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Social Psychology Textbook Notes.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
Sociology 2233
Professor
Tom Murphy

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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY TEXTBOOK NOTESChapter OneSocial Psychology scientific study of the way in which peoples thoughts feelings and behaviours are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other peopleo Social influence direct attempts at persuasion to deliberately change a persons behaviour Construal the way in which people perceive comprehend and interpret the social worldo Examplein a murder trial no matter how much compelling evidence is presented the verdict hinges on how each member of the jury construes that evidenceIn the OJ Simpson trial hair and DNA was presented but the jury still decided that Simpson was not guilty of murdering his wife and her friendNave Realism o Lee Ross created this termo The conviction all of us have that we perceive things as they really areWe believe other reasonable people see things the way we doo Example Israelis and Palestinians recognize that they both view things differently but refuse to come to a compromise fearing that the other side will benefit more Social psychology is based on experiments Information is gathered empirically and systematically rather than using folk wisdom common sense opinions etc Experiments o Social psychologists first create hypotheseso Performs experiments to test hypotheses about the nature of the social world Social psychology is rooted in individuals The level of analysis is the individual in the context of a social situation The goal of social psychology is to identify universal properties of human nature that make everyone susceptible to social influence regardless of social class or culturePersonality psychologists try to explain social behaviour using individual differencesthe aspects of peoples personalities that make them different from other peopleo Social psychologists differ than this because to get a deeper understanding of why people do what they do by looking at social influence ex charismatic leaders convincing people to do certain thingsFundamental attribution errorthe tendency to explain peoples behaviour in terms of personality traits thereby underestimating the power of social influenceo We blame the victims of violence Ex Battered or sexually abused woman can often be seen as somehow causing the attack We underestimate the power of social influence and label people who do repugnant things as flawed human beings because we are worried that a similar thing could happen to us Gestalt psychology a school of psychology stressing the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in peoples minds rather than the objective physical attributes of the objecto The whole is different from the sum of its partsTwo motives of primary importanceo The need to be accurate o The need to feel good about ourselvesSuffering and selfjustificationo Example a hockey player enduring hazing to be accepted by his teammates will say it is pleasant because he will try to justify his decision by seeing his teammates in the best possible light to avoid looking like a fool for undergoing it in the first place Human beings are motivated to maintain a positive picture of themselves in part by justifying past behaviour Under certain specific conditions this leads hem to do things that at first glance might seem surprising Social cognition how people thing about themselves and the social world more specifically how people select interpret remember and use social informationIndividuals typically act on the basis of incomplete and inaccurately interpreted informationo Ex A person may not have all the facts before agreeing to marry someoneSelffulfilling prophecy o Example Rosenthal and Jacobson created an experiment where they administered a test to elementary students and told the teacher specific students had done extremely well on the test After Rosenthal and Jacobson returned a few weeks later the teacher had given extra attention to those children who did well and they were improving very well in school compared to the other children This was repeated in many schools Evolutionary approacho Created by Charles Darwin 1859 o Natural selectionprocess by which heritable traits that promote survival in a particular environment are passed along to future generations because organisms with that trait are more likely to reproduceo Evolutionary psychologythe attempt to explain social behaviour in terms of genetic factors that evolved over time according to the principles of natural selectionChapter TwoHindsight biaspeople exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred Up to 65 percent of participants administered what they thought were nearlethal shocks to another subject Rewarding people for doing something they enjoy will typically make them like that activity less in the future People who did not analyze their feelings were the most satisfied with their choice of posters when contacted a few weeks later Repeated exposure increases liking for a stimulusPeople who were distracted made the best choices possibly because distraction allowed them to consider the problem unconsciously When women think there are sex differences on a test they do worse because of stereotype threatthe fear that they might confirm a negative stereotype about their gender When women are told that there are no gender differences in performance on the test they do as well as men Theoryan organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenomena Hypothesisa testable statement or idea about the relationship between two or more variables Social psychologists engage in theory refinementdevelop a theory test hypotheses revise theory and formulate new hypothesesKitty Genovese o Brutally attacked for 45 minutes in the middle of an apartment complex not one of the bystanders called the police for help o Diffusion of responsibilityassumption that someone else will deal with an issue in a busy place Operational definitionthe precise specification of how variables are measured or manipulated Observational methodo It is the technique whereby a researcher observes people and systematically records measurements of their behaviouro Ethnographythe method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or culture by observing it from the inside without imposing any preconceived notion they might haveo Observe a group in actiono People change their behaviour when they know they are being observed ex A bully doesnt engage in bullying when adults are around o Interjudge reliabilitylevel of agreement between two or more people who independently observe and code a set of data by showing that two or more judges independently come up with the same observations researchers ensure that the observations are not the subjective impressions of one individualo Archival analysisa form of observational method whereby the researcher examines the accumulated document or archives of a culture ex Diaries novels magazines etc Correlational methodo A technique whereby researchers systematically measure two or more variables and assess the relation between them ex How much one can be predicted from the othero Correlation coefficientstatistic that assesses how well you can predict one variable based on another ex How well you can predict peoples weight from their height Positiveincreases in the value of one variable are associated with increases in the other variable Ex Height and weight are positively correlated 100 perfect positiveNegativeincreases in the value of one variable are associated with decreases in the other variable Ex The more a student skips class the lower the mark will be 100 perfect negative
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