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Social Psychology Midterm 1.docx

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PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

Social Psychology 9/6/2012 2:09:00 PM Social Psychology is:  The scientific study of the way in which a persons thoughts, feelings, and behaviour’s are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people History of Social Psychology: th  Developed at the end of the 19 century o Norman Triplett was one of the pioneers o Floyd Allport wrote an important book on interaction of individuals in their social contexts o WW2 increased research in social psychology  Major contributions to social psych from 1930-1960 o Gordon Allport- prejudice, establishment of the society of the psychological study of issues (SPSSI) o Muzafer Sherif – experimental research on social influence o Kurt Lewin- action research o Solomon Asch- conformity o Leon Festinger- cognitive dissonance o Stanely Milgram- Obedience ( specifically Nazis- under what conditions people are more obedient) The Self in Social World- Chapter 3 Nature of self  “know thyself” – solon, the Greek thinker  - How do you know you are the person you are? – how did you come to this knowledge  feedback from other people tell you who you are  who you are consists of self concept and self knowledge Definitions Three feature of self (Baumeister, 1986): 1. Self includes the body 2. self influences the social identity 3. self is an active agent Functions of Selfhood 1. self is an interpersonal tool 2. Self makes choices 3. Self regulation Self Knowledge  Comes from: o Self comparison o Feedback from others Self is not a blank slate Perceived self knowledge Self knowledge is obtained from others but it is heavily filtered through biases from others:  politeness of others  our lack of tendency to hear and process criticism Accuracy of Self knowledge Is it possible to have accurate understanding of self- knowledge?  yes, autobiography writers (self concept is the most complete form of knowledge imaginable).  No, psychoanalysts ( self concept is very hard to obtain) Introspection Introspection is one way of developing self knowledge.  The process of looking inward and examining our thoughts and feelings Introspection has some limitations: 1. people don’t engage in introspections often 2. reasons for some of our behaviour’s are hidden from our conscious awareness Healthy Self knowledge - people have a positive self view of themselves - according to Taylor & Brown (1988), good mental health includes several systematic distortion:  exaggerating positive self-evaluation  exaggerating perception of control  having unrealistic optimism  ***caution: there is an optimal margin of illusion for healthy adjustment Self Esteem - the emotional aspect of self - sense of personal worth there are two roots to self esteem:  social feedback  direct experience of efficacy is self esteem stable or fluctuate? stable Enhancing self esteem To increase our self esteem we engage in social comparison: - downward comparison -upward comparison The Dark Side of Self esteem - people whose inflated favourable self-esteem is threatened often react by putting others down, sometimes with violence.  Brad Bushman and Roy Baumeister (1988) - self aggrandizing form of self-esteem vs genuine self esteem ( Salmivalli, 1999) The Vicious cycle of low self esteem low selfesteem------ negative expectations-------- low effort, high anxiety--- --- failure---------self blame (and the cycle starts again) Self Awareness self awareness refers to the state in which ones attention is focuses on oneself and one is comparing self with a set of standards  can increase self awareness by: o state and trait (looking in the mirror – we wont do things we wouldn’t normally do, watching ourselves on video tape) o self awareness is a good things when we bring to mind our values o self awareness is bad when we pay too much attention to what we are doing because you choke under pressure. Then you end up forgetting. Automatic behaviour becomes difficult. Social Psychology 9/6/2012 2:09:00 PM Lecture 2 Definition of culture  Shared customs and feelings  Culture comprises 1. The human made part of the environment and 2. The social institutions of the society such as norms, rules and laws (Herskovits, 1995)  Where is culture? o Is in the head of its members (Triandis, 1994) Culture imposes a set of values  Culture shapes our experiences o “in some cultures I would be considered normal”  -bumper sticker, Tulsa, Oklahoma  Ecology shapes cultures  Ecology-------culture-------social behaviour Sameness vs differences  there are universal behaviour’s and experiences  there are cultural differences in practicing social behaviour’s and interpreting experiences o eg. Religion, sexual behaviour, food, marriage l Social Psychology 9/6/2012 2:09:00 PM Lecture 3 Attribution – Chapter 4 Difficult case of Tania Patricia Hearst : Viable interpretations-  Behaviour is primarily a function of situation  Her behaviour is primarily a function of personal disposition The logical of attribution  The attributional equation or lewinian equation o B=S+D  B= behaviour, S= Situation, D= disposition Decision rule  Discounting principle: o The observer should not conclude that a person has a unique disposition to behave when the person does exactly what the situation pushes him or her to do o The observer should conclude that a person has a unique disposition to behave when:  A) a person does the opposite of what the situation pushes him or her to do  B) there is no situational push at all o Jones and Harris (1967) experiment Correspondence bias (or fundamental attribution error)  tendency to correspond a persons behaviour to personal disposition when the behaviour can be attributed to the situation wanting dispositions  correspondence bias gives a sense of control through: o dispositionist worldview o prediction of others behaviour Misunderstanding Situations  Correspondence bias creates a tendency to underestimate situational power because: o Situations are often invisible o We misjudge the capacity of situational for
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