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Study Notes - Midterm 1.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof

Social Psychology Study Notes – Midterm #1 Chapters 1, 3, 4, and 6 – 20% 50% on lecture, 50% on exam 80 multiple choice 40 from textbook, 40 from lecture 10 questions from each chapter 5 questions from 1 lecture, 7 questions for all other lectures CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCING SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - What is social psychology? o Scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour are influenced by factors in the social world o Gordon W. Allport defined it as: an attempt to understand and explain how the thought, feelings, and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of other human beings - Scientific method: a research method for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, and evaluating and integrating previous knowledge - Hypothesis: educated guess; the relationship between events - How we think about ourselves (self-perception): o Self-presentation: how we present our ideas about ourselves to others; how people work to convey certain images of themselves to others  Ex. The car we drive, the clothes or jewellery we wear - How we think, feel, and act in the social world: o Social perception: how people form impressions of and make inferences about other people and events in the social world o Social cognition: how we think about people and the social world (how we select, interpret, and use information to make judgments about the world) o Social influence: the impact of other people’s attitudes and behaviours on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour  Ex. Advertising messages; don’t feel like helping - How Our Attitudes and Behaviour Shape the Social World o Self-fulfilling prophecy: the process by which people’s expectations about a person lead them to elicit behaviour the confirms these expectations  These actions elicit the behaviour that is expected. This prophecy leads people to confirm whatever beliefs they have, and makes it difficult for these beliefs to be disconfirmed. - Floyd Allport – first social psychology textbook ever written. - Behaviourism: a theory of learning that describes people’s behaviour as acquired through conditioning o Conditioning: behaviour that is rewarded will continue o Behaviourist approach ignores the role of people’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes THUS is too simplistic to explain other behaviour - Gestalt Psychology: a theory that proposes objects are viewed holistically o Importance of looking at the whole object and how it appears in people’s minds, as opposed to looking at specific objective parts of the object o Kurt Lewin: considered the founder of modern social psychology – trained in the Gestalt approach; he offered one of the earliest theories in cognitive social psychology; research focused on the role of social perception in influencing people’s behaviour, the nature of group dynamics, and the factors contributing to stereotyping and prejudice - Muzafer Sherif: carried out a series of studies on group influence, and how introducing tasks that required cooperation between groups could reduce intergroup conflict - Stanley Milgram: studies on the powerful role of authority in leading to obedience - *WW2 increased research in social psych for Sherif, Milgram, and Lewin* - Positive psychology: studies individuals’ strengths and virtues o Positive psychology aims to improve and fulfill normal people’s lives o The roots of positive psychology are in humanistic psychology  Which focuses on individual potential and fulfilment - Hindsight bias: the tendency to see a given outcome as inevitable once the actual outcome is known o Ex. “absence makes the heart grow fonder” – ya I knew that makes sense. OR the opposite saying “out of sight, out of mind” – ya I knew that. o Also known as the “I knew it all along” phenomenon - Socio-cultural perspective: describes people’s behaviour and mental processes as being shapes in part by their social and/or cultural context. o Individualistic: a view of the self as distinct, autonomous, self0contained, and endowed with unique attributes o Collectivistic: a view of the self as part of a larger social network, including family, friends, and co-workers - Social constructionism: the view that there is no absolute reality and that our knowledge and what we understand to be reality are socially constructed CHAPTER 3 – THE SELF: SELF-PERCEPTION AND SELF-PRESENTATION - Self-concept: an individual’s overall beliefs about his or her own attributes - Self-esteem: an individual’s evaluation of his or her own worth - Self-awareness: state of being aware of oneself as an object of one’s thoughts - Functions of self: o Self as interpersonal tool (in order for us to have relationships with others we need to have a relatively stable identity) o Self as decision maker (decisions reflect goals and values) o Self as regulatory system (maintain itself despite the individual’s diverse and sometimes contradictory goals; take care of one’s interpersonal relationships, regulate emotional states, and organize information that is related to certain tasks)  Ex. Regulatory: in order to achieve goal, must resist temptation to party too hard.  Decision maker: wants to become psych professor; decides to achieve this goal must work hard  Interpersonal: known as friend that everyone can turn to for help - Affective forecasting: the process of predicting the impact of both positive and negative events on mood - Self-discrepancy theory: the theory that our self-concept if influenced by the gap between how we actually see ourselves and how we want to see ourselves - Self-awareness theory: when people focus on their own behaviour, they are motivated to either change their behaviour (so their attitudes and behaviour are in line) or escape from self-awareness (to avoid noticing this contradiction) - Self-perception theory: we look to our own behaviour to determine our attitudes and beliefs - Facial feedback hypothesis: the hypothesis that changes in facial expression an lead to changes in emotion - Over-justification: the phenomenon in which receiving external rewards for a given behaviour can undermine the intrinsic motivation for engaging in this behaviour o Ex. Some high schools have policies that require students to engage in a volunteer activity prior to graduation. These were developed in part to expose students to the benefits of volunteering, some research shows that after being forced to volunteer, students become less interested in volunteering in the future compared to student who were given a choice to volunteer - Social comparison theory: the theory that people evaluate their own abilities and attributes by comparing themselves to other people - How do people maintain a positive self-concept? o Self-serving biases: tendency to misremember events in a particular direction is one of the strategies people use to feel better about themselves  Ex. How well did you do in high school? You’ll most likely remember your grades as higher than they actually were. o False consensus effect: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which other people share our opinions, attitudes, and behaviours  People generally assume that what they think or do is what other people think or do  Ex. People share your same opinion on something o False uniqueness effect: the tendency to underestimate the extent to which other people are likely to share our positive attitudes and behaviour - Unrealistic optimism: a phenomenon in which people see themselves as more likely than other people to experience good events, and less likely than other people to experience bad events o This can cause problems because people will think that they are invulnerable to certain problems - Perceived control: the tendency to see uncontrollable events as at least partially under our control - Studies have shown those who are least competent are most overconfident about their abilities - Basking in reflected glory (BIRGing): associating with successful others to increase one’s feelings of self-worth - Downward social comparison: comparing ourselves to people who are worse than we are on a given trait or ability in an attempt to feel better about ourselves - Self-handicapping: a strategy in which people create obstacles to success so that potential failure can be blamed on these external factors o Ex. The night before an exam, students can avoid studying and stay out really late. Then, if they do badly, they can blame their poor performance on their lack of preparation, which protects their view of their intelligence. They do this to avoid the possibility of studying hard and failing anyway. o Self-handicapping can lead to a number of negative consequences  People who self-handicap use strategies to provide explanations for less- than-successful performance, which can lead to poorer performance - The downside of overly positive self-views: cannot respond well to any form of criticism and rejection - Impression management: strategies that people use to create positive impressions of themselves o Self-promotion: a strategy that focuses on making other people think you are competent or good in some way  Trying to make you respect them  Actions speak louder than words. You can say you’re competent but those who act on it actually show that they are. o Ingratiation: a strategy in which people try to make themselves likeable to someone else, often through flattery and praise  Can be bad if people can see that you’re being insincere. o Self-verification theory: the expectation that other people’s perception of oneself is consistent with one’s own perception of oneself  We want the way you view yourself to be the way other people view you, even if it’s negatively. We feel more comfortable with this.  Self-monitoring: the extent to which one adjusts one’s self-presentation in different situations  High self-monitors readily and easily modify their behaviour in response to the demands of the situation and behaves differently when with different people  A low self-monitor tends to maintain the same views and behaviour regardless of the views of others, and hence shows greater consistency across situations 
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