Chapter 1 – Introduction to Psychology
WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour are
influenced by factors in the social world.
Social psychologists study how people explain their own and other people’s behaviour
(attributions), how people influence others (persuasion), and how people connect with each other
USING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
The scientific method is a technique for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge,
and/or correcting previous knowledge.
This process helps us find objective answers to questions about why people think, feel,
and behave as they do.
HOW WE THINK ABOUT OURSELVES: Also known as self-perception.
Example: many students arrive at University feeling rather good about themselves
because they were good at something and when they see how groups are divided, they
may not feel quite as good about themselves.
Self-presentation – how people work to convey certain images of themselves to others.
Example: the car we drive, the model of cell phone we own, etc., convey information
about our habits, interests and resources.
HOW WE THINK, FEEL, AND ACT INT HE SOCIAL WORLD
Social perception – how people form impressions of and makes inferences about other people
and events in the social world.
Social cognition (type of social perception) – how we think about the social world, and in
particular how we select, interpret, and use information to make judgements about the world.
Example – expensive restaurants serve better food than cheap restaurants.
Social influence – the impact of other people’s attitudes and behaviours on our thoughts,
feelings, and behaviour.
Example: advertising messages influence attitudes and behaviours.
HOW OUR ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR SHAPE THE SOCIAL WORLD