Social Psychology: is the study of how individuals think about, relate to, and influence one another
based on the actual, imagined and implied presence of other individuals. - GordenAllport (Implied
means the sign or symbol that someone is there even if they're not.- Kurt Lewen)
Study how people explain their own and other people's behaviour (attributions), how people
influence others (persuasion) and how people connect with one another (attraction.
Social Psychology prompted partly by horrific real-world events, such as Nazi Germany.
Scientific Method- ATechnique for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge and or
correcting previous knowledge.
Hypothesis- Atestable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur.
KURT LEWIN- founder of modern social psychology
HOW WE THINK ABOUT OURSELVES
Self Perception: how we think about ourselves.
Self Presentation: How we present our ideas about ourselves to others.
Social Perception: How people form impressions of and make inferences about other people and
events in the social world. (why a grade on a test was lower than we expected, why our best friend's
dating relationship won't last)
Social Cognition: how we think about the social world, and in particular how we select, interpret and
use information to make judgements about the world. (food is better in expensive restaurants)
Social Influence: the impact of other people's attitudes and behaviours on our thoughts, feelings and
behaviour. (advertising messages)
Self-fulfilling prophecy: the process by which people's expectations about a person lead them to elicit
behaviour that confirms these expectations.
Gestalt Psychology: Look at things as a whole rather than sub parts.Atheory that proposes objects are
Hindsight Bias: the tendency to see a given outcome as inevitable once the actual outcome is know.
(Will believe Opposites attract, but will also believe “birds of a feather flock together” - I knew it all
Social Constructionism: the view that there is no absolute reality and that our knowledge and what we
understand to be reality are socially constructed.
Scientific Method. BIG in social psych.
1)Form a question
2)search the literature
3)forming a hypothesis
4)creating an operational definition – a specific procedure or measure that one uses to test a hypothesis.
eg. Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale.
5)collecting and analyzing the data
6)proposing or revising a theory. Archival Research: Aresearch approach that uses already recorded behaviour. eg. Divorce rates,
health races, death rates.
Meta-analysis: a literature review that analyzes data from several studies that examine related
Inter-rater reliability: the extent to which two or more coders agree on ratings of a particular
measure. Found in naturalistic observations. Eg, means one researcher may depict a certain behaviour
in one way, while the other could think of it in another.
–a research approach that involves the manipulation of one or more independent variables and the
measurement of one or more dependent variables.
Independent Variable: the variable that is manipulated in experimental research
Dependent Variable: the factor that is measured to see if it is affected by the independent variable.
This is controlled by the researcher.
Internal Validity: the degree to which one can validly draw conclusions about the effects of the
independent variable on the dependent variable. (i.e, were other factors at play?)
Demand Characteristics: the cues in a search setting that may inadvertently guide participants
Experimenter blind- the experimenter does not know which condition the participants are in.
Experimental Realism or psychological realism: the extent to which participants are engaged in a
particular study and hence act in more spontaneous and natural ways. Make the study feel more real.
External Validity: the degree to which there can be reasonable confidence that the same results would
be obtained for other people in other situations. Could have low validity, or high validity.
Mundane Realism: the extent to which the conditions of the study resemble places and events that
exist in the real world. Need to have high mundane realism.
Field Experiments: experiments that are conducted in natural settings.
Want Random or representative sample, don`t want convenience sample.
Qualitive Research: Asks the question of why, in words, describes. Not as common in Social
Quantitative approach: More numbers, try to find correlations, X=Y. Big in Social Psych.
Research Ethics Board: a panel of experts responsible for the ethical assessment of all research
proposals conducted at an organization.
Deception: giving false information to the participants in a study.
Self-Concept: an individuals overall beliefs about his or her own attributions. `smart, friendly, athletic`
Self-esteem: an individual`s evaluation of his or her own worth.
Self-awareness: a state of being aware of oneself as an object of one`s thoughts. Standing in front of a
Functions of Self
Self as interpersonal tool: need to have relatively stable identity to enable us to have a
social life. eg. 50 first dates, doesn`t have a stable view of
Self as a decision maker: People make small and large decisions that reflect their
principles, goals and priorities. Affective forecasting: the process of predicting the impact of both positive and negative events on
mood. Usually inaccurate.
Self-discrepancy theory: the theory that our self-concept is influenced by the gap between how we
actually see ourselves and how we want to see ourselves. eg. Ideal self, actual self. People who receive
a large discrepancy, feel less good about themselves.
Self-awareness Theory: when people focus on their own behaviour, they are motivated to either
change their behaviour or escape from self-awareness. Effects the person only when they are paying
attention to it.
Self-perception theory: we look at our own behaviour to determine our attitudes and beliefs. Eg. You
go bowling with your friends, and have a good time so therefore you must like bowling.
Facial Feedback Hypothesis: Changes in facial expression can lead to changes in emotion. Eg, people
who smile more, are happier.
Over justification: The phenomenon in which receiving external rewards for a given behaviour can
undermine the intrinsic motivation for engaging in this behaviour
Social Comparison Theory: the theory that people evaluate their own abilities and attributes by
comparing themselves to other people. Explains why we think about ourselves in very different ways
depending on the nature of the comparison we`re making and its significance to us.
Maintaining a Positive Self-Concept: Think we are better than others, do better and think better.
Self-serving bias: Ie. Remember your test scores as higher than they actually are.
Misremembering: remember things in a self-serving way can also lead us to see change over
time, even when no change has occured. Ignore the regression to the average.
False consensus effect: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which other people share our
opinions, attitudes and behaviours. People generally assume that anything they think or do is also what
many other people think or do. Explains why you can`t believe it when your favourite TV show is
False Uniqueness Effect: the tendency to underestimate the extent to which other people are likely to
share our positive attitudes and behaviour. See ourselves as more likely to perform positive acts than
others, see ourselves as less biased, more accurate. We underestimate the number of people who engage
in positive actions while overestimating the number of people who engage in negative actions.
Unrealistic Optimism: a phenomenon in which people see themselves as more likely than other
people to experience good events and less likely than other people to experience bad events.AND
Perceived Control: this means that we see uncontrollable events as at least partially under our control.
Eg. Tend to assume that they can control random events. Bet `your team`to win, leave the room if your
team is losing, etc.
Basking in reflected glory: associtating with successful others to increase onès feelings of self-worth.
Eg, your school football team wins the big game, you go around saying `we won`, if they lost, you
don`t say `we lost` you just don`t comment.
Downward social comparision: comparing ourselves to people who are worse than we are on a givent
trait or ability in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. Usually interested in engaging in downward
comparison when they`re feeling bad about themselves.
Self-handicapping: double edged sword, set yourself up for failure.
How do people present themselves to others?
Impression Management: Strategies that people use to create positive impressions of themselves.
Includes, Self-promotion, ingratiation, and self-verification.
Self-Promotion: a strategy that focuses on making other people think you are competent or good in
some way. “I strive to look perfect to others” Brag about bench pressing, nerds who mention high GPA.
Can backfire. If really good at it, wouldn't have to brag about it, it would just be noticed natually.
Ingratiation: a strategy in which people try to make thesmelves likeable to someone else, often through flattery and praise. Ingratiate yourself to your boss while being rude to your coworkers, peolpe
may notice your fakeness.
Self-Verification: the expectation that other people`s perception of oneself is consistent with one`s
own perception of oneself. You want others to see you how you see yourself. Even if you see yourself
Self-monitoring: The extent to which one adjusts one`s self presentation in different situations. High
self-monitor is likely to behave in very different ways when with different people. Low-self monitors
care little about modifying their behaviour in response to the situation. Maintain same opinions.
The good and bad news about self presentation
Spotlight Effect: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which one`s own appearance and
behaviour are obvious to others. Ie, wearing an embarrassing shirt, think everyone notices, not many
Indepedent self-construal: a conception of the self as autonomous and indepedent from others, and
behaving primarily to express its own internal attributes.
Interdendent self-construal: a conception of the self as connected to others, with its behaviour
contingent to the values, thoughts and preferences of others.
Automatic Thinking: a type