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Intergroup Behaviour and Social Psychology. Dr Alexandra Hooper Clinical Psychology CAMHS. Self-psychology. Self-Psychology .

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Intergroup Behaviour and Social Psychology

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intergroup behaviour and social psychology

Intergroup Behaviour and Social Psychology

Dr Alexandra Hooper

Clinical Psychology CAMHS

self psychology1
  • Self-concept: Refers to the most complete description of an individual – including attitudes held about the self and others, perceived relationship with others and the environment etc.
    • Self-esteem: The degree to which one holds oneself in high regard or values oneself. Encompassing both high and low self-esteem. Low self-esteem has been associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders (e.g. depression, anorexia, etc.). A high degree of social support and social contact is associated with high self-esteem, so these become protective factors.
    • Self-image: Description of the self as it is imagined to be. The greater the discrepancy between the actual self and self image may be related to certain affective disorders – derived from personal experiences and the behaviour of others towards oneself. This becomes self-reinforcing, as you behave in the way you view yourself.

Self recognition and personal identity: Self recognition develops over the first 2 years of life – an understanding of oneself as a distinct individual

    • <3rd-4th month – little interest in own image in mirror
    • 3rd – 6th month – reaches out to own image (same as toy)
    • 1st year – can use reflection to determine location of object in ‘real world’
    • 18th – 24th month – responds to own, unusual features seen in mirror (e.g.paint)
interpersonal psychology1
Interpersonal Psychology
  • Person Perception: The perception of ourselves and others is a central theme in social psychology. The behaviour of others (and ourselves) has to be interpreted and understood – through inferences made from observations of behaviour.
  • Affiliation: Positive relationships that may vary greatly in closeness, ranging from mere co-operation to romantic love. Not sure whether this is a continuum, or whether these social relationships vary along a range of dimensions and should be regarded as distinct.

Friendship: Complex relationship influenced by –

    • Physical attractiveness – important factor in the formation of friendships, seen in young children. Beliefs about others are also dependant to some degree on physical attractiveness – e.g. attractive men are regarded as more intelligent.
    • Similarity – Extends beyond demographic factors such as age and social class to psychological characteristics, with personality being of particular importance. Even physical characteristics such as height are important.
    • Exposure – Increases positive attitudes to others (unless a negative attitude already exists, and then this increases). Any familiar object is more likely to elicit a positive response.
    • Proximity – In part due to convenience
friendship theories
Friendship theories
  • The Exchange Theory: Individuals are concerned with maximising personal gains from relationships while minimising costs – essentially an economical model of friendship.
  • The Equity Theory: Primary concern is equality of costs and rewards in both partners.
social exchange theory
Social exchange theory
  • We assess a relationship according to its potential rewards and costs
social matching theory
Social matching theory
  • All things being equal, individuals will tend to be attracted to, and are more likely to pair with, other individuals who are of the same or like degree of physical attractiveness to themselves.
attribution theory
Attribution Theory
  • Explanation for behaviour, ascribing personality characteristics, motives, beliefs etc on the basis of observed behaviour. It allows the behaviour to be explained and understood, and for subsequent behaviour by that individual to be predicted.
  • Heider proposed that the individual was a ‘naïve scientist’ making observations and deriving explanations and predicting on the basis of these.. Not particularly scientific – no testable hypothesis.
attribution theory1
Attribution theory
  • Dimensions / factors in attribution
    • Global / specific
      • Outcome of certain tasks will determine outcome of others / cause is unique to one task
    • Internal /external
      • Personal traits / Environment
    • Controllable / uncontrollable
      • We can alter outcome / we have no control
    • Stable / Unstable
      • Same behaviour on another occasion will yield same results / provide different results
kelly 1967
Kelly (1967)
  • Three types of information are used to make attributions:
    • Consensus: the extent to which others behave in the same way
    • Consistency: the extent to which the individual always behaves as such
    • Distinctiveness: the extent to which this behaviour occurs in other situations.

Criticisms of the model: In realistic situations individuals do not choose actively to seek out such information, but instead make attributions on a different basis (e.g. sex / age).

primary attribution error
Primary Attribution Error
  • Tendency to overestimate the extent to which internal and stable characteristics (such as personality characteristics) motivate and cause behaviour in others, while simultaneously underestimating external and unstable (i.e. situational) factors.
  • Results from a desire to predict behaviour in others – which requires behaviour to be the result of stable personality characteristics rather than transient situational factors.
  • However, the attribution of our own behaviour tends to be primarily situational – possibly due to unwillingness to regard self as driven by unchanging characteristics, but instead as a response to the contingencies present in a given situation
social behaviour
Social Behaviour
  • The initial interactions will have a significant impact on subsequent interactions and the interpretation of novel information.
  • We attribute their behaviour to some internal and stable disposition, and potentially ambiguous behaviour understood accordingly.
  • First impressions do count!
theory of mind
Theory of Mind
  • The ability to attribute mental and intentional states to oneself and others. Allows the explanation and prediction of behaviour – importance in the development of imaginary play, with both inanimate objects and other peers. Individuals with Autism lack ‘theory of mind’
    • Children with autism appear to show impaired imagination
    • Impairment may be discrete, affecting only the ability to represent mental states
    • Therefore not affecting other intellectual function.
    • Functions impaired rely on mental representations (e.g. inferring behaviour)
    • Social behaviour not relying on such representations will be unimpaired (e.g. greeting someone)
  • Think of a person you consider to be a great leader and list the characteristics that made them so.
  • Task-Orientated: Maximising productivity e.g. Motivating group
  • Emotion-Orientated: Reduced inefficiency by ensuring that the group remains happy.
  • Not fulfilled by same individual
lewin 1939
Lewin (1939)
  • Three main leadership styles
    • democratic-participative: acts with support of the group and takes into account other opinions
    • free reign- laissez-faire: relaxed, informal style that promotes individuality
    • autocratic- authoritarian: absolute authority, with no requirement to consult others.
  • No single personality type- most people are capable of being leaders if necessary
  • The effectiveness of a leader is an interaction between their style and the situation (Feidler).
  • Good leaders have a predominant style but use all three
  • Bad leaders stick to one style
  • Think of a situation when each of the three Lewin styles of leadership would be appropriate
goleman s leadership styles
Goleman’s leadership styles
  • The Coercive Style of Leadership'The Dictator'This is the dominant 'macho' leadership style. It is appropriate in emergencies and severe situations, but otherwise will tend to disempower and disillusion subordinates.The Authoritative Style of Leadership'The Visionary'This style focuses on the goal or vision of the future and inspires others to follow. This is appropriate when a new direction is required or a clarification of the goals to be achieved.The Affiliative Style of Leadership'The People Person'Here there is a focus on people, teambuilding, bonding and forging alliances. This style is useful in creating teams or for healing dysfunctional relationships.
goleman s leadership styles1
Goleman’s leadership styles
  • The Democratic Style of Leadership'The Listener'This is a useful style to adopt when attempting to involve a wide range of people in decision making or building a consensus. The Pacesetting Style of Leadership'The Superman/Superwoman'Using this style, the leader sets an example by working to extremely high standards of performance. This is useful to raise the stakes when a competent and motivated team is working well.The Coaching Style of Leadership'The Nurturer'This style focuses on helping to improve people's strengths, and is especially useful in building skills to develop managers and future leaders.
social influence
Social Influence
  • Would you act in a way that was against your basic principles if you were given instruction to do so by a person in authority?
  • "With numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under the demands of authority and perform actions that were callous and severe. Men who are in everyday life responsible and decent were seduced by the trappings of authority, by the control of their perceptions, and by the uncritical acceptance of the experimenter's definition of the situation, into performing harsh acts. .A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority." (1965)

Milgram's last subject was tested 4 days before Adolf Eichmann was hanged for war crimes he committed in obedience to his superior officer, Adolf Hitler.

social influence1
Social Influence
  • Performance can be affected by the presence of others-
    • social facilitation/ coactive effect- if the task is familiar the presence of others may improve performance
    • social loafing/ Angelman effect- the presence of others produces anonymity and reduces the effort at the task.
social influence2
Social Influence
  • Influences on behaviour include-
    • informational influence- if internalise information it can alter attitudes and therefore behaviours
    • normative influence- act towards the norm of the group with compliance but without changing attitude.
social influence conformity
Social Influence: Conformity
  • The Asch Paradigm
  • Stick length experiment
  • Conformity occurred in 1/3 of situations
  • When stating correct response – apparent discomfort
  • Intelligence, high self-efficacy beliefs, internal locus of control – internal factors which reduce effect of conformity pressures.

Helen is a writer who is said to have considerable creative talent but who so far has been earning a comfortable living writing cheap Westerns. Recently she has come up with an idea for a potentially significant novel. If it could be written and accepted, it might have considerable literary impact and be a boost to her career. On the other hand, if she cannot work out her idea, or the novel is a flop, she will have expended considerable time and energy without pay.

(Stoner, 1961)

decision what should helen do individually and group
Decision: What Should Helen Do? Individually and group.
  • Imagine that you are advising Helen. Please check the lowest probability that you would consider acceptable for Helen to write the novel.

__ 1/10 __ 6/10

__ 2/10 __ 7/10

__ 3/10 __ 8/10

__ 4/10 __ 9/10

__ 5/10 __ 10/10

result groups shift toward risk
Result: Groups Shift Toward Risk
  • Individuals marked their answers first while alone, and then again after discussing their opinions with a group.
  • Groups made riskier decision than individuals.
  • Risky Shift: A group consensus is almost always “riskier” than the average decision made by individuals prior to a group discussion
the cautious shift
The Cautious Shift??
  • Many experiments demonstrated a shift toward risk, but sometimes people demonstrated a shift toward caution after the group discussion.
  • Inconsistent results created major problems.
    • Is there a risky and a cautious shift?
beyond the risky shift
Beyond the Risky Shift
  • The “Risky Shift” is not about risk at all.
  • Moscovici & Zavalloni (1969) re-conceptualized the risky shift as a more general phenomenon called group polarization.
  • Group Polarization: A group discussion strengthens the average inclination of group members.
  • If individuals are asked to rate their opinions on a subject, and then grouped and asked to reach a decision on the same subject as a group, the ultimate decision reached by the group will tend to be more extreme than the aggregated opinions of the individual group members.
    • Increased number of arguments in favour of a certain position available in groups
    • Reinforcements effects of support for ones opinions by others.
  • The individuality of members of the group becomes subordinate to the behaviour of the whole
  • Can you think of examples where this is positive and negative?
social identity theory
Social Identity Theory
  • Personal identity is influenced by self esteem
  • Social identity defined by the groups we belong to.
  • Varying levels of identity in individuals e.g. low personal identity may need higher social identity.
  • Tajfel and Turner- ‘in group bias’ and aggression to those not in the group
intergroup behaviour2
Intergroup Behaviour
  • Ingroup: The group with which an individual identifies himself
    • Can be a member of many groups
  • Outgroup: Group with which the individual does not identify with
  • The adoption of an attitude on the basis of limited or insufficient information – the implication being that the attitude is in some sense unfair or unwarranted
    • May be positive or negative
    • Relies heavily on stereotypes
  • Crude generalisations used to characterise members of a group
    • May be positive or negative
    • Resistant to change but are flexible
    • Categorisation in social context
    • Becomes self-fulfilling – observations become biased.
intergroup hostility
Intergroup Hostility
  • Minimal group experiments: where subjects are randomly assigned to membership of a group on some spurious criterion
    • Common goals
    • Bias (e.g. lend money to same group)
    • Suggests intergroup behaviour is a fundamental characteristic of human social behaviour
      • Strong instinctive tendencies to favour preferentially whichever group one finds oneself a member of
blue eyes brown eyes
Blue eyes / Brown eyes
social identity
Social Identity
  • Zimbardo- social identity can allow deindividuation
  • Diffuse responsibility onto the group and conform to roles in the group
  • Can lead people to act in extreme ways
conclusion on social psychology
Conclusion on social psychology
  • Relevant to many areas
  • Worth reading a decent text eg Gross
  • Easiest to learn by experiments
  • Some plain rote learning