SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY COMPLETE NOTES (did really well in this course, over 90%)

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Boston University
Psychological & Brain Sciences
CAS PS 261

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY • Social loafing o You don’t clap very loud because you think someone else will clap for you • Diffusion of responsibility o Kitty Genovese • Social psych – the study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imaged presence of other people • Kurt lewin’s fundamental principles of social psychology o What we do depends to a large extent on how we perceive and interpret the world around us o Behavior is a function of the interaction between the person and the environment o Social psychological theories should be applied to important, practical issues • Interactionist perspective o An emphasis on how both an individual personality and environmental characteristics influence behavior • Confidence and crisis (1960-1970) o Milgram’s obedience experiment o Period of expansion and enthusiasm and crisis  People questioned the laboratory methods. Hawthorne effect • Adoption of pluralism (1970s-1990s) o Acceptance of many methods of investigation o Integration of both hot (emotion, motivation) and cold (cognition) perspectives in the study of the determinants of our thoughts and actions o Development of international and multicultural perspectives RESEARCH ETHICS • There used to be no rules governing research • Now you gotta get review and approval of proposed research by IRB • Importance of informed consent • Deception is allowed only if there is valid reasoning and when the participant is informed of the deception after the study, they are allowed to withdraw the data RESEARCH • Basic research: increase our understanding of human behavior o Often designed to test a specific hypothesis from a specific theory o Wouldn't it be interesting to know ______ • Applied research: enlarge of our understanding of naturally occurring events o Additional goal is to find solutions to practical problems o What can we do about people drinking a lot? METHODS • Archival studies o Examining existing records of past events • Surveys o Use random sampling to get answers about beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors • Case studies o Henry molaison – lesioned his brain to prevent seizures, but was unable to store new memories • Correlational studies o Statistical measure of the extent to which two variables are associated • Descriptive studies o How many words can the average tow year old speak? • Observational/Naturalistic studies o No intervention • Hypothesis testing studies o Conceptual variables are abstract or general variables o Operational definition transforms the concept/variable from the abstract to the specific o Example: mood=finding a dollar=independent variable. Helping people=dependent variable o main effect: the overall effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable o interaction: how the effect of each independent variable is different as a function of other independent variables Objectivity in research • Objective measurement – consistent across observers. Inter-rater reliability • Validity • Reliability – consistency and stability across time and observation • Generalizability – can findings be applied to a wider population? • Replication – repeating a study with similar results SOCIAL COGNITION • Social cognition – how people think about themselves and the social world; more specifically, how people select, interpret, remember and use social information to make judgments and decisions • Information processing – past experiences provide a filter to help us interpret and evaluate new people and events o Advantage – efficiency o Disadvantage – errors o So like we don't evaluate everything before making a judgment otherwise it would take too long. Also we would all be Sherlock :D • We use information from schemas o Memory is reconstructive? What o More able to remember things that were not consistent with schema o Helps us interpret ambiguous information  So person is following, but if they ask u a question ur gonna thing they are just a lost person schema • Conformation bias – only look for info that verifies our beliefs. Like about free will or something o Belief perseverance – tendency to maintain beliefs, even after they have been disconfirmed o Confirming expectations – if I tell people cody is really smart, and he makes like one smart comment, then people will be like oh shit yeah hes so smart • David rosenhan sane in insane places - it is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals" and also illustrated the dangers of dehumanization and labeling in psychiatric institutions. o Intense example of confirmation bias • Pygmalion effect – expectation influences behavior. Self fulfilling prophecy o Classroom - teachers who were told that specific children were expected to be smarter actually became smarter because of the teachers’ behaviors • Self fulfilling prophecy - Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person's direct or indirect behavior toward them o Step 1: perceiver’s expectations o Step 2: perceiver’s behavior toward the target o Step 3: target’s behavior toward the perceiver • Counterfactual reasoning – mentally changing some aspect of the past in imagining what might have been o “if only I had answered that one question differently, I would have passed the test o Silver medalists are usually less happy than bronze medalists cuz silvers are imagining ways they could have gotten gold, while bronze are imagining ways they might not have even gotten bronze. So there are positive and negative consequences o Can have a large influence on our emotional reactions to events o The easier it is to mentally undo an outcome, the stronger the emotional reaction to it. Availability heuristic • Improving human thinking o Make people more humble o Ask people to
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