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SOCPSY 1Z03 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Dependent And Independent Variables, Social Learning Theory, External ValidityPremium

19 pages50 viewsFall 2016

Department
Social Psychology
Course Code
SOCPSY 1Z03
Professor
Paul Glavin
Study Guide
Midterm

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Social Psychology!
Study Notes!
!
Social Psychology: defined as the systematic study of the nature and causes of human
social behaviour (Delamater) !
!
Four Core Concerns
The impact of one individual on another’s behaviour and beliefs (ex. Milgram)
The impact of a group on a member’s behaviour and beliefs (ex. family)
The impact of a member on a group’s activities and structure (ex. political leaders)
The impact of one group on another group’s activities and structure!
(ex. inter-group conflict vs. inter-group cooperation)
!
Social Psychology and Other Fields
Sociology: study of development, structure and functioning of society
oSociological Social Psychologists: study relationship between individuals and
groups and broader social structures
Psychology: study of the individual and their behaviour
oPsychological Social Psychologists: concerned with behaviour and social stimuli
Social Psychology as a Social Science: examine human behaviour and the social
world by following a scientific method
oMake systematic observations of behaviour and formulate theories that are
subject to testing
oa scientific method versus personal experience, commonsensical knowledge,
philosophy!
Theoretical Perspective - Chapter 1
!
What is a theory?
Goes beyond mere observable facts by suggesting casual relations among
variables
Have to be testable, have prediction and explanation
If theory is valid, enables user to explain the phenomenon under considerations
and predictions about events not yet observed
!
Theoretical Perspectives
oGeneral explanations for social behaviours in a variety of situations
1. Role Theory
oMuch of observable behaviour is people carrying out their roles, similar to actors
preforming on a stage
oExpectations on how to act in a given social setting (social norms)
oTo change a person’s behaviour, it is necessary to change/redefine their role
oPropositions:
People spend much of their lives participating in groups/organizations
Within these groups, occupy distinct positions
Each of these positions entail a role, which is a set of functions preformed
by the person for the group
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Expectations known as social norms, which are rules specifying how a
person should behave
Carry out roles and perform according to norms
Check if each individual conforms to the group’s norms
oLimitations:
Difficulty explaining deviant behaviour
Does not and cannot explain how role expectations originate or change
overtime
2. Reinforcement Theory
oHuman behaviour influenced by external conditions
oIndividuals reacting to environmental stimuli rather than initiating behaviour on
thought
oPropositions:
More likely to preform a behaviour if it is followed by something
pleasurable or absence of a negative
Will refrain from a behaviour if positive disappears/negative appears
Conditioning: Emitting a response and receiving reinforcement
Stimulus: Any event that leads to/changes a behaviour
Response: Change in behaviour induced by a stimulus
Reinforcement: Any favourable outcome that results from a response
Stimulus discrimination: Learn specific behaviour needed to preform to
get the positive
ex. training pet: command (stimulus) = sit (response) = treat (reinforcement)
oLimitations:
Cannot explain altruism and martyrdom
We are only doing things to get good result
3. Cognitive Theory
oThe cognitive processes of the individual are important determinants of social
behaviour (perception, memory, judgment, problem solving, decision making)
oIntervene between external stimuli and behavioural responses
oPropositions:
Schema: cognitive structure of related ideas connected to each other,
used to explain people, groups and situations (ex. thought when thinking
of a “lawyer”); can make decisions/process information quickly
Cognitive Consistency: strive to hold ideas that are consistent; if hold
ideas that are inconsistent, will experience internal conflict
oLimitations:
Everyone processes information differently (not everyone uses schemas)
Hard to observe, inferred from what people say/do
4. Symbolic Interaction Theory
oHuman nature and social order are products of symbolic communication
oPeople trying to understand what other people are doing and engage in
“impression management” (using symbols to play roles (clothing, body language)
etc.); give or take
oPropositions:
The “Self”: social order is rested on part of self-control
Because continuously engaging in role taking, see themselves from the
viewpoint of others (ex. “not a teacher until you start teaching”, audience
helps to feel like a professor)
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Individuals care most about opinions from significant others (people who
control important rewards or occupy key positions)
oLimitations:
Not always thinking about how others see us
Concerned primarily with maintaining self-respect by meeting other’s
standards
Too much emphasis on cooperation, neglects importance of conflict
5. Evolutionary Theory
oPropositions:
Extend evolutionary ideas to explain social behaviour
In our genetic material and passed on through reproduction (Darwin)
Characteristics that enable the individual to survive will occur more
frequently
oLimitations:
Circular Reasoning: Why did the behaviour begin in the first place?
Ignores the role of cultural and social factors (choice of mates has
changed historically)
Comparison of Theoretical Perspectives
!
!
*MIDTERM QUESTION!
Which social psychology theoretical perspective argues that inconsistent beliefs
produce changes in behaviour? !
a. Role theory!
b. Reinforcement theory!
c. Symbolic interaction theory!
d. Cognitive theory
Dimension
Role Theory
Reinforcement
Theory
Cognitive Theory
Symbolic Interaction
Theory
Central Concepts
Role
Stimulus-response;
reinforcement
Cognitions, cognition
structure
Self; role taking
Primary Behaviour
Behaviour in role
Learning of new
responses
Formation of beliefs
Sequences of acts
during interaction
Assumptions about
Human Nature
People are conformist
(conform to accepted
behaviours)
People are hedonistic
(want best for
themself)
People act on their
cognitions
People are self-
monitoring actors
Factors Changing
Behaviour
Shifts in role
expectations
Change in
reinforcement
Cognitive consistency
Shifts in others’
standards
Research Method
Surveys
Experiment
Survey, Experiment
Survey
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