SOC 241: Social Psych
Section 1: Textbook notes (pg: v to 35, 54 to 58)
Pages 5 to 35
Social Psychology is a relatively new field, the first known studies were done in the 1800’s.
textbooks weren’t introduced until 1900’s
Max Ringelmann: had men pull on a rope alone and then in groups, found people didn’t try as
hard when in a group (1880’s)
Norman Triplett: noticed bicycle riders did better when racing others vs racing clock. Test by
having 40 children wind a reel. When working side by side, the children tried harder.
One idea: “modern life makes people vulnerable to alienation and exploration by giant social
Two key ideas from the 1900’s: Gordon Allport noted that the study of attitudes was key and Kurt
Lewin noted behaviour is a function of the person and the situation.
World War II: WWII cause a lot of research and cause lots of researchers to move to the United
● Adolf Eichmann: stated that everyone was following orders
● Lead to Milgram’s shock experiment
Main Ideas/Themes by era
1950/1960 (still important now)
● Behaviourism: explain human behaviour in terms of learning principles not the mind,
thoughts, emotions, or other inner processes. Focused on observable actions that could
be studied experimentally, focused on reinforcement histories.
● Freudian Psychoanalysis: interpretation of human experiences, looking at inner
processes, focused on unconscious forces
● study of simple cognitive processes evolved into study of social cognition (how people
think about people and the social world)
● study of self came another central theme