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Chapter 3

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PSYC 2310
John Walsh

Lecture 2 - Thursday, January 9, 2014 CH. 1 – INTRODUCTION “man [human] is by nature a social animal” (Aristotle, Politics, c. 328 B.C.) • Why do we gossip, why do we explain the motivation of other people? This is what social psychology is all about…they want to explain this social animal • Social psychology is the study of a. Social thinking b. Social influence, how does anything effect your behavior, for example being part of a group and how the effects you unconsciously c. Social relatedness What is social psychology? • The scientific study of the way in which a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influences by the real or imagines presence of other people (Allport, 1985) • Use scientific method to study human behavior • Unit of analysis in social psychology is the individual, not religion, social class, race, family unit – this is what makes it different from sociology What is science? • It is a methodology – something you can measure • Afrilled must adopt a set of values and methods to be considered a scientific field • Three of these values are: 1. Accuracy – accurately measure what they are trying to measure (social science can accurately measure human behavior) 2. Objectivity – you can measure a concept all while putting your personal and subjective opinions aside 3. Skepticism – scientific method is systematic observation, description, and measurement  PRACTICE QUIZ Social psychology differs from philosophy because social psychology because it is empirical History of social psychology • The scientific study of social psychology developed at the end of the 19 century • Norman Triplett was one of the pioneers o Do cyclist cycle faster when they are against others? Yes, because of competition this is a social phenomenon, the presence of others creates the level of arousal that facilitates your arousal o Another example is when you go to the gym or is you’re an excellent piano player vs a novice one o Floyd Allport wrote an important book on interaction of individuals in their social contexts o World war II increased research in social psychology  Adisastrous event increased research in social psychology because people wanted to know how it was possible for the Nazi’s to do it. How can people commit genocides ? • Some major contributions to social psychology 1930 – 1960 VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW o GordonAllport – prejudice, establishment of society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) o Muzafer Sherif – experimental research on social influence o Kurt lewin – action research, research has benefits for everyday questions that people face in their social lives o SolomonAsch – first to study conformity o Leon Festinger – cognitive dissonance o Standley Milgram – obedience CH. 3 – SOCIAL SELF • No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; • “Known thyself” – Solon, the Greek thinker • We know more about ourselves now then anytime in history • Who are you? o Self-concept or self-knowledge  Psychological characteristics (your interest), your age, gender, personality traits,  Self-awareness Definitions • Three features of self (Baumeister, 1986): a) Self includes the body b) Self includes the social identity c) Self is the active agent – you make decisions for yourself • Functions of selfhood • 50 first dates is an example – no identity means no sense of self no sense of self means you can not function in the real world • we need to know who we are and how we connect with others a) self is an interpersonal tool b) self makes choices
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