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PS102 Chapter 8 Social Psychology

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Eileen Wood

Chapter 8: Social Psychology - How actual, imagined or implied presence of others influences our feelings, thoughts and behaviors So what is New with Social Psychology? - We are introducing others Being in a Social World Impacts Our Thinking Social Cognition - What we use to interpret and understand social events - Differs from other cognitive acts because of the social content Cognition in a Social World What do we learn from others? - We use language to communicate feelings and social information to others - Pass social information along through generations Social Cognition - Some say our notion of what is real --- physical reality--- is a construction of social knowledge Can our Reality be Changed just by being in a social context? - Yes! Solomon Asch: Conformith Study - 7 people, 6 is the only participant - Agree on first 2 lines--- then disagree on 11 out of 15 thereafter - - 5% conform all the time, 70% some of the time, 25% never Social Conformity - Uncomfortable when we have an understanding but social world contradicts out understanding - Start to wonder about ourselves--- doubt - Easier to conform in Ambiguous situations--- Social Comparison ( Cognitive consistency - What happens when there is incongruity across internal events, experiences of beliefs? - Cognitive Consistency--- minimize inconsistencies Cognitive Dissonance - End of the world story - Reinterpret the situation--- to achieve consistency Attitudes - Beliefs - Beliefs + emotion (e.g. Afghanistan) - Beliefs no emotion (e.g., triangles) - Attitudes = Social views/ beliefs + emotion - Overall, attitudes- stables, resilient - Can be change Changing Attitudes - Persuasive communications - Obvious, open communications - Goal is to change attitudes - When are persuasive communications effective? Effective Persuasive Communications - Source of message - Content of the message Source - Credibility- expert - Trustworthiness : who has something to gain Message - Central route to persuasion—reasoned thought - Peripheral route to persuasion—distracted, inattention, or unimportant issue- Heuristics Attributions - Explanations about what causes our own and other people’s behaviour and outcomes - Answers questions like: - “Why did she do that?” - “That happens because…?” - Dispositional (Internal) Attributions - People’s behaviour is caused by their personal characteristics Situational (External) Attributions - Aspects of situation cause behaviour Fundamental Attribution Error When explaining others’ behaviour, tend to: - Underestimate impact of situational factors - Overestimate role of personal factor Actor- Observer Bias - Under-rating situational factors only counts when we are assessing others - Situational favored for self  Others= clumsy  We= slippery fl
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