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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Social Psychology.docx

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Joordens, Steve

Chapter 13 Social Psychology Social psychology: study of the causes and consequences of sociality.  Only four have become ultra-social.  Form societies in which large numbers of individuals divide labor and cooperate for mutual benefit.  Four species are: hymenoptera (i.e., ants, bees, and wasps), the termites, the naked mole rats, and us.  Of these four, we are the only one whose societies consist of genetically unrelated individuals Aggression Aggression: behavior whose purpose is to harm another. Frustration-aggression hypothesis or a principle: animals aggress when and only when their goals are frustrated. Example: The robber wants the money (goal) but the teller has it all locked up (frustration), so the robber threatens the teller with a gun (aggression)  Hypothesis maybe right, but some argue that the real cause of aggressive behavior is negative affect, and that the inability to reach a goal is just one of many things that bring about negative affect  Both biology and culture play a role in determining if and when people will aggress Biology and Aggression  Single best predictor of aggression is gender  Testosterone promotes aggression. Makes people feel concerned with their status, powerful, and confident in their ability to prevail.  Testosterone also lowers people’s sensitivity to signs of threat. Men with unrealistically high self- esteem are most prone to aggression. Such men are especially likely to perceive others’ actions as a challenge as a sense of their own status Culture and Aggression  Variation over time and geography shows that culture can play an important role in determining whether our innate capacity for aggression will result in aggressive behavior.  People learn by example—which is why watching violent television shows and playing violent video games makes people more aggressive and less cooperative Cooperation Cooperation: Behavior by two or more individuals that leads to mutual benefit.  Risk and Trust o Cooperation is risky, and a simple game called the prisoner’s dilemma illustrates why. o Players A and B receive benefits whose size depends on whether they independently decide to cooperate. o Mutual cooperation leads to a relatively moderate benefit to both players, but if only one player cooperates, then the cooperator gets no benefit and the non-cooperator gets a large benefit.  First, you can learn how to spot a cheater. o evidence suggests that people are able to spot cheaters quite well  One explanation is that human beings have a uniquely powerful capacity to detect cheaters that surpasses their capacity for logical reasoning in general.  Second, you can react strongly when you detect someone cheating, and evidence suggests that people do Groups and Favoritism  Group: collection of people who have something in common that distinguishes them from others.  Prejudice: positive or negative evaluation of another person based on their group membership.  Discrimination: Positive or negative behavior toward another person based on their group membership.  Simply knowing that “I’m one of us and not one of them” is sufficient to produce favoritism. group members favor other group members, cooperation within the group is less risk  Groups don’t fully capitalize on the expertise of their members  Groups spend most of their time discussing information that is unimportant but known to everyone and little time discussing information that is important but known to just a few  Members of groups like to maintain harmony and thus are reluctant to “rock the boat”  Deindividuation: when immersion in a group causes people to become less concerned with their personal values o People are most likely to consider their personal values when their attention is focused on themselves, being assembled in group’s draws our attention to others and away from ourselves. o Less likely to consider our own personal values and instead adopt the group’s values  Diffusion of responsibility: individuals feel diminished responsibility for their actions because they are surrounded by others who are acting the same way o Belonging not just a source of psychological and physical well-being, also a source of identity  Groups cause us to misjudge and misbehave, seem to be key to our happiness and well-being. Altruism  Altruism: Behavior that benefits another without benefiting oneself. o Any animal that promotes the survival of its relatives is actually promoting the survival of its own genes  Kin selection: process by which evolution selects for individuals who cooperate with their relatives  Reciprocal altruism: behavior that benefits another with the expectation that those benefits will be returned in the future Selectivity  Cultures can exaggerate, equalize, or even reverse those risks. Higher the risk, the more selective people tend to be.  Attraction: this feeling is caused by a range of factors that can be roughly divided into the situational, the physical, and the psychological o Situational Factors: Proximity not only provides the opportunity for attraction but it also provides the motivation  People work especially hard to like those with whom they expect to have interaction  Get more familiar with the person (people) feel novel stimuli. Mere exposure effect: the tendency for the frequency of exposure to a stimulus to increase liking o Physical factors: they found that the partner’s physical appearance was the only attribute that influenced the students’ feelings of attraction  Appearance is so powerful that it even influences how mothers treat their own children:  Mothers are more affectionate and playful when their children are attractive than unattractive  Argue that nature has designed us to be attracted to people who (a) have good genes and (b) will be good parents o Body Shape: body shape is an indicator of male dominance and female fertility o Symmetry: Both symmetry and averageness are signs of genetic health may explain why people are so good at detecting them. o Age: women prefer older men and men prefer younger women across a wide variety of human cultures (Younger women are generally more fertile than older women whereas older men generally have more resources than younger men)  Psychological Factors: People’s inner qualities—their personalities, points of view, attitudes, beliefs, values, ambitions, and abilities—play an important role in determining their sustained interest in each other, o Research suggests that we are attracted to people who are generally similar to us on most psychological dimensions o Gender appears to be the only one for which the majority of people have a consistent preference for dissimilarity o First easy to interact with people who have same similarities. Second someone shares our beliefs and attitudes feel more confident. Third being liked is a powerful source of attraction Relationships o Passionate love: an experience involving feelings of euphoria, intimacy, and intense sexual attraction.  Passionate love is what brings people together; it has a rapid onset, reaches i
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