PSY100 Chapter 12.docx

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15 Apr 2012
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Chapter 12 Social Psychology
INTRODUCTION
According to geneva convetions, prisoners of war must be treated with respect and dignity
o Somalia in 1993, 16 year old was tortured for hours and eventually murdered
o According to social psychologists, nothing typically is wrong with people such as the
soldiers in Somalia and the guards of Abu Ghraib
They are probably normal people caught up in overwhelming situations that
shape their actions
Absence of real authority, promotion of aggression
o Philip Zimbardo “Prison Study”
HOW DO ATTITUDES GUIDE BEHAVIOUR?
The concept of attitudes our evaluations of objects, of events, or of ideas is central to social
psychology
o Shaped by social context and play important role in how we evaluate and interact with
other people
WE FORM ATTITUDES THROUGH EXPERIENCE AND SOCIALIZATION
Direct experience of our exposure to things provides information that shapes attitudes
Greater exposure to an item, and therefore greater familiarity with it, cause people to have
more positive attitudes about the item; this process is known as the mere exposure effect
Attitudes can be conditioned
o Advertisements
Are shaped through socialization
BEHAVIOURS ARE CONSISTENT WITH STRONG ATTITUDES
Attitudes can be
o Explicit attitudes that people can report to other people
o Implicit attitudes influences our feelings and behaviours at any unconscious level
Access them from memory quickly (e.g riding a bicycle)
Involve brain regions associated with implicit memory in general
DISCREPANCIES LEAD TO DISSONANCE
Cognitive dissonance occurs when there is a contradiction between two attitudes or between
an attitude and a behaviour (e.g people experience cognitive dissonance when they smoke even
though they know that smoking might kill them)
POSTDECISIONAL DISSONANCE
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