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Ch1 Introducing Social Psychology.docx

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University of Waterloo
Hilary B Bergsieker

Social Psychology: Ch 1 Social Psychology- the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another Major themes  Social Thinking o We construct our social reality o Our social intuitions are powerful, sometimes perilous  Social Influences o Social influences shape behaviour o Dispositions shape behaviour  Social Relations o Social behaviour is also biological behaviour o Relating to others is a basic need  Applying SP o In everyday life Social neuroscience- an integration of biological and social perspectives that explores the neural and psychological bases of social and emotional behaviours Science has subjective aspects. Interpret nature. Culture- the enduring behaviours, ideas, attitudes, traditions, products, and institutions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next Social representation- socially shared beliefs; widely held ideas and values, including our assumptions and cultural ideologies. Our social representations help us make sense of our world. Obvious values in psychology  Choice of research topics  Types of people who are attracted to various fields of study Hidden values in psychological concepts  Defining the good life o Ideas on the best way to live your life  Professional advice o Based on personal values  Forming concepts o The same characteristics can be interpreted differently  Labelling o Ambitious vs aggressive, terrorist vs freedom fighter  Naturalistic fallacy o The error of defining what is good in terms of what is observable; for example, what’s Hindsight bias- the tendency to exaggerate, after learning an outcome, one’s ability to have foreseen how something turned out; “I knew it all along” Tell one group “birds of a feather flock together” and the other group “opposites attract” and they will all say “that’s not surprising, that’s obvious” even though they are opposites. METHODS Theory- an integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events (gravity is a theory that explains why things drop to the ground) What makes a good theory? 1. Effectively summarizes many observations 2. Makes clear predictions we can use to a. Confirm or modify a theory b. Generate new exploration c. Suggest practical application Hypothesis-
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