An Invitation to Social Psychology:
- social psychology - scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of
individuals in social situations.
- Putting good people in a bad place/sense of power to make them like that. “it’s
not that we put bad apples in a good barrel. we put good apples in a bad barrel.”
- people exert influence over one another.
- personality psychology is a close cousin of social psychology, but it stresses
individual differences in behavior rather than social situation.
- social psychologists differ from cognitive psychologists primarily in that the
topics they study are usually social, for example, social behavior and perceptions
of other people. cognitive psychologists would be more likely to study
categorization processes or memory for words or objects.
- sociologist might study how economic or government policy influences marriage
and divorce rates in a population, whereas a social psychologist would be more
likely to study why individuals fall in love, get married, and sometimes get
- any one of us is capable of performing acts of brutality.
- the main situational influences on our behavior, influences that we often
misjudge or fail to see altogether, are the actions and sometimes just the mere
presence of other people.
- we rely on other people for clues about what emotions to feel in various
situations and even to define who we are as individuals.
- Milgram and other experts did not expect so many participants to continue to
administer shocks as long as they did.
- the mundane fact of being in a hurry is such a powerful situational factor that it
overrides people’s helpful tendencies.
- dispositions - internal factors such as beliefs, values, personality traits, or
abilities that guide a person’s behavior.
- people are governed by situational factors - such as whether they are being
pressured by someone or whether they are late - more than they tend to assume.
- internal factors - the kind of person someone is - have much less influence than
most people assume they do. - fundamental attribution error - the failure to recognize the importance of
situational influences on behavior, and the corresponding tendency to
overemphasize the importance of dispositions or traits on behavior.
- channel factors - certain situational circumstances that appear unimportant on
the surface but that can have great consequences for behavior, either facilitating
or blocking it or guiding behavior in a particular direction.
- people should look for situational factors that might be affecting someone’s
behavior before assuming that the person has dispositions that match the
- the most powerful determinant of usage yet discovered is the distance to the
- construal - people’s interpretation and inference about the stimuli or situations
- gestalt psychology - based on the german world gestalt, meaning form or
figure, this approach stresses the fact that people perceive objects not by means
of some automatic registering device but by active, usually unconscious
interpretation of what the object represe