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SOCPSY 1Z03 Study Guide - Final Guide: Human Nature, Erving Goffman, Stanley Milgram

19 pages143 viewsFall 2016

Department
Social Psychology
Course Code
SOCPSY 1Z03
Professor
Paul Galvin
Study Guide
Final

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SocPsy: 1Z03
Introduction to Social Psychology
Lecture 1: September 7th, 2016
Tutorials begin week 3
Textbook: DeLamater textbook 8th edition
Course coordinator: Melanie Dani (socpsy@mcmaster.ca)
Social Psychology: The systematic study of the nature and causes of human social behaviour
Social psychologists are skeptical of personal experience as a means of understanding
human behaviour
Rely on systematic observation
Topics of Interest:
Socialization, social origins of the self
Perception + cognition
Social influence and persuasion
Conformity in groups
Aggressive vs. altruistic behaviour
Social roles + individual behaviour
Sociology: The scientific study of the development, structure and functioning of human society
Psychology: The scientific study of the individual and of individual behaviour
Lecture 2: September 9th, 2016
What is a theory:
A set of interrelated propositions that organizes and explains observations
Goes beyond mere observable facts
Make predictions + have an explanation
Has to be tested
Theoretical Perspectives:
General explanations for a variety of social behaviours in a variety of situations
Frame of reference for interpreting + comparing a wide range of social situations and
behaviours
Role theory:
Much of observable social behaviour is people carrying out their roles (similar to actors
following a role)
According to role theory it is necessary to redefine ones role to change their behaviour
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Propositions in role theory:
1. People spend much of their lives participating in groups + organizations
2. Within these groups, people occupy distinct positions
3. Each of these positions entails a role (set of functions performed by the person/group)
4. Goups foalize these epetatios as os
5. Individuals carry out their roles and perform according to the norms
6. Group members check each idiiduals performance to determine whether it conforms
to the groups norms
Limitations of role theory:
Role theory has difficulty explaining deviant behaviour or any behaviour that violates
the norms
Does not explain deviant behaviour (because deviant behaviour opposes the idea that
people are conformists)
Role theory does not/cannot explain how role expectations originate or how they
change
Reinforcement theory:
People are more likely to perform a behaviour if it is followed by something pleasurable
or by the removal of something aversive (reward system)
People will refrain from a behaviour if it is followed by something unpleasant
Conditioning:
In conditioning, a relationship is established between producing a response and
receiving a reinforcement
Stimulus:
Any event that leads to an alteration or change in behaviour is called a stimulus
the change in behaviour induced by a stimulus is called a response
A reinforcement is any favourable outcome that results from a response
Reinforcement theory portrays individuals as reacting to environmental stimuli rather than
initiating behaviour based on imaginative or creative thought
Limitations: reinforcement theory cannot explain altruism and martyrdom
Cognitive theory:
The mental activities (cognitive processes) of the individual are important determinants
of social behaviour
These cognitive processes include perception, memory, judgement, problem solving,
and decision making
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Schemas/schemes: explanation of complex information about other people, groups, and
situations (interpretations)
Cognitive consistency:
Maintains that individuals strive to hold ideas that are consistent with one another
people dot like iosiste
If a person holds several ideas that are incongruous or inconsistent, he/she will
experience external conflict
Limitations of cognitive theory:
Cognitive theory simplifies the way people process information
Cognitive phenomena are not directly observable; must be inferred from what people
say and do
Symbolic interaction theory:
Human nature and social order and products of symbolic communication among people
In this perspective, a pesos behaviour is constructed through a give and take
The self oupies a etal place in symbolic interaction theory because social order is
hypothesized to rest in part on self control
Because individuals are continually engaging in role taking, they see themselves in the
viewpoint of others
Individuals care most about the opinions of significant others, people who control
important rewards or occupy key positions
Lecture 3: September 14, 2016
Aggregates, not individuals:
Social scientific theories deal with aggregated and not individual behaviour
Goal is to explain aggregate patterns of behaviour
Research methods: methods for testing casual relationships between phenomena
Variable: any characteristic or attribute that varies (eg. Gender, age, income)
Variables:
Independent variables (X) a variable that has an effect on another variable
Dependent variables (Y) the outcome or the variable that is being caused by the IV
Extraneous variables (Z) possible other variable that might account for the relationship
between X and Y
Causality:
1. Temporal order
2. Co-variation (association or correlation)
BUT: correlation is not equal to causation
3. Non-spuriousness
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