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Social Psychology Chapter 14

Social Psychology Chapter 14

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Social Psychology Chapter 14

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  1. Social PsychologyChapter 14

  2. Social Psychology Social Thinking • The Fundamental Attribution Error • Attitudes and Actions Social Influence • Conformity and Obedience • Group Influence • Lessons From the Social Influence Studies

  3. Social Psychology Social Relations • Prejudice • Aggression • Attraction • Altruism • Conflict and Peacemaking

  4. Social Psychology “We cannot live for ourselves alone.” Herman Melville Social psychology is the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.

  5. The Fundamental Attribution Error When analyzing another’s behavior, there is a tendency to overestimate the influence of personal traits, and underestimate the effects of the situation

  6. The Fundamental Attribution Error • Experiment: Even when students were informed that a young woman had been instructed to act icy or warm, they still attributed her behavior to her personal traits (Napolitan & Geothals, 1979) • Cultural differences • People in East Asian culture tend to be more sensitive to the power of situations

  7. The Fundamental Attribution Error • When we explain our behavior, we are sensitive to situational influence • Also for people we have seen in many contexts • We are more likely to commit the F.A.E. when we disapprove of the stranger’s behavior • Taking the stranger’s point of view can help decrease incidence of the F.A.E. • Reflecting on our past self also switches our perspective

  8. Political Effects of Attribution • How to explain poverty or unemployment? • Political conservatives often blame the personal traits of the poor and unemployed • Social scientists are more likely to blame past and present situations • Poor education, lack of opportunity, discrimination, etc. Our attributions have real consequences

  9. Attitudes and Actions • Attitudesare feelings, based on our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events

  10. Attitudes affect Actions • Particularly when external influences are minimal, and attitude is stable, specific, and easily recalled • Experiment: people given vivid information changing their attitude • Informed them about tanning, linking it to skin cancer • had lighter skin a month later compared to a group not having their attitude influenced

  11. Or: Actions affect Attitudes • Cooperative actions can build an attitude of team loyalty • Attitudes follow behavior • Foot-in-the-door phenomenon • Role-playing • Cognitive dissonance

  12. Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon • In the Korean War, Chinese communists solicited cooperation from US army prisoners by asking them to carry out small errands. • People who have first agreed to a small request are more likely to comply later with a larger request • To get people to agree to something big, start small and build

  13. Role-Playing Affects Attitudes • In many life stages, we take on new roles– sets of behavioral expectations about a social position • May feel phony at first, as if “acting” the role • “Fake it until you make it”

  14. Role-Playing Affects Attitudes • Zimbardo (1972) assigned the roles of guards and prisoners to random students. Guards and prisoners developed role-appropriate attitudes. • Individual differences – not everyone gave into the situation

  15. Why do actions affect attitude? Cognitive dissonance theory: We feel discomfort when beliefs don’t match with our actions or other thoughts. To relieve this tension, we may change our beliefs and attitudes to fit our choices • If we have chosen to support a party or president, we will change our understandings to fit the policies • Foot in the door: if I have taken a small action to help someone, I decide I must have wanted to help, and then it’s easier to get me to help more • Fake it till you make it: Make yourself act kindly, and kind intentions will grow.

  16. Social Psychology Social Influence • Conformity and Obedience • Group Influence

  17. Conformity and Obedience • Chameleon effect: we take on the emotional tones of those around us,imitating others’ expressions, postures, and voice tones • When students worked beside people who rubbed their own faces or shook a foot, the students tended to do so too (Chatrand & Bargh, 1999) • Automatic mimicry helps us empathize, to feel what others feel

  18. Group Pressure and Conformity • Conformity: adjusting our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard

  19. Group Pressure and Conformity • Solomon Asch (1955) asked “which line is the same length as the standard?” • Before subject’s turn to answer, confederates say “Line 3” • More than 1/3 of subjects conformed to wrong answer

  20. Group Pressure and Conformity We are more likely to conform when we • Are made to feel incompetent or insecure • Are in a group with at least three people • Are in a group in which everyone else agrees • Admire the group’s status and attractiveness • Have not already committed to any response • Know that others in the group will observe our behavior • Are from a culture that strongly encourages respect for social standards

  21. Why Do We Conform? • To avoid rejection or gain approval • Responding to social norms • Because we are open-minded and were convinced by new information from the group • Whether conformity is perceived as good or bad depends on our values • Conformity rates are lower in individualistic cultures like the U.S.

  22. Obedience • People give into social pressures. What about outright commands? • Stanley Milgram (1963) investigated the effects of authority on obedience

  23. The Milgram Experiment • You, as the “teacher”, must shock the “learner” if he gives a wrong answer • With each wrong answer, increase the voltage • The “learner” appears in pain, the experimenter says you must continue

  24. Milgram Experiment: Results

  25. More Milgram Obedience Results • In later experiments, Milgram found that obedience was highest when • The person giving orders was close at hand and perceive to be a legitimate authority figure • The authority figure was supported by a respected, well-known institution • The victim was depersonalized or at a distance

  26. Lessons from the Conformity and Obedience Studies • Social influences can make people conform to falsehoods or give in to cruelty “I was only following orders.” • Adolf Eichmann, Director of Nazi deportation of Jews to concentration camps

  27. Group Influence • One of the first social psychology experiments (Triplett, 1898): • Adolescents would wind a fishing reel faster in the presence of someone doing the same thing • Group Influences • Social Facilitation • Social Loafing • Deindividuation

  28. Social Facilitation • Social facilitation: stronger responses on simple or well-learned tasks in the presence of others • What you do well, you are likely to do even better in front of an audience

  29. Home Team Advantage

  30. Social Loafing • When performing a task as a group, people tend to exert less effort toward a common goal

  31. Social Loafing • People acting as part of a group feel less accountable, worry less about what others think of them

  32. Deindividuation • Group situations that foster anonymity may lead to a loss of self-restraint • Have we seen a loss of self-restraint among the Occupy Wall Street protestors? • How about the mob in Lybia that captured Khadfi?

  33. Group Polarization • Group polarization: strengthening of a group’s preexisting attitudes through discussions within the group

  34. Groupthink • In a deeply cohesive group, members may try to reach consensus without critically evaluating ideas • Fraternities and sororities

  35. Social Psychology Social Relations • Prejudice • Aggression • Attraction • Altruism • Conflict and Peacemaking

  36. Prejudice • An unjustifiable and usually negative attitude toward a group and its members

  37. How Prejudiced Are People? • Open prejudice has waned

  38. Ingroup and Outgroup • We have a need to belong and have a group identity • Ingroup bias: we have a tendency to favor our own group

  39. Emotional Roots of Prejudice • Scapegoat theory: prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame

  40. Cognitive Roots of Prejudice • Forming categories • When we categorize people into social or ethnic groups, we overestimate their similarities • The other-race effect: tendency to recall faces of one’s own race more accurately than faces of other races (Irving Teranishi and me) • Emerges during infancy (between 3 and 9 months)

  41. Cognitive Roots of Prejudice • Remembering vivid cases • Violent cases are readily available to our memory and feed our stereotypes • James Byrd Jr., black man who dragged to death in Texas in 1998 • Matthew Shepard, gay man who died tied to barb wire fence in Wyoming

  42. Cognitive Roots of Prejudice • Believing the world is just • People have a tendency to justify their culture’s social systems. • Sitting in the back of the bus

  43. Aggression • Aggression: any verbal or physical behavior intended to hurt or destroy

  44. The Biology of Aggression • Genetic Influences • Neural Influences • Biochemical Influences

  45. The Biology of Aggression • Biochemical Influences • Testosterone circulates in the blood, and influences neural control of aggression • Alcohol also unleashes aggressive responses to frustration

  46. The Psychology of Aggression • Psychological factors that trigger aggression • Frustration or rejection • Learning that aggression is rewarding • Observing models of aggression

  47. The Psychology of Aggression Frustration-aggression principle: • Frustration creates anger, which can generate aggression

  48. The Psychology of Aggression • Learning that aggression is rewarding • Children whose aggression successfully intimidates other children may become more aggressive

  49. The Psychology of Aggression • Observing models of aggression • We often imitate what a model says and does

  50. The Psychology of Aggression • Observing models of aggression • X-rated films and women-hating song lyrics can teach aggressive behavior • How does that affect men’s beha