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modules 43-46.docx

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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

modules 43-46 Social Thinking - social psychologists: the scientific study of how we think about, influence and relate to one another o how the same person will act differently in different situations - attribution theory: we explains someone’s behaviour by crediting either the situation or the persons disposition o attribute the behaviour to the perosns stable, enduring traits (dispositional attribution) or attribute it to the situation (situational attribution) - fundamental attribution error: tendency for observers, when analyzing anothers behaviour, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition - attributed her behaviour to her personal disposition even when told that her behaviour was situational (acted out) o seeing the world from the actors perspective, the observers better appreciated the situation (as we act, our eyes look forward – we see others faces not our own) o taking the observant point of view the actors became more aware of their own personal style o our present self-adopts the observers perspective and attributes our past behaviour mostly our traits - when we explain our own behaviour, we are sensitive to how behaviour changes with the situation o EXCEPTION: we more often attribute out intentional and admirable actions not to situations but to our own good reasons o We are most likely to commit the fundamental attribution error when a stranger acts badly - Our attributions to a person’s disposition or to the situation have real consequences - Attitude: feelings, often influenced by our beliefs that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events o If we BELIEVE someone is threatening us, we may EEL fear and anger towards the person and ACT defensively o Traffic between our attitudes and actions is two way - Persuasion efforts generally take two forms o Peripheral route persuasion: occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as speaker’s attractiveness o Doesn’t engage systematic thinking, produces fast results as people respond to incidental cues – make snap judgements - Central Route Persuasion : occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favourable thoughts o Offers evidence and arguments that aim to trigger favourable thoughts o Occurs mostly with analytical people - Those who attempt to persuade us are trying to influence our behaviour by changing our attitude - Attitudes are especially likely to affect our behaviour when external influences are minimal and when the attitude is stable, specific to the behaviour and easily recalled - NOTE: not only will people stand up for what they believe, they also will believe more strongly in what they stood up for. Many streams of evidence confirm that attitudes follow behaviour - Foot in the door phenomenon: the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request o Knew that people who agreed to a small request would find it easier to comply later with a larger one - Doing becomes believing – after giving in to request to harm an innocent victim by making nasty comments or delivering electric shocks – people begin to disparage their victim - Moral actions strengthen moral convictions - Role: a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave o When adopting a new role you strive to follow the social prescriptions o Behaviours may feel phony’s – as you are acting, then it becomes you - Cognitive dissonance theory: the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent, (attitudes and actions clash, reduce dissonance by changing attitude) o When we become aware of this clash we experience tension/cognitive dissonance o Usually bring our attitudes in line with actions o To reduce uncomfortable tension you might start believing phony words –rationalize o The less coerced and more responsible we feel for a troubling act, the more dissonance we feel, the more dissonance we feel, the more motivated we are to find consistency , (changing attitudes to justify our act) o We cannot directly control our feelings, we can influence then by altering our behaviour o NOTE: cruel acts shape the elf, but so do acts of good, act as though you like someone, and you soon may, changing our behaviour can change how we think about others and how we feel about ourselves - Social influence - Automatic mimicry o We are natural mimics, unconsciously imitating others expressions postures and voice tones o Chameleon effect  Ex. Students tended to rub their face and shake their foot just like the confederates o Automatic mimicry helps us to empathize – to feel what others feel – explains why we feel happy around happy people o Mood linkage- sharing up and down moods - Conformity: adjusting our behaviour or thinking to coincide with a group standard o Suggestibility and mimicry (subtle conformities) o We are more likely to conform when we  Made to feel incompetent/insecure  Are in a group with at least three people  Group where everyone else agrees  Not made prior commitments - Normative social influence: influence resulting from a persons desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval o We are sensitive to social norms – understood rules for accepted and expected behaviour – cuz the price pay for being different can be severe (need to belong) - Informational social influence: influence resulting from ones willingness to accept others opinions about reality o Accept others opinions about reality - Social facilitation: stronger responses on simple or well learned tasks in the presence of others o Strengthened performance in others presence o It strengthens our most likely response – the correct one on an easy task, an incorrect one on a difficult task o NOTE: what you do well you are likely to do even better in front of an audience, what you find normally difficult may seem all but impossible when you are being watched - Social loafing: the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable o Diminished effort o 3 things cause social loathing  People apart of group feel less accountable, worry less about what others think  Group members may view their individual contributions as dispensable  When group members share equally in benefits – some may slack off (free-ride) - We’ve seen that the presence of others can arouse people/diminish their feelings of responsibility - Deindividuation: the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity o Often occurs in group participation makes people both aroused and anonymous o Thrives for better or for worse o Those with masks (depersonalized) are more likely to kill/torture than those exposed - Group polarization: the enhancement of a groups prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group o Girls talk more intimately than boys do and are less aggressive these traits will only amplify as boys/girls interact with these own gender o Virtual groups- virtual town halls where people can isolate themselves from those whose perspective differs (blogs) o NOTE: by linking and magnifying the inclinations of like-minded people, the internet ca be very bad but also good - Group think: the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision- making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives o Fed by overconfidence, conformity, self-justification, and group polarization o Prevented when a leader welcomes various opinions invites experts critiques of developing plans and assigns people to identify possible problems - Power of individuals SELF CONTROL (the power of the situation) and PERSONAL CONTROL (power of the individual) interact o Feeling coerced may react by doing the opposite of what is expected thereby rea
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