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Lecture 1

PSY 2213 Lecture 1: Continue of Lector 1 topics covered in class Aug. 24

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Andrew Smith

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Continue of Lector 1 topics • Fundamental Attribution Error: When people try to explain people’s behavior, the explain it in terms in personality traits and underestimate situational factors • Problems with underestimating the power of situation ◦ leads us to oversimplify complex situations which decrease our understanding of the true causes • When we focus on the dispositional side of things (reason people did something by the type of person they are) ◦ we feel like we could never engage in the negative behavior shown by others ◦ this increases our vulnerability in similar situations ▪ ex. saying someone is aggressive when someone could be in a situation in which caused the aggression rather than overall being an aggressive person History of Social Psych (social construal) • Experiences of social situations are subjective ◦ “I said X but he heard Y" ◦ what her smile genuine or out of pity? • Construal (subjective reality) not always a focus • Researchers were not concerned with how people interpret things but rather the objective reality • Behaviorism ruled all • Kurt Lewin ◦ polish- Jewish professor working in Germany in 1930’s ▪ came to USA ◦ First to focus on examining how people perceive the world - not how it was ▪ subjective rather than objective ▪ interested in interpretations of gestures and such ◦ Considered the father of experimental social psychology • Two primary factors influence how we perceive the world (two desires) ◦ need to feel good about ourselves ◦ need to be accurate ▪ these can influence on how people interpret behavior Need to feel good about ourselves ◦ most people want to feel good about themselves ◦ strong desire to maintain reasonable high self-esteem ▪ desire to see ourselves as good and competent ▪ people distort reality and situation to often make themselves feel better and not accurately represen
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