PSY 2110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Puberty, Authoritarianism, Pluralistic Ignorance

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22 Jul 2016
Social Psychology Midterm 2 – Study Notes Page 1
Lecture 8: Friendships and Social Networks (not in textbook)
Proximity: What makes people become friends? {“Propinquity effect”)
Mere exposure effect (familiarity): have you had a chance to share moments together? The more you
see somebody, the more likely you are to become their friend.
Becoming friends with someone increases our chances for survival (ex, help in general or with family).
Familiarity increases liking for something or somebody.
When you meet people for the first time, one of the main topics is music. After the sixth week, music
becomes no more popular than the other subjects. What's interesting is that when people meet each
other, they try to use topics that are efficient to introduce themselves.
Friendship: Culture and Biology
You become friends with people who are similar to you. Is this socialization or selection?
Culture: people befriended others who had the same music tastes; music is considered a kind of culture.
Looked at social networks to determine who people became friends with and when; looked at
their preferences in common (clothing, music, study habits) and found that music was the most
likely method for people to become friends.
Biology: genetic mechanisms. Kin, mates, and friends share significant levels of similarity; friends'
genotypes are correlated.
Personality: looked at the preferences of cat and dog people and could base friendships or non-
friendships on inferences about personalities. Dog people are usually more extraverted than cat people;
cat people are also more artistic and open to new things than dog people.
Dunbar's Number (=150)
Studies the limit of our social brain.
People are complex; our brain developed because we need to solve problems. One hypothesis is that it
developed via our social interaction.
Our brain partially developed so much as a result of socialization; Dunbar's hypothesis is that we only
have a certain number of people we can keep track of/keep in touch with (social network), which he
determined to be 150 at a time. This is mirrored in the size of medieval villages, clubs, and primate
groups. Even in social media, the number of people you can keep regular social interactions with is
around 150.
Social Networks
People with whom you are direction involved (social relationships and repeated interactions). The size
of your social network is equal to your social resources.
Socio-emotional selectivity theory
Information acquisition goals: you want to learn new things, get tips from other people
or networks, possibly job offers. When you think you have a lot of time in your life you
tend to have goals which are future-directed and involve acquiring knowledge.
Emotion regulation goals: when you are older, you recognize that you have less time left
in your life so you focus on emotional regulation, maximizing positive emotions and
minimizing negative emotions. You also spend more time with the people who matter to
you. Young people are less motivated to spend time with those close to them because
they see the expanse of their life ahead of them.
Social convoy theory
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Social Psychology Midterm 2 – Study Notes Page 2
Closeness and dependency on social circumstances; as youth there are more
opportunities to meet people, and less as an adult. We have to make choices to prioritize
based on responsibilities.
Your social network periphery will grow in adolescence and especially college years because you have
the opportunity to meet people and the autonomy to do so, but as you become an adult, the people in
your periphery won’t be a priority/won’t be there anymore; both theories think this, but for different
Both theories posit that the core of your social network won’t really change.
It peaks around age 25 and begins to decrease after this age; shrinks by about 1 person a decade. Famy
stays stable. Close friends will stay close.
Puberty: increase
Marriage: mixed findings; increased step-family social network, but decrease in other acquaintances.
Parenthood: decrease; abandon others to focus on family.
Job market: increase; have to meet others for job opportunities.
Loss of a spouse: decrease; loss of step-family, close yourself off from others.
Non-normative life event (eg death of relative, divorce, relocation): decrease.
Personality in Youth
Extraverts tend to select more friends.
Conscientiousness: might not become relevant until a friendship has developed.
Agreeableness: selected as friends.
Neuroticism: emotional instability; some people are prone to be reactive to stress, anxiety, etc.; a very
personal thing that you might not see when you first meet somebody.
Openness: formation of friends; people tend to choose friends who are similar to them in openness as
well as agreeableness and extraversion.
Social Networks in Youth
Social network, identity, autonomy, and exploration; identity can be similar to friends or different.
Externalizing/internalizing problem behavior: friends tend to be similar in anti-social behavior.
Risky health behavior: youth not often mature enough to use drugs and alcohol maturely.
Lectures 9.1 & 9.2: Social Influence: Norms, Conformity, Compliance, and
Obedience (chapter 8)
Social norms: unspoken but shared rules of conduct in a formal or informal group.
Conformity: the tendency to change our perceptions, opinions, or behaviors in ways that are consistent
with perceived group norms.
Compliance: changes in behavior that are caused by a direct request.
Obedience: behavior that is produced by the commands of authority figures.
Social movements: people may protest because they see others doing it. Instinctive to follow others.
Asch Line Judgement Study: people changed their public answers, wanting to fit into the group.
How Do Social Norms Influence behavior?
We often see our own behavior as different from others people’s behavior and as caused by different
Descriptive norms: norms that describe how people behave in a given situation.
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