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Chapter 13

PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Reciprocal Altruism, Hymenoptera, Deindividuation


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
Steve Joordens
Chapter
13

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CHAPTER 13: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
PSYA02
2013
Social psychology is the study of the causes and consequences of sociality
- social influence- how people change each other, and social cognition is how people understand each
other
Social Behaviour: Interacting with People
- all animals must survive and reproduce, being social is one strategy for accomplishing two important
goals
- four species are ultra social, hymenoptera, termites, naked mole rats, and humans
- we are only one whose societies consist of genetically unrelated individuals, evolved with such big
brains is to deal with complexities that large scale societies introduce
- most social has allowed species to survive
Aggression
- aggression is behavior whose purpose is to harm another, a strategy used by just about every animal
on the planet
- not something that animals do for its own sake but as a way of getting the resources they want
- frustration aggression hypothesis, suggests that animals aggress when and only when their goals are
frustrated
- some psychologists believe that it is incomplete, real cause of aggressive behaviour is negative effect,
and inability to reach a goal is just one of many things that brings about the negative effect
- if animals aggress when they feel bad, then anything that makes them feel bad should increase
aggression, and this is what happens
- biology and culture play a role in determining i and when people will aggress
- aggressiveness is not merely the product of socialization, strongly correlated with presence of
testosterone
- testosterone doesn't turn aggression on, but promotes it by making people feel concerned with status,
powerful and confident in their ability to prevail
- lowers people's sensitivity t signs of threat
- isnt men with low self esteem but men with unrealistically high self esteem who are most prone to
aggression, especially likely to perceive others actions as a challenge to their inflated sense of their own
status
- women can be just as aggressive as men, they are more premeditated than impulsive and more likely
to be focused on attaining or protecting a resource than their status
- much less likely than men to aggress without provocation in ways that cause physical injury slightly less
likely to aggress when provoked or in ways that cause psychological injury
- women aggress in ways that cause more social harm, like rumors, gossiping
Culture and Aggression
- aggression is part of evolutionary heritage, it isn't inevitable
- just as it varies with time, it varies with geography as well
- variation over time and geography shows that culture can play an important role in determining
whether innate capacity for aggression will result in aggressive behavior, people learn by example, and
cultures can provide good and bad ones

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CHAPTER 13: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
PSYA02
2013
Cooperation
- cooperation is behaviour by two or more individuals that leads to mutual benefit, can get more done
- its risky bc humans have the uniquely powerful capacity to detect cheaters that surpass their capacity
for logical reasoning in general
- react strongly when detecting someone cheating, people do, people will pay to punish someone who
has treated them unfairly
Groups and Favoritism
cooperation requires we take a risk by benefiting those who have not benefited us and trusting them to
do the same
- group is a collection of people who have something in common that distinguishes them from others
- people in them tend to be especially nice to each other
- prejudice is positive or negative evaluation of another person based on their group membership,
- discrimination is positive or negative behaviour towards another person based on group membership
- members are positively prejudiced towards other members and tend to discriminate in their favor
- people show positive prejudice and discrimination even when they are randomly assigned to
completely meaningless groups like X and Y
- when groups try to make decisions they rarely do better than the best member would have done
alone, they often do worse bc they don't fully capitalize on the expertise of their members
- also tend to spend most o their time discussing information that is unimportant but known to everyone
and little time discussing information that is important but know to just a few
- like to maintain harmony and are reluctant to rock the boat even when it needs a good rocking
- costs of groups go beyond bad decisions bc people in groups sometimes do terrible things that none of
the members would do alone, why?
- one reason is due to deindividuation, when immersion in a group causes people to become less
concerned with their personal values
- another reason is bc of diffusion of responsibility, when individuals feel diminished responsibility for
their actions, because they are surrounded by others who are acting the same way
- being excluded from a group activates areas of the brain that are normally activated by physical pain
Altruism
- altruism is behaviour that benefits another without benefiting oneself
kin selection is process by which evolution selects for individuals who cooperate with their relatives,
but even cooperating with non relatives isn't proof of altruism
- reciprocal altruism is behaviour that benefits another with expectation that those benefits will be
returned in the future, and isn't altruistic at all either
- humans tend to keep to their kin more than strangers and help those who help us in return but provide
benefits to complete strangers as well
Reproduction: The Quest for Immortality
Selectivity
- women more selective than men, bc sex is potentially more costly for women bc they produce small
number of eggs in lifetime
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