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Psychology 2070A/B
Richard Sorrentino

Video Notes- Social Psychology Chapter One: - The fact that social psychology permeates your life makes it relevant but it doesn’t make it obvious or intuitive - Military recruits put through the rigors of bootcamp. If you were put through this how would you feel about this? - Man wants asking woman to donate time and volunteer why - Is it possible to be predjudice and not even know - Stereotypes- every social group has some negative stereotypes that aren’t true Chapter Two: The Methods of Social Psychology - Some people think that social psychology is common sense and we can use intuition to understand social behavior. - Video shows why the scientific method: impartial observation of behavior under carefully controlled conditions is a much better tool then intuition for answering research questions - Wanted to find the most effective strategy in helping women to cope with breast cancer. - One option was peer discussion groups in which women with breast cancer would gather together and discussed shared experiences, its not psychotherapy but there is a trained facilitator who encourages the women to share their feelings. The goal of such groups is to improve their quality of life. - The other option was classroom education in which women would attend a class to learn coping strategies - The researchers wanted to know which of these interventions produced a bigger improvement in overall quality in life for the breast cancer patients - Helgason decided to compare peer discussion with another form of intervention which is frequently used- education - education groups focus on imformation. It is run like a classroom. - Over 300 women were recruited. All have had chemotherapy and surgery, but all had good prognosis - Groups of women were randomly assigned to education, peer discussion, a combination of peer discussion and education, or a no treatment control - Met once per week for eight weeks and the same coordinators worked with each group - Women who received education, which means they were in the education or the combined education and discussion, had a better quality of life on anything they could have measured- all kinds of indicies of mental and psychical functioning - Decreases in negative affect: anxiety and depression - Some women benefited more from education then others - Women with low self-esteem, body image, feelings of low control, low optimism, and a lack of support at home were even more likely to benefit from the education intervention - Benefits lasted a period of years: - Change of negative affect over two years: the education condition is different from all three other conditions. The education condition benefitted initially and was maintained overtime whereas the other three conditions showed no change over time - How did women do in the peer discussion intervention? – NO benefits. Possibly because the benefits of peer support might appear gradually. - Helgason is no dismissing peer support groups. Possibly if ran for more then eight weeks, with therapists rather then facilitators, different results might be obtained - Appeal of Study: It examined two interventions that are readily available in many communities and the finding lead to a suggestion for health care providers- put your resources in developing educational intervention - For women with breast cancer, education is cost effective, relatively easy to implement, and has resulted in impressive quality of life findings - Scientists questioned: which of two interventions was more effective at improving quality of life for women with breast cancer? - In a controlled experiment, they randomly assigned women to one of four intervention conditions - Vicki used the scientific method to study the effectiveness of different cancer interventions - At the conclusion of the intervention period, scientists assessed the change in the women’s quality of life - Dependent Variable: The change in quality of life - Independent Variable: The type of intervention - Only the women who received the education intervention showed improved quality of life - Conclusion: education is a worthwhile intervention, but peer discussions are not. Questions: 1. Which cancer intervention did researcher Vicki Helgeson demonstrate improved quality of life? - Education 2. Which of the four cancer intervention groups was the control group? - No Treatment Chapter Three: Social Cognition: Thinking About the Self and Others - Most of us never doubt that the events we remember actually happened and that they happened just as we remember them. - Are we right to have faith in our own memories and in the memories of others? - Pyschologist Elizabeth Loftos: Reconstructive memory - Ex. A car is speeding on college campus, and you are one of two eye witnesses. Afterwards the two of you discuss what you saw. How might the discussion affect your memory? How does eye witness memory relate to a story about kidnapping a
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