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Chapter 16

PSYC 1F90 Chapter 16 Notes: Social Thinking and Social Influence

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Kathryn Belicki

PSYC 1F90 Chapter 16: Social Thinking and Social Influence Culture: An ongoing pattern of life that is passed from 1 generation to the next -we occupy a position in the structure of a group Social Role: patterns of behavior expected of people in various social positions Ascribed role: assigned role, not under personal control (eg. son, adolescent) Achieved Role: voluntary, attained by special effort (eg. teacher, wife) -roles allow us to anticipate what others will do Role Conflict: 2 or more roles conflict with each other 2 Dimensions of a Group 1) Structure: network of roles, communication pathways 2) Cohesiveness: degree of attraction among group members, strength of desire to remain in group In-groups: groups with which a person mainly identifies Out-groups: groups which we do not identify -attribute positive characteristics to in-groups, negative characteristics to out-groups Social Status: level of social power and importance -more likely to comply with request made by high-status person Norms: widely accepted (often unspoken) standard for appropriate behavior Social Influence: 1 person’s behavior is changed by the actions of others Social Cognition: process of thinking about ourselves and others in a social context -norms are often based on perceptions, not the actual truth Social Comparison: comparing your actions, feelings, opinions, or abilities to those of others Social Comparison Theory (Festinger): group membership satisfies need for social comparison Downward comparison: contrasting yourself with someone who ranks lower on some dimension -upward comparisons can be used to improve skills, but can be dangerous Attribution: the process of making inferences about the causes of one’s own behavior, and that of others -can be internal (within the person) or external (outside a person) cause -sensitive to how consistent (changes very little on different occasions) and distinctive (only under specific circumstances) a behavior is -to deduce causes, we take the actor, the object being acted on, and the setting into account Situational demands: pressures to behave in certain ways in particular setting and social situations -strong situational demands cause us to downgrade/discount internal causes to explain behavior -when many people act alike, there is consensus in their behavior -implies behavior is externally caused Fundamental Attribution Bias: tendency to think our own actions have external causes, actions of others have internal causes Attitude: mixture of belief and emotion that predisposes a person to respond to respond to things in a negative way -attitudes are expressed through beliefs, emotions, and actions 3 Components of Attitudes: 1) Belief Component: What you believe about an object/issue 2) Emotional Component: Your feelings towards it 3) Action Component: Your actions towards various people, objects, institutions Ways of Acquiring Attitudes -direct contact (personal experience) -chance conditioning (takes place by chanc
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