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Psychology (17)
PSYC 001 (15)
Greg Feist (13)


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San Jose State University
PSYC 001
Greg Feist

Social psychology = study of effects of real/imagined presence of others on people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. ● Personality psychology = uniqueness & individual differences ● How external environment influences what you do ○ groups and how other people influence us Influence of others on our behavior ● Hypothetical: when you look back and question what you do ● social facilitation: presence of others improve performance ○ usually occurs for “easy” tasks > know & perform well ● social loafing: presence of others relax standards ○ diffusion of responsibility alters behavior (you loaf) Conformity to social pressure ● social norm: rules/expectations imposed about acceptable behavior ● conformity occurs when people adjust behavior to what others are doing/adhere to cultural norms ● informational social influence: people conform > others = knowledge source of what they are supposed to do ● normative social influence: conformity occurring when people go along with othes’ behavior ● culture matters ○ get accepted by group ■ i.e. peer pressure ● group size matters whether we conform ○ 1-2 others conformity =/= likely ○ 3+ > conformity but effect peaks around 6-7 ○ we all conform to culture ● Lack of unanimity also matters ○ even 1 dissenter decreases conformity pressure tremendously ○ unanimity = really strong pressure Asch Study (1951) - If pressured by others, would someone say they saw something that isn’t there? ● 7 men in each session ○ 1 = participants ○ 6 = confederates ■ people working for experimenter ● 18 trials of lines; 1 reference & 3 choices ○ people asked which of 3 lines matched the line shown ○ most people conformed to wrong answer when others unanimously voted on wrong answer ● tested normative rather than informational social influence ○ b/c task was easy, so no need for more knowledge sources ● groupthink: when thinking of group takes over that logic or critical analysis is forgone to make a decision ● culture affects conformity ○ Collectivist culture: group > individuals ■ people more likely to conform than individualistic cultures (i.e. U.S.) ● deviate from group opinion > Brain thinks we make mistake ● Small group in larger group = minority ○ minorities push for independence ■ shift majority opinion via informational social influence ● minority presents well thought out position Obedience to authority - people yield to social pressure of authority figure ● advocate authority = give responsibility over to authority ○ people got really nervous and upset about this experiment ■ ● Stanley Milgram wanted to know > why & how so many Germans conformed to Nazi atrocities ○ why would they commit genocide ○ conducted most famous study in all of psychology ■ this was before consent & review boards ● this caused ■ in the 60s ○ Participants taking part in learning study > they played role of teacher ■ Done with Yale students ● people dismissed as unique to competitive cut-throat students ○ didn’t make difference with ordinary participants ○ 67% went to full 450V ■ they pick name out of hat, which supposedly contained a collection of rolls assigning a role, but in reality = hat > 1 roll w/ teacher on it ■ task = student (confederate, not a participant) learn word pair list and teacher gives feedback in terms of electrical shocks ● shocked for each mistake ○ increased by 15V for each false answer ■ up to 450 ● marked XXX ● clinicians claimed most people won’t go up very high ● student usually in next room ○ speaking over a loud speaker ● teacher had control panel => shock levels increasing in 15V increments ○ @ 75V = yelps of pain ○ 150V - screams & bounding ○ When teacher wants to quit, experimenter says you must continue ■ ○ 300V = student doesn’t respond ○ 330V = no more sounds made ○ 65% of participants went on to the highest voltage with urge from man in white lab coat ■ w/o authority figure obedience, people won’t get hurt ■ can’t pay $20-30 to participant if they don’t go all the way through with it ■ initially predicted by experimenters that barely anyone would reach this point ○ By 220V, people would start dropping off ○ after 330V, that was the point of no return for participants ● Done with Yale students ○ people dismissed as unique to competitive cut-throat students ■ didn’t make difference with ordinary participants ■ 67% went to full 450V ● Physical distance to student mattered ○ teacher had to administer shock in person ○ obedience fell to 30% ■ physical distance to experimenter also mattered ● if E didn’t give commands to continue, you continued in person rather than over the phone ○ obedience fell 20% ■ Demographics (gender, politics, religion, education, military service, etc.) didn’t matter ● men were more aggressive ● test replicated later ○ people believed they were doing a memory test Social perception ● attribution: inferences made about causes of others’behavior ○ internal/dispositional (causes): a result due to a characteristic of subject ○ external/situational (causes): result due to nature of situation ● self-serving bias: making situational attributions for own faults but dispositional attributions for success ● fundamental attribution error: bias in judgement when explaining in terms of attributions ○ when making attributions to someone, we tend to think dispositional > situational ○ cultural influence:Asian less likely to make fundamental attribution error ○ more likely for celebrity Detecting deception ● most not good lie detectors ○ rely on misleading cues ■ too much weight on what people say, overinterpret nonverbal cues ● look for > inconsistent behaviors > signs of emotion not matching what people say Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination ● Stereotypes = cognitive schemas - perceived likely behavior based on groups they belong to ○ stereotypes = relatively neutral cognitive categorization ○ as attitudes ■ attitude: person’s favorable/unfavorable feelings/beliefs/actions ● have affective, cognitive, behavioral components ○ affective = feeling/emotion associated with belief ○ cognitive = rational thoughts/beliefs that make up attitude ○ behavioral = motive to act in particular way toward person/object of attitude ● three degrees rule ○ attitude, behavior, habits move through social networks ● mere exposure
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