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PSYC 4200 Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Hebatuallah Ahmad

PSYC 4200 Exam 1 Study Guide 4200

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Social Psychology
Leonard L. Martin
Study Guide
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hebatuallah Ahmad on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to 4200 at University of Georgia taught by Leonard L. Martin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views.


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Date Created: 02/06/16
Dr. Leonard Martin PSYC 4200: Social Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide: Social psychology is the scientific study of the ways in which the real, imagined, or implied presence of other people influences the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals; said another way, social psychologists study ordinary people in ordinary situations – oftentimes extraordinary things happen; “the power of the situation” (e.g., Nazi Germany, Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate, Ku Klux Klan, the killing of innocents during Vietnam War, suicide bombers, football game rallies, seemingly “random” acts of kindness). “Power of the situation” = general term that refers to times when the presence of other people influences our behavior, often resulting in us behaving in ways we otherwise would not have/doing things we usually would not do … There are situations in which any of us would act in ways we do not think we would … This is the result of NORMAL social processes. Two Main Social Processes: 1. Individuals can serve as sources of information Humans are social creatures. We use people as sources of information. When we’re unsure about a situation, we turn to other people to clarify (or validate) our feelings and attitudes. When no one is around to ask, we go looking! Our motivation to be and interact with others leads us to affiliate with others we believe to be like us: motivation  affiliation o e.g., Schachter (1959) – mild shock vs. severe shock  Participants were told by researchers that as part of an experiment they would receive either a mild or severe shock and that it would hurt, but wouldn’t do any permanent damage. Participants were told they were randomly selected to receive either the mild or severe shock and were then given the option to wait in a room alone or with others. The participants “selected” to receive the severe shock were more likely to choose to wait with others than those “selected” to receive the mild shock – said another way, severe shock participants more likely to wait with others.  Schachter et. al. conducted the same experiment again with a different question in mind: Would severe shock participants prefer to wait with others about to go into the experiment or with people who had already been in the experiment? Severe shock participants were more likely to choose to wait with people who, like themselves, were waiting to go into the experiment than with people who had already been in it – said a different way, severe shock participants more likely to wait with people about to go into the experiment than with people who had already been in it.  When participants were told they could not speak to others, they showed no preference for waiting with others versus waiting alone.  When participants were given feedback charting other participants’ anxiety levels, affirming the appropriateness of their own, they showed no preference for waiting with others versus waiting alone.  These findings suggest that participants weren’t looking for empathy from other people, but for clarification (i.e., validation). Basically, participants wanted to know that they weren’t wrong to be nervous. When others proved to be anxious as well, participants were comforted to know that they weren’t alone in their anxiety (i.e., that their feelings of anxiety were appropriate to the situation). o e.g., Schachter and Singer – There is little evidence to support physiological differences between “positive” emotions like happiness and excitement and “negative” emotions like anger and fear (e.g., diffuse arousal, sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, shallow breathing, butterflies in the stomach are symptomatic of all of these emotions), so why do people experience different emotions as positive or negative?  Researchers told participants they were studying the effects of drugs on learning and gave participants either epinephrine (i.e., adrenaline) or a placebo (i.e., salt water).  Participants were told they had to wait until the drug took effect and were put in one of two rooms. Participants in the first room, the “happy person room,” waited in a room with hula hoops and other toys with a researcher pretending to be another participant having fun and goofing around.  Participants in the second room, the “angry person room,” were given a questionnaire asking inflammatory questions (e.g., how many people other than your dad has your mom slept with?) and waited in a boxy room with a researcher pretending to be an angry, offended participant.  Afterward, participants were asked how they felt. Participants given epinephrine who waited in the “happy person room” attributed their racing heartbeat, shallow breathing, etc., to “positive” emotions like happiness or excitement. Participants given epinephrine who waited in the “angry person room” attributed their racing heartbeat, shallow breathing, etc., to “negative” emotions like anger, impatience, or annoyance. Participants given a placebo responded neutrally with answers like “okay, fine, alright.” Happy Person Angry Person Room Room Epinephrine Happiest Angry Least Happy Placebo Mild Mild  Explanation: We use social cues to interpret the ambiguous internal feelings. We know we like somebody, so we interpret the knot in the pit of our stomach as love. We know we hate spiders, so we attribute our sweaty palms to fear. We know we love amusement parks, so we must be happy or excited.  Side note: Researchers have since found that there are physiological differences in the brain between “positive” emotions like love or happiness and “negative” emotions like anger or sadness. o e.g., Dattan and Aron 1974 – Shaky Bridge Experiment: igm 2. Individuals can serve as sources of reward and punishment When situations are ambiguous, and we are unsure what to do, we turn to others as a source of information to clarify our feelings or beliefs. When situations are NOT ambiguous, we still look to others – as a source of reward and punishment. o e.g., Asch Line Judgment Task:  NEED TO KNOW!! 75% of people gave in to the group opinion at least one time.  Explanation: We want to be liked, don’t want to be the only dissenter. HOWEVER, it is important to note that the group opinion – or norm – is NOT internalized. When we’re alone, we give our real opinion, NOT the group opinion.  If you’re asked your opinion of the line test at the same time as others but in a separate room, you don’t conform.  If even one person supports your position, you don’t conform.  If a clear non-expert gives a “wrong” answer and gets away with it, you don’t conform. Need-to-Know Terms: Obedience = compliance with direct request; “I was ordered to do it, so I did.” o e.g., Milgram:  Wanted to help explain the Holocaust  Assumed Germans were overly obedient to authority, but that extreme compliance would be restricted to Germans – a German thing  Claimed he wanted to study the effects of electric shock on learning  Underestimated the power of the situation  65% of participants continued to XXX volts  Participants not cruel or indifferent – highly stressed during the experiment, relieved when debriefed after  Explanation:  Participants used the experimenter (researcher) as a source of information  Reward and punishment – normative social pressure – difficult to confront the experimenter plus want to do the right thing to help out (by continuing the experiment)  Diffusion of responsibility – “I told him I didn’t want to do it, but he didn’t listen. He made me do it.”  Slippery slope – obedience would have been low if researchers had started participants off at XXX; started innocuously and moved up gradually – the longer you participate in the experiment, the easier it gets to continue to XXX  Factors that reduce obedience: 1. The farther away from the experimenter, the less compliant the participant in continuing to XXX 2. The closer the proximity of the shock victim (e.g., across the table rather than in a separate room), the less obedient the participant 3. Being with other participants who disobey the experimenter by refusing to continue decreases obedience However, the situation is more complicated when all members are having an effect on all other members via pluralistic ignorance Pluralistic ignorance = when group members behave in ways none endorse  “I am acting the same as everyone else, but their behavior is in line with their values and my behavior does NOT reflect mine”  But everyone could be thinking this  Possible for a group to adopt values that few if any individual members of the group actually endorse Shift toward polarization = tendency of groups to become more extreme  Related to social comparison --> lower self-esteem when we fall short of our expectation for ourselves, i.e., when we don’t come out as good (“better”) as we thought we were  Solution to become more extreme, “better”  Shift could be in either direction, good or bad  Always in direction of majority  e.g., Monks who are praised for discipline, punctuality, levelheadedness, and kindness, but punished for laziness, tardiness, hotheadedness, and cruelty – shift toward polarization to become more disciplined, punctual, levelheaded, kind: “positive” shift  e.g., Nazi Germany, Ku Klux Klan, Vietnam War – shift toward polarization to become more violent, hostile: “negative” shift Group polarization: Suicide baiting = when crowds encourage someone threatening suicide to commit suicide  More likely when crowds are bigger (300+) and after dark when anonymity is greater  Explanation:  Deindividuation = losing personal values to group norm, become part of the group by losing personal identity o Suicide baiting results from feelings of anonymity, lack of accountability, and the energizing effects of the crowd; decrease in self-awareness resulting in decreased self-regulation and greater conformity to surrounding group norms Support: Gergen: Pitch Black Room Study: Participants in a pitch black room with others bumped into one another intentionally and unintentionally, hugged, kissed, self-disclosed – things they would not have done so readily had the lights been on and their identities known Stanford Prison Experiment: People guided by roles: prison guards / jailers, compliant or defiant prisoners The result = sharp increase in brutality of prison guards and jailers against prisoners Some prisoners became quieter and more compliant, trying to avoid punishment; others became defiant and violently protested their ill treatment Johnson and Downing (1979):  Participants were dressed in either an oversized white coat or “plain” clothes  Of participants dressed in the oversized white coat, some were told they looked like the KKK; others were told they looked like nurses  Participants were then asked to administer an electric shock to the researcher  Participants told they looked like nurses were the least likely to shock the researcher  Participants told they looked like the KKK were the most likely to shock the researcher  Participants dressed in “plain” clothes scored in the middle, with some shocking the researcher and others not Bystander effect / apathy = social psychological phenomenon that refers to the failure of witnesses to offer any means of help to victims when others are present; the more people present, the less likely to help  Not cruel or unconcerned, but waiting for someone else to do something first  “There are plenty of other people here. They should do something about it! Why should I be the one to do something? Surely someone else will help.” Questions to answer before deciding whether or not to help: 1. Notice the event? 2. Interpret event as emergency? 3. My responsibility to do something? 4. Can I do something to help? 5. Will I help? Answer yes to all, help Answer no to any, don’t help o e.g., Deletha Word sideswiped the car of Martell Welch. Welch (and company) left his car, pulled her from hers, and beat her relentlessly while she cried for help. Onlookers watched from their cars, but no one stepped in to help her. Deletha jumped off the bridge to escape Welch and company. Her body was later found downstream. Groupthink = faulty decision-making process common in highly cohesive groups that value cohesiveness over reality and fact checking  Elements of groupthink:  Leader preference  Insulation from experts = failure to seek outside expert opinions before making decisions  Group pressure on dissenters = members actively pressure one another to support the group norm, conform  Mindguard  Self-censorship  Illusion of unanimity = no one speaks up so everyone assumes everyone is in agreement with one another; similar to pluralistic ignorance  Confirmatory search = when looking for evidence, group members look only for evidence to support the norm and disregard evidence against it  Rationalization = when negative feedback comes up, discount it  Illusion of invulnerability  Inherent morality = ignore ethical and moral guidelines, principles, and consequences; “no matter what we do, we’re the good guys”  Stereotyped views of others  Shift toward polarization


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