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Social Psychology

Social Psychology. Scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real, imagined, or implied presence of others. Behavior = physical action, cognition, emotion, etc. Break it down….

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Social Psychology

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  1. Social Psychology Scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings,and behaviorsare influenced bythe real, imagined, or implied presence of others Behavior = physical action, cognition, emotion, etc.

  2. Break it down… • the scientific studyof how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.

  3. Break it down… • the scientific studyof how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviorsare influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.

  4. Break it down… • the scientific study of how individuals' thoughts, feelings, andbehaviorsare influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.

  5. Break it down… • the scientific study of how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced bythe actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.

  6. Small Groups Exercise In groups of 2-3 students, quietly discuss the research that I have given you. Do you find it surprising? Try to think of personal instances that support the research.

  7. Is Social Psychology Simply Common Sense? • Hindsight bias: • The tendency to exaggerate one’s ability to have foreseen how something turned out. • AKA:‘I knew it all along’ phenomenon.

  8. Science Review Social psychology, like any science, involves: • Description careful and reliable observation • Explanation development of theories

  9. Science Review What are theories good for? • connect and organize existing data • 2. provide a framework from which we can generate future research • 3. tell a coherent story

  10. Major Social Psych “Theories” Sociocultural Evolutionary Social Learning Phenomenological Social Cognitive

  11. Sociocultural Perspective • Influence of larger social groups drives behavior • What kinds of groups? • Cultures, religions, ethnicities, social classes, teams… • What kind of influences? • Social norms, fads, customs, shared values

  12. Sociocultural Perspective Sociocultural theorists often ask: “What are the differences in social behavior & norms between groups?”

  13. Sociocultural Perspective • Social Norms • rules & expectations for appropriate social behavior • Culture • beliefs, customs, habits, and language shared by the people living in a particular time and place

  14. Culture, Choice & Intrinsic Motivation • U.S. culture teaches children to cherish their own individual choice and independence. • Asian cultures emphasize more collective values – viewing the self as interdependent with family and social group.

  15. Culture, Choice & Intrinsic Motivation • In one study, researchers asked Anglo-American and Asian-American children to solve word puzzles that were either: • Chosen by the child (Personal Choice) • Chosen by the experimenter • Chosen by the child’s mom

  16. Iyengar & Lepper, 1999 10 Number of Word Puzzles Completed Anglo American 5 0 Mom Choice Personal Choice Experimenter Choice • But Asian-American children were more motivated when theirmothers had chosen the task • Personal choice enhanced motivation for Anglo-American children Asian American

  17. Evolutionary Perspective • Genetic predispositions that promoted our ancestors’ survival and reproduction drive behavior • What kinds of predispositions? • Competition for resources and mates, displays to attract mates, social bonding, nurturing of young • What sub-theories explain these? • Natural selection, sexual selection, inclusive fitness, behavioral ecology

  18. Evolutionary Perspective Evolutionary theorists often ask: “What are the similarities in social behavior among groups?” Array 

  19. Evolutionary Theories • Natural selection • creatures that are better adapted to the demands of the environment will survive and have more surviving offspring • Sexual selection  • creatures that attract more mates will have more offspring

  20. Age Preferences in Mates One example of a seemingly universal feature of social behavior is the difference between men and women in the preference for younger versus older partners.

  21. Oldest preferred Youngest preferred Young menshowno particular preference for youngerpartners, but older men prefer partners younger than themselves 20 20 10 10 DIFFERENCE FROM TARGET'S AGE 0 0 Women of all ages ask for menaround their own age or older -10 -10 -20 -20 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s MALE'S AGE FEMALE'S AGE Kenrick & Keefe, Behavioral & Brain Sciences, (1992)

  22. PORO - 1913 - 1929 Phoenix Singles Ads The same pattern was found on aremote island in the Philippines Oldest preferred Youngest preferred 20 10 DIFFERENCE FROM TARGET'S AGE 0 -10 -20 >50 10s >50 10s 20s 40s 20s 30s 40s 30s MALE'S AGE FEMALE'S AGE

  23. Social Learning Perspective • Conditioned preferences drive behavior • What kinds of conditioning? • classical, operant, teaching, imitation • What kinds of preferences? • Anything we’re rewarded or punished for • Also anything we see other people rewarded or punished for

  24. Social Learning Perspective Social Learning theorists often ask: “What experiences cause changes in people’s social behavior?”

  25. What sorts of things might you become conditioned to fear?

  26. Learning Violence from Video Games One team of researchers hypothesized that violent video games may make aggression rewarding, by allowing a person to win points for killing and maiming human-like opponents. • In an experiment, students first played a violent video game (Wulfenstein) or a nonviolent game (Tetrix). • They then played a competitive game in which they could retaliate against real opponents by delivering unpleasantly loud blasts of noise.

  27. Anderson & Dill, 2000 85 Retaliatory Aggression (unpleasant noise level) Students who played aviolentvideo game demonstrated significantly higher levels of retaliatory aggression 80 Nonviolent Violent Type of Videogame

  28. Phenomenological Perspective • Subjective Interpretation • What kinds of interpretations? • Beliefs, opinions, intuitions, evaluations • What is most important? • The individual’s ideas and feelings

  29. Phenomenological Perspective “How does a particular person perceive what is going on?”

  30. Change in Fans Self-Perceptions After Team Losses Fans watched their school team play a basketball game, then asked to evaluate their own performance on a word scramble. • Their actual performance was the same whether their team lost or won

  31. Hirt, Zillmann, Erickson, & Kennedy, 1992 + .5 But fans who watched their team lose made(incorrect)lower estimates of their own performance on the test Subjective Estimate of Their Own Performance -.5 Loss Win Control (no game) Team’s Outcome

  32. Phenomenological Perspective Social constructivist view we do not discover reality but rather construct it.

  33. Social Cognitive Perspective • Behavior is driven by: • attention • interpret and judge social situations • encoded • retrieve from memory

  34. Attention Encoding Retrieval Behavior Social Cognitive Perspective “What types of information are going in and out of our brains?” Judging

  35. Self-serving appraisals of past and present selves • Our memory processes are often biased. • Students were asked to: • “Describe yourself as you are now, and as you were several years ago.”

  36. Wilson & Ross, 2001 Students described their present selves as champs, withmore positiveandfewer negativefeatures than the chumps they used to be 4 Frequency of Self-Descriptions 2 0 Past Now (-) (+) Self-Description

  37. Perspective What drives social behavior? Sociocultural Sociocultural larger social groups Evolutionary Evolutionary Genetic predispositions Social Learning Social Learning Conditioned responses Phenomenological Phenomenological subjective interpretation Social Cognitive Social Cognitive information

  38. Basic Principles of Social Behavior • goal-oriented. • continual interaction between person and situation.

  39. Social Goals The goals of our social behaviors function at different levels Proximate Ultimate • day-to-day • current • conscious • big picture • long-term • not always conscious

  40. Social Goals At the broadest level (ultimate), fundamental motives Social ties Understand us & others Status Defend ourselves and those we value Attract and retain mates

  41. Person-Situation Interactions Person = internal to the individual Situation = outside the person.

  42. Person-Situation Interactions 1. Different persons respond differently to the same situation

  43. Person-Situation Interactions 2. Situations Choose the Person

  44. Person-Situation Interactions 3. Persons Choose Their Situations

  45. Person-Situation Interactions 4. Different Situations Prime Different Parts of the Same Person

  46. Person-Situation Interactions 5. Persons Change the Situation

  47. Person-Situation Interactions 6. Situations Change the Person

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