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Social context mismatch theory

Foad, Colin ORCID: 2016. Social context mismatch theory. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis outlines the novel theoretical approach of social context mismatch theory (SCMT). SCMT outlines how changes in context can lead to mismatches between motives and their surrounding environment. For example, the basic human desire to care for others has become problematic in a modern context, where globalised identities are possible. We want to care for all the vulnerable members of society, but we are faced with numerous barriers. The conclusion of SCMT is that these mismatches provide fertile soil for hypocrisy to thrive, as people become accustomed to failing to meet their desired standards. Having introduced the theory, three core chapters use this model to outline how broader contextual perspectives can bring different psychological concepts together in order to gain a novel perspective on well-established social psychological processes. Chapter 2 outlines how people see their values as dynamic over time and illustrates relationships between this dynamism and well-being. Chapter 3 shows how people display different forms of hypocrisy in the realm of ethical consumption and how higher thresholds for ethical behaviour can encourage greater desire to change to a more pro-social position. Chapter 4 manipulates perceptions of complexity of a little-known moral issue and shows how greater complexity can lead to less harsh moral judgements and a reduced willingness to engage with remedial action. Finally, the thesis concludes by outlining a range of future directions that SCMT opens up, particularly for those who want to bring relatively isolated psychological ideas together. Accordingly, there is a strong focus on how a simultaneous awareness of multiple contexts can provide new perspectives on psychological processes. SCMT is a theory that is inextricably linked to working towards a more caring world and the dissertation reflects this motivation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:18

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