PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Personality Psychology, Internal Validity, Informed Consent
235 views8 pages
Introduction, Methods, & Paradigms
• Course Overview:
o 10 lectures - attendance is not required, however, there is a 2% bonus for participation
(gained using either an iClicker in-class or completing a peerScholar assignment.
o Lecture slides available the night before lectures on Quercus, but may be edited
within 48 hours after the lecture.
o WebOption available within 48 hours after lecture.
o Textbook: Social Psychology 4E by: Gilovich, Keltner, Chen, & Nisbett.
o Mid-term: multiple choice and matching questions covering the lectures and readings
(worth 50% of your mark, covers lectures 1-5) -- sometime in October.
o Final: multiple choice and matching questions covering the lectures and readings (50%
of your mark, cumulative, but weighted towards lectures 6-10 (~75%) - to be
scheduled by the registrar.
o 2% bonus for in-class participation (participate in at least 7 lectures to earn the bonus
using an iClicker; register your iClicker on Quercus).
▪ For those who cannot attend lectures every week or are registered in the online
class, there is an alternative bonus mark opportunity, which is a peerScholar
assignment (write a short essay, give feedback to peers, and receive feedback).
▪ If you would like this option, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by September
▪ L60 (online only) students will be automatically opted into this option (no need
o E-mails sent to the course e-mail shown above ^ will be responded to within 2
o Office hours: every Monday from 3-4 PM in SW569 (these hours may change, check
Quercus regularly in case they do).
• What is Social Psychology?
o Social psychology is the study of social processes; how the presence of others affects
the way we think, feel, and behave.
o Social situations can be real or imagined.
o Goal: explaining and predicting behaviour.
o Sample social psychology research questions:
▪ How are people influenced by the presence of others?
▪ How do people explain the behaviours of others?
▪ How do people make sense of their own behaviour?
• Comparing Social Psychology to Other Social Sciences:
o Social psychology: focuses on how social situations can influence the thoughts, feelings,
and behaviours of an individual.
o Personality psychology: focuses on how differences between individuals influence
thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
o Sociology: focuses on behaviour of communities and groups, not individuals.
• Power of the Situation:
o Situations can often determine behaviour despite individual differences.
o For example, Nazi Germany:
▪ Were Nazi soldiers somehow unusual, or were most of them normal people who
found themselves in unusual situations?
o Milgram's study of obedience:
▪ Experimental set-up:
• Experiment described as a "study of learning."
• Participants instructed to shock another participant for any wrong
answers given to a question.
• The other participant is a confederate (actor) who never receives
any real shocks, but those 'shocking'
them believe they're really harming them.
• Shock level increased from 15 volts (slight shock) to 450 volts (danger:
• During the experiment, the confederate begins to scream in pain and
demand that the experiment end; later,
the confederate stops making any sounds, indicating he may be possibly
injured or even dead.
• The experimenter, wearing a white lab coat, instructs the participant to
continue with the experiment.
• Classic example of the power of the situation (over 50% completed the
experiment after the experimenter instructed them to continue);
participants were of different ages and social classes, and same effects
were found for both men and women.
• Participants did not enjoy harming another person, yet behaved in
accordance with the situation.
• Seminarians as Samaritans:
o No help when in a hurry; in one experiment (Darley & Batson, 1973), almost 90% of
seminary students (students studying to become ministers)
didn't provide help to someone in need when they were in a rush.
▪ However, over 60% did help when they were not in a rush.
• Fundamental Attribution Error:
o Tendency to overestimate the role of personality and to underestimate the role of situations
when exploring the behaviour of others.
▪ For example, one may call those not helping people in need horrible names or
fundamentally insult the individual's personality,
rather than taking into account the situational factor (i.e., being in a rush to get to an
exam) that keeps them from helping that person in need.
▪ Another example may be when someone cuts someone else off while driving; the
person being cut off will get angry,
and thereby start thinking the worst of the person who cut them off (e.g., calling them
names, saying they're stupid, etc.), as opposed to considering that person really needs
to get somewhere because maybe someone they love is in danger, for example.
o All in all, we attribute negative personality traits to people who do bad things/refrain from
doing good things,
as opposed to taking situational factors into account.
• Channel Factors:
o Often the influences of situational factors aren't fully recognized.
o Channel factors can have large influences on behaviour by guiding behaviour in a particular
▪ For example, telling students to get their vaccinations at the health centre on campus
by using scare tactics
(e.g., "If you don't get this vaccine, you'll get the flu") may make them convince
themselves it's in their best interest to get the shot.
▪ However, as proven in a study of this situation, only a few students actually went to
the health centre to get the shot.
▪ After giving students a clear map of the campus (with the health centre circled) and
advising them to find a free slot
in their schedules to get the shot, the percentage of students getting vaccinated
▪ Giving students clear direction and guidance pushes them to actually complete the
▪ The channel factor in this case was giving the students the map of the campus and
telling them to find space in their schedules.
• The Role of Construals:
o Construals are interpretation and inferences made about a stimulus or situation.
o Interpretation is an active process; interpretations are subjective, not objective.
o Interpretations may misrepresent the truth.
o Construals can govern behaviour; how we interpret a situation will influence how we act in
▪ People are more likely to cooperate in a prisoner's dilemma game when the game is
presented as a "community game" than as a "Wall Street game."
For those who cannot attend lectures every week or are registered in the online class, there is an alternative bonus mark opportunity, which is a peerscholar assignment (write a short essay, give feedback to peers, and receive feedback). If you would like this option, e-mail psyb10@utsc. utoronto. ca by september. Fundamental attribution error: tendency to overestimate the role of personality and to underestimate the role of situations when exploring the behaviour of others. Interpretation is an active process; interpretations are subjective, not objective. Schema: general knowledge about the physical and social world. Includes expectations about how to behave in different situations: schemas influence behaviour and judgement, prior expectations influence construals (e. g. , labels like "estate tax" versus "death tax" can influence opinions). "absence makes the heart grow fonder" versus "out of sight, out of mind"): though all these "sayings" seem like common sense notions, some are true in certain situations, while others are not.