Social Psyc: according to psychologists, nothing wrong w/ Abu Ghraib guards; normal people in overwhelming
situations. Stanford study, guards/prisoners showed speed at which normal students social roles.
12.1 How do we form impressions of others? Behaviors more understandable in context. Social psyc: how we
influence thoughts, feelings, actions. Humans not flawed/evil, distinct individuals influenced by social context.
Nonverbal actions/expressions affect first impressions: nonverbal behavior (body language): facial
expressions, gestures, mannerisms, movements by which one communicates. Thin slices of behavior:
quick viewsaccurate judgments. Important nonverbal cue is gait.
o Facial expressions: babies prefer faces; give info about emotional state, interest, trust.
We make attributions (Heider): explanations for events/actions, inc. others‟ behavior. Motivated to
draw inferences in part by basic need for order/predictability. Just world hypothesis: attributions about
victim of violent act, make mistreatment seem understandable/justified, make world seem safer/saner.
o Attributional dimensions: personal (internal/dispositional): internal characteristics (abilities,
traits, moods, efforts). Situational (external): outside events (luck, accidents, others‟ actions).
Weiner: attributions vary on other dimensions (permanent, controllable).
o Attributions about self: self-serving bias: attribute failures to situational factors not our fault,
attribute success to personal, permanent factors, gives us credit
o Attributional bias: fundamental attribution error: in explaining others‟ behavior, tendency to
overemphasize personality, underestimate situational factors. Jones: correspondence bias:
tendency to expect behaviors of others to correspond w/ beliefs/personalities, when we make
attributions about selves, tend to focus on situations. Actor/observer discrepancy: when
interpreting our behavior, focus on situations, when interpreting others‟, focus on dispositions.
Stereotypes based on automatic categorization: cognitive schemas that help organize info about people
on basis of membership in groups. Heuristic thinkingquick decisions, mental shortcuts allow for fast
processing of social info, automatic. Stereotypes are neutral, reflect efficient cognitive processes. Used
to streamline formation of impressions, deal with limitations inherent in mental processing. Affect
formation of impressions. Stereotypes self-maintained by biased confirmation. Subtyping: putting a
person in a special category rather than altering stereotype.
o Self-fulfilling prophecy: behave to confirm expectations. „bloomers‟ show higher IQ. F acted
differently when speaking to M they thought were attractive. Stereotype threat: affects group w/
neg stereotype, e.g., F asked to indicate gender perform worse. 3 mechanisms lower performance
after threat: physiological stress, overthink performance, energy to suppress neg thoughts.
Stereotypesprejudice: negative feelings/opinions/beliefs assoc. w/ stereotype. Discrimination:
inappropriate/unjustified treatment of people as result of prejudice.
o Ingroup/outgroup bias: group membership important in social ID, self-esteem. Predisposed to be
wary of others who do not belong to group, outgroups more dangerous in evolution. Once we
categorize others as ingroup/outgroup, treat accordingly. Outgroup homogeneity effect: view
outgroup as less varied. Ingroup favoritism: privilege members of ingroup (adaptive)
o Stereotypes/perception: stereotypes influence basic perceptual processes (experiment w/ black/
white faces holding tools/guns). Training can override effects of stereotypes.
o Inhibiting stereotypes: occur w/o awareness/intent. Categorizing not necessarilymistreating.
Can alter automatic stereotyping–e.g, showing admired blacks, telling people test scores. Frontal
lobes (control thoughts/behaviors) must override emotional response in amygdala (detect threats)
Cooperation reduces prejudice: working together to greater purpose~overcome intergroup hostility.
Superordinate goal (requiring people to cooperate) reduce hostility btwn groups, break down subgroup
distinctions, become one larger group
o Jigsaw classroom: person-to-person interaction brings groups together. Aronson: students work
in mixed groups; each member expert on aspect. Children in jigsaw like each other more, high
self-esteem. Communal work toward superordinate goals can reduce prejudice and benefit all. 12.2 How do attitudes guide behavior? Evaluations of objects, events, ideas, shaped by social context, play
important role in how we evaluate/interact with others.
We form attitudes via experience/socialization: people develop neg attitudes quicker than pos ones. mere
exposure effect – more exposurelike. Attitudes can be conditioned, ads (classical), studying (operant).
Behaviors are consistent w/ strong attitudes: personally relevant attitude more likely to predict behavior,
more specific attitude more predictive. Attitude accessibility: ease in retrieving attitude from behavior,
predicts behavior consistent w/ attitude. Easily activated attitudes more stable, predictive, resistant.
Attitudes can be explicit/implicit: explicit attitudes: those you know about, can report. Implicit:
influence feelings/behavior at unconscious level. Implicit Association Test better predictor of behavior
Discrepanciesdissonance: Festinger theory of cognitive dissonance: uncomfortable mental state due
to contradiction btwn 2 attitudes, attitude/behavior. Assumes dissonance anxiety/tension
displeasuremotivates people to reduce dissonance, by changing attitudes/behaviors. Dissonance
between what you do and what you think you are.
o Postdecisional dissonance: when person holds pos attitudes about different options, only choose
one, focus on its pos aspects, non-chosen options‟ neg aspects (automatic, min cog processing).
o Insufficient justification: participants paid $1 to lie about task rated it more favorably than those
paid $20 - insufficient monetary justification for lyingchanged attitudes about dull task. Those
paid more did not experience dissonance, did not have to change attitudes. Shows that to get
people to change attitudes, change behaviors first, using min incentives.
o Justifying effort: going through pain to join groupdissonance, resolved by inflating importance
and commitment of group (F reading obscene vs. mild words, enjoyed presentation better)
Attitudes change via persuasion: active/conscious effort to change attitude via message. People pay
attention, understand, find it convincing, memorable. Factors: source (credible/attractive), content
(strong arguments to emotions, mere exposure), receiver (gullible). Elaboration likelihood model:
persuasive communicationattitude change in 2 ways: central (people motivated, able to process
infostrong attitudes) and peripheral route (min processing,impulsive action, attitudes are weaker).
12.3 How do others influence us? Power of social situation is very strong
Groups influence individual behavior
o Social facilitation: presence of others enhances performance. Zajonc 3 basic steps: all animals
genetically predisposed to be aroused by presence of othersemit dominant response. If
dominant response easy, then others enhances performance, vv
o Social loafing: work less h-ard in group. Efforts pooled, do not feel personally responsible.
Won‟t happen when people know individual efforts monitored, must feel personally responsible
o Deindividuation: reduced i