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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Introducing Social Psychology.docx

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Dax Urbszat

PSY220H5 Chapter 1 Introducing Social Psychology Social Psychology: is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another - Compared to sociology (the study of people in groups and societies), social psychology focuses more on individuals with methods that more often use experimentation - It is an environmental science that focuses on how the social environment influences behavior Major themes in Social Psychology: 1. We construct our social reality (social thinking)  We humans have an urge to explain behavior, to attribute it some cause and therefore, to make it seem orderly, predictable, and controllable 2. Our social institutions are powerful, sometimes perilous (social thinking)  Our institutions shape our fears (is flying dangerous), impressions (can I trust him?), and relationships (does he like me?) Institutions influence leaders in times of crisis, gamblers at the table, jurors in their assessment of guilt, and personal directors when eyeing applicants  Thinking, memory and attitudes all operate on two levels – one conscious and deliberate, the other unconscious and automatic (Dual processing) 3. Social influences shape behavior (social influences)  Your situation matters. Your culture helps define your situation; your standards regarding promptness, frankness, and clothing vary with your culture. (Examples on pg. 9)  Hazel Markus “people are above all malleable.” – we adapt to our social context, our behavior is shaped by external forces 4. Dispositions shape behavior (social influences)  Internal forces also matter, personality dispositions also affect behavior 5. Social behavior is also biological behavior (social relations)  To understand social behavior, we must consider both under-the-skin (biological) and between-skins (social) influences. Social neuroscience: an integration of biological and social perspectives that explores the neural and psychological basis of social and emotional behaviors - How do the mind and behavior function together as one coordinated system PSY220H5 6. Relating to others is a basic need (social relations)  Our relationship with others form the basis of our self-esteem  Our self esteem is nothing but a reading of how accepted we feel by others 7. Social psychology’s principles are applicable to everyday life (applying social psychology)  Makes visible the subtle forces that guide your thinking and acting The central themes of social psychology concern the following:  How we construe our social worlds  How our social institutions guide and sometimes deceive us  How social behavior is shaped by other people, by our attitudes and personality, and by our biology  How social psychology’s principles apply to our everyday lives and to various other fields of study culture: the behaviors, ideas, attitudes, traditions, products and institutions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next social representations: socially shared beliefs; widely held ideas and values, including our assumptions and cultural ideologies. Our social representations help us make sense of our world. “ Science does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves; it describes nature as exposed to our method of questioning.” – WERNER HEISENBERG, PHYSICS AND PHILOSOPHY THE HIDDEN VALUES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS 1. Defining the goodlife 2. Professional advice 3. Forming concepts 4. Labeling 5. Naturalistic fallacy Defining the Goodlife: Abraham Maslow Self-actualization: people who, with their needs for survival, safety, “belongingness”, and self-esteem satisfied, go on to fulfill their human potential - this definition reflected Maslow’s personal values, had it been otherwise the definition would been something entirely different today PSY220H5 Professional Advice: - Psychological/professional advice often reflects the advice giver’s personal values - In Western cultures, those values usually will be individualistic – encouraging what feels best for “me.” Non-western cultures more often encourage what’s best for “we.” Forming Concepts: pg. 13 - Hidden values even seep into psychology’s research based concepts. Ex. Personality tests, the score label reflects a value judgment Labeling: - Value judgments are often hidden within our social psychology language but also in everyday language - Ex. Pg.14, how conclude and form a judgment depends on how we perceive the situation or event Naturalistic fallacy: - What is.…Into….what ough
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