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[PSYC 215] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (113 pages long)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 215
Professor
Mark Baldwin
Study Guide
Midterm

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McGill
PSYC 215
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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CHAPTER ONE: An Invitation to Social Psychology
- social psychology the scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in social
situations
The Power of the Situation
- Arendt’s theory any person is capable of performing acts of brutality
- Kurt Lewin believed that the behavior of people, like the behavior of objects, is always a function of the
field of forces in which they find themselves
- The Milgram Experiment (STUDY)
o Men participate in a study on learning and memory but were actually told later that they would be
participating in a study about the effects of punishment on learning
o Teacher (participant) and a learned (confederate) tried to memorize paired words
o Teacher was instructed to administer painful shocks every time the learner would get the pair
wrong, learner was not actually getting shocked
o Most participants grew concerned as the shocks being administered would become more severe
after each error experimenter said “please continue”, “the experiment requires that you
continue”, “it’s absolutely necessary that you continue”, “you have no other choice. You must go
on”, and “although the shocks may be painful, there is no permanent tissue damage, so please go
on”
o Regardless of the learner in “pain”, the participants continued to administer the painful shocks
o BECAUSE, they were in an unfamiliar situation, the experimenter took responsibility for the pain
that the learner was in…
The Fundamental Attribution Error
- dispositions internal factors beliefs, values, personality traits, and abilities that guide behavior
- fundamental attribution error the failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on
behavior, together with the tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions
Channel Factors
- help explain why certain circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface can have great consequences
for behavior (facilitating or blocking it)
- Howard Leventhal (STUDY)
o Motivate people to take advantage of health facilities’ offerings of preventative care
o Tried to persuade Yale students to get tetanus inoculations
o Had them read scary materials about ways people could get tetanus showed them pictures of
individuals with lockjaw (bur could be prevented through the tetanus vaccine) and then given a
map of the campus circling the health center
o The channel factor in this case was the requirement to shape a vague intention into a concrete plan
(distance to the closest facility)
- The channel factor concept is central to a new field at the intersection of social psychology known as
behavioral economics
The Role of Construal
- what we see is not necessarily what is actually there but what is plausible what makes a good, predictable
“figure” in light of stored representations we have of the world and what makes sense in light of the context
in which we encounter something
- Gestalt Psychology objects are perceived not by means of some passive and automatic registering device,
but by active, usually non-conscious interpretation of what the object represents as a whole
o Naïve realism the belief that we see the world as it actually is without any complicated
perceptual or cognitive machinery
- Construal our interpretation of situations and behaviors and to the inferences that we make about them
Schemas
- a knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information that guides our behavior in
certain situations
o we depend on elaborate stores of systematized knowledge to understand situations
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- schemas capture the regularities of life and lead us to have certain expectations we can rely on so we do not
have to invent the world each time
- Solomon Asch (STUDY)
o Politician, a prestigious profession or not?
o One sample of students was told that a previous group rates the profession very highly whereas
another group was told that a group rated it at the bottom
Asch was able to show that participants in the first group labeled politicians as individuals
of great honor and participants in the second group were rating closer to corrupt
politicians altered schemas
Automatic VS Controlled Processing
- the mind processes information in two ways when you encounter a social situation
o automatic non-conscious, often based on emotional factors
gives rise to implicit attitudes and beliefs that cannot be readily controlled by the
conscious mind
o controlled conscious and systematic and controlled by careful thought
gives rise to explicit attitudes and beliefs of which we are aware
- Patricia Devine STUDY
o Showed how automatic and controlled processing can result in different attitudes in the same
person towards out-group members
o People with low expressed prejudice toward an out-group may nevertheless reveal feelings towards
people in the out-group that are almost as prejudice as those of people who confess to explicit
disliking of the group
Types of Non-Conscious Processing
- often times we cannot correctly explain the reason for our judgments about other people, our understanding
on the causes of physical and social events, etc…
o STUDY: Nightgown preference (making a point about awareness)
Asked customers in the mall to evaluate the quality of 4 nightgowns laid out in a row on a
table
Participants were more likely to say that they liked the last gown the best (even though
every gown was exactly the same)
o Bargh & Pietromonaco (STUDY)
Presented words on a screen for 1/10 of a second and then to make sure the participants
were unaware of what they had seen, they presented a “masking stimulus” consisting of a
line of X’s
Some participants were exposed to hostile words and others more neutral words
Read Donald story
Those who were exposed to the hostile words were more likely to rate Donald as hostile
than those exposed to the neutral words
Functions of Non-Conscious Processing
- its efficient conscious processing are generally slow and can run only serially whereas automatic
processes are faster and can operate in parallel
- conscious mental activity id slow, and it is no more essential to know what processes our behavior than it is
to know what processes underlie perception or memory
o only crucial for us to respond rapidly and efficiently in a given situation
AUTOMATIC PROCESSING
- mindlessness
o we do not have a mind, we are just caring out behaviors with very little conscious thought
o just like getting into a car, it is a sequence of behaviors that we learn (scripts)
someone asks for a favor
- when the demands of the situation were minimal, people seemed to be not really thinking about what they
were doing but just acting out the script
- seems very different from when we are fully aware and very deliberate in our thoughts and actions
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