PS374- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 25 pages long!)

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PS374
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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PS374 Applied Social Psych 1/13/2015 2:31:00 PM
A Brief History of Social Psychology
Social psychology defined:
- The scientific study of how individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
are influenced by other people
- A science of people, rather than other species
- Others do not need to be physically present to influence us
- Our behaviour and attitudes/thoughts do not always correspond with one
another
Influence of others:
- 1. Interpret events
Behaviour occurs in a social context
- 2. Feel about ourselves
Social comparison theory
- 3. Behave
The presence of others can change how we act in a situation
Ex. Deindividuation
A brief history lesson:
- Has roots in philosophy
Ex. Distinction between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours was noted by
Plato
Ex. Humans are social beings (Aristotle)
The history of social psychology:
- The first published social psychology experiment:
Triplett (1898) on social facilitation (said others raced faster when against
others compared to just against a clock)
The dark ages: behaviourism:
- 1920 - 1950
- Doctrine: only observable behaviours can be studied scientifically
Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and not
repeat responses that lead to negative outcomes
- No need to study subjective mental states like thinking and feeling
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Kurt Lewin (1890 1947)
- Founder of modern social psychology
- Opposed to behaviourism
- Gestalt theory: importance of people’s subjective interpretations
“The unified whole is different form the sum of the parts”
- Behaviour is a function of a person + environment
- Applied gestalt principles to social perception
A brief history lesson:
- Much research inspired by events of WWII
The jail study experiment (Zimbardo)
Persuasion (Hitler and WWII)
- Late 1940/1950’s turned away from applied research and focus on
rigorously controlled lab experiments
- Social upheaval of the 1960’s
Ex. Civil rights movement
Ex. Vietnam war protests
Ex. Women’s rights movement
Addressing social problems
- Applied social psychology applies science to address social issues
Ex. Environmental degradation
Ex. Health epidemics
Ex. Prejudice
Ex. Violence
Addressing individual issues
- Health
- Happiness
- Personal relationships
- Learning / education
Theme: the power of the situation:
- Situations exert powerful influences over our behaviour
- We often fail to recognize this
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