomena.
Inconclusion, scientific methods were used to scrutinize theproposition and attitudes of the moped riders. The study wascommitted to the values that qualify a study scientific in nature.Besides, the research observed ethical guidelines which are in linewith applied psychology (Ajzen,2011).Such ethical issues include avoid harm, respect the people’srights, and maintain the integrity.
Applicationsof the Findings from the Research
Fromthe research it was realized that attitude can be applied to changethe behavior of an individual. Behavior refers to the reactiontowards specific stimuli, while attitude refers to the feelingdeveloped towards something (Taylor& Brown, 2015).Critical relationships exist between behavior and attitudes. Thoughnot always, behaviors mirror established attitudes and beliefs. Forinstance, a lady who is strongly aligned with abstinence beforemarriage may choose to remain a virgin until her wedding night.Positive attitudes reflect good behaviors. However, in someexceptional cases, some attitudes may result in bad behavior. Forexample, some couples remain in a deadly domestic situation due tothe strong social norms they have towards divorce.
Preconceptions,social influences, monetary factors, and inconvenience are otherfactors that relate to the behavior. For instance, an individual mayhave a strong conviction about improving the public amenities intheir region, however, if hefty taxes are imposed on the property,she may vote against the project. Inconsistencies between behaviorand attitude also redirect the behavior.
Cognitivetherapy technique can be used to change the attitudes of individualswhich in turn change the behavior. It works through changingirrational ways of thinking (Taylor& Brown, 2015). For example, from the above case study, the attitude of the mopedriders was changed via cognitive therapy. This resulted in areduction in the accidents among moped riders in the Netherlands.
Fromthe results of the study, attitude and behavior are woven togetherinto the fabric of day to day life. Individuals express a good or badfeeling in everything that they encounter. Political campaigns andother convincing media information are developed on the premise thatbehavior is accompanied by attitude, and attitude is more ofteninfluenced by messages deliver in the right way. In conclusion, fromthe research on moped riders, we can develop the practicalapplication of changing attitudes to change individual behavior(Taylor& Brown, 2015).
Benefitsof the Application on Human Health
Humanhealth will be positively influenced by the application of thisresearch finding. Social relationships have an influence onindividual mental health. Research has shown that attitude has bothshort and long-term effects on health (Taylor& Brown, 2015).These effects can be curtailed by establishing the correct attitudethat directly influences the behavior. From the case study there werereduced incidences of accidents, which is a positive implication.
Ajzen,I. (2011). The theory of planned behaviour: reactions andreflections. Psychology& health,26(9),1113-1127.
Steg,L., & van Brussel, A. (2013). Accidents, aberrant behaviours, andspeeding of young moped riders. Transportationresearch part F: traffic psychology and behaviour,12(6),503-511.
Taylor,S. E., & Brown, J. D. (2015). Illusion and well-being: a socialpsychological perspective on mental health. Psychologicalbulletin,103(2),193.