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Chapter 8

PSYCO258 Chapter 8: Chapter 8 – Social Psychology

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Weimin Mou

Chapter 8 – Social Psychology Social psychology: the study of the causes and consequences of sociality o Social behavior o Social influence o Social cognition • Basic goals for animals is to survive and reproduce, being social is one strategy • Ultra social: form societies in which large numbers of individuals divide labor and cooperate for mutual benefit, only four species do this 1. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) 2. Termites 3. Naked mole rats 4. Humans (most social) o Only humans are unrelated individuals whom do this • Struggle for resources, hurting and helping – two very different behaviors are both solutions to one problem • Aggression: behavior whose purpose is to harm another o Animals do this to obtain needed resources o Frustration-aggression hypothesis: suggests animals aggress when and only when their goals are frustrated o Another idea is that aggression is a response to negative affect (feeling irritated, hurt, uncomfortable from stimuli, environment etc.) • Biology and culture play role in determining If and when people will aggress o Best predictor of aggression is gender, men are more aggressive (pressure from society to be manly and testosterone hormone) ▪ Elicit aggression by challenging a male’s status or dominance ▪ Dependent on culture; in the states, men in the south are more aggressive then men in the north o Women much less likely to aggress without provocation or to aggress in ways that cause physical injury but more likely to aggress by causing social harm (spreading rumors) o Watching violent tv shows and playing violent video games make people more aggressive • Cooperation: behavior by two or more individuals that leads to mutual benefit o Requires we take a risk by benefiting those who have not yet benefited us and then trusting them to do the same o Cooperation is risky, demonstrated by the prisoner’s dilemma: both participants confess – 10 yrs in jail for both; neither confess – 1yr in jail for both; one confess and one doesn’t – the person who confesses walks free the one who doesn’t goes to jail for 30yrs o How to minimize the risk? Spot the cheater (Wason card selection task) and react strongly to cheating (Ultimatum game): people way pay to punish someone who has treated them unfairly o Prejudice: positive or negative evaluation of another person based on their group membership o Discrimination: positive or negative behavior toward another person based on their group mem o bership o Groups often underperform individuals because they like to maintain harmony so they ignore real problems, do not fully capitalize on the expertise of their members, discuss events that are not important o Groups sometimes do bad things together – gang rape, rioting etc.; less likely to consider individual values instead adopt group values ▪ Deindividuation: immersion in a group causes people to become less concerned with their personal values ▪ Diffusion of responsibility: individuals feel diminished responsibility for their actions because they are surrounded by others who are acting the same way o Exclusion from groups causes psychological and physical harm, groups give identity to individuals, they may cause misjudgment and harm at times but groups are also a key to happiness and well being • Altruism: behavior that benefits another without benefiting oneself o Kin selection: process by which evolution selects for individuals who cooperate with their relatives o Reciprocal behavior that benefits another with the expectation that those benefits will be returned in the future (monkey grooming unrelated monkey) • Mere exposure effect: tendency for the frequency of exposure to a stimulus to increase liking • Nature has designed people to be attracted to people who have good genes and will be good parents o Body shape o Facial symmetry o Age • Passionate love: an experience involving feelings of euphoria, intimacy and intense sexual attraction • Companionate love: an experience involving affection, trust and concern for a partner’s well being • Social exchange: hypothesis that people remain in relationships only as long as they perceive a favorable ratio of costs to benefits o Comparison level: cost benefit ratio that people believe they deserve or could attain in another relationship o People want high cost benefit ratios but they want them to be the same as their partners, prefer equity: state of affairs in which the cost benefit ratios of two partners are roughly equal • Social influence: ability to c
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