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Chapter 1

PSYC 2310 SOCIAL PSYCH CH.1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2310
Professor
Saba Safdar
Semester
Fall

Description
Fall 2013 Saba Safdar Social Psychology PSYC*2310 Text: Social Psychology, Sanderson & Safdar CHAPTER ONE - Every man is a part of the main, no man is an island. - We are interconnected beings that depend on our connections for survival. - Social psychology seeks to understand social connecttiond and hoe they influence and are influenced by what we think, feel and do Thoughts influencesSOCIAL WORLD & influences  thoughts Feelings influences SOCIAL WORLD &influences feelings Behaviours influences SOCIAL WORLD &influences  behaviours - Social psych also studies how we explain others & our own behaviours. Behaviours are aka attributions. “Social psychology is an attempt to understand how the thoughts feelings and behaviours of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of other human beings” (-Allport) - Single perspectives are anecdotal (subjective or unreliable) and limited. - Social psychology uses scientific inquiry, meaning it: 1. Collects accurate, error free information 2. Is objective, and bias-free 3. Is empirically collected (collected by using the senses ex. Observation) 4. Gathers information following the scientific method, a systematic procedure - Scientific method: technique for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, and correcting previous knowledge - Hypothesis: a (educated guess) testable prediction about conditions under which an event will occur. This helps us to find objective answers. Fun facts from studies: - Bronze medal winners are happier than silver medal winners - Adolescents of a high income family report more anxiety, and higher rates of depression and substance abuse than adolescents from lower income families. - Men are more interested in casual sex than women. Men have a very low risk factor when having sex, because unlike women, they do not run the risk of pregnancy or death by giving birth. Therefore, biologically, women are less interested in casual sex because of the high risk potential situations. 3 Focuses of Social Psych 1. How we think about ourselves 2. How we think, feel and act in the social world 3. How attitudes and behaviours shape the social world HOW WE THINK ABOUT OURSELVES: SELF PERCEPTION - Self-perception: the way we think of ourselves. Its influenced by our socio-cultural environment. Ex. Youre voted “best dressed award”  “I like my style” - Self-presentation: the way we present our self-perception to others Ex. “I like my style”  wears certain clothes, buys cars to convey this belief HOW WE THINK, FEEL & ACT IN THE SOCIAL WORLD - Social perception: how we and others form impressions and make inferences about others and events. It is how we make up our minds with ideas, and this is done easily and frequently. - Social cognition: a type of social perception: how we think about the social world, and how we select and use information to pass judgement and make decisions. - Heuristics: rules of thumb - Social influence: impact of others attitudes and behaviours on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Ex. Advertising, very direct. - Social psychology also analyzes perceptions, because we act based on what we believe others think. Ex. Not asking questions in class  “they will think I’m stupid” - Perceptions affect us whether they are accurate or not HOW OUR ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUS SHAPE THE SOCIAL WORLD - Self-fulfilling Prophecy: occur when our expectations about a person lead them to act in ways that confirm our beliefs Ex. “He is so mean”  act rudely to him because you expect rudeness  “why is she so rude”  he acts mean because of her rudeness  her belief is confirmed “I was right” EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - Rooted in North American and European society - Began in the 20 century, with the 1 ever text book written by Floyd Allport (1924) that focused on: 1. Behaviour 2. Gestalt psychology: human mind and behaviour as a whole, and not composed of separate parts 3. Historical events Ex. Holocaust and nazi behaviour (What made them do it?) BEHAVIOURISM - 20th century behaviourism: only based on measurable data to remain scientific - Thoughts and feelings were considered immeasurable, so the impact of positive and negative events on behaviour was studied. This is the essence of behaviourism. - Behaviourism: is a learning theory that describes peoples behaviour as accuired through conditioning. Rewarded behaviour continues Punished behaviour  ends conditioning GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY: WHOLE FORM (GERMAN) - Contrasting behaviourism, gestalt psychology emphasizes how things are constructed in our minds, and not just how things appear to influence people. - Focus: interpretations, cognitive processes - Kurt Lewin: founder of modern social psych, he focused on: 1. role of social perception 2. group dynamics 3. contributing factors to stereotypes and prejudice HISTORICAL EVENTS - Muzafer Sherif: Turkish, phD in psych, studied group influence, group coperations’ reduction on intergroup conflict - Stanley Milgram: social psychologist of the 1960s , he studied authority and pbedience after experiencing Nazi Germany. - Psychologists emergence around war time created focus on negative behaviours. Now increasingly more focus is on positive behaviours. - Positive psychology 1998: focuses on other’s strengths and virtues. its rooted in humanistic psychology that focuses on individual potential and fulfillment. Researchers examine traits that are associated with like satisfaction and predictors of healthy human functioning. Interventions are then designed to improve well-being. SOCIAL PSYCH, COMMON SENSE? - Common sense is variable, depending on context, location etc. - Hindsight bias: tendency to see given outco
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