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Chapter 1

PSY220 Chapter 1 and 2 Notes

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Jennifer Fortune

PSY220 ReadingsChapter 12 111001 153 PM CHAPTER ONESocial psychology can be considered science of social behavioursDedicated to understanding causesconsequences of social interactions betw individuals or groups Social psychology scientific study of how individuals thoughts feelings and behaviours are influenced by other people Influenced by other people so long as someone is being affected by other people including imagined presence its relevant to social psychThoughts Feelings and Behaviours interested in how other people affect every aspect of lives including thoughts cognitive feelings affect and behaviourso Ultimate goal is to understand why actions toward other people occur or do not occur Individuals Perspective necessary to look at the world through the actors eyeso Even when studying groups social psychologists adopt perspective of individuals in the groupo Doesnt matter what the objective description of somethingsomewheresomeone is its about what that individuals perceivesSocial construals how individuals personally interpret or perceive a social situation Scientific study social psychology involved collecting data to test predictions How Other People Affect Us p 8Most individuals dont realize how much other people affect themSocial psychologists have shown other people influence virtually every aspect of life Other People Affect How We Interpret Events o Social psychologists wonder why people dont offer helpo Conducted experiments where they made up fake emergencies to see how people reacted Bystander interventiono One important reason people dont help is because they rely on other people to interpret the event o Ex adults come upon potential emergency at the same time like a man lying on the ground Is he sickdrunk Etc One source of info they use is how other people are responding If they are not doing anything maybe its not an emergency but they could ALL be thinking this at the same time therefore no one does anything Other People Affect How We Feel About Ourselves o Deciding whether youre nicefunny etc usually relies on comparing yourself to other peopleo Other people can have dramatic effects on how we feel about ourselveso Called social comparisonOccurs all the time Do the thinattractive womenmen on tv affect us Study by Bill Thornton and Scott Moore 1993 male and female undergrads completed questionnaire about rating their own social skillsphysical attractiveness etc Some participants completed it while sitting next to poster of physically attractive people Rated themselves as less attractive Other People Affect How We Behave o One explanation for mob behaviour is anonymityIf people feel unidentifiable they feel released from normal inhibitionsDeindividuation people feel unaccountable for their actions when in a large groupo Study by Brian Mullen 1986 examined 60 newspaper reports of lynchings of black men by white mobs in southern USDegree of viciousness of lynching was rated as well as size of lynch mob relative to number of victims
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