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CSU / Psychology / PSY 315 / What is the history of social psychology?

What is the history of social psychology?

What is the history of social psychology?


School: Colorado State University
Department: Psychology
Course: Social Psychology
Professor: Jennifer harman
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: social psychology and PSY 325
Cost: 50
Name: PSY 315 Unit 1 study guide
Description: This is a study guide that I created based on lectures and readings of Ch. 1-4, for the previous 4 weeks of class.
Uploaded: 02/18/2016
10 Pages 7 Views 6 Unlocks

PSY 315 Study Guide

What is the history of social psychology?

Unit 1 (chapters 1-4)

Spring 2016

Highlighted: key term    Highlighted= important person    Highlighted= pay attention to

1. What is Social Psychology?

a. The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another 2. What is the goal of social psychology?

a. We want to understand and explain how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced  by the actual, imagined, or perceived presence of others

3. How is social psychology different from personality?

a. Personality focuses on traits (consistent over time) that differentiate one person from  other people

i. Private, internal functioning, and differences between people

b. Social psychology focuses on how “most” people would react in a given situation, generally 4. History of Social Psychology

a. WWII = a way to counter fascist people

What are the two major crises in the field of psychology?

i. Allport: studied effects of Newspaper headlines

ii. Katz: captured enemy letters to examine morale

b. Government hired social psychologists for media campaigns

i. Result of these campaigns: Rose the Riveter

c. Post WWII:

i. Urban universities observed—why all the aggression and violence?

ii. Multicultural influences

5. Social Psychology: Observational Methods

a. Describing social behavior:

i. Ethnographies: enter an environment as an observer, become part of it, &  

document what’s happening

ii. Direct observation 

iii. Archival analysis: use existing recorded evidence to find themes for testing our  research questions

6. Correlational method

a. Positive or negative

b. Are 2 or more factors related to each other?

i. Statistic scale of +1 to -1

What is a heuristics?

c. Good for field designs (when it’s not ethical to experiment)

d. Can predict behavior, not see what causes it

7. Advanced designs

a. Time-lagged: survey people/observe over a long period of time

i. “When X happens, Y usually happens”—can be causal relationship, or at least a  correlation

8. Survey Research: sample a population and measure attitudes, beliefs, feelings, etc. a. Sample needs to be as similar to population as possible so that you can generalize b. Drawbacks If you want to learn more check out hist 141 uiuc

i. Measurement moment: attitude changes from day-to-day

1. Can be fixed by doing study over time (multiple days)

ii. Order of questions effects honesty

iii. Response options

1. Open blanks—too many options in responses

iv. Anchoring effect

1. How you base the question influences answers

v. Wording—“killing is wrong” vs. “killing is wrong at the time of war” If you want to learn more check out gvsu bms

9. Experimental Research Method

a. Tests cause and effect

b. Independent variables (IV)

i. Manipulated by experimenter

c. Dependent variables (DV)

i. What are measured

d. Random assignment 

i. Ensuring that your sample has equal chance of being assigned to control group or  experimental group

ii. Also important: a large enough sample to add variability to each group which  equalizes them

e. Important considerations:

i. Mundane & experimental realism

1. Make conditions as close to real life as possible

ii. Internal validity: being able to say with confidence that what you manipulate is the  cause of the effect (the change in the Dependent Variable) We also discuss several other topics like ideal market exposure

iii. External validity: confident that your results can generalize beyond the lab or  beyond your experiment to explain behavior

f. Drawbacks with experimental method:

i. Experimenter bias: see or do things to influence the results, unknowingly ii. Demand characteristics: cues in environment that “tell” participants how to act 1. Minimize these so they don’t change

iii. Participant bias: “the good participant”—respond accordingly to sound like a good  person (not honest)

10. Meta-Analyses: statistical technique that averages the results of multiple studies (one the same  topic)

a. Tests whether the effect of the independent variable is reliable

11. Basic vs. Applied research

a. Basic: finds answers to why we do what we do

i. Driven by curiosity

b. Applied: tries to solve specific problems Don't forget about the age old question of study guide 3 accounting

c. Distinctions between these two is a gray area

12. What are the 2 major crises in the field of psychology?

a. 1973, John Gergen, Ph.D.

i. Relationships impact our perceptions of the truth, rational, and good

ii. Science is therefore not value-free and is politically laden

iii. Social psychology is not a trivial science—so Gergen pushes for the science to  study non-obvious research

iv. Gergen said empiricism isn’t necessarily the best method

b. Current history (within the last decade)

i. Suspected fraud

1. Data fabrication (making up result significance)

2. Data doctoring

a. Eliminating cases, conditions, or variables that don’t produce the  Don't forget about the age old question of what would be the pressure potential of a flaccid cell
We also discuss several other topics like what is the purpose of central dogma?

effects we wanted to see

ii. Diedrich Stapel: first who was found to fabricate data (< 30 years ago)

iii. Replicability (replication) in studies

1. Open science framework (able to Google and find the data sets)

13. What is Social Cognition?

a. Social cognition: the manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use  information about the social world

b. 2 fundamental axioms regarding social cog.:

i. People create their own social reality

ii. Situations influence thoughts, feelings, and behavior

14. Cognitive processing

a. 2 modes of processing:

i. Automatic (makes up almost 95% of total processing)

1. Meaning: we’re very lazy thinkers

2. Stems from the amygdala—quick processing/thinking

3. Automatic – Amygdala

4. Preconscious automaticity: occurring outside of conscious awareness

a. Ex.: “priming” – playing/showing something before a questionnaire to  

help people recall it later

5. Unintentional: didn’t intend to do it

6. Involuntary: could not control it

a. Postconscious automaticity: stimulus that is eliciting the effect is fully  


i. Aware of the effect, but the effect cannot be controlled

7. Effortless: requires no resources

8. Automatic is the background thinking, it happens first

ii. Controlled (conscious, deliberate)

1. Thinking slowly/deliberately

a. Planning, reasoning, and control

2. Stems from the prefrontal cortex of the brain

3. Four aspects define controlled thinking:

a. Conscious

b. Intention (directing your thoughts)

c. Voluntary

d. Effortful

4. Controlled is the foreground thinking; you can direct it

a. Serial: one thing at a time

b. Requires motivation and effort

b. Experiment found that people would rather shock themselves when left in a room alone  than deliberately think about something (so, humans hate controlled thinking) 15. Relationship between Automatic and Controlled processing

a. Controlled can influence automatic

i. Example: trying not to stare at something unusual

b. Automatic can hinder controlled processing

i. Ex: task where you have to say the color of the text of the word, not the actual  color that is being named (i.e. Green—you would say “blue,” but this is difficult for  us to do)

1. This activity hurts controlled processing

16. Benefits of Automatic Processing

a. Saves time

i. Don’t have to put energy or effort into every thought

b. Attunes people to the important information

i. i.e., Information related to the self

1. Cocktail party effect (where you may hear information regarding  

yourself/your name from across the room of a loud party)

17. Heuristics

a. Heuristics: rules that people use—shortcuts for judgments; a way to sort through all of the  information we receive

i. E.g., a “rule of thumb”

b. Availability Heuristic: give an answer based on the fact that the information is easy for us to  access

i. Things are available to us more for knowledge, so we think about those things first ii. Example: people are more commonly afraid by dying in an airplane crash, even  though car crashes are much more likely

iii. Factors increasing availability:

1. Emotionality of events

2. Recency of events

3. Ease of visualization

c. Representative Heuristic 

i. Judge the probability of an event by finding a “comparable known” event &  assuming that the probabilities will be similar

ii. Base-rate fallacy

18. Biases

a. Negativity Bias

i. We pay more attention to the negative things than positive things

1. It catches our attention more

2. We give more weight to the negative information

b. E.g. Prospect Theory (Kahneman, 1979)

i. Editing: take into account the potential outcomes, set a reference point, and decide  what's to lose and what's to gain

1. Example:

a. Option A: guaranteed win of $1000

b. Option B: 80% change of winning $1400, 20% chance of winning  

nothing—which we consider a loss

c. Most people will choose option A

ii. Evaluation (Prospect Theory)

c. Framing

i. Gain-frame appeal: focuses on how something will make you better

1. Ex. Flossing will help you gain clean teeth

ii. Loss-frame appeal: focuses on the downside, what you could lose

1. Ex: if you don’t floss, particles of food stay in your mouth and could cause you  to lose having nice breath

iii. Socially, gain-frames are more effective to get someone to do something (ex.  Exercising, to prevent something like weight gain, you tell them they will gain  health and a longer lifespan)

1. Loss-frames are more effective if someone already have something and you  want to convince them to get rid of it (ex. A disease)

d. Optimistic Bias 

i. We dramatically underestimate chances of bad things happening to us

1. We also drastically overestimate good things

ii. Caveat: we overestimate bad things so that when it actually happens, it's not so  bad

iii. Students estimate they are 15% more likely for a positive outcome than the  average student; they also estimate they are 20% more likely for a negative  

outcome than the average student

e. Other Biases

i. Sampling bias: generalizing the population of your study, when the sample is not  representative of the entire population

ii. Planning Fallacy: drastically overestimate amount of stuff we can get done in the  time allotted

1. Ex. Thinking you can write an entire paper in 2 hours, despite previous  

experiences indicating that it takes much longer

iii. Gambler's fallacy: thinking there's a way to control the outcome of an event, but  each gamble (or event) is independent from the others

1. Ex. Rolling a dice to land on a 6 nine times in a row, doesn’t mean it will land  on a 6 again. Each roll is independent (separate) from the previous rolls; they  don't connect in any way).

iv. Confirmation Bias: we look for information that confirms our own beliefs (i.e.  information that proves that we are right)

1. Ex. When defending our favorite football player, we don't pay attention to  their number of fumbles, we pay attention to their great offense and defense.

19. Counterfactual Thinking

a. Upward counterfactual thinking: "could have been better" –dissatisfaction b. Downward counterfactual thinking: "could have been worse"—satisfaction

20. Affect & Cognition

a. Affect: emotional state

b. Our current emotional state effects our cognition

c. Mood Dependent Memory

i. Affect Infusion Model (AIM)

1. Affect triggers (primes) cognitions

2. Emotion acts as a shortcut (heuristic) to thinking

d. Cognition ???? Affect

i. 2 factor theory of emotion (Schacter & Singer)

ii. Sight of incoming car --> pounding heart --> label this as "I'm afraid" --> fear (this  is the emotion)

iii. Essentially, our thoughts can also effect our emotions (it goes both ways) e. Self-fulfilling Prophecies= adhering to your own stereotypes

i. "Pygmalion effect" = distortion of observations

1. Creation of demand characteristics that elicit predicted behaviors in the  


ii. Teacher/Student expectations

1. Teacher expectations are correlated with student achievement

2. Students actually produced the effect that teachers expected would be there  (Depending on whether they were told a particular student was intelligent or  


iii. Behavioral confirmation

1. Social expectations lead you to act in ways that cause others to confirm your  expectations

21. What are schemas?

a. Schemas: A way for us to organize information

b. To organize concepts that are related—find similarities between them and piece them  together as they relate

c. Specificity matters—it helps us to focus on what’s important in our environments d. Schemas provide clarity when we’re faced with ambiguity (i.e. vague information) e. Schemas are resistant to change (once activated)

f. Framework, or mental structure:

i. Helps us organize information

ii. Guides processing

iii. Influences memory processes on:

1. Attention

2. Encoding

3. Retrieval

g. Types of Schemas—there are schemas about:

i. Objects

ii. Ourselves

iii. Other People

1. E.g., trait schemas, such as religion (example: a Mormon is trustworthy)

iv. Groups of people

1. These are stereotypes (generalized to a group)

h. Memories

i. Reconstruction of memories is not perfect

1. Memories are stored with associations

ii. We combine fragments of our memories with moods and feelings from the time it  occurred to recall things

iii. We are motivated to recall things in a way that makes us look “better” (i.e., the  hero of the story)

1. We see ourselves as better off now, so we “fit” our memories to new self  

concept that we have of ourselves

iv. Schemas (stereotypes) drive our recall of memories

1. Those about race and gender are most powerful

Chapter 3: Social Perception

22. What do we start with in Social situations?

a. Cognitive Schema

b. Scripts (i.e., how a situation should typically go)

c. Stereotypes

d. Expectancies

e. Hypotheses (about what we think will happen)

23. Nonverbal Communication

a. Emblems: gestures that have specific meanings within a given culture

b. Illustrators: gestures that emphasize a point

c. Affect Displays: basic emotional expressions (ex. Sad, happy-- generally the same across  cultures)

d. Regulators: gestures that help to foster communication (Ex. Opening mouth to indicate that  you want a turn to speak)

e. Adaptors: Nonverbal behaviors that occur under stressful situations (kind of "leak" out of  us)

f. Facial expressions

i. Largely uniform across cultures

ii. Strong biological foundations

iii. Serve as norms: determine when, where, & how emotion should be expressed 24. Attributions

a. Attribution Theory: (Fritz Heider- founder) a group of theories used to describe how  people explain the causes of behavior

i. An explanation for why things happen (or how we can predict it in the future) b. Theory of Correspondent Inferences 

i. Non common effects (Jones & Davis, 1965)

1. One possible reason to explain someone's actions

ii. Assume someone's traits are stable if behavior seems:

1. Free-willed

2. Low in social desirability (it's not the situation that is driving the attribution) 3. Out of the ordinary (distinctive)

c. Co-variation Model (Kelly, 1972)

i. Look for 3 things in making attribution labels:

1. Consistency: does this person always look like this in this situation, or is it  

only at that specific location (i.e. only that party or that one class?)

2. Distinctiveness: does this person behave this same way in all situations, at all  locations? Distinctiveness is high if behavior varies across  


3. Consensus: are all the people acting like this, or is it just the 1 person?

ii. Example of External Attribution: not consistent, high distinctiveness, and high  consensus

iii. Example of Internal Attribution: high consistency (behavior everywhere), low  distinctiveness, and low consensus

d. Discounting Principle

• Augmenting principle

Disposition (their trait) makes  

them do it

e. Two Dimensional Attribution Theory





Task Difficulty




o Example of internal: how much time you put into studying

• Effort put in will be reflected in your score-- blame yourself for not studying enough o Example of external: task difficulty

• If you fail a test, you blame the professor for making the test too hard, because your scores  are generally stable and consistent

• If you pass a test as an unstable person, you believe it was sheer luck

f. Other factors associated with attribution

i. Primacy Effect: we give more weight to the first information we learn about a  person (i.e., first impressions)

ii. Change of meaning hypothesis: once we form an impression of someone, we  interpret inconsistent information in light of that

a. The meaning of that trait can be malleable

25. What is belief perseverance?

a. Belief perseverance: the tendency to maintain beliefs even after they have been discredited i. Example: even after Obama confirmed that he was born in the U.S., people still  believed his birth certificate was fake

26. The Impression Personality Theory (IPT)

a. Traits we pay attention to:

i. Central Traits: things that form overall impressions

1. E.g. warmth-- attribute many things to this (smiling, etc.)

ii. Peripheral Traits: Tag on to the central trait and not as important to our  evaluation of them

1. E.g. warm person, but less friendly (friendly= the peripheral trait, but we  don’t pay attention to it because of our first impression, a.k.a. the central  


iii. Central traits are more powerful when forming impressions

iv. Central influences

1. “What is beautiful is good” hypothesis—we attribute beautiful people to also  having more success and good traits

b. Overall Evaluation: 2 Schools of Thought

Cognitive Algebra

Holistic Impressions (Gestalt)

• Evaluate first, then integrate

• Based on weights associated to  individual traits

• E.g. practical (.25) + mean (.75) • Bottom-up process

• Integrate first, then evaluate the  person

• E.g., implicit personality  


• Top-down process

27. Impression Management

a. It is designed to regulate information that others see of you

b. The regulation of information to convey certain information about the self or others to an  audience

c. Strategies

i. Ingratiation, self-promotion, intimidation

1. Self-enhancement: come across as confidence (not arrogant)

2. Other-enhancement

d. Self-monitoring 

i. Accommodate impression management

ii. Constantly adapting to the situation & changing your behavior to fit the situation iii. Increase self monitors to use impression management strategies to be liked by  others/to fit in

1. These are called adaptive strategies 

e. Machiavellianism 

i. Assimilate impression management

ii. Use these adaptors to satisfy themselves or accomplish their own aims

iii. Adapt to behaviors that are most effective for that situation (ex. Talking  professionally with colleagues vs. baby talk for children)

f. Noncommon effects = effects that can be caused by one specific factor

g. Someone believing in something because of them being assigned to do it= actor-observer  effect 

i. The discounting principle: multiple causes for one behavior

1. Discount the other causes as being likelihood of causing the behavior (of  

being the cause)

Ch. 4: The Self

28. Functions of the Self

a. 3 functions:

i. Executive: control, & plan for the future

ii. Emotional

iii. Organizing: the self is a schema (a cognitive framework for who we are)

29. What is Self-Awareness?

a. It is subjective

i. Self-awareness: recognizing ourselves at some point after birth as a unique  identity

b. Objective: recognizing yourself as an object—you see that, and others see that c. Symbolic self-awareness: one step higher than basic level self-awareness

30. Culture & Self Awareness

a. Individualism cultures

i. See the self as separate from others

ii. Personality identity is important

b. Collectivism cultures

i. Identity is defined in relation to others (don't want to be different)- collectivism ii. Social position more important than personal accomplishments- independent 31. Self-Concept

a. Definition: the set of beliefs & perceptions about oneself

i. Helps determine how individuals will behave

ii. Inconsistency between self-concept and experiences

b. Made up of possible selves 

i. Who you see yourself becoming

ii. Help us to reach goals (drive and passion to become that person; e.g. a doctor) c. Working self-concept

i. Self concept at any given moment

1. When asked to define who you are at any time

ii. Driven by what is acting on you in that moment

1. Ex. In a classroom- I'm a "student," but at home, I'm a "sister"

iii. Never stable (it depends on what you bring in that moment)

iv. William James (1980) argues that we have a "personal self"-- a central core  concept that we express in different situations  

32. Self-Schemas

a. How we organize information about the self

i. a way to process self-relevant (important) information

b. Specific beliefs about the self

i. When you want something, everyone has it

1. Your self-schema is driving what you notice

c. Content-specific, structure the same

d. Reflects past experiences

i. Especially with others (how they drive your experiences)

33. The Self-Reference Effect

a. We recall words about ourselves more than words that don’t describe us i. Information about ourselves is processed quickly and efficiently

1. It is also remembered better

b. Why does this effect exist? Because of 2 types of processing:

i. Elaborative

ii. Categorical (preexisting information about ourselves)

c. Mood also effects self-focus

i. Self-focus happens more during childhood, and when we’re less distracted 1. Happy = recall better things about yourself

34. Self-Esteem

a. Narcissism reflects a very high (inflated) self-esteem

b. Types:

i. Bottom-up approach: weighing most of your self worth to one particular  important thing

ii. Top up approach: overall feel very positive; not focused on one specific thing 1. This is generally a healthier way to live

c. Trait vs. State self esteem

i. State = interactions/settings cause fluctuations in Self esteem

ii. Trait = can change minimally as we age, but stay pretty consistent

d. Social Success is also related to increased self-esteem

i. Serotonin released when we feel good about ourselves, which makes us feel even  more successful -->  increased success

e. Implicit vs. Explicit

i. Name letter effect (ex. Name starts with a D = all dentists)

1. Born in Colorado = more likely for name to start with a C

f. High Self-Esteem

i. May result in explicit Self Esteem

ii. Can be the result of 3 things:

1. Healthy self-confidence

2. Exaggerated sense of self

3. Conceited, egotistical, arrogant sense of self

a. Ex. Inmates have highest self esteem because it's the egotistical type

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