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PSYC 215 (296)
John Lydon (79)
Chapter 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 215
Professor
John Lydon
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 1: Construal (Everything in bold is an important definition) -Social Psychology: The scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviours of individuals in social situations. -Example of prison guards abusing the inmates: "It's not that we put bad apples in a good barrel, we put good apples in a bad barrel, and the barrel corrupts everything that it touches". In a simulation study at Stanford, the same things occurred. (p7) -Social Psychologists are interested in how people make sense of their world (p7) -Kurt Lewin: Escaped from Nazi Germany and moved on to teach at University of Iowa and MIT. He stated that a person’s actions are the result of the combination of forces which act upon that person (like physics). (p9) -People are governed by situational factors. Internal factors (the kind of person someone is) have less influence than most people assume they do. (p12) -Dispositions: Internal factors such as beliefs, values, personality traits, or abilities that guide a person's behaviour. People tend to see disposition as the underlying cause of behaviour. (p12) -The Fundamental Attribution Error: The failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behaviour, and the corresponding tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions or traits on behaviour. (p13) -Channel Factors: Certain situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface but can have a great consequence for behaviour, either facilitating or blocking it or guiding behaviour in a particular direction. Such circumstances can sometimes guide behaviour by making it easier to follow one path rather than another. (p13) -Age, gender, socioeconomic status do not play a big role in whether or not students would go get a tetanus shot, although distance to the closest facility did (learned later). (p13) The Role of Construal -Construal: People's interpretation and inference about the stimuli or situations they confront. (p14) -Gestalt Psychology: Based on the German word for gestalt, meaning "form" or "figure", this approach stresses the fact that people perceive objects not by means of some automatic registering device but by active, usually unconscious interpretation of what the object represents as a whole. (p14) -Prisoner's Dilemma: A situation involving two payoffs to two people, who must decide whether to "cooperate" or "defect". In the end, trust and cooperation lead to higher joint payoffs than mistrust and defection. (p15) -Schema: A knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information (example at a party, you expect everyone to act cheerful, excited etc.) (p17) -Affirmation action advocates encourage schemas related to diversity, and those opposed to affirmative action try to advocate schemas related to fairness. (p18) -Stereotypes: Schemas that we have for people of various kinds. (p18) Automatic VS Controlled Processing -Unconscious: Automatic Processing: Unconscious, based on emotional factors. (p19) Automatic processes give rise to implicit attitudes and beliefs that cannot be readily controlled by the conscious mind. (p20) There are two types. The first is skill acquisition, as we learn and overlearn skills, we can exercise them without being aware we are doing so. The other type occurs when beliefs and behaviours are generated without our awareness of the cognitive processes behind them. (p20) -Conscious: Controlled Processing: Conscious and systematic and more likely to be controlled by careful thought. (p19) Results in explicit attitudes and beliefs of which we are aware-though these may become implicit or unconscious over time. -Unconscious processes take place partly because of efficiency. Automatic processes are typically much faster that conscious ones. These automatic processes may also have benefits for our survival. (p21) -It can be difficult to determine whether a process is automatic or controlled. (p21) Evolution and Human Behavior: How we are the Same -Natural Selection: An evolutionary process that molds animals and plants so that traits that enhance the probability of survival and reproduction are passed on to subsequent generations. -Darwin assumed that natural selection is important for physical characteristics as well behavioral inclinations. Studies show that the theory of evolution can be quite helpful in explaining why people do the things they do. -Humans share practices and institutions with other animals, especially higher primates (like facial expressions, dominance). There are many less similarities between lower class animals and humans. -There are general, inherited propensities to develop grammatical language. Babies have the ability to learn any language and make any sound...the actual language that is spoken depends on the environment the child is raised in. Group Living, Language and Theory of Mind -Theory of Mind:
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