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Social Psychology Notes PreMidterm 1.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

Social Psychology Prof. Saba Safdar Week 1 th January 10 , 2012 Introducing Social Psychology - Study of: o Social thinking o Social influence o Social relatedness - What is social psychology o The scientific study of the way in which a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people (Allport, 1985) o It is about individuals o Social because it can be real or imagined - What is science? o A field must adopt a Set of values and methods to be considered a scientific field  Accuracy  Objectivity  Skepticism o We need proper measurement - History o Norman Triplett cyclists bike faster when people present o Floyd Allport  book on social context o World War II increased research in social psych - Major Contributions (1930-60) o Gordon Allport prejudice, establishment of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues o Muzafer Sherif Experimental research on social influence o Kurt Lewin action research o Solomon Asch conformity o Leon Festinger cognitive dissonance o Stanley Milgram obedience Thursday January 12, 2012 Who are we, And how did we become who we are? - William James: basic duality of our perception of self o Self-concept or self-knowledge (who you are, traits and characteristics) o Self-awareness: the “I”, you are the content of the book, what happened to you from your perspective,, ability to reflect on yourself - Three features of self (Baumeister, 1986) o Self includes the body (physical body needed to be someone) o Social identity (as part of a group: sex, religion etc.) o Active agent (you decide what you want to do) - Functions of Selfhood o Self is an interpersonal tool (you know who you are, know what you want: helps you connect with other individuals, who you want to have relationships with) o Self makes choices o Self regulation - Self-knowledge o Self-knowledge come from:  Self-comparison  Feedback from others o Self as blank slate? Not exactly - Perceived Self-Knowledge o Self-knowledge is obtained from other 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 o Is it possible to have accurate understanding of self-knowledge  Yes, autobiography writers  No, psychoanalysts (self is not available: in subconscious) - Introspection o Process of looking inward at values, thought, feelings and knowledge o Limitations:  People don’t do this very often  Reasons for some behaviour in unknown to us (we do it unconsciously) - Healthy self-knowledge o Taylor and Brown: good mental health includes several systematic distortion:  Exaggerating positive self-evaluation  Exaggerating perception of control  Having unrealistic optimism  **Caution: there is an optional margin of illusion for health adjustment - Self-esteem o Self-esteem is a sense of personal worth o There are two roots to self-esteem:  Social feedback  Direct experience of efficiency o Is self-esteem stable or fluctuate  Stable - Enhancing self-esteem: o Social comparison  Downward comparison (I’m better)  Upward comparison - The dark side of self-esteem o People with inflated self-esteem will put others down, even with violence if their own esteem is being threatened o Low self-esteem  negative expectations  low effort, high anxiety  failure  self- blame  cycle starts again - Self-awareness o Refers to the state in which one’s attention is focused on oneself and one is comparing self with a set of standards o State and trait Week 2 January 17, 2011 - Definition of culture o Culture compromises the human-made part of the environment and the social institutions of the society such as norms, rules and laws - Where is culture o In the heads of its members - Culture imposes a set of values o Culture shapes our experiences  In some cultures, I would be considered normal o Ecology shapes cultures o Ecology culture  social behaviour - Sameness vs. Differences o There are universal behaviours and experiences o There are cultural differences in practicing social behaviours and interpreting experiences - Who am I questionnaire o Who am I? o Who am I? o Who am I? o Etc. - Interdependent self o Social identity, define self by defining group (I’m Buddhist, I am French, I live with my parents) - Independent self o I like dogs, I play guitar - Independent vs. Interdependent self-construal o Self is autonomous vs. self is connected with others o Self behaves, primarily, as a consequence of internal attributes vs., behaviour of interdependent self is contingent on what the actor perceives to be the thought, feelings and actions of others o The independent self gives rise to self-actualization vs. the interdependent elf gives rise to fulfilling and creating obligation - Three aspects of self o Private o Public o Collective o Cultures vary on emphasis placed on aspects of self - Individualism vs. collectivism o Two contrasting cultural orientations o Individualists tend to describe themselves in terms of internal characteristics which make them unique o Collectivists are more likely to think of themselves in terms of their affiliation with other people - Important qualifications o Cultures and nations are two different concepts o Cultures are heterogeneous o Cultures influence each other o Cultures are in constant change Thursday January 19, 2012 Attribution - Comparing other people’s behaviour - Answering the why question o Tania Patricia Hearst o She was kidnapped, father gave ransom o Kept giving money for 3 months o She ended up joining kidnap
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