Exam 1 Notes
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Date Created: 02/16/16
Social Psychology Notes: -Social psych: the study of nature and causes of individuals behavior and cognition in social situations I. Social Psych and Personality: - Early personality psych: internal dynamics and individual differences - Focus on social situations that affect common humanity - The power of the situation II. Philosophical issues in social psych A. Nature vs. nurture a. Nature: heredity and genetic traits b. Nurture: environment c. Determinism: belief that all events are shaped and governed by forces beyond control of individual d. Rationality vs. irrationality e. Optimism vs. pessimism f. Exam question: According to Freud, what is the greatest source of suffering? Other people Research Methodology in Social Psych. I. Experimental Method a. Objective and systematic method of research in any scientific analysis b. Goals of research: determine if a variable influences some form of behavior 1. Two basic steps: vary the quantity or quality of the variable, see if the variables have an impact on behavior 2. Independent variable: factor or variable being studied or manipulated by experimenter 3. Dependent variable: behavior being studied which involves some measure c. Hypothesis: a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. d. Sample size = n e. Replication: if the experiment can be replicated II. Correlational Method a. Goal: see if 2 or more variables are related by careful observation of both III. Laboratory experiments 1. Advantages a. Control of independent variable b. Simplify the world and control behavior 2. Disadvantages a. Mundane realism: degree to which the experiment resembles real world events b. External validity: degree of generalizability of the findings to other populations c. Demand characteristics: cues that reveal the hypothesis under study d. Evaluation apprehension: participants concern about being observed during study IV. Lab vs. field experimentation a. Field experiments a. Overt: participants know they are being observed b. Covert: participants do not know they are being observed b. Advantages a. High external validity and mundane realism b. Covert studies avoid evaluation apprehension and demand characteristics c. Disadvantages: a. Independent variable must be obvious b. Dependent variable is often simple; behavior is either there or not c. Practical problems: little control over the real world and unexpected events may destroy study V. Ethics in social psych research a. Examples of controversial work: Milgrim with the shock experiment b. Risk benefit ratio: ratio of risk to participants vs. benefit to society. Old view said benefits outweigh any risks; new view says any risks outweigh benefits c. Guidelines established by American Psych Association and national institutes of health d. Problem of demand characteristics a. Deception: research methods that conceal or mislead participants about true aspects of the study. May produce low self esteem. b. Informed consent: get participants approval before experiment c. Debriefing: full explanation after study Social Perception I. A process through which we seek to know and understand other person’s behavior a. Verbal communication b. Nonverbal communication: exchange of info by facial expressions, eye contact and body movements II. Facial expressions a. Six basic facial emotions with many combinations: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger and disgust b. Charles Darwin: the expression of the emotions in man and animals a. Facial expressions are universal and innate b. Human facial expressions evolved from animal emotions and expressions c. Facial expressions have survival value c. Paul Ekman a. Hypothesis: facial expressions vary the same meaning regardless of culture, context or language b. Ekman and Friesen studied emotional expression in tribal people. Asked them to identify expressions and make them. d. Mapping facial muscles a. Human face has a total of 44 muscles b. Ekman found 10,000 anatomical combinations in facial muscles e. Micro-momentary expressions (MME) a. Average expressions = 1-1.5 seconds b. Masking: when we try to hide one expression with another c. Brief contradictory facial expression of emotion d. MME analysis and clinical intervention f. Ekman wrote a book about how MME can be a form of lie detection a. 5% of the U.S. population are natural born facial liars b. facial deception i. blinking and false smiles ii. masking iii. display rules: cultural rules that dictate the appropriate conditions for displaying emotions g. Ekman and O’Sullivan did a lie detection test with law enforcement personnel. The secret service was the only group that could accurately detect liars h. Development of facial expressions a. Newborns are born with all but one facial muscle b. Most infants smile shortly after birth c. Babies only 36 hours old can imitate happy, sad, and surprised emotions III. Other types of cues in nonverbal communication a. Body language: gestures, movements and postures a. Emblems: body movements with a highly specific meaning in a given culture b. Body cues with positive and negative feedback b. Gazing a. High level of eye contact: sign of friendliness and attraction b. Job interviews: people with high levels of eye contact received more positive ratings c. Prolonged gazing (staring) i. Common reaction: hostility or escape ii. Staring may induce guilt, it is effective in persuasion c. Individual differences in nonverbal cues a. General level of expressiveness i. Affective communication test (ACT) ii. Successful professionals score high on ACT b. Role of gender i. Women are superior to men in social use of cues, reading and transmitting unspoken messages Social Cognition I. The cognitive processes people use to interpret, analyze, and remember social information II. Attribution theory a. Causal attribution: the process of explaining the causal nature of vents a. Personal attribution: attribution based on internal characteristics like personality, talent, mood or effort. b. Situation attribution: attribution based on external factors like luck, government or religion b. Locus of control: generalized beliefs about the control of one’s personal and situational behavior and the behavior of others a. Internal locus of control (ILOC): individual assumes personal responsibility for life events b. External locus of control (ELOC): person accepts uncontrollable forces that determine life events c. Development of LOC expectancies a. ILOC related to high parental expectations and autonomy in childhood b. ELOC related to restricted, hostile upbringing d. LOC and achievement a. ILOC = higher levels of education and GPA b. ELOC = higher drop out rates e. Modification of LOC attributions a. Aging is associated with a raise in ILOC b. Trauma may produce shift to ELOC f. Sources of error and bias in attribution a. Fundamental attribution error: tendency to overestimate dispositional factors and ignore situational factors b. Actor observer difference: tendency to attribute our behavior to situational causes and the behavior of others of dispositional causes c. Confirmation bias: tendency to search for information that confirms our beliefs and attributions d. Schematic reasoning i. Schema: mental set used to organize info about eh social world ii. Rosenhan did a study where he admitted people without illness to a mental hospital. Staff could not tell the difference between real and fake patients, only the real patients could tell. e. Self fulfilling prophecy: when a person’s initial expectation about someone leads to actions that cause the expectation to come true f. Belief-perseverance effect: tendency to cling to initial beliefs even after they have been discredited g. Cognitive shortcuts and social inference a. Heuristics: rule of thumb methods that allow us to make quick (although not always accurate) judgements
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