8 pages66 viewsFall 2010
CHAPTER 15- SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
•The number one problem with SP: when it observes behaviour, it assumes that it
knows the underline reason for that behaviour, ignoring the alternative explanations
for the behaviour.
•The beauty of SP: more than any other fields of Psychology, it showed us counter
intuitive points about human psychology/behaviour.
Schemata and Social Cognition
•SP are interested in how do we form impressions of others.
•Schemata: a mental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes
information about a person, place, or thing. example: 2 young, nice-looking students
are seen having drinks with a professor. They both receive an A+ in their course. =>
we tend to think that the students are female, professor is male, drinks are alcoholic,
and takes place in a bar. In fact, newspapers these years found that it's the other
way—male students, female professors.
•Central traits: personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation
of other traits
•Primary effect: the tendency to form impressions of people based on the first
information we receive about them
•Self: a person’s distinct individuality
•Self-schema: a mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about
oneself; a cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that
constitute the self-concept
Culture and social psychology
•Culture= a group of people who live together in a common environment, who share
customs and religious beliefs and practices, and who often resemble each other
•Cross-cultural psychology is the study of the effects of culture on behaviour
•Attributions are the processes by which people infer (analyze) the causes of other
•The attributions we make are shaped by:
oExternal factors, or stimuli in the environment
oInternal factors, such as a person’s traits, needs, and intentions
•Fundamental attribution error: is our tendency to overestimate the significance
of internal factors and underestimate the significance of external factors when
explaining other people’s behaviour; when I do bad things, it’s due to the
environment. When other people do bad things, it’s them, their fault.
•Belief in a just world- good thing happen to good people, and bad things happen to
bad people. The person who got murdered must be a bad person so he/she got ; BUT
THIS IS WRONG. Sometimes bad things happen to good ppl! And that throws ppl
•Actor-observer effect is when we tend to attribute our own behaviour to external
factors but others’ to internal factors
•Self-serving bias is the tendency to attribute our accomplishments and successes to
internal causes and our failures and mistakes to external causes
•False consensus – refers to our tendency to perceive our own behaviour as
representative of a general consensus; I know I am talking in class and that is rude,
but w/e, everyone is doing it! ; makes us feel better …making excuse for what ur
ATTRIBUTION, HEURISTICS, AND SOCIAL COGNITION
•*** The representativeness heuristic is a general rule for decision making by which
people include a person, place, or thing in the category to which it appears most
•The base-rate fallacy refers to our failure to consider the likelihood that a person,
place, or thing is a member of a particular category
•The availability heuristic is a general rule for decision making by which we judge the
likelihood or importance of an event by the ease with which examples of that event
come to mind
Social Cognition and Neuroscience
•Mirror neurons constitute (form) the substrate (foundation) for the child’s acquisition
of a theory of mind by which she/he learns to discriminate others’ intentions and
their cognitive sate more generally.
ATTITUDES AND THEIR FORMATION
Attitude Change and Persuasion
•Peripheral route- looking at the appearance, more emotion. This is used more often
by people in real life. When people see that the person giving a speech is nice
looking, they tend to believe what he/she said. VS.
•Central Route- looking for detail, more conscious, more logic. Will consider many
things before making decisions
•Cognitive dissonance = *** is the aversive state that results when there is a
discrepancy (doesn’t match)between our attitudes and behaviour, between our
behaviour and our self-image, or between two attitudes; when you have 2 or more
conflicting thoughts/opinions but they don't match.
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