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Social Psychology

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS270
Professor
Eileen Wood
Semester
Fall

Description
Social Psychology -MCgraw hill connect…. -Midterm 1 -30% October 24th, Midterm 2 November - 30%, Final exam- 40% -Optional Assignment 1: 2%, optional assignment 2: 2% -The Kitty Genovese Murder, 1960’s. -Lived in an apartment, that faced a courtyard -murder took place over 45 minutes, stabbed by an mentally ill man, cried for help -attacker left and returned to the scene many time until police came. -38 people witnessed the murder from inside the apartment building but no one did anything or alerted anyone. -Abu Ghraib -War in iraq, held in a detention camp -Showing that the USA military was putting the men through degrading, embarrassing situations. -Stanford Prison Experiment -20 men took the role as mock prisoners and mock guards for a couple weeks, all the men were deemed mentally stable, but being put in this situation, similar behavior to Abu Ghrai situation. -Social Psychological Questions- -What is social psychology -The scientific study of how people think about, influence and relate to one another. -Goes beyond folk Wisdom ie: Topics that we all have ideas or opinions on how things operate, social psych uses scientific experiments and knowledge. -Tries to establish a scientific basis for understanding social behavior- experimental method -Key Features-Social behavior and thought, identifying causes, role of cognitive, scientific method. -Sociology and personality psychology are the closes subjects. Sociology tends to look at a macro group where social psychology looks more at an individual case or an individual situation. Personality tends to study characteristics that make people unique and different from one another. -Important themes in social psychology. -The power of the situation -The role of construal- reactions in a situation depend on interpretation and inference of which we may be unaware. Subject construction of reality. How someone individually interpret a certain situation. -Interplay of motivational and cognitive factors-Motivation-hopes, wishes, desires. Cognition- how the mind works -Applicable to important social issues Important themes: Culture -Culture is relevant throughout the course -Psychology of culture- how does culture influence how we understand, influence and relate tot others. -Cultural comparisons- Do the phenomena observed in Western samples generalize to other cultures What is Culture?-The man made part of the environment 1. Material culture 2.Subjective Culture- unquestioned assumptions, standard operating procedures. “Culture is to society what memory is to individuals”. -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. Individualist(relative to collectivists) -Attend to social groups less -Are proud of persona accomplishments -Define status by accomplishments, rather than relationships -Are competitive -Are not as concerned about cooperation and smooth social interaction September 12 th -Social Psychology and common sense -Beauty and brains don’t mix -Larger rewards make people enjoy activities more -People believe they’re more unique than they really are -Violent games release aggression, making people less aggressive -People are perceived to be less intelligent the better looking they are -the common sense criticism -Day after day social scientists go into the world and discover that peoples behavior is pretty much what you would expect. -Problems with the common sense criticism 1.Common wisdom is unclear, ambiguous, and contradictory Competing proverbs- Too many cooks spoil the broth- two heads are better than one. You cant teach a dog new tricks- you are never too old to learn. 2.Common wisdom is often inaccurate, or incomplete-Eg. Fundamental attribution error- the tendency to overestimate personality as a cause of others behavior and to underestimate the power of the situation. None of the common sense studies are true – more attractive people are more intelligent- halo effect. Lower rewards seems to make people enjoy activities less. People see themselves as more similar to each other as they really are. Violent video game does not release peoples aggressions, but instead it increases aggression. 3.Hindsight bias( I-Knew-It-All-Along effect) -Experiment demonstrating the hindsight bias(Fishoff 1975) -Participants get given 100 trivia questions –Condition 1 estimates the likelihood that you have answered the question correct before knowing the answer. –condition 2 after knowing the answer, estimate the likelihood that you would have knows the answer if you had not been given the answer. Research methods -Social psychology methods-social psychology is a science. Empirical-cased on direct observation. Test hypothesis against systematic observation. -Hypothesis: statement about how two or more variables are thought to be related. Eg- increased exposure to media violence leads to increase in aggression -Independent variable(IV)-the presumed cause in a causal hypothesis -Dependant variable- the presumed effect in a causal hypothesis. -Theory: an organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenomena -Social psychologists engage in a continual process of theory refinement -Researchers often see a phenomenon in everyday life, devise a theory and design a study to test it. Experimental vs. Correlation studies -Independent variable- (experimental – manipulated)(correlation measured) -Dependant variable (experimental –measured)(Correlation- measured) Correlation Research -Can reveal whether changes in one variable are associated with changes in a second variable. -Direction and strength of relationship index by the Pearson correlation coefficient. Correlation and Cause -The three possible causal interpretations 1. Causation X-Y 2. Reverse Causation Y-X 3. Third Variable-Z-X Three possible causal interpretations on violent video games 1.Causation: Video Games- Aggression 2.Reverse Causation: Aggression-Video Games 3.Third Variable: Parental values-Video games OR aggression Experimental Research -Can reveal whether changes in one variable, lead to changes in another variable. -Cause and effect -Two key features: 1. Manipulation of IV 2. Random assignment to conditions. -Strive to ensure that experimental conditions are identical except for the IV manipulation -Random assignment- the great equalizer -Internal Validity. Subject Self Selection -Have different groups to compare -But participants may have selected themselves into groups( no assignment) eq. those who were using connect could have been more motivated in the first place. -If so, study has poor internal validity Why not Always use an experiment? Limits of experimentation -Some variables cannot be manipulated-gender, age, race -Ethical concerns about manipulation-smoking, unsafe sex -Artificially of studies-mundane vs. psychological realism Ethics of experimentation -Deception-misleading participants about purpose or events in study -Social psychologists sometimes employ cover stories- to increase psychological realism. -Debriefing-explaining the purpose of a study and exactly what transpired th September 17 The Self -We are interested in learning about ourselves more than about other human beings. -Dulity 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 an as object of perception. Self-concept and self esteem -Self-concept- our thoughts about ourselves, cognitions and beliefs -Self Esteem- our evaluations of ourselves, beliefs about our own value and worth, feelings of liking or disliking for ourselves. -Self Concept -Personal identity- physical attributes, beliefs , traits, abilities -Social Identity- social groups and social roles. Family, race, gender, school, etc. Flexibility of the self-concept -There is stability in our self-views -But there is also flexibility eg: working self-concept. Working concept- depending on your scenario or surroundings will change how you view yourself. -Context matters -Context determines identity salience -Social distinctiveness-minority identity often salient 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 is-many identities –little overlap across identities -Helps buffer against adversity Cultural difference in self concept -Individualist self (individualist) -Emphasis on the individual including rights, independence, and difference from other individuals -Strive for uniqueness -Collectivist self -Emphasis on the group and interrelatedness with others, including relationships, roles, duties -Strive for social harmony Function of self -Executive function -Self regulation: allows planned behavior -Possible selves -Emotional function -Determines our emotional responses -Organizational function -Acts as a schema to help us interpret and recall information about ourselves and the social world Self-control and Ego depletion- self-control as a limited resource Self Esteem -Self esteem is NOT strongly related to- academic performances, career success, better interpersonal relationships, physical health -But it IS strongly related to- happiness and well-being, beliefs about the 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 experiences that serve to organize and guide processing of self-related information -Schematics- people who possess a self-schema for a particular dimension-eg: independence Self Schemas, Markus(1977) -Participants were schematic for independence or dependence or were aschematic -Based on extremity and importance ratings -Adjectives indicating dependence (tolerant, conforming, obliging) and independence (independent, individualistic, assertive) were presented onscreen- pressed me or not me September 26th Cognitive Confirmation Bias -going over basic principles of cognition, judgements, decision making -processing information in a way that supports our existing schemas -1.interpret behavior as a consistent -1.Interpretation of ambiguous behavior. eg. Playful push or violent shove. 2. Pay attention to consistent behavior Heuristics and Biases -Availability Heuristic -People base judgements on the ease with which they can bring something to mind rd -eg. Are words beginning with K more common than words with K as their 3 letter? -eg. How common is violent crimes? -Availability and self judgment - -Availability con influence self-judgements -Participants recalled their own assertive or unassertive behaviors -Recalled either 6 or 12 behaviors -Representativness heuristic -people classifly something based on how similar it is to a typical case -Susan-shy and withdrawn, always helpful, but has little interest in people -What is the probability susan is a: lawyer, librarian, teacher Heuristics -Mental shortcuts that save people time and cognitive resources -But they also lead to predictable biases in judgment -People overuse representativeness and availability and ignore other useful information Character Judment Exercise -is the adjective characteristics of the person you are thinking of 1.yes 2.depends 3.yes 4.depends 5.yes 6.yes Me: 1.depends 2.yes 3.yes 4. depends 5.depends 6. yes Attribution: explaining behavior - Attribution theory- a description of how people explain the causes of behavior - To predict behavior, control behavior, learn about enduring traits - Affect peoples feelings, expectations, reactions and impressions -Two types of attributions -Internal attributions- something about the person is the cause, such as an attitude, a preference, or a personality trait. -External attribution- something about the situation is the cause. Most people would react in the same way in those circumstances. Covariation Model -Naïve scientist model -To determine a cause, see how the behavior covaries(changes) with the situation, different actors, and different targets of behaviors. -Consensus- How do most people behave towards this stimulus. -Distinctiveness- How does this actor behave towards other relevant stimuli -Consistency- October 3 rd Attitude Measurement -Self report measures 1. single item measures 2. attitude measures -Observational measures 1.Overt behavior 2.Nonverbal cues 3. The subject often doesn’t know it. -IAT tests that look at different kinds of attitudes, they are categorization stimuli Functions of attitudes 1.Utilitarian function of attitudes -Associative conditioning of attitudes 2.Ego defensive function of attitudes -Terror management theory, manage anxiety around their certain death 3. Value expressive unction of attitudes -Reference groups 4. Knowledge function of attitudes Moderators of the attitude- behavior link -the presumption that attitudes would be strong determinations of behavior. -this assumption didn’t hold up, that attitude was not links to the behavior around them. -Competing pressures, multiple act criteria(averaging), eg. Environmental attitudes -Specificity of the attitude eg. Using he birth control pill -Attitude strength-extremity, importance, accessibility- directly related to direct experience -Personality. Individual differences. Self monitoring, the extent which people chronically adapt their behavior to the demands of the situation.low self monitors d not change as much from situation to situation -Spontaneous, automatic behavior Priming and behavior -Priming concepts or social categories can influence behaviors -Eg- priming rude vs polite -Eg- priming elderly 1.strongly agree 2.agree 3.agree 4.yes 5.i haveee……… 6.no What does behavior determine attitudes -Cognitive dissonance- an unpleasant internal state that results when people notice inconsistencies in their cognitions about attitudes beliefs and behaviors. -People are motivated to reduce dissonance -common sources: att
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