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Social Psychology. Attitude. Attraction. Aggression. Group Behavior. Study of how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by others . Or How people influence each other. Attitudes. A set of beliefs and feelings. Advertising is ALL based on attitude formation.

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Social psychology

Social Psychology




Group Behavior

Study of how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by others.


How people influence each other.


  • A set of beliefs and feelings.

  • Advertising is ALL based on attitude formation.

  • Mere Exposure Effect- constant contact with stimuli leads to appeal

  • Central Route of persuasion –the listener focuses on the content of the product


  • Peripheral Route of persuasion –listener focuses on the tone of person’s voice & excitement

Attitude and behavior
Attitude and Behavior

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

  • People want to have consistent attitudes and behaviors….when they are not they experience dissonance (unpleasant tension).

  • Usually they will change their attitude.

The teacher was really bad so in that class it is OK.

You have a belief that cheating on tests is bad.

But you cheat on a test!!!

Compliance strategies
Compliance Strategies

  • Foot-in-the-door phenomenon

    • Start with small request than larger request

    • Train or brainwash

  • Door-in-the-face phenomenon

    • Ask for something big (a car) then ask for something small (a cell phone).

  • Norms of reciprocity

    • charities give you something like return address stickers hoping you will donate to their cause.

Attribution theory fritz heider






Attribution Theory – Fritz Heider

  • Tries to explain how people determine the cause of the behavior they observe.

    It is either a….

  • Situational Attribution (due to: external social factors)

  • Dispositional Attribution (due to: internal attitudes)

Effects of attribution
Effects of Attribution

How we explain someone’s behavior affects how we react to it.

Situational or dispositional attributions
Situational or dispositional Attributions?

  • A teen crashes the car. One parent says it was because of the slippery road. Another says it’s because he wasn’t paying attention to driving.

  • One parent uses dispositional attributes; the other uses situational attributes.

Fundamental attribution error
Fundamental Attribution Error

  • We tend to overestimate the role of dispositional factors.

    Self-Serving Bias We attribute our success to personal/internal factors but attribute our failures to situational/external factors.

    False Consensus Effect

If you win it is because you are awesome…if you lose, it must have been the coach or weather or….

When you start a romance, you assume that they agree with your world views….honeymoon period.

The chameleon effect
The Chameleon Effect

Conformity: Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999).

Social facilitation theory
Social Facilitation Theory

  • If you are really good at something….or it is an easy task…you will perform BETTER in front of a group.

    • Home team advantage

  • If it is a difficult task or you are not very good at it…you will perform WORSE in front of a group (social impairment).

Conformity studies
Conformity Studies

  • Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.

  • Normative social influence – causes a person to conform, or change a behavior to gain approval or avoid disapproval

  • Information social influence – a person conforms because giving the information is seen as an expert

Asch s study of conformity
Asch’s Study of Conformity

Which line is equal to the standard line? After several others said “3” the subject would say “3”.

Asch s results
Asch’s Results

  • About 1/3 of the participants conformed.

  • 70% conformed at least once.

    To strengthen conformity:

  • The group is unanimous

  • The group is at least three people.

  • One admires the group’s status

  • One had made no prior commitment

Milgram s study
Milgram’s Study

Of Obedience

Stanley Milgram designed a study that investigates the effects of authority on obedience

  • Ordinary people can do shocking things.

  • Ethical issues….

  • Would not have received approval from today’s IRB (Internal Review Board).


  • Group members suppress their reservations about the ideas supported by the group.

  • They are more concerned with group harmony.

  • Worse in highly cohesive groups.


  • People get swept up in a group and lose sense of self.

  • Feel anonymous and aroused.

  • Explains rioting/mob behaviors.

Social loafing
Social Loafing

  • The tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling efforts toward a common goal than if they were individually accountable.

Group polarization
Group Polarization

  • Groups tend to make more extreme decisions than the individual.

Social Dilemma

-Individual gain or common good

Stereotypes prejudice and discrimination
Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination


  • Overgeneralized idea about a group of people.


  • Undeserved (usually negative) attitude towards a group of people. Ethnocentrism is an example of a prejudice.


  • An action based on a prejudice.

Is it just race
Is it just race?


  • Palestinians and Jews

  • CVHS vs. DHS

  • Men and Women

How does prejudice occur
How does prejudice occur?

Just world Phenomenon –

-Good is rewarded and evil is punished

-Blame the victim

  • In one popular study female and male subjects were told two versions of a story about an interaction between a woman and a man. Both variations were exactly the same, except at the very end the man raped the woman in one and in the other he proposed marriage.

  • In both conditions, both female and male subjects viewed the woman's (identical) actions as inevitably leading to the (very different) results.

    In-Group-People with whom one shares a common identity.


    Out-Groups.Those perceived as different from one’s ingroup.

  • In-Group Bias-The tendency to favor one’s own group.

    Scapegoat Theory

    - people may be prejudice toward a group in order to vent their anger

Combating prejudice
Combating Prejudice

Contact Theory

  • Contact between hostile groups will reduce animosity if they are made to work towards a superordinate goal.

  • Serif camp study

  • Election of Obama?

Prejudices can often lead to a
Prejudices can often lead to a….

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

  • A prediction that causes itself to be true.

  • Rosenthal and Jacobson’s “Pygmalion in the Classroom” experiment.

Psychology of aggression
Psychology of Aggression

Two types of aggression

  • Instrumental Aggression

  • Hostile Aggression

    Theories of Aggression:

  • Bandura’s Modeling

  • Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis

    • Frustration creates anger, which generates aggression

    • Aversive stimuli: physical pain, personal insults, foul odors, hot temperatures, cigarette smoke, ect……

Prosocial behavior
Prosocial Behavior

  • Kitty Genovese case in Kew Gardens NY.

    Bystander Effect:

  • Conditions in which people are more or less likely to help one another. In general…the more people around…the less chance of help….because of…

  • Diffusion of Responsibility

    Pluralistic Ignorance

  • People decide what to do by looking to others.


5 Factors of Attraction


  • Geographic nearness

    Mere exposure effect:

  • Repeated exposure to something breeds liking.

  • Taiwanese Letters

Reciprocal liking
Reciprocal Liking

  • You are more likely to like someone who likes you.

  • Why?

  • Except in elementary school!!!!


  • Paula Abdul was wrong- opposites do NOT attract.

  • Birds of the same feather do flock together.

  • Similarity breeds content.

Liking through association
Liking through Association

  • Classical Conditioning can play a part in attraction.

  • “I love Theo’s Wings. If I see the same waitress every time I go there, I may begin to associate that waitress with the good feelings I get from Theo's.”

Beauty and culture
Beauty and Culture date more).

Obesity is so revered among Mauritania's white Moor Arab population that the young girls are sometimes force-fed to obtain a weight the government has described as "life-threatening".

Baby faces
Baby faces relationships.

  • For partners, women prefer baby faced men, except when they are ovulating. Women prefer masculine men for affairs.

  • In terms of competence, we prefer mature-looking men.

Zimbardo s prison study
Zimbardo’s Prison Study relationships.

  • Showed how we deindividuate AND become the roles we are given.

  • Philip Zimbardo has students at Stanford U play the roles of prisoner and prison guards in the basement of psychology building.

  • They were given uniforms and numbers for each prisoner.

  • What do you think happened?

  • 4. In Stanley Milgram's research on obedience, the "teacher" routinely

  • a.resisted the authority figure

  • b.obeyed the authority figure

  • c.resisted the authority figure, but obeyed the confederate

  • d.resisted the authority figure when the learner appeared to be injured

  • e.Conformed to other participant’s answers

  • 5. The "bystander effect" is the finding that routinely

  • a.the probability that a witness to an emergency will help increases as the number of bystanders increases

  • b.a group of witnesses to an emergency will all tend to cooperate to provide help

  • c.the probability that a witness to an emergency will help decreases as the number of bystanders increases

  • d.bystanders' willingness to help depends on the seriousness of the emergency

  • e.The probability of the group cooperating with the leader regardless of the decision

  • 6. Diffusion of responsibility refers to the routinely

  • a.tendency of others to assume that someone else will take responsibility in a crisis

  • b.basis for performing prosocial behavior

  • c.halo effect in aggression

  • d.loss of identity one experiences in mob violence/aggression

  • e.The foundation of prejudice

  • 8. When the jury entered the jury room most of the jurors thought that the defendant in the case was probably innocent, but some weren't certain. After discussing the case for four hours, all twelve jurors are now firmly convinced that the defendant did not commit the crime. The strengthening of the jurors' opinions following group discussion is consistent with which of the following processes?

  • a.Group think

  • b.The bystander effect

  • c.Reciprocity

  • d.Group polarization

  • e.Social facilitation

  • 9. Which of the following is not characteristic of groupthink?

  • a.dividing the world into the ingroup and the outgroup

  • b.censoring dissent from group members

  • c.gathering all the relevant information before making a decision

  • d.censoring information that contradicts the group's views

  • e. Blindly agreeing with the leader of a group

  • 10. A man who believes that "women just don't make good leaders" may dwell on his female supervisor's mistakes and quickly forget about her achievements. This scenario illustrates which of the following concepts?

  • a.defensive attribution

  • b.the illusory correlation effect

  • c.the fundamental attribution error

  • d.the bystander effect

  • e.diffusion of responsibility

  • 11. Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to leaders" may dwell on his female supervisor's mistakes and quickly forget about her achievements. This scenario illustrates which of the following concepts?

  • a.focus on one's own needs as opposed to what is best for the group

  • b.evaluate people in one's own group as superior to others

  • c.model the attitudes of members of one's immediate family

  • d.identify with members of a popular outgroup

  • e.being open-minded to other cultures

  • 1. D leaders" may dwell on his female supervisor's mistakes and quickly forget about her achievements. This scenario illustrates which of the following concepts?

  • 2. C

  • 3. B

  • 4. B

  • 5. C

  • 6. A

  • 7. D

  • 8. D

  • 9. C

  • 10. B

  • 11. B

2006 frq 2
2006 FRQ #2 leaders" may dwell on his female supervisor's mistakes and quickly forget about her achievements. This scenario illustrates which of the following concepts?

  • Zoey wants to buy a new car but is having difficulty deciding what kind of car to buy. She is feeling anxious and wants to make a decision soon. Zoey visits several local car dealers and asks for the advice of some of her friends. Explain how each of the following could influence her decision. Be sure to discuss each concept in the context of Zoey’s decision.

    • Approach-avoidance conflict

    • Central route persuasion

    • Heuristics

    • Individualism

    • Rationalization

    • Self-efficacy

    • The autonomic nervous system

    • The foot-in-the-door phenomenon

2003 frq
2003 FRQ leaders" may dwell on his female supervisor's mistakes and quickly forget about her achievements. This scenario illustrates which of the following concepts?

  • Define the following psychological concepts

    • Cognitive dissonance

    • Conformity

    • Incentive motivation

    • Negative reinforcement

    • Physiological addiction

      B. Use one specific example for each of the concepts in part A to explain how the concept might relate to either the development of or the continuation of a smoking habit. It is not necessary to use the same example for each concept.