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Social Psychology. Let’s get this party started!. Self-concept vs. Self-esteem Concept - how you think about yourself Esteem - how worthy you think you are Creating appraisals of yourself Temporal comparison - based on previous performance Social comparison - based on other people

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social psychology

Social Psychology

Let’s get this party started!

social comparison

Self-concept vs. Self-esteem

    • Concept - how you think about yourself
    • Esteem - how worthy you think you are
  • Creating appraisals of yourself
    • Temporal comparison - based on previous performance
    • Social comparison - based on other people
    • Reference groups - category to which you feel you belong
      • Relative deprivation - comparing what you have to your reference group.
Social Comparison
social identity

In-group bias

  • Out-group homogeneity
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy
    • An initial impression of someone can lead that person to behave according to that impression
Social Identity
social understanding

Attribution theory - examines how we explain the behaviors of ourselves and others

    • People involved in any situation:
      • Actors - those involved in a situation
      • Observers - those watching a situation
Social Understanding
social understanding1

When attributions are biased:

    • Fundamental attribution error
      • Believing internal (dispositional) factors are more influential than external (situational) factors.
    • Actor-observer bias
      • Actors tend to make external (situational) attributions
      • Observers tend to make internal (dispositional) attributions
    • Self-serving bias
      • Personal successes are due to internal factors.
      • Personal failures are due to external factors.
Social Understanding
social understanding2

The effect of biased attributions:

    • Blaming the victim
      • Explaining a victim’s plight or behavior as internal rather than situational.
    • Just-world hypothesis
      • Belief that the world is fair and just, so people get what they deserve.
    • Scapegoating
      • When you place blame for a personal problem on another person or group
Social Understanding

Beliefs or feelings that predispose our reactions

    • Attitudes guide our behaviors if:
      • Outside influences are minimal.
      • The attitude is relevant to the behavior.
      • We are aware of our attitudes.

Actions guide attitudes when:

    • We agree to small requests and then large requests
      • Foot-in-the-door phenomenon
    • We adopt roles to play.
      • Zimbardo prison study example
    • Attitudes conflict with actions.
      • Cognitive dissonance theory
defining prejudice

Prejudice vs. stereotypes vs. discrimination

    • Prejudice involves stereotypes and discrimination, but not necessarily
    • Prejudice is often negative, but not necessarily
    • Stereotypes are overgeneralized
    • Discrimination is an action, not a belief or view
Defining Prejudice
the roots of prejudice

Where does prejudice come from?

    • Social inequities
    • In-group bias (and out-group antagonism)
    • Scapegoating
    • Just-world hypothesis
    • Categorization – people have a natural tendency to create categories for things
    • Vivid cases
The Roots of Prejudice
the roots of prejudice1

How is prejudice demonstrated?

    • Overt
      • Discrimination
      • Stated negative attitudes
    • Implicit
      • Racial associations – people often associate negative words with groups against which they have prejudice and positive words with their own group
      • Unconscious patronization – people often expect less from those against whom they are prejudiced than for their own group
        • Lower standards = lower opinion of ability
The Roots of Prejudice
the roots of prejudice2

Prejudice vs. Privilege

    • Minority groups (regardless of location) will experience prejudice from the majority
    • Majority groups experience privilege they do not necessarily recognize
The Roots of Prejudice
overcoming prejudice in groups

Contact hypothesis

    • Coming into social contact with those for whom you hold a prejudice can reduce stereotyped thinking and discrimination
      • This works when:
        • The groups are similar socioeconomically
        • Leaders promote cooperation and interdependence
        • Contact occurs more individually than in groups
  • Superordinate goals
    • Promoting peace by introducing a shared goal between competing/hostile groups
Overcoming Prejudice in Groups
overcoming prejudice individually

Recognize that prejudiced thoughts are wrong.

  • Internalize new ways of thinking about the group.
  • Deliberately replace discriminatory behavior with more tolerant behavior.
Overcoming Prejudice Individually
defining culture

System of subtle and obvious rules established by a group to ensure its survival

    • David Matsumoto (1999)
  • Factors that influence culture:
    • Population density
    • Climate
    • Resources (access to)
    • Technology
Defining Culture
categories of cultural perspective

Individualism vs. Collectivism

    • Individualism – places emphasis on personal goals and needs
      • EX: Most Western cultures
    • Collectivism – places emphasis on group goals and needs
      • EX: Most non-Western cultures
  • Ethnocentrism
    • Applying your own cultural rules to others
Categories of Cultural Perspective
factors of influence


    • How norms influence behavior:
      • Normative social influence
        • Driven by desire for approval and acceptance
      • Informational social influence
        • Driven by desire to be correct
Factors of Influence

Solomon Asch

    • Factors that influenced conformity:
      • Social support – you need only one person to break conformity
      • Attraction & commitment to the group
      • Size of the group – 5-7 people elicit the strongest conformity
      • Unclear standards of behavior – more conformity occurs when you are unsure of how to behave

Conformity for important decisions is greater than for unimportant decisions.


Stanley Milgram

    • Factors that influence obedience:
      • Mental framework that assumes obedience
      • Perception of the goals of the situation
      • Desire to avoid social rejection
      • Gradual, repetitive escalation of the task
      • The behavior of the authority figure
        • More polite usually equals more compliance
      • Physical and psychological separation from the “learner”

When obedience fails:

    • Level of compliance with variations of study:
      • Original study – 65%
      • Office building setting – 48%
      • Teacher/learner in same room – 40%
      • Physical contact – 30%
      • Phoned-in orders – 23%
      • Ordinary man giving orders – 20%
      • Observing rebels – 10%
      • Free choice of shock level – 3%
other social influences

Social loafing

  • Social facilitation
  • Deindividuation
  • Group polarization
  • Groupthink
  • Social traps
Other Social Influences
helping behavior

Altruism vs. Prosocial behavior

    • Altruism - helping others with no expectation for personal gain
    • Prosocial – helping regardless of motive (selfish or not)
Helping Behavior
helping behavior1

Bystander effect – Darley & Latane

    • Motivated by the Kitty Genovese murder
    • Factors that decrease helping:
      • Presence of others – leads to diffusion of responsibility
      • Being in a big city or a very small town
      • Vague or ambiguous situations
      • When personal costs outweigh perceived benefits
Helping Behavior
helping behavior2

Bystander effect – Darley & Latane

    • Factors that increase helping:
      • “Feel-good, do-good” effect
      • Feeling guilty
      • Seeing others willing to help
      • Believing the person is worthy of help
      • Knowing how to help
      • Having a personalized relationship with the victim
Helping Behavior
love attraction

Mere exposure effect

  • Proximity
  • Similarity
  • Symmetry
  • Self-disclosure
  • Equity
Love & Attraction