The paper 'Publicly Owned Transport System and Privately Owned System' is a great example of a research proposal on psychology.
An individual’s preference while dealing with other people especially strangers is generally described in psychology as social value orientation. Many studies have discussed this subject at length with different aims. For instance, the motivation behind the individual’s social orientation is the subject in (Van Lange et al. 1997), in (Olekalns & Adair,2013) mixes social motives and the Triple Dominance Measure is the subject of discussion. Both these studies agree on the fact that social value orientations contribute greatly to the individual’s interactions at different spheres where people’s existence is inextricably linked. The decisions that are taken by the individuals will greatly depend on the person's social orientation and in a case where the decision affects a large number of people in different sectors, the decision will depend on whether the person's social orientation is prosocial, individualistic or competitive (Biel et al. 2008). Prosocial individuals are defined by this study as persons who prefer social equity. On the other hand, individualistic oriented and competitive persons look at personal interest first and seek to maximize the difference between them and others respectively.
In this paper, a brief review of some literature that has been advanced in this field are reviewed with regards to the public preference for both publicly owned transport system and a privately owned system. In the end, it gives a prediction of hypotheses about public preferences.
Social value orientation as described by (Van Lange et al. 1997) deals mainly with the approach that is taken by an individual in dealing with interdependent others. In this study, the individual’s orientation could cooperative or less cooperative. The persistent pattern of preference of outcomes that the individual displays will determine the orientation of the same individual. Even though the study recognizes the fact that there could be many other theoretical typologies of social orientations, the focus is on three basic types of orientation. That is the prosocial orientation or the equity, the individualistic orientation, and the competitors.
Prosocial are described as people with a general preference for equity among all members of society. This group shows high tendencies to cooperate with their interdependent other unless the interdependent refuses to cooperate. The other two, individualists and competitors show little concern about cooperation and only care about maximizing their gains. In this study, the main focus is on where the social values come from. A couple of studies are included in this research. This includes the investigation of whether the social values did originate from the interactions that an individual has had since childhood. In this context, the attributes of the person are described as dispositional. This means that the person possesses this characteristic internally right from childhood and very little can change that.
Pratto et al. (1994), introduces a new orientation called social dominance in trying to understand what shapes social and political attitudes. In this orientation, the individual is either classified as socially dominant or less socially dominant. Individuals with high social dominance seek high professional hierarchy and roles while individuals with low social dominance will not seek higher hierarchical powers and responsibility. In this study, prosocial is defined to have low social dominance and likewise to altruism. In their set of decisions, the general benefit and wellbeing of the community are at the forefront. The reverse is true for some cases with the socially dominant group of people. It should be noted here that the socially dominant group are not totally similar to the individualists but share a considerable personality to the competitors. This is due to the clamor for hierarchy and position.
Van Lange et al. (1997), tried to investigate the origin of this social orientations. That work has been boosted by the work of (Tennen, Suls, & Irving 2012). In this study, the origin of the actions of an individual is described not to purely originate from the rational self-interest of the individual. Specific outcomes that are intended by the person are floated as the possible motivation of the actions performed by the person. In Van Lange et al (2007), the Lewinian equation of behavior is explained. In this equation, the environmental situation of a person and properties of the same person in as in this equation B=f(P, E). Where B is the behavior, P is the properties of the person and E is the environmental situation.
Depending on the different orientations one would support or not support the different transport projects if their consent was needed. In the road project, a large number of dwellers would not be in a position to afford the toll and therefore would not benefit. This is approximately about 56 percent of the total population that is served by the proposed road.
Hypothesis 1: competitors are the most likely social orientation group to support the road project.
This is due to the fact the road project is going to be very expensive for the average population. Assuming that these competitors majorly ail from the upper class and can afford to pay the toll fees, then the gap between them and the people who cannot afford increases since they get to use privately owned transportation means and system. Competitors in the lower wage ranking would not benefit from this project. But since their intention could be to maximize the different social stratifications, it is highly likely that their opinion would be similar to those of their counterparts in the high end.
Hypothesis 2: Prosocials are most unlikely to support the proposed road project.
The reasoning here is simple and direct. The number of beneficiaries is limited to the rich group who are a minority in the community. The impact of the project on the environment is also very high.
Hypothesis 3: prosocial are highly likely to support the train project.
The reason here is that since the impact of the train project is slightly limited to the environment and the likely benefit to many, the project will be viable to the suburbs. As is noted, a train is likely to carry more passengers cheaply than road transport, prosocial are likely to vote with it.
Hypothesis 4: individualists and competitors are most unlikely to support the train project.
As indicated in the ability to transport a large number of people cheaply thereby benefiting anyone, competitors would not further their exploits of a bigger social gap between every member of the community. Everyone is likely to afford transportation since it will be cheap. In this case, individualists have no specific direct benefit from the project and thus could just flag it anyway.
Biel, A., Eek, D., Gärling, T., & Gustafsson, M. (2008). New issues and paradigms in research on social dilemmas. New York, N.Y.: Springer. Pp 10-15
Olekalns, M., & In Adair, W. L. (2013). Handbook of research on negotiation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar publications. Pg 50-52
Pratto, F., James S., Lisa M. S., and Bertram. M. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67, no. 4: 741-763
Tennen, H. A., Suls, J. M., & Weiner, Irving. (2012). Handbook of Psychology, Personality, and Social Psychology. Wiley.
Van Lange, A.M.P., De Cremer, D., VAN DIJK, E., VAN Vugr, M. (2007). Self-Interest and BeyondBasicPrinciples of Social Interaction In In: Kruglanski, A.W., & Higgins, E.T. (2007, Eds)Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles New York, Guilford (pp. 540-561).
Van Lange, P., Otten, W., De Bruin, E. and Joireman, J. (1997). Development of prosocial, individualistic, and competitive orientations: Theory and preliminary evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 73, No 4, Pages 733-746