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PS270 Midterm Review.docx

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Christian Jordan

PS270- Lecture Notes- Chapter Readings- Midterm Review 1 Week 1: Intro and Methods-Chapter 1 What is social psychology? -the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another -goes beyond folk wisdom -tries to establish a scientific basis for understanding social behavior -social and personality psychology are closely related Important themes (1) the power of the situation (2) the role of the construal -reactions to a situation depend on interpretation and inference (which we may be unaware of) (3) interplay of motivational and cognitive factors -motivation=hopes, wishes, desires -cognition=how the mind works (4) applicable to important social issues What is culture? -the man-made part of the environment -cultural ideas are shared -subcultures can emerge (1) material culture (2) subjective culture- unquestioned assumptions, standard operating procedures Cultural syndromes -shared elements of subjective culture organized around a theme (1) cultural complexity (2) tightness (3) vertical and horizontal cultures (4) individualism and collectivism -individualists (relative to collectivists); attend social groups less, proud of personal accomplishments, define status by accomplishments, competitive, believe in autonomy and self-reliance The common sense criticism ‘Day after day social scientists go into the world and discover that people’s behavior is pretty much what you’d expect’ Problems with the common-sense criticism: (1) common wisdom is unclear, ambiguous, contradictory (2) common wisdom is often inaccurate or incomplete e.g. fundamental attribution error (tendency to overestimate personality as a cause of behavior and underestimate the power of the situation) (3) hindsight bias (I knew it all along effect) Social psychology research methods -empirical; based on direct observation -test hypotheses against systematic observation -social psychologists engage in a continual process of theory refinement theoryhypothesistestrevise(repeat) Hypothesis: statement about how two or more variables are thought to be related Independent variable (IV): the presumed cause (in a causal hypothesis) Dependent variable (DV): the presumed effect (in a causal hypothesis) Theory: an organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenomena Correlational research -can reveal whether changes in one variable are associated with changes in a second variable -direction and strength of relationship indexed by the Pearson correlation coefficient (r=-1.0 to r=1.0) Correlation and cause Three possible causal interpretations; (1) Causation XY (2) Reverse causation YX (3) Third Variable ZY OR ZX Experimental research -can reveal whether changes in one variable (IV) lead to changes in another variable (DV) -cause and effect -key features; (1) manipulation of IV, (2) random assignment to conditions Survey research Four potentially biasing influences; (1) unrepresentative samples (2) order of questions (3) response bias and social desirability (4) wording of questions Week 2: The Self-Chapter 2 Duality of the self -the “I” (subjective consciousness); active information processor, the knower -the “Me” (an object of consciousness); self-concept, the known, beliefs about the self that result from treating oneself as an object of perception Self-concept and self-esteem Self-concept: our thoughts about ourselves; cognitions, beliefs Self-esteem: our evaluations of ourselves; beliefs about our own value and worth; feelings of liking or disliking ourselves Self-concept -personal identity=physical attributes, beliefs, traits, abilities -social identity=social groups and social roles (family, race, gender, school, etc.) Structure of the self-concept Self-complexity: whether people think about themselves as having many distinct identities -assessed using a card-sorting task -high complexity if; (a) many identities, or (b) little overlap across identities Cultural differences in self-concept (1) Individualist self (independent) -emphasis on the individual, including rights ,independence and differences from other individuals -strive for uniqueness (“standing out”) ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ (2) Collectivist self (interdependent) -emphasis on the group and interrelatedness with others, including relationships, roles, duties -strive for social harmony (“fitting in”) ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered down’ Functions of the self (1) Executive function -self-regulations; allows planned behavior -possible selves (2) Emotional function -determines our emotional responses (3) Organizational function -acts as a schema to help us interpret and recall information about ourselves and the social world Self-reference effect -people remember new information better when they try to relate it to themselves -have participants read a list of words with various processing goals in mind Self-schemas Self-schema: generalizations about ourselves based on past experience, that serve to organize and guide processing of self-related information Schematics: people who possess a self-schema for a particular dimension (e.g. independence) Schematics (1) recall more behavioral evidence (2) make more confident self-predictions (3) are more resistant to counter-schematic information (4) judge others more readily in terms of schematic dimension How do we learn about ourselves? (1) Introspection: the process whereby people look inward and examine their own thoughts, motives and feelings -we have ‘inside information’ -only accounts for about 8% of thoughts -introspection may often be inaccurate Schacter’s two-factor model; emotion=arousal + label (cognition); what we feel depends on how we label arousal, based on external cues (2) By observing our own behavior Bem’s Self-Perception theory: we infer how we feel from how we behave -when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain or ambiguous, we infer these states by observing our behavior in relevant situations Self-perception theory: when inferring our feelings ,we attribute our behavior to either our feelings OR the situation Intrinsic motivation: the desire to engage in an activity because we enjoy it, or find it interesting Extrinsic motivation: the desire to engage in an activity because of external rewards or pressures Over-justification: introducing extrinsic motivation for activities that are intrinsically motivating can make people lose interest in them Over-justification effect -rewards undermine performance only when intrinsic interest in a task is initially high -task-contingent rewards vs. performance-contingent rewards (3) Through social interaction Symbolic interactionism: self is a reflection of the appraisals made by significant others (labeling, socialization, parenting, etc.) The “looking-glass self” (Cooley): the idea that we see ourselves through the eyes of other people and incorporate their perceptions of us into our self-concept Reflected appraisals -sometimes others’ actual views of us do impact our self-views (college students changed self-views in line with roommates’ initial impression-but college student self-concepts also affected roommates’ opinions of them) Social comparison -we can also come to know ourselves by comparing ourselves to other people Social comparison theory: we learn about our attitudes and abilities by comparing them to those of other people learn whether our attitudes are normativelearn our standing on ability dimensions -when our performance level is unclear or ambiguous; no objective standard for appraisal -comparing ourselves to people who are similar to us is most informative; goal of accurate self-appraisal Social comparison and self-esteem -can affect how we feel about ourselves Upward comparison: comparisons made to someone better-off than us Downward comparison: comparisons made to someone worse-off than us Role models -people who demonstrate outstanding abilities; super stars Self-enhancement -goal of enhancing positive self-views through social comparison -seek downward, avoid upward -people can selectively seek downward comparisons (diary study) -they can even invent worse-off others (cancer patients) SEM theory Impacts of social comparison depends on: (1) direction of comparison (2) psychological closeness of the other person (3) importance or relevance of the domain -basking in reflected glory (BIRGing): when someone close outperforms us on a task that is not relevant to us Tesser & Smith; the password game -give your partner clues to guess a word -played game with (1) a friend or (2) a stranger -told performance does or does not predict intelligence and leadership ability -irrelevant task= helped the friend more than the stranger -relevant task=helped the stranger more than the friend Biases in self-perception -self-serving attributions -people take credit for success; make internal attributions -avoid blame for failures; make external attributions Positive illusions (1) unrealistic positive self-views; ‘better-than-average’ effect (2) unrealistic optimism (3) exaggerated perceptions of control (dice throws, lottery ticket picking) Textbook definitions: Individualism: the concept of giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications Collectivism: giving priority to the goals of one’s groups (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly Interdependent self: construing one’s identity in relation to others False consensus effect: the tendency to overestimate the commonality of one’s opinions and one’s undesirable or unsuccessful behaviors False uniqueness effect: the tendency to underestimate the commonality of one’s abilities and one’s desirable or successful behaviors Temporal comparison: a comparison between how the self is viewed now and how the self was viewed in the past or how the self is expected to be viewed in the future Week 3: Social Cognition- Chapter 3 Schemas Schemas: mental structures people use to organize their knowledge around themes -organized knowledge -abstract knowledge -based on past experiences (direct or indirect) -influence what information we notice, think about and remember (1) person schemas (stereotypes) (2) event schemas (scripts) (3) self-schemas Functions of schemas (1) simplify perceptions -impose structure -aid in understanding -e.g. visual agnosia (2) guide information processing -direct attention -guide memory -guide inferences Which schemas are used? Accessibility: the extent to which schemas are at the forefront of people’s mind, and thus likely to be used in judgments -chronic accessibility -priming (temporary accessibility) Applicable primes: (1) positive; more positive interpretations, (2) negative; more negative interpretations Non-applicable primes: gave more moderate and mixed interpretations, regardless of prime type Cognitive confirmation bias -processing information in a way that supports our existing schemas (1) interpret behavior as consistent a) interpret behavior of ambiguous behavior; e.g. playful push or violent shove? b) pay attention to consistent behavior (2) remember behaviors as consistent Snyder & Uranowitz -all subjects read a long story about Betty K.’s teenage years -later they learn she is now either in a committed lesbian relationship or heterosexually married DV= recognition memory of event from her
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