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Chapter 13

PSY 2012 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Philip Zimbardo, Authoritarianism, Deindividuation

Course Code
PSY 2012
Charles Negy

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Chapter 13 – Social Psychology
Social Psychology – The study of individuals’ behavior while in the presence of others.
Sociology – The study of how groups of people behave.
Role – A position in society that has rules or norms that more-or-less dictate how a
person should behave when occupying that particular position.
Philip Zimbardo – Psychologist at Stanford University. Obtained a grant to convert the
entire basement of a building on Stanford University’s campus into a jail.
Prison Study – Zimbardo’s study on how individuals behave when suddenly cast into a
role that is unfamiliar to them. Zimbardo recruited male college students who
volunteered to participate in a study about roles in prison. They were randomly assigned
to be either “guards” or “inmates.” They were told nothing other than their roles. Result
of the study showed that most of us have some authoritarianism within us.
Authoritarianism - a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority
and thus usually opposed to individualism, liberalism, democracy, libertarianism and
Stereotypes – Impressionistic summaries of people pertaining to specific groups. They
help us organize information about a group.
Grain of Truth – Hypothesis which asserts that there is some truth to most stereotypes
we have about others.
Stereotypes can be negative, positive, or neutral.
Selective Perception – Occurs outside our awareness. We tend to focus on behavior
manifested by someone from a group that “fits” with our stereotype of the group
whereas we tend to ignore or not pay attention to behaviors that would not fit with our
Group Influences:
Diffusion of Responsibility – When responsibility gets diffused, it will be shared by
others if one is caught. When alone, when you break a glass bottle against the sidewalk
or building, others will see you do it. If there are any consequences to be paid, you alone
will pay them.
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