Human relations, being very complicated, still can be structured and systematized. Human society represents a complicated structure where each individual occupies his own place and has his own social status. Such a structuration of society may be observed everywhere, in all spheres of human life, from an average family to the most sophisticated political institution. Moreover, nowadays human relations gets to be more and more complicated and the structuration of society often coincides with the creation of interest groups which stand on their own ground and which views and beliefs may be different from the rest of the society. At the same time, each individual remains independent and playing a particular role in the society regardless his/her belonging to any social group but obviously such the importance of an individual belong to influential social group increases dramatically that, nonetheless, does not change social differences between all members of the society.
At this respect, the examples of a typical behavior that underline the division of social roles in the society may be found everywhere, including the workplace. For instance, a head of the company, or CEO communicate with a manager or an average employee. In such a situation, the behavior of two individuals is quite predictable and seems to be normal though objectively it underlines the inequality in relation of both a CEO and a manager.
For instance, when a CEO enters a room where a manager is sitting, the latter normally stands up and greets first, in such a way, the manager demonstrates his respect to the CEO who can respond warmly on the greeting of the manager but there will be nothing surprising if the response is rather cold. By acting in such a way the CEO demonstrates his superiority, his higher social status and consequently he can act more independently than the manager or the employee working in his company.
In fact such demonstrations of social status of both the CEO and the manager are typical and may be regularly observed in everyday life. As a result it is the manager, i.e. an individual who is in a subordinate position, who has to show his respect first, for instance when he greets first, and not the CEO, i.e. an individual who is in superior position since it is he who employs and controls the work of the manager, in our case.
Obviously, this model of behavior is socially predetermined and is the result of different social positions of the CEO and the manager, as it has been already mentioned, but the consequences of such behavior may be far reaching because it establish the principle of division of the society into classes or social groups depending on social status. As a result, an individual that has the highest social status or occupies the highest position in the society receive the most respect and attention as a leader that may be observed within a company, for instance a CEO, or within a nation, for instance, a president who symbolizes the political leader of the nation in countries life the US.
By the way, the example from political life may be even more obvious because politics is probably the most conservative area where human relations are strictly regulated by social moral, ethical norms as well as by current laws. For instance, a head of a state in any country is obviously a respected person who is, as a rule, in privileged position compared to other citizens that naturally demonstrates his higher social status. It may be shown through visits to other countries when a head of the state as well as other statesmen may have a diplomatic status which gives them different rights compared to those other citizens of the country have. For instance, people with such a status cannot are juridically more protected compared to people without diplomatic status. As a result there is a gap between the two categories of people which may be not so obvious but still exist and this may be treated as an example of the importance of belonging of an individual to a definite social group that is particularly interesting for social psychology since it is extremely interesting for this branch of psychology to research the role of social group and its impact on an individual as well as interactions between both individual and social groups between each other.
At the same time, it is not always possible to understand what happens in the relations between different people because the demonstrations of social differences, for instance, may be not so obvious as in the examples above. This is why, in order to better understand human relations, a scientific approach is essential. At this respect social psychology plays a very important role because it researches the relations between individuals and social groups in all their complexity, i.e. social psychology is focused on relations between individuals of different social status, on the influence of social groups on an individual, as well as on the interaction of different social groups, etc. This is why social psychology helps to better understand psychological aspect of the life of the society at large, and each individual, as a part of the society, in particular and this branch of psychology is very important in research of social processes, which currently take place in the society.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is necessary to underline that a researcher should be free of bias in his observations and conclusions. In other words, he should be as objective as possible in order to receive positively objective results of his research, otherwise, the observations and consequently conclusions, being subjective, will be far from reality and scientifically unreliable that make the whole research useless and senseless. At the same time it is very difficult to be really free of bias because human mind and the process of thinking is often influenced significantly by stereotypes dominating within society. As a result it is often difficult to analyze different facts without any influence from outside, for instance, scientific beliefs, moral norms, etc., as well as from within, i.e. the influence of personal ideas, opinions, and beliefs. Consequently, objectivity in a research is rather idealistic demand because there is no universal rule or formula that would regulate the degree of objectivity and freedom of bias.
References Peterson, L. Social Psychology. New York: Touchstone, 2002.
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