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Lecture 19

PSYC 1002 Lecture 19: Chapter 13 Social Psychology - March 27, 30 - lectures 19, 20
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 1002
Professor
Chris Motz
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 13: Social Psychology - March 27, 30 - lectures 19, 20 March 30, 2017 8:25 AM Introduction to the Study of Psychology PSYC1002-H Goals for today’s class… Social Thinking Attributions & Attribution Errors Social Perception, Presentation & Comparison Attitudes & Behaviour, Attitude Change Social Influence Conformity Obedience Group Influence Group Identity Intergroup Relations Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotype Threat Social Psychology • The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. Thinking – self & other Influence – situations & roles Groups – Ingroup vs. Outgroup Personality – person vs. situation • Connecting all of these factors to behaviour. Attribution Theory • Attribution theory can be used to understand other people’s behaviour (why they are doing what they are doing), and can also be used to predict how they might behave in the future (understanding their attributions helps us understand how they might think about behaving in future similar circumstances). The attributions that they make for events will shape their future behaviour. • But we can also use Attribution theory to help us understand our own emotions/actions toward other people. The ways we attribute (explain) other people’s behaviour shapes the way to feel/act toward them. Attribution Theory • Every attribution can be classified along several dimensions (Weiner) Locus of Causality: Internal vs. External (originally, Rotter’s Locus of Controllability) Stability: Stable vs. Unstable Controllability: Controllable vs. Uncontrollable Globality: Global vs. Specific Intentionality: Intentional vs. Unintentional • Our attributions have behavioural & psychological consequences (self-esteem, guilt, shame, anger, sympathy) Belief in a Just World • When we make an attribution for someone’sbehaviour (explain their behaviour) – our attribution is grounded in our belief that the world is fair (the world is “just”). • Belief in a Just World (Learner & colleagues) We have a need to believe that “I am a just person living in a just world, a world where people get what they deserve” As children, we are taught that good is rewarded and evil is punished Thus, we feel that those who are successful (or fortunate) must be good people (and vice-versa) Belief in a Just World Isabel Correia, Jorge Vala & Patricia Aguiar (2007). Victim’s innocence, social categorization, and the threat to the belief in a just world Belief in a Just World • Study One Participants watched a 5 minute video – child who lost both arms in an accident Two conditions: innocent vs. not innocent (warned) DV = Stroop Task (response times) 10 justice-related words (right, fair) and 10 neutral words (telephone, wood, glass) Hypothesis: When BJW is threatened, response times for the justice-related words will increase (slow down) because participants more distracted Belief in a Just World • Study One • Results Reading speed was slower for the justice-related words in the innocent condition (compared to the other three conditions) Neutral words Justice-related Innocent normal slower Not innocent normal normal • Thus, our belief in a just world is threatened when bad things happen to innocent people Chapter 13 Page 1 Innocent normal slower Not innocent normal normal • Thus, our belief in a just world is threatened when bad things happen to innocent people Belief in a Just World • Study Two • Same as study one – except that the social categorization of the child was manipulated Ingroup (Portuguese) vs. Outgroup (Gypsy) • Hypothesis: a victim from “our group” is more threatening than a victim from an outgroup • A 2 (innocence) by 2 (group) design Belief in a Just World • Study Two • Results Reading speed was slower for justice-related words in the Ingroup condition than in the Outgroup condition, and the innocence of the victim no longer had any significant impact • When the victim’s identity was explicitly mentioned as part of the ingroup, this ingroup identification (of a victim) produced a threat to BJW regardless of the victim’s innocence. • When the victim’s identity was explicitly mentioned as part of the outgroup, the BJW was not really threatened (even if the child was innocent). Belief in a Just World • Conclusions: Our BJW is affected when bad events happen to innocent people. But we seem to apply our BJW differently depending on the identity of the victim. If the victim is specifically part of our ingroup, then our BJW may be threatened regardless of the victim’s innocence. If the victim is specifically part of the outgroup, then our BJW may not apply (regardless of the victim’s innocence) Meaning that we may believe that an ingroup member is always innocent and an outgroup member is always guilty Attribution Errors & Biases • Explaining other people’s behaviour Explanations can be dispositional or situational • Fundamental Attribution Error Observers overestimatethe importance of traits and underestimate the importance of situations when they seek explanations of an actor's behaviour. Attribution Errors & Biases • Jones & Harris (1967) • Participants read a speech written by a student. The speech was either pro-Castro or anti-Castro. • Participants were told that the student had either, (1) freely chosen to write from this position, or (2) been assigned to write from this position Attribution Errors & Biases • Jones & Harris (1967) • Results Participants were more likely to infer that the paper reflected the student’s true attitude when the position had been freely chosen Even when participants thought the student had no choice, they still used the speech to infer attitude. • Thus, we fall prey to the fundamental attribution error even when we are fully aware of the situation’s impact. Attribution Errors & Biases • Self-serving bias – the tendency to perceive oneself favourably (correlated with self-esteem). • False Consensus & False Uniqueness We further enhance our self-image by over/under-estimating the extent to which others think/act like us. Opinions Undesirable behaviours Desirable behaviours Social Perception • Comparing ourselves with others Social comparison theory Festinger (1954) Without any objective ways of evaluating our performance, we compare ourselves with others, but not just any others, those who are similar or worse off Social Perception • Social comparison theory • Miller & McFarland (1987) Participants (in a group with other participants) read an incomprehensible passage. Were instructed to “seek help if they ran into any serious problems in understanding the paper” None of the subjects sought help. They assumed that other subjects would not be similarly restrained by fear of embarrassment. They wrongfully inferred that people who did not seek help did not need any. Social Perception • Presenting ourselves to others Impression management Chapter 13 Page 2 Impression management Nonverbal cues Conforming to situational norms Showing appreciation of others Behavioural matching Lecture Break Social Perception • Self-Monitoring (Mark Snyder, 1974, 1979, 1987) • Individuals vary in the extent to which they strategically cultivate public appearances (impression management) • People differ meaningfully in the extent to which they can and do engage in expressive control Self-Monitors • High Self-Monitors ○ Are particularly sensitive to the ways they express and present themselvesin social situations • Low Self-Monitors ○ Tend to express what they feel, rather than mold and tailor their behaviour to fit the situation Self-Monitoring • Not related to being highly anxious, to being extraverted, or to having a high need for approval • High S-M do not necessarily have high scores on a scale of Machiavellianism • “In their relationships with friends and acquaintances, high S-M individuals are eager to use their self- monitoring abilities to promote smooth social interactions.” (Snyder, 1980) Applications for the real world • DeBono and colleagues (1985, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 95) Explorations of consumer attitudes and behaviour Applications for the real world • High s-m value consumer products for their strategic value in cultivating social images and public appearances. • They are persuaded by images of some kind of status indicator • They react positively to advertising appeals that associate products with status. Applications for the real world • Low s-m judge consumer products in terms of the quality of the products stripped of their image-creating and status-enhancing veneer. • They chose products that they could trust to perform their intended functions well. Attitudes • Attitudes – beliefs or opinions about people, objects, or ideas • Can attitudes predict behaviour? Yes… but only.. ○ When attitudes are strong? ○ When one has strong awareness of one’s attitudes? ○ When attitudes are relevant to the behaviour? Attitudes • Changes in behaviour can precede changes in attitudes - Dissonance: ○ Behaviours can change attitudes ○ When you have an attitude Cognitive Dissonance Theory about something, but you do ○ Festinger (1957) - refers to an individual's motivation to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) caused by something else two inconsistent thoughts. ○ Ie: having an attitude that you ○ Motivated toward consistency should go on a diet ○ Example:  But you eat a tub of ice cream  (attitude) I am generally a pretty relaxed and easy-going person.  (behaviour) However, I just shouted at the driver who just cut me off.  (attitude change) Maybe I am not a relaxed and easy-going driver. Attitudes • Changes in behaviour can precede changes in attitudes Self-Perception Theory ○ Bem (1967) - theory about the connection between attitudes and behaviour; it stresses that individuals make inferences about their attitudes by perceiving their behaviour. ○ Inference about self ○ You do a behaviour, and then decide what your attitude is ○ Example: “I notice that I am spending a lot of time wandering around the common areas of residence, therefore, I must be lonely.” Attitudes • Which is correct? Cognitive Dissonance or Self-Perception? • Research supports: • Cognitive dissonance theory when the person has a pre-existing attitude/belief, and then does a contrary behaviour where they then feel cheap, stupid, or guilty about their behaviour • Self-perception theory when people are not strongly committed to an attitude or when they strengthen their attitude after acting consistent with their attitude How are Attitudes Changed? • The Communicator ○ Ie: a narrator ○ Important variables Chapter 13 Page 3 ○ Important variables  Expertise  Attractiveness • The Message ○ Elaboration likelihood model  Central route versus peripheral route to persuasion  The likely hood that someone will like more information  Central: it is a lot of information □ Ie: commercialswith a lot of text/ info  Peripheral: not a lot of information □ Ie: commercialswith very little info/ text on it □ More emotional • The Medium ○ The means through which the ad is communicated ○ Ie: Commercial,billboard, magazine, picture, radio, newspaper etc… • The Target ○ Age  A younger target is more willing to change their attitudes rather than an older target How are Attitudes Changed? • Subject motivation • Level of processing motivation • Low motivation = persuasion more likely to be determined by heuristics - High motivation - negative • High motivation = persuasion more likely to be determined by systematic processing (scrutinize the claims in framing is more persuasive greater detail) - Low motivation - positive framing • Message framing valence is more persuasive ○ Negative (loss framed) vs. Positive (gain framed) ○ Negative focuses on the bad things if you don’t get the product ○ Positive focuses on the good things that will happen to you if you get he product Social Influence • Conformity ○ Involves a change in a person's behaviour to coincide more with a group standard (as a result of real or imagined group pressure). • Asch’s (1951, 1955) conformity experiments ○ Which line is the same length as a standard line? ○ Conformed to wrong answer 35% of time Lecture Break Conformity • Factors that contribute to conformity Normative social influence Informational social influence Unanimity of the g
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