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Introduction to Social Psychology Week 3 Notes

by: Cassie Ng

Introduction to Social Psychology Week 3 Notes PSY3201

Marketplace > University of Minnesota > Psychlogy > PSY3201 > Introduction to Social Psychology Week 3 Notes
Cassie Ng
U of M

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- Theory in Social Psychology - Brief Introduction to Cognitive Theory - Cognition Dissonance - Basic Assumptions of Dissonance Theory - Individual Differences: Self-Esteem & the Self-Stand...
Introduction to Social Psychology
Prof.Marti Hope Gonzales
Study Guide
social psychology
50 ?




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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Cassie Ng on Wednesday February 10, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSY3201 at University of Minnesota taught by Prof.Marti Hope Gonzales in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Social Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Minnesota.


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Date Created: 02/10/16
PSY 3201 Introduction to Social Psychology Week 3 Feb 1, 2016 Theory in Social Psychology I) Theory - Political & used by everyone 1) Implicit Personality Theories - Theories that people hold about what kind of traits go with what other kinds of traits 2) Attribution Theories - Theories that we hold about what causes people to behave the way that they do, or why they experience what they do (Your professor wont meet you in the office hour, because she don’t like you, -- she is a jerk) - Was it something about him? (Internal or personal) a) Fundamental Attribution Error (The tendency to make personal- rather than situation attributions) - But not so fundamental after all (culture makes a differences) - Nonconscious Ideology: If we Westerners do it, surely everyone will! b) Consistency, Consensus, Distinctiveness - When consistency raise, consensus raise - EVT (Extraterrestrial Visitation Theory) . Star Wars Shield (If the theories didn’t exist, there are no all those kinds of things) c) Role of theories in social psychology 1) Help us to understand what is; unifies otherwise haphazard & isolated observation or facts - Cognitive Dissonance Theory . Example: End of semester course questionnaire (Observation) 2) Help us to predict what might be; source of hypotheses we might not otherwise notice - Justification of error (predictions) II) A Brief Introduction to Cognitive Dissonance Theory A) Inconsistency between cognition ‘hurts’ - Cognition 1 & Cognition 2 - Cognition & behavior B) Unpleasant arousal results & we are motivated to reduce it C) We change our cognition or behaviors to reduce the arousal D) We choose the ‘path of least resistance’ Feb 3, 2016 Cognition Dissonance: I. Prisoners of War in Korea (1950-1953) II. Cognitive Dissonance Theory A) A Radial Alternative to Behaviorism Response – Stimulus (Behavior)—(Reward, Punisher) Response—(O) – Stimulus (Attitudes, Knowledge, Beliefs) B) Basic Assumptions of Dissonance Theory 1) Humans dislike cognitive inconsistency Example: Knowledge (cognitive) against behavior 2) Inconsistent cognition causes unpleasant arousal: Cognitive dissonance -- The guy is experiencing unpleasant arousal 3) We are motivated to reduce dissonance - He knows driving when drunk kills—but he is still doing it - He also knows in some case, driving while drunk didn’t kill anyone 4) Ways to reduce cognitive dissonance - His friends are even more drunk than he is a) Change one or the other cognition b) Make one cognition is more important c) When cognitive are discrepant with behavior, change behavior d) When cognitive are dissonance, the person can just change the cognitions 5) We choose the path of least resistance (Pick the easier one) - Pull of the car and call a cab III) A ‘ Friendly Amendment’ to the Original Theory - Feininger: Any 2 inconsistent cognitions can arouse dissonance . Example: I am walking in the rain. I am not getting wet! - Aronson: Cognition must implicate the self . Cognition must be inconsistent with our positive sense of self as reasonable, decent, smart people IV) A Not so friendly amendment: We want our attributes & behaviors to match our perceptions of reality A) Inconsistent cognitions alone can generate dissonance B) Why? - We want our experiments & actions to match our perceptions of reality (We want it to be accurate, wish to be accurate) - Restoring consistory (between ‘reality’ & our beliefs, decisions…) . Example: Attitudes towards New Heaven Police or Tuition increase (It turns out you are writing positive opinion towards the situation)  When our attitudes or behaviors don’t match our perceptions of reality, something is got to give, & we change our cognition C) Preschoolers & Stickers, Capuchins & Green M&Ms - Decisions & behaviors match similar reality (Monkeys: choose different colors of M&MS) (‘I have already rejected this M&Ms, so there must be something wrong with it..’) V) Necessary Conditions for ‘Dissonance’ Arousal A) Attitude—discrepant behaviors must have aversive consequences for us or others Aversive Consequences—‘Cognitive Dissonance’—Unpleasant Arousal No Aversive Consequences—No ‘Cognitive Dissonance’—No Unpleasant Arousal Feb 5, 2016 B) We must take personal responsibility & attitude- discrepant behaviors (role of choice) C) We must experience arousal Arousal – ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ effects No Arousal – No ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ effects D) We must attribute arousal to attitude-discrepant behaviors Attribute to Behavior – ‘Cognitive Dissonance effect’ Attribute to something else—No ‘Cognitive Dissonance effect’ VI) Are some people more likely than others to experience cognitive dissonance? A) Individual Differences: Self-Esteem & the Self-Standards Model Aronson: Bad Decisions, wasted effort, lying… 1) Not all people evaluate themselves positively - High vs. low self-esteem - ‘Bad’ behavior may not be always be dissonant with the self 2) But it also depends on the standards we use to judge our behaviors - Personal vs. Normative Standards - Personal: Idiosyncratic expectancies; what we expert of ourselves - Normative: What most people expect of themselves or others; do I meet most people’s standards? Bad behavior – Use Personal Standard – Self-Esteem Differences < > High More Dissonance Low More Dissonance The Self Standards Model: (Why should self-esteem make a difference?) - High Self Esteem: Positive traits are important & they believe that they process them - Low: Positive traits are important but they are not confident that they process them 3) An Example: Shooting Free-Throws (At the free-throw line, both think about normative—both 40%) 4) Experimental Evidence (Stone 2003) - Standards with high & low self-esteem write counter-attitudinal essays in support of tuition increases B) Cultural Differences 1) Independent vs. Interdependent Selves Cognitive Dissonance Western Individual Eastern Collection Independent Selves Interdependent Selves Autonomy Connectedness Competence Harmony Uniqueness Commonality Analytic Thinking Holistic Thinking Attribution Bias Less Attribution Bias Rights Duties, Obligations 2) Dissonance, The Self & cultural differences - The experience is universal - What arouses dissonance varies by culture 3) No one is immune to sting of cognitive dissonance - What I think of my decision or what others think of my decisions? - Am I choosing for myself? Or for a friend?


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