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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Social Psychology.doc

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PSYC 100
Kevin Hamilton

Social Psychology: • Definition: This area of psychology is concerned with human behaviour in relation to ourselves, others and groups • Social psychology focuses on the interaction between individual and group from the individual’s perspective, whereas sociology focuses on group dynamics but not individuals • Key issues: • How we interact with others • How we think about ourselves and others (social cognition) • How we behave in groups • Some of the main areas of social psychology: • Proxemics: personal space (“bubble”) and territory and crowding o According to Edward T. Hall, personal space describes the immediate space surrounding a person, while territory refers to the area which a person may “lay claim to” and defend against others o Hall’s theory on territoriality has been applied to animal behaviours as well. Defending territory is said to be a means of “propagation of the species by regulating density” • Social cognition: ways people process information about themselves, others, social situations and the world around them • Social influence: how people influence each others actions, decisions and judgements • Interpersonal attraction • Cultural diversity 1 2 Social cognition: • Social cognition is concerned with: • How social information is perceived (detected and processed), interpreted, and remembered (by self and others) • How we make inferences from what we know to what we don’t know • Schema: general knowledge acquired from experience about an object, event, person, or group (a set of assumptions which leads to a framework determining how we think and behave) • Schemata: general knowledge about roles of particular groups in a society. • E.g. roles of bankers, lawyers, professors. • Scripts: general knowledge about events. • E.g. what happens in particular situations such as walking into a restaurant, bank, or movie theatre • NOTE: schema, schemata and scripts are resistant to change • Assimilation: fitting incongruent information into an existing schema. • Accommodation: The complete revision of schema. • NOTE: it is much easier for people to assimilate than to accommodate 3 • NOTE: although schema, schemata and scripts are resistant to change, we are drawn to and intrigued by novel, incongruent information. • Clinton – lies and sex scandals • Girls murdering girl in Victoria, BC • How information affects our schema, schemata and scripts depends upon: • The time we have to think about the new information o In today’s busy society, we don’t have a lot of them to expand our schemas/schemata/scripts • Our ability to understand the new information in relation to our schema, schemata and scripts • Our motivation to assimilate or change (accommodate) How we remember information: • Primacy effect: impression weighted by early rather than b
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