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Chapter 2

Textbook Notes for Chapter 2


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Jason Plaks
Chapter
2

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PSY220H1 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY CHAPTER 2 NOTES
THE SELF IN A SOCIAL WORLD
-social influence on self-presentation
-social surroundings shape how we think about ourselves
-eg. if you’re a female in a group of males, you will be acutely aware of your gender
-self-interest colours our judgments about others and ourselves
-the source of a problem is someone else, the source of a good thing is you
-looking good to others motivates our social behaviour
-monitor others behaviour and expectations and adjust our behaviour according
-the self consists of
-self-esteem (i.e. sense of self-worth)
-social self (i.e. group identity)
-self-knowledge (i.e how I explain and predict myself)
-self-concept (the answer to the q, “Who am I?”)
Self-Concept
-self-concepta persons answer to the question, “Who Am I?”
-thinking is partly controlled and partly automatic
-controlled processing “explicit thinking, is deliberative, reflective and conscious
-automatic processing implicit thinking”, is effortless, habitual and without awareness
-referred to as intuition”
-eg. schemas, emotional reactions, implicit memory, blindsight, processing of subliminal stimuli
-people err in their intutions of themselves
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-eg. Nisbett and Schachter experimentsubjects given sugar pill before electric shocks and told pill would give
them specific physiological responses (responses commonly felt when given electric shocks). -
subjects withstood greater levels of shock when given pill b/c they attributed shock symptoms to pill
-even after being told about the fake pill, they continued to attribute their ability to withstand the shocks to
themselves
-illusion of conscious will (Daniel Wegner)
-people feel they have willed an action, then the action-related thought precedes a behaviour that seems
otherwise unexplainable
-eg. computer mouse experiment
-people err when predicting their own behaviour
-often close friends/family members can predict ones behaviour better than oneself
-however we can better predict peoples behaviour if we ask them to predict the actions of others in that
circumstance
-eg. study where students predicted whether they would buy daffodil for charity and whether other
students would…actual behaviour corresponded to their prediction of other students behaviours
-intuitive decision-making
-Dijkersterhuisstudies showed that people were happiest with their decisions when decision was made after a
delay and without conscious deliberationhad allowed it to incubate”
-people err when predicting their feelings
-“affective forecasting”people are really bad at predicting the intensity and duration of their future emotions
-relates to impact bias
-impact biasoverestimating the enduring impact of emotion-causing events
-imp because our affective forecasts influence our decision-making
-East Asians less susceptible to impact biasmore holistic thinking (and thus more likely to consider
many diff factors when predicting future feelings)
-immune neglectpeople are generally ignorant of their psychological immune system (their minds strategies
for dealing with emotional trauma)
-we adapt better to negative experiences/setbacks than we originally assume
-when are self-perceptions accurate?
-when the causes of behaviour are obvious and the correct explanation fits our intuition
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-mental processes that control social behaviour are distinct from the mental processes we use to explain our behaviour
(Wilson)
-why rational explanations of behaviour leave out the gut-level reactions that were important in guiding that
behaviour
-gut-level reactions are harder to verbalize
-gut-level reactions are also more consistent
-dual attitude system
-differing implicit (automatic) and explicit (consciously controlled) attitudes towards the same object
-verbalized explicit attitudes change with relative ease (through education, persuasion etc)
-implicit attitudes change slowly (b/c they are habitual)…require practice to change
Fitting In: Looking to Others
-how we are viewed by others and hw we fit into our social groups are central to how we define ourselves
-eg. kids that are told they are smart, incorporate that idea into their self-concepts and behaviour
-the looking-glass selfusing others as a mirror for perceiving ourselves
-doesnt matter what they actually think of us but the way we imagine they see us
-evolutionary background
-survival of early humans depended on being protected by the group
Social Comparison
-social comparisonevaluating ones abilities and opinions by comparing oneself to others
-Lockwood study:
-we are inspired by a role-model if we can attain similar success
-we become demoralized by a role-model if we cannot achieve similar success
-strong determinant of self-views
-self-esteema persons overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth
-psychological gauge by which we monitor and react to how others appraise us
-based on traits we believe are valued by others
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