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Social Psychology

Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

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  1. Social Psychology • Social Psychology looks at both intrapersonal (attitudes, persuasion, social cognition, cognitive dissonance) and interpersonal (relations with others, group dynamics, social influence, interpersonal attraction) phenomena • Discovering Psychology - The Power of the Situation

  2. Attribution Process and Theory • How we attach meaning to other’s behavior, or our own, is called attribution • Attribution theory (Fritz Heider) People naturally see cause and effect relationships and seek to explain behavior

  3. Attribution Process and Theory • Attribution theory (Fritz Heider) • Dispositional versus situational attribution • Fundamental attribution error (others) • Self-serving bias (also defensive attribution) self only • Actor-observer effect • Why were you late for class? Why was Jimmy late for class? • Why did you fail the Psych test? Jimmy? • Just-world hypothesis

  4. Cognitive Dissonance • Cognitive dissonance The tension caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. Includes attitudes and beliefs, and actions • Theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people seek to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in order to seek cognitive consistency (Festinger)

  5. Cognitive Dissonance: Attitudes and Actions • According to Leon Festinger we seek cognitive consistency by bringing our attitudes closer to our actions called theory of cognitive dissonance or balance theory • Tedious task experiment $$ (Festinger) • Festinger CD A(ttitude)-B(ehavior) Problem – To what extent do behaviors affect attitudes? Can one predict the other?

  6. Cognitive Dissonance and Behavior • Role playing Subjects in a role often begin to “become” the role. Behavior affects attitudes and reduces dissonance (e.g. role playing – “I’m a teacher, dad, scholar…”) • Zimbardo prison pathology experiments • Foot-in-the-door theory The tendency for people who agree to a small request to comply later with a larger one (cheating, lying, drug use, torture…it’s a slippery slope!). Reduces initial dissonance. Also used in persuasion/sales • Effort justification the tendency to find something more attractive if you have to work hard to achieve it, Examples?

  7. Role Playing and Zimbardo • Zimbardo prison experiments • Role playing and deindividuation and situational influences • ZimbardoPE • Zimbardo DN • The Stanford Prison Experiment

  8. Deindividuation • Deindividuation into a group results in a loss of individual identity and a gaining of the social identity of the group. Examples? • Anonymity • Diffused responsibility • Group size • The Lucifer Effect: Abu Ghraib • Daily Show Zimbardo

  9. Social Influence and Conformity & Obedience • Conformity influences the maintenance of social norms and allows society to function smoothly • Other behaviors may be an expression of compliance (obedience) toward authority Conformity Obedience

  10. Social Conformity (Asch) • Asch’s conformity experiments • Asch study • What are the factors which affect degree of conformity? • Normative social influence v. Informational social influence

  11. Reasons for Conformity Normative Social Influence Results from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid rejection. Public compliance, but doubt. Number, strength and immediacy. Asch Conformity Studies Two polar bears are sitting in a bathtub. The first one says, "Pass the soap". The second one says, "No soap, radio!"(anti-humor – false and negative understanding) ConformityCC

  12. Reasons for Conformity • Informational Social InfluenceLook to group to make accurate judgments • Also called social proof. It occurs most often when • The situation is ambiguous. • There is a crisis. We have no time to think and experiment. A decision is required now!

  13. Other Types of Conformity & Phenomena • Chameleon effect • Mood linkage (emotional or social contagion) • Suggestibility

  14. Obedience to Authority • The Milgram Experiments • Milgram Video • The Power of the Situation

  15. Social Obedience (Milgram) • Results and Explanations for Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiments • Socialization (normative influence) • Foot in the door phenomenon • Perception of legitimate authority • Diffusion of responsibility • Inaccessibility of values • Lack of social comparison • Physical and psychological buffers (proximity, depersonalization) • Ethicality of the experiment?

  16. Social Identity Theory and Prejudice • Social Identity Theory Identity is formed through the groups to which we belong. We are motivated to improve the image and status of our own group in comparison with others (Tajfel) • Categorizing people (including oneself) into ingroups or outgroups affects perceptions, attitudes, and behavior (key source of prejudice and discrimination) Tajfel and Social Identity Theory

  17. Social Identity Theory and Prejudice

  18. Group Dynamics and Prejudice • Sherif’s Robbers Cave experiment (1961) • Realistic Conflict Theory Limited resources lead to conflict between groups and result in prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes within a society • In Group homogeneity and Out Group bias (basis of stereotype and prejudice). Stages: 1) In Group formation 2) friction and competition and 3) integration • Superordinate goals • Contact hypothesis • GRIT • PsyBlog: War, Peace and the Role of Power in Sherif's Robbers Cave Experiment

  19. Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice is an unjustifiable (usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice underlies the behavior of discrimination Components of Prejudice • Beliefs (stereotypes) • Emotions (hostility, envy, fear) • Predisposition to act (to discriminate)

  20. Social, Emotional and Cognitive Roots of Prejudice • Social inequality, social division and emotional outgroup and ingroup bias • An outlet for blame, anger and resentment Scapegoat Theory • Just world phenomenon

  21. Unconscious Prejudice • Prejudice works at the conscious and [even more at] the unconscious level. Prejudice is more a knee-jerk response than a conscious decision which then results in behavior (discrimination) • Implicit Association Test • Discrimination – A Class Divided

  22. Group Dynamics • How does the presence of others influence individual behavior? • Social loafing • Social facilitation • Group polarization (incestuous amplification and risky shift) not groupthink • Deindividuation • Groupthink (rationalized conformity) and mindguard

  23. Groupthink and Mindguard • Groupthink When norms for conforming in a homogeneous group become so strong, and members are so highly concerned about maintaining unanimity, that they fail to critically evaluate their options and consequently make a poor decision • Examples...Iraq invasion, Bay of Pigs, Challenger disaster… • Role of mindguard

  24. Bystander Effect • Bystander intervention v. bystander apathy/effect (Kitty Genovese) • First demonstrated by Darley and Latane (1968) Participants are assigned to alone or group condition (comprised of confederates). A crisis situation is staged; a person getting injured, a person having a seizure...How do participants react? • Consistent Results: The presence of others inhibits helping… • Diffusion of responsibility/social loafing • Pluralistic ignorance • Bystander intervention

  25. The Psychology of Helping • Altruistic and Prosocial behavior • Social norms theory States that much of people’s behavior is influenced by their perception of how other members of their social group behave • Social exchange theory An economic-social theory that assumes human relationships are based on choice and cost-benefit analyses = Social benefits • If one partner's costs begin to outweigh his or her benefits, that person may leave the relationship, especially if there are good alternatives available

  26. Theory of Social Comparison • Theory of Social Comparison (Festinger) Humans gain information about themselves, and source self-esteem, by comparison to others • Upward social comparison Individuals compare themselves to others who are “socially better” to view self more positively • Downward social comparison A defensive tendency to evaluate oneself in comparison with others whose troubles are more serious than one's own

  27. Persuasion and the Elaboration Likelihood Model • Persuasion can be divided into two separate processes based on the "likelihood of cognitive elaborations," that is, whether people think critically about the content of a message, or respond to superficial aspects of the message and other immediate cues • Central and peripheral routes to persuasion

  28. The Psychology of Aggression • Bio-psychosocial model • Biological Sources/Causes (brain, hormones, genetics, evolutionary - instinct theory) • Psychological sources • Social scripts • Observational learning and reinforcements • Frustration-aggression hypothesis

  29. Psychology of Attraction • Factors affecting attraction • Proximity/propinquity – mere exposure effect • Primacy (first impressions) • Physical attractiveness (facial matching) • Similarity • Complementarity (not dissimilarity) • Reward theory of attraction/social exchange • Intimacy • Theories of interpersonal attraction – reinforcement, equity and cognitive consistency (balance)