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MIDTERM EXAM NOTES

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB10H3
Professor
Elizabeth Page- Gould
Semester
Fall

Description
Reading One: (2- 53) Chapter One: • Social psychology is the scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in a social context. • Sociology, for instance, typically classifies people in terms of their nationality, race, socioeconomic class, and other group factors. In contrast, social psychology typically focuses on the psychology of the individual. Even when social psychologists study groups of people, they usually emphasize the behaviour of the individual in the group context. • Clinical psychologists seek to understand and treat people with psychological difficulties or disorders. Social psychologists do not focus on disorders; rather, they focus on the more typical ways in which individuals think, feel, behave, and influence each other. • Both personality psychology and social psychology are concerned with individuals and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. However, personality psychology seeks to understand differences between individuals that remain relatively stable across a variety of situations, whereas social psychology seeks to understand how social factors affect most individuals, regardless of their different personalities. • Most historians would, however, point to the American psychologist Norman Triplett, who is credited with having published the first research article in social psychology at the end of the nineteenth century (1897– 1898). Triplett’s work was noteworthy because, after observing that bicyclists tended to race faster when racing in the presence of others than when simply racing against a clock, he designed an experiment to study this phenomenon in a carefully controlled, precise way. This scientific approach to studying the effects of the social context on individuals’ behaviour can be seen as marking the birth of modern-day social psychology. • A case can also be made for the French agricultural engineer Max Ringelmann. Ringelmann’s research was conducted in the 1880s but wasn’t published until 1913. In an interesting coincidence, Ringelmann also studied the effects of the presence of others on the performance of individuals. In contrast to Triplett, however, Ringelmann noted that individuals often performed worse on simple tasks such as pulling rope when they performed the tasks with other people. • Despite their place in the history of social psychology, neither Triplett nor Ringelmann actually established social psychology as a distinct field of study. Credit for this creation goes to the writers of the first three textbooks in social psychology: the English psychologist William McDougall (1908) and two Americans, Edward Ross (1908) and Floyd Allport (1924). Allport’s book in particular, with its focus on the interaction of individuals and their social context and its emphasis on the use of experimentation and the scientific method, helped establish social psychology as the discipline it is today. •Hitler’s rise to power and the ensuing turmoil caused people around the world to become desperate for answers to social psychological questions about what causes violence, prejudice and genocide, conformity and obedience, and a host of other social problems and behaviours. •In 1936, Gordon Allport (younger brother of Floyd, author of the 1924 textbook) and a number of other social psychologists formed the Society for the Psychological. Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). The name of the society illustrates these psychologists’ concern for making important, practical contributions to society. Also in 1936, a social psychologist named Muzafer Sherif published ground-breaking experimental research on social influence. •Another great contributor to social psychology, Kurt Lewin, fled the Nazi onslaught in Germany and immigrated to the United States in the early 1930s. He was a bold and creative theorist whose concepts have had lasting effects on the field (e.g., Lewin, 1935, 1947). Among the fundamental principles of social psychology that Lewin helped establish were the following: 1. Behaviour is a function of the interaction between the person and the environment. This position, which later became known as the interactionist perspective (Blass, 1991), emphasized the dynamic interplay of internal and external factors, and marked a sharp contrast from other major psychological paradigms during his lifetime: psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on internal motives and fantasies; and behaviourism, with its focus on external rewards and punishments. 2. Social psychological theories should be applied to important, practical issues. • A pluralistic approach recognizes that because no one research method is perfect and because different topics require different kinds of investigations, a range of research techniques is needed. •Some social psychology research takes what we might call a “hot” perspective, focusing on emotion and motivation as determinants of our thoughts and actions. Other research in this field takes a “cold” perspective that emphasizes the role of cognition, examining the ways in which people’s thoughts affect how they feel, what they want, and what they do. • Social cognition: the study of how we perceive, remember, and interpret information about ourselves and others. •Social neuroscience: the study of the relationship between neural and social processes. •Behavioural genetics: a subfield of psychology that examines the effects of genes on behaviour •Evolutionary psychology: uses the principles of evolution to understand human behaviour •Culture: may be considered to be a system of enduring meanings, beliefs, values, assumptions, institutions, and practices shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next. •Cross-cultural research: Research designed to compare and contrast people of different cultures. •Multicultural research: Research designed to examine racial and ethnic groups within cultures. Chapter 2: Doing Social Psychology Research Developing Ideas: Beginning the Research Process Asking Questions: • Every social psychology study begins with a question. And the questions come from everywhere. Searching the Literature: • Once the researcher has an idea, whether it came from personal observation, folk wisdom, a news story, or previous findings, it is important to see what research has already been done on this topic and related topics. • Going from article to article, sometimes called treeing, can prove very valuable in tracking down information about the research question. • More often than not, the researcher’s original question is changed in one way or another during the course of searching the literature. The question should become more precise, more specific to particular sets of conditions that are likely to have different effects, and more readily testable. Hypotheses and Theories • An initial idea for research may be so vague that it amounts to little more than a hunch or an educated guess. Some ideas vanish with the break of day. But others can be shaped into a hypothesis—an explicit, testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur. • Basic research seeks to increase our understanding of human behaviour and is often designed to test a specific hypothesis from a specific theory. Applied research has a different purpose: to make use of social psychology’s theories or methods to enlarge our understanding of naturally occurring events and to contribute to the solution of social problems. Conceptual Variables and Operational Definitions: From the Abstract to the Specific • When a researcher first develops a hypothesis, the variables typically are in an abstract, general form. These are conceptual variables. Examples of conceptual variables include prejudice, conformity, attraction, love, violence, group pressure, and social anxiety. In order to test specific hypotheses, we must then transform these conceptual variables into variables that can be manipulated or measured in a study. The specific way in which a conceptual variable is manipulated or measured is called the operational definition of the variable. • Researchers evaluate the manipulation and measurement of variables in terms of their construct validity. Construct validity refers to the extent to which (1) the manipulations in an experiment really manipulate the conceptual variables they were designed to manipulate and (2) the measures used in a study (experimental or otherwise) really measure the conceptual variables they were designed to measure. Measuring Variables: Using Self-Reports Observations, and Technology • Social psychologists measure variables in many ways, but most can be placed into one of two categories: self-reports and observations. Self-Reports: Going Straight to the Source • Collecting self-reports—in which participants disclose their thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions—is a widely used measurement technique in social psychology. Self-reports can consist of individual questions or sets of questions that together measure a single conceptual variable. • Research using a procedure called the “bogus pipeline” indicates that participants who are led to believe that their responses will be verified by an infallible lie-detector, report facts about themselves more accurately and endorse socially unacceptable opinions more frequently than those not told about such a device. The bogus pipeline is, in fact, bogus; no such infallible device exists. But belief in its powers discourages people from lying. • some use interval-contingent self-reports, in which respondents report their experiences at regular intervals, usually once a day. They may report events since the last report, or how they feel at the moment, or both. Researchers may also collect signal- contingent self-reports. Here, respondents report their experiences as soon as possible after being signalled to do so, usually by means of a beeper. Finally, some researchers collect event-contingent self-reports, in which respondents report on a designated set of events as soon as possible after such events have occurred. • Whatever their differences, most self-report methods require participants to provide specific answers to specific questions. In contrast, narrative studies collect lengthy responses on a general topic. Narrative materials can be generated by participants at the researcher’s request or taken from other sources (such as diaries, speeches, books, or chat room discussions). Observation • Interrater reliability refers to the level of agreement among multiple observers of the same behaviour. Only when different observers agree can the data be trusted. • Qualitative research: The collection of data through open-ended responses, observation, and interviews. • Quantitative research: The collection of numerical data through objective testing and statistical analysis. Descriptive Research: Discovering Trends and Tendencies • The goal of descriptive research in social psychology is, as the term implies, to describe people and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. This method can test questions such as: What percentage of people who encounter a person lying on the sidewalk would offer to help that person? What do men and women say are the things most likely to make them jealous of their partner? Particular methods of doing descriptive research include observing people, studying records of past events and behaviours, and surveying people. Archival Studies • Archival research involves examining existing records of past events and behaviours, such as newspaper articles, medical records, diaries, sports statistics, personal ads, crime statistics, or hits on a Web page. A major advantage of archival measures is that, because the researchers are observing behaviour secondhand, they can be sure that they did not influence the behaviour by their presence. A limitation of this approach is that available records are not always complete or sufficiently detailed, and they may have been collected in a nonsystematic manner. • Random sampling, a method of selection in which everyone in a population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample. Survey researchers use randomizing procedures, such as tables of randomly distributed numbers generated by computers, to decide how to select individuals for their samples. Correlational Research: Looking for Associations • Like descriptive research, correlational research can be conducted using observational, archival, or survey methods. Unlike descriptive research, however, correlational approaches measure the relationship between different variables. The extent to which variables relate to each other, or correlate, can suggest how similar or distinct two different measures are (for example, how related people’s self-esteem and popularity are) and how well one variable can be used to predict another (for example, how well we can predict university success from high school grades). • When researchers examine the relationship between variables that vary in quantity (such as temperature or degree of self-esteem), they can measure the strength and direction of the relationship between the variables and calculate a statistic called a correlation coefficient. Correlation coefficients can range from – 1.0 to + 1.0. The absolute value of the number (the number itself, without the positive or negative sign) indicates how strongly the two variables are associated. The larger the absolute value of the number, the stronger the association between the two variables, and thus the better either of the variables is as a predictor of the other. • Correlations obtained at a single point in time across a number of individuals are called concurrent. For example, you might be interested in testing the hypothesis that physically attractive people tend to make more money than less attractive people. You could measure the physical attractiveness of many different people somehow (such as by taking their pictures and asking a dozen other people to rate their physical appearance) and then ask them how much money they make. Correlations also can be obtained at different times from the same individuals. These correlations are called prospective. Prospective studies are especially useful in determining whether certain behaviours at a particular age are associated with other behaviours at a later age. For example, you might want to see whether people’s degree of optimism at the age of 20 is correlated with how happy they feel at the age of 40. • Correlation is not causation; a correlation cannot demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. Instead of revealing a specific causal pathway from one variable, A, to another variable, B, a correlation between variables A and B contains within it three possible causal effects: A could cause B; B could cause A; or a third variable, C, could cause both A and B. Experiments: Looking for Cause and Effect • Experiments in social psychology range from the very simple to the incredibly elaborate. All of them, however, share two essential characteristics. 1. The researcher has control over the experimental procedures, manipulating the variables of interest while ensuring uniformity elsewhere. In other words, all participants in the research are treated in exactly the same manner except for the specific differences the experimenter wants to create. 2. Participants in the study are randomly assigned to the different manipulations (called “conditions”) included in the experiment. If there are two conditions, who goes where may be determined by simply flipping a coin. If there are many conditions, a computer program may be used. But however it’s done, random assignment means that participants are not assigned to a condition on the basis of their personal or behavioural characteristics. Through random assignment, the experimenter attempts to ensure a level playing field: On average, the participants randomly assigned to one condition are no different from those assigned to another condition. Differences that appear between conditions after an experimental manipulation can therefore be attributed to the impact of that manipulation and not to any pre-existing differences between participants. In an experiment, researchers manipulate one or more • Independent variables and examine the effect of these manipulations on one or more dependent variables. • Independent variable: In an experiment, a factor that experimenters manipulate to see if it affects the dependent variable. • Dependent variable: In an experiment, a factor that experimenters measure to see if it is affected by the independent variable. • Subject variable: A variable that characterizes pre-existing differences among the participants in a study. • When an experiment is properly conducted, its results are said to have internal validity. There is reasonable certainty that the independent variable did, in fact, cause the effects obtained on the dependent variable. • Experiments also include control groups for this purpose. Typically, a control group consists of participants who experience all of the experimental procedures except the experimental treatment. For example, if we included a ‘neutral mood’ condition in the moods and culture study by Ashton-James and others (2009), this could be considered a control group, which provided a baseline against which to compare the choices of those in the good mood, versus those in the bad mood, conditions. • The best way to protect an experiment from the influence of experimenters’ expectations—called experimenter expectancy effects (Rosenthal, 1976)—is to keep experimenters uninformed about assignments to conditions. If they do not know the condition to which a participant has been assigned, they cannot treat participants differently as a function of their condition. • Mundane realism refers to the extent to which the research setting resembles the real-world setting of interest. • Experimental realism refers to the degree to which the experimental setting and procedures are real and involving to the participant, regardless of whether they resemble real life or not. • Researchers who strive to create a highly involving experience for participants often rely on deception, providing participants with false information about experimental procedures. Toward this end, social psychologists sometimes employ confederates, who act as though they are participants in the experiment but are really working for the experimenter. • Meta-analysis: A set of statistical procedures used to review a body of evidence by combining the results of individual studies to measure the overall reliability and strength of particular effects. Research Ethics Board • In Canada, experts from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) form the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE or the Panel). This panel provides guidance regarding ethical issues associated with human participant research. Their Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2, 2010) includes the requirement that all research involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by an institutional Research Ethics Board (REB) to ensure that the welfare of participants is adequately protected. • The statement of ethics of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), called the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists (2000), considers a wide range of ethical issues, including those related to research procedures and practices. The CPA Code stipulates that researchers are obligated to guard the rights and welfare of all those who participate in their studies. • One such obligation is to obtain informed consent. Individuals must be asked whether they wish to participate in the research project and must be given enough information to make an informed decision. • Debriefing: A disclosure, made to participants after research procedures are completed, in which the researcher explains the purpose of the research, attempts to resolve any negative feelings, and emphasizes the scientific contribution made by the participants’ involvement. Reading 2: 54- 95 Chapter 3: The Social Self • A patient named William Thompson suffered from an organic brain disorder that impairs a person’s memory of recent events. Unable to recall anything for more than a few seconds, Thompson was always disoriented and lacked a sense of inner continuity. • The “cock-tail party effect”—the tendency of people to pick a personally relevant stimulus out of a complex environment. • The term self-concept refers to the sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves. But what, specifically, does the self- concept consist of? According to Hazel Markus (1977), the self- concept is made up of cognitive molecules called self-schemas: beliefs about oneself that guide the processing of self-relevant information. Self-schemas are to an individual’s total self-concept what hypotheses are to a theory, or what books are to a library. • The ability to see yourself as a distinct entity is a necessary first step in the evolution and development of a self-concept. The second step involves social factors. Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley (1902) introduced the term looking-glass self to suggest that other people serve as a mirror in which we see ourselves. Expanding on this idea, George Herbert Mead (1934) added that we often come to know ourselves by imagining what significant others think of us and then incorporating these perceptions into our self-concepts. • People also have difficulty projecting forward and predicting how they would feel in response to future emotional events—a process known as affective forecasting. • They found that people overestimate the strength and duration of their emotional reactions, a phenomenon they call the impact bias. • Self-Perception Theory: The theory that when internal cues are difficult to interpret, people gain self-insight by observing their own behaviour. • Facial feedback hypothesis: The hypothesis that changes in facial expression can lead to corresponding changes in emotion. • As a keen observer of human behaviour, Twain anticipated a key distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation originates in factors within a person. People are said to be intrinsically motivated when they engage in an activity for the sake of their own interest, the challenge, or sheer enjoyment. • In contrast, extrinsic motivation originates in factors outside the person. People are said to be extrinsically motivated when they engage in an activity as a means to an end, for tangible benefits. It might be for money, grades, or recognition; to fulfill obligations; or to avoid punishment. • Over Justification effect: The tendency for intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that have become associated with reward or other extrinsic factors. • Social comparison theory: The theory that people evaluate their own abilities and opinions by comparing themselves to others. • Two-factor theory of emotion: The theory that the experience of emotion is based on two factors: physiological arousal and a cognitive interpretation of that arousal. • Roger Brown and James Kulik (1977) coined the term flashbulb memories to describe these enduring, detailed, high-resolution recollections, and speculated that humans are biologically equipped for survival purposes to “print” these dramatic events in memory. These flashbulb memories are not necessarily accurate, or even consistent over time. • Dialecticism: An Eastern system of thought that accepts the existence of contradictory characteristics within a single person. • Self-esteem: An affective component of the self, consisting of a person’s positive and negative self-evaluations. • According to Robert Wicklund and his colleagues self-awareness theory, people are not usually self-focused, but certain situations predictably force us to turn inward and become the objects of our own attention. When we talk about ourselves, glance in a mirror, stand before an audience or camera, watch ourselves on videotape, or behave in a conspicuous manner, we enter into a state of heightened self-awareness that leads us naturally to compare our behaviour to some standard. This comparison often results in a negative discrepancy and a temporary reduction in self-esteem as we discover that we fall short. • Self-awareness theory suggests two basic ways of coping with such discomfort: (1) “Shape up” by behaving in ways that reduce our self-discrepancies, or (2) “ship out” by withdrawing from self- awareness. • Just as situations evoke a state of self-awareness, certain individuals are characteristically more self-focused than others. Research has revealed an important distinction between private self-consciousness—the tendency to introspect about our inner thoughts and feelings—and public self-consciousness the tendency to focus on our outer public image • Implicit egotism: a non-conscious and subtle form of self- enhancement. • Marriage records found on various genealogical websites reveal that people are disproportionately likely to marry others with first or last names that resemble their own (Jones et al., 2004). In a subtle but remarkable way, we unconsciously seek out reflections of the self in our surroundings. Self-Serving Cognitions: - When students receive exam grades, those who do well take credit for their success; those who do poorly complain about the instructor and the test questions. When researchers have articles accepted for publication, they credit the quality of their work; when articles are rejected, they blame the editor and reviewers. When gamblers win a bet, they see themselves as skilful; when they lose, they moan and groan about fluke events that transformed near victory into defeat. Self-Handicapping: - On occasion, people make excuses for their past performance. Sometimes they even come up with excuses in anticipation of future performance. Particularly when people are afraid that they might fail in an important situation, they use illness, shyness, anxiety, pain, trauma, and other complaints as excuses. - Self-handicapping refers to actions people take to handicap their own performance in order to build an excuse for anticipated failure. - Still another paradoxical tactic used to reduce performance pressure is to play down our own ability, lower expectations, and predict for all to hear that we will fail—a self-presentation strategy known as “sandbagging” Basking in the Glory of Others - Basking in reflected glory (BIRG): To increase self-esteem by associating with others who are successful. - It seems that the tendency to bask in reflected glory is matched by an equally powerful tendency to CORF—that is, to “cut off reflected failure.” - Downward social comparison: The defensive tendency to compare ourselves with others who are worse off than we are. • Self-presentation: the process by which we try to shape what others think of us and what we think of ourselves. The Two Faces of Self-Presentation • There are basically two types of self-presentation, each serving a different motive. Strategic self-presentation consists of our efforts to shape others’ impressions in specific ways in order to gain influence, power, sympathy, or approval. • There are, however, two strategic self-presentation goals that are very common. The first is ingratiation, a term used to describe acts that are motivated by the desire to “get along” with others and be liked. The other is self-promotion, a term used to describe acts that are motivated by a desire to “get ahead” and gain respect for one’s competence. • The second self-presentation motive is self-verification: the desire to have others perceive us as we truly perceive ourselves. According to William Swann (1987), people are highly motivated to verify their existing self-concept in the eyes of others. Reading Three: 96- 138 Chapter 4: Observation: The Elements of Social Perception • Social perception: the processes by which people come to understand one another. • The social perceiver comes to know others by relying on indirect clues the elements of social perception. These clues arise from three sources: persons, situations, and behaviour. Persons: Judging a Book by its Cover • In 500 BCE, the mathematician Pythagoras looked into the eyes of prospective students to determine if they were gifted. At about the same time, Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, used facial features to make diagnoses of life and death. In the nineteenth century, Viennese physician Franz Gall introduced a carnival-like science called phrenology and claimed that he could assess people’s character by the shape of their skulls. • Physiognomy: the art of reading character from faces. Behavioural Evidence • In a new and developing area of research, social psychologists are interested in mind perception, the process by which people attribute humanlike mental states to various animate and inanimate objects, including other people. • People perceive minds along two dimensions: agency (a target’s ability to plan and execute behaviour) and experience (the capacity to feel pleasure, pain, and other sensations). Overall, the more “mind” respondents attributed to a character, the more they liked it, valued it, wanted to make it happy, and wanted to rescue it from destruction. • Nonverbal behaviour: Behaviour that reveals a person’s feelings without words through facial expressions, body language, and vocal cues. • The “anger superiority effect,” has found that people are quicker to spot—and slower to look away from—angry faces in a crowd than faces with neutral and less threatening emotions. • A structure in the brain known as the insula was activated not only when participants sniffed the disgusting odour but also when they watched others sniffing it. This result suggests that people more than recognize the face of disgust; they experience it at a neural level. • Many years ago, Nancy Henley (1977) observed that men, older persons, and those of high socioeconomic status were more likely to touch women, younger persons, and individuals of lower status than the other way around. Henley’s interpretation: that touching may be an expression not only of intimacy but of dominance and control. • There is a mismatch between the behavioural cues that actually signal deception and those used by perceivers to detect deception. To be more specific, four channels of communication provide relevant information: words, the face, the body, and the voice. Yet when people have a reason to lie, the words they choose cannot be trusted, and they are generally able to control both their face and body (the voice is the most telling channel; when people lie, they tend to hesitate, then speed up and raise the pitch of their voice). • The second problem is that people tend to assume that the way to spot a liar is to watch for signs of stress in his or her behaviour. Yet in important real-life situations for example, at a high-stakes poker table, the security screening area of an airport, or a police interrogation room—truth tellers are also likely to exhibit signs of stress. Attributions: From Elements to Dispositions • To interact effectively with others, we need to know how they feel and when they can be trusted. But to understand people well enough to predict their future behaviour, we must also identify their inner dispositions: stable characteristics such as personality traits, attitudes, and abilities. • Attribution Theory: A group of theories that describe how people explain the causes of behaviour. • Interested in how people answer these why questions, Heider found it particularly useful to group the explanations people give into two categories: personal and situational. • Consider the Chara case. What led him to hit Pacioretty the way he did? Did he intend to hurt him? He said no. But what caused the behaviour? Was it because he had a history of being an aggressive player and he liked taking on other players (a personal attribution), or because of an unfortunate accident that occurred in a naturally aggressive game (a situational attribution) Jones’s Correspondent Inference Theory: According to Edward Jones and Keith Davis (1965), each of us tries to understand other people by observing and analyzing their behaviour. Jones and Davis’s correspondent inference theory predicts that people try to infer from an action whether the act itself corresponds to an enduring personal characteristic of the actor. Kelley’s Covariation Theory: Correspondent inference theory seeks to describe how perceivers try to discern an individual’s personal characteristics from a slice of behavioural evidence. However, behaviour can be attributed not only to personal factors but to situational factors as well. • According to Kelley, people make attributions by using the covariation principle: In order for something to be the cause of a behaviour, it must be present when the behaviour occurs and absent when it does not. Three kinds of covariation information are particularly useful: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency. • Consensus information sees how different persons react to the same stimulus. • Distinctiveness information to see how the same person reacts to different stimuli. Attribution Biases Cognitive Heuristics: According to Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, and others, people often make attributions and other types of social judgments by using cognitive heuristics: information-processing rules of thumb that enable us to think in ways that are quick and easy but that frequently lead to error. • The availability heuristic can lead us astray in two ways. First, it gives rise to the false-consensus effect, a tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which others share their opinions, attributes, and behaviours. • A second consequence of the availability heuristic is that social perceptions are influenced more by one vivid life story than by hard statistical facts. Have you ever wondered why so many people buy lottery tickets despite the astonishingly low odds or why so many travellers are afraid to fly even though they are more likely to perish in a car accident? These behaviours are symptomatic of the base-rate fallacy—the fact that people are relatively insensitive to numerical base rates, or probabilities, and are influenced instead by graphic, dramatic events such as the sight of a multimillion-dollar lottery winner celebrating on TV or a photograph of bodies being pulled from the wreckage of a plane crash. • According to Daniel Kahneman and Dale Miller (1986), people’s emotional reactions to events are often coloured by counterfactual thinking, the tendency to imagine alternative outcomes that might have occurred but did not. • Fundamental attribution error: The tendency to focus on the role of personal causes and underestimate the impact of situations on other people’s behaviour. This error is sometimes called correspondence bias. • It now appears that social perception is a two-step process: First we identify the behaviour and make a quick personal attribution; then we correct or adjust that inference to account for situational influences. • The tendency to make personal attributions for the behaviour of others and situational attributions for ourselves is called the actor- observer effect. • Belief in a Just World: The belief that individuals get what they deserve in life, an orientation that leads people to disparage victims. • Summation model of impression formation: The more positive traits there are, the better. • Averaging model of impression formation: The higher the average value of all the various traits, the better. • Information Integration Theory: The theory that impressions are based on perceiver dispositions and a weighted average of a target person’s traits. Deviations from the Arithmetic • Priming: The tendency for recently used or perceived words or ideas to come to mind easily and influence the interpretation of new information. • Individuals can reliably be distinguished from one another along five broad traits, or factors: extroversion, emotional stability, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. • Implicit Personality Theory: A network of assumptions people make about the relationships among traits and behaviours. • Need for closure: The desire to reduce cognitive uncertainty, which heightens the importance of first impressions. • Confirmation biases: tendencies to interpret, seek, and create information in ways that verify existing beliefs. • Belief Perseveration: The tendency to maintain beliefs even after they have been discredited. • Self-fulfilling prophecy: The process by which one’s expectations about a person eventually lead that person to behave in ways that confirm those expectations. Pg. 138 – 187 Chapter 5- The Nature of Problem: Persistence and Change • Racism: Prejudice and discrimination based on a person’s racial background, or institutional and cultural practices that promote the domination of one racial group over another. • Sexism: Prejudice and discrimination based on a person’s gender, or institutional and cultural practices that promote the domination of one gender over another. • Stereotype: A belief or association that links a whole group of people with certain traits or characteristics. • Prejudice: Negative feelings toward persons based on their membership in certain groups. • Discrimination: Negative behaviour directed against persons because of their membership in a particular group. • Group: Two or more persons perceived as related because of their interactions with each other over time, membership in the same social category, or common fate. • Ingroups: Groups with which an individual feels a sense of membership, belonging, and identity. • Outgroups: Groups with which an individual does not feel a sense of membership, belonging, or identity. • Modern racism: a subtle form of prejudice that surfaces in direct ways whenever it is safe, socially acceptable, or easy to rationalize. Modern racism is far more subtle and most likely to be present under the cloud of ambiguity. According to theories of modern racism, many people are racially ambivalent. They want to see themselves as fair, but they still harbour feelings of anxiety and discomfort concerning other racial groups. • To contrast it from explicit racism, many scholars call racism that operates unconsciously and unintentionally implicit racism. Undetected by individuals who want to be fair and unbiased, implicit racism—along with other forms of implicit prejudice— can skew their judgments, feelings, and behaviours, without inducing the guilt that more obvious, explicit forms of racism would trigger. • Individuals engaging in intergroup interactions often activate metastereotypes, or thoughts about the outgroup’s stereotypes about them, and worry about being seen as consistent with these stereotypes. Sexism: Ambivalence and Double Standards • There are some ways that sexism is different, however. Gender stereotypes are distinct from virtually all other stereotypes in that they are prescriptive rather than merely descriptive. That is, they indicate what many people in a given culture believe men and women should be. • Ambivalent sexism consists of two elements: hostile sexism, characterized by negative, resentful feelings about women’s abilities, value, and ability to challenge men’s power; and benevolent sexism, characterized by affectionate, chivalrous feelings founded on the potentially patronizing belief that women need and deserve protection. Although hostile sexism is clearly more negative and many women feel favourably toward men who exhibit benevolent sexism. • According to optimal distinctiveness theory, for example, people try to balance the desire to belong and affiliate with others, on the one hand, and the desire to be distinct and differentiated from others, on the other hand. • Superordinate goals, mutual goals that could be achieved only
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