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Lecture 19

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2600
Professor
Chris Motz
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 19 Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - Social-cultural domain (should have finished last week) - We’ve looked at FFT from perspective of social psychologist—how to handle the connection between personality and social psychology - Link between external factors and biological bases o Trying to figure out whether external factors could be all-encompassing background o Could argue for full-on, or maybe pull out the biological bases and still have a link - It feels like we’re jumping around in this domain—we are o It’s jumping around within the text and also in the lectures - Link between situation and biological functioning o Just how important is our social environment in shaping our behaviour and our personality? o Eisenberger, Lieberman and Williams—“Does rejection hurt?” (social ostracism) o Williams is really doing tons of research on this ostracism. He’s doing research in Australia. He’s looking at fMRIs during ostracism. - Eisenberger, Lieberman and Williams o Hypothesis: physical pain has underlying neural circuitry in brain o So does social pain o At least for part of this, will share similar circuitry o Social pain: social cues that cause discomfort, but we actually talk about it as causing pain (“You broke my heart”, “You hurt my feelings”) o Even our language reflects it o Previous research has already revealed a lot of the circuitry involved in physical pain o Williams’ hypothesis: similar systems for both  **Both serve similar purpose (life is in jeopardy) • For our ancestors, damage to body potentially meant that they would die • Try to minimize the amount of damage • **For social pain: we work best in groups (back to Leary’s theory). Ability to work together means we’re effective at hunting together, collecting food and sharing, etc. Therefore, social ostracism is bad, rejection is dangerous. Any slight cue that group is about to kick you out should be very threatening and cause some level of social pain. o Physical pain: dACC (part of the cingulate cortex, belt that wraps around the brain)—probably also involved in social pain  It’s very much involved in the distress we feel at physical pain o Participants placed inside MRI, it’s an fMRI (functional—we’re taking video of brain over time so we get to see which parts are active)  We have to socially ostracize them  While they’re inside, they play a game (on the computer screen, a game of catch with two other stick figures)  When you catch the ball, can choose who you’ll throw it to  You show the two other players  Miniature keyboard to access, mirror to see the monitor (monitor is far from MRI machine)  First game: fair (inclusion condition)  Second game: implicit exclusion—pretend there’s a problem with the machine and the other two players are unable to throw the ball to this participant—participant has to watch while the other two participants play (but it’s not their fault)  Third game: explicit exclusion—get one or two balls thrown to them to show that the machine is working, then the other two participants exclude you. o Results  dACC was more active during exclusion than inclusion  same kind of result for both explicit and implicit exclusion  It still caused distressing experience  dACC activity correlated positively with self-reported distress in response to exclusion (obtained from questionnaire after fMRI) • More distress they felt, more dACC activity • Positive correlation o Conclusion  **The groups to which we want to belong have a big impact on our attitudes and behaviours  Physical and social pain have similar neural processes  Rejection cues shape our behaviour—inform us of when we’re doing things that annoy other people (going too far with joking)  Supports that larger theory—benefits of inclusion in social groups important for survival - Other ways of classifying personality other than FFM o Authoritarian Personality Structure  Social component of personality—influences how we act/respond  Can take it from theory to research to application  Get to see how it manifests in the real world  Research started after WWII (huge wake up call to world, how things like this happen)  Philosophy, psychology, sociology tried to come up with answers  **Adorno and colleagues: one of early psychology attempts at answering these questions  Early research was a bit of a mess—didn’t necessarily answer much of anything  And then Bob Altemeyer came around—the expert  We often think about the authoritarian LEADER—but from the standpoint of authoritarianism, it’s far more interesting to study the masses of people who are the followers  When followers submit too much to leaders**  Authoritarian: because of his personality, submits by leaps and bows to his authorities (usually established authority-- government tradition/religious leaders in society)  Usually social conservative/political conservative (right wing)  Right-wing Authoritarianism—personality • 1) Submission to established authorities • 2) High levels of aggression in the name of their authorities (against to individuals who don’t follow authority) o Perceive actions to be legitimate (classic trait of the personality) • 3) Conventionalism—belief in traditional values of society, everyone should follow these norms (sanctioned by authorities)  Is there a Left-Wing Authoritarian? • **Within NA, those who are high in authoritarianism TEND to go towards right-wing of spectrum (political conservatives) • Those who are conservative are not necessarily authoritarian (doesn’t work the other way around) • Left-wing authoritarian? o Under debate o Altemeyer comes on both sides of the debate—he’s crazy o On no side: Often with democrats, espouse values of questioning authority, not how dare you question authority? Doesn’t necessarily work. o However, Altemeyer on the yes side: can find them on both sides.
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