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Lecture 13

PS102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Groupthink, Social Forces, Summer Camp


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PS102
Professor
Erin Strahan
Lecture
13

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Social Psychology: Chapter 13
Social Psychology: seeks to understand, explain, and predict how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are
influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others
“It is not so much the kind of person a man is, as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines
how he will act.”
Social Cognition: Attitudes
Social cognition: how people perceive, interpret, and categorize their own and others’ social behavior
Attitudes: relatively stable and enduring evaluations of things and people
ABC model of attitudes
Affective component—how we feel toward the object; e.g., I’m scared of snakes
Behavioural componenthow we behave toward the object; (I will avoid snakes and scream if I see 1)
The cognitive componentwhat we believe about the object; e.g., I believe snakes are dangerous
Do Attitudes Determine Behaviour?
Research suggests that people’s attitudes don’t always determine their behaviour
Study from 30’s: Asked hotel owners would they accept Chinese ppl as guests in their hotel? Over 90% said no.
When a young Chinese couple showed up at hotel, only 1 owner refused them a room
Examining attitudes specific to the behaviour: Specific, relevant attitudes do predict behaviour
Does Behaviour Determine Attitudes?
Subjects who were paid $1.00 for “talking up” the tasks reported the tasks to be more enjoyable than those who
were paid $20.00. Why?
Cognitive Dissonance
A state of tension that occurs when a person simultaneously holds two cognitions that are psychologically
inconsistent, or when a person’s belief is incongruent with his or her behaviour
Behaviour: occasionally drink alcohol
Belief: drinking kills brain cells
The behaviour and the belief are inconsistent - this leads to feeling of psychological discomfort which we are
motivated to reduce
Cognitive Dissonance
Haley goes through a painful, embarrassing initiation to join her sorority
Kari goes through an easy initiation to join her sorority
They join the sorority and their roommate is awful
How will they feel about their roommate?
Self-Perception Theory: A theory suggesting that when people are uncertain of their own attitudes, they infer what their
attitudes are by observing their own behaviour
Cognitive Dissonance Theory vs. Self-Perception Theory
Cognitive dissonance theory applies to situations that are strikingly out of character
Self-perception theory applies to situations that are only slightly out of character or where our attitudes are
unclear to begin with
Cognitive Dissonance Theory vs. Self-Perception Theory
Which one is an example of cognitive dissonance and which one is self-perception theory?
o You eat a lot of vegetarian dishes because that is what your roommate cooks for dinner. You decide that
your favourite type of food is vegetarian.
o You used to love psychology. You take a psychology class at 8:30am and cannot seem to make it to class
very muchprobably because you have a tendency to party too much and cannot get up early enough.
Halfway through the semester, you decide that you are not making it to class because you really do NOT
like psychology that much.
Are People Honest About Their Attitudes?
Would you tell the truth if:
Your doctor asked you how much alcohol you consume each month?
Your significant other asked if you were ever attracted to another person?
Social Desirability: attitudes that mirror what we think others desire in a person
Bogus pipeline technique: Participants are hooked up to a machine that they believe is able to measure deception;
they answer more truthfully in this situation (people are more willing to tell you the truth)
Another problem that researcher run into when trying to measure attitudes is that people are not always aware of their
true attitudes
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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