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Understanding the Social World

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Your department was just given a new project to pilot and rollout to your organization. The project involves assembling a cross-organizational team that will be given the responsibility for reviewing different payroll systems that Faraday Enterprises can use, and choosing the best payroll system to implement.

You've chosen Susan, a salaried employee and Project Manager, to lead this effort. Her responsibilities will be to assemble the team, identify potential software products, test them, and move forward with implementing the final decision.

While you know Susan is the perfect choice to lead this project, you also know that she'll be surprised you've picked her and that she might lack the confidence to manage this project successfully.

Knowing what you do about "the self-fulfilling prophecy" and the effect it may have from Susan's point of view, write a memo introducing her to the project and the role she will lead. Be sure to build into your memo information that will help Susan correctly understand her job, and convey your confidence in her that she will succeed in leading this project.

As part of your two to three page memo, address two of the following three mental strategies and shortcuts and how they may affect the group's decision in a negative way.

The availability heuristic
The representativeness heuristic
The anchoring and adjustment heuristic

Finally, identify for Susan two or more ways in which she could improve her thinking and her group's decisions so they arrive at the best possible outcome for their project. Be sure to use APA writing style and reference notation-including citations in your written text.

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Solution Summary

Addresses two mental strategies and shortcuts and explains how they may affect the group's decision in a negative way. Recommends two or more ways in which the leader could improve her thinking and her group's decisions.

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Origins of Sociology and the Importance of Culture

(a) What is sociology and how and why did it develop? (Hint: Note the importance of social change and social transitions).
(b) Is the study of sociology important in today's modern information-driven world? Why or why not?
(c) Why should we understand other cultures and ethnocentrism? What difference does this understanding make in navigating today's complex global world?

Use that information and your "sociological imagination" respond to ONE of the following:

How can ethnocentrism contribute to global tensions, conflicts, even wars? How can ethnocentrism be lessened?

What are the differences between a society and a nation? In the contemporary world, what are some examples of this? Why is "nation" so important in the global arena?

How does culture affect socialization and the transitions of life (or "rites of passage")?

To what extent is a global culture emerging? What difference does it make if we're emerging into a global culture?

Here are two websites to help -
Characteristics of culture, thanks to Dennis O'Neil of Palomar College:

What is ethnocentrism? Thanks for Ken Barger of the University of Indiana: http://www.iupui.edu/~anthkb/ethnocen.htm

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