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Chapter 1

PS270 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Social Neuroscience, Unconscious Mind, Hindsight Bias

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Anne Wilson

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Readings Chapter 1
What is social psychology?
Science that studies the influences of out situations with special attention to how we
view and affect one another
How people think about (perceive self and others, beliefs, judgements, attitudes),
influence (culture and biology, pressures to conform, persuasion, groups of people), and
relate (helping, aggression, attraction/intimacy, prejudice) to one another
Social behaviour varies upon the objective situation and how we construe it
What are the major themes of social psychology?
Construct our Social Reality
o How we construe the world and ourselves matters
Our social intuitions are often powerful but sometimes perilous
o Unconscious mind
o Error in intuitions
Social Influences shape our behaviour
o We are social animals; we learn everything from others
o Relationships are a large part of being human
o Power of a situation changes the way we behave
o Culture
o We adapt to our social context
o Behaviour is shaped by external forces
Personal attitudes and dispositions also shape behaviour
o Internal forces
o Different people react differently to situations
Social behaviour is biologically rooted
o Nature and nurture
o Biology shapes us to behave in ways that help us survive and reproduce
o We are sensitive and responsive to our social context
o Social neuroscience
Relating to others is a basic need
o Want to fit in
o Positive and negative relationships
o Self-esteem is a reading of how accepted we feel by others
Social psychology’s principles are applicable in everyday life
How do values affect social psychology?
Obvious ways in which values enter social psych
o Choice of research topics
o Cultures
o Point in time
o The types of people attracted to various disciplines
o Object of social-psychological analysis: how values form, why they change and
how they influence attitudes and actions
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