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PSYA02H3 (961)
Chapter 13


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Steve Joordens

PSYA02 CHAPTER 13: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 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 PSYA02 CHAPTER 13: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 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 PSYA02 CHAPTER 13: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 2013 Attraction - attraction is can be physical and psychological - people work hard to like those with whom they expect to have interaction - every time we encounter a person, they become more familiar and humans prefer familiar to novel stimuli - mere exposure effect is tendency for frequency of exposure to a stimulus to increase liking - man's height and woman's weight are among best predictors of how many responses a personal a received - appearance is so powerful that it even influences how mothers treat their own children - body shape - male are inverted triangle, female are hourglass - men who are high in testosterone tend to be socially dominant and have more resources to devote to their offspring - women who are high in estrogen tend to be fertile and potentially have more offspring to make use of those resources - body shape is indicator of male dominance and female fertility - symmetry - human attractive when bilaterally symmetrical - women can discriminate symmetrical and asymmetrical men by smell, and preference for symmetry is especially prnounced when they are ovulating - age - some characteristics make one look baby faced which is ok for women but not for men - youthful appearence is signal of woman's ability to bear children, just as mature appearance is signal of mans ability to raise them - attraction is presence of person who has good genes and propensity to be a good parent - everyone may desire most beautiful person but tend to approach and date someone who is about as attractive as they are - inner qualities, personalities are play important role in determining sustained interest in one another - marry people with similar levels of education, religious backgrounds, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses and personalities - love is one of two most important sources of happiness in life - passionate love, experience involving feelings of euphoria, intimacy and intense sexual attraction - brings people together, has rapid onset, reaches peak quickly and begins to diminish within few months - compassionate love is experience involving affection, trust and concern for partner's well being -keeps people together takes time to get started, grows slowly
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