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Chapter 15

Chapter 15- social psychology notes!

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
John Bassili

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CHAPTER 15: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Social Psychology: a branch of psychology which studies peoples social nature (how the
presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours).
Social cognition: how people attend to, perceive, interpret, and respond to the
social world.
Impression formation: the way we form information about anothers traits into a
sense of who the person is.
Main focus of social cognition is the concept of schema (body of knowledge that
organizes and synthesizes information about a person, place, or thing)
It helps us interpret the world better.
Central traits: they help us organize and influence our understand of other traits a
person has.
The words polite and blunt fall into the warm and cold trait list. These are
peripheral traits.
Negative influence of the cold trait is stronger than the positive influence of the
warm” trait.
People tend to respond more to someone who is rude (they will stop talking to them)
than someone who is polite (it doesnt bother themthey dont really care).
Primacy effect: the tendency to form an impression of a person based on the initial
information we learn about him/her.
We can describe ourselves in many ways to people.
Self-concept: your knowledge, feelings, and ideas about yourself. This is dynamic; it
changes with experience. (Markus and Nurius)
Self: is a persons distinct individuality.
Self-schema: a mental work that represents and organizes information about
yourself. This is a cognitive structure.
Cross cultural psychologists: interested in the effects of cultures on behaviour.
Cultures differ: biologically (diet, genetics, and endemic diseases) and ecologically
(geography, climate, religion, culture).
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Attribution: process by which people assume the causes of other peoples behaviour.
External factors: stimuli are the physical and social environment.
Internal factors: a persons traits, needs, and intentions.
Kelley’s Theory of Attribution: we attribute the behaviour of other people to external
or internal causes on the basis of three types of information: consensus, distinctiveness, and
consistency.
Consensual behaviour: behaviour that is shared by many people; behaviour that is
similar from one person to the nextto the extent that people engage in the same
behaviour.
Distinctiveness: the extent to which a person behaves differently toward different
people, events, or other stimuli.
Consistency: the extent to which a persons behaviour is consistent across time
toward another person, an event, or a stimulus. Consistency must be high in order to
support both internal and external attributions.
Fundamental attribution error: when attributing an actors behaviour to
possible causes, an observer tends to overestimate the significance of dispositional factors
and underestimate the significance of situational factors.
Victim blaming is an example of fundamental attribution error.
According to Lerner, people generally subscribe to belief in a just world (people
believe that the world is a fair place in which people get what they deserve).
It helps motivate people to persist in the pursuit of their goals.
They feel they will be rewarded for their hard work.
Actor observer effect: the tendency to attribute ones own behaviour to external
factors but others’ behaviour to internal factors.
Self-observing bias: the tendency to attribute our accomplishments and successes
to internal causes and our failures and mistakes to external causes.
Attitude: evaluations of persons, places, and things.
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1.Affect : very strong and pervasive. Direct classical conditioning is straightforward, it
directly affects your attitude toward a person. Vicarious classical conditioning plays
a major role in transmitting parents’ attitudes to their children.
Mere exposure effect: being exposed repeatedly to a neutral object or issue over
time may influence our attitude toward it.
2.Cognition : This includes components of attitudes that are conscious beliefs.
3.Behaviour : People do not always behave as their expressed attitudes and beliefs
would lead us to expect.
Behaviours are specific events.
Expressing a particular attitude toward a topic takes less effort than demonstrating
that commitment with a time-consuming behaviour. Attitudes are more likely to be
accompanied by the behaviours if the effects of the behaviours have motivational relevance
for the individual.
Whether the attitude is activated in the context where behavioural consistency is
an issue.
People often try to persuade us to change our attitudes: the source of the message
and the message itself.
Source credibility is high when the source is perceived as knowledgeable and is
trusted to communicate this knowledge accurately.
Messages also seem to have more impact when the source is attractive.
Elaboration likelihood model: a model that explains the effectiveness of
persuasion. The central route requires the person to think critically about an argument and
the peripheral route entails the association of the argument with something positive.
Leon Festinger developed the cognitive dissonance theory: the theory that
changes in attitudes can be motivated by an unpleasant state of tension caused by a
disparity between a persons beliefs or attitudes and his/her behaviour.
In Festingers view, an important source of human motivation is dissonance
reduction: aversive state of dissonance motivates a person to reduce it. A person can achieve
dissonance reduction by (1) reducing the importance of one of the dissonance elements; (2)
adding consonant elements, or (3) changing one of the dissonant elements.
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Description
1 CHAPTER 15: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Social Psychology: a branch of psychology which studies peoples social nature (how the presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours). Social cognition: how people attend to, perceive, interpret, and respond to the social world. Impression formation: the way we form information about anothers traits into a sense of who the person is. Main focus of social cognition is the concept of schema (body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a person, place, or thing) It helps us interpret the world better. Central traits: they help us organize and influence our understand of other traits a person has. The words polite and blunt fall into the warm and cold trait list. These are peripheral traits. Negative influence of the cold trait is stronger than the positive influence of the warm trait. People tend to respond more to someone who is rude (they will stop talking to them) than someone who is polite (it doesnt bother themthey dont really care). Primacy effect: the tendency to form an impression of a person based on the initial information we learn about himher. We can describe ourselves in many ways to people. Self-concept: your knowledge, feelings, and ideas about yourself. This is dynamic; it changes with experience. (Markus and Nurius) Self: is a persons distinct individuality. Self-schema: a mental work that represents and organizes information about yourself. This is a cognitive structure. Cross cultural psychologists: interested in the effects of cultures on behaviour. Cultures differ: biologically (diet, genetics, and endemic diseases) and ecologically (geography, climate, religion, culture). www.notesolution.com
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