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Chapter 12

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PSYC 100
James Mac Dougall

Chapter 12Social PsychologyPhilip Zimbardo and Chris HaneyStanford males in prison scenarios with roles after a few daysoGuards became sadisticbrutal harassed prisoners oNecessary to stop after 6 days instead of 2 weeksMust consider the situation that people are inIndividual traits are also importantHumanssocial animalsSocial psychology is concerned with how people influence other peoples thoughts feelings and actionsEvery human activity has social dimensionsocial psychology experiments are diverseHow do attitudes guide behaviourAttitudesthe evaluation of objects events or ideasFeelings opinions beliefsShaped by social context and play important role in evaluatinginteracting with othersAttitudes about everythingWe form attitudes through experience and socializationDirect experienceexposure to things provides information shaping attitudesPeople develop negative attitudes more quickly than positive attitudesAcquiring tastes for foodthe more the person is exposed the more they like itRobert Zajonc exposed people to items varying timesmore familiarity meant more positive attitudes about the objectoMere exposure effectwhat happens thereoPeople often prefer their mirror image photographs with one flippedAttitudes can be conditioned oExampleadvertisers use classical conditioning to get a positive attitude about an objectOperant conditioning can shape attitudeif rewarded with good grade for studying more positive attitude for studyingAttitudes shaped through socializationpeople guide attitudes about every aspect of our livesoSociety socializes many attitudes Behaviours are consistent with strong attitudesAttitudes are adaptiveguide behaviourThe strongermore personally relevant an attitude the more likely it will predict behaviour be consistent and no change over timeAttitudes formed through direct exposure tend to predict behaviour betterAttitude accessibilityease with which a person can retrieve memories related to an attitudeoPredicts behaviours consistent with attitudeoRussell Fazio shows easily activated attitudes are more stable predictive of behaviour resistant to changeExplicit attitudeattitudes that people know and can report to othersImplicit attitudeattitudes that influence our feelings and behaviours at an unconscious leveloAccess implicit attitudes from memoryoShape behaviour without awarenessoInvolve brain regions associated with implicit memory Measuring implicit attitudes oImplicit Association Test IATReaction time test Measures how quickly we associate objectsconcepts with positive negative wordsExample faster response to femalebad than femalegood shows attitude towards femalesIATbetter predictor of behaviour than explicit selfreportsoAlso revealed in peoples behavioursHowever people do not want to reveal their true feelings sometimesDiscrepancies lead to dissonanceLeon Festinger studied how people resolve situations in which they held conflicting attitudesproposed a theoryCognitive dissonancean uncomfortable mental state due to conflicts between attitudes or between attitudes and behaviouroOccurs when theres a contradictionoExamplesmoking even though you know its bad for youBasic assumptiondissonance causes anxietytensionmotivates people to reduce dissonance to relieve displeasurePeople reduce dissonance by changing attitudesbehaviours or rationalizetrivialize the discrepanciesDissonance theory provides insights into behaviours like sadistic onesPostdecisional dissonanceoCognitive dissonance theory suggests holding positive attitudes about two options but having to choose one of them causes dissonanceoPostdecisional dissonancemotivates the person to focus on ones positive aspects and the others negative aspectsoEffect occurs automatically with minimal cognitive processing without awarenessAttitude changeoOne way to change peoples attitudes is to change their behaviours using as few incentives as possibleoExamplein a study participants took part in an experiment that was boring the experimenter paid the participant from 120 to lie and tell the next participant that the experiment was interestingeducationalworthwhile
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