Automaticity of Social Behavior Experiment Critique

The article authored by Bargh, Chen, and Burrows discusses the automaticity of certain cognitive behaviors in humans based on the presence of relevant situational features. The article further examines the effect of activation of the elderly stereotype on the behavior of participants whose subsequent behavior would prove the veracity of the hypothesis statement. The experiment conducted three separate experiments on the cognitive behavior regarding eternal situational features and the subsequent reactions generated by the presence of such features. The participants in the experiment were 30 male and female New York University undergraduates; the individuals represented the right age of individuals to elicit a reaction to elderly stereotype features (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996). The use of university students was an essential feature of the experiment since they are relatively younger individuals who are more likely to elicit reactions to the situational features prepackaged. Elderly individuals are less likely to make an external cognitive reaction to old age because they do not face similar preset stereotype features of old age. The experiment took place in two separate but identical categories which included a control group that could act as the standard bearing for the results of the experiments when proving the hypothesis.

According to the discussion section forth in Experiment 2a and 2b, the individuals who partook in the experiment displayed an automatic and nonconscious behavioral reaction to words linked with elderly stereotypes. The article’s coverage on the second experiment also discusses the debriefing process which took place in two different stages to monitor the changes in the participants’ reaction to the activation features they just came into contact with during the experiment process. The researchers also adopted a second experiment to test their hypotheses further by affirming that the individual also partook in the experiment did not have any knowledge contained in the situational features they just witnessed in the experiment room.  The authors’ approach to the experiment was commendably organized and structured in such a manner that the results obtained were free from external influence. The participants did not have any pre-activation activities that could have altered their reactions or any relevant cognitive behaviors. The experiment took up a third persona perspective and participatory role thus limiting the influence on the proceedings during research to a mere observatory and data analyzing functions.

The author’s choice of primary data collection as a means of gathering data from respondents in the experiment creates an authentic and credible foundation for proving the hypothesis. The entire procedure takes a procedural and well-structured pattern that allows the authors to make logical deductions from the final data (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996). However, the research design was flawed in the sense that the individuals who partook in the experiment were not randomly chosen instead they were handpicked individuals who took part in a scrambled-sentence structure experiment. The absence of randomness in picking the participants limited the outcome to a closed circle of people prone to a very limited pool of reaction to the activation features in the stereotypical words. The experiment failed in factoring this aspect into the final result thus limiting the credibility of the final outcomes of the study.

The research design also failed to take into account various external factors that might play a significant role in the reactions of the undergraduate student’s demeanor after the experiments. The students who participated in the experiments could be facing personal problems that affected their functionality as well as their emotional state. The said students might have been experiencing health issues at the time which influenced their mindset and physical state. The factors mentioned above could have affected the behavior of the participants despite not falling under the elderly stereotypes situational features. The experiment and authorship of the article took place in1996 thus giving it a twenty year gap between then and now. The difference in years could represent a considerable margin of error assuming that further research on the matter took place thus bringing into question the validity of the finding. The conclusions made by the author over the causal factors of automaticity are weak based on the fact that the authors dedicated little resource this part of the study. The authors’ conclusion are broadly generalized given that the experiment documented took place roughly twenty years ago . In light of these failings, the experiment’s credibility shines a light of doubt on the conclusions drawn from the findings as discussed in the article. The authors should have improved on the design by including the limitations of the research method used to arrive at their conclusions.

The results emanating from the experiment are valid given that they do not face human bias or any other external factor that could impede their accuracy. The individuals remained in their comfort and privacy during the scrambled-sentence segment of the experiment and the subsequent walk to the elevator is left unaffected barring the recording of their walking speed. The information is presented in a nonbiased manner in the article which enables the reader to formulate their opinions of the views expressed based on the systematic information disseminated by the article. Notably, the experiment conducted in 2a and 2b are only part of a trilogy of experiments that sought to affirm the influence of external factors on the cognitive behavior of human beings (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996). In the context of the entire article, the article serves as one of the three experiments that prove the hypothesis that individuals are susceptible to situational features which directly influences their actions at a subconscious level.

Retrospectively, the authors succeeded in justifying their hypothesis statement through a systematic and uniform experimentation process. The results of the experiment affirm that the environment and other factors play a critical role in the actions and reactions of various individuals without the individual’s knowledge thus the argument for automaticity of the behavior in human beings. The results and discussion sections of the article argue out the findings in a succinct and expert manner thus shedding further insight on the hypothesis. The authors use three different experiments to emphasize truth behind the findings courtesy of a uniform set of results from the experiments. The article also utilizes graphic images in the form of the graph presented in experiment 2a and 2b as a means of representing the findings of the research to the audience. The use of such tools aids in enhancing the comprehension of the results and for comparative purposes of the findings against other findings.

In conclusion, the article is well arranged and furnished to support the hypothesis proposed by the authors at the beginning of their article. The report follows a systematic structure by introducing the subject, presenting the experiments and its findings before making an in-depth and logical conclusion based off the subsequent results. The authors of the article use extensive resources to support them all round working by basis several of their arguments from previous works completed by earlier research on the subject.  The article also uses clear and succinct language that is well proficient in its field of study without straying too far from readily comprehensible content.

A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen

Ibsen realistic drama of conversation explores how power and control in relationships can have lasting effects on couples. The dominance and tension between Nora and her protagonist husband Torvald present some of the conventional roles of both men and women in the 19th century. (Ibsen 12).

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll in the House was written in 1879 about a middle-class family in the suburban of Europe. The story depicts a female protagonist Nora. Nora is treated like a doll in her house becoming more of a helpless little bird. The controversy arises when the social norms are challenged; Nora evolves throughout the play from being a submissive housewife to a more liberated woman. Compared to her husband Torvald who eventually become helpless when Nora walks away from the relationship. Even though Nora plays a role of a typical housewife, she reveals many dimensions that a typical woman during that time could not be portrayed. Nora initially, seems to be submissive and a childish woman, but with time Nora become an independent thinker (Ibsen 18).

Throughout the story marriage problems are apparent; women are oppressed and treated as the subordinate sex. Torvald’s character portrays a typical male of his time; he uses words like; “little squirrel” and “my little lark must drop her wings like that “such statement makes the audience feel as if he is talking to the little child and portrays women as pets (Ibsen 76). Nora’s husband Torvald does not view her as an equal partner; instead, he looks at his wife as a doll. In certain instance, Torvald makes Nora dress up and dance for him, in his mind Nora is like a play thing but not a wife. Torvald is more concerned about his financial status and reputation but with time, he fell sick because of overworking (Ibsen 79).

However Nora still devotes herself to Torvald despite being treated this way, she saves Torvald’s pride by borrowing money to pay for a trip that would save his life from Mr.Ktosgtad without her husband consent. Nora forged his fathers’ signature to get money in time to save her husband (Ibsen 86).

Nora ‘s perfect role of a housewife gradually transforms, and the story becomes more fascinating when  Krogstad starts to blackmail Nora by insisting that he persuades her husband not to fire him at the bank. At the same time, Nora is paying for something that did not benefit her; she did all this forgery to save her husband. Her secret shows her strength as she can carry the burden of debt alone (Ibsen 84). This is an extraordinary sacrifice Nora makes, having no stable income and two children she manages to find balance in life by working to ensure that she pays back the debt. This shows bravery and determination making her an admirable character in the story (Ibsen 93).

In the long run, Torvald finds out about the debt and Nora’s forgery.  He becomes infuriated with her, but Nora defends her position and her actions by reflecting back how she had been obedient. Nora finally realizes that she had been nothing more than a puppet to her husband to be used for entertainment. As the story comes to an end there are significant changes seen in both Nora and Torvald, Nora realizes that she has been like a human living in a dolls house. After realizing this Nora roles changes, she becomes more powerful and on the other hand, her husband becomes weaker. Torvald even begs her saying “I’d be glad to work for you day and night.” When Nora states that “there has to be absolute freedom for both of us” and give back the ring (Ibsen 102).

Torvald did not trust his wife even after eight years of marriage, after reading Krogstad’s letter; Torvald called Nora a hypocrite and stated that she cannot raise their children. Torvald attempts to dismiss his past claims after learning that Nora forged his father’s signature to borrow some money. This makes Nora realize how she was being treated like a doll; she decides to leave Torvald. Torvald surrenders to this situation and breaks down. Nora eventually leaves the house as she tried to understand herself (Ibsen 97).

Initially, Nora viewed freedom as gaining more wealth and being economically stable, but her life revolves around her financial situation and more on material wealth. Nora goes on shopping trips and comes home with packages (Ibsen 43).Since she belongs to the higher social class, she would like to spend more money to show off her status. She pays double price for an item all items she could buy. Nora with time realizes that despite freeing herself from debt and having a lot of money does not guarantee her the freedom she wanted. To gain her freedom she leaves her husband claiming that she needed to be free from her husband to understand herself and also learn more about life. In the end, Torvald is left helpless after the separation from their marriage which was not the usual case during that time (Ibsen 104).

In conclusion, even though Nora is always portrayed as a submissive woman, she only comes to realize her capability at the end.  A doll house reinforces the power of women and the weakness of men, and the negative effects in the long run as portrayed by Torvald and Nora in the story.

Women and American Social Welfare Policy

It was in the 19th century that the American Women’s right movement was born. This is where women got involved in male protests that condemned slavery and an end to peculiar institution. Women, through abolitionist movements, managed to attain skills that they used in orchestrating for a successful reform movement. It was from this abolitionist movement that several women became leaders in the women movement. Among the women who participated in the movement and came to be new leaders in the women suffrage movement include Alice Paul, Jane Addams, and Carrie Chapman Catt (Herrick 2016).

The one similarity among the social welfare contributors is that they are all persistent. What they advocated for later got attention from governments and international communities, hence resulting in the success of their activism. For Alice Paul, she participated in the British movement and rejuvenated in the American movements (Chafe 1991). For Carrie Chapman Catt, who was the president of United Nations American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), came up with a plan that was said to be a “winning plan” which demanded the suffrage victories with both the state and federal levels (Herrick 2016). To her call, President Woodrow Wilson, in 1919 after the 1st World War, granted women the right to participate in voting in elections (Chafe 1991).

Similarly, Jane Addams’ pursuit was at last accepted by both the state and national government. Addams advocated for the welfare of the immigrants and the poor urban slum dwellers. She advocated for the formation of legislations that governed immigrant protection from exploitation, working hour limits, guarantee schools for children, offer industrial safety, and acknowledge the presence and duties of labor unions (Chafe 1991). The government of Illinois later considered her plea and created laws that protected child labor and education. Similarly, the United States government established Children Bureau in 1912 followed by the enacting of the laws governing child labor at the national level (Eleanor 1975).

Also, the activists had an influential contribution in the nineteenth amendment that was passed as a part of the Constitution of the United States.

Some remarkable differences exist among the social welfare activists. For Alice Paul, she opposed the governance of Democrat President Wilson Woodrow as she advocated that women hold the party that had the power to vote him out. Unlike her, Carrie Chapman Catt was a President Wilson Woodrow supporter (Eleanor 1975).  This difference in political ideology led to Alice Paul’s exit from NAWSA movement and formed the Congress Union, which later became National Women’s Party (Chafe 1991). Unlike other activists who pushed for women suffrages through peaceful strategies, Alice Paul applied demonstrations through riots and public displays as she sought for women’s voting rights. This, despite getting her arrested and charged in court for obstruction of traffic, it also enabled the passage of the nineteenth amendment in 1920.

The other difference between the three women was their main agenda of activism. Jane Addams championed for settlement of the immigrants and the poor slum dwellers that had been neglected and mistreated in the industries. Carrie Chapman Catt advocated for women suffrage while Alice Paul stood for both suffrage and equal rights in the constitution (History.com 2009).

Jane Addams was one of the most active progressive activists who advocated for the settlement house movement (Settlement Work in North America np). Addams’s initiative was to improve the social conditions in which the immigrants and other slum-dwellers underwent without notice or concern from those in government. The immigrants included the Italians, Russians, Jews, Irish, and the Greek. Jane, together with other volunteers, offered the immigrants services such daycare and kindergarten facilities for the working mothers and trade union groups. She founded Hull House; a Chicago-based settlement house that men and women from the upper class always attempted to befriend of offer social services to the immigrants and the slum dwellers that were financially unable (Herrick 2016).

With a systematic research and the high mix of professional involvements, Jane Addams managed to establish a specific ground for American social work that later got international concerns and interests. From that first time, Hull House received various international guests as it hosted some initiatives (Settlement Work in North America np). This is where Addams’ work translated to greater social involvements as she combined her work in Hull House with various comparable initiatives and contributions to the peace movements during the First World War, earning her the name Saint Jane.

Hull House was serving more than two thousand people every week in a situation of hardship. The economic depression that hit the country from 1893 called for charitable donations from charity efforts and politicians so as to sustain a large number of immigrants supported in Hull House. With the continued economic crisis, Jane decided that poverty would not come to an end unless the laws were changed. Therefore, she made an effort to dig down into what she termed as the cause of poverty so as to find a permanent solution (Settlement Work in North America np). Laborers and well-wishers joined Jane Addams in confronting the state laws of Illinois so as to determine the existence of the laws governing child labor, inspection systems of the factories, and the justice system for the juveniles. The group legislated for the immigrant protection from exploitation, working hour limits, guarantee schools for children, offer industrial safety, and acknowledge the presence and duties of labor unions.

The residents of Hull-House led by Addams, Florence Kelly, Julie Lathrop, Gates Starr, among others formed an initiatives group that championed the life of the immigrants. Among the various initiatives the group formed includes Immigrant’s Protective League, the Juvenile Court, the Juvenile Psychopathic Clinic, and the Juvenile Protective Association (Settlement Work in North America np). However, the clinics were later converted to be juvenile child research. The legislature of Illinois adopted laws that offered protection to children and women in 1903 so as to honor the efforts of the women group. The state of Illinois passed tough legislations regarding child labor with compulsory child education laws (Settlement Work in North America np). To further recognize the efforts of the Hull House reformers, the United States created Children Bureau in 1912 followed by the enacting of the laws governing child labor at the national level.

Jane Addams presented her argument that favored women suffrage in “The Larger Aspect of the Woman’s Movement.” She profoundly stated the social and economic changes that would make a woman suffrage necessary. According to her, the demands women placed for political enfranchisement did not come at a good time. This is because, by that moment, the social conditions were degraded and unsatisfactory, as they were held accountable for the wretchedness and the unfortunate fate that in all the suffering and crime acts that every day pushed women upon their attention in painful and friendly ways (Settlement Work in North America np).

She was a talented writer who passed her message through writing. She always wrote on topics and matters associated with Hull House and the activities therein. She wrote eleven books with numerous more articles (Settlement Work in North America np). Her book, Twenty Years at Hull House, described her personal and professional experience while in Chicago and her view on ethical values and aspects of life during the progressive era. Also, the writings aroused essential elements within the social gospel that determined the social and economic aspects (Dubois 1993).

Also, Jane Addams was an influential speaker. She always maintained an aggressive speaking timetable across the country and globally. She was an active player in international organizations, where she led in the formation of International League of Women, Chicago Federation of Settlements, and led the establishment of the Consumer League before becoming the first president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections. Among other roles Jane played include leading the Labor Committee of the General Federation of Women’s Club (Settlement Work in North America np).

In addition to championing for the welfare of the immigrants, women, and children, Jane Addams also played a key role in campaigning for women suffrage. She was engaged in world peace movements and advocated for internationalism (Dubois 1993). This was seen during the First World War where she took part in the International Congress of Women at The Hague. Even after America joined the war, Jane remained in her stance, working in the Women Peace Party. She became the first president of Women International League for Peace and Freedom before becoming American’s first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in 1931 (Settlement Work in North America np).

Carrie Chapman Catt was the major contributor and coordinator of the suffrage movement which she was encouraged by her husband, George Catt, at the same time she was one of the most skillful strategists. She initiated the National American Women Suffrage Association, where she acted the most significant role in the success of its campaign that won women rights (Eleanor 1975). Chapman was very engaging, in most conventions, she spoke about the National American Women Suffrage Association with her writing and speaking involvement, she managed to develop and establish her reputation as a leading suffragist (Eleanor 1975).

Chapman addressed the Congress in 1892 where she proposed the amendments of the suffrage. Carrie tirelessly continued with her involvement that saw her assist in the organization of the International Women Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) IN 1902, which incorporated other associations with similar objectives in at least 32 countries. She, however, dropped as president of NAWSA when her husband was bedridden. After receiving encouragement from doctors to continue with her pursuit of the social welfare, she spent her time as president of IWSA where she supported and promoted global equality for suffrage rights (Dubois 1993).

She came back to America in 1915 to take over as NAWSA president again. It was in this convention in New Jersey that Carrie Chapman presented her “winning plan” to campaign simultaneously for suffrage rights both at the state and federal levels. Also, the Winning Plan was intended to compromise for incomplete suffrage in these countries that counterattacked change (Dubois 1993). According to Carrie, there existed the most appropriate approach to take to deliver the suffrage to women: during the time the association of the thirty-six states got in a solemn compact so as to get the Federal Amendment to be submitted by the Congress and ratified by the respective legislature.  According to Chapman, the strategy was to get the Amendment through and ratified when Congress live to their compact to run campaigns in their states which are designed to create and develop sentiment behind their political leaders.

Catt, with her dynamic leadership, struggled with NAWSA until she won the support of the Senate and the ratification amendment (Dubois 1993). As a result, women suffrage referendum was passed in 1917 in New York, influencing President Wilson Woodrow to accept the cause. Therefore, the Amendment became part of the Constitution of the United States in 1920, as the Nineteenth Amendment (Dubois 1993).

After delivering the victory, Carrie Chapman resigned as the president and leader of NAWSA, despite her continued support and working for equal suffrage. It was here that she found a new League of Women Voters, where she died while serving as an honorary leader (Herrick np). Before her death, Chapman had published various social welfare books such as Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement. She was also a frontier in fighting for child labor and global peace. Among the other organizations, she led in her later life include the League of Nations, Cure of War and the National Committee (Eleanor 1975).

Alice Paul was a suffragette and a key figure in the formation of the nineteenth amendment that was the center of women welfare through the National Women’s Party that she formed. She was seen as the most radical welfare activist that ever lived in the twentieth century. Her progressive nature resulted in the breaking of the National American Women Suffrage Association, where she formed the Congressional Union (Fry 2016) that she dedicated to pursuing federal amendments of the constitution on women suffrage (Fry 2016).

Paul was an extraordinary active woman in women suffrage procession. In 1913 in Washington, her first biggest project was the organization of the Woman Suffrage Procession, just before the inauguration of President Wilson Woodrow, who she politically opposed. Paul believed that Woodrow becoming president would make him have more influence and powers of the Congress, which would be a setback for the nineteenth amendment she pushing to be passed (Fry 2016). She organized over eight thousand marchers from different states in the country, with banners and chariots, with a display of floats. The people paraded to represent the lives of women and gathered at the capital, Washington. The purpose of the match was to prevent Wilson from becoming president and to demand the amendments to the constitution that was enfranchising women in America (History.com 2009).

Paul’s activism resulted to her mistreatment by the government as she experienced a series of arrests, imprisonments, forced feeding, and hunger strikes (History.com np). She was a brave woman who knew how to generate publicity for the cause, as well as how to capitalize on advertising (History.com 2009). After breaking away from National American Women Suffrage Association together with other women, Paul created and founded the National Women’s Party (Chafe 1991).

Despite America joining the First World War, she continued to lead pickets in both the white house and the congress without abandoning or changing her tactical methods. Ultimately, it was her tactics, together with the influence of Carrie Chapman Catt that resulted in President Wilson’s acceptance to make the suffrage amendment a priority. She was, therefore, a pivot in the passage and the ratification of the ninth amendment in 1920 (History.com 2009).

Apart from demanding for women suffrage, Paul, in 1923, also proposed for the inclusion of Equal Human rights in the constitution. As other women feared the opposition to their organizations losing protective legislations, Paul got acceptance on the key political parties’ platform in 1944. She worked at the National Women’s offices in Washington until her deteriorating health became a concern (Eleanor 1975). Throughout Alice’s life, she lived and remained a convicted conservative with a demanding profession both from her and colleagues. With her conviction, she could not be easily convinced to change her perception and the tactical methods she applied in her quest for social welfare policy (Eleanor 1975).

In conclusion, the three women’s work and sacrifice contributed to the welfare policy in America. Their involvement freedom movements and forming of associations enabled their country and the world to listen to their plea for equality and female suffrage, which they finally obtained through the ninth amendment of the constitution. Their work is significant to today’s society, where women are still disadvantaged in the society.