Behavior is influenced by other people (even imagined presence of people/ rules etc)
Objective truth is often not as important as a person’s private perspective.
How other people can affect us:
How others act/see us affects what we do and how we see ourselves
Behavior diff alone vs. public.
Empirical findings > intuition.
Hindsight bias – people think “I knew it all along”; thinking events as more predictable than
before the event occurred.
i.e Birds of a feather flock together vs. opposites attract.
Basis of research: our intuition on how people act and the extent of which it is true.
History of Soc. Psych:
Triplett watched cyclists: they performed better when racing against another person vs. just
o Brought children in lab to wind fishing reel as fast as they can. Found the ones racing
against another child were faster than ones racing against a clock.
o Having other people around sometimes improves performance.
Floyd Allport: the cheerleader for experimental soc. Psych.
o Wrote one of the first textbooks about social psych.
o Many psychologists fled Nazi regime at the time.
o Many people wanted to explain why atrocities happened. (make sure they never
o Military started to sponsor research
o Kurt Lewin – “father of modern psych”; persons behavior is a function of that person’s
traits AND environment they live in.