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Social Psychology

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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Social Psychology Scientific study of how individuals thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by social context o Social perception Perceptions of the self Perceptions of other individuals Perceptions of social groups The Self Concept Refers to the sum of total beliefs that people have about themselves o Composed of several self-schemas Beliefs that people hold about themselves that guide processing of self relevant information Eg. Believing you are shy o Shematicity Certain attributes are more important to a persons self concept than others Schematic when a self schema is central to a persons self concept Influences how we behave in certain situations How we remember past events Aschematic Attribute that is not important to a person Eg. Two people who are thin. when they are getting food, one will care, and one will not care about their body weight. o The one who does not care is aschematic Developing Self Concept Self Awareness o Ability to recognize oneself as a distinct entity and develops self concept Recognizing oneself in the mirror is used to test the existence of self awareness Rouge test, recognizing a red mark placed on the forehead Self Perception Theory o People learn about themselves by observing their own behaviour and making inferences regarding their internal state from these actions (like we do with other people) Introspection Looking inward to ones thoughts and feelings Not accurate at explaining why they do the things they do Affective Forecasting Demonstrates peoples lack of self knowledge Predicting how they would feel about a future emotional event People predict they will be much more upset over emotional events than they actually are Overestimate the strength and duration of their emotional reactions Influences of Other People Looking glass self o Refers to the notion that other people serve as mirrors in which we see ourselves We imagine what other people think of us from their reactions and integrate perceptions into self concept Social comparison theory o People evaluate their own abilities and opinions by comparing themselves to others Culture o Self concept is shaped by culture Individualistic Inner psychological characteristics Attitudes, personality, abilities, traits Independent self concept View self as distinct, autonomous, self contained Collectivist Relational roles and group memberships Interdependent self concept View self as part of a larger social network Relationships are more important than self expression Self Esteem o Reflects feelings of approval and acceptance of ourselves o Life experiences, successes and failures can alter state of mine, resulting in shifts of self esteem o 2 functions of self esteem Sociometer Theory People are inherently social and use self esteem as a means to determine the degree to which they are liked and accepted, or disliked and rejected by others Self esteem reflects how we think others view us Low self esteem can make us change our behaviour to be accepted Terror Management Theory People are biologically programmed for self preservation but are also aware of mortality Reminders of mortality increases self esteem striving Methods of Self Enhancement People engage in a variety of techniques to enhance or maintain their self esteem o Self handicapping Engaging in behaviours desgined to sabotage ones own performance in order to provide an excuse for failure o Basking in Reflected Glory (BIRGing) People increase self esteem by associating with others who are successful Cut off reflected failutre (CORFing) People protect self esteem by psychologically distancing themselves from others who have failed Eg. we won to they lost o Downward Social Comparisons Defensive tendencies to compare ourselves with others who are worse than we are Can make social comparisons between our past and present o Self Serving Cognitions General beliefs about self that serve to enhance self esteem Better than average effect Rate themselves as better than average person
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