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Social Psychology.docx

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Ryerson University
PSY 504
Kathleen Fortune

Social Psychology 08/09/2012 8:04:00 PM Social Psychology: A science that studies the influences of our situations, with special attention to how we view and affect one another. The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. It is a young science (1898) We construct our social reality we like to attribute behaviour to a cause or explanation Dual processing conscious and subconscious intuition both powerful and perilous as it can often be wrong. (Ex. Predicting feelings, trusting memories) We are social animals respond to our immediate contexts and may be victims of circumstance in our behaviours. (ex. Nazis and holocaust) Internal forces and attitudes also matter in our decisions. Our biology predisposes us to behave in certain ways. Social Neuroscience: An integration of biological and social perspectives that explores the neural and psychological bases of social and emotional behaviours. We desire to fit in with others, and when we are excluded our self-esteem drops. Self-esteem a reading of how accepted we feel by others. Social Psychology reflects the values of the times: 1940s Studies of prejudice (Fascism) 1950s Studies of conformity (The American Dream) 1960s Studies of Aggression (Riots were happening) 1970s Studies of gender and sexism (Feminist Movement) 1980s Studies of the psychology of the arms race 1990s Studies of Social diversity Values differ across time and culture Culture: The enduring behaviours, ideas, attitudes, traditions, products, and institutions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next Social Representations: socially shared beliefs, widely held ideas and values, including our assumptions and cultural ideologies. Our social representations help us make sense of our world. Psychologists hold values as well, seen when: Defining the good life Giving Professional Advice Forming Concepts Labeling - High self-esteem vs Defensiveness Naturalistic Fallacy: the error of defining what is good in terms of what is observable ex. Whats typical is normal, whats normal is good. Events are far more obvious and predictable in hindsight than beforehand. Hindsight bias: The tendency to exaggerate, after learning an outcome, ones ability to have foreseen how something turned out. Theory: An integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events Hypothesis: A testable proposition that describes a relationship that may exist between events Operationalization: Needs to be valid and reliable Field Research: Research done in natural, real-life settings outside the laboratory. Correlational Research: The study of the naturally occurring relationships among variables Experimental Research: Studies that seek clues to cause-effect relationships be manipulating one or more factors (independent variables) while controlling others (holding them constant). Random Sample: Survey procedure in which every person in the population being studied has an equal chance of inclusion. Things that skew experiments: Unrepresentative Samples Order if the questions Response bias and Social desirability Wording of the questions Independent Variables: The experimental factor that a researcher manipulates Dependent Variables: The variable being measured, so called because it may depend on manipulations of the independent variable. Random Assignment: The process of assigning participants to the conditions of an experiment such that all persons have the same chance of being in a given condition. Random Assignment helps us infer cause and effect, random sampling helps us generalize to a population. Mundane Realism: Degree to which an experiment is superficially similar to everyday situations. Experimental Realism: Degree to which an experiment absorbs and involves its participants Demand Characteristics: cues in an experiment that tell the participant what behaviour is expected Informed Consent: An ethical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate In an experiment: Be truthful. Protect people from harm and significant discomfort Be confidential Debrief participants 9/8/2012 8:04:00 PM Social surroundings affect our self-awareness ex. when youre the only male in a class Self-interest colours our social judgement ex. When something goes wrong, we blame others. The opposite is also true. Self-concern motivates our social behaviour ex. Dressing to impress Social relationships help define the self ex. Different behaviour with different people Self-concept: A persons answers to the question Who am I? Self-Schema: Beliefs about self that organize and guide the processing of self- relevant information Possible Selves: Images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future Things that affect our self-concept include: Social identity: The we aspect of our self-concept. The part of our answer to Who am I? that comes from our group membership (I am Polish). The comparisons we make with others Our successes and failures How other people judge us The surrounding culture People in minorities think more about their social identity than majorities. Social Comparisons: Evaluating your abilities and opinions by comparing yourself to others We use others as a benchmark in order to assess ourselves Comparisons can be used to bolster our self-perceptions, or diminish our satisfaction. People with a sense of self-worth are happier, less neurotic, less troubled by insomnia, less prone to drug and alcohol addictions, more persistent after failure, and healthier. Success feeds self-esteem The looking-glass self: Charles H. Cooley how we think others perceive us is used as a mirror for perceiving ourselves. Self-inflation: usually people are more willing to compliment than criticize, so we can have a skewed self-image It is found most in Western countries (Compliment once a day vs. Japans every four days)
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