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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCC31H3
Professor
Chris Bovaird
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 14: Personality • Personality is a particular pattern of behaviour and thinking that prevails across time and situations and differentiates one person from another. Trait Theories of Personality • Personality Types and Traits:  Earliest known theory was proposed by Hippocrates, Greek physician, in fourth century BCE, and refined by Galen in second century CE • Body was thought to contain four humours, or fluids: yellow bile (made people choleric, or bad-tempered and irritable), black bile (melancholic), phlegm (phlegmatic, or sluggish, calm and unexcitable), and blood (sanguine, or cheerful and passionate)  Humours were discredited, but the idea that people could be divided into different personality types lived on  Many investigators today reject the idea that people can be assigned to discrete categories (individual differences are different in degree, not kind), and prefer to measure the degree to which an individual expresses a particular personality trait • Identification of Personality Traits:  Gordon Allport (1897-1967) was one of first to search for basic core of personality traits; began his work by identifying all words in an English dictionary that described aspects of personality and found 18 000 entries • According to Allport, not all traits have equal influence on their possessors; the most powerful traits were called cardinal traits; characterize a strong unifying influence on a person’s behaviour (rare), such as Hitler’s evil, Nelson Mandela’s commitment to justice, Mother Teresa’s altruism • Central traits capture important characteristics of an individual, but are less singular in their influence (e.g. being honest or warm) • Secondary traits have minor influence on consistency of behaviour (e.g. tendency to frequently change jobs)  Raymond Cattell (1905-1998) used Allport’s 18 000-word list as a starting point; winnowed it down to 171 adjectives that he believed made up a complete set of distinct surface traits (referring to observable behaviours), then used factor analysis to identify clusters of traits he believed represented underlying traits • Eventually identified 16 personality factors 1  Hans Eysenck (1916-1997) identified three important factors: extroversion (opposite introversion), neuroticism (opposite emotional stability), and psychoticism (aggressive, egocentric, anti-social behaviour; opposite self-control) Eysenck’s theory illustrated for two factors.According to Eysenck, the two dimensions of neuroticism (stable vs. unstable) and introversion- extroversion combine to form a variety of personality characteristics. The four personality types based on the Greek theory of humours are shown in the centre  The five-factor model by Tupes and Christal (1961) proposes that personality is composed of five primary dimensions: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, measured by the Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (Neo-PI-R) • NEO-PI-R consists of 240 items that can be used to describe the personality being evaluated; test items (e.g. “I really like most people I meet”; “I have a very active imagination”)are rated on a scale of 1-5; the sum of the answers to different sets of items become scores on each of the five factors 2 • Five factors can be used to predict subjective well-being and job performance (extroversion=success in jobs that require leadership or improvisation; conscientiousness=success across all job classifications) • Data suggests factors are very heritable; environmental factors pale beside genetic factors  The Dark Triad (traits that underlie socially offensive personalities) are made up of machiavellianism (skill at manipulation), psychopathy (lack of empathy and high degree of impulsivity) and narcissism (grandiosity and feelings of superiority) • Males tend to score higher on Dark Triad tests • Considerable genetic influence on these traits  Traits across cultures: • The five factors can be replicated in all cultures (no cultural bias) • However, cultures geographically close appear to share similar personality traits; greatest similarities are between European and American cultures, and between Asian and African cultures; Europeans and Americans significantly more extroverted and open to experience, but less agreeable than other cultures • The more individualistic the culture, the greater the culture’s belief that traits rather than situations determine behaviour Psychobiological Approaches • Heritability of Personality Traits:  According to Zuckerman (1991), the best estimates of heritability among Eysenck’s factors are extroversion, 70 percent; psychoticism, 59 percent; and neuroticism, 48 percent: therefore heritability is responsible for 50-70 percent of these traits, and the remaining 30-50 percent of variability is caused by differences in environment  However, research indicates that identical twins have no difference in personalities whether they’re raised separately or in the same environment, so it’s not so simple 3  People’s genetic endowment plays an important role in determining how family members interact with them (family environments are more similar for identical twins than fraternal twins), so while environment plays an important role in personality development, hereditary factors play a large role in determining nature of the environment  Identical twins can differ in key personality traits because of epigenetic modifications (e.g. DNA methylation, which makes the genetic code less accessible to the mechanisms that synthesize proteins, reducing the expression of the gene)  Some personality traits are more a product of family environment than heredity: belief in God, involvement in religion, masculinity/femininity, attitudes toward racial integration, and intellectual interests  The Toddler Behaviour Assessment Questionnaire proposes that toddlers’ temperament can be measured with respect to five dimensions: activity level, pleasure, social fearfulness, anger proneness, and interest/persistence • As children develop, their temperaments change • The changed aspects of temperament seem to be the result of environmental factors, while stable aspects are controlled by genetics • Brain Mechanisms in Personality:  Zuckerman (1991) suggests personality dimensions of extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism are determined by neural systems responsible for reinforcement, punishment and arousal  Childhood shyness seems to be related to a low level of extroversion and a high level of neuroticism • Shyness is an enduring trait: children shy at ages of 21 to 31 months continue to be shy at age of 7.5 years • Shy children show increases in heart rate, pupils tend to be more dilated, urine contains more norepinephrine, and saliva more cortisol (hormones secreted during times of stress) • The biological basis of shyness could be the excitability of of neural circuits that control avoidance behaviours (greater activity in amygdala) Social Cognitive Approaches 4 • Social cognitive theory is the idea that both consequences of behaviour and an individual’s belief’s about those consequences determine personality (and that we derive those consequences based on the behaviour of others, so we tend to imitate them) • Expectancies and Observational Learning:  Albert Bandura’s (b. 1925) theory is based on observational learning, learning through observation of the consequences that others (called models) experience  An expectancy is an individual’s belief that a specific consequence will follow a specific action; in different situations, expectancies may vary • Reciprocal Determinism and Self-Efficacy:  Bandura argues for reciprocal determinism, the idea that behaviour, environment, and person variables interact to determine personality  Self-efficacy refers to a person’s beliefs about their ability to act as required in a particular situation to get a good outcome, an important determinant of whether we will attempt to make changes in our environment • Person Variables:  A position consistent with the behaviour approach is to assume that the behaviours that make up our personality are specific to a given situation and not the result of any persevering traits: situationism  Walter Mischel is mostly a situationist, and like Bandura believes that much of personality is learned through interaction with the environment; argues that individual differences in cognition, or personal variables, account for differences in personality: • Competencies—our skills, abilities, and capacities influence the actions we will take • Encoding strategies and personal constructs—the way we process information, determining how we perceive different situations (such as how fun a social situation is) • Expectancies—expecting our behaviour to affect the environment positively leads to one action; negatively leads to another • Subjective values—the degree to which we value certain reinforcers; we seek the outcomes we value most • Self-regulatory systems and plans—we subject ourselves to either punishment or self-reinforcement depending on our progress towards out goals, and modify and formulate plans based on how we feel a goal can be best achieved  Mischel’s view is that people’s behaviours are undergoing constant change as they interact with the environment  Mischel has ceded that some personality traits may be important predictors of behaviour • Locus of Control:  Julian Rotter (1966, 1990) has focused on the extent to which people perceive themselves to be in control of the consequences of their behaviour: locus of control refers to 5 whether one believes that the consequences of one’s actions are controlled by internal or external variables • A person who expects to control his or her fate has an internal locus of control; a person who sees his or her life as being controlled by external forces has an external locus of control  Rotter developed the I-E Scale, which assesses the degree of people’s loci of control • Contains 29 pairs of statements to which a person indicates his or her degree of agreement (e.g. “My grades depend on my abilities and how hard I work to get them” vs. “The grades I get depend mostly on my teacher and their tests”) • Scores range from 0 to 23, with lower scores indicating greater internal locus of control • People who have internal locus of control will work harder to obtain a goal if they believe that they can control the outcome, and are more likely to engage in good health practices • Positive Psychology:  Positive psychology is concerned with the origins, processes, and mechanisms that lead to psychological well-being, satisfaction, and fulfillment  The tendency to forgive transgressions is correlated with the quality and happiness of a marriage The Psychodynamic Approach • Freud was the first to claim that what we do is often irrational and that reasons for our behaviour is seldom conscious • Psychodynamic is the term used to describe the Freudian notion that the mind is in a state of conflict among instincts, reason, and conscience • The Development of Freud’s Theory:  Freud (1856-1939), working as a doctor in Vienna, had a patient called Anna O, who suffered a wide variety of symptoms like loss of speech, disturbances in vision, headaches, and paralysis—under hypnosis, Anna revealed each of her symptoms began just as she was unable to express a strongly felt emotion, and when she felt the emotions again under hypnosis her symptoms went away  The release of her emotions Freud and Breuer (physician Freud was working with) called catharsis  From his observations of patients Freud concluded that all human behaviour is motivated by instinctual drives which activate “psychic energy”, and there is a cost to suppressing psychic energy by hiding strong emotions—the emotions, when suppressed, become embedded in the unconscious, and unconscious emotions still exert control over conscious thoughts and actions • The mind actively represses the memories of traumatic events from being consciously discovered (analogy of the iceberg) 6 • Structures of the Mind: Id, Ego, and Superego:  Freud divided the mind into three structures: • The id, whose operations are completely unconscious  Contains the libido, the primary source of instinctual motivation for all psychic forces, insistent and unresponsive to the demands of reality  The id subscribes to the pleasure principle, the tendency to obtain immediate gratification (food when hungry, violence when angry, sex when horny), regardless of consequences • The ego is the thinking, planning, and protective self; it controls behaviour and acts as a mediator between the id and the superego  Driven by the reality principle, the tendency to satisfy the id’s demands realistically, which involves compromising the demands of the id and superego and delaying gratification • The superego is subdivided into the conscience and ego-ideal:  The conscience is the internalization of the rules and restrictions of society, determining which behaviours are permissible and punishing wrongdoings with guilt  The ego-ideal is the internalization of what society values and what the person will strive to achieve  Freud: phenomena such as dreams, artistic creations, and Freudian slips are examples of compromise formation between the id and superego  Freud: the manifest content of a dream—its actual storyline—is only a disguised version of its latent content—its hidden message, produced by the unconscious  In addition to analyzing dreams, Freud developed the technique of free association to probe the unconscious mind, a technique where the patient is asked to relax, clear their mind, and report all thoughts, images, perceptions, and feelings that come to mind 7 • Defence Mechanisms:  Freud: the ego contains defence mechanisms that become active whenever the id’s unconscious drives come into conflict with the superego’s internalized prohibitions • Freud’s Psychosexual Theory of Personality Development:  Freud: personality development involves passing through several psychosexual stages of development, involving seeking pleasure from specific parts of the body called erogenous zones  Fixation is the continued attachment of psychic energy to an erogenous zone due to incomplete passage through one of the psychosexual stages  The oral stage is the first stage • The sexual instinctual drive of babies finds an outlet in sucking and swallowing; even as they develop more complex behaviours, they continue to receive most of their sexual gratification orally • Over- or undergratification can lead to fixation: undergratification can cause a “clinging vine” personality type; overgratification will lay the groundwork for aggressive personality characteristics • Other oral fixation activities can include smoking, hoarding, and excessive eating  The anal stage begins during the second year of life • Sensual pleasure derives from emptying the bowels • The way parents demand infants control their bowels, to delay gratification through toilet training sets the stage for early development of ego functions 8 • Punishment for failing to reach the toilet may lead to fixation, which will cause personality characteristics of orderliness and a need for control—in adult form, compulsiveness, and megalomania  The phallic stage begins at age three, when the child discovers it is pleasurable to play with their genitals • Children form strong sexual immature sexual attachments to the parents of the opposite sex, and experience jealousy of their relationship with the same-sex parent • A boy’s love or his mother is mixed with hostility an fear toward his rival father (unconsciously fear being punished by their fathers over desire for mother, including ultimate punishment of castration): these elements constitute the Oedipus complex • A girl’s love of her father and envy of her mother is complicated by her discovery that she does not have a penis—she wants a penis—leading to penis envy and the belief that she can acquire a penis through her attachment to her father: the Electra complex • The conflict is resolved through identification, when both sexes turn their attention to their same-sex parent and begin to imitate and idolize them (superego development and learning society’s principles of right and wrong)  After phallic stage is a latency period of several years, in which sexual instinctual drive is mostly submerged; after puberty adolescent begins to form adult sexual attachments, beginning the genital stage • Further Development of Freud’s Theory: the Neo-Freudians:  Carl Jung (1875-1961): • Jung was Freud’s “adopted eldest son, his crown prince and successor” • However, developed his own version of psychodynamic theory that de- emphasized the importance of sexuality, and disagreed with his mentor on the structure of the unconscious • Believed in the collective unconscious, which contains memories and ideas inherited from our ancestors; stored within collective unconscious are archetypes, inherited and universal thought forms which allow us to notice particular aspects of our world (explaining how almost everyone in history reacts in the same way to mothers, evil, masculinity, femininity)  Alfred Adler (1870-1937): • Like Jung, studied with Freud and believed he had overemphasized sexuality • Believed feeling of inferiority play a key role in personality development and motivate us to compensate: the striving for superiority is the major motivational force in life 9 • Adler believed that striving for superiority is affected by social interest, an innate desire to contribute to society, and unlike Freud’s believe of people acting in their own self-interests because of the id, believed that people desire to help others  Karen Horney (1885-1952): • Did not believe that sex and aggression are the primary determinants of personality, but did agree with Freud that anxiety is a problem people must overcome • Believed that to deal with basic anxiety, people have three options: move towards others (self-effacing solution; involves desire to be loved), move against others (self-expansive solution; desire to master one’s self), and move away from others (resignation solution; striving to be independent)—the three basic orientations with which people approach their lives • Personality is a mixture of these three strategies and basic orientations  Erik Erikson (1902-1994) • Studies with Anna Freud, Sigmund’s daughter; emphasized social aspects of personality development rather than biological factors • Differed with Freud about the timing of personality development: Freud believed most important development occurs during early childhood; Erikson emphasized the ongoing process of development through the lifespan, and proposed that personality traits develop as a series of crises  Melanie Klein (1882-1960) and Object-Relations Theory: • Felt that the psychodynamic battleground that Freud proposed occurs during infancy, and that the way infants resolves certain conflicts between it and the mother (such as anger and frustration when mother withdraws feeding infant from her breast) is reflected in the adult’s personality • Klein’s work stimulated a contrasting school of psychodynamic theory called object-relations theory: adult personality reflects the relationships that the individual establishes with others while an infant (the object refers to the people with whom the infant must relate) • Some Observations on Psychodynamic Theory and Research:  Freud’s work profoundly affected psychological theory, psychotherapy, and literature, but his theory has received little empirical support The Humanistic Approach • The humanistic approach to the study of personality emphasizes the positive, fulfilling elements of life • Humanists believe that people are innately good and have an internal drive for self- actualization—the realization of one’s true intellectual and emotional potential • Maslow and Self-Actualization: 10  According to Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), motivation is based on a hierarchy of needs: our motivation for different activities passes through several levels, with entrance to subsequent levels dependent on first satisfying needs in the previous levels  Maslow based his theory on historical figures whom he believed to be self-actualized, including Einstein and Henry David Thoreau • In general he found these people were very accepting of themselves and of their circumstances, were focussed on finding solutions to cultural problems rather than personal problems, were open to others’ opinions and ideas, were spontaneous in their emotional reactions to events in their lives, and had a few intimate friendships rather than many superficial ones • Rogers and Conditions of Worth:  Carl Rogers (1902-1987) also believed that people are motivated to aspire to higher levels of fulfilment as they progress toward self-actualization  Believed that personality development centres on one’s self-concept, or one’s opinion of oneself, and the way one is treated by others  Rogers: all people have a need for positive regard, especially young children, which gives one a positive self-concept  Conditions of worth are conditions that others place on us for receiving their positive regard, and may stand in the way of self-actualization of a person devotes their life to satisfying them  The solution to this problem is unconditional positive regard, or love and acceptance that has no strings attached: parents should discipline, but only in a way that doesn’t make the child believe that they don’t love the child anymore  Also believed that if a person’s therapist provided an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard, the client would reveal their true self as well as their ideal self, the person they’d like to become • Some Observations on the Humanistic Approach:  Two problems: 11  Concepts are defined subjectively and are difficult to test empirically (how do we measure self-actualization?)  Cannot account for the origins of personality: subject to the nominal fallacy in that it describes personality but does not explain it Assessment of Personality • Objective Tests of Personality:  Objective personality tests mostly contain multiple-choice or true-false questions; the responses that participants can make are constrained by the test design  One of the most widely-used tests is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) , originally designed to test the progress of psychotherapy in troubled patients • The revised MMPI-2 has norms based on a sample of people much more ethnically and geographically diverse; includes 567 questions, grouped into 10 clinical scales and several validity scales • The four validity scales are the ? scale (the number of questions not answered— indicated person finds the questions irrelevant or is avoiding), L scale (questions designed so that if you disagree, you’re almost surely lying [“My table manners are not quite as good at home as when I am out in company”]), the F scale (consists of items that are answered one way by 90 percent of people—a high score indicates carelessness, poor reading ability, or very unusual personality traits), and the K scale (devised to identify a defensive person [answering “false” to something like “criticism or scolding hurts me terribly”]) 12 • Projective Tests of Personality:  Projective tests are derived from psychodynamic theories of personality, and are designed to be ambiguous so that the person’s answers will be more revealing than yes or no  The Rorschach Inkblot Test was invented by Hermann Rorschach in 1921 and consists of 10 pictures of inkblots—the participants is shown each card and asked to describe what it looks like and point out the features that they used to determine what was seen • Many investigators have also used it in an empirical fashion; a variety of scoring methods have been devised, and scores have been related to clinical diagnoses  The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) was developed in 1938 by Murray and Morgan to measure various psychological needs—people are shown a picture of a very ambiguous situation and are asked to tell a story about what is happening in the picture • Presumably, participants will project themselves into the scene, and their stories will reflect their own needs • Evaluation of Projective Tests:  Most empirical studies have found that projective tests have poor reliability and little validity (sensitive to participants’ moods and who is administering test—the TAT’s been criticized for gender bias, because male dominated themes, like power, ambition, and status, are used to score the test Chapter 15: Social Psychology • As described in prologue, “lowballing” is when a salesperson quotes a very low price, only to find a reason (such as a mistake while reading the invoice) to raise the price later • The field of psychology relating to social behaviour is social psychology: “how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others Social Cognition • Social cognition is the processes involved in perceiving, interpreting, and acting on social information • Schemata and Social Cognition:  Impression formation is the way in which we integrate information about another’s traits into a coherent sense of who the person is  A central theme of cognitive psychology is the schema, a mental framework that organizes and synthesizes information about a person, place, or thing  Central traits organize and influence our understanding of other traits a person possesses to a greater extent than do other traits 13 • Asch experiment: “witty, smart and warm” vs. “witty, smart and cold”—reaction to latter is much less positive. Substitute polite/blunt for warm/cold and no differences for impressions  The primacy effect is the tendency to form an impression of a person based on initial information • “Intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical stubborn” vs. “Envious, stubborn, critical, impulsive, industrious, intelligent” • We generate our own descriptive adjectives about real-life people: we may observe what a person does and says, and purposefully think about what those behaviours reveal about their personality—or we generate trait-like labels which become automatically associated in memory with whatever stimulus happens to be around at the time • The Self:  Your self-concept is your knowledge, feelings, and ideas about yourself; at its core is the self-schema, which organizes the thoughts, feelings, and ideas that constitute the self- concept  Your self-concept changes as we have new experiences or receive feedback  Your predicted future self (e.g. I will get married, have kids and lots of friends) is highly affected by your current self • Culture and Social Psychology:  Cross-cultural psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behaviour  Cultures differ in two variables: biological (diet, genetics, endemic diseases) and ecological (geography, climate, political systems, religion, education)  Two construals of self that reflect cultural differences: independent construal emphasizes the uniqueness of the self, autonomy from others, and self-reliance (Western cultures); and interdependent construal emphasizes the interconnectedness of people and the role others play in developing an individual’s self-concept (Eastern cultures)  Clarity of self-concept (how confident people are they they possess certain attributes, and how sharply defined those attributes are) is higher for those with independent construal  Independent construal of self corresponds to a self-view of one’s traits and abilities and being difficult to change—thus Canadian student are more likely to persist at a task after a successful experience than after a failure, while Japanese show the opposite (Japanese students believe that they can get better) • Attribution:  The process by which we infer the causes of other people’s behaviour is called attribution  Disposition vs. Situation: 14 • The two classifications that we make concerning the causes of people’s behaviour is the relative importance of external factors (stimuli in physical and social environment) and internal factors (a person’s traits, needs and intentions) • Once we learn that in certain situations most people act in a specific way, we develop schemata for how we expect people to act in those situations • As we get to know other people, we also learn what to expect from tem as individuals  Kelley’s Theory of Attribution: • Kelley (1967) suggested that we attribute the behaviour of other people to external or internal causes on the basis of three types of information:  Consensual behaviour, behaviour enacted in common by a large number of people in a particular situation, is usually attributed to external causes (Bill praises a club, and so does everyone else—the club must be great)  Distinctiveness, the extent to which a person performs a particular behaviour only during a particular type of event or toward a particular person or thing; high distinctiveness=external; low distinctiveness=internal (Bill praises a club more highly than he praises any other club—the club must be great—vs. Bill says every club is great— must be something about Bill)  Consistency, whether a person’s behaviour occurs reliably over time; consistency must be high to support both internal and external attributions (Bill likes the club every time he goes—must be either the club or Bill—vs. Bill sometimes likes the club but sometimes doesn’t— confusion) • Attributional Biases:  When attributing someone’s behaviour to possible causes, we tend to overestimate the significance of dispositional factors and underestimate the significance of situational factors—the fundamental attribution error • (when we see a goalie miss a save, we’re more likely to think that he sucks than that his sightlines were blocked) • Jones and Harris study about Castro essays: people seem to prefer internal explanations to situational ones, even when evidence indicates otherwise • People generally subscribe to a belief in a just world—people believe that everyone gets what they deserve, and people tend to blame the victim of misfortune or tragedy  Just world beliefs assure people that bad things only happen to bad people, and they are therefore safe, and assure people that their efforts toward long-term goals will be rewarded 15  Hence victims of rape and poverty tend to be blamed for their own misfortunes—a tendency to blame victims is positively correlated with status and wealth • Conversely, when trying to explain our own behaviour, we’re more likely to attribute it to characteristics of the situation rather than our own personal characteristics—the actor-observer effect  Study of university-age male-female couples: people tend to blame arguments in relationship on situational factors on their own behaviour (financial troubles, not enough sleep) and negative personality characteristics in their partner (selfishness, low commitment to the relationship)  Two possible explanations for fundamental attribution error: we see the world around us better than our own behaviour (not so when viewing other people), and we have more information about our own behaviour and are more likely to realize our own behaviour is inconsistent and affected by our situation (and we conclude other people’s behaviour is more consistent and a product of their personalities) • We also tend to attribute our accomplishments and successes to internal causes and our failures and mistakes to external causes—self-serving bias  People are motivated to protect and enhance their self-esteem  Another attribution error is our tendency to perceive our responses to any given situation as representative of a general consensus—false consensus • We do not like to think of ourselves as being too different from other people, or we tend to place ourselves in the company of others who are similar to ourselves • Attribution, Heuristics, and Social Cognition:  The representativeness heuristic is classifying an object into the category to which it appears to be the most similar (e.g. when given the choice, thinking an athletic professor teaches sports medicine instead of psychology, even though psychology is mathematically more likely) • That mistake is the base-rate fallacy, the failure to consider something is a member of a particular category on the basis of mathematical probabilities  The availability heuristic is a rule of decision-making by which a person judges the likelihood or importance of an event by the ease with which examples of the event come to mind (e.g. thinking there are more words that start with k than there are words with k as third letter—there are twice as many of the latter than the former) • Having recently seen an event makes other examples easier to remember: priming (e.g. in psych after learning about symptoms of schizophrenia, going like, Oh no I have schizophrenia too!, becoming overly attentive to normal psychological processes) 16 • More vivid events are also easier to remember • Social Cognition and Neuroscience:  Social neuroscience is the intersection between social psychology and cognitive neuroscience  E.g. the discovery of mirror neurons in monkeys has prompted models of social cognition; mirror neurons may constitute the substrate for a child’s acquisition of a theory of mind Attitudes and Their Formation • Attitudes are evaluations of persons, places, and things; the study of their formation are important parts of social psychology • Formation of Attitudes: 17  Affective Components of Attitudes: • Consist of the kinds of feelings a particular topic arouses: the bigot hates southpaws, the nature lover feels exhilarated from a walk in the words • Strongly influenced by either direct classical conditioning or vicarious classical conditioning (e.g. seeing a parents afraid of something) • The formation of a positive attitude toward a neutral something based solely on repeated exposure to it is called the mere exposure effect  Cognitive Components of Attitudes: • Consist of a set of beliefs about a topic • Acquired directly: we hear or read a fact or opinion, or others reinforce our statements expressing a particular attitude  Behavioural Components of Attitudes: • Consist of a tendency to act in a particular way w/r/t a particular topic • People do not always behave as their expressed attitudes and beliefs would lead us to expect (example of restaurants in 1930s that stated they would not serve Chinese people, but did)  Degree of Specificity: as attitude being measured becomes more specific, behaviour becomes more predictable (a person’s attitude towards environmentalism a poor predictor of whether they’d join Sierra Club; attitude towards Sierra club better predictor)  Motivational Relevance: expressing a particular attitude towards a topic takes less effort than actually demonstrating that attitude  Accessibility: whether or not you actually remember your attitudes when the time comes to demonstrate them; or how long it takes to remember (the longer it takes, the greater the inconsistency between attitudes and behaviour)  Constraints of Behaviour (e.g. a young man who’d really like to kiss this girl, but never will because she doesn’t seem interested) • Attitude Change and Persuasion:  Messages telling us to change our attitudes are more persuasive when they’re from a credible course (e.g. a medical journal vs. a tabloid)  Messages have more impact when the source is attractive  Aspects of the message itself determine persuasive appeal: an argument that presents only one side is more persuasive for an audience that knows little about an issue; a two- sided argument is more persuasive for a well-informed audience  “Scare tactics” only work in bringing about change when combined with instructive information about how to change one’s behaviour  Petty and co. developed the elaboration likelihood model to account for attitude change through persuasion: 18 • Persuasion can take either a central or peripheral route: • the central route requires the person to think critically about the argument, and at issue is the actual substance of the argument, not its emotional or superficial appeal • the peripheral route refers to attempts at persuasion in which the change is associated with positive stimuli (e.g. an attractive model) that may have nothing to do with substance of argument • Cognitive Dissonance:  The case of the group of crazies who believed the world would end via flood by midnight Dec. 21, 1954, and quit their jobs, dropped out of school, or left their spouses: when it didn’t end, they got another message from the aliens telling them that their belief had saved the world  The cognitive dissonance theory is when we experience a discrepancy between our attitudes and behaviour, between our behaviour and self-image, or between two attitudes (e.g. believing yourself to be non-prejudiced, but then bristling at a mixed-race couple you see at the café)  In Festinger’s POV, an important source of human motivation is dissonance reduction • A person can achieve dissonance reduction by (1) reducing the importance of one of the dissonant elements, (2) adding consonant elements or (3) changing one of the dissonant elements • E.g. a student who likes to think he’s intelligent gets a bad grade on a test: (1) can decide grades are not important indicators of intelligence, (2) can decide professor was unfair or he didn’t have enough time to study, or (3) can start getting good grades or revise his opinion of his own intelligence 19  The degree of dissonance a person feels depends on whether other factors can justify one of those dissonant elements (e.g. a writer of schlock gets paid handsomely, justifying his behaviour to himself) • In some cases, compliance to another person’s requests can cause a change in attitudes • Study in which participants are made to do something extremely boring, then were paid either $1 or $20 to tell the next participant that the task was exciting: when later asked to rate the enjoyability of the task, the $1 person said the task was relatively interesting (had no justification for their lying, so decided to believe that they weren’t) and the $20 person said the task was boring (enough justification for lying with the $20) and the control person who never had to lie also thought it was boring  Study of university students made to write an essay in favour of a topic they disagreed with (banning of alcohol at campus clubs): one group given “no choice”, the other made to feel like it was entirely voluntary: • Those who were instructed to write the essay perceived a sufficient justification for the content of their essays, experiencing less dissonance than those who believed they were exercising free will in participating • The free will people showed both a change in opinion and evidence of psychological arousal, presumably meant to reduce dissonance  We also tend to value an item more if it costs something: why people buy expensive cosmetics over cheaper brands even though they use the same ingredients, and why pet shelters sell strays instead of giving them away  Study with amnesiac adults and paintings: normal control group was asked to rank paintings from favourite to least favourite; when given two of those paintings later and asked to re-rank them, re-rankings were more extreme than the original rankings: however, with amnesiac patients, re-rankings were the same as old rankings • Self-Perception:  Daryl Bem (1972) proposed an alternative theory to cognitive dissonance, the self- perception theory: we come to understand our attitudes and emotions by observing our own behaviour like an outsider, and make inferences about the causes • E.g. an observer watching a person who’d been paid $1 delivering a convincing speech about how interesting a task was would conclude that the task must indeed be interesting, because that $1 sure ain’t worth lyin’ for Prejudice • Prejudice is a preconceived notion or bias, esp. a negative attitude about a particular group; an “insidious example of the representativeness heuristic” • A stereotype is an overgeneralized and false belief about the characteristics of members of a particular group 20 • Discrimination means treating people differently because of their membership in a particular group • The Origins of Prejudice:  Competition: study by Sherif and co. with competitions between two groups of boys, the Rattlers and Eagles, in the summer camp from hell, which was fixed when the two groups had to cooperate on tasks  Self-esteem: Miendl and Lerner (1985) experiment in which people are made to feel stupid when because they knock over a pile of computer data cards, then asked about their attitudes towards French Canadians  Social Cognition: classifying people into groups is easier than dealing with the full complexities of the issue; stereotypical information becomes worse and worse as it passes from one person to another, esp. through the media • An illusionary correlation is an apparent relation between two elements that does not actually exist (e.g. black people are more likely to commit crimes) • The illusion of outgroup homogeneity: people tend to assume members of other groups are more similar than members of their own groups (even between sexes, this happens)  Evolution: early humans lived in small cooperative groups that were in competition with each other for resources: prejudice would facilitate both in-group cooperation and competitiveness effectiveness against outgroups • Self-Fulfilling Prophecies:  A stereotype of self-fulfilling prophecy is an expectancy based on a stereotype that induces a person to act in a manner consistent with that stereotype (e.g. Joordens’s hockey player brawl example) • Experiment with male participants carrying on telephone conversations with female participants after being shown photographs of attractive or unattractive women supposed to be the women on the other side of the line: • The males talked differently to the women they thought were attractive or unattractive, which made the attractive women become more friendly, likeable, and sociable than the unattractive women • Hope for Change:  The best solution seems to be to make people “cognitively less lazy” and to take time to reflect on their biases  Experiment that proved that children who were asked to think about the problems of people with disabilities were more willing to go on a picnic with a disabled person Social Influences and Group Behaviour • A group is a collection of individuals who generally have common interests and goals; we are strongly influenced by our groups • Imitation: 21  Social norms or group norms are informal rules defining the expected and appropriate behaviour in specific situations • Experiment by Sherif (1936) about three people as a group judging how much a light was moving: once people had taken part in the group decision, their subsequent individual judgements tended to resemble those the group had made • The changing of one’s thoughts or behaviour to be similar to that of a social group is called conformity • Experiment by Asch (1951):  Bystander Intervention: • Case of Kitty Genovese demonstrates the bystander effect: the more people there are to witness a crime, the less likely someone will go to help 22 • The diffusion of responsibility is an explanation of the failure of bystander intervention, stating that when several bystanders are present, no one person assumes responsibility for helping • Social Facilitation:  Social facilitation is the enhancement of a person’s performance by the presence of other people: Triplett (1898) showed that people’s performance on simple tasks like turning a crank were bolstered by the presence of others, but others have proven that if a task is difficult and complex, performance is actually impaired when other people are present  Zajonc (1965) suggested that people watching a performer increases the performer’s arousal level, increasing the probability of them performing dominant responses (responses most likely to occur in a particular situation)—which is fine for simple tasks, whose dominant response is usually the correct one, but not good for more complex tasks, whose appropriate response might not be the dominant one  Burglars who work in groups are five times more likely to get caught: complexity combined with group presence contributes to errors in judgement • Social Loafing:  When the other people that are present are co-workers rather than observers, sometimes leads to a decrease in effort called social loafing (example of the tug of war, in which the total effort exerted is only about half of the sum of each individual’s effort had they been alone) 23  Groups that show a common position on an issue (cohesive groups) do not exhibit social loafing; non-cohesive groups show social loafing  When tasks (such as watching a quadrant of a screen for flashing dots) are duplicated by numerous people, social loafing occurs (but if each person has their own quadrant to watch, it doesn’t)  Women and people from Eastern cultures are smaller social loafers than men and Westerners, respectively • Commitment:  When people commit themselves to something, they are reluctant to renounce their commitment  Study with gamblers at the racetracks: people are more confident about their horse after they’d laid down money than before; their commitment increased the perceived value of their decision  Experiment with the small drive safely sign on your window and then the big ugly billboard on your lawn: you’re more likely to agree to the second if you’ve already agreed to the first  The example of lowballing in the prologue is another example of commitment on the customer’s part • Attractive People:  Attractive people are much more persuasive and more likeable than regular people  Experiment in which physically attractive plaintiffs received much more money in a mock tort than physically unattractive people  Most likely explanation involves classical conditioning (people associate given product or cause with positive stimuli—the attractive person) and self-esteem (complying with an attractive person makes the attractive person like you, which makes you desirable as well) • Authority:  Milgram (1963) shock experiment: a significant percentage of people with follow the orders of authority figures, no matter what the effects are on other people 24 • Group Decision Making:  If the initial position of group members is to make a risky decision, group discussion will lead to making an even riskier decision; in contrast if the initial position is to make a conservative decision, group discussion will lead to an even more conservative decision: group polarization • If you join a local environmental group because you have a desire to protect the environment, you’ll leave with an even more pro-environmental attitude • Myers and Bishop (1970) experiment found that group discussion causes groups with an initially low level of prejudice to become even less prejudiced, and groups with an initially high level of prejudice to become even more prejudiced • Three possible causes: Informational influence (learning new information germane to the decision being made), repeated exposure, and normative influence (receiving social reinforcement for agreeing with views of others)  Groupthink is the tendency to avoid dissent in the attempt to achieve group consensus in the course of decision making, such as those that lead JFK to order the coup on Cuba 25 • Janis argues that groupthink can be avoided by several precautions: criticism by group members should be encouraged, input should be sought from people who are not part of the group, the group should be broken into smaller subgroups in which different opinions are developed, and the group leader should not overstate their position on the matter and be on guard for rationalization, close- mindedness, and illusions of invulnerability • Resisting Social Influences:  Social influences may appear negative, but overall our species profits from our tendencies to be fair in our interactions with each other, to take cues from each other, to honour commitments and obey authority figures (we’d be exhausted if we had to consciously decide what to do in every situation in our lives) • Then and Now: The Impact of Media Violence:  Classic study of aggression: the “bobo” doll: children model violent behaviour  A meta-analysis (results of many studies are combined to estimate the magnitude of a particular effect) of the effects of violent videogames failed to find any reliable indication that playing a violent videogame leads to real-world violence  Ferguson (2007) found that violent videogames had little impact on actual behaviour, and that the games actually improved visuo-spatial cognition Interpersonal Attraction and Loving • Interpersonal Attraction:  Many factors determine interpersonal attraction:  Positive Evaluation: we like those who treat us well and dislike those who punish us 26  Familiarity: the more frequent the exposure, the more positive the attitude (q.v. the mere exposure effect)  Similarity: there is a tendency for people in close relationships to be similar in physical attractiveness • Couples tend to also be similar in personality, attitudes, and intelligence, and the greater the similarity, the more enduring their relationship  Physical Appearance: in general, we’re more attracted to good-looking people than not- so-good-looking people; beautiful people are seen as happier, more intelligent, and more social skilled • We don’t usually discuss how much of an influence looks is on our dating partners because a) we don’t want to appear superficial or b) because we aren’t aware of the influence looks have on us—it’s something that influences other people, not us  Physiological Arousal: attraction stems of dire situations just like in Hollywood, explained by the attribution theory: people attribute their heightened physiological arousal to whom they’re with, and conclude they must be attracted to them • Lovin’:  Lovin’ is a combination of liking and a deep attachment to another person  Passionate love is an emotionally intense desire for sexual union with another person: involves a desire for intimacy with another, feeling passion for that person, preoccupation with thoughts of that person, and feeling wonderful of that person feels romantic love toward you and dejected if not 27  People in long-term cohabitation or marriages seem to experience a different kind of love —companionate love—characterized by a deep, enduring affection and caring for one another; passion is no longer the defining characteristic of the relationship • Also marked by a mutual sense of commitment: manifests itself in different ways like downplaying the attractiveness of other members of the opposite sex • An important feature of intimacy is self-disclosure, or the ability to share deeply private feelings and thoughts with another  Evolutionarily, love is for procreation and child rearing Chapter 16: Lifestyle, Stress, and Health Cultural Evolution: Lifestyle Choices and Consequences • Cultural evolution is a culture’s adaptive change to environmental pressures, driven mainly by psychological forces • Cultural evolution’s been the primary agent in shaping lifestyle, the way a person leads their life • For prehistoric people, lifestyles were pretty much the same for everyone; nowadays there is no predominant lifestyle • Cultural evolution’s lead to a higher quality of life (new technologies, more knowledge) but has led to new dangers (being hit by a car, pollution, eating too much food) • Genes that lead to unhealthy lifestyles will not become extinct through natural selection: their consequences often manifest well after reproductive age, and thus are irrelevant to the success of reproduction 28 • Many unhealthy behaviours have reinforcing consequences in the short run and damaging consequences in the long run: the law of effect (things that produce favourable consequence tend to be repeated) works against us in this case Healthy and Unhealthy Lifestyles • Nutrition:  Until recently, our species lived on a low-fat, high-fibre diet; in the past 150 years, our diets are considerably higher in fats and lower in fibre  Diets too high in saturated fats and too low in fibre have been liked to health disorders like coronary heart disease (CHD), the narrowing of blood vessels, and cancer • 36 percent of annual deaths in Canada are because of CHD; 29 percent because of cancer • The chief culprit in CHD is serum cholesterol  Cholesterol occurs naturally in the blood, where it works as a detoxifier and the source of lipid membranes of cells and steroid hormones  Cholesterol has two major forms: HDL (high-density lipoprotein; “good” cholesterol because inversely associated with CHD) and LDL (low- density lipoprotein; “bad” cholesterol because of association with crap that blocks arteries) • A high intake of fats is associated with high death rates due to cancer  We prefer high-fat foods and sweets because in the past our starving ancestors would be best served by eating fat, and sweet tastes usually indicate a food is safe and not poisonous • Physical Fitness:  Generally, most of us are fatasses compared to our ancestors, which fatness is correlated with an increased risk of CHD: people who exercise twice a week are 41 percent less likely to develop CHD  Regular exercise reduces high blood pressure, increases lung capacity, and decreases the ratio of bad cholesterol to good cholesterol  Aerobic exercises like running, walking, bicycling, and swimming are superior to other exercises in terms of cardiovascular health  Aerobic exercise also reduces heart response to mental stress, reduces fatigue, tension, stress, and increases self-esteem and well-being • Cigarette Smoking:  People who smoke are twice as likely to die prematurely, and face increased risks of bronchitis, emphysema, and strokes  Beware of second-hand smoke: risk of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, brain hemorrhage, nasal and sinus cancer; in children middle-ear disease, lower respiratory tract infections, and an increase in sensitivity to allergies; and in pets all of the above 29  Peer pressure, role models, best friends, advertising, and parents (esp. mothers) are likely influences on adolescents to smoke  Adolescents who try smoking are twice as likely to smoke when they’re adults, and most who smoke regularly maintain the habit into adulthood Cigarette smoking is addictive: a person’s central nervous system develops a tolerance to  the drug, which means the CNS neurons respond progressively less and less to the presence of the drug; larger doses are required to produce the same effects—the CNS neurons now require the presence of the drug to function normally (physical dependence) and without the drug they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms—nicotine also produces psychological dependence  Nicotine stimulates post-synaptic receptors sensitive to neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which produces temporary increases in heart rate and blood pressure, decreases in body temperature, changes in pituitary hormones, and the release of adrenaline and dopamine  Cigarette smoking also maintained by negative reinforcement: trying to quit results in withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by smoking another cigarette  People who use assistance when trying to quit smoking are twice as likely to succeed: the transdermal nicotine patch is an effective therapy, combined with the drug bupropion hydrochloride which reduces the desire for cigarettes 30  Unsurprisingly, smoking prevention programs in schools discourages youths from smoking • Drinking Alcoholic Beverages:  Alcoholism is an addiction to ethanol, the psychoactive agent in alcoholic beverages  5 percent of Ontarians are alcoholics; about 60 percent are drinkers; 23 don’t drink but have done so in the past, and 13 percent have never consumed alcohol 31  Alcohol suppressed neuronal activity in the brain, reducing inhibitory controls on behaviour, making the individual more relaxed and outgoing, show impaired motor coordination, and have difficulty thinking clearly; with even more alcohol, speech is slurred, perceptions are distorted, memory is impaired, and there’s poor control of one’s movement  Blood alcohol levels increase less if you’re heavy or if you have a full stomach, vs. being skinny or hungry  The liver metabolizes alcohol at a rate 30 grams of liquor per hour—if you drink more than than, you’ll begin to be intoxicated  Drinking and driving don’t mix  Heavy drinkers sometimes suffer delirium tremens—the DTs—a pattern of withdrawal symptoms that includes trembling, irritability, hallucinations, sleeplessness, and confusion—sometimes alcoholics become to physically dependent that stopping causes convulsions and sometimes death  50 percent of development of alcoholism is due to genetic factors, according to twin and adoption studies  Drinking during pregnancy is a very bad thing to do, causing fetal alcohol syndrome which causes birth defects  Prevention programs like AA have a 30-50 percent success rate • STDs and AIDS:  The most life-threatening STD is AIDS, the last stage of the illness triggered by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)  Unprotected sex between males accounts for 45 percent of new HIV infections in Canada, while 37 percent of new infections can be attributed to unprotected heterosexual sex  Practice safe sex (limiting no. of sex partners, finding out sex partners’ histories, using a condom, or abstaining altogether) or die of AIDS 32  Victims of AIDS have been commonly stigmatized and sometimes physically assaulted around the world Unhealthy Lifestyles are Preventable: Self-Control • The essence of the choice to live a healthier lifestyle is whether to opt for the small, short-term reward or the larger, long-term reward: what’s at issue is self-control • Moment of decision:  Psychologists argue that if you wait until you’re faced with the choice between the short- term and long-term reward, you’ll most likely opt for the short-term reward (16.3 [c]; e.g. a friend offers you a cookie right from the oven and you can smell its wafting chocolatey goodness)  The best way to exercise self-control is to move the moment of decision to some time before you’re confronted with the choice between the two rewards, when the value of the 33 long-term reward is higher than the value of the short-term (16.3 [d]; e.g. setting your alarm clock as opposed to making the decision to get up the next morning when you’re groggy, or avoiding being home when your friend is making cookies) • Developing these strategies is the goal of health psychology, the branch of psychology concerned with the promotion and maintenance of sound health practices Stress and Health • Stress is the reactionary gestalt to real or imagined stimuli that are perceived as blocking a goal or endangering or otherwise threatening our well-being; these stimuli are called stressors • Stress is a behavioural adaptation that helped our ancestors fight or flee from enemies • The Biological Basis of Stress:  When we sense a stressor, the hypothalamus sends signals to the nervous system and to the pituitary gland, both of which respond by stimulating body organs to change: 1. Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, blood vessels constrict, blood sugar levels rise, and blood flow is directed away from extremities and toward major organs 2. Breathing becomes deeper and faster and air passages dilate, permitting more air to enter the lungs 3. Digestions stops and perspiration increases 4. The adrenal glands secrete adrenaline, which stimulates the heart and other organs  Stress responses can be a maladaptive when they produce anxiety, which may impair ability to do a task, and when stress is prolonged, which produces a whole whack of other problems:  Hans Selye found that chronic exposure to stressors produces several stages called the general adaptation syndrome (GAS): • Alarm reaction: arousal of the auto. nervous system, occurs when organism is first confronted with stressor. Resistance to the stressor temporarily drops below normal, may experience shock • Stage of resistance: happens with continues exposure to stressor, auto. nervous system returns to normal functioning, resistance increases and eventually plateaus at above-normal levels • Stage of exhaustion: with continued exposure, organism loses ability to adapt, resistance plummets to below-normal levels; organism susceptible to illness or death 34  Stress responses are designed primarily to cope with events, in the fight-or-flight response, but when threatening events are continuous rather than episodic they produce a continuous stress response, which can lead to CHD and other physical problems  The hormones related to stress are epinephrine (which releases the stored form of glucose in the muscles, providing energy for strenuous exercise) and cortisol, a steroid secreted by the adrenal gland • Cortisol is a glucocorticoid, which are chemicals that influence the metabolism of glucose, help break down protein and convert it to glucose, help make fats 35 available for energy, increase blood flow, stimulate behavioural responses, and generally just help the body react to stress • The prolonged secretion of glucocorticoids leads to increased blood pressure, damage to muscle tissue, a form of diabetes, infertility, stunted growth, inhibition of inflammatory responses, and suppression of the immune system • Prolonged stress also causes brain damage in the hippocampus (which plays a vital role in learning and memory)—seen in primates and human victims of torture and mass violence • Cognitive Appraisal and Stress:  According to Lazarus (2000), a person’s stress levels are determined by his or her cognitive appraisal, or perception, of the stressful situation—different people experience different levels of stress about the same thing  Cognitive appraisal occurs in two steps: we first evaluate the seriousness of the threat, then we decide whether we have the resources necessary to deal with the threat—if a threat is serious and we don’t have the necessary resources, we are very seriously stressed out  Some people show little risk of becoming ill during chronic stress—“hardy” individuals • A study of hardy executives revealed that they viewed the stressors in their lives as challenges and met those challenges head-on rather than avoiding them or becoming anxious about them, and also felt they had control over the challenges rather than vice versa • Supports Lazarus’s idea of the importance of cognitive appraisal • Stressful Lifestyles and Impaired Health:  The likelihood that people will suffer from CHD may depend on how they react to stress: • Study that showed that children who reacted badly, blood-pressure-wise, to their hand being submerged in cold water, grew up to have high blood pressure as adults • Study of monkeys who showed the highest emotional reactivity when threatened developed the highest rates of CHD • Friedman and Rosenman (1959, 1974) classified people in a type A pattern (CHD-prone, with excessive competitive drive, an intense disposition, impatience, hostility, fast movements, and rapid speech) or type B pattern (less likely to suffer from CHD; less competitive, less hostile, more patient, easygoing, and tolerant; moved and talked more slowly) • People with type A personalities are more likely to smoke and to have high blood pressure and cholesterol, and an increased risk of general poor health  Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by prolonged exposure to a stressor 36 • Symptoms include recurrent dreams of event, “flashback” episodes, and intense psychological distress, leading the person to avoid thinking about the event and resulting in diminished interest in social activities, feelings of detachment from others, suppressed emotional feelings, and a sense that future is bleak and empty • Also: outburst of anger, heightened reactions to sudden noises, sleep problems, general difficulties concentrating, and increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to stress • Commonly associated with war, but can be caused by events like rape, torture, natural disasters, and motor accidents • Severity depends on factors such as sex, severity of event, past psychiatric illness, and level of education • Excessive use of alcohol co-occurs with PTSD: people try to manage their negative moods or block memories of traumatic events  Stress can also impair the functions of the immune system; study of the interactions between the immune system and behaviour is called psychoneuroimmunology • The immune system is a network of organs and cells that protects the body from evil invading bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances  All bacteria have unique proteins on their surfaces called antigens, which the immune system learns to recognize and produce special antibodies (proteins that recognize antigens and help kill the invader) for  One type of antibody, immunoglobulins, is released by B lymphocytes, cells in the bone marrow: immunoglobulins possess unique receptors that bind with unique antigens, then release antibodies which kill the invaders or call in other white blood cells to destroy the invaders  Another type of defence is produced by T lymphocytes in the thymus gland: these cells produce antibodies that remain attached to them and defend against fungi, viruses, and multi-cellular parasites by binding with antigens and killing them (or signal for white blood cells to come and kill them)  Also, natural born killer cells continuously prowl through tissue, and destroy cells that have been infected by viruses or transformed into a cancer  Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissue, mistaking some of the body’s own protein as foreign • Stress increases the secretion of glucocorticoids, and these hormones directly suppress the activity of the immune system 37  Infectious diseases: • When a married person dies, his or her spouse often dies soon afterwards due to infection • In childhood, stress caused by family or school can decrease immune
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