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Lecture

PSYC 1000 Lecture Notes - Fundamental Attribution Error, Cognitive Dissonance, Social Influence

1 pages20 viewsFall 2013

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1000
Professor
Dan Meegan

Page:
of 1
November 14, 2012
Module 43 & 44: Social Psychology I: social thinking & social influence
What we’re covering today
Social Psychology
- how we think about, influence, and relate to
one another
- emphasis on situation rather than person
o how the same person can act
differently in different situations
o how different people can act the
same in the same situation
Social Thinking
- how do we judge the actions of others and
ourselves?
- what is the relationship between attitudes
and actions?
Social Judgments
- fundamental attribution error
- cognitive dissonance
Attribution
- attempting to explain someone’s behavior by
attributing it to a cause such as:
o disposition: person’s stable traits
o situation
Fundamental Attribution Error
- we think we know something about
someone’s disposition when we observe
them in a particular situation
- tendency to
o overestimate the influence of
disposition
o underestimate the influence of
situation
Self vs. Other Judgments
- when it comes to our own behavior
o less likely to blame disposition for bad
acts
o more likely to credit disposition for
good acts
o we tend to rationalize our bad acts
o we tend to think we are good people,
doing good things and giving
ourselves credit when we do good
acts
Cognitive Dissonance
- inconsistency causes tension (dissonance)
o eg. health-concerned person who
smokes
- driven to reduce dissonance
o quit smoking, or
o deny how unhealthy smoking is, or
o rationalize smoking (benefits
outweigh costs)
Dissonance & Self-judgments
- when we act in a way that is inconsistent
with our identity, rationalization presents us
from reassessing our identity
Attitude & Action Relationship
- attitude action
o not surprising, given our definition of
attitude
o however, it is a lot easier to have an
attitude than it is to act upon it
o we may have an attitude about
something, we just do not act upon it
Social Influence
- conformity
- obedience
Conformity
- to what degree do we adjust
Causes
- 2 types of influence (causes of conformity)
- informational
o if everyone else agrees, they must be
right
- normative
o norms: rules for accepted and
expected behavior
o because norms can change, we must
adjust in order to fit in
o an example of normative influence
Obedience
- would you do something you disagreed with
if an authority figure told you to?

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