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Chapter 1

PSY220 chapter 1 textbook notes

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Dax Urbszat

CHAPTER 1 WHAT IS SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY? -a science that studies how people think about, influence and relate to others -social thinking -how we see others and ourselves -what we believe -judgments that we make -our attitudes -social influence -culture and biology -pressures to conform -persuasion -groups of people -social relations -helping -aggression -attraction, intimacy -prejudice -very similar to sociology which is the study of people in groups/societies and to personality psychology -social psychology concentrates more on individuals with methods that use experimentation -less focus on differences among individuals and more focus on how individuals view and affect each other MAJOR THEMES IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY -Kurt Lewin “behaviour is a function of the person and the situation” Social thinking 1. We construct our social reality 2. Our social intuitions are powerful, sometimes perilous  Social influences 3. Social influences shape behaviour  Applying social psychology 4. Dispositions shape behaviour 7. Social psychology’s principles Social relations are applicable to everyday life 5. Social behaviour is also biological behaviour  6. Relating to others is a basic need We construct our social reality -relate person’s behaviour to their personality if it is consistent and distinctive (ex: always making rude remarks  nasty disposition) Our social intuitions are often powerful but sometimes perilous -shape our fears, impressions, relationships -thinking, memory, attitudes  dual processing  one conscious and deliberate, one unconscious and automatic -intuitions perilous in that thinking can occur offstage but sometimes displaying the results onstage -intuitively trust our memories more than we should -mispredict our own feelings, future (ex: I’ll buy this tighter outfit because I expect to lose a bit of weight) Social influences shape our behaviour -because humans are social, we respond and adapt to our immediate contexts -the power of a social situation can cause us to act in ways that we wouldn’t normally (ex: Nazis) -culture also a factor (ex: whether you like a slim/voluptuous body depends where in the world you live) Personal attitudes and dispositions also shape behaviour -internal attitudes and personality dispositions affect our behaviour Social behaviour is biologically rooted -nature vs nurture -we inherit traits that predispose us to behave in ways that helped our ancestors survive and reproduce -thus natural selection might select how we act and react towards events such as dating, mating, hating, hurting, caring, sharing -nature allows us to learn and adapt to various environments -social neuroscience – integration of biological and social views that explores the neural and psychological bases of social and emotional behaviours SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HUMAN VALUES Obvious ways in which values enter social psychology -values differ across cultures and time -social psychologists study how values are formed, why they change and how they influence attitudes and actions Not-so-obvious ways in which values enter social psychology -only if you were predisposed to perceive something does your mind block it from your awareness (ex: reading a book and not paying attention to your nose) -a scholar’s assumptions may be accepted by many more people due to the fact that scholars at work in a given area often share common viewpoints/cultures -culture – enduring behaviours, attitudes, traditions passed on to future generations by a large group of people -social representations – socially shared beliefs; widely held ideas and values, including our assumptions and cultural ideologies The hidden values in psychological concepts -defining the good life – values influence our idea of the best way to live our lives -professional advice – the psychological advice given by a professional also reflects their own personal values -forming concepts – hidden values can even be found in psychology’s research-based concepts -labelling (ex: label a quiet child as bashful or cautious, holding back or an observer) -naturalistic fallacy – the mistake of defining what is good in terms of what is observable (ex: typical = normal, normal = good) -because human thinking involves interpretation it is the reason why scientific analysis should be done by researchers with varying biases -we can check and retrain our biases by checking our beliefs with our facts constantly I KNEW IT A
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