PSY220H1 Lecture Notes - Color Vision, Decibel, Afterimage
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“The scientific study of the reciprocal influence of the individual
and his or her social environment.”
The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
Feelings Behaviour Other People
Attitudes (and their thoughts
Emotions feeling, attitudes
and behavior are
Social psychology: A foothold in abstract theory and concrete
- Interested in abstract factors as well as influencing others lives
Social psychology is not like chemistry or physics: We traffic in
probabilities, likelihood, and correlations, rather than absolute
Despite the enormous variability of human behaviour, it is
possible to extract some basic patterns of human behaviour.
What does social psychology have to say that my
grandmother couldn’t tell me?
-Social psychology focuses on probabilities (something that is true to degree to statistical
- Better understanding on how our minds work and how they fit into reality
Intuitions must be tested against empirical data
Sometimes even our grandma’s intuitions are wrong! (i.e.
not supported by data)
Plus…sometimes two opposing clichés may seem equally
You are working on a task (rolling cigars in a Cuban cigar
factory) with 20 other people.
The owners expand the factory so that now 100 people are
all rolling cigars side-by-side. Will this make a difference
in your individual cigar output?
On the one hand, you might think…more people, more
competition, more impetus to perform better.
On the other hand, you might think…more people, more
anonymity, easier for me to “coast” (perform worse).
(On the third hand…it doesn’t make a difference.)
Each of these options seems plausible to people.
(For the “real” answer: stay tuned…coming later!)
- Engaging in safe aggressive activities (sports) will reduce your level of aggression
- Blowing off steam does nothing or in fact creates more aggression