I. Social Psychology • The Study of how people influence and are influenced by others
II. The Self • What we perceive ourselves to be • Self Schemas – cognitive structures that allow people to differentiate themselves from others • Social Comparison – we compare ourselves to others to form a view of ourselves • Personality Identity – composed of an individual's thoughts and emotions (self-knowledge and evaluation) • Social Identity – based on the impressions someone makes, what others think of that person within a group.
III. Perceiving Others • Schemas – structure our perception of events, make predictions about the future, decide on goals and plans • Ex: First impressions • Attribution theory – explaining the behavior of others in terms of their personality traits or other external factors. • Ex: Blonde hair must = lack of intelligence
IV. Attitudes • Beliefs and feelings about people, objects or events that cause us to behave in certain ways. • Ex: “ That’s how those people are.” • Social Schemas- the ideas we have formed about social groups. • Ex: when we meet someone new we put them into pre-existing groups (slacker, go getter, surfer, etc.)
Effects of Attitudes • Stereotypes – distorted generalized beliefs • Prejudice – unfounded, generally negative, attitude • Discrimination – unfair treatment of individuals because of membership in a group • Attraction – draw towards a person or group due to similarity, proximity or reciprocity.
VI. Causes of Prejudice • Categorization • Exaggeration of Differences – assuming those who are different are more different than they really are
Justifying Economic or Role Status – explaining status by providing reasons why an economic or role status exists. (ex: poverty = unwillingness to work) • Observational Learning – imitating the behaviors observed in an environment (ex: children adopting parents beliefs). • Scapegoating –finding someone else to blame for a problem
VII. Social Categories • Gender • Race • Ethnicity • Sexual Orientation • Disabilities • Economic Status • Education Level