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PSYC 215 Midterm Review.pdf

Course Code
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan
Study Guide

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PSYC 215 Midterm Review
Ch. 1: What is Social Psychology?
Social psychology: the scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave
in a social context
- Focus on the individual as well as broad perspective on a variety of social
contexts & behaviours
- The “socialness” of social psychology varies – nonsocial factors & nonsocial
thoughts are studied as well
- Applies the scientific method to the study of the human condition
- Emphasis on the social nature of
o Sociology tends to focus on the group level main difference
- Common sense myth: despite offering compelling predictions and
explanations, common sense is sometimes wildly inaccurate
Social loss, such as romantic breakup, may be experienced as physical pain (Kross,
Berman, Mischel, Smith, & Wager, 2011)
People who have experience with other cultures demonstrate more creative
tendencies (Maddux & Galinsky, 2009)
Having close friends is associated with health benefits (Bukowski, et al.)
Determining whether heat causes an increase in aggression or whether Steve
Nash causes an increase in the sale of Nike shoes are
- Why? Because the behaviours either a) concern other people or b) are
influenced by other people
Strahan et al. when unrealistic cultural norms around body image are made
salient, women become more concerned w/ how others might judge them

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From Past to Present: A Brief History of Social Psychology
Norman Triplett credited with publishing the first research article in social
psychology (1898)
Found that bicyclists tend to race faster in the presence of competition
Max Ringelmann (1913) studied the effects of the presence of others on the
performance of individuals
Individuals often perform worse on simple tasks when in the presence of
McDougall (1908), Ross (1908), Allport (1924) writers of the first three
textbooks on social psychology
Adolf Hitler the person with the strongest influence on social psychology
The world needed to understand the reasons for violence, war, and how
people willingly participated in genocide
Sherif demonstrated that it was possible to study complex social processes (e.g.
conformity, social influence) in a rigorous and scientific manner (1936)
Kurt Lewin (1935, 47): established fundamental principles of social psychology
- 1. Behaviour is a function of the interaction between the person and the
o Interactionist perspective emphasis on how personality +
environment influence behaviour
- 2. Social psychological theories should be applied to important, practical
o “No research without action, no action without research”

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Stanley Milgram demonstrated individuals’ vulnerability to the destructive
commands of authority
Came at a time of debate in social psyc: questions about ethical practices and
research methodologies (e.g. the lab experiment)
Result: more rigorous ethical standards for research were implemented in the
1970s; more stringent procedures to guard against bias; and more attention paid
to cross-cultural differences in behaviour
Estimated that 75-90% of social psychologists lived in North America (Smith &
Bond, 1993) however this began to change rapidly in the 1990s
Social Psychology in a New Century
Social cognition the study of how people perceive, remember, and interpret
information about themselves and others
- “Hot” perspective:
- “Cold” perspective:
Growing interest in distinguishing between automatic and controllable processes
and in understanding the dynamic relationship between them
Biology & Evolutionary perspectives
based on neuroscience, genetics, and
evolutionary principles applying them to issues such as gender differences,
relationships, and aggression
- Social neuroscience: study of the relationship between neural and social
- Behavioural genetics: examines the role of genetic factors in behaviour
- Evolutionary psyc: uses the principles of evolution to understand human
social behaviour
Cultural perspectives
evaluating the universal generality or cultural specificity of
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