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CAS PS 261 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Collectivism, Stereotype, Tobacco Smoking


Department
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Course Code
CAS PS 261
Professor
Mercurio
Study Guide
Midterm

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CAS PS 261
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018

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September 5th
Social Psychology — Lecture 1
Attributions: why do people say what they say and do what they do?
Attributions are important for forming impressions of people as well as for blaming the victim
(blaming the victim for putting him/her self at risk). The victim’s actions are the reason of the bad
event happening.
Aggression: why are males more physically violent than females? Do video games promote
violence? Does acting aggression out make you less aggressive?
Persuasion: how can we change people’s attitudes? How do politicians get votes? Are there
ways to try to change the mind of a person? How to marketers convince us to buy things?
-Persuasive tactic that marketers use is announcing that a product is going “into the vault”.
This strategy makes people buy things because it “threatens” their freedom (to use the
product).
Attractions
-How to friendships/relationships develop? What factors affect this development (social
media)?
Altruism
-When do we help others?
-Why do we help some people and not others?
-How can we increase altruistic types of behavior? How can we change the environment so
that people are more willing to be altruistic? Keep in mind that the environment always affects
people.
Conformity and Obedience
-When are the times that we are more likely to conform? What factors change our likelihood to
conform?
-Are some people more likely to conform or obey?
Stereotype, Prejudice and discrimination
-how to stereotype affect our judgment?
-What are the effects of prejudice and discrimination? (health, performance, career aspiration,
job prospects).
Social Psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence and relate to one
another (both individually and in groups).
It is also the study of individual in social situations.
Lewin is one of the fathers of social psychology and proposed the idea that behavior was a
function of the individual characteristics x the social situation. In other words, in order to
understand people, you need to include the individual as well as the social circumstances.
Individual characteristics are factors individual to the person (such as personality, attitudes,
biases).
Social situation is anything outside to the person (this could be another person, physical
environment, culture).
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What are the main areas of social psychology?
1. social thinking/ cognition — the way that we think and feel about things affects our judgment,
our behavior…
2. social influence
3. social relations
Big ideas in social psychology:
1. we construct our social reality
2. social influences shape our behavior. Things that influence us are very important but we
often cannot determine how these factors influence our behavior.
3. personal attitudes and dispositions also shape behavior. Social psychology recognizes that
people attitudes and characteristics also play a big part in shaping behavior.
4. Social behavior is biologically rooted
5. our social institutions are often powerful but can lead us astray
6. social psychology’s principles, ideas and theories are applicable in everyday life
September 7th, 2017
Social Psychology — Lecture 2
Research in Social Psychology
Descriptive and Experimental Methods:
-descriptive methods (the “what”). What is going on in the situation or in environment? We are
simply measuring and describing what is there without changing anything. The aim is to
detect the correlation between two or more variables.
-observational research/naturalistic observation
-correlational/survey research (often done using questionnaires or interviews, self-report
interviews)
-experimental methods (the “why”). This kind of methodology gets to the reason why there is a
certain outcome. You can make causal statements of the data.
-lab experiments
-field experiments
In the correlational research two or more variables are measured. The correlation coefficient (r)
is used to evaluate linear relations: -1 (negative correlations, as one variable goes up, the other
one goes down) through 0 to +1 (positive correlations). The aim is to see how much these two
variables are related. The correlation gets stronger as you go further from 0.
The problem is the ambiguity in interpretation. Correlational research cannot establish a causal
relationship between variables.
Two reasons for this:
-the directionality problem: we don’t know whether it is A that causes B or B that causes A. We
do not know which variable is causing the other. For example, for a long time, psychologists
have been trying to figure out if it is anxiety that causes depression or vice versa.
-Third variable problem: there might be another variable that we are not taking into account.
For example, researchers in Taiwan found that the best predictor of adoption of birth control
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