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PSYCO241- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 119 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCO241
Professor
Jaylene Brinker
Study Guide
Final

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U of A
PSYCO241
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Social Psych
The scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in a social context
Scientific
Experiment based
Focuses on the psychology of the individual
Social in that they concern others, or are influenced by other people
Includes thoughts and feelings by real or imagined presence of other people
Construal
The way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world
Naive realism-the conviction all of us have that we perceive things "as they really are"
We assume that other reasonable people see things the same way that we do.
Compared to Other Disciplines
Sociology
Level of analysis
Methodology
Share certain topics, but sociology focuses on broader group level and does
more observational research
Empirical studies (experiments) more in social psych
Clinical psychology
Focus
Topics are different
Clinical is more disorders and social is more the typical way that people
think,feel, and behave and how people influence each other
Personality psychology
Stability
Both are concerned with individuals and thoughts, feelings, behaviours
Personality focuses on differences that are relatively stable as well as individual
differences, while social is how the factors affects most people regardless of
personality traits and how different situations cause different behaviours
Social Psychology & Common Sense
The ‘knew-it-all-along” phenomenon
Common sense seems to explain many social psychological findings after the fact
But how does one distinguish common sense facts from common sense myths?
Unlike common sense, social psychology uses the scientific method to put its theories to
the test
Common sense is simple, but usually wrong
people tend not to learn from previous incidents
Anything Surprising?
Beauty and brains don’t mix: physically attractive people tend to be seen as less smart
than physically unattractive people
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People will like an activity more if you offer them a large reward for doing it, causing
them to associate the activity with the positive reinforcement
People think that they are more unique than they really are: they tend to underestimate
the extent to which others share the same interests
Playing contact sports or violent video games releases aggression and makes people
less likely to vent their anger in violent ways
Although these are all seen as common sense, that all have been proved false
The Power of the Situation
The key fact remains mat when trying to account for a person's behaviour in a complex
situation, the overwhelming majority of people will jump to the conclusion that the
behaviour was caused by the personality of the individual involved rather than consider
the influence of the situation.
Fundamental attribution error
The tendency to overestimate the extent to which people's behaviour stems from
personality traits and to underestimate the role of situational factors
The Power of Social Interpretation
Behaviorism
A school of psychology maintaining that to understand human behaviour, one
need only consider the reinforcing properties of the environment
it is important to look at the situation from the viewpoint of the people in it, to see how
they construe the world around them
People interpreting social situations has roots is gestalt psychology
A school of psychology stressing the importance of studying the subjective way
in which an object appears in people's minds, rather than the objective physical
attributes of the object
The whole is different from the sum of its part
Lewinn took the bold step of applying Gestalt principles beyond the perception of
objects to social perception-how people perceive other people and their motives,
intentions, and behaviours.
Where Construals Come From: Basic Human Motives
Two key human motives
The need to feel good about ourselves and the need to be accurate
Self esteem approach - the need to feel good about ourselves
The reason people view the world the way they do can often be traced to this
underlying need to maintain a favourable image of themselves. Given the choice
between distorting the world in order to feel good about themselves and
representing the world accurately, people often take the first option.
Justifying past behaviour
It is very difficult to own up to major deficiencies in ourselves, even when
the cost is seeing the world inaccurately.
Suffering and self-justification
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