[PSYC 3710] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (15 pages long!)

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Valdosta State University
PSYC 3710
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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I. Introducing Social Psychology
A. What is Social Psychology
1.Social Psychologists Study How We are Influenced by Others
a. Definition
i. Gordon Allport (1897-1967)
ii. the use of scientific methods to explain how the thoughts, feelings
and actions of others are influenced by the actual, imagined, or
implied presence of others
iii. many will protect social standing over perceived danger
iv. can also work positively as in stressful situations, will picture
parents or other role models to help with decision making and
for comfort
b. law enforcement uses perceived presence to slow down drivers
c. can hopefully predict behavior of people based on presence of others
2.Social Psychology is More than Common Sense
a. thought of this way because it is so personal and familiar
b. There are many examples of social psychology confirming previously held
common sense
c. There are also many times when the science challenges beliefs previously
held to be common sense
i. regardless of pay, nobody enjoys boring jobs
ii. looking at faces does not help with detecting lies
iii. accident victims are actually less likely to be helped the more
bystanders there are
3.Social Psychologists Study how Social Reality is Created (And Re-Created)
a. your mood and facial expressions vastly affect those around you
i. smiles positively influence others
ii. frowns do the opposite
b. Self-fulfilling prophecy
i. create a first impression of a person
ii. act in a way of that first perceived impression
iii. person begins to act along lines of perceived impression due to how
he or she is treated
iv. can be a positive and negative
v. think of how teachers treat potential problem child
vi. Use this knowledge to better understand the world and social
situations around you.
4.Social Psychology is studied by Psychology and Sociology
a. both study the same topic, but from different perspective
i. psych focusses on individuals and how they respond to social stimuli
ii. Sociological perspective focusses on larger aspects of society like
social standing
iii. sociological perspectives focus on poverty and crime and the
reasons behind these problems
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b. Psych branch is bigger than sociology
c. there have been calls to merge the branches in order to form a more
comprehensive study of the subject but due to the extreme differences
in approach, it is doubtful it will happen
5.Social Psych has both European and American Roots
a. Dawning of a Scientific Discipline: 1862-1894
i. Wundt believed there would be two branches early in his career
Physio psychology
social or folk psychology
ii. European foundations still focused more upon philosophy
iii. Wundt believed it should be more observable and less experimental
(social)
iv. during the same period, American scientists wanted to work in
psychology but with more of a connection to natural sciences
v. Aeria pshologists rejeted uh of Wudt’s eliefs earl o
as behaviorism was in full swing
vi. though the American version of social is the core of the subject
today, there is a heavy influence from the German roots
b. Early Years: 1895-1935
i. Norman Triplett is credited with the first social experiment in 1895
ii. he tested to see if children would reel in a fishing line faster when
alone or in the presence of others doing the same
iii. in 1908, the first two social textbooks were published
iv. a third text in 1924 by Floyd Allport identified it as a different
discipline from the rest of Psych and outlined its methods
v. this third text also took more of a behaviorist approach in
observable behaviors based upon stimuli
vi. Gestalt social psych preached seeing how all individuals are
connected to create the whole
c. Coming of Age: 1936-1945
i. the Great Depression and the world wars caused social
psychologists to begin to look at how their field could solve
social issues
ii. formed the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
(SPSSI)
iii. SPSSI intertwined ethics within the social psychology discussion
iv. WW2 forced many social psychologists to move to America and
combine their knowledge for practical wartime use against the
AXIS powers
v. Kurt Lei as atie i this tie ad elieed “oial did’t hae to
choose between pure and applied science, but could be both
vi. Social Psych in North America then flourished after the wars
d. Rapid Expansion
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