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Lecture

Topic 10: Social Psychology

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY 0010
Professor
Allan Zuckoff
Semester
Spring

Description
PSY 0010 notes – Social psychology – page 1 Social psych • how people think about, influence, relate to one another • understand/explain thoughts, feelings behavior of individuals as influenced by  presence of others o effects of social situations on individuals in those situations How does social situation influence our behavior? • dispositionism o behavior and attitudes caused by internal factors of the individual  genotype, personality traits, motivations, etc. • situationism o behavior and attitudes caused by the social environment  circumstances, social expectations, social rewards/punishments • fundamental attribution error o tendency to attribute others’ behavior to internal causes  overestimate impact of dispositional influences  underestimate impact of situational influences o attributions of our own behavior do not follow this pattern  influenced by self­enhancement motive • social rewards and punishments o others control access to what we want and our ability to avoid what we  don’t want o performance on simple/familiar tasks is improved by the presence of  others  performance on complex tasks is worse o arousal – being around other members of our species is autonomically  arousing  others control rewards/punishments  increased arousal improves performance on easier tasks (and  worsens it on harder ones o social loafing: tendency of individuals to work less hard when in groups  decreased evaluation apprehension • often not consciously done • diffusion of responsibility: weakening of each group  member’s sense of individual obligation  group problem­solving (“brainstorming”) • fewer ideas, less creative, overestimate success  • socialization: lifelong process of shaping a person’s behavior patterns, values,  attitudes, motives, and abilities by the culture in which the person lives o often less direct than social rewards/punishments o agents of socialization: family, school, mass media, religion o social norms: expectations of what behavior and attitudes are  appropriate/acceptable PSY 0010 notes – Social psychology – page 2  enforced through giving/withholding social punishments/rewards  (but still indirect) • know that violating social norms makes social punishment  more likely  conveyed indirectly in unspoken ways via modeling • conformity: allow behavior to be shaped according to expectations of those  around us o no society without some measure of conformity o in social psych: willingness to change behavior/attitudes/beliefs because of  indirect group pressure o Solomon Asch: “study of perceptual judgments” (standard v. comparison  lines)  effects of perceived pressure to conform: 76% of subjects  conformed to incorrect responses on at least one of 12 trials  overall conformity: 37% of trials o why do we conform?  informational social influence: gain accurate information in  ambiguous or unfamiliar situations by conforming when uncertain  normative social influence: motivated to avoid ostracism, gain  rewards (like Asch study) o what increases conformity?  ambiguous situations result in higher rates of conformity • accept others’ judgment when unsure  public responding – conformity less likely in private  larger groups – plateau at 7­8 people  unanimity of others in group • obedience to authority o Milgram’s 1962 electric shock studies – “effects of punishment on  learning”  2 subjects: 1 teacher, 1 learner • learner must learn correct pairs of words • teacher would punish learner if he got a word pair wrong –  intensity increased with each wrong answer
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