Tutor profile: Alice S.
How can we apply sociological theories to understand more about racism and prejudice in modern society?
Many issues about racism have resurfaced in recent times. This is a longstanding problem that needs to be examined and understood. The theory of functionalism could be applied to look at racism that stems from the dominant group in our society, Functionalism could also examine the positive aspects of society to create more cohesion and solidarity between different ethnic groups. Conflict theory is also relevant from a historical perspective to examine power struggles among ethnic groups that still exist today. Another theory concerns interactionism, which proposes that symbols of race are actually a larger cause of racism, not the race itself. Cultural theories of prejudice acknowledge that everyone has inherent biases that stem from their cultural environment. All of these theories are valid ways to further research this important subject and find ways to improve the current volatile climate.
How did psychology emerge as a branch of science and describe how this lead to the important specialization of cognitive psychology?
The roots of psychology began with the early philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle. They were interested in finding out more about the concept of truth. Plato believed that rationalism was the path to truth, while Aristotle leaned towards empiricism. Later on, Descartes, Locke, Kant and others expanded upon these theories. This served to classify psychology as a scientific discipline. Cognitive psychology combines both philosophy and psychology. This is the study of perception, learning, memory and thinking about information. It also involves problem-solving and decision-making for the understanding of intelligence across the life span.
Studies of the genome have shown that humans and apes share about 96% of DNA base pair sequences. What are some of the characteristics that account for the 4% genetic differences between human and non-human primates?
It is remarkable that humans and apes have such similar genetic structures. The main characteristics that account for the differences correspond to speech, sense of smell, hearing and disease susceptibility. Humans have much larger brains than apes, which enables them to have a higher level of thinking. Humans also have a much more complex form of verbal communication than other primates. Humans use speech and language although research shows that apes are capable of learning basic sign language. Another difference is that human females go through menopause many years before the end of their life span. Apes and other non-human primates are able to reproduce and give birth even in old age.
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