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Psychology 2070A/B
James M Olson

Social Psychology: - The scientific study of how individuals’ thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by other people o Focus on individual and how they view the world o Thoughts (cognitive), feelings (emotion), behaviours -> triad - What factors influence the success of romantic relationships? o Why do some relationships work? Whereas others do not? - Why is there so much aggression? o Why is violent physical aggression almost always committed by men? - What is the impact of modeling aggression in “sports”? - What is the impact of rewarding violent aggression in “games”? Why study social psychology? - “We are by all odds the most persistently and obsessively social of all species, more dependent on each other than the famous social insects, and really, when you look at us, infinitely more imaginative and deft at social living.” Lewis Thomas (physician and commentator) Social Psychology: Applied - Why did you buy that I-Pod even though it turned out to cost more than you expected? o The low-ball technique  Advertised lower to get you to buy - Why is there always someone in a group project who doesn’t pull his/her weight? o Social loafing  Because there is diffusion of responsibilities  Because they can get away with it - Why do you keep making the same New Year’s resolution year after year? o The false hope syndrome  Human’s don’t learn well from prior failures to achieve a goal  We are too hopeful that we will succeed in our goals  Main reason: We blame self for not reaching goals but associate it with temporary factors The Greatest Threats to Humanity Require Social Psychological Solutions - War o Requires a compromise to resolve - Climate Change o Reduce carbon footprint - Aids o Share medical advances with poorer nations o Teach safer sexual behaviours here and elsewhere - Religious Hatred o Reduce mistrust and increase peaceful co-existence Goals of Science - Description: careful and reliable observation o I.e. what are the attitudes of Canadians toward First Nations Peoples? - Prediction: forecasting events and behaviours o I.e. HOW will Canadians react to land claims settlements awarding money to First Nations Peoples? - Explanation: understanding why events and behaviours occur o i.e. Some Canadians resent land claims settlements because they perceive competition for scarce tax revenues - Control: actually changing things to make them better o Encouraging positive events and preventing negative events  I.e. how can we reduce prejudice against First Nations People? FOUR Major Theoretical Perspectives or Explanatory Frameworks 1. Social Learning: previous experiences (Tries to understand current behaviour from past experiences) - Theoretical viewpoint that focuses on past learning experiences as determinants of a person’s social behaviors - Reinforcements and punishments o e.g., studying hard to earn high grades - Imitating the rewarded behavior of others o e.g., buying a gun after seeing a movie in which the hero wins true love by shooting bad people - Classically conditioned responses o e.g., feeling f
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