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Social Psychology I

Social Psychology I

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Social Psychology I

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  1. Social Psychology I

  2. Social Psychology

  3. Defining Social Psychology • Studies social influences on behavior •  Often interested in individual behavior in groups • First area that looks at GROUPS rather than just individuals

  4. Social Psych is interesting for several reasons: • Social behavior is • homogeneous within groups • heterogeneous across/between groups •   Three possible reasons why: • Chance • Disposition plus affiliation: those who are alike all sought each other out and live together • Social influence: the actions of the group have influence on the individual

  5. Personal Perception • How do we perceive the attributes/characteristics of others? • Attractive people assume to have more positive characteristics • This is a cross cultural and across all ages

  6. Social Perception • Way we perceive, evaluate, categorize or form judgments about  another's behavior •  First impressions very critical: • Initial impression or judgment you make about a person • primacy effect: what you heard first has most effect • Asch study: read list of characteristics •    some got good first, then bad •    others got bad first, then good •    changed opinion of "individual"

  7. Schemas: • General mental representation or framework used to categorize • Your personal schema may influence way you think about a   person • Use it as a filter for new information

  8. Stereotyping: Judging of groups, not individuals • Stereotypes = set of believes about the characteristics, attributes and behaviors of members of a particular group or category • Highly influence first impressions • Tells you what to expect • Look for these characteristics, rather than being open minded • Not limited to race/gender- but can occur with ANYTHING! • Horse people vs. non horse people • Student vs faculty

  9. Self-fulfilling prophecies • Self-fulfilling prophecy: • Expectation of what should happen • You only act in this way • Becomes reinforced • Thus it reinforces stereotype • “I am going to fail the test” • You study less • Try less • Fail • Confirm that you were going to fail

  10. Attributions Forming personal explanations of and for the world

  11. Attributions • Way put causes on individual's behavior • 2 basic attributes or causes: •   dispositional •   situational • Several important factors on how we decide reasons: •   social desireability •   nonnormative effects •   noncommon effects •   free choice

  12. When attributing a cause to behavior, the Covariance principle states that we examine the •  Distinctiveness of the behavior •  Consistency in your behavior •  Consensus in your behavior

  13. Fundamental attribution error: •   Your good behaviors = dispositional •   Your bad behaviors = situational •   Other's good behaviors = situational •   Other's bad behaviors = dispositional

  14. More errors: • False consensus bias: •   Assume everybody else feels the same way •   Often, not really know how other's feel •    Illusion of control •   After a bad experience, feel that should have prevented   it from happening •   We tend to attribute a higher degree of control to ourselves   than we actually have •   E.g., if I only would have left 5 minutes earlier, then the   accident would not have happened •   Can lead to some weird superstitious behaviors

  15. Actor–Observer effect • How attribute causes of behavior depends on information you have • Observer: depends on the external behavior • Actor: knows potential history and internal attributions, thoughts/experiences of the individual • Observer more likely to make dispositional attributions • Actor more likely to make situational attributions

  16. Attitudes

  17. Attitudes are: • Learned via direct experience or modeling • Relatively enduring • Predispositions to respond in consistently favorable/unfavorable  ways to certain people, groups, ideas or situations

  18. Important for several reasons: • Increase understanding of situation • Social identification • Social adjustment: gain acceptance or approval • Impression management: select which info we reveal • Value expression • Ego-defensive

  19. Attitudes have several effects on behavior: •    Attitudes can alter our behavior: •   May act without thinking •   May behave due to social expectations •   Relevance of attitude to behavior can alter degree to which   affects behavior • May use attitude as excuse for our behavior •   Way to explain why we did what we did •   Uncomfortable if attitude and behavior not agree

  20. Changing Attitudes:Elaboration Likelihood Model: • Proposes two routes to attitude change • Central route • Peripheral route • Central route: • Operates when people are motivated, • Focus on message • Peripheral route • Operates when people are unmotivated • Unable to process or focus on message • Characteristics such as attractiveness are more important for this route • Advertisers, etc., usually use peripheral route

  21. Cognitive Dissonance • Like our behavior to be in balance or cognitively congruent with  our behavior • If not: either the attitude or behavior must change • One way to get you to change behavior or attitude is to impose  cognitive dissonance: •   if force you to behavior in manner dissonant from attitude-   your attitude may change • if force you to state an attitude that is different from   your behavior, may result in change in your behavior •   cults, self-help groups use this

  22. Self-Perception Theory • Alternative to dissonance theory • People use observations of own behavior as basis for inferring their own beliefs • e.g.: IF I told people a job was interesting, that must mean I like the job

  23. Variables influencing persuasion: • Source variables: features of the communicator who presents the message • Message variables: features of the message • Presenting both sides of argument typically better • Messages that run counter to perceived interests of presenter judged as more important • More often is better • Recipient variables: • Low intelligence, low self confidence = easier • More receptive to change = easier

  24. Attractiveness • Liking and loving • Evolutionary perspective: • Attractiveness = how healthy a person is • Reproductive strategy for men vs. women • Prototypical: how average the face is • Cultural preferences

  25. What determines liking vs. loving? • Proximity: likelihood of becoming friends increases with proximity • Similarity • Reciprocity: tendency to return kind feelings

  26. Romantic love? • Complex physiological emotion with strong cultural variations • Two kinds of romantic love • passionate • compassionate

  27. Sternberg (1989; 1996) describes triangular view of love • Three major dimensions: • Intimacy • Passion • Commitment • All three forms can be defined in terms of all three dimensions • E.g.., passionate love high on intimacy and passion, low on commitment • Dimensions develop differently with time/age