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PSYC 3363 (1)

1. Social Psych January 8th 2013.docx

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PSYC 3363
Cheryl Harasymchuk

1. January 8 2013 This Social Psychology Course  A survey of current and classic research in social psychology  It is about the individual in the larger social environment  The larger context of things Key components of Social Psychology  Real or imagined social influence  Emphasis on construal  Scientific study  Larger context  How the individual effects those around him or her Social Influence  We influence and are influenced by other people Types of Social Influence  Direct attempts o For example, advertising  Simply the physical presence of others my influence us  Can be an imagined presence  Social norms, cultural values, thought of a disapproving parental figure  These change behaviour  Influence on you even if they aren’t directly there  Social behaviour also influenced by cues in the environment o Temperature o Objects o Lighting o Size of room o Music  Social environment is a large, varied thing  Not just people around you, but the objects too  People influenced by cues in the environment that they don’t even know are there  Does that mean we are not completely in control of our behaviour?  Our environment is subtly shaping us Emphasis on construal  Social psychology is unique in its emphasis on personal interpretations (construals)  Even though it is a science, social science, and objectivity is implied, social psychologists are interested in the subjective rather than objective view of a social situation  Social psychologists are interested in people’s personal interpretations of the social environment  Not just an objective amount of something in the social environment (number of people, size in the room)  How people perceive that social environment  Gestalt approach  Refers to idea that the total is greater than the sum of the parts  It’s not just putting together a formal equation of things  Involves interaction and interplay  Uniquely put things together can come out in a total different experience  Focusing on subjective experiences  Even though researchers are interested in all subjective perceptions of social environment, they are going to study it objectively and systematically Example of Construals  Day after party, friends get together to discuss events from night before  Every friend has a different opinion  Focus on different things  Interpret in different way  Interested in all unique interpretations, but can’t be bogged down in different people’s details  Find ways to group these unique interpretations  Strong value placed in these unique interpretations, but to advance theory, things are grouped  Different ways to organize construals: organized by what you are trying to get out of the social situation whether you realize it or not Main motives Underlying Construals  Need to feel good o Self-esteem approach  On average, people need to view things and them
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