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Cultural Psychology Lecture notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY100 Mar 12 th  “You can’t be a sweet cucumber in a vinegar barrel” – Philip Zimbardo o the situation their in can alter how they’re reacting.  Our environment structures how we act; how individuals can take power over the situation; basically cognitive reframing.  Social Psych; the Psychology of ‘normal’ o What is normal anyway? I am! o We judge people who are different than us.  Naïve Realism; The general assumption 9usually left implicit and unexamined) that we see reality accurately, correctly, that we are normative, we make sense. o We therefore can use out understanding of ourselves as a basis from which to judge others. People who are similar to us are obviously also nice, decent people like we are, but people who differ from us, well, they are weird, deviant, deficient in some way. o 90% of adults claim that they are better-than-average drivers, even if they have been hospitalized for injuries caused by car accidents. o Out of 800 000 people, not a single one rated as “below average” in “social skills” and 25% believe they are in the top 1%  The “self” is a concept, is it whatever we conceptualize it to be. It is whatever we identify with.  The endowment effect; a thing become worth more money once it’s ours.  Ingroup favouritism – outgroup derogation o We extend out self-serving biases to whatever we identify with, such as our in-groups. o WE are better than THEY  It doesn’t take much to prefer “us” vs “them”; minimal group paradigm o This is very comforting. It means that when we see atrocities and horrible acts committed by other people, we can assume that they’re “not like us”  Self; constant tension in wanting to be an individual and wanting to be apart of the group.  B=f(PxE) o Behaviour = function(personXenvironment) o The power of social influence; in some ways we all know that social norms are important,  The power of the Situation o Kitty Genovese o Diffusion of responsibility;  Individuals take responsibility,  But group members can act very differently, because who is responsible?  ….  Seizure study; if just you and other seizure having guy, 85% of us will get help. But the more people involved in study, the less % are likely to help because of the assumption that someone else will do it.  Smoke filled room study; if you’re alone in the room, you’ll most likely go get help. But if you put 3 or more in a room, the % drops dramatically.  Pluralistic ignorance; disjunction between private beliefs and public behaviours. o Also applies to repressive political systems, destructive social patterns, unhealthy behaviours, not putting your hand up in class.  Uncertainty and social norms; when situation are ambiguous and we’re not sure what is right, we follow the crowd, adopt the group perspective and then come to
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