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Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

5 Pages

Course Code
Psychology 2070A/B
James M Olson

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Social Psychology Chapter One: Introducing Social Psychology  We are social beings The Science of Social Behaviour  Social psychology considered the science of social behavior  Social psychology: the scientific study of how individuals thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influence by other people o Four key aspects  1. Influenced by other people  Social aspect  most important  As long as someone is being affected in any way by other people, including their imagined presence or actions, the situation is relevant to social psychology  2. Thoughts, feelings and behaviours  How other people effect every aspect of individuals ‘ lives (thoughts/feelings/behavior)  Ultimate goal = understand why various kinds of actions to ward other people occur or don’t occur (aggression/conformity/helping/discrimination)  3. Individuals perspectives  Necessary to look at the world thought the actors eyes  Ie. You get a free gift.. is the person generous or are they trying to butter you up to later ask for a donation  Whatever you believe to be the other persons motive will determine how you behave  To understand many social events its more important to know individual actors’ subjective perceptions of the situation than to know the settings objectives features  Social construals: how individuals personally interpret or perceive a social situation  When studying group processes  social psychologists adopt the perspective of individual members fo the group  4. Scientific study  Rely on direct tests of their ideas  Collecting data to test predictions How Other People Affect Us  How individuals are influenced by other people  Most decisions are influenced directly or indirectly by other people  Bystander intervention  see someone on the street that needs help but you don’t see anyone else going to help so you don’t either o People may misinterpret the situation as a non-emergency based on the inaction of other individuals  Other people affect how we feel about ourselves o Social comparison: Process of comparing ourselves to other people to make judgments about the self  Other people affect how we behave o The presence of other pople can elicit very different behavior than would have occurred if the individual were alone o Deindividuation: feeling that people are unaccountable for their actions when in a large group BEWARE  Social psych is not just common sense  Hindsight is not always golden o The tendency to think that a known outcome was obvious = hindsight bias  Best reason of all for studying social psychology is that you will learn some things about yourself Social Psychology’s Connections to Other Areas of Psychology Area of Psychology Primary Focus of the Field Related Topics in Social Psychology Personality psychology Traits (dispositions) that help to Individual differences that explain human behavior affect social behavior (e.g Self-esteem) Developmental psychology Age-related changes in human Social development  how abilities and behavior relationship skills emerge Cognitive Psychology How the human mind works Social cognition  how (memory/consciousness/decision information about people is making) processed and stored Clinical/counseling Psychological or mental problems Loneliness, shyness and affecting people’s well-being other relationship problems; - abnormal psychology depression and anxiety  Dispositi
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