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Chapter 1

Social Psychology Chapter 1 Summary.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 215
Professor
John Lydon
Semester
Winter

Description
Social Psychology Chapter 1 Summary - Social psychology: scientific study of feelings, thoughts and behaviours of individuals in a social situation - Relating to the story on 60 minutes of the terrible treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, an experiment where they flipped a coin & assigned 24 healthy, Stanford participants to be guards or prisoners, showed that the balance of power made these people do horrible things to one another - The guards internalized their roles and resorted to horrible treatment, abuse, and humiliation to get results, the experiment had to be terminated b/c there were such high stress levels among the ―prisoners‖ - Zimbardo thinks that the balance of power being unequal is the cause Comparing Social Psychology with Other Disciplines - Personality psychology (close to social psych) would stress the individual differences in behaviour rather than the social situation—they would look at patterns at how certain individuals behave, in the Abu Ghraib situation, they’d look at personality traits like sadistic and hostile guards would be more cruel to the prisoners - Cognitive psychology looks at how people perceive things—looks at different situations all together, not just social ones, but more on memory etc. - Sociologists study the aggregate movement in human behaviour whereas social psychologists will study the individual. Where sociologists would study what gov’t policy affects marriage, social psychologists would study why people get married/ fall in love The power of the situation - Hannah Arendt proposed that we are all capable of committing atrocities - Her views are about the ―banality of evil‖, how does the situation affect the person? - Kurt Lewin applied physics to psychology believing that behaviour of people, like behaviour of an object, is a function of the forces that surrounds them - Main situational influences are the people around us and their actions - People’s mere presence, in the sense that we can either feel pressure to conform to their ways and model their behaviour, or feel encroached by them and do exactly the opposite - They can subtly imply that their acceptance will be granted by doing what they do etc. The Milgram Experiment - A group of participants were set up in a rigged experiment of ―teacher‖ and ―student‖ - The participants always got the role of ―teacher‖ and had to deliver shocks of increasing voltage whenever the ―student‖ got something wrong - 80% continued after150-volts; 62.5% continued to the maximum level of volts even though after 150-volts he was told to scream ―let me out, I have a heart condition‖ - Every time they tried to stop, the experimenter would simply say ―you must continue‖ as they delivered shock after shock, not really wanting to but somehow still carrying it out - Ways he made them continue: they were presented with a scientific experiment, which most of them had little previous experiment w/, thus they were out of their element, the experimenter took responsibility for everything that would happen, and the procedure had a step-by-step nature which eased them into their roles Seminarians and Samaritans - Darley and Barson set up an experiment involving asking religious students to explain the basis of their religion then deliver a short sermon to which either they had time for or were already late for, on their way there was a man coughing and groaning - The ones not in a rush mostly helped while the ones in a rush did not help The Fundamental Attribution Error - We overestimate the internal forces (personality traits etc.) and underestimate the power external forces has on people - Internal factors are dispositions; for ex: personality traits, beliefs, values, or abilities - 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 - Social psychologists emphasize looking at the complex array of external forces that will influence an individual Channel Factors - Lewin introduced channel factors - Channel factors: certain situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface but have great consequences for behaviour either facilitating or blocking it or guiding behaviour in a certain direction - Leventhal’s experiment involved taking Yale students and scaring them about a certain disease urging them to go to a clinic to get tested. Few did with this alone, but the ones given a map with a big red circle around it checked the clinic nine fold. Everyone knew where the clinic was but b/c it was a vague intention and not a concrete plan, they didn’t bother. - Channelling these people’s intentions towards a more concrete plan, with a map, made their actions go towards a certain direction The Role of Construal - Construal: people’s interpretation and inference about the stimuli or situations they face - Construal can be done through the use of language and rhetoric. Benign words like ―experiment‖ can lull someone to complete the Milgram experiment the way that they did - For ex: illegal alien vs. immigrant could change the way that we treat them Interpreting reality - Our perceptions can mirror the world a fair bit but require substantial interpretation and can be subject to error - We see what is plausible, not what is actually there—we see what makes sense compared beside our stored representations of the world - Gestalt psychology—objects are perceived not by passive, automated registering device but by active, intentional interpretations of the object - Our judgments and beliefs come from our perceptions and thoughts which aren’t always reality - The prisoners dilemma shows that both players will defect no matter what, but logic would dictate that they cooperate which will be more profitable that if they defect - Liberman, Samuels and Ross found a group of competitive and cooperative students and made half play a game called the cooperative game and the other half play the ―Wall Street Game‖, similar to the prisoner’s dilemma. In the end, the game construed as cooperative was played more cooperatively than the Wall Street Game - The more competitive group and more cooperative group did not play very differently therefore it was not their dispositions, rather it was the external forces of construal that made their decisions Schemas - It is a knowledge structure of any organized body of stored information - These include generalized knowledge about the physical and social world, what are the expectations of our behaviour? How do we act? Even in the most ―obvious‖ social situations - Media doesn’t change the judgment of the object just the object of judgement - Some call abortion: freedom of choice while others call it murder Stereotypes - Stereotypes are our schemas that can be wrong and misapplied to members of certain groups in society Automatic versus Controlled Processing - When given a situation the mind has two responses: automatic and unconscious (based around emotions) and conscious and systematic (controlled by careful thought) - Automatic processing—we all do it but few are willing to act on it and when their systematic thinking process come in, they can rationalize their automatic reactions - Automatic process gives rise to implicit attitudes and beliefs that cannot be controlled—so like being racist, it comes easier for same races to identify a member of the same race as pleasant - Controlled process gives rise to explicit attitudes that is made aware to us Types of Unconscious Processing - Skill acquisition (identified by William James)- when we can do something and not think about it—it becomes automatic, like driving a car and then forgetting that you’re driving - When beliefs or behaviours are generated without our cognitive awareness behind them; when we go with one job applicant over another for example - Visual stimuli, even if presented rapidly- can still have an impact in our beliefs and choices Functions of Unconscious Processing - Mental processing takes place outside of our awareness as a matter of efficiency - Controlled processing is a lot slower as it processes one at a time; unconscious processing can process multiple things at a parallel - As a matter of survival, our ancestors needed to assess a situation and decide - We make these decisions based on a lifetime of pushing away negative stimuli and grabbing positive stimuli Evolution and Human Behaviour: how we are the same - Using Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection we can begin to understand why humans behave the way that they do Human Universals - Many human behaviours and institutions are universal—proved w/ evolution - We have universal bipedal bodies, up-right-walking, language- using creatures - We are also in possession of a superior intelligence Group Living, Language and Theory of Mind - We live in groups, evolutionarily, because it is safest - Some studies show that infants are born to acquire a language b/c it is so necessary in human society - Language acquisition is made by saying all the wrong phonemes and eventually learning to speak it the right way; twins can make up their own language filled with the same grammar rules we use in a formal language and a child can learn a language w/ both deaf parents - We all have general propensities to language - Theory of mind: the understanding that other humans have beliefs and desires - Infants can recognize that there are others with beliefs and desires and even that these can be false - Language and theory of mind may be pre-wired Evolution and Gender Roles - Gender roles may be answered by the theory of parental investment (cost and benefits associated with reproduction and nurturing of offspring is different for males and females, one sex may invest more than another) - The amount of offspring a female can have is limited, thus each is of a high value - For males, they invest a lot less time and have practically unlimited supply of offspring whether he stays or leaves the female Avoiding the Naturalistic Fallacy - Darwin’s theory was distorted to be used as ―supreme races over others‖ they looked at supremacy over other races rather than how well the race survived in their environments - Naturalistic Fallacy: thinking that the way things are is the way that they should be. For ex: thinking that b/c one is genetically predisposed to something means they’ll do it - We are made to be flexible and adaptable and are always searching to become more civilized Social Neuroscience - Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) takes pictures of the brain to show blood flow to the various areas of the brain - Blood flows to the area of the brain that is active—if someone is feeling angry or sad etc. - Neuroscience also tells us how the brain, the mind and behaviour function as a unit and how social factors can influence these components Culture and Human Behaviour: How we are different - Due to the fact that—along with rats—we can survive in any ecosystem, we are very flexible and diverse in the ways that we develop Cultural Differences in Social Relations: self-understanding - Independent (individualistic) culture: cultures where people think of themselves as distinct social entities tied to each other by various bonds of affection and organizational memberships but essentially separate from others and having attributes that exist in absence of connection to others Independent societies - Distinct from others, attributes are constant - Insistence on ability to act alone - Need for individual distinctiveness - Preference on egalitarianism and achieved status based on personal accomplishments - Conviction that rules governing behaviour should be applied to everyone Interdependent societies - Self is linked to others, attributes depend on the situation - Preference of collective action - Desire for harmonious relationship in groups - Acceptance of hierarchy and ascribed status based on age, group membership etc. - Preference for rules that take context of and particular relationship into account Interdependent or collectivist societies: cultures in which people define themselves as linked to others, and placing less importance on individual freedom or personal control over their lives Who are you? - In response to the ―Who Am I‖ test; Westerners respond with personality traits or personal preferences whereas interdependent nations will respond with themselves as it is related to others - Even in the child’s novel in America is ―See Dick. See Dick run‖ it is individual and action oriented, which is taught at a young age. In China it is oriented towards friendship and others - Kenya is a place heavily influenced by Americans which comes across in their results in the who am I test, unlike other African (interdependent) countries, they define themselves as personal not collective Individualism vs. Collectivism in the Workplace - Countries that are individualistic in their nature have people behaving individualistic in the workplace—Britain, Western civilizations - Independent Cultures: want recognition, want freedom in job, want to use skills and abilities on the job, want to work in an efficient department, believe that individual decisions are better than group ones - Interdependent cultures: want employer to have responsibility for their health and welfare, want to work in a congenial and friendly atmosphere, want to be loyal to company, believe knowing people is more important than ability, believe better managers have been w/ company longest Individualism/ Collectivism in Business Managers - East Asian managers are more interdependent - British and Common-Wealth managers are more independent - Northwestern European nations (Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium) were more individualistic than southern nations (France, Italy and Germany) Culture and gender Roles - Social scientists aren’t sure if gender roles are arbitrary or have economic or other practical roots Some Qualifications - It isn’t possible to simply label a society as interdependent or independent - There are regional and subcultural differences in large societies - Gender socialization differs also: while in American society boys are socialized to be independent, girls are socialized to be interdependent - Social class also has more effect: working class people are more interdependent, stress conformity and obedience to children, and don’t value personal uniqueness as much as middle class people - Middle class also cares more about the freedom to make a choice - We also differ in the situation, we have situations of independence (competition) and interdependence (choirs) Culture and Evolution as Tools for Understanding Situations - Evolution and culture both explain how people see the world and behave in it - Nature proposes but culture disposes - Evolution equips us with a wide range of resources to deal with situations - Culture and our high intelligence determines what we develop and what we override Social Psychology Chapter 2 Summary - In a letter of a convicted felon explaining his predicament with open honesty, businesses from the south were more likely to send in sympathetic letters that excused him and commended his honesty than those of the North Why Do Social Psychologists do Research (And why should you read about it?) - Hindsight bias: people’s tendency to be overconfident at how well they could have predicted something in the past after finding out the answer How Social Psychologists test behaviour - Hypotheses are predictions about what will happen under certain circumstances - Theory: a body of propositions designed to explain an aspect of the world - Theories are more general than hypotheses which are more general than their empirical evidence - A theory may suggest something broad like people strive to achieve consistent thoughts and processes which births a hypothesis that if person A likes person B who dislikes person C, A will either dislike person C or begin to dislike person B—this is tested in concrete circumstances more specific than this one - Participant observation: observing a phenomenon at close range - Can be seen by psychologist who lived with groups of families in both working-class and middle- class and observed some important differences which included less inclusion for the working- class families of their children, they taught them a great deal less which didn’t have any effect on their early school development but hindered their later years which are more complex - Observations are unreliable and they must do further testing to prove their hypothesis Archival Research - Looking at archives including police reports, newspaper articles and record books can prove a great deal without ever leaving the library - Southerners for example are more likely to engage in insult-related homicides which was found simply through examining police reports Surveys - Can be conducted using written questionnaires or interviews - Sample of people in the survey must be randomized by giving each individual in society the chance to be involved - A convenience sample (where certain people are contacted) is biased b/c it includes many kinds of one person and less of another kind - Reading surveys in magazines are flawed b/c people who take time to do these polls are different from regular people in society - Readers who lost weight are more likely to respond to something than someone who hasn’t lost weight - A convenience sample survey is worse than no survey b/c it can be misleading - The idea of Southerners being more likely to engage in insult-related homicides stems, not from their assertion of solving problems with violence, but of their belief that if someone is a threat that violence can solve that - Southerners were more approving of violence when raising kids with regards to spanking etc. - Historical hypothesis is that most of their ancestors weren’t passive farmers but herders who were more tough and not necessarily violent but more ready to use violence b/c of fears of losing their flock in an instant thus kids are raised without fear of violence but using it as means to protect themselves Correlation Research - Correlation research: research not involving random assignment to different situations or conditions and psychologists conduct just to see whether there is a relationship between the variables. Determine whether a relationship exists between two or more variables - Experimental research: randomly assigns people to different situations/conditions, enabling researchers to make inferences about which situations/ conditions that affect people’s behaviour - Correlation is not causation - Correlations show that they are related but they require further research, for ex: does 1 cause 2? or is it the other way around (reverse causation) - Or is there a third variable? (when variable 1 doesn’t cause 2 and 2 doesn’t cause 1, there is another variable in play) - For ex: are married people happier and healthier? Or are happy people more attractive rdd more likely to get married? Or is it that healthier people attract mates thus being a 3 variable - Correlation doesn’t prove causation because of self-selection (the experimenter not knowing what history or other properties a participant brings to the experiment)—in example of married couples, the researchers didn’t know if the participants brought good health into the marriage - Correlational research looks at how strongly the factors are related, 0 being not related and 1 being completed related - -1 means perfect negative correlation, 1 means perfect positive correlation The value of correlation findings - Correlations can alert a researchers to possible causal hypotheses - Also best option if the experiment would be unethical or difficult - Ruling out one hypothesis through research doesn’t prove anything rather it makes the link more clear than before - No longitudinal study can have reverse causality (something you do when you’re 30 can’t affect what you did when you were 5) - Longitudinal study: a study conducted over a long period of time with the same population which is periodically assessed regarding a behaviour - Clever analysis of data can rule out certain hypotheses making us closer to our result w/o testing Experimental research - Requires an independent and a dependent variable - Independent variable: variable that is manipulated and hypothesized to have a particular outcome - Dependent variable: variable that is measured, it is hypothesized to be affected by manipulation of independent variable - Independent variables and levels are decided on by the experimenter - Dependent variables are determined through: verbal reports, behaviour, and neural measures - Power of experimental research is ability to expose participants to different levels of independent variables by random assignment (assigning participants to different groups randomly such that they are as likely to be assigned to one condition as another)—which leaves the only changes to be the manipulation of independent variables omitting biases - Also random assignment rules out self-selection - It is critical that they have controlled conditions (conditions comparable to experimental condition in every way except that it lacks the one ingredient hypothesized to produce expected effect on the dependent measure - Experimental research isn’t always possible for ethical or difficulty purposes - Scientists must take advantage of natural experiments (naturally occurring events having somewhat different conditions that can be compared with almost as much rigor as in experiments where the investigator manipulates the conditions) So what are other useful concepts for understanding research? - Researchers must consider certain kinds of validity and reliability as well as statistical significance of their findings External validity in Experiments - Some experiments are so removed from everyday life that it is hard to know how to interpret them - External validity: experimental set-up that mirror real-life situations so they can be generalized to such situations - Ways to ensure external validity is to do a field experiment (experiment set up in the real world usually with participants who are not aware that they are in a study of any kind) Internal Validity of Experiments - Internal validity: in experimental research confidence that only the manipulated variable could have produced the results - Random assignment can help internal validity - Also if the participants don’t believe the setup to be realistic or plausible or don’t understand the instructions or experiment, they’re not responding to independent variable rather to something else entirely—prevented with debriefing - Debriefing may involve asking the participant directly if they understand instruction or find the setup reasonable Reliability and Validity of Tests and Measures - Reliability: degree to which particular way researchers measure a given variable is likely to yield consistent results - Reliability is related to correlations between 0 and 1 - Ability and personality tests are fairly reliable b/c they will usually yield similar results - Measurement validity: correlation between some measure and some outcome that the measure is supposed to predict Statistical Significance - Statistical significance: measure of the probability that a given result could have occurred by chance - Chance of something happening by chance is 1 in 20 or 0.05 percent - Statistical significance is due to: 1) size of the difference between groups in an experiment or size of relationship between variables in a correlation study & 2) number of cases finding is based on - The larger the difference or relationship and larger number of cases the more statistical significance Basic and Applied Research - Basic science: trying to understand some phenomenon in its own right not any real-world problem - Trying to find connections or correlations/ causations won’t help solve the problem, rather explore the phenomena - Applied science: concerned with solving a real-world problem - There’s a two way relationship between basic and applied science - Basic research gives rise to theories that lead to interventions (effort to change people’s behaviour) - Applied science can produce results to be fed by to basic research Ethical Concerns in Social Psychology - All research in universities must pass the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure that research proposals are ethical - They make sure the experiments are not OVERLY harmful - Informed consent governs acceptability of research (if participants are willing while knowing the conditions) - For deception research (research where participants are purposefully misled) this is impossible Social Psychology Chapter 3 Summary The Nature of the Social Self - The self is a social entity - 3 parts of the self: the individual self, the relational self and the collective self - Individual self: persons’ beliefs about his/ her unique personality traits, abilities, preferences etc. focusses on what sets person apart from others - Relational self: sense of oneself in specific relationships; husband or wife etc. - Collective self: person’s identity as a member of the groups they belong to like Irish- Canadian, gay urban male etc. The Origins of Self-Knowledge - Everyone from Athenians to Buddhists wonder about the self Family and Other Socialization Agents - How we socialize our kids for ex: children must share and say thank you etc. - This shapes our sense of self by encouraging certain behaviours and providing opportunities for certain activities, socialization agents can influence traits, abilities and preferences that we come to associate w/ ourselves - For ex: if you’re taken to Sunday school and indoctrinated as a Catholic; it’s not surprise that you become one - Reflected self-appraisals: beliefs about what others think of our social selves - Reactions and appraisals communicate to us if who we are: funny, neurotic, have potential etc. - This is how we THINK people see us, not how they actually think - Their impact isn’t necessarily that direct; it is indirect through our own perception - Medial prefrontal cortex is heightened during self-referential cognition (when people are asked to think about who they are) - Adolescents exhibit greater activity relative to adults in neural systems relevant to both self- perception and perspective taking; adolescents relied on reflected appraisals more meaning they define self through other’s views of them Situationism and the Social Self - Our social-self changes across different contexts Aspects of the self that is relevant in the social context - Working self-concept: subset of self-knowledge brought to mind in a particular context - We are different around our peers vs. our parents and in different contexts Aspects of the self that is distinctive in social context - What makes you different from everyone else can also be what defines you - For ex: if you’re a Guyanese in Canada, that distinction is part of your self-definition Both Malleable and Stable - We have the idea of having a stable, core self while shifting depending on social circumstance - Core components of self-knowledge are likely to be on top of the mind no matter what context - Person’s pool of self-knowledge remains relatively stable over time, providing a sense of self- continuity even as different pieces of self-knowledge come to the fore in different contexts - One’s sense of self shifts depending on context thus these shifts are predictable, stable patterns - Malleability of the self is stable - Malleable shifting from one context to another but at same time a person’s social self has core components that shifts from one context that persists across contexts Culture and the Social Self - Western countries emphasize personal success whereas Asian cultures emphasize group cooperation - Cultures promoting independent self-construal—self is autonomous entity distinct and separate from others; must assert uniqueness and independence; focus on internal behaviour== traits are stable across time and social context - Interdependent self-construal: self is connected to others; imperative is for person to find their place in community and focus is on influence of social context and situation on current behaviour. self is embedded in social relationships Culture and the Social Self in the Brain - Medial prefrontal cortex is active when describing self - Chinese participants: activation in medial prefrontal cortex occurred when making comparisons of others but for westerners there was a relative deactivation of medial prefrontal cortex - People with interdependent self-construals use same region to describe self and others Gender and the Social Self - American women construe themselves are more interdependent than men but men are more independent; the same is found in the Japanese - Women are more compassionate and better judges of personality and emotion - Men are more attuned to their own internal responses but women are more attuned to situational cues - Can come from socialization; from young we raise our girls differently, they play different sports and are portrayed differently - Evolutionarily: men are equipped physically and psychologically for hunting and aggressive encounters whereas women were more equipped for nurturing young Social Comparison - Social comparison theory: hypothesis that people compare themselves to others in order to obtain accurate assessment of their own opinions, abilities and internal states - We don’t compare ourselves to the likes of Einstein but from people approximately at your level of skill; more on the worse-off side b/c we like to feel good about ourselves - We are inclined to wish we can be better at some skill making engage in upward social comparison instead of downward ones - We routinely compare ourselves against certain people like our best friends to the point where it becomes automatic Narratives about the Social Self - We have a narrative of our life: where we grew up, important events, characters involved and we tell them to our parents or best friends - Cross cultural research shows Canadians were more likely to describe embarrassing scene rdom another’s point of view rather than their own vs. Asians who would do it as a 3 person account - Westerners experience things from inside out and easterners experience things from the outside in Organization of Self-Knowledge - Social self depends on ability to remember—to know who we are and other people are - Self-schemas: cognitive structure derived from past experience that rep. a person’s beliefs and feelings about the self in particular domains Self-Schemas - For ex: conscientiousness; we all have self-schema representing our beliefs and feeling about how conscientious we are based on situations where conscientiousness was relevant like studying for exams - Self-schema of one who is high in conscientiousness is likely to include more instances of past conscientious behaviour along w/ beliefs about what it means to be high in conscientiousness compared w/ self-schema for someone who isn’t part of her self-conception at all - Person w/ self-schema in a particular domain should process info in that domain more quickly and retrieve evidence consistent w/ self-schema more rapidly - Self-reference effect: tendency for info related to self to be more thoroughly processed and integrated w/ existing self-knowledge thereby making it more memorable Self-complexity Theory - Self-complexity: tendency to define self in terms of multiple domains that are relatively distinct from one another in context - High self-complexity means you define yourself in a number of domains, I’m a student, athlete, Rihanna fan etc. etc.) and these domains relatively don’t overlap in content - Any change in a domain doesn’t affect someone with high self-complexity as it does someone w/ low self-complexity Self-Esteem - California task force though they should elevate self-esteem to yield many benefits in society Trait and State Self-Esteem - Self-esteem: positive or negative overall evaluation that each person has of himself or herself - Trait self-esteem is persons’ enduring level of self-regard across time; it is fairly stable - People reporting low trait self-esteem report the same later and vice versa for high self-esteem - State self-esteem: dynamic and changeable self-evaluations experienced as momentary feeling about the self which rises and falls according to transient mood - People experiencing a temporary set-back will feel a dive in self-esteem temporarily Contingencies of Self-Worth - Contingencies of self-worth: an account of self-esteem that maintains that self-esteem is contingent on successes & failures in domains on which a person has based his or her self-worth - For ex: my self-esteem gets a boost when I get a good grade = self-esteem is contingent on school success - It’s costly to pursue self-esteem in any domain b/c it makes you controlled by that domain; your mood is contingent upon your success or failure in that domain - Replace self-esteem goals w/ alternative goals including others or involving contributing to something larger than the self Social Acceptance and Self-Esteem - Socio-meter hypothesis: hypothesis maintaining that self-esteem is an internal, subjective index or marker of the extent to which a person is included or looked on favorable by others - Our feelings of state self-esteem assess how we are doing socially; b/c being attractive, likable and competent is how we are accepted into a group - Elevated self-esteem indicates thriving in relationships; low self-esteem means we aren’t doing well in relationship - Momentary feelings of self-worth strongly depend on extent to which others approve of us and include us Culture and Self-Esteem - Westerners invented and emphasize self-esteem - Independent cultures foster higher levels of self-esteem than interdependent ones - Asians are more concerned w/ other ways of feeling good and are motivated for ex: toward self- improvement and commitment to collective goals - Situational hypothesis: people from western cultures create social interactions that enhance self- esteem; Japanese are more often encouraged to engage in assisted self-criticism which doesn’t build self-esteem but enhances skill - Cultural difference: one promotes self-esteem and one promotes improving the self - Canadians worked better w/ positive feedback and Japanese worked harder w/ negative feedback High Self-Esteem Good or Bad - People with high self-esteem may use negative feedback to improve but are less liked - High self-esteem may foster narcissism however not all people with high self-esteem are narcissists so there must be more than one kind of high self-esteem - People w/ higher self-esteem are more violent; psychopaths have been reported to have inflated self-worth - These narcissists will resort to violence if their worth is questioned Motives Driving Self-Evaluation Self-Enhancement - Refers to desire to maintain, increase or protect self-esteem or self-views using various strategies Self-Serving construals - Better-than-average-effect: finding that most people think they are above average on various trait and ability dimensions - People tend to construe particular trait/ ability in terms of those things they excel at then most of them will end up convinced they are above average - If good driver means careful to you and you are a careful driver then you’re an above avg. driver - Stronger better-than-avg. effect for ambiguous traits (easy to construe in various ways—artistic) than unambiguous traits (tall) - People tend to judge others as what they’re like on avg. but judge themselves based on what they are like at their best Comparing or Reflecting? - Self-evaluation maintenance (SEM) model: model maintain that people are motivated to view themselves in a favorable light and that they do so through two processes: reflection and social comparison; we shift between reflection and comparison to find one that makes us look best - We engage in reflection where we flatter ourselves by association w/ others’ accomplishments. If it doesn’t matter to us, we bask in their victories depending on the closeness we feel w/ them - Engage in comparison where we assess how abilities stand up to others. When we’re superior the comparison is downward so we maintain favorable self-views but if other outperforms us? - Unflattering comparisons sting more when they are with a close friend than a stranger - One strategy for dealing w/ situation of friend being better is sabotage, decreasing closeness to people who outperform you or decrease relevance of domain in which they outperform you Is self-enhancement adaptive? - People who are well-adjusted are more prone to illusions of the self, relative to those who suffer from low self-esteem - Those with higher self-esteem don’t get stressed as easily - Those who judge themselves honestly are rated more positively than self-enhancers - Answer to question ―is self-enhancement adaptive?‖= it depends - Self-enhancement is linked to better self-esteem and well-being in short term but advantages erode over time; self-enhancement provide # of benefits but if taken too far can exact cost Self-Verification - Self-verification theory: theory holds that people strive for stable, subjectively accurate beliefs about the self b/c such beliefs give them a sense of coherence - We strive to get other to confirm or verify our pre-existing beliefs about ourselves - If you are extraverted you will seek to get others to see you as extraverted; if you think you’re socially awkward getting others to see truth bolsters your feelings of coherence & predictability - People w/ negative self-views study more negative feedback than positive - Self enhancement is more relevant to our emotional response to feedback about the self - Self-verification is more concerned w/ participant’s evaluations of accuracy and competence of feedback Self-Regulation: Motivating and Controlling the Self - Self-regulation: processes that people use to initiate, alter and control their behaviour in pursuit of goals, including ability to resist short-term awards that thwart attainment of long-term goals - It captures people’s ability prioritize long-term goals by forgoing short term immediate rewards Possible Selves - Possible selves: hypothetical selves people aspire to be in future - Serve as standards that motivate goal-directed action - People w/ rich ideas of possible selves are more optimistic, energetic & less prone to depression - People also must feel their possible selves are possible to attain Self-discrepancy theory - Is: theory that behaviour is motivated by standards reflecting ideal and ought selves. Falling short of these standards dejection-related emotions for actual-ideal discrepancies and agitation-related emotions for actual-ought discrepancies - Actual self: who they believe they are - Ideal self: self that embodies people’s wishes and aspirations as held by themselves and others - Ought self: self that is concerned w/ duties, obligations and external demands people feel they are compelled to honour - When people regulate behaviour w/ respect to ideal self-standards they have promotion focus (focus of attaining positive outcomes)—more attuned to positive outcomes and engage in approach related behaviour - When people regulate behaviour w/ respect to ought self-standards they have prevention focus (focus on avoiding negative outcomes)—more attuned to negative outcomes and engage in avoidance related tendencies Ego Depletion - Is: a state produced by acts of self-control where people lack energy or resources to engage in further acts of self-control - Incentives can counteract ego depletion Automatic Self-Control Strategies - When facing a temptation, bringing the goal we have in mind first can diminish temptations; found for goals holding high importance Self-Presentation - Public self is one we create in social interactions and is concerned with self-presentation - Self-presentation: presenting the person we would like others to believe we are - Face: public image of ourselves we want others to believe - Self-presentation is collaborative as it depends on others to honour our desired social identities and we’ll do the same for them - Self-monitoring: people’s tendency to monitor behaviour in such a way that it fits demands of current situation; high self-monitors carefully scrutinize situations and shift their self-presentation and behaviour accordingly; low self-monitors act in accordance w/ internal inclinations and don’t change behaviour depending on who they’re with Protection you own Face: Self-Handicapping - Self-handicapping: people’s tendency to engage in self-defeating behaviour in order to have a ready excuse should they perform poorly or fail in an attempt to protect public self - For ex: not preparing for an exam therefore if you do poorly it isn’t b/c you’re dumb but b/c you didn’t try Dying to Present a Favourable Self - We sacrifice physical health to maintain a public identity defined by composure; like being ashamed to buy condoms - Fear of embarrassment leads to more health risks Protecting Others’ Face: On-Record vs. Off-Record Communications - 2 levels of communication: on record communication (statements meant to be taken literally) and off-record communication (ambiguous or indirect statements which aren’t honest communication so vagueness leads to many interpretations of what is being said) Social Psychology Chapter 4 Summary - Our judgements are only as good as the information we receive - The way information is presented can skew our judgement - We actively seek out information and the way we seek out information is biased by us so the information we seek out is thus affected - Our pre-existing knowledge, expectations and mental habits can influence our construal of information - Intuition and reason and how they interplay determines judgement we make Why Study Social Cognition? - If we want to know how someone will react in a given situation we must understand how they perceive that situation - Research in social cognition looks at the limitations of our judgements to find out more about how we make them The Information Available for Social Cognition - Social cognition depends on information which can be limited, incorrect, misleading, or tainted by their pre-existing bias thus hampering our ability to make a good judgement Minimal Information: Inferring Personality from Physical Appearance - Willis and Todorov completed an experiment where pictures were shown to a group of participants to make a judgement solely bthed on appearance. One group was given as much time as they liked while the other had 1/10 of a second; they all made similar/ the same judgements - People conclude what they know about someone almost instantaneously Perceiving Trust and Dominance
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