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BOOK NOTES- Social Psychology.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

2Social Psychology BOOK NOTESChapter 1Social Psychology the scientific study of how people affect and are affected by others It can help you make sense of your own social worldOne of the first social psychology experiments Norman Triplett The presence of another bicycle rider releases the competitive instinct which increases nervous energy and thereby enhances performanceBuild a competition machinechildren winded up a fishing reel and they found that children working side by side others enhanced performance compared to working alone Max Ringelmann He had men pull on a rope alone and as part of a group and he measured the amount of effort exerted by each participant As group size increased amount of effort decreasedThis study can explain why people tend to slack off when working on group projects These 2 studies show the complete opposite this is to show that social behavior is complicatedPsychology was divided into 2 camps Behaviorism sought to explain all of psychology in terms of learning principles such as reward and punishment Freudian psychoanalysis interpretations of individual experiences instead of systematic studies that counted behaviors Social psychology didnt really fall into either It was more congenial to the behaviorist in that it favored experiments and the scientific method but it was sympathetic to the Freudian camp with its interest in inner states and processesMcDougall and Ross published the first social psychology textbookABC Triad A stands for affect how people feel inside B stands for behavior what people do their actions C stands for Cognition what people think aboutWhen trying to explain some pattern of behavior the first place social psychologist generally look is to the situation Anthropology the study of human culture the shared values beliefs and practices of a group of people Economics the study of the production distribution and consumption of goods and services and the study of money History the study of past events Political Science the study of political organizations and institutions especially governments Sociology the study of human societies and the group that form those societies Social psychology and Psychology Psychology the study of human behavior Social psychology is a branch of psychology Biological psychology physiological psychology neuroscience the study of what happens in the brain nervous system and other aspects of the body Clinical psychology branch of psychology that focuses on behavior disorders and other forms of mental illness and how to treat them Focuses on abnormalities while social psychology focuses on normalitys Cognitive psychology the study of thought processes such as how memory works and what people notice Social psychology has borrowed heavily from cognitive psychology especially by using their methods for measuring cognitive processesDevelopmental psychology the study of how people change across their lives from conception and birth to old age and death Borrowed much from social psychology but not the other way around Personality psychology the branch of psychology that focuses on important differences between individualsLong and close relationship with social psychology Philosophy love of wisdom the pursuit of knowledge about fundamental matters such as life death meaning reality and truthApplied Research research that focuses on solving particular practical problemsCommon sense provides a good starting point for social psychologists to do their workThe scientific method involves 5 basic steps The researcher states a problem for study The researcher formulates a testable hypothesis as a tentative solution to the problemThe researcher designs a study to test the hypothesis and collects data Anyone observing the data collection process should be able to replicate or repeat itA test is made of the hypothesis by confronting it with the data Statistical methods are used to test whether the data are consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis No single study can prove anything beyond all doubt There is always the possibility that the data turned out a certain way as a fluke by random chance Usually researchers test their hypothesis at the 05 significance level If the test is significant at their level it mean that researchers are 95
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