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PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes -Peer Pressure, Reinforcement, Social Comparison Theory

Course Code
Mark Schmuckler

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Psyb20-ch 12
How peer interactions begin developmental patterns
Infancy: first social encounters
-first 6 months they touch and look at each other and as responsive to each other’s behavior
-second half of life infants begin to recognize a per as a social partner
-show the ability to interact in groups and to be involved with more than one person at the
same time
-they develop competence in interacting with peers, they shift toward increased social play and
exhibit a clear preference for playing with peers rather than adults
-mothers tend to bear the larger responsibility for maintaining the interaction, whereas in
exchanges between infants and peers, the 2 partners contribute more equally
Social exchange among toddlers
-when children engage in positive social interactions they are more likely to smile or laugh or
display other kinds of appropriate positive affect and their interactions lasts longer
-the complexity of toddle play increases over age p.469 table 12-1
-solitary play and parallele play diminish as the child grows older and associative and
cooperative play both increase in frequency as well as some 4 yr olds are still engaging in
solitary play, while some precocious 2.5 yr olds are busily in cooperative play bouts
-negative exchanges and conflict increase as well
-toddlers who frequently initiate conflicts with peers were also the most sociable and the most
likely to initiate interactions
-relationship: two ppl share an ongoing succession of interactions that continues over time and
affects each other
-both their history of past interactions and their expectations of future interactions influence
the nature and course of events
-children between ages of 1 and 2 develop preferences for particular playmates
-early social choices of special friends are not temporary, most last over a year, and they are
not just limited to dyads
Preschool and elementary school society
-over time children spend more hours with child companions and fewer with adults
-at adolescence spend less time with family more with friends, mostly in US compared to east
-age 3-4 children choose same and opposite sex companions, but after they prefer same sex
companions (girls have cooties), adolescence is cross gender
How do peers help to socialize children
-peers offer a perspective quite different from the fams
-peers can influence through reinforcement modeling social comparison and provding opp for
learning and socializing
Modeling behaviors

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-children acquire knowledge behaviors simply by observing the behavior and actions of their
peers children also imitate older more powerful peer models
-imitation can be an important way of maintaining social interaction
-it leads to more sophisticated forms of play in social games and to the generation of verbal
Teaching and reinforcing
-reinforce is to pay attention to another’s behavior to praise or criticize it or share in it
-peer pressure implies adolescent peers convivnce their compatriots to take risks and engage in
deviant behavior
-reciprocity begins to grow as nursery schoolers reinforce the same peers who reinforced them
-peers differential reinforcement can produce significant changes in target child’s behavior
-children respond respond to negative reinforcement too
-peers can quickly whip a child into place just with looks, or offering bitting comments or
ostracizing the child from the group eX: looks criticize clothes
-children teach each other and acquire new skills together and in some cultures both older
peers and siblings teach and are caregivers for younger children
Social comparison and the developing self
-social comparison: children watch and talk with their peers and then use what they have
learned to evaluate themselves
-early elementary school years, children display a marked increase in their use of social
comparison with the peer group as a means of self evaluation
-child’s self image and self acceptance are closely associated with how she is received by her
-if you think you are as good as you peers, your self esteem is high
-you evaluate yourself based on interaction with peers, ex: im a good figher cuz I beat a lot of
people up
Peer acceptance
-interacting with peers is the child’s first experience of social behavior beyond the family
How do we study peer acceptance?
-sociometric techniques in which they ask children to rate peers on scales of aggressiveness of
helpfulness or to compare peers as to likeability or to indentity those whom they like best
-they ask peers because because they see a wider range of relevant behaviors than do adults,
they aslso have extended and varied experience with each other, by gathering data from many
individuals who have interacted with the child who is the subject of study, we prevent any
single individuals view from dominating our result
-nomination technique: investigator asks each child in a group to name a specific number of
peers who they likes and do not like
-popular children: positive nominations, friendly and assertive but not disruptive or aggressive,
good at communication help set the rules and norms for their groups engage in more prosocial

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-average children: both types of nominations, neither as well liked or disliked
-neglected children: isolated, friendless not necessarily disliked by their classmates, receive few
like or dislike votes, aggressive, less talkative more withdrawn
-controversial children: positive nominations but also a lot of negative ones
-rejected children: negative nominations,
- aggressive rejected children: aggressiveness and poor self control behavioral problems, but
self perceptions are not poor
-non aggressive rejected children: anxious, withdrawn and socially unskilled perceive
themselves as less competent
Fators that affect peer status
-childs cognitive and social skills, ability to initiate interactions with others to communicate
effectively and interact comfortably with them
-people meet others, likely to base their initial appraisals of the person on superficial
Acquiring social cognitive skills
-child who asks new acquaintances for info offers info are on the way to acceptation
-need to feel confident and be interested in learning what others in the group are like
Processing and acting on social info
-child approaching the new group of peers needs to understand other’s communications clearly
and interpret their behavior
-make useful decisions to communicate clearly to others
-model stresses the cognitive steps in evaluating problems that a child confronts when
interacting with others, remember that individual biological predispositions also play a role in
accounting for variations in the decision making process
Check figure 12-3 447 for steps
-these steps can be altered based on child competencies
-children of various levels of competence would respond differently
-the imcompetent children were less likely to notice and interpret the cues correctly
-children who understood what to do were better at the real task of gaining entry into the peer
-deficits in social understanding can lead to poor social relationships
-rejected children tend to view others in hostile terms and to make hostile attributions about
other peers intentions
-not all children have the same goals and strategies in social situations and to have the ability to
devise a few strategies to achieve these goals
-certain kinds of social goals tend to be accompanied by certain kinds of strategies eX: we want
to be bossy we use ways to achieve that
-children differ in the way they perceive themselves and in the way they explain y they are
sometimes successful at a task and sometimes unsuccessful ex: you see yourself positive youll
form more positive bonds
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