Social Psychology I 11/09/2013 2:57:00 PM
Are we driven more by who we are, or by what’s going on around us?
Dynamic process between personality and environment:
Choose to put yourself in one situation due to your personality
Be in the situation and remove yourself due to your personality
Consistency: is this behaviour normal or abnormal?
Ex: multicultural group trapped in small space (elevator)
Quantify the situation (factors affecting):
o experiencing close physical proximity, heat, uncertainty,
danger, loss of control, claustrophobia, anticipation, hunger,
o personality characteristics; norms in a culture vs. individual
differences in how to deal -> changes in personality (i.e.
someone taking control when they are normally introverted
Fundamental Attribution Error:
Individualist slant on people being in tune with their own
behaviours or being responsible for their own successes or failures
Judging someone -> what did you do, what did you think; did
Factors affecting (quantifying) -> situational or personality?
Open mind + give benefit of the doubt
o Tolerance + own psychological well-being
The Power of the Situation Film: Discovering Psychology
Chapter 2: Methodology
How we run experiments/correlational studies
How we draw information/conclusions from them
Facts/statistics + research ethics -> benefits outweigh the costs?
Research methods = broccoli of psychology
Foundation to base off of
Goals of Social Psych Research
Description (trying to describe what’s going on -> understanding is
not endgame) Social Psychology I
September 11 , 2013
Causal analysis (does A cause B? does a cramped elevator cause
Theory building (is this [the cramped elevator] why people would
act this way? Fight or flight? + freeze response)
o Psychological threat (exam anxiety) -> what do you do?
Study hard OR procrastinate OR sit in front of the
computer and do not do anything -> 3 coping methods
Application (developing + examining intergroup interactions +
describe observations after understanding) -> how would we apply
this to promote intergroup harmony?
Is Social Psychology Really a SCIENCE?
Scientific American blog (Melanie Tennenbaum article: Psychology’s
brilliant, beautiful, scientific messiness)
the only reason we can defend psychology as a science is because
of the quantifiable observations + measurements (same as a
physicist or biologist)
Science Advances by Hypothesis Testing
It’s empirical, it develops slowly (over time)
o Not one study = all answers; piece by piece incorporating
Hypothesis: based on observation + theory
o Stage where common sense + intuitions + hunches can be
i.e., “why am I attracting the wrong type of person? =
theories -> opposites attract? How are you
presenting yourself? What are you putting out
there that makes people attracted?
o Test: correlational or experimental -> need to operationalize
Critically important to operationalize your variable
Does playing violent RPGs correlate to aggression
+ violence in real life? Social Psychology I
September 11 , 2013
Are women or men more aggressive? ->
operationalize different criteria + ways to be
we cannot observe attraction, no shared
understanding, no scientific evidence to
physically and objectively measure
attraction -> BUT we can still figure it out
o What are we looking for? What are we
trying to measure? -> replicate the
observations + define
Observing body l