PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: External Validity, Statistical Significance, Dependent And Independent Variables

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PSYB10 LECTURE 1 NOTES – FALL 2015 – JESSICA DA CUNHA 1
What is Social Psychology?
oStudy of social processes
oHow the presence of others affects the way we think, feel bad behave
oSocial situations can be real or imagined
If they’re in our head or in the real behaviour
oThe goal is explaining and predicting behaviour
What is going to happen in a new situation – accumulate empirical
knowledge about how people react
o“How are people influence by the presence of other? How do people make sense
of social situations? How do people explain the behaviour of others? How do
people make sense of their own behaviour?”
Social Psych focuses on how social situations can influence the thoughts, feelings and
behaviour of an individual
oFocus on what effect and individuals decision to get a divorce
Personality psych focuses on differences between individuals influence thoughts,
feelings and behaviours
oFocus more on stable differences – some people are more outgoing in some
situations than others
Sociology – focus on behaviour of communities and groups, not individuals
oMore interest in large scale social structures -> government social norms,
economic policies
oNation-wide changes in marriage rates over time
Power of the situation
oDespite difference between individuals the situation can push people in a certain
direction
Nazi German -> Were Nazi soldiers somehow unusual, or were most of
them normal people who found themselves in unusual situations?
oMilgram’s study of obedience :
Set-up – experiment described as a “study of learning”
Participants instructor to shock another participant for any wrong answers
– the other person is a confederate who never receives any shock
Shocks increased with each wrong answer – 15 volts to 450 volts
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PSYB10 LECTURE 1 NOTES – FALL 2015 – JESSICA DA CUNHA 2
The confederate begins to scream and demand that the experiment end
but the experimenter instructs the participant to continue with the
experiment
Results:
62.5 percent of experimenters completed the experiment
Worked the same for all people regardless of gender, race,
Participants did not intend to harm another person’s but found themselves
in a situation that caused them to act that way
oSeminarians as Samaritans
If the people were in a rush -> 90% didn’t help
If they weren’t in a rush -> 60% helped
Fundamental attribution error -> tendency to overestimate the role of personality and to
underestimate the role of situations when explaining other people’s behaviour
Channel factors – small nudges that push people into a particular direction
oSplash factor in a urinal
Putting a sticker of a fly in the spot of the urinal that caused the least
amount of splash over -> people will try to aim at the fly
Construal – interpretation and inferences made about a stimulus or situation
oInterpretation is an active process – they are subjective and may misrepresent
the truth
oHow we interpret a situation will influence how we act in a situation – they govern
behaviour
Ex: community game vs wall street game = people were more likely to be
cooperative in a game about “community” than the “Wall street game”
The labels of the game had a large impact on how the participants viewed
the game
Schema – general knowledge about the physical and social world
oIncludes expectations about how to behave in different situations
oInfluences the construal
o“what do you expect of people of different nationalities”
oInfluence behaviour and judgement
Prior expectations influence construal
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PSYB10 LECTURE 1 NOTES – FALL 2015 – JESSICA DA CUNHA 3
“estate tax vs death tax” “community game vs wall street game”
oStereotypes – a schema about a specific social group
Influence interactions with different social groups
Can make social interactions more efficient – can help people know what
to expect
But they can be applied incorrectly – to the wrong individual/too much
influence
Think we know everything about a culture when we don’t.
Social information may be process two different ways
o1 – Automatic Processing
Automatic, involuntary and unconscious
Quick thoughts, effortless – based on emotional responses
Ex – playing a song that you’ve learned already
We don’t even notice when we’re using stereotypes because it becomes
habit
o2 – Controlled Processing
Conscious, systematic and deliberate
Controlled processing can override automatic responses
Very tiring -> wastes cognitive resources
Ex – when you’re playing a piano song that you don’t know yet
Social psychology can explain many behaviours that may seem surprising
Can reveal many ways in which our perceptions are inaccurate or mistaken
Social psych can reveal how behaviours are influenced by social situations
Social psych shows that much of our behaviour is influenced by factors of which we are
often unaware
“Common Sense”
oSituation-specific rules of thumb for navigating the social world
Things that we’ve learned already that help up navigate the social world –
bringing a gift to a friend’s birthday party
oVery useful as guide for how to act in specific situations
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Document Summary

1: what is social psychology, study of social processes, how the presence of others affects the way we think, feel bad behave, social situations can be real or imagined. If they"re in our head or in the real behaviour: the goal is explaining and predicting behaviour. Nazi german -> were nazi soldiers somehow unusual, or were most of them normal people who found themselves in unusual situations: milgram"s study of obedience : Set-up experiment described as a study of learning . Participants instructor to shock another participant for any wrong answers. The other person is a confederate who never receives any shock. Shocks increased with each wrong answer 15 volts to 450 volts. The confederate begins to scream and demand that the experiment end but the experimenter instructs the participant to continue with the experiment. 62. 5 percent of experimenters completed the experiment: worked the same for all people regardless of gender, race,

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