Nov 3 Social Psychology.docx

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Dan Dolderman

PSY100H © Lis| Page 1011 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY  social psychology studies the envmtal factors influencing behaviour  what the circumstances are  social psychology B = f (P × E)  P – personal factors  E – extra-personal factors (situational factors) The Power of the Situation  When you see a person doing x and you wonder why, look first at their circumstances, before drawing any conclusions about "what kind of person they are"  we often default to this dispositional explanation: “bad things are done by bad ppl, good ppl are done to good ppl”(fundamental attribution error)  If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?  the power of social influence: in some ways, we all know that social norms are important ex. choosing what you wear  we are governed by social norms, the power of social norms, we care about what ppl think of us  you want to create a certain impression  even if you dress crazily, you are going against that social norm  convo w/ a stranger is according to social norms  Social influence  Stanley Milgram - 1 person looks up at sky - 4% of passersby look up  a small group - huge crowd look up  evolutionary adaptive to follow social norms, they are probably looking at something important  social norms becomes a heuristic - when in doubt do what everyone else is doing, unless they are doing something destructive; our behaviour gets sucked into those of others whether functional or non-functional  The power of social norms  jawywalking, fashion, racist jokes, hair styles  The power of the situation  ex. helping  good samaritan study - late vs. on time Kitty Genovese 1964  attacked in parking-lot, ppl see, attacker flees, attacker returns and kills her, no one called police  “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police”  how could that happen? what is wrong with people in our society today? is the isolationism and rugged individualism of our techno-dependent soulless modern society turning us all into selfish people who don‟t care about our neighbours?  individualism of our techno-dependent soulless modern society turning us all into uncaring selfish indiv.  38 ppl were there who didn‟t call the police  maybe it was BECAUSE there were 38 ppl watching that they didn‟t call the police PSY100H © Lis| Page 2011 Diffusion of Responsibility  “someone else will do it”  individuals take responsibility (e.g., self-awareness studies on $, halloween candy, value-congruence)  a mirror in front  conscious flare up, you see yourself, aware of yourself, see yourself doing a morally wrong act  but “group members” can act very differently, losing their individual identity in the group and thereby feeling excused of their actions as the group members validate each other‟s perspectives  But "group members" can act differently because who is responsible?  depersonalize the person  less self-aware  indiv. mind gets subsumed by group mind  ppl don't think of themselves as an indiv. anymore, they are thinking as the team  can function more effectively as a group  Being violent and nasty AND “doing your best,” helping, making a difference, standing up for what‟s right are MUCH easier to do in a group (when validated w/ other ppl)  It‟s hard to act alone  It‟s hard to act alone  being violent and nasty and doing your best, helping, is better done in a group Seizure Study  looking at helping behaviour in response to social pressure  subjects have convo w/ intercom system, each in a cubicle  one person (confederate) says he has epilepsy and may need help if something happens  start talking, partway through, the guy has a seizure  variation occurred w/ how many ppl in the group  only you w/ the guy, 98% help  you, guy, ONE other person, 88%  you, guy, TWO other ppl, 78%  decrease to 4 ppl, 30%  Fewer ppl help if others seem available – diffusing the responsibility Sitting in a Smoke-Filled Room  in room all by yourself, take action to see where the smoke is coming from, 80%  if in room with a group of ppl, you don‟t want to be embarrassed (it may not be a big deal; uncertainty), look around to see what everyone else is doing, if nobody else is doing anything, then you think it isn‟t a big deal  Pluralistic ignorance: disjunction between private beliefs and public behaviours (group norms)  ex. (smoke-filled room exp.) private beliefs – building on fire, group norm – everything is okay; norm overwhelms private beliefs  prevailing norm overwhelms private opinions  also applies to repressive political systems, destructive social patterns (e.g., racism), unhealthy behaviours (e.g., binge drinking), not putting your hand up in class, not taking action on climate change PSY100H © Lis| Page 3011 Uncertainty and Social Norms  When situations are ambiguous and we‟re not sure what to do or what is right, we rely upon others to help us make these judgements, and we come to believe in these judgements  we end up internalizing our behaviour (believing that this is how it is supposed to do)  The autokinetic effect, Muzafer Sherif  visual illusion, don't know the right answer  stationary light on the wall, asked ppl to stare at it, start seeing light moving back and forth, distance it moves varies b/w the ppl  alone, variability in number of inches of mvment  eventually settle on a group norm  alone again, stay with the group norm Conformity: Asch Study  even though knows the right answer, ppl still conform to wrong answer  Results?  75% of people
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