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Chapter 16:. Social Psychology . Upstate. Social Psychology. The scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another Three major sections 1. Social thinking 2. Social influence 3. Social relations. Upstate. Social Influence.

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chapter 16

Chapter 16:

Social Psychology

social psychology

Upstate

Social Psychology
  • The scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
  • Three major sections

1. Social thinking

2. Social influence

3. Social relations.

social influence

Upstate

Social Influence
  • We influence each other in powerful yet, sometimes subtle ways
  • Examples
  • Conformity - adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard
  • Research of Solomon Asch
  • Asch asked students to judge the length of line.
slide4

Upstate

Subject

  • Subjects conformed more than one-third of the time.

X

A

B

C

conditions that strengthen conformity

Upstate

Conditions that strengthen conformity
  • One is made to feel incompetent or insecure
  • The group is unanimous
  • One admires the group’s status and attractiveness
  • One has made no prior commitment to any response
  • One’s behavior is observable to members of the group.
compliance

Upstate

Compliance
  • Behavior change after a request to change
  • Foot-in-the-door technique
  • The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later to gradually larger requests. Examples
  • Door-in-the-face technique
  • The tendency for people to comply to a small request after having refused to comply with a large request. Examples
obedience

Upstate

Obedience
  • An authority commands us to change our behavior
  • Milgram’s experiments
  • He commanded subjects to shock a stranger in a laboratory situation.
slide8

Upstate

63%.

  • How many supposedly shocked all the way to 450 volts?
  • Milgram’s other experiments
  • Obedience was highest when . . .
  • commands given by legitimate authority
  • authority was close (in the same room)
  • authority was supported by Yale Univ.
  • victim was at a distance (in another room)
  • there were no models who disobeyed.
lessons from obedience studies

Upstate

Lessons from obedience studies
  • Milgram noted, “the most fundamental lesson of our study is that ordinary people simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process”. (text, p. 737)
  • Remember, the foot-in-the-door technique is powerful. Great evils sometimes grow out of people’s compliance with lesser evils
  • Milgram first entrapped his subjects by first asking them to give very mild shocks.
group influence

Upstate

Group Influence
  • Social Facilitation -
  • Improved performance of tasks in the presence of others
  • Does the presence of others facilitate one’s performance or detract from (make worse) one’s performance?
  • Early studies showed facilitation
  • Later studies showed the opposite.
slide11

Upstate

  • What explains contradictory findings?
  • Observation increases arousal
  • Arousal facilitates easy responses and responses we know how to perform well
  • It interferes with difficult responses or responses we are not skilled at.
slide12

Upstate

  • Social loafing -
  • Tendency for people working in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts on a common work task
  • Deindividuation -
  • When one’s identity is not known behavior changes - less inhibited, less restrained
  • Examples. Internet chat rooms, others.
slide13

Upstate

  • Group polarization -
  • Occurs in groups where individuals strongly agree about an issue. As they discuss issue they become even more extreme. Examples
  • Groupthink -
  • Occurs in a groups where harmony is desired. No broad discussion and debate, result - poor decisions
  • Examples.
slide14

Upstate

  • Minority influence – individual power
  • How might the minority best sway the majority?
  • “The minority that holds fast to its position is far more successful in swaying the majority than is a minority that waffles.”
social thinking

Upstate

Social Thinking
  • Attribution theory -
  • Explaining behavior - Is it due to situation or person’s internal disposition?
  • Internal and external attributions
  • Fundamental attribution error -
  • To overestimate the impact of internal dispositions and underestimate the impact of the situation. Examples.
attitudes and behavior

Upstate

Attitudes and Behavior
  • Do our attitudes guide our behavior?
  • Will the person who believes honesty is the best policy always be honest?
  • When will attitudes be good predictors of behavior?

1. Outside influences on what we say and do are minimal

2. The attitude is specifically relevant to the behavior

3.We are made aware of our attitude.

slide17

Upstate

  • Do our actions influence our attitudes?
  • The foot-in-the-door phenomenon.
  • The influence of role playing
  • Why do actions influence attitudes?
  • Cognitive dissonance -
  • We act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two things are inconsistent
  • Examples.
social relations

Upstate

Social Relations
  • Prejudice - prejudging others
  • What causes prejudice?
  • Ingroup/outgroup bias
  • Ingroup - “us”
  • Outgroup - “them”
  • Tendency to favor one’s own group.
slide19

Upstate

  • Scapegoating -
  • Provides an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame
  • Examples
  • Categorization -
  • Evaluating people in the out-group as being alike in every respect
  • Vivid cases - over-generalizing from vivid memorable cases.
slide20

Upstate

  • The Just-World Phenomenon -
  • The idea that good is rewarded and evil is punished
  • We assume that those who succeed must be good and those that suffer must be bad
  • Allows the rich to see both their own wealth and the poor’s misfortune as justly deserved.
aggression

Upstate

Aggression
  • The Biology of Aggression
  • Neurons that when stimulated produce aggression
  • Chemical substances which stimulate aggression such as, alcohol and testosterone levels.
slide22

Upstate

  • The Psychology of Aggression.
  • Frustration can evoke aggression, as can any aversive event
  • Television aggression and aggressive behavior
  • After many studies, the APA concluded,
  • “There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of viewing violence on television are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and aggressive behavior.”
slide23

Upstate

  • The NIMH states that “violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch the programs
  • Those who watch much prime-time crime regard the world as much more dangerous than it actually is
  • Also, prolonged exposure to violence desensitizes viewers; they become indifferent to it. Examples.
slide24

Upstate

Sexual Aggression: Research findings

  • (1) Watching X-rated films makes a woman’s friendliness seem more sexual and makes sexual aggression seem less serious
  • (2) Men who viewed films with much sexual violence, were more accepting of the rape myth
  • (3) Pornography that portrays sexual aggression as pleasurable for the victim increases the acceptance of the use of coercion in sexual relations.
slide25

Upstate

  • Social scripts the media provides
  • Aggressive scripts, sexual scripts
  • In new situations, uncertain how to act, young people may rely on social scripts provided by our culture
  • After viewing 15 sexual situations per prime-time TV hour involving impulsive, short-term relationships, young people may acquire sexual scripts.
attraction

Upstate

Attraction
  • What leads to friendship and romance?
  • Proximity - nearness
  • Perhaps the most powerful predictor of friendship
  • Once proximity brings you together, what affects your first impression?
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Research shows physical attractiveness has wide ranging effects.
slide27

Upstate

  • Proximity brings you into contact and your appearance has made a favorable impression
  • What now influences whether friendships develop?
  • Similarity
  • Do birds of a feather flock together or opposites attract?
  • The more alike people are, the more their liking endures.
altruism

Upstate

Altruism
  • Unselfish regard for the welfare of others
  • When are people more likely to help other people?
  • Bystander effect
  • Tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present.
slide29

Upstate

  • What other factors affect helping behavior?
  • we have just observed someone else helping
  • we are not in a hurry
  • victim appears to need help
  • victim is similar to us
  • we are in a small town or rural area
  • we are feeling guilty
  • we are in a good mood.
slide30

Upstate

  • Behavior is contagious
  • If someone giggles, yawns, or laughs, others often join in
  • Following suit can be serious
  • In eight days following the Columbine H.S. shootings, every state except Vermont experienced threats of copycat violence
  • Pennsylvania alone experienced sixty such threats.