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Chapter 1

social psychology chapter one.pdf

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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: chapter one: what is social psychology? defining social psychology social psych: scientific study of how individuals think, feel and behave in a social context scientific study - social psych is a science - it applies scientific method of systematic observation, description and measurement to study of human condition how individuals think, feel and behave - social psychologists investigate a wide variety of attitudes and contexts, such as individuals attitudes towards particular groups or people or how their attitudes are affected by their peers or their mood social context - has emphasis on social nature of individuals - sometimes they examine nonsocial factors that affect people's thoughts, emotions, motive and actions the 'social context' referred to in definition of social psych does not have to be real or present social psychological questions and applications - cause social psych is scientific rather than anecdotal, systematic rather than haphazard, it provides insights into what would be impossible to gain through intuition or experience alone power of soocial context; an example of social psych experiment - research conducted by Erin Strahan, where they explored impact of media images on body statisfaction rating by female undergrad students - wanted to change how a participant was feeling about themselves by manipulating how aware she was about cultural norms - proposed that when these women view these images they are reminded that other people are judging them on appearance - test: got one group to watch commercials with thin women (victoria secret) and other group watches neutral images (cellphone ad) - after break they were asked to rate themselves on different scales (elf esteem, self worth, concerned with opinion of others?) - results: those who watched vic secret ad were less satisfies with body - ones who watched this video were more inclined to say they were more concerned about what others thought compared to ones who watchedd neutral one social psych and common sense - social psych, unlike common sense, uses scientific method to put its theories to test HISTORY OF SOCIAL PSYCH the birth and infancy of social psych: 1880s to 1920s - Norman Triplett, having published the first social psych article - observed that cyclists tended to race faster when racing in presence of others rather than against a clock - Max Ringelman, another research article about social psych - noted that individuals performed worse on simple tasks in the presence of others - triplett and ringelman did not actually establish social psych as distinct field of study - credit goes to founders of first book: William McDougall, Edward Ross and Floyd Allport call to action: 1930s to 1950s - adolf hitler had a great impact on the field of social psych - world became desperate for answers to social psychological questions about what causes violence, prejudice and genocide, conformity and obedience, and other social problems and behaviours - years before, during and soon after WWII marked explosion of interest in social psych - 1936: Gordon Allport and SPSSI (society for psychological study of social issues) - concern for making important: practical contributions to society - Muzafer Sherif - sherif witnesses greek soldiers killing his friends and drew on this experience and conducted research - his research demonstrated that it is possible to study complex social processes such as c
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