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Chapter 1

Chapter 1-Jan. 9th.docx

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PSYC 2310

Chapter 1- Introducing Social Psychology January 9 2014 What is social psychology? - It’s about understanding our connections to eachother - 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 others behaviour, how people influence others and how people connect with others Scientific method- a research method for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge and evaluating and integrating previous knowledge Hypothesis- a testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur Social Psychology- a scientific study of the way in which a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by the real, imagined, or implied presence of others - 3 important topics to social psychologists: 1. How we think about ourselves 2. How we think, feel and act in the social world 3. How our attitude and behaviour shape the social world (imagined or real) Self-perception- how we think about ourselves Social perception- how people form impressions of and make inferences about other people and events in the social world Self-presentation- how people work to convey certain images of themselves to others Social cognition- how we think about the social world, and in particular how we select, interpret, and use information to make judgments about the world Social influence- the impact of other people’s attitudes and behaviour on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour - People’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour are influenced not only by what other people think or do, but also by what they imagine other people think or do Self-fulfilling prophecy- the process by which people’s expectations about a person lead them to elicit behaviour that confirms these expectations How has social psychology evolved over time? Behaviourism- a theory of learning that describes people’s behaviour as acquired through conditioning th • Early 20 century Gestalt psychology- a theory that proposes objects are viewed historically • Early 1900’s • Emphasized the importance of looking at the whole object and how it appeared in people’s minds, opposed to looking at specific objective parts of the object (ex. spotted dog picture in text) • In sharp contrast to behaviourism - Early theory and research in social psychology was sparked by horrific events, such as the holocaust • Due to this, much of the early work in social psych focused on explaining behaviour that might be regarded as problematic (aggression, stereotyping and prejudice, misplaced obedience to authority) Positive psychology- a recent branch of psychology that studies individuals strengths and virtues • Established in 1998 • Martin Seligman and Milhaly Csikszentmihalyi Is Social Psychology Really Just Common Sense? Hindsight bias- the tendency to see a given outcome as inevitable once the actual outcome is known • “I knew it all along” How is social psychology connected to other fields? - Social psychology is closely connected to several sub-disciplines in the field of psychology: • Personality psychology •
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