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Chapter 1

CH.1 PSYB10 textbook notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
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PSYB10 CHAPTER 1 TEXTBOOK NOTES - 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 situation - 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 culture) - 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 - whereas personality psych focuses on what makes people different from one another social psych emphasises the psychological processes shared by most people that makes them susceptible to social influence - when trying to account for a person’s behaviour in complex situation, the overwhelming majority of people will jump to the conclusion that the behaviour is caused by the persona
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