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PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

Social PsychologySeptember 8 2010Defining social psychologySocial psychology is what those who call themselves social psychologists choose to studyoYet most fields of study can be defined in this wayWhat makes it different from sociology and anthropologyoPsychology is in scienceFocus is more on the individual generallySocial psychology is about the individual in a social contextoSociology has a lot in common with psychology but it focuses less on the individuals and more on aggregates of people so its methods and terminologies reflect thatEg migration patters aggregate statistics social class issues economic issuesoAnthropologyFocus is on an entire culture or subculture perhaps bigger than social psychology which focuses on an individual in a social contextTheir methodologies are opposite to what theyre focusing onOne or two people from a culture are studied in depth which are an informant representative of a cultureComparing social psychology to sociology and anthropology Social psychology competes with these other disciplinesanthropology would accuse social psychology of being artificial in trying to capture social life inside a laboratory since their work occurs in the outside worldthe social psychology finds the anthropology just gives a little summary of what went on in a village in Kenya and is supplying the world w misinformation The weirdo of the village is the one that stepped forwardEg guy who went to Australia and made a report then went back to the village 30 years later everything was made upHow social psychology relates to psychologySee map on slidesIt used to be that you needed certain science prerequisites to get into psychology There are prereq then requirements which tell you the core of the disciplineIn many universities SP will be in the arts faculty But at McGill its in the faculty of science alongside physics chem and bio Every university has a status orderMedicine Law Science Computer Science Theatre appreciation They are status associatedCore 1learning2perception3motivation4cognition5statisticsOther1Health2personality 3clinical4quantitative5physiology6development7quantitativeSocial psychology is in the core it is required even though its considered softcoreHow social psychology relates to psychologyhis viewHe thinks its the shit Theres nothing in psychology that not socialIn defense of the Ivory TowerWhy theory is importantWhy scientific method is importantTheory and practiceEg Oprah Oprahs team of chefs and personal trainerother people cannot relate to Oprahs dieting There are many reasons for us not to like theory and research Yet a theory is a series of formal abstract statements about how something works and its a theory because we dont know if its trueWe have a sense that theory is something academics do they are not engaged in the real world and theory is something done in class only Yet every time we behave it comes out of our theories Lets call them folk theories We apply them all day longPeople dont say theyre acting on their theories but they areEg Folk theory suicide terrorists are evil sick and misguided people born in abject povertyWRONG Terrorists are normal on every psychological level wealthy and educatedIts the theory formal or informal that guides our behaviourEg Autism A person who is totally unresponsive to anything social The first theorizing by people in the medical field was that their family especially their mother tended to be cold and withdrawn and this impacted the child by making them socially unresponsive refrigerator mother Every behaviour is guided by a theory Even something simpleSome people theorize that most people in the world are nice and if something bad happened to them theyre not nice Youll get taken advantage of If you believe everyone is a crook youll never trust anyoneInstitutions have folk theories that they communicate without knowing it What does McGill think of student Believing students will cheat and doing computer programs to see what the answers on exams are similar Theory matters and if youre wrong there are huge consequencesEg Cause of juvenile delinquency1 5 or 6 in 100 are bad2 All kids are good the real problem is their family environment Lets work wthe family3 There are entire communities typically innercity and community life is just survival on the streetsIt is not just an academic exercise There are principles were looking for this is the way the world worksWhen youre learning about them think if this theory is true what does this mean for my daily lifeIf the theory really matters informal or formal the more important the question we theorize about the more or less pressure there is on us not to be wrongEg Female psychologists CEOs doctors lawyers were scarce 30 years ago Folk theory women are nice to look at but theyre stupidEg Does Iraq have weapons of mass destruction Huge implications if were wrongEg Why did he call me He wants something I have oh thats why he phoned He phoned me because he likes methis will change the way you act the next time you see him If youre wrong youll look bad and feel stupidHypothesis specific statement of what the theory predictsResearch Experiments are taken seriously They may seem artificial bc theyre done in a lab The experiment is like a surgeons knife probing one thing at a time seeing what makes it tick1you better brush your teeth or theyll rot2you better brush your teeth or people wont like you this one works for group A3you better brush your teeth becauseIf you push too hard people deny it and psychologically block it out Eg Aids in North American gay community Governments pushed to say this is what will happen to you in a gay relationshipSeptember 10 2010Theory Men and women are different because men had more power historically Therefore they organized the world so they held the jobs of high decisionmaking and occupied the positions of corporate and academic leadership Women were very important but
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