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Lecture 98

PSYC 308 Lecture 98: Psyc 308 midterm 1 notes

28 pages50 viewsWinter 2019

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 308
Professor
Heather Armstrong
Lecture
98

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Chapter 1 Slide
What is social psychology?
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are
influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people.
Social Psychology :The scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people
Construal: The way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world. (social
psychology is concerned not so much with social situations in any objective sense, but rather with how
people are influenced by their interpretation, or construal, of their environment.)
Social psychology, science, and common sense
Folk Wisdom (common sense)
Often grossly oversimplified and wrong
Often contradictory
E.g. Absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. Out of sight out of mind.
E.g. Birds of a feather flock together vs. opposites attract
“birds of a feather flock together”: we like and spent time with people who
shared our backgrounds and interests.
“Opposites attract”:We tend to be more attracted by people who have
different background than us.
Social psychology can help us test which is correct.
Social psychology VS. sociology
Both share an interest in situational and societal influences on behavior
They differ in their level of analysis.
Social psychology studies individuals, with an emphasis on the psychological processes
going on in their hearts and minds.
E.g. social psychologist focuses on the specific psychological processes that trigger
aggression in specific situations. To what extent is aggression proceeded by a state
of frustration? If people are feeling frustrated, under what conditions will they vent
their frustration with an overt, aggressive act?
The goal of social psychology: is to identify universal properties of human nature
that make everyone susceptible to social influence, regardless of social class or
culture.
Sociology examines broad societal factors. Thus, the focus is on topics such as social
class, social structure, and social institutions.
E.g. why a particular society (or group within a society) produces difference levels
and types of aggression in its members. Why the murder rate in the US is so much
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higher than in Canada. Within Canada, why is the murder rate higher in some social
classes than in others?
Social psychology VS. personality psychology
Both share an emphasis on individuals and the reasons for their behavior.
Social psychologists emphasize the psychological processes shared by most people
that make them susceptible to social influence.
Personality psychologists focus on individual differences, or the aspects of people’s
personalities that make them different from others.
Individual Differences The aspects of people’s personalities that make them different from
other people
The power of the situation
Fundamental Attribution Error The tendency to overestimate the extent to which people’s behavior stems
from personality traits and to underestimate the role of situational factors
Situational factors have a large influence on behavior
However, the same situational factors will be interpreted differently by different people
E.g. Public speaking
And, the same situational factor (e.g. How are you?) can be interpreted different by the same
person, depending on the context.
Best friend Vs. acquaintance vs. salesperson
Construal, not the objective properties of the situation, are most important.
Construal: The way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world. (social
psychology is concerned not so much with social situations in any objective sense, but rather with how
people are influenced by their interpretation, or construal, of their environment.)
The power of social interpretation
Behaviorism A school of psychology maintaining that to understand human behaviour, one need only
consider the reinforcing properties of the environment
Gestalt psychology
Stresses the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people’s
minds, rather than the objective physical attributes of the object.
Interpretation is the most important thing.
The whole is different from the sum of its parts.
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格式塔学派主张人脑的运作原体的体不同于其部件
总和。例如,我们对一朵花的感知,并非纯粹单单从对花的形状、
色、大小等感官资讯而来,还包括我们对花过去的经验和印象,加
来才是我们对一朵花的感知.
Kurt Lewin, a founding father of modern experimental social
psychology, applied Gestalt principles to social perception.
Have to consider how an individual interprets the social situation in order to understand
their behavior, thoughts, feelings
Where Contrual come from
Basic human motives
Two primary motives
How people interpret social situations depends largely on two primary motives:
1. The need to be accurate about ourselves and our social world
2. The need to feel good about ourselves
The self-esteem approach: The Need to feel Good About Ourselves
Self-Esteem People’s evaluations of their own self-worth.
Most people have a need to maintain appositive view of themselves
We want to see ourselves as good, intelligent, decent, kind, etc.
We may sacrifice the need to be accurate in order to protect our self-esteem.
Self-justification
We may alter our recollections of past actions of which we are unhappy, upset, or
ashamed, in order to feel good about our past actions and decisions.
People distort their interpretation of reality so that they feel better about
themselves.
We may also modify our attitudes about painful situations we have chosen to
endure, in order justify our participation to ourselves.
E.g. enduring an embarrassing initiation to join a club or team may cause
individuals to increase their positive feelings about the club.
Suffering and Self-Justification
The more unpleasant the procedure the participants underwent to get into a
group, the more they liked the group.
They may prefer people and things for whom they have suffered over people
and things they associate with pleasure.
The Social Cognition Approach: The Need to Be Accurate
Social cognition: refers to how people think about themselves and their social world. How
people select, interpret, remember and use social information.
Generally assumed that people try to view the world as accurately as possible.
The social cognition approach: The incorporation of human cognitive abilities into theories
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