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BGSU / Psychology / PSYC 3110 / What is the power of the situation?

What is the power of the situation?

What is the power of the situation?


School: Bowling Green State University
Department: Psychology
Course: Social Psychology
Professor: Joshua ricker
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: Psychology
Cost: 25
Name: PSYCH 3110: Social Psychology, week 5 notes
Description: These notes cover the lectures of week 5.
Uploaded: 02/12/2016
5 Pages 108 Views 2 Unlocks

PSYCH 3110: Social Psychology, Spring Semester 2016 Week 5

What is the power of the situation?

The Power of the Situation

∙ People often behave in ways they cannot explain

∙ Situational factors can make people behave in ways that are not in line with their beliefs

∙ Dispositional view- the assumption that a person’s behavior is the  result of their personality (disposition) rather than the pressures  existing in the situation

∙ Stanford Prison Experiment  

o Healthy males were selected to be guards and prisoners  o Zimbardo made himself the “warden”

 Got himself involved in the experiment, couldn’t separate  himself from the experiment  Don't forget about the age old question of What does unconditional stimulus mean?

o Participants willingly took on their roles  

o Due to ethical concerns, the experiment ended after 6 days  Supposed to last for 2 weeks

What is the meaning of the dispositional view?

Social Roles

∙ Roles- shared expectations in a group about how particular people are  supposed to behave

∙ Norms specify how all should act, roles are specific to the person ∙ 3 roles for this experiment  

o Guard  Don't forget about the age old question of What is the best definition of adaptive radiation?

o Prisoner  

o Warden

∙ Often uncomfortable in the beginning, but we slowly adapt What contributed to the behavior of the guards?

∙ Deindividuation of prisoners

o Matching gowns

o Numbers instead of names  

∙ Dehumanization of prisoners

o Constant berating

o Disgusting  

∙ Deindividuation of self (anonymity)

What is the content of the stanford prison experiment?

We also discuss several other topics like What did lamarck believe about how organisms change?
Don't forget about the age old question of What does ecliptic mean?

o Reflective sunglasses  

o Matching uniforms  

∙ Diffusion of responsibility  

o “The professor is the authority here.”  

The Lucifer Effect

∙ According to some Christian writings, Lucifer was God’s favorite angel. ∙ When Lucifer challenged God’s authority, he was cast into Hell with the other fallen angels We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of geography in competing theories?

o Here, he becomes Satan

∙ Satan convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit

o First instance of good people doing bad things  We also discuss several other topics like Would separated populations of squirrels be able to interbreed if the barrier was no longer there?

∙ The Lucifer Effect- the point in time when an ordinary, normal person  first crosses the boundary between good and evil to engage in an evil  action

o More likely to occur in novel situation

∙ Evil- the exercise of power to intentionally harm (psychologically), hurt  (physically), or destroy(morally) others  

The Power of the Situation

∙ Situations have the power to do 3 things:

o Bring out the bad

o Bring out the good (heroic)

o Leave us as bystanders

 “The evil of an action”

 Just because you’re not doing something, doesn’t mean  you’re doing anything good

∙ Although powerful, the situation doesn’t control all behavior ∙ Human behavior is an interaction between the person and the  environment

∙ Fundamental attribution- over emphasize people’s personalities when  they come to explaining their behavior according to the situation  o Uncomfortable situation, bad day, bad situation

Criticisms of the Stanford Prison Experiment

∙ Zimbardo should never have made himself the warden

∙ The guards and prisoners were aware they were in a role playing  experiment  

∙ Unethical treatment of the participants

∙ Selection of participants  

The Demasculinization of Man

Being a man

∙ 8-9-year-old boys (what sucks about being a boy your age?) o Not being able to be a mother  

o Not supposed to cry

o Not allowed to be a cheerleader

o Supposed to like violence  

o Supposed to play football

o Boys smell bad

o Have an automatic bad reputation

o Grow hair everywhere  

What has happened to men?

∙ Traditional view

o Graduate

o Get a job

o Get married

o Raise a family

∙ Young men now 25% more likely to live with parents than women are ∙ Society used to see men as “warriors” and “bread winners” ∙ Now, there is no socially acceptable alternative to those not doing this ∙ Because of this, men turn to technology (porn, video games, etc.) Turning to technology

∙ Why turn to technology?

o Gain control

o No rejection

o Praise for abilities  

∙ (the most things males want is respect)

∙ Increase in shyness

o Formerly due to fear of social rejection

o Now, lack of social skills

Increase in porn use

∙ Porn

o Distorted view of sexuality

o Bad for the inexperienced  

∙ Porn use arises from social anxiety  

∙ Giving up porn increases:

o Eye contact

o Confidence

o Comfort with women

o Concentration

o Decreases depression

∙ Arousal addiction: habituation to pornographic material. In order to  achieve the same stimulation, the person needs more, newer material ∙ Contemporary addiction: someone who becomes addicted due to  having unlimited access to supernormal stimulation

o There’s so much there they can’t stop and have to watch it all ∙ The Coolidge Effect: reference to how males become more aroused  faster and quicker when there is a new female around

Females and porn

∙ While both sexes admit porn use, the rates of men watching it are  much higher (6x)

∙ Women search for erotic stories at higher rates than men (50 Shades  of Grey)

∙ 2% of all credit cards signed up for porn sites are in women’s names  Men’s Fantasies:

∙ Strangers  

∙ Visual

∙ Multiple partners

∙ No commitment involved

∙ Rapidly progress to sex Women’s Fantasies: ∙ Recurrent or ex partner

∙ Not always genital contact ∙ Slow build up

∙ Focused on the story ∙ Single partners


∙ 1. Disenchantment with education

o “The world is full of smart phones and dumb people”

o For the first time in U.S. history, boys are having less education  than their fathers

o Girls outperform boys at every level of schooling

o Boys’ SAT scores worst they have been in the last 40 years ∙ 2. Men opting out of the workforce

o Male unemployment levels continue to increase

o Possibly from sense of entitlement  

∙ 3. Excessive maleness

o Social intensity syndrome: males having a strong preference  social settings with other men

 Bros before hoes  

o Ex: military, sports teams, fraternities, gangs

o More exclusiveness=stronger attraction to the group

o Greater recall of good experiences of the group when compared  to negative experiences  

∙ Poor bonding with family/spouse

o Divorce

o Abuse

o Negative attitudes

∙ More social aroused by men than sexually aroused by women o 1 in 3 men in Japan report no interest in sex

o 4 in 10 marriages sexless for at least a month

∙ 4. Excessive gaming

o Worldwide ~ 3 billion hours per week

o Female gamers=5 hours per week

o Males=13 hours per week

o Gaming has led to a decrease in sleep

o Kids with electronic devices in their room get 1 hour less of sleep per night

o Children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD

 Some symptoms similar to lack of sleep

Gaming leads to loss of reality

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