[PSYC 315] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (45 pages long!)

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TAMU
PSYC 315
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Social Psychology Reading Notes
Chapter 1: Introducing Social Psychology
The task of a psychologist is to try and understand and predict human
behavior
Social Psychology- the scientific study of the way in which people’s
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined
presence of other people
Social Influence- the effect that the words, actions, or mere presence of
other people have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, or behavior
oCan be a physical or imagined presence
oSocial psychologists are interested in when the social influences
conflict with one another and what happens in the mind of an
individual when they do
Social Psychology, Philosophy, Science, and Common Sense
oPhilosophy has been a major insight about human nature
oThe work of philosophers is part of the foundation of contemporary
psychology
oDutch Philosopher Benedict Spinoza proposed that if we fall in love
with someone whom we formerly hated, that love will be stronger
than if hatred had not preceded it
Supported with logic
oEmpirical questions- meaning that their answers can be derived from
experimentation or measurement rather than opinion
oFirst task of a social psychologist to answer questions is to form a
hypothesis, an educated guess.
Then they perform an experiment
oPart of the job of social psychologists is to do the research that
specifics the conditions under which one or another is most likely to
take place
How Social Psychology Differs from its closest cousins
oPersonality Psychologists
Try to answer questions about people’s behavior in terms of
their traits
Generally focus on individual differences, the aspects of
people’s personalities that make them different from others
oSocial psychology is related to other disciplines in the social science,
including sociology, economics, and political science
oThe level of analysis is what separates types of psychology
Personality and clinical psychologists
Have the level of analysis is the individual
Social Psychologists
The level of analysis is the individual in the context of a
social situation
Sociologists
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Focus on topics such as social class, social structure, and
social institutions
oDifference between sociology and social psychology is that in
sociology, the level of analysis is the group, institution, or society at
large.
oThe goal of social psychology
To identify properties of human nature that make almost
everyone susceptible to social influence regardless of social
class or culture
Developed mostly in the US
May of its findings have not been tested in other
cultures yet because it is so new
oSocial psychology is located between personality psychology and
sociology
The Power of the situation
oMost American’s will explain someone’s behavior in terms of
personality
They don’t focus on the surroundings or possible explanations
The Importance of Explanation
oFundamental attribution error- The tendency to explain our own
and other people’s behavior entirely in terms of personality traits and
to underestimate the power of social influence and the immediate
situation
Another definition- the tendency to overestimate the extent
to which people’s behavior is due to internal, dispositional
factors and to underestimate the role of situational factors
oUnderstanding that people’s behavior is often not caused by their
personalities but by the situations is central to social psychology
oBy failing to fully appreciate the power of the situation, we tend to
oversimplify the problem, which can lead us to blame the victim in
situations where the individual was overpowered by social forces too
difficult to resist
oThe name of the game matters when determining if the players will be
more competitive or cooperative
When it was called the “Community Game” the competitive had
a higher cooperative rate
When the game was called Wall Street game both the
competitive and cooperative students were less cooperative,
both about 34%
oThe students that were labeled competitive were no more likely to
adopt the competitive strategy than those who were labeled
cooperative
oAspects of the social situation that may seem minor can overwhelm,
the difference’s in people’s personalities
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Document Summary

The task of a psychologist is to try and understand and predict human behavior. Social psychology- the scientific study of the way in which people"s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Supported with logic: empirical questions- meaning that their answers can be derived from experimentation or measurement rather than opinion, first task of a social psychologist to answer questions is to form a hypothesis, an educated guess. Then they perform an experiment: part of the job of social psychologists is to do the research that specifics the conditions under which one or another is most likely to take place. How social psychology differs from its closest cousins: personality psychologists. Try to answer questions about people"s behavior in terms of their traits. Have the level of analysis is the individual. The level of analysis is the individual in the context of a social situation.

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