Myers-Chapter 18: Social Psychology Unit Fourteen: Social Psychology
"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads…”~Herman Melville
What is social psychology? • the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
Social Thinking attribution, actions and attitudes
How do we explain others' behaviors? Fritz Heider (1896-1988) • attribution theory- suggests how we explain someone’s behavior, by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition • fundamental attribution error-tendency to underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate personal disposition
The Fundamental Attribution Error The observer: The violently destructive message that The Who and other rock groups deliver leaves me little surprised that they attract a mob that will trample human beings to death to gain better seats. Of greater concern is a respected news magazine’s adulation of this sick phemomenon. The actor: While standing in the crowd at Riverfront Coliseum, I distinctly remember feeling that I was being punished for being a rock fan. My sister and I joked about this, unaware of the horror happening around us. Later, those jokeds came back to us grimly as we watched the news. How many lives will be lost before the punitive and inhuman policy of festival seating at rock concerts is outlawed?
Compared to people in Western countries, those in East Asian cultures are more sensitive to situational influences on behavior. TRUE
Who is to blame? • Husband • Wife • Lover #1 • Lover #2 • Ferryboat Captain • Highwayman
"Just-World Phenomenon" • tendency of people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get
attitude- feelings, often based on our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people and events sometimes lead to actions attitudes but, more commonly… lead to actions attitudes
In order to change people’s racist behaviors, we first need to change their racist attitudes. FALSE attitudes follow behavior and doing becomes believing
foot-in-the-door phenomenon • the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger one
How does role-playing affect attitudes? Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
Why do we act this way? • cognitive dissonance theory- theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent
Prisoner's Dilemma Two burglars, Bob and Al, are captured near the scene of a burglary and are given the “third degree” separately by the police. Each has to choose whether or not to confess and implicate the other. If neither man confesses, then both will serve one year on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. If each confesses and implicates the other, both will go to prison for 10 years. However, if one burglar confesses and implicates the other, and the other burglar does not confess, the one who has collaborated with the police will go free, while the other burglar will go to prison for 20 years on the maximum charge. What should they do?
“Bonus Point Ballot” • If less than 4 people select 15 bonus points, those people will receive the 15 points and everyone else will receive 5 points. • If more than 4 people select 15 bonus points, no students will receive bonus points. • How many points would you like to receive? Choose one. 15 points 5 points
Social Influence conformity,obedience and group influence
Behavior is contagious. • chameleon effect- we unconsciously mimic others’ expressions, postures, voice, tones, etc.; helps us feel what they are feeling
Solomon Asch and Conformity • conformity- adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard
What conditions increase conformity? • one feels incompetent or insecure • group has at least 3 people • group is unanimous • one admires the status or attractiveness of the group • one has no prior commitment to a response • one‘s behavior is observed by others • culture encourages respect for social standards
Why do we conform? • to avoid rejection and/or to gain social approval; to gain information • normative social influence- influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval • informational social influence- influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality
Stanley Milgram and Obedience to Authority How do people respond to commands?
Stanley Milgram and Obedience to Authority Where would you stop?
When was obedience the greatest? • the person giving the order was near in proximity and seemed a legitimate authority • the person giving the order was affiliated with a prestigious institution • the victim was far away or was depersonalized • no other participants were seen disobeying
What can we learn from these studies? • The experiments of Asch and Milgram were devised to force participants to choose between following their own beliefs/standards and being responsive to the group. • Strong social influences can make people conform.
Most people would refuse to obey an authority figure who told them to hurt an innocent person. FALSE
How do groups influence our behavior? • social facilitation- stronger performance on simple or well-learned tasks in the presence of others • social loafing- tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable • deindividuation- loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity
Studies of college and professional athletic events indicate that home teams win about 6 in 10 games. TRUE
Individuals pull harder in a team tug-of-war than when they pull in a one-on-one tug-of-war. FALSE
How does interacting with others effect our behavior? • group polarization- enhancement of a group’s prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group • groupthink- mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives
The higher the morale and harmony of a social group, the more likely are its members to make a good decision. FALSE
What can the individual do? • minority influence- power of one or two individuals to sway majorities • more likely when the minority opinion is held strong Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
Social Relations prejudice, aggression, conflict, attraction, altruism, & peacemaking
Prejudice"prejudgment" • unjustifiable (usually negative) attitude toward a group or members; generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, predisposition to discriminatory action • stereotype- generalized belief about a group of people; sometimes accurate, but often overgeneralized
Prejudice vs. Discrimination prejudice is a negative attitude; discrimination is a negative behavior
The how's and why's of prejudice… • it seems racial and gender attitudes have changed • overt prejudice has disappeared, but subtle prejudice remains • recent experiments show prejudice can be automatic/unconscious
social, emotional and cognitive roots of prejudice • Social: • prejudice rationalizes social inequalities • us and them: ingroup bias • Emotional: • prejudice comes from “the passions of the heart” • scapegoat theory: prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame • Cognitive: • categorization- a way to simplify the world • just-world phenomenon and hindsight bias • vivid cases stand out more readily
Vivid Cases Islam Terrorism
Aggression • any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy • biological influences: • genetic, neural and biochemical • psychological influences: • frustration-aggression principle, learning, observation • It is difficult to change established aggressive behavior patterns.
Those who keep a gun in the house are more likely to be murdered. TRUE
Conflict • perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, and ideas • social traps-situation where conflicting parties, by each pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behaviors • Prisoner’s Dilemma (individual self-interest vs. communal well-being) • enemy perceptions
Attraction Three ingredients: • proximity • physical attractiveness • similarity
Proximity • geographic nearness • most powerful predictor of friendship • mere exposure effect • repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases our liking
Physical Attractiveness • this is what most affects first impressions • judgment of attraction is relative, but some characteristics are universal • attraction also depends on how we feel about a person • “Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful, because I love you?” (Cinderella) • “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
"Opposites attract." Similarity “Birds of a feather, flock together.”
2 types of love • temporary passionate love • more enduring companionate love 2 keys to a satisfying and long-lasting relationship • equity and self-disclosure
Altruism • unselfish regard for the welfare of others • bystander effect- tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present • Why do we help people? • social-exchange theory • reciprocity norm • social-responsibility norm