Chapter 13- Social Psychology
-Extensive periods of isolation can induce symptoms of psychosis such as florid delirium characterized by severe confusional ,
paranoid and hallucinatory features and also intense agitation and random impulse, often self directed violence.
- Social psychology is the study of the causes and consequences of sociality
-Packs and flocks do what individuals can’t, and this is why species have found it useful to become social
-Only four species are ultra-social; which means they form societies in which large numbers of individuals divide labour and
cooperate for mutual benefit. The hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps), termites, naked mole rats and humans. We are the only one
whose societies consist of genetically unrelated individuals
-Our social behaviour revolves around survival and reproduction
-The simplest way to solve the problem of scarce resources is to take the resources and hurt anyone who tries to stop you.
Aggression is behaviour whose purpose is to harm another
-The frustration aggression hypothesis states that animals aggress when and only when their goals are frustrated.
-some psychologists believe the real cause of aggressive behaviour is negative affect and that the inability to reach a goal is just one
of the many things that bring about negative affect
-Regression is a response to a negative affect (why brawls more likely to happen during hot weather)
-Both biology and culture play a role in determining if and when people will aggress
-Best predictor of aggression is gender. Men (esp. Young men with a lot of testosterone)
-Testosterone promotes aggression by making people feel concerned with their status, powerful and confident in their ability to
-testosterone lowers people’s sensitivity to signs of threat
-Most reliable way to elicit aggression in males is to challenge their status or dominance. Men with high self esteem are more prone
to aggression because such men perceive others’ actions as a challenge to their inflated sense of their own status.
-women’s aggression tends to be more premeditated than impulsive and more likely to be focused on attaining or protecting a
resource than on attaining or protecting their status. Women are far less likely to aggress without provocation or in ways that cause
physical harm but only a little less likely to aggress when provoked or in ways that cause psychological injury. Women may be even
more likely to aggress by causing social harm.
-Violent crime in the US is more ample in the south where men are taught to act aggressively when they feel their status has been
challenged. Southerners also experience greater increase in testosterone and more physically assertive
-People learn by example (watching violence on TV)
-cooperation is behaviour by two or more individuals that leads to mutual benefit
-A group is a collection of people who have something in common that distinguishes them from others. People in groups are nice to
-Discrimination is a positive or negative behaviour toward another person based on their group membership. Groups are positively
prejudiced to one another and discriminate in favour. -Groups don’t always work well because they don’t fully capitalize on the expertise of the members, and tend to spend most of the
time discussing matters that is unimportant plus give weight to someone high up who doesn’t necessarily have as much knowledge
as someone else in the group
-Deindividuation occurs when immersion in a group causes people to become less concerned with their personal values. We don’t
consider our personal values, but adopt the group’s values.
-Diffusion of responsibility occurs when individuals feel diminished responsibility for their actions because they are surrounded by
others who are acting the same way.
-one of the best predictors of a person’s well being is the quality and extent of their social relationships and group memberships.
People excluded from groups= anxious, lonely, depressed, increased illness and premature death. Being excluded activated areas in
the brain that are normally activated during physical pain.
-Altruism is behaviour that benefits another without benefiting oneself.
-Kin Selection is the process by which evolution selects for individuals who cooperate with their relatives, which means cooperating
with relatives is not altruistic.
-Reciprocal altruism is behaviour that benefits another with the expectation that those benefits will be returned in the future
-women tend to be more selective than men when selecting a partner. Why? Sex is more costly for women... we produce small
number of eggs during lifetime and pregnancy brings about physical changes and puts at risk for illness and death.
-culture can also push women to be choosier than men. Reputational costs of sex are higher because women can be called sluts but
men are praised. Women can be less selective through things like birth control and options of adoption and welfare.
-When sex becomes expensive for men (monogamous relationship) they turn out to be just as selective.
-attraction is caused by the situational, the physical and the psychological
-One of the best predictors of any kind of interpersonal relationship is the physical proximity of the people involved.
-when we are forced in a situation to be around someone a lot, we try to focus on good qualities and ignore bad
-The mere exposure effect is the tendency for the frequency of exposure to a stimulus to increase liking
- Male bodies are said to be most attractive when they approximate an inverted triangle (broad shoulders, narrow waist and hips).
-human faces are more attractive when they are bilaterally symmetrical. They are especially beautiful when features approximate
the average of the human population
-immature faces= high brows, big eyes and small chin. Females= more attractive with immature face, males opposite
- hormones cause body shape. More test. =more socially dominant and more resources to devote to offspring. Female= more
estrogen, more fertility.
-symmetry is a sign of genetic health.
-age is a fertility thing too. Young =more fertile.
-intelligence, sense of humour, sensitivity and ambition are high qualities on everyone’s list -We are generally attracted to people most similar to us on most psychological dimensions
-we like to interact with people similar to us because it makes agreeing on things easier.
-When someone shares attitudes and beliefs we feel like they are correct
-if we share attitudes and beliefs with someone, we expect them to like us and being liked is a powerful attraction. We especially
like people who like us and don’t like anyone else.
-we also tend to like people who have about the same abilities as we do. People who are too perfect are annoying, and having flaws
makes them more human and more similar to us.
-humans are very reliable and need two parents to care for it.
-Passionate love is an experience involving feelings of euphoria, intimacy and intense sexual attraction.
-Companionate love is an experience involving affection, trust and concern for a partner’s well being
-passionate love is what brings people together, but reaches its peak and begins to diminish within a few months. Companionate
love is what keeps people together; it takes time, grows slowly and never stops growing.
-Social Exchange is the hypothesis that people remain in relationships only as long as they perceive a favourable ratio of costs to
-People compare their cost benefit ratios to the alternatives. A person’s comparison level refers to the cost benefit ratio that
people believe they deserve or could attain in another relationship People want cost benefit ratios to be high, but also the same as
partner’s. Most people prefer equity which is the state of affairs in which the cost-benefit ratios of two partners are roughly equal.
-social influence is the ability to control another person’s behaviour. People have three motivations that make them susceptible to
social influence. 1. People are motivated to experience pleasure and