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Chapter 1

PS 270 Lesson 1 and Chapter 1 Notes.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS270
Professor
Camie Condon
Semester
Winter

Description
PS270Lesson1andChapter1Notes11DefiningSocialPsychologyWelcometoSocialPsychologyWheneverIstartlearningaboutanewsubjectareaIfinditbesttostartwithaseriesofdefinitionsDefinitionsgiveusasenseofhowothershavesummarizedthefieldandreadinganumberofthemprovidesuswithanideaofthecommonelementsorunifyingthemesthatallsocialpsychologistsdeemimportantThroughouttheyearsofthisrelativelynewfieldsocialpsychologyhasbeendefinedasthescientificstudyofthewayinwhichpeoplesthoughtsfeelingsandbehavioursareinfluencedbytherealorimaginedpresenceofotherpeopleAllport1985thescientificfieldthatseekstounderstandthenatureandcausesofindividualbehaviourandthoughtinsocialsituationsBaronByrneWatson2001p5thesystematicstudyofthenatureandcausesofhumansocialbehaviourMichenerDeLamaterMyers2004p2andyourowntextbookdefinessocialpsychologyasthescientificstudyofhowpeoplethinkaboutinfluenceandrelatetooneanotherMyersSpencerJordan2012p41ScientificprocessFirstmostofthemspeaktothescientificprocessThereisasystematicapproachtostudyingthemanyfacetsofhumansocialbehaviourwhichrelyonrigorousresearchmethodologiesincludingstructuredobservationalstudiessurveyresearchandexperimentalmanipulation2SocialbehaviourandthoughtSecondmanyofthesedefinitionsrefertosocialbehaviourandthoughtThisreferstothewayinwhichoursocialnatureashumanbeingsaffectsthewayinwhichwethinkandbehaveForexamplewhywouldyouactonewaywhenyouarepartofagroupbutdifferentlywhenyouarealoneUnderwhatconditionswouldworkingaspartofateamleadthemembersincludingyourselftoslackoffevenalittleHowareourthoughtsaboutourselvesshapedbythosearoundusInotherwordshowdoesthesocialworldmakeustickAsanaturalhumantendencywearequicktoexplainpeoplesbehaviourintermsoftheirownpersonalitysayingthatwhatevertheydidmustbearepresentationofthekindofpersontheyarethisisknowninsocialpsychologyasthefundamentalattributionerrorHoweverwhatyouwilldiscoverinthiscourseisthattherearemanysubtleforcesatplayinoursocialenvironmentthatleadustoactinwaysthatarenotnecessarilyinlinewithourpersonalitiesOverandoveragainsocialpsychologydemonstratesthepowerofthesituationtoinfluenceourthoughtsandbehavioursOneofthecoreconcernsofsocialpsychologyishowandwhyweareinfluencedbyoursocialsurroundingsJustthinkaboutallofthesocialinfluencesthatyouexperienceonadailybasisOneofthemostobviousandwidespreadisadvertisingArecenttelevisioncommercialthatIsawfortheSwiffermopusedthesloganIdontfeellikeagoodmomunlessmyhouseiscleanWewilltalkmoreaboutadvertisingandpersuasiontechniquesinchapter5PoliticalcandidatesalsotrytoconvinceusoftheirmessageswhentryingtowinourvoteEvenyourownfriendswilltrytoconvinceyoutodothingsyoumightnotwanttodoComeoneveryoneisdoingitThesearealldirectattemptstoinfluenceusbuttherearealsofarmoresubtleattemptssuchasourmothersvoicethatwecarryaroundinthebackofourheadthatremindsustodressnicelyandmindourmannersEvenwhensheisnotthereshecaninfluenceusMorebroadlythecultureweliveinalsoinfluenceswhatwecometounderstandasimportantinourlivesouridealsourcustomsandourhopesanddreamsforthefutureInsummarypeopleoftenactthewaytheydobecauseofthesocialsituationtheyfindthemselvesin3ThequestforanswersComingbacktoourdefinitionsthethirdelementIwouldstressasacommonthreadistheseekingofexplanationSocialpsychologyisinthebusinessofidentifyingthecauseofthesocialbehavioursandthoughtsthatareobservedFindingoutwhatallofthepreconditionsarethatleadtoaparticularthoughtprocessoractionaretheimportantbuildingblocksoftheoreticalexplanationsThesearchforcausalexplanationsforsocialthoughtandbehaviourleadsusbacktothenecessityofrigorousmethods4SocialcognitionFinallyandmorerecentlytheemphasisontheroleofcognitiveprocessesisafourthcommonthreadofthedefinitionsSocialpsychologistsareinterestedinhowpeoplethinklearnrememberandreasonwithrespecttosocialinformationandinhowtheseprocessesarerelatedtosocialbehaviourWeareexposedtoalmostinfiniteamountsofinformationinoursocialenvironmentsWecanttakeitallinSowhatdowefocusonandwhyWhatpartofitdowerememberormisrememberandwhyAndwhydoesourattitudeonaparticulartopicnotalwayscorrespondtoourbehaviour5MainThemesinSocialPsychologySevenmajorthemesofsocialpsychologyareshownonpage7ofyourtextAsyougothroughthiscourseyouwillseehowthesethemesshowupintheconceptsthatwestudy12DefiningSocialPsychologyWhatitisnotAComparisonofSocialPsychologyPersonalityPsychologyandSociologyNowthatwehavelookedatwhatsocialpsychologyisitisimportanttoconsiderwhatitisnotSocialpsychologydiffersfromsociologyandpersonalitypsychologyinthatitfocusesontheindividualinhisorhersocialenvironmentSociologistsusemainlyobservationalresearchmethodstoexaminesocialbehaviouratthesocietallevelThefocusforsociologistsissocietyratherthantheindividualPersonalitypsychologistsfocusonthetraitsandcharacteristicsoftheindividualwithoutconsideringthesocialenvironmentoftheindividualSociologySocialPsychologyPersonalityPsychologyProvidesinformationandStudiesthepsychologicalprocessespeoplehaveinStudiesthecharacteristicsthattheoriesaboutsocietiescommonthatmakethemsusceptibletosocialmakepeopleuniqueanddifferentnotindividualsinfluenceHowtheindividualandhisorhersocialfromoneanotherenvironmentinteract13ProfessionalEthicsandSocialPsychologyResearchersinallfieldsofstudyhaveamoralandlegalresponsibilitytoadheretoethicalprincipleswhenconductingresearchGiventhatthevastmajorityofresearchinsocialpsychologyfocusesonhumanthoughtandbehaviouritisvitalthatastandardofcareistakenthatprotectstheparticipantWhenthepotentialbenefitsofresearchforhumankindarehighandthepotentialrisksareacceptablethereisnoreasonwhytheresearchshouldnotbecarriedoutButwhatisanacceptablerisktotheparticipantTakeamomentandthinkabouthowyouwouldfeelbeingaparticipantineachofthefourstudiesthatfollow1PiliavinandPiliavin1972
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