Masters Degrees (Psychology)

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    An exploration of begging, non-person treatment, existential mattering and learned helplessness amongst people who live on the street in Stellenbosch, South Africa
    (2023-03) Schade, Lena Rebecca; Lesch, Anthea M; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The phenomena of homelessness and begging are highly prevalent and visible in social life in many developing countries, including South Africa. While a substantive amount of research on homelessness has been conducted in South Africa, no research on begging and non-person treatment has been conducted to date. The purpose of this research was to explore non-person treatment experienced by people who are homeless and engage in begging. The specific focus was to gain insight into how the reception of non-person treatment from the general public impacts the participants’ inherent sense of mattering as a person and to explore a possible relationship between non-person treatment and the development of learned helplessness. Adults who are homeless between the ages of 32 and 62 (one female and nine males) were purposively sampled. In-depth semi structured interviews were conducted with all participants at the Stellenbosch Night Shelter. Interpretive hermeneutical phenomenology as proposed by Heidegger was used as the theoretical lens through which the data were analysed and interpreted. The findings of this research suggest that the participants’ lived experiences are notably shaped by their daily interactions with members of the general public. The participants reported begging for money or food as a shameful and degrading experience, that negatively impacts their feelings of worth and self-esteem. Being treated with disrespect and aggression by authorities and members of wider society was a common experience for all participants. The exposure to non-person treatment by members of the general public contributed to the experience of dehumanisation and amplified feelings such as worthlessness, low self-esteem, and hopelessness. The majority of participants felt stigmatised by their homelessness status and longed to be seen and treated like human beings.
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    Senior leaders’ understanding of emotional intelligence and the experience of applying emotional intelligence competencies in a corporate environment in the Sub-Saharan Africa context
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Legg, Benthe; Naidoo, Anthony V.; Visser, Michelle; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The corporate business environment has become increasingly difficult to navigate for both leaders and employees, with globalisation and matrix organisations becoming the norm. The new challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented require highly competent leaders, not only with a strong technical foundation. Employers are requiring leaders to possess selfawareness and understanding of others and to apply these skills and traits successfully. These capabilities fall within the realm of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and, therefore, make a study about how leaders understand and experience the application of EI exceedingly relevant. In this study a constructivist interpretive approach was taken to ascertain senior leaders’ understanding and experience of EI within their roles. Constructivism is an approach to learning that maintains that people actively construct or acquire their own knowledge and that reality is determined or constructed from the experiences of the learner. Data were collected from an international shipping company that operates in 38 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with senior leaders, who were purposefully selected. The 45 to 60 minute individual interviews were supplemented with a focus group discussion of 50 minutes. Interviewees were specifically asked to provide examples of where they had applied EI competencies as senior leaders in their corporate environment. The qualitative data were transcribed and interpreted using Braun and Clarke’s (2013) model of thematic analysis. The responses were discussed using Bradberry and Greaves’ (2009) four-cluster model, namely, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. The study also explored what learning interventions senior leaders found helpful. The findings indicate that the senior leaders tended to focus on understanding others and adapting their style to the differences of the people they interacted with. In managing self, leaders sought feedback from others, direct reports and peers, and adapted their own EI competencies based on these. Delaying the innate need to react rather than respond when dealing with issues was identified as a key learning for the senior leaders interviewed.
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    Exploring the experiences of informal primary caregivers of women with advanced or terminal gynaecological cancers
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Odendaal, Chante; Roomaney, Rizwana; Simonds, Hannah; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Gynaecological cancers are a serious health problem affecting women across the world. According to the recent global cancer statistics, more than 1.3 million women were diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer and 671 920 women died as a result of this disease. There are five main types namely cervical, ovarian, uterine, vulva and vaginal cancer. These cancers originate in the reproductive organs of women and may affect their health, selfesteem, body image and romantic relationships. Informal cancer caregivers play a crucial role in a patient’s illness trajectory because they provide the patient with physical, emotional, and financial support. Women with advanced or terminal gynaecological cancer particularly need support from their caregivers because they are at a delicate stage of their disease. Advanced or terminal cancer cannot be cured and thus, the challenges that caregivers experience may be unique because the possibility of death becomes greater. Yet, to my knowledge, there are no studies that have specifically explored the experiences of informal caregivers of women with advanced or terminal gynaecological cancer. For this reason, I have conducted this study. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 participants. I recorded all the interviews, and transcribed the interviews verbatim. Thereafter, I analysed the data thematically by using the principles outlined by Braun and Clarke. I identified five themes namely, 1) navigating a complicated relationship with the patient: a caregiver’s perspective, 2) the complexities associated with caregiving and the public healthcare system, 3) the effects of caregiving on the caregiver’s heath and well-being, 4) the support networks of informal cancer caregivers and 5) providing care in the context of a pandemic. The findings highlight the challenges and positive changes that the informal caregivers experienced within their relationship with the patient. In addition, the findings indicate the importance of communication between healthcare providers and informal caregivers and the need for caregiver visibility. Furthermore, the findings highlight the impact of caregiving on the physical and emotional well-being of these caregivers. Moreover, the findings highlight the supportive resources available to the caregivers. Lastly, the findings in this study present novel experiences regarding providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour to identify the predictors of intergroup contact
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Theunissen, Andrea; Swart, Hermann; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa is a post-conflict society where segregation and discrimination was legitimised under Apartheid. The abolishment of Apartheid brought about the end of formal segregation, creating increased opportunities for intergroup contact between South Africans from different groups. Intergroup contact offers one of the most compelling ways to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup attitudes (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). However, members of historically advantaged and disadvantaged groups in post-conflict societies may choose to avoid intergroup contact with one another for a variety of reasons, and it remains a key challenge in the contact literature to identify those factors that promote an increased willingness to engage in intergroup contact (Kauff et al., 2021). In this study I investigated the predictors of intergroup contact within the framework of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), a robust model used to identify the predictors of behavioural intentions and volitional behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). The TPB model suggests that attitudes towards the behaviour, norms regarding the behaviour, and perceived behavioural control relating to the behaviour each predict behavioural intention, which, in turn, predicts volitional behaviour (Armitage & Conner, 2001; Ha Sur et al., 2021; McEachan et al., 2011; Rich et al., 2015). I undertook a secondary data analysis using data collected in 2019 amongst 169 white South African first-year Economics students at Stellenbosch University (SU). I employed Structural Equation Modelling to test my hypotheses. It was hypothesised that positive attitudes towards intergroup contact, norms in support of intergroup contact, and perceived behavioural control relating to intergroup contact would predict a willingness to engage in intergroup contact with black (African) and coloured South African students at SU. In addition, it was hypothesised that perceived behavioural control and a willingness to engage in intergroup contact would predict the frequency of positive intergroup contact with black (African) and coloured South African students at SU. The results showed that attitude towards intergroup contact (b = .64, p behavioural control (b = .65, p < .01) were each significantly positively associated with a willingness to engage in intergroup contact, while norms relating to intergroup contact was not (b = -.26, p = .15). Furthermore, a willingness to engage in intergroup contact was significantly associated with the frequency of positive intergroup contact (b = .78, p < .05). These findings replicate those in the TPB literature and offer support for the utility of the TPB to examine the predictors of intergroup contact willingness.
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    Differences in rape myth acceptance at Stellenbosch University
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) George, Kayla Karen; George, Kayla Karen; Kafaar, Zuhayr; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Rape can be considered an epidemic within South Africa. With rape comes the perpetuation of rape myths—sexist misconceptions that influence the manner in which victims of rape are perceived and treated. In my study, I attended to two quantitative research questions regarding the acceptance of rape myths at Stellenbosch University. Firstly, I examined whether there were statistically significant differences in rape myth acceptance levels between members and non-members of male, female, and co-educational residences and private student organisations (PSOs) at Stellenbosch University. Secondly, I examined whether there were statistically significant differences in rape myth acceptance levels between students at Stellenbosch University based on gender. In order to answer my two research questions, I administered a demographic questionnaire, the Updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance scale, and the Male Rape Myth Acceptance scale to a convenience sample of 699 Stellenbosch University students. I conducted two multivariate analyses of variance in order to uncover whether there were differences in rape myth acceptance levels within my sample, as well as to uncover where these statistically significant differences laid. Firstly, I found statistically significant differences (p < .001) in rape myth acceptance levels between members of male residences and PSOs and all other groups, as well as between members of female residences and PSOs and all other groups. Furthermore, I found statistically significant differences (p < .001) in rape myth acceptance levels between members of co-educational, male, and female residences and PSOs, as well as between non-affiliated students and members of male and female residences and PSOs. No differences were found in rape myth acceptance levels between non-affiliated students and members of co-educational residences and PSOs. In answering my first research question, I found members of male residences and PSOs to have the highest level of rape myth acceptance. Secondly, I found there to be statistically i significant differences (p < .001) in rape myth acceptance levels between male and female students, as well as between males and individuals who identified outside of the gender binary. In answering my second research question, I found male students at Stellenbosch University to have the highest level of rape myth acceptance.