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Social Behavior Part 1

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PSYC 1002
Mara Fuentes Avila

WEEK 8: SOCIAL BEHAVIOR • Social interaction • Group processes • Collective behavior • Basic concepts associated with social influences – how social environments influence others Social Psychology • Social interaction • Process of social influences (individual behavior in a social context) • Individual thoughts, feelings and how they are influenced by others Person Perception • When you interact with another person – immediately/automatically derive from that person  influences the process of person perception • People have considerable creativity when deriving information from others when they meet, but impressions are often inaccurate • 3 major factors used in social psychology to explain why sometimes our perception of others is inaccurate: (there are more than 3) -> factors that change our perception of others and why we derive the wrong/inaccurate information 1) Cognitive Schemas 2) Stereotypes 3) Subjectivity 1)Cognitive schemas Schemas : cognitive structures that guide information processes organized cluster of ideas about specific categories of events or people Social Categorization Theory Whenever we deal with a specific social environment, we have to derive/understand it in terms of personal senses. How: • classify the social environment by dividing it into different categories • use criteria in order to divide the environment  once we make the division, we classify the members of that environment according to the categories we created  ie: social environment -> 400 students ->gender (m/f) -> social role 1)students, 2)prof -> race/ethnicity  Different criteria that a person can use in order to classify the environment  at the psychological level, we assume the existence of attributes that will categorize the different groups  ie: students/professor role, will assume that students are young, impatient, and pro is older, knowledgeable etc… once classification is established there are several consequences: 1) Look at the social environment 2) Will expect people to behave in the same way you defined the attributes associate with each category -Attributes (cluster of ideas) is the social scheme Schema: • the factors that affect the process of person perception • Where do they come from? (cognitive schemas): the categorization process – automatic process • Whenever we are dealing with a new social situation, the process will be triggered unconsciously • Cluster of ideas comes form categorization • we need to make a personal sense (not social sense) in order to successfully deal with the social environment Psychological consequences: 1) Once the social environment is divided into different groups, at the psychological level, the accentuation effect will occur • Accentuation effect: once you make the decision, it will affect the way we perceive the categories • Exaggerating the differences between categories • Exaggerating similarities within categories  ie: perceive yourself more similar than you really are and perceive the differences between other people more different than they really are  this is a distortion of the perception (social perception) 2) Categories are going to be called in-groups and out-groups In group: group that we are part of and identify with Out group: contrary – the group that we are not part of, don’t identify with • The division between in groups and out groups – the sociological understanding that there is the division has consequences:  in group bias: we always are going to make decisions that favor our in group and always are going to make decisions to discriminate against the out group • The process is called in group bias – because of accentuation effect, will perceive more similar or more different than you really are • When we classify (at the psychological level) we are putting together things that at the psychological level are similar  but with the accentuation effect, we are even more similar than we really are • Because we are similar, at the psychological level, experience similarities – favoring in group members (who represent own psychology) “self – esteem”  try to protect your self concept by favoring members of your in group • People can increase their level of self esteem by favoring their in group members 2)Stereotypes • The factors/variables that affect the process of person perception • beliefs/ideas, not emotions • Beliefs that people have about people that belong to a particular group  ie: gender stereotypes: women are emotional, nurturing.. Etc…  ie: elderly people are forgetful, tollerant etc…. • Sometimes stereotypes have underlying truths – not absolutely different form reality  over generalizations about reality • Social categorization theory stereotypes come from attributes form the different categories we thought belonged to a group  can morph into stereotypes Self Fulfilling Prophecy (expectancy confirmation) • Psychological effect which is a consequence of how a persons biases affect the target behavior • Social schemas – we expect people to behave in the way attributes define them – because we expect this, we are going to treat people in a specific way • Produce behavior based on our expectations (specific behavior)  ie: cognitive schema that asian people are polite -> have an encounter with an asian person, based on stereotype will treat person politely, (don’t know what will happen)  if the person isnt antisocial, they will respond politely • Not very polite but treat politely – will respond politely if treated politely • Will produce with our behavior the response that we expect • Expectation comes from schemas (cognitive/social schemas) • Stereotyping: word used to explain the behavior, implies that you treat the person based on representatitve of a group (rather than an individual) • ie: stereotyping – how come you don’t like this/don’t do that… you are stereotyping if they don’t fit the specific behavior • Specific system of values 3)Subjectivity [and bias in person perception] • If behavior is ambiguous, rely on stereotypes/social schemas in order to understand and interpret behavior • Ambiguous situation: rely on social schemas/stereotypes Self serving bias • When we need to explain success and failure • (another way to affect person perception) to attribute ones success to personal factors and failures to situational factors • defense mechanisms: distortion of reality… etc… how people deal with frusteration • Not at the pathological level (not mental disorder) • Tend to use different criteria when we explain our successes rather than our failures • in group bias: in group favoritism - Self serving bias: self favoritism – attributing success to personal factors • There is a difference (rule) in how we think about ourselves and how we think about others (rule in psychology) •
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