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Social Psychology

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Liane Thakur

on 19 April 2013

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Transcript of Social Psychology

Social Psychology Social psychology is the scientifically
study of how we think about, influence,
and relate to one another. Schema – the organized set of knowledge stored in your mind about a stimulus
a. types – groups
b. traits - characteristics
c. scripts – info about situations
d. self-schema – info about self
e. object-schema – labels

Note: having & using schemas are extremely functional but they can also be disfunctional

How might schema end up being bad for you? Can influence what information we attend to and remember.
Allows us to fill in gaps about people and situations.
Help us shape our interpretation of ambiguous information.
Allow us to process relevant info much faster. Four Effects of Schemas: Refers to our tendency to seek, interpret and create information that verifies and maintains our existing schemas about the world. We may even hold onto our beliefs/schemas when confronted with info indicating that we hold invalid information in our schema. Confirmation Bias The concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy can be summarized in these key principles:

- We form certain expectations of people or events
- We communicate those expectations with various cues. - People tend to respond to these cues by adjusting their behavior to match them.
- The result is that the original expectation becomes true.

This creates a circle of self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-Fulfilling Prophesy Fritz Heider Attribution Theory: Fritz Heider (1958) suggested that we have a tendency to give causal explanations for someone’s behavior, often by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition.
Unusual events lead to attributions Attributing Behavior to Persons or to Situations A teacher may wonder whether a child’s hostility reflects an aggressive personality (dispositional attribution) or is a reaction to stress or abuse (a situational attribution). Dispositions are enduring personality traits. So, if Joe is a quiet, shy, and introverted child, he is likely to be like that in a number of situations. The tendency to overestimate the impact of personal disposition and underestimate the impact of the situations in analyzing the behaviors of others leads to the fundamental attribution error. Fundamental Attribution Error How we explain someone’s behavior affects how we react to it. Effects of Attribution Example:
If we believe a person is mean, we may feel dislike for the person and act in an unfriendly manner. A belief and feeling that predisposes a person to respond in a particular way to objects, other people, and events. Attitude Our attitudes predict our behaviors imperfectly
because other factors, including the external
situation, also influence behavior. D. MacDonald/ PhotoEdit Cooperative actions can lead to mutual liking (beliefs). Not only do people stand for what they believe in (attitude), they start believing in what they stand for. Attitudes Can Affect Action Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon:
The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request. In the Korean War, Chinese communists solicited cooperation from US army prisoners by asking them to carry out small errands. By complying to small errands they were likely to comply to larger ones. Small Request – Large Request Zimbardo (1972) assigned the roles of guards and prisoners to random students and found that guards and prisoners developed role- appropriate attitudes. Role Playing Affects Attitudes To relieve ourselves of this tension
we bring our attitudes closer to our actions (Festinger, 1957). Why do actions affect attitudes? One explanation is that when our attitudes and actions are opposed, we experience tension. This is called cognitive dissonance. Actions Can Affect Attitudes Cognitive Dissonance based on D. Meyers, "Psychology" (8ed.) Can you give some examples
where you might see this? How might this work with depression? Where do you see this happening in "everyday" life? NON SEQUITER © 2000 Wiley. Dist. by Universal
Press Syndicate Reprinted with Permission When one's emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others Social Influence Components of Prejudice Beliefs (stereotypes)
Emotions (hostility, envy, fear)
Predisposition to act (to discriminate) Simply called “prejudgment,” a prejudice is an unjustifiable (usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice is often directed towards different cultural, ethnic, or gender groups. Prejudice Social Roots of Prejudice Social Inequalities
Social Divisions
Emotional Scapegoating Prejudice develops when people have money, power, and prestige, and others do not. Social inequality increases prejudice. Social Inequality Ingroup: People with whom one shares a common identity.

Outgroup: Those perceived as different from one’s ingroup.

Ingroup Bias: The tendency to favor one’s own group. In and Out Groups Emotional Roots of Prejudice Prejudice provides an outlet for
anger (emotion) by providing
someone to blame. One way we simplify our world is to categorize. We categorize people into groups by stereotyping them. Cognitive Roots of Prejudice In vivid cases such as the 9/11 attacks, terrorists can feed stereotypes or prejudices (terrorism). Most terrorists are non-Muslims. Cognitive Roots of Prejudice © The New Yorker Collection, 1981, Robert Mankoff from cartoonbank.com. All Rights Reserved. The tendency of people to believe the world is just, and people get what they deserve and deserve what they get (the just-world phenomenon). Cognitive Roots of Prejudice After learning an outcome, the tendency to believe that we could have predicted it beforehand may contribute to blaming the victim and forming a prejudice against them. Hindsight Bias Conformity Obedience Behavior is contagious, modeled by one followed by another. We follow behavior of others to conform.

Other behaviors may be an expression of compliance (obedience) toward authority. Conformity & Obedience Conformity: Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The Chameleon Effect Suggestibility is a subtle type of conformity, adjusting our behavior or thinking toward some group standard. One is made to feel incompetent or insecure.
The group has at least three people.
The group is unanimous.
One admires the group’s status and attractiveness.
One has no prior commitment or response.
The group observes one’s behavior.
One’s culture strongly encourages respect for a social standard. Conditions that Strengthen Conformity Informative Social Influence: The group may provide valuable information, but stubborn people will never listen to others. Normative Social Influence: Influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid rejection. A person may respect normative behavior because there may be a severe price to pay if not respected. Reasons for Conformity Baron and colleagues (1996) made students do an eyewitness identification task. If the task was easy (lineup exposure 5 sec.), conformity was low in comparison to a difficult (1/2 sec. exposure) task. Informative Social Influence Courtesy of CUNY Graduate School and University Center Stanley Milgram
(1933-1984) People comply to social pressures. How would they respond to outright command?

Stanley Milgram designed a study that investigates the effects of authority on obedience. Obedience Milgram’s Study: Results AP/ Wide World Photos An unarmed individual single-handedly
challenged a line of tanks at Tiananmen Square. A third of the individuals in Milgram’s study resisted social coercion. Individual Resistance In Milgram’s study, participants were torn between hearing the victims pleas and the experimenter’s orders. In both Ash's and Milgram's studies, participants were pressured to follow their standards and be responsive to others. Lessons from the Conformity and Obedience Studies One person affecting another
Committees How do groups affect our behavior? Social psychologists study various groups: Group Influence Social facilitation:
Refers to improved performance on tasks in the presence of others. Triplett (1898) noticed cyclists’ race times were faster when they competed against others than when they just raced against the clock. Individual Behavior in the Presence of Others Social Loafing:
The tendency of an individual in a group to exert less effort toward attaining a common goal than when tested individually (Latané, 1981). Mob behavior The loss of self-awareness and self-restraint in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity. Deindividuation Effects of Group Interactions Group Polarization
enhances a group’s prevailing attitudes through a discussion. If a group is like-minded, discussion strengthens its prevailing opinions and attitudes. Attack on Pearl Harbor
Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Watergate Cover-up
Chernobyl Reactor Accident A mode of thinking that occurs when the
desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides the realistic appraisal of alternatives. Groupthink Research shows that aggressive behavior emerges from the interaction of biology and experience. Aggression can be any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy.
It may be done reactively out of hostility or proactively as a calculated means to an end. Aggression Genetic Influences
Neural Influences
Biochemical Influences Three biological influences on aggressive behavior are: The Biology of Aggression Genetic Influences: Animals have been bred for aggressiveness for sport and at times for research. Twin studies show aggression may be genetic. In men, aggression is possibly linked to the Y chromosome. Neural Influences: Some centers in the brain, especially the limbic system (amygdala) and the frontal lobe, are intimately involved with aggression. Biochemical Influences: Animals with diminished amounts of testosterone (castration) become docile, and if injected with testosterone aggression increases. Prenatal exposure to testosterone also increases aggression in female hyenas. Dealing with aversive events Studies in which animals and humans experience unpleasant events reveal that those made miserable often make others miserable. The Psychology of Aggression Four psychological factors: Dealing with aversive events
Learning aggression is rewarding
Observing models of aggression
Acquiring social scripts Even environmental temperature can
lead to aggressive acts. Murders and
rapes increased with the temperature in Houston. A principle in which frustration (caused by the
blocking of an attempt to achieve a desired goal)
creates anger, which can generate aggression. Frustration-Aggression Principle Cultures that favor violence breed violence. Sexually coercive men are promiscuous and hostile in their relationships with women. This coerciveness has increased due to television viewing of R- and X-rated movies. The media portrays social scripts and generates mental tapes in the minds of the viewers. When confronted with new situations individuals may rely on such social scripts. If social scripts are violent in nature, people may act them out. Conflict is perceived as an incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.

A Social Trap is a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior. Conflict By pursuing our self-interest and not trusting others, we can end up losers. Superiority
Helplessness 5 beliefs that propel groups
toward conflict: Attraction
Altruism Psychology of Attraction What do you think plays a role in attraction?
List those factors. Proximity: Geographic nearness is a powerful predictor of friendship.

Repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases their attraction (mere exposure effect). Physical Attractiveness: Once proximity affords contact, the next most important thing in attraction is physical appearance. Similarity: Similar views among individuals causes the bond of attraction to strengthen. Two-factor theory of emotion &
Romantic Love: Physical arousal plus cognitive appraisal
Arousal from any source can enhance one emotion depending upon what we interpret or label the arousal Passionate Love: An aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship. How long do you think this
stage can last & why? Companionate Love: A deep, affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined. Psychology
Altruism Equity: A condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give.

Self-Disclosure: Revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others. Altruism An unselfish regard for the welfare of others. Tendency of any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present. Bystander Effect Akos Szilvasi/ Stock, Boston The decision-making process for bystander intervention. Bystander Intervention Social Exchange Theory: Our social behavior is an exchange process. The aim is to maximize benefits and minimize costs.

Reciprocity Norm: The expectation that we should return help and not harm those who have helped us.

Social–Responsibility Norm: Largely learned, it is a norm that tells us to help others when they need us even though they may not repay us. The Norms for Helping Syracuse Newspapers/ The Image Works Communication and understanding developed through talking to one another. Sometimes it is mediated by a third party. Peacemaking Superordinate Goals are shared goals that override differences among people and require their cooperation. Factors reducing obedience

Proximity of victim (placing victim's hand on shock delivery mechanism reduced obedience rate to 30%, which is still a high #!)
Authority value of command issuer

Presence of disobedient models

Impressing upon people that consequences are their responsibility

Teach that unquestioning obedience is dangerous Using the terms you learned, explain what
happened in this classroom.
Do you think that adults would also
respond in a similar manner? Learning aggression is rewarding: Observing models of aggression: Acquiring social scripts:
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