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Empowerment: Development of Collective Efficacy
S. N. Biswas
Institute of Rural Management Anand, Gujarat, India

"Empowerment" is a widely used term. People with a sense of self-efficacy, which enables them to remove barriers to opportunities guarded by vested interest groups, gain it. Seldom people have secured a share in power and control without prolonged and arduous struggle. Throughout history, people's sense of efficacy (Bandura, 1977) has led to changes in the social order. The term empowerment embodies the concept of control. The process of enabling individuals and groups to have greater control over their decisions and consequently the ability to take effective actions should be construed as the process of empowerment. It is assumed by many social scientists that empowerment is a political process and is basically a process of exchanging power and discovering the affirmative ways of being political. The external empowering conditions at the best can facilitate the process of building empowerment and at the worst create dependency. Given the fixedness of these conceptualisations of empowerment with political and external sources of power and finiteness of power these frameworks can be termed as 'physical-static' view of empowerment. The Psychosocial-dynamic view of empowerment posits that empowerment is a process of enabling people to achieve their desired ends. Wherein, people not only gain greater controls over their actions but also the results. A corollary to perceived self-efficacy is collective efficacy, which refers to a group's shared belief in the-efficacy of concerted action required to result in desired outcomes. Collective efficacy would refer to basically three elements 1) perception of strong interdependency in a group. (2) belief in one's own capability to complement others' effort, (3) shared belief in the capability of the group in producing the desired levels of attainments. To develop collective efficacy among communities for large scale social change is based on the principle of self-reliance. Based on case studies of community interventions in rural parts of western India the paper focuses on the factors that can empower communities to develop collective efficacy.


Post traumatic Stress Disorder in Breast Cancer Patients
Ruhi Khalid and Afsheen Gul
Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

It is generally believed that symptoms like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are experienced by individuals diagnosed for life threatening illness. The present study investigates the presence of PTSD-like symptoms in women diagnosed for breast cancer. The sample consisted of 50 women suffering from breast cancer, who had undergone mastectomy. PTSD checklist -specific version (PCL-S), the Impact of Event Scale (IES) and 20-item Medical Outcome Study questionnaire (MOS) were administered to the patients individually. The results support the view that the women who are unmarried and received more extensive and aggressive type of cytotoxic treatment are more likely to experience PTSD-like symptoms. It was also found that the stage of the disease and quality of life were predictors of PTSD-like symptoms in women- after mastectomy. The implications of the results for the treatment of women after mastectomy were discussed.


Effect of Temperature upon Memory
Promila Batra and Reerna Garg, Department of Psychology 
M. D. University, Pohtak, India

A multi group experiment was conducted on a sample of 75 male albino rats weighing 155.15 gms, belonging to the age of about three months, in order to investigate the effect of temperature on memory. The five levels of temperature taken were 7°C, 15°C, 25° C, 32°C, 38°C. A multi-trial active-avoidance task was used. Retention was tested after 24 hours of the training; Results indicated that higher degrees of temperature (32° C and 38° C) led to slower acquisition and poor retention of the task as compared to the moderate level of temperature (25°C). But lower degrees (7°C and 15°C) of temperature did not have any significant negative effect on acquisition and retention. The results have been interpreted in terms of level of arousal and attention decrement caused by varied levels of temperature.


Caste Identity and Minority Influence in Bangladesh
Md. Munsur Rahman and Md. Mozammel Huq
Department of Psychology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh

This study investigated the phenomenon of caste identity and minority influence in Bangladesh. The Minority Influence Test was used for data collection. A sample consisting of 320 Ss equally divided into High Caste and Schedule Caste Hindus was used in the study. A factorial design involving 2 levels of caste status (High/Schedule), 2 levels of gender (Male/Female) and 2 levels of residence (Urban/rural) was utilized. ANOVA was computed for the analysis of results. It was found that high caste Hindus exerted greater influence on decision making affairs of the majority group as compared to schedule caste Hindus.

Perceived Parental Attitudes and Drug Addiction : A Case Study in Rajshahi Town
Rahena Begum And Md. Mozammel Huq
Department of Psychology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh

The present study was conducted to investigate drug addiction and perceived parental attitudes in Rajshahi Town. The sample of the study consisted of 50 drug addicted Ss. They were equally divided into boys and girls ranging from 16 to 20 years in age. A questionnaire about the causes of drug addiction was prepared and administered on each subject and their parents. Positive correlations were found to exist between perceived parental attitudes and the attitudes of their drug addicted children.

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(BPA & SAAP Con. 2001)
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