Chapter One: An Invitation to Social Psychology

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
John Bickford

Social Psychology Chapter One Social psychology is the scientific study of the feelings, thoughts and behaviors of individuals in social situations. Social psychologists:  Study situations in which people exert influence over one another  Ways people respond to influence  Look at how people make sense of the world  Who/what to believe  Reach conclusions about causes of events Milgram experiment is the shock experiment where 80% of participants went past the 150 volt level. The average shock level was 360 volts. Seminarian experiment is when 10% of seminarians that were in a rush did not help an old man in pain but when given plenty of time 60% stopped to help. Situational factors are whether a person is being pressured or if they are late (more influence) Internal factors, kind of person someone is Dispositions, beliefs/values/personality traits/abilities that guide a person’s behavior Fundamental attribution theory is the failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behavior, together with the tendency to overemphasize the importance of disposition, or traits. Channel factors are certain situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface but that can have great consequences for behavior or guiding behavior in a particular direction.  Example: shaping a vague intention into a concrete plan A participant is someone that is acting freely; learning is a normal activity that depends on…feedback which usually is a form of information. Expe
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