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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Social Psych.docx

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PSYC 215
John Lydon

Social Psyc Ch 1 Notes 4/28/2013 11:18:00 AM Invitation to social psychology Race20 years back and current  Questions of how this group dynamic happened 1. Characterizing social psych  social psychology: the study of the feelings, thoughts, behaviors of individuals in social situations  Explaining behavior o Zimbardo prison experiment: guard vs. prisoner  Guards immediately resort to abuse- Why do they follow such orders?  Interested in how people make sense of their world  Influences govt policy Comparing social Psych with related disciplines  Personality psych stresses individual behavior rather than social situations  Cognitive psychology studies more of process of categorization and memory  Sociological effects on economy, government, and result on relationships 2. The Power of the Situation  Kurt Lewin (founder of modern social psychology): believes that behavior of people is always a function of the field of forces in which they find themselves The Milgram Experiment  What made the participants engage in the behavior that they did? (watching others suffer though shocks and not intervening) The Fundamental Attribution Error  People underestimate the power of external influence  Dispositions- internal factors, beliefs, values, personality, abilities  Fundamental attribution error: failure to recognize situational influence on behavior o Social psychologists try to understand complex field of forces acting on individuals Channel Factors  Kurt Lewin o Certain circumstances that appear unimportant but can have great consequences for behavior o Can make it easier to follow one path over another The Role of Construal  Construal: people’s interpretation and inference about stimuli and situations they confront o Feedback, often unconscious o Interpreting reality o Automatic, unconscious, and hard to override  Gestalt psychology: people perceive objects not by means of some automatic registering but by active, unconscious interpretation of the whole  Prisoner’s dilemma: situation involving pay off to 2 people- rather than one taking the most. o Posed to Stanford students as either “wall street game” or “community game”- this affected competitivity o Participants pressured dispositions was of no use in predicting behavior  Schemas o Knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored info  Example: know how to act appropriately at a concert vs. a funeral o Capture regularities of life o Stereotypes are person schemas  We construe people in light of the stereotype they call up Automatic vs. Controlled Processing  Socially happens 2 ways o 1. Automatic/unconscious emotional o 2. Conscious/systematic careful thought  research has shown that automatic/controlled processing may lead to incompatible attitudes in the same person towards members of outgroups  Automatic processing: gives rise to implicit attitudes and beliefs uncontrolled by conscious mind  Conscious processing: gives rise to explicit attitudes and beliefs of which we’re aware… may become implicit in time Types of Unconscious Processing  Skill Acquisition (William James) o Type of automatic mental processing  Ex. Driving a car  Beliefs and behaviors that are generated without awareness o Freud o Example: often can’t correctly explain reasons for judgments, understanding of social events, choosing job applicants, etc Functions of Unconscious Processing  Generally conscious processes are slow and can only run serially (one at a time)  Automatic processes are faster and can run parallel  How efficient unconscious processing is contributes to our survival ex. Judgments about bodily cues Evolution and human behavior: How we’re all the same  Darwin’s natural selection o Animals and plants that have greater survival traits reproduce and pass on to future generations Human Universals  Bipedalism and other physical features help us adapt to the environment  1. Humans share characteristics w/ other animals  2. Humans
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