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Chapter 13

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY 202
Professor
Lili Ma
Semester
Summer

Description
1 th PSY202-031 March 9 2012 Chapter 13: Social Psychology How Others Affect Us Lecture Preview Identify aspects of social situations which influence the behaviour of individuals Examine factors that influence conformity and obedience to authority Explore prosocial behaviour and aggression Discuss how attitudes are shaped by social pressure, and the nature of prejudice Video: Martian Invasion! Orson Welles Creates Mass Panic (1938) - We dont live in isolation; we live amongst others. How does the action of others influence me? - If a name is mentioned in lecture KNOW THIS NAME! dont need to know dates. - If someone tells me something do I believe them or not? Especially if its absurd. Most people on average consider radio, or TV people to be credible. Instinctively, if someone is going to tell us something; like the prof do we believe them? - If you are listening to the radio and you hear something like Theres a Martian Invasion! In a group setting we may think about answering differently. - Orson Welles made a radio broadcast around the time of Halloween. This was a prank phony news broadcast. He had a believable voice. - He repeatedly said that this was an adaptation of a science story so it wasnt a complete hoax. Social Psychology Identify the ways in which social situations influence the behaviour of individuals - why did the hoax succeed and why are social situations so successful? The study of how people influence others behaviour, beliefs and attitudes - people on tv, people on the radio. Why is my general belief about things. Attitude has a strong emotional component. Helps us understand why many forms of social influence are so powerful they influence groups of people. Sociology is different, it studies how groups of people behave. Personality psychology focuses on the individual. Social psychology will merge the two together. Interaction between the person and the group itself. Why We Form Groups Need to Belong Theory - biologically based need for interpersonal connections - if a person is very isolated it can lead to mental health disturbances. Social connections that are meaningful are really important they are good buffers for our overall health. 1 2 o Even the threat of social isolation can promote unhealthy behaviour and compromise IQ scores. undergraduates were given a personality test and based on this test the experimenter can tell you what will happen in your future. Half of the group who took the test were told you are going to end up alone in life they believed it; because of social influence. Another group was told you are prone to a lot of accidents in life. The first group started to engage in unhealthy behaviours, like unhealthy eating habits. They were also more likely to procrastinate on school work. A separate group from another study was given an IQ test; it decreased their overall IQ score. We take for granted what good relationships give us. When we are deprived of these relationships it hurts us mentally. o Social exclusion activates the same brain areas as physical pain. is their biological evidence that social exclusion is painful in a physical sense. YES. How do we do this? Sometimes when someone isnt picked for teams in gym class. This has a psychological effect on the person. The ouch feeling when you hurt yourself can also be felt when people kick you out of a team. Corpus collusum cingulate cortex: sits ontop of the corpus collusum; this is activated when you have that feeling about being isolated. It tells us that social isolation can cause psychological changes. Gravitating to each other (to a point) Anthropologist Robin Dunbar (1993) o 150 (approximate size of most social groups) includes relatives, cousins and friends that you form. On average it can lead up to 150 people. This is the maximum number we see in humans. o Why? Because of the Size of our neocortex relative to our brain limits how many people we can closely associated with. Neocoretex: new outer portion of the brain. The reason why its called this, is being we have a lot of this new tissue. We are one of the newest creatures on the planet. The neocortex makes us think we are powerful. In animals this portion is a lot smaller. This helps in thinking abilities. It allows us to handle complex relationships Animals with a small neocortex they have a smaller number of social interactions. Ex dolphins have friends, and close social interactions. Evolutionary factors - social influence processes (conformity, obedience) generally serve us well, unless accepted unquestioningly Based on what our ancestors did right and what they did wrong, certain traits were favored. 2 3 The ways we behave in situations are different. We have conformity. You know what the general conformity in certain situations is. If we dont question what we are being told it can lead us into dangerous situations. The Presence of Others Social facilitation or disruption - enhancement of easy tasks, or disruption of difficult ones, elicited by the presence of others Example if you are running on a treadmill and the person next to you is going really really fast you will try to copy that person. In basketball we have things that can be used to disrupt players from making the basket. Attributions: Assigning Cause to Behaviour Explain how and why our attributions about the causes of others' behaviour are accurate in some cases but biased in others We try to explain why people behave the way they do. The way people behave around us influence us. We try to figure out why people do certain things. Fundamental Attribution Error - tendency to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences (personality, attitudes, intelligence) on other peoples behaviour Attributing- trying to figure out why people do what they do. We say people behave the way they do because of personalities this means we are attributing to them. Disposition - because shes like that it is specific to who the person is. This is how we can explain their behaviour. There is also situational shes not dumb, just look at the situation she is in. you break down the situation in which the person is in. Results in underestimation of situational influences Attributions: Assigning Cause to Behaviour Cultural disparity for the FAE: Asian cultures are more likely to consider situational factors Differs in cultures; especially in cultures where people work in groups together. A lot of these cultures are changing to adapt to individualistic views. They tend to focus on situational factors he robbed the bank because look at the situation he is in, his family needs money, and etc. this is more likely to come from a person who is from a large group. 3 4 Evidence for the Fundamental Attribution Error Jones & Harris (1967) Castro Study Subjects inferred that debaters positions on Cuba reflected their actual attitudes despite the random assignment of debaters to positions a striking example of the FAE. Focusing on what is internal. Ex. Read an essay thats about pro- communism or anticommunism. Either the essay you were reading is - the person was forced to write the essay. You are to assess their attitude. The readers were estimating the essays attitude. The key thing to take away from this the lines are overall in the same direction. People will be lead to what they are reading. This is what advertisers do- regardless of what info you already know, and when you are exposed to certain messages over and over; you start believing them. Having studied social psychology actually changes peoples approach in situations. Social Comparison Explain the power of our observations of others to influence our thoughts, beliefs, and decisions Social Comparison Theory - we evaluate our beliefs, attitudes, and abilities by comparing ourselves to others Mass hysteria - outbreak of
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