Jan 14 th
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Social psychology thoughts feelings and actions are influenced by the real or imagined presence of
are interested in studying how and why our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are shaped by the social
imagined presence telling us to do or not to do something
Psychology scientific study of individual and individual behavior
Sociology look at deviance scientific study of human society
Social psychology who work in this tradition are concerned with individual behavior and social stimuli
Core concerns 1. The impact of one individual on another behavior and beliefs
2. impact of group on memebers behavior and beliefs
3. impact of member on a groups activities and structure your affect
4. the impact of one group on another groups activities and structure – one group affect another grade 12
versus rest of high school
Macrosociology occurs at societal level compare revolutions
Microsociology or sociological social psychology
Psychology is the study of human thought process
coined by August Comte sociology (1838)
Mead and Thomas – University of Chicago social psych Perspectives
(3) emphasize different ways individual related to society
meaning making processes individuals active in construction in society
Social Structure and personality
nature of interaction is based on adherence roles that people play
emphasizes process of how larger social structures influence individuals
when individuals form into social groups certain basic emerge
process that occur in group contexts
Sociological imagination ability to see our personal lives in the context of the history, culture and social
structure of the larger society within which we live
helps us see the impact of society in our lives
What do we look for in the sociological imagination? Mills
* society exists in the norms, values, statuses, roles and groups we belong to
* these things guide our internal thought processes and our interactions with other people
status refer to persons position in a group or society
roles set of expectations about how to behave in a status
Organizational and Institutional Context people make most of their decisions in life in the context of groups, organizations and institutions.
Organizations: groups that share common purpose contain formal set of rule structure
Social institutions: consist of long standing patterns, of interaction in large group or society including: family,
economy, religion, education and government
Culture can influence processes
Culture societies unique patterns of behavior and belief
language, symbols, values, material artifacts
each culture gives different meanings to the thoughts, feelings and behavior of its members
How do We study social psychology: Separate slide
Theories refer to organized sets of propositions about how various elements of social life are related to
general statements about social relationships
statements about the causes of those relationships
general predictions, based on these reasons about how people react to certain events or
experiences or conditions
positive findings regarding hypothesis simply does not prove a theory to be correct Jan 21 01/14/2014
Jan 21st Jan 21 01/14/2014
Theories of Small & Large
interelated propositions that organizes and explains observed phenomena
goes beyond mere observable facts by postulating causal relations among variables.
if valid, it enables its uses to explain the phenomena under consideration and make predictions about
EG: conditions that would terminate a relationship
The structure of Scientific Theory
Conceptual Plane▯ Operational Plane
Why Is it important: Theory
produces a guide map for us to know which route to go in order to not make certain conditions to
They allow us to feel we know why something happened and whether or not under certain
conditions, it’s likely to occur again
How do we Evaluate Theory
the range of phenomena that a theory can explain
does the theory match empirical reality
ice cream eating and crime in summer both increase cooerelation does not always mean
can the theory be falsified Jan 21 01/14/2014
simplest explanation is most likely the case
Middle Range theories
framework that identify conditions that produce specific social behavior
formulated in terms of cause and effect
explanation of processes by which persuasion produces attitude change
specifying the conditions under which contact between members of different racial groups change
or eliminate stereotypes.
EG: two groups in conflict give common enemy and 9/10 get along
general explanations for a wide array of social behaviours in a variety of situations.
Provide a frame of reference for interpreting and comparing a wide range of social situations and
* much observable behavior is people carrying out their roles, similar to actors performing on a stage
* According to role theory, to change a persons behavior, it is necessary to change or redefine his or her
Propositions inRole Theory
1. People spend much of their lives participation in groups and organizations.
2. Within these groups, people occupy distinct positions ask kids have captains in sports teams and
3. Each of these positions entails a role, which is a set of function performed by the person for the
group. playing house or duck goose ,cops and robbers socialized to tip people.
4. Groups formalize these expectations as norms , whixh are rules specifiyng how a person should
behvae 5. Individual usually carry out their roles and perform according to the norms Groups members
check each individuals performance to determined whether it conforms to the groups norm
Limitations of Role Theory Jan 21 01/14/2014
role theory has difficult explaining deviant behavior which is any behavior that violates the norms
defining a given role
deviant behavior violates the demands of roles
role theory does not and does not explain how role expectations originate how they change.
people will be more likely to perform a specific behavior if its followed by a something pleasurable
or by the removable of something aversive
people will refrain from a particular behavior if its followed by the occurrence of something aversive
or the removal of something pleasant.
In conditioning, a contingency is established between emitting a response and receiving a reinforcement
If a person emits a particular response and this responses is then reinforced, the connection between
response and reinforcement is strengthened.
Social Learning Theory * 2 sides – still reinforcment
* individual aquires new responses through conditioning and imitation.
the learner can acquire new responses by observing the behavior of another person.
The learner neither performs a response nor receives reinforcement
weather the learner will perform behaviours learned through observation may depend on whether they
Theory still reinforcment
* uses reinforcement to explain stability and change in relations between individuals.
* assumes individuals have freedom of choice and often face situations in which they must choose among
* any action provides some rewards and entails some costs. Jan 21 01/14/2014
* individual will maximize rewards and minimize costs so they choose accordingly.
* proximity limitations
* looks unequal monetary
* a state of equity exists in a relationship when participants feel the rewards they receive are proportional to
the costs they bear.
* if a participant feels that the allocation of rewards and costs is inequitable, the relationship is potentially
* social exchange theory predicts that people will try to modify an inequitable relationship
Limitations of Reinforcement theory
* reinforcement theory portrays individuals as reacting to environmental stimuli rather than as initiating
behavior based on imaginative or creative thought.
* cannot easily explain altruism and martyrdom.
getting something; rewarded in some way.
the basic premises is that the mental activities of the individual are important determinants of social
these mental activities called cognitive processes include perception, memory, judgement, problem
solving, and decision making.
an individuals cognitive processes intervene between external stimuli and behavior responses.
Cognitive Structure and Schemas
cognitive structures refers to any form of organization among cognitions concepts and beliefs
social psychologists propose that individuals use specific cognitive structures called schemas to
make sense of complex information about other persons, groups and situations
use them to fill in the blanks sometimes incorrect or might be correct:
cold readings fill in blanks Jan 21 01/14/2014
cognitive constancy maintains that individual strike to hold ideas that are consistent with one
another, rather than ideas that are that are inconsitence or incongruous.
If a person holds several ideas that are incongruous or inconsistence then he or she will experience
internal conflict. Cognitive dissonance
Limitations of Cognitive theory
cognitive theory simplifies the way people process information, and inherently complex
Cognitive phenomena are not directly observable; they must be inferred from what people say and
Symbolic Interaction Theory
the basic premises is that human nature and social order are products of symbolic communication
In this perspective, a person’s behavior is constructed through give and –take during his or her
interaction with others. Clothing
The self occupies a central place in symbolic interaction theory because social order is hypothesized to
rest in part on self control
Because individuals are continually engaging in role taking, they see themselves from the viewpoint
Individuals care most about the opinions of significant others, people who control important
rewards or occupy key positions in their groups.
Limitations of Symbolic Interaction Theory
overemphasizes rational, self conscious thought and deemphasizes unconscious or emotional
The individual is depicted as a specific personality type an an other direction person who is
concerned primarily with maintaining self respect by meeting others standards
Places too much emphasis on cooperation and neglects the importance of conflict.
The Group Processes Perspective
group processes refers to the study of how basic social processes operate in group contexts.
groups are any interaction involving more than one person Jan 21 01/14/2014
these scholars study basic processes and the impact of group structures
Basics Group Processes
studied by them is
they try to understand how these processes develop in groups and or how they impact relationships in
exists in the form of its size and function
small groups are defined as groups of two or more individuals typicall between 2 and 20 people whose
members are able to engage in direct, faceto face interactions.
120 people all meaningful relationships with each
Dyads and Triads
George Simmel argued that group size can have a strong impact on relationships within groups.
Dyads are two person groups and tri 3
Moving from dyad to tryiad exponentially decreases the number of relationships in the group while
simultaneously decreasing intimacy levels.
2 people want to go out one says I don’t know they have the power have to come to one side.
Types of group
Charles Horton Cooley argued that there are 2 essential groups in society
primary groups Jan 21 01/14/2014
reference groups include people we look to as a source of standards and identity
the type of group we are in can effect how we think, feel and behave.
Relationships among groups
social psychologist are also interested in intergroup dynamics, the relationships between two or more
they are also interested in individual behaviors in large group settings
collective behavior refers to the action or behavior of people in groups or crowds a major subfield.
Social Structure and Personality
the social structure blah focuses on the connections between larger societal conditions and the individual
there are three main principles of this perspective.
SSP Principle #1
the components principle states that we must be able to identify the elements or components of society
most likely to affect a given attitude or behavior
these scholars study the impact of social structure, persisting, patterns of behavior and interaction
between people or social psotions, on important life outcomes like our health and well being.
social structure studied in terms of our statuses, roles and social network
Social network religious affiliations, sports teams
the proximity principle states that we often feel the effects of society through interpersonal interaction and
communication with people around us.
most of society’s impact on us comes through institutions like work and family.
people feel the effects an economic downturn,for instance, through the loss of a job or if someone close
loses their job.
pSychology principle focuses on how individuals internalize proximal experiences.
social forces include any way in which society compels individuals to act in accordance with an external
norm, rule or demand.
this principle emphasizes the processes that lead people to follow the rules or not.
Comparison of Theoretical Perspectives research 01/14/2014
Understanding the self 01/14/2014
the self is the individual viewed as both the source and the object of reflexive behavior
the self is active initiates reflexive behavior and passive – object toward whom reflexive behavior is
the active aspect of the self is the I, and the object of self action is the me
The nature and Genesis
the self is the source of action when we plan, observe and control our own behavior
the self is the object of action when we thing about who we are
Mead:Action and Internal Dialogue
* Mead portrays action as guided by an internal dialogue.
people engage in conversations in their minds as they regulate their behavior
they use words and images to symbolize their ideas about themselves, others, their actions, and others
responses to them.
? is this low and high self monitors?
* there are three capacities human beings must acquire in order to engage in action:
1. ability to differentiate themselves from other persons.
2. see themselves and their own actions as if through others eyes
3. Use a symbol system or language for inner thought.
Generalized Other development as a child
a conception of attitude and expectations held in common by the members of the groups
when we imagine what the group expects of us, we are taking the role of the generalized other.
we are also concerned with the generalized other when we wonder what people would say or what
societiy’s standards demand. 01/14/2014
Cooley: Looking glass self
the most important looking glasses for children are their parents, and family and later, their playmates
these are a childs significant others those whose reflected views have greatest influence on the child’s
Play and the games
* Mead identified 2 stages of social experience leading to the emergence of the self in children.
in the play stage, children imitate activities of people around them
in the game stage, children enter organized activities such as games of house, school and team sports.
the process of imaginatively occupying the position of another person and viewing the self and the
situation from their perspective.
through role taking, a child learns to respond reflexivity
one of the earliest signs of role taking is the correct use of the pronouns you and I.
the meanings attached to the self by one’s self and others
identities are linked to social roles we enact or our membership in social groups.
identities may be associated with ingroup favoritism and out group stereotyping.
we form selfconcepts through learning and adopting role and social identities. * just said hells yeah.
concept of self in specific roles.
for each role we enact, we develop a somewhat different view of who we are an identity. 01/14/2014
the role identities we develop depend on the social positions available to us in society. Role identity bout
your group changes your role is constantly changing.
a definition of the self in terms of the defining characteristics of a social group.
each of us associates certain characteristics with members of specific groups.
if you define yourself as a member of the group, these characteristics become standards for your
thoughts, feelings and actions.
The adoption of Role and Social Identities
self schemas are formed in part by adopting identities.
the identities available to us depend on whether the culture is ividualist or collectivists.
Collectivists EU + China harm reputation of family ‘
* Canada stuck between the two
have collective health care
Individualistic going through university and making a life for yourself.
Identities: The self we enact
the self we enact express our identities: manipulate, try to put best foot forward
we choose behaviors to evoke responses from others that will confirm particular identities
to confirm identifies successfully, we must share with others our understanding of what these behaviours
and identities mean.
Hierarchy of Identities
we organize different roles identities into a hierarchy according to their salience or relative importance to
the selfschema. * persona I need to president more than father to my children can change. 01/14/2014
this hierarchy experts a major influence on our decision to enact one or another identity.
1. the more salient an identity the more frequently we choose to perform activities to express it.
2. the more salient an identity, the more likely we are to perceive that situations offer opportunities to enact
3. we are more active in seeking opportunities to enact salient identities.
4. we conform more with role expectations attached to identities that we consider the most important.
Factors in the importance of a Role Identity
1. The resources we have invested in construction the identity time effort and money expended.
2. The extrinsic rewards that enacting the identity has brought.
3. Intrinsic gratifications derived from performing the identities.
4. The amount of selfesteem staked on enacting the identity well. – if you mess up the identity you can
helps us construct a unified sense of self from our multiple identities
hierarchy influence consistency by:
providing a basis to choose which situation we enter and which we avoid
Influencing the consistency of behavior across different situations.
Influencing consistency in behavior across time. Always that individual not much fluctuation solidified by
the people around you.
Self Verification Strategies
* behviors that lead to self confirming feedback from others:
engage in selective interaction; we choose as friends, roomates, and intimate people who share our view
of self. 01/14/2014
display identity cues that elicit identity confirming behavior from others
we behave in ways that enhance our identity claims, especially when those claims are challenged. will try
to reinforce our identity if people challenge it.
Components of Selfschema
1. Self as one is actual self
2. Self as one would like to be ideal self
3. Self as one ought to be – ought to be in class and not skip
when we evaluate ourselves we typically use the ideal self or the ought self as the reference point.
When the actual self matches the ideal self, we feel satisfaction or pride.
When there is a self discrepancy, a component of the actual self is the opposite of a component of the
ideal self ought self, we experience discomfort.
Self Discrepancy Theory
the types of discrepancy produce two different emotional states.
someone who has an actual: ideal discrepancy will experience dejection, sadness or depression.
Someone who perceives an actual: ought discrepancy will experience fear, tension or restlessness.
The theory predicts that the larger the discrepancy, the greater the discomfort.
self esteem depends on our contingencies of selfesteem and how we evaluate them.
Contingencies of self esteem include role and social identities and personal traits
If we weigh positviley evaluated identities and traits heavily, we maintain a high a level of selfesteem while
admitting to certain weaknesses.
If we weigh negatively evaluated identities heavily, we will have low selfesteem even though we have many
valuable qualities. 01/14/2014
Source of selfesteem
* self esteem derives from three sources
family experiences of acceptance and discipline
discipline feedback on the effectiveness of actions.
comparision of our own successes and failures with those of others.
• From an interactionist perspective individuals have the ability to choose how to act, above and beyond
• The study of how we present ourselves, playing roles and managing impressions during interactions
with other people, is dramaturgical sociology.study these total insitutions
• Is most closely associated with Erving Goffman 19221982
Goffman and Impression Management
Goffman believed that we use information from others presentations to help establish expectations
of our behavior and that of the people around us.
refers to the ways individuals seek to control the impressions they convey to other people, however,
there are impressions given and impressions given off the impression you believe
that you are giving and the impression the other person has of you. – might
not go over well
Motivations Behind Impression Management
• Goffman argued that we are driven to maintain positive impressions, probably because outcomes of
interactions serve as a source of selfesteem
• supporting others impressions is important because we may need support in our impression
management efforts late in the interaction.
Regions of Impression Formation
• there are two regions of impression formation that affect how we interact with people:
• the front stage the place where we present ourselves to to others. 01/14/2014
• The backstage region where we relax our impression management efforts and we may practice our
• People regularly move in and out of these regions.
The Situated Self
• in the interactionist framework, the self changes as quickly as our social environments
• social forces like globalization and technological advances lead to rapid changes in our social worlds.
• Scholars to argue that we have a much more situated self, a temporarily based sense of who we are,
associated with a lack of clear sense of identity.
• NO DATES ON THE MIDTERM 01/14/2014
Things to think about for the 1 midterm exam (SOC 2109A)
What is Sociological and Psychological Social Psychology?
Macrosociology (i.e. structural functionalism and conflict theory) and Microsociology (i.e. Chicago School)
The main perspectives in Sociological Social Psychology: 1) Symbolic Interactionism; 2) Social Structure
and Personality; 3) Group Processes
Tools and keyconcepts: norms; values; statuses; roles; organizations; social institutions; Mills’ “Sociological
imagination”; Mead’s “Me” and “I”; The “generalized other”
Role Theories; Social Exchange Theory; Cognitive Theory; Social Learning Theory; Reinforcement Theory
Theorizing and studying people
What is a theory? And a hypothesis?
How to evaluate a theory?
The difference of independent and dependent variables
Types of samples
The ethical issues: IRB’s and controversial researches
Qualitative (i.e. field research, indepth interviews, content analysis), Quantitative (i.e. surveys,
experiments) and MixedMethods approach.
Steps in developing research projects: 1) assess theory and literature; 2) Develop research questions or
hypothesis; 3) choose research methods; 4) conduct data analysis; 5) report results
The three key principles to study the effect of larger structures: i) components principle; ii) proximity
principle; iii) psychology principle
The theoretical and methodological framework, and the substantive content of social psychology
Social psychology as the “queen of the social sciences” 01/14/2014
Stolt, Fine & Cook
Sociological miniaturism and the fundamental claims about the nature of reality
Symbolic interactionism and social exchange theory’s explanations of power and collective identity
Chin & Jacobson
The three fundamental premises of symbolic interactionism
Signs versus symbols
Roletaking, socialization and the genesis of the self
Basic propositions of symbolic interactionism
The social and spatial basis of identity 01/14/2014
How are our we are socialized
The concept of socialization
Socialization refers to the ways in which individuals attempt to align their own thoughts feeling and
behaviours to fit into society or groups
the process in which individuals incorporate society into their senses of self
Nature vs. nurture debate
To interact with other we must learn the social rules.
The norm of a society/culture which tell us those behaviours are acceptable and which are unacceptable
Agents of socialization
Family friends school work and relationships
Outcomes of socialization
Linguistic and cognitive competence (how to talk to people)
Moral development (acceptable and not)
Orientation towards social class
In adulthood, socialization is concerned with equipping the individual to function effectively in adult roles
Role acquisition 01/14/2014
The major roles we aquire as adults include spouse parent work roles, grandparents and retiree
Midlife (40 to 60) involved several role transitions
Marital (divorce, widowhood) Marriage
Parental (children leave home) Parent
Caregiver (children and aging parents ) Care
Work (entry and exit) Work
Activities that provide people with knowledge about skills for an values or a role they have not assumed
Usually work best for future roles that are highly visible
Eases role transition if future roles are presented accurately
Entails goals setting planning and preparation for future roles
When values an identities associated with a new role contradict those of earlier roles
On entering a discontinuous role, we must revise our expectations and aspirations
The life course
Scholars have begun to emphasis the life course in the study of the effects of life events and agents of
socialization on our lives
The life course in the process of personal change from infancy to late adulthood resulting from personal
and societal events
Major themes in lifecourse sociology
Historical context 01/14/2014
Timing linked lives
Stage 1: achieving independence university life
A transition form lives centered psychologically and economoically on parents to lives in which we stand
on our own
This stage challenges us to disengage from parents and take responsibility for ourselves
Major transitions associated with this stage:
Leaving the family home
Entering the workforce
Developing a committed relationship
Becoming financially independent
balancing family and work commitments
The central challenge of this stage is to establish oneself as a stable worker partner/spouse and parent
During this stage:
Men tend to become increasingly caught up in their careers
Many women become increasingly committed to their families
Stage 3: preforming adult roles 01/14/2014
In this stage people try to meet high standards for preformance in the adult roles to which they are
Common source of stress as this stage
The awareness that one is aging
The death of parents or close friends
Stage 4: coping with loss
Central challenge is to cope with a series of losses
Loss of occupational role through retirement
Loss of significant relationships through death
Eventually loss of health, energy, and independence
Impact of social events on the person
Childhood focus of impact of events: values and attitubes Adolsescence, young, adulthood Identities,
Adulthod behvaiour opportunities
Later adulthood new life choices, revised identity
Attitudes the sociology side
A persons attitude influence the way in which he or she perceives and responds to the world
Sociologists examine social forces and how our position in society affects attitude formation in turn how
this relates to behaviour
Attitudes are positive or negative evaluations of something in our environment
Early definitions were from the theater; an attitude as a physical posture or body position
They guide action and responses to our environment and help us define our social reality 01/14/2014
SI: dimensions of attitudes
– The Interactionist views attitudes as continually being constructed based on our interaction with other
Values and beliefs refer to strongly held relatively stable sets of attitudes
The cognitive or thinking aspects of an attitude is formally called an opinion
it is also possible to have a nonattitude toward an object, when you do not care either way about an
SSP: social structure attitudes and behaviour
Form a structural point of view our attitudes reflect our position in society
Our attitudes vary based on our social status (ie race class gender)
Our attitudes are also affected by agents of socialization
Individuals rely on their primary agents of socialization for initial set of values and beleifs that govern
Families transmit attitudes in at least two ways :
1. Families generally produce offspring of similar statues in society and status is associated attitudes doctor
2. Second families may simply socialize or teach their children their values and beliefs
SSP: gender and behaviour
Behavioral difference between man and women are quite clear: for example men and women contuine to
spend different amounts of time with their children
Womens time in child care has remained consistent despite the increase in time spent in the paid labour
force over the last century
These findings show that women are adopting men roles behaviours at faster pace than the converse.
Women are taking on more “men” roles but men are not taking on more women like roles
SSP: attiudes across the life course 01/14/2014