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Lecture 13

PS102 Lecture 13: Chapter 13 PS102

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Erin Strahan

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 component—how we behave toward the object; (I will avoid snakes and scream if I see 1)  The cognitive component—what 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 much—probably 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  Explicit attitudes: Conscious attitudes; measured through self-report measures (I ask someone and that person tells me how he/she feels about it)  Implicit attitudes: Unconscious attitudes; measured through Implicit Association Task (IAT) (We cant necessarily bring these to the surface, they might be hidden) Social Cognition: Persuasion: 2 Routes to Persuasion:  Central route: Persuasion that occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favourable thoughts (If you wanted to change someone’s mind about something this is the kind of route they take; in order to change someone’s mind you need strong arguments)  Peripheral route: Persuasion that occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness (These are smaller things such as food, not cars. For cars you would need more facts about it since it would be so much more expensive)  Many times, advertisements will also have a combination of the two; this way the advertisements will reach everyone. Source Factors (Who is delivering the message?)  Credibility: Believability; A credible communicator is perceived as both expert and trustworthy. When your doctor is telling you to eat healthier, you are more likely to listen to them than people in the store o If someone you didn’t like tried to convince you of something you are less likely to be convinced  People are more persuaded by attractive people and by people who are similar to them. Emotional persuasion would make us be persuaded even faster. When a person seems more similar to us we will also be persuaded more likely especially when talking about a subjective object Persuasion Tactics Foot-in-the-door phenomenon: The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request  Foot-in-the-Door Study: Half of residents placed a small sign in window: “Be a Safe Driver”  Other half, no sign. 2 weeks later people asked to put up a huge, unattractive sign that read, “Drive Carefully”  Did anyone say yes? The people who had said yes to the small sign were also willing to put the big sign on their lawns. The people who didn’t put up the sign in the first place didn’t want the big sign either. Door-in-the-face technique: Start with an extreme request that is sure to be rejected, then, follow this up with a smaller request, which is likely to be accepted because it appears to be a concession. (Do you want to buy this sweatshirt for $35? Answer: No. Well then do you want this chocolate bar for $1.35? Answer: yes. Persuasion Tactics  The Effect of Arousing Fear: Messages that evoke fear can also be persuasive o The more frightened they are, the more persuaded they will be  Fear-arousing messages are even more effective if they are paired with a strategy people can use to reduce their fear. (E.g.: the cigarette packages have scary ads and also gives information to help them) Barriers to Persuasion  Forewarned is forearmed: audiences who are prepared to be persuaded will be less open to the message than those who are not. (Being aware that someone is trying to change your mind about something will make you critical and will backfire on the person trying to persuade you) Social Cognition: Stereotypes and Prejudice Stereotypes: generalized impressions and oversimplified beliefs about a person or a group of people based on assumptions about the group. (Age, race, religion, etc.) Prejudice: Negative and unjust feelings about individuals based on their inclusion in a particular group  Even though stereotypes may not be negative, having a stereotypical attitude is negative Social identity theory: a theory that emphasizes social cognitive factors in the onset of prejudice: Prejudice emerges through three processes: social categorization: in which a person affiliates with a particular group as a way of figuring out how to act and react in the world. Social Identity: in which the person forms an identity with the group. Social Comparison: in which the group member compares the group favorably with other groups and in turn derives a sense of positive well being from looking at himself as superior in some way.  Mere categorization effec
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