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Chapter 1

Social Psych Study Notes - Chap 1.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2233
Professor
Suzanne Ricard
Semester
Fall

Description
Social Psych Study Notes: • What is social psychology? o The scientific study of the way in which peoples thoughts, feelings and  behaviours are influenced by real, or imagined presence of others. o Social influence: we are all influenced by other people  This extends beyond bahaviour, it includes thoughts, feelings and  acts • Construal: the way in which people perceive and interpret the social world o Largely shaped by 2 basic human motives  The need to be accurate  The need to feel good about ourselves (see later) • Social psychology ­ interested in individuals, emphasis on what’s going on in  their hearts and minds.   o Level of analysis:  the individual within a social situation. o Goal of SP: identify universal properties of human nature that make  everyone susceptible to social influence, regardless of social class or  culture. o explanations of social influence through carefully controlled experiments • Social interpretation:  to understand social influence, we need to understand how  people perceive and interpret the social world, not understand the world  objectively • Individual differences contribute significantly to how people will react (social  behavior) to certain situations. o Individual behaviour is powerfully influenced by the social environment • Social psychologists look at; personality traits and social influence • Fundamental attribution error: explaining bahaviour in terms of personality traits,  but underestimating the power of social influence o When we underestimate the power of social influence, there is a feeling of 
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