PSYB10H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Gestalt Psychology, Terror Management Theory, Evolutionary Psychology

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27 Jan 2013
- Social Psychology- scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, etc., are
influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people
- Everyone is influenced by other people direct attempts include persuasion whereby, one
person deliberately tries to change another person’s behaviour
- We are often influenced merely by the presence of others (even when we are not in the physical
presence of people)
- PERSUASION is an important form of influence
- Social psychology is distinct because it’s concerned not so much with social situations in any
objective sense, but rather with how people are influenced by their interpretation or construal
- Construal- the way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world
- Social psych is that it is an experimentally based science that tests its assumptions, guesses and
ideas about human social behaviour empirically and systematically rather than relying on folk
wisdom or common sense
- Wisdom has the problem that more often than not, they disagree with each other and there is
no way of determining which of them is correct
- Common sense frequently turns out to be wrong or over -simplified, people tend to learn from
previous incidents
- Individual differences are the aspects of people’s personalities that make them different from
other people
- Social psychologists make educated guesses (called hypotheses) about the specific situations
under which one outcome would occur
- Social psych is a branch of psychology and is rooted in an interest in individual human beings
with an emphasis on the psychological processes going on in their hearts and minds
- For the social psychologist, the level of analysis is the individual in the context of a social
- Sociology is more concerned with broad societal factors that influence events in a given
society thus the focus on topics such as social class and social structure
- the major difference in this; sociology, rather than focusing on the psychology of the individual,
tends toward a more macro focus that of society at large
- social psychologists/psychology studies the psychological processes people have in common
with one another that make them susceptible to social influence (regardless of social class or
- individual differences the aspects of people’s personalities that make them different from
other people
- social psychologists are convinced that explaining behaviour in terms of personality factors
ignores the powerful role of social influence
- personality psychology studies the characteristics that make individuals unique and different
from one another
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