Social Psychology Chapter 14
Social Psychology • Social psychology – The branch of psychology that studies the effects of social variables and cognitions on individual behavior and social interactions • Social context – The combination of • People • The activities and interactions among people • The setting in which behavior occurs, and • The expectations and social norms governing behavior in that setting
How Does the Social Situation Affect Our Behavior? • Core Concept: • We usually adapt our behavior to the demands of the social situation, and in ambiguous situations we take our cues from the behavior of others in that setting
How Does the Social Situation Affect Our Behavior? • Situationism –The view that environmental conditions influence people’s behavior as much or more than their personal dispositions do.
Social Standards of Behavior • Social role –One of several socially defined patterns of behavior that are expected of persons in a given setting or group • Script –Knowledge about the sequenceof events and actions that isexpected in a particular setting
Social Standards of Behavior • Social norms – A group’s expectations regarding what is appropriate and acceptable for its members’ attitudes and behavior • Social norms influence students’political views
Conformity: The Asch studies: • Which line matches the line on the left?
What would you say if you were in a room full of people who all picked line number three?
Group Characteristics That Produce Conformity • Ashe identifies three factors that influence whether a person will yield to pressure: • The size of the majority • The presence of a partner who dissented from the majority • The size of the discrepancy between the correct answer and the majority position
Group Think • In “groupthink,” members of the group attempt to conform their opinions to what each believes to be the consensus of the group
Conditions Likely to Promote Group Think • Conditions likely to promote groupthink include: • Isolation of the group • High group cohesiveness • Directive leadership • Lack of norms requiring methodical procedures • Homogeneity of members’ social background and ideology • High stress from external threats with low hope of a better solution than that of the group leader
Obedience to Authority—Stanley Milgram • Imagine if an experimenter studying “the effects of punishment on memory” asked you to deliver painful electric shocks to a a middle-aged man who had been treated for a heart condition. • Each time the man missed an answer, you would be instructed to deliver an increasingly powerful shock.
Milgram’s Shock Generator Would you deliver a moderate shock??
Milgram’s Experiment • Would you deliver a moderate shock? • Would you refuse the experimenter’s instruction to administer an extreme shock? • What if the victim was screaming in agony?
Well… • Two thirds of participants delivered the maximum 450 volts to the learner. • What do you think about that?
Obedience to Authority • In Milgram’s experiment • The victim was an actor • The victim received no actual shocks • Nevertheless, this controversial experiment demonstrated how powerful effects of obedience to authority. • Situational factors, and not personality variables, appeared to effect people’s levels of obedience.
Ten Steps Toward Evil-Getting Good People to Harm Others • Provide people with an ideology to justify beliefs for actions • Make people take a small first step toward a harmful act with a minor, trivial action and then gradually increase those small actions • Make those in charge seem like a “just authority” • Slowly transform a once compassionate leader into a dictatorial figure • Provide people with vague and ever changing rules
Ten Steps Toward Evil-Getting Good People to Harm Others • Relabel the situation’s actors and their actions to legitimize the ideology • Provide people with social models of compliance • Allow verbal dissent but only if people continue to comply behaviorally with orders • Encourage dehumanizing the victim • Make exiting the situation difficult
The Bystander Problem • Diffusion of responsibility –Dilution or weakening of each group member’s obligation to act when responsibility is perceived to be shared with all group members • ADD MORE
The Bystander Problem • In one experiment, a student was led to believe that the he or she was taking part in an experiment with between one and five other students (over an intercom). • The student then heard what sounded like another student having a seizure and gasping for help. • The researchers timed how long it would take the students to ask for help.
Constructing Social Reality: What Influences Our Judgments of Others? Core Concept: • The judgments we make about others depend not only on their behavior but also on our interpretation of their actions within a social context.
Constructing Social Reality: What Influences Our Judgments of Others? • Social reality – An individual’s subjective interpretation of other people and of relationships with them
Interpersonal Attraction • Reward theory of attraction – A social learning view that says we like best those who give us maximum rewards at minimum cost • Proximity • Similarity • Self Disclosure • Physical Attractiveness
Expectations and theInfluence of Self-Esteem • Matching hypothesis – Prediction that most people will find friends and mates that are about their same level of attractiveness. • Expectancy-value theory – Theory that people decide whether or not to pursue a relationship by weighing the potential value of the relationship against their expectations of success in establishing the relationship.
Attraction and Self-Justification • Cognitive dissonance – A highly motivating state in which people have conflicting cognitions, especially when their voluntary actions conflict with their attitudes.
Making CognitiveAttributions • Fundamental attribution error – Tendency to emphasize internal causes and ignore external pressures • Self-serving bias – Attributional pattern in which one takes credit for success but denies responsibility for failure
Prejudice and Discrimination • Prejudice – A negative attitude toward an individual based solely on his or her membership in a particular group. • Discrimination – A negative action taken against an individual as a result of his or her group membership.
Prejudice and Discrimination • In-group – The group with which an individual identifies. • Out-group – Those outside the group with which an individual identifies. • Social distance – The perceived difference or similarity between oneself and another person.
Combating Prejudice • Research suggests that the possible tools for combating prejudice include: • New role models • Equal status contact • Legislation
Other Topics in Social Psychology • Social facilitation –An increase in an individual’s performance because of being in a group. • Social loafing –An decrease in performance because of being in a group.
Other Topics in Social Psychology • Deindividuation –Occurs when group members lose their sense of personal identity and responsibility and the group “assumes” responsibility for their behavior. • Experiment--Halloween
Other Topics in Social Psychology • Group polarization –When individuals in a group have similar, though not identical, views, their opinions become more extreme. • Groupthink –An excessive tendency to seek recurrence among group members.
Loving Relationships • Romantic love – A temporary and highly emotional condition based on infatuation and sexual desire.
What Are the Roots of Violence and Terrorism? Core Concept: • The power of the situation can help us understand violence and terrorism, but the broader understanding requires multiple perspectives that go beyond the boundaries of traditional psychology.
The Robbers‘Cave: An Experiment in Conflict • In the Robber’s Cave experiment, conflict between groups arose from an intensely competitive situation. • Cooperation, however, replaced conflict when the experimenters contrived situations that fostered mutual interdependence and common goals for the groups.
The Robbers‘Cave: An Experiment in Conflict • Violence and aggression – Terms that refer to behavior that is intended to cause harm. • Cohesiveness – Solidarity, loyalty, and a sense of group membership.
The Robbers‘Cave: An Experiment in Conflict • Mutual interdependence – Shared sense that individuals or groups need each other in order to achieve common goals.
Terrorism • Terrorism – The use of violent, unpredictable acts by a small group against a larger group for political, economic, or religious goals. • Taking multiple perspectives can provide important insights on the problems of aggression, violence, and terrorism.