Social Psychology Exam 1
1. According to lecture what are the three components of social psychology? Define several important research questions that are addressed in each component.
∙ Social Cognition: This involves impression formation, the fundamental attribution error, and our attitudes predicting our behavior. It is how we image ourselves and others in social situations.
∙ Social Influence: This is how we affect others, and how those others affect us. It involves types of conformity, and our expectations of others in bystander apathy.
∙ Social Emotions: This is how people get along and interact. The forming of close relationships and feelings of love, as well as the forming of prejudices and aggressions towards others. How are emotions developed?
2. What is the fundamental attribution error?
∙ The fundamental attribution error is when we blame a person's personal character for their behavior rather than blaming the current environment or situation. An example would be if someone cut you off in traffic, instead of thinking they are in a rush, we think they are a mean person who is not considerate. Yet when we cut someone off it is because we are late for work, not because we are a mean person.
3. Give several examples of how social psychology has been used to investigate social problems in history, and why social psychological research is important. Be specific. We also discuss several other topics like What is the process that detects stimuli from the environment?
∙ The massive group-think of the Germans in the Holocaust caused many people to wonder how so many people could think that killing 6 million Jews was the right thing to do. Stanley Milgram conducted experiments in the 60s to figure out how susceptible humans are to authority, and how far they will obey another even if it is against their morals. He had a volunteer act as a teacher for memory tests given to another person in another room. The participant/student was a confederate (a part of the research team) but the teacher did not know he was the only one out of the loop. The teacher was asked to administer electric shocks to the student if they made an incorrect answer. Milgram discovered that even if the electrical shocks
were past the point of physical distress, the worst maxing out at 450 volts, over 65% of the participant teachers would admins inter maximum voltage as long as someone in a white lab coat told them to please continue. The results were shocking, and many people did not expect that humans obeyed authorities to such extreme measures. This research explained how a man such as Hitler could train and gather an army who did not question his actions, but merely obeyed. We also discuss several other topics like Do you recapture depreciation on 1250 property?
∙ Albert Bandura came up with the social learning theory because he believed that operant conditioning was not the complete explanation of human behavior. He believed that humans learn a lot about behavior by observing others and imitating them. We learn the things to do, or the things to stay away from by watching other people succeed or fail. He set up a bobo doll experiment where children between the ages of 3-6 watched an adult act out aggressively on the bobo doll, hitting and punching etc. The kids who saw the adult beating up the doll were much more likely to act physically aggressive towards it than he children who did not witness the aggression. These results are used to support the social learning theory that what we see definitely affects us. This is why kids and people who watch violent television can end up acting out violently on others. We are likely to become what we watch as Bandura proved. If you want to learn more check out Does facilitated diffusion move from high to low concentration?
4. What is meant by bystander apathy? Give an example from lecture. ∙ Bystander Apathy is an interesting effect of a human's response to help another. If there are many people around, as in a public place, and if another person is being hurt or needs help, we are very likely to not assist them and to think "someone else will do it." It also involves a certain degree of conformity to the others doing nothing. It is an example of social influence. An important case study done on this, and one of the first to kick start the research, was the Kitty Genovese murder case. She was stabbed to death outside her apartment in New York City in the 60s, and no one called 911 or tried to help her even though neighbors heard the screams. Don't forget about the age old question of Why is there variability in definitions of social problems?
5. What evidence is there to suggest that emotional attachment is critical to human survival? How does Harlow’s famous experiments on monkeys provide information on this issue?
∙ Emotional attachment reaches a critical period ranging from 6 to 8 months. The idea was introduced in the 1930s by John Bowlby. He discovered that Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of water balance in biology?
infants need to form a primary attachment to a primary caregiver. The caregivers cannot be mixed around. The child needs to form a bond with one person, and it is an innate need. He studied children in a London juvenile orphanage to prove his prediction.
∙ His theory of emotional attachment was supported by Rene Spitz who studied infants in orphanages in the 1940s in Romania. He found that the children never developed an emotional connection to one caregiver because there were too many children. Even though their physical needs were met, the children were mentally traumatized at the lack of emotional connection. He discovered that children could feel the emotions of sadness and develop depression at an extremely young age. A lot of the children did not make it due to the poor upbringings. We also discuss several other topics like What is the difference between the old and new definition of mass media?
∙ Harry Harlow's studies on monkeys also provided evidence for the theory. Harlow found that infant monkeys would rather spend more time with a cloth surrogate mother without food, than spend time with the wire surrogate mother who had milk. The monkeys needed to cling to a mother, rather than get proper nourishment. They needed to form an attachment.
∙ Mary Ainsworth continued the research and found that attachment in infancy is not all or nothing, but rather there are 3 different styles an infant can take on with their caregiver. She found that most infants are securely attached to their caregivers, while the other were overly attached or not attached at all.
∙ In the late 1980s, a lady named Cynthia Hazan took the work of Ainsworth and applied it to adults. She found that the attachment styles infants have predict attachment styles adults will have. She used longitudinal studies to prove her work.
6. What are basic and social emotions? From lecture and the film on “Life’s First Feelings” how are basic and social emotions studied? Are both basic and social emotions present at birth? How and when do basic and social emotions develop?
∙ Basic emotions are innate emotions such as happiness, sadness, surprised, interest. They are present at birth.
∙ Social emotions come with time and are things such as embarrassment, pride, guilt, or shame. They typically arise when the child has gained a sense of self around the age of 2 years old.
∙ Life’s First Feelings was a video that showed how researchers study infant behavior. They take infants in and watch their interactions with their
mothers, how they respond to a happy mother verses how they respong to a sad mother. These emotions are studied using an infant theatre. By putting an infant in a chair and videotaping the facial reactions to different stimuli viewed on the screen, researchers were able to map out the face and know which emotions an infant was showing. They are also studied by placing a child over the invisible cliff to see if a child’s depth perception was aided by hints from the mother’s facial cues.
7. What exactly is an emotion? What are the components of an emotion? What is a Galvanic Skin Response machine record? How has emotion research been used in the legal system?
∙ Cognitive component: These are the thoughts about the emotion. How we label it.
∙ Physiological Component: These are the actual responses our bodies show when experiencing an emotion. Our heart rate rises, blood pressure rises, breathing increases, and sweat increases in all emotions except for interest, which causes the opposite response.
o The Galvanic Skin Response machine records increases in electrical conductivity in the skin that increase when humans are under emotional stress (essentially it measures palm sweat). The sweat glands are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system under arousal and are connected to emotion. They are used in lie detector tests and some electroencephalographs (EEG).
o In the legal system, the results of a lie detector test are not admissible in a court of law as actual evidence, but they can be brought up to persuade juries.
∙ Behavioral Component: The nonverbal communication we can observe. An example would be raised eyebrows, opened mouth, a smile etc.
8. Compare the James-Lange and Schachter-Singer (Two-factor) theory of emotion? What are the basic assumptions of each theory? What are some of the limitations of each?
∙ James-Lange Theory: This theory was ultimately proven incorrect. This theory taught that each different emotion has a different physiological response elicited by the human body, and once that response is felt, we then label the emotion based off of the unique feeling. The reason this theory has little supportive evidence is because most emotions elicit the
same physiological response (except for interest) which is increase in heart rate, blood pressure etc. It would be near impossible to differentiate the difference in response.
∙ Two-Factor Theory: For every emotion there are two things that are happening:
o Physiological Response: such as the blood pressure and heart rate increase.
o Cognition: The person is thinking what to label that emotion that they feel. In order to do this, people look at their environment to come up with a rational label. Remember the study of the men being asked to fill out a survey from an attractive woman. Men mislabeled fear of the high bridge to lust for the attractive woman.
o A limitation to this theory would come from an evolutionist who thinks that some emotional response are innate, and not completely due to external factors such as the environment. It could be argued that there is a genetic basis for the emotions people have.
9. What was the design of the famous Schachter-Singer (1962) experiment that tested the two-factor theory? How effective was the design? How did the EPI misinformed and placebo groups not perform the way Schachter-Singer thought? To what extent did the findings support Schachter-Singer’s theory?
∙ Male volunteers were deceived and told that a vitamin injection would improve their vision. Some men were injected with epinephrine (arousal), and others a control placebo. Some were told that the injection would have side effects like a rise in heart rate and blood pressure, but others were not informed of the side effects. The men were in a room with a person who was either happy or angry. The results of all the groups were that the men who were injected with the placebo showed no signs of emotional response to the men in the room. The group who was injected with epinephrine and who were informed of the side effects also showed no emotional response because they knew the shot was the cause of the response. The group of men who were injected with epinephrine and were not informed of the side effects either became happy or angry due to the confederate in the room.
∙ The results of this study showed that individuals look outwards towards their environments for explanations of their own physiological responses.
∙ There were some participants who were not informed about the side effects of the injection, but still attributed the side effects to the shot rather than the confederate’s emotional behavior. These people surprised the researchers and were removed for better results.
10. How does an evolutionary approach to human emotions differ from the James-Lange and Schacter-Singer approach? What does it say about the role of cognition in understanding emotion? Does this approach explain basic or social emotions?
∙ The Evolutionary Approach: Emotions have developed through evolution, which implies they have an adaptive quality. They are innate reactions. They do not require a cognitive component of labeling, which differs from the two-factor theory. This approach explains basic emotions. The mere exposure effect provides some evidence for feeling without thinking.
11. What is Zajonc’s “Mere Exposure Effect” refer to? According to Zajonc, what does he mean by the statement “thinking is not required for feeling.” Give examples of research studies on the mere exposure effect. What theory of emotion does the “Mere Exposure Effect” support?
∙ The Mere Exposure Effect: The tendency to like something just by being around it often. This can be true even without interacting with another individual. Just seeing them a lot is enough to develop a preference. It is true with figures and objects too. This ties into the idea that humans are attracted to familiarity. Continuous exposure leads to liking.
∙ Zajonc believed that emotions are primitive and came before cognition evolved. This explains how we can feel without thinking.
∙ Experiment: People were given 50 Chinese symbols to look through. The next week they were given the same 50 symbols, including 50 new ones, and they were asked which symbol they liked and which they did not. The people liked the 50 they had seen the week prior even though they were English and could not remember the symbols. Feeling without cognition.
∙ Experiment: In 1977 researchers showed college woman pictures of themselves, and a mirror image of the photo. The woman liked the mirror
image more because they look in the mirror more often. Their boyfriends liked the photograph more because they view that more often. ∙ Mere Exposure supports the Evolutionary Theory.
12. Define the cognitive “Balance theory” approach to liking and attraction. According to this theory what is the key component in liking? How could you predict if two people would be attracted to each other? How would you mathematically represent different types of relationships according to this theory? Also, what was the famous experiment “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” experiment that was used to support this theory?
∙ Cognitive Balance: We tend to like people who have the same beliefs and attitudes as us, and are uncomfortable when people have differing beliefs (known as cognitive dissonance). It throws off our balance and understanding of the world when ideas are inconsistent, and we are less attracted to those who think differently.
∙ The key component in liking is similarities. If two people come from the same backgrounds, same religion, same beliefs, they are likely to like each other.
∙ Mathematically this relationship is represented by the proportion of similarity. It basically divides up the total number of topics communicated with the topics agreed upon.
∙ 1968 experiment by Aronson and Cope showed that if we consider a person to be our enemy, we are more likely to be friends with our enemy’s enemy. This was shown by having the participant get either negative or positive feedback from an experimenter. The experimenter was then given positive or negative feedback from their supervisor. The participant was then asked to help the supervisor afterwards. The study was meant to see how often and how well the participant will help the supervisor. The most help was given when the experimenter was positive and the supervisor was positive. Participants also worked hard for the supervisor who was mean to the mean experimenter.
13. Compare the balance, reward, and sociobiological theories of liking and attraction. What are the assumptions of each theory?
∙ Balance: We like those who are similar to ourselves. We are uncomfortable with disagreement and differing views.
∙ Reward: We like people associated with positive experiences. We want more benefits out of a relationship than cons. We want someone who raises our self-esteem.
∙ Sociobiological: This takes an evolutionary point of view. The idea is that we want to pass our genes on, and will reproduce with those who are similar to us and familiar to us, being of the same species. The things about ourselves we like are what we want to be passed on and are adaptive traits.
14. Explain why physical proximity is so powerful in influencing attraction. What evidence is there to explain this effect? What is the difference between physical and functional distance, and why is it important in understanding the impact of proximity on liking?
∙ Without proximity to the person, the two people could never have met. Being around another person is the most important factor to initiating a relationship.
o Proximity leads to anticipated interaction, which increases liking. By seeing the person all the time, the mere exposure effect takes place and also enhances liking.
∙ Proximity sometimes trumps other important factors such as similarities in belief. This was shown in a study conducted on police officers in Maryland. Friendships were developed mostly on proximity, rather than similarity.
∙ Married couples at M.I.T. moved into a new dorm around strangers. After some time, they were asked who their closest friend was, and the majority said someone who lived on the same floor as they did. Often times it was the next door neighbor.
∙ Physical distance refers to the actual distance between two people that effects the likelihood of interacting.
∙ Functional distance refers to the likelihood of individuals coming into contact at common places like work, coffee shop. This is the layout of the environment.
15. What are the environmental and personal factors related to attraction? Name and define both an environmental and personal factor. What is the role of attitude similarity? Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract? Why is physical attractiveness such a powerful indicator of attraction? What stereotypes do we have about attractive people, and is there any truth to them? What is meant by the “halo effect”?
∙ Personal Factors: Similarity to the person and Physical Attractiveness. ∙ Environmental Factors: Proximity to another person. Mere Exposure. ∙ Birds of a feather really do flock together. We are attracted to familiarity and similarity.
∙ Physical Attractiveness is a powerful indicator of attraction because looks are immediate pleasure, and it is socially prestigious to be with someone who is attractive.
∙ People who are physically attractive are thought to be more successful and happier than other people as well as more intelligent. This could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, which makes attractive people these good things because society treats them well. Research supports these claims.
∙ The Halo Effect: The judgment of another being attractive then creates thoughts about the person’s character being better in the sense of intelligence, success, and happiness.
16. What is the difference between liking and love? Describe research by Zick Rubin and Keith Davis on distinguishing liking and love? What are some of the problems facing those who study love?
∙ Many researchers have found that the difference in liking and love is the additional factors found within love that are absent in liking, such as sex or exclusivity. Yet, for the most part liking and loving share most all characteristics except for the additional found in love.
∙ In 1978 Zick Ruben tried to measure love by coming up with a scale. He had couples fill out questionnaires, and he found that people felt the same way about their friends that they do about their lovers except for the lover there was a unique component known as intimacy. He brought couples into a waiting room before they took the questionnaires, and he videotaped them before the experiment began. He was paying attention to the amount of time they shared eye contact. The more time they spent looking into each other's eyes the better they scored on love. He defined love with three components:
∙ Caring: feeling that another person's satisfactions are as important as your own.
∙ Attachment: the need to be with the other.
∙ Intimacy: a link or bond between two people. It is a confidentiality between the partners.
∙ Problems of studying love: No one can agree on the proper definition. How do we measure it accurately?
17. Name the two broad types of love. Describe the changes that occur in relationships in terms of increases and decreases in these different types of love.
∙ Passionate Love: This is the initial stage of romantic love. It involves the physiological response and excitement to be with the other. It fades over time on average.
∙ Companionate Love: This love is developed over time. It comes through shared experiences and a life time bond. It increases with time on average.
18. Compare the three different theories of romantic or passionate love that were described in class. How does Hatfield’s theory of passionate love differ from Sternberg’s Triarchical Theory and Hazan and Shaver’s approach to love as an attachment process?
∙ Hatfield’s Theory of love: This is similar to the two-factor theory of emotion. Passionate love contains a physiological response and a cognitive component. This theory differs in that it requires a cognitive component to label the physiological response.
∙ Sternberg’s Triarchial Theory: Robert Sternberg came up with the triangle theory of love:
o Intimacy: closeness, confiding.
o Passion: arousal, desire.
o Commitment: Exclusivity and loyalty a decision to remain together. o He came up with 8 Types of love that are a mixture of the
∙ Non-love: absence of all three
∙ Liking: intimacy only
∙ Infatuation: Passion only
∙ Empty love: commitment only
∙ Romantic love: only intimacy and passion
∙ Companionate love: Only intimacy and commitment.
∙ Stupid love: only passion and commitment.
∙ Consummate: all three
∙ Hazan and Shaver’s Theory: Love is an attachment process. The Attachment model: around the age of 6 to 8 months we form our first primary attachment to our primary caregivers. This is a critical period of forming attachment. By measuring the quality of attachment with mothers in that critical period is reflective of the quality of attachment to the lover. Attachment in infancy predicts attachment in adulthood.
19. Describe the Hazan and Shaver approach to love as an attachment process. What research was done to support their theory (be specific). ∙ Attachment styles in infancy are good predictors of attachment styles in adulthood. How adults view love can often times be traced back to those initial attachment styles.
o Mary Ainsworth did research on infant attachment. She brings infants into the room with strangers. She is looking for the child's reaction when the mother leaves. If the infant has a healthy
attachment with mom, it'll cry but will stop because it trusts the mother to come back 62% of infants are securely attached. If the infant cries without stopping, it shows that the infant is overly attached or is resistant. They are so dependent on mom and their emotions are so out of control that they cannot physically calm down. The overly attached are about 15% If the infant does not cry at all, the infant is avoidant. They don't care whether mom is in the room or not. They have given up on mom and are emotionally shutting down. These are about 23% of infants. *The best
intervention is to immediately treat the problem. *
o In the late 1980s, a lady named Cynthia Hazan took the work of Ainsworth and applied it to adults. She found that the attachment styles infants have predict attachment styles adults will have. She used longitudinal studies to prove her work.
20. Describe Elaine Hatfield’s two-factor theory of love. How is it similar to the Schacter-Singer two factor theory of emotion? Describe research that was presented in class in support of the theory. Also, describe the Passionate Love
scale that was developed from this theory? Is it reliable? Does it correlated with other measures / indicators of romantic love?
∙ Both two factor models rely on two components: physiological response and cognition/labeling.
∙ Men on a high bridge were likely to mislabel their fear as lust when an attractive woman asked them to fill out a survey.
∙ The passionate love scale contains three parts: cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
∙ The passionate love scale correlates with Zick Rubin’s liking and loving scale. It is a reliable measure in that it accurately predicts couples overall satisfaction in the relationship.
21. Review the two Ted Talks by Helen Fischer: 1) Why we love and why we cheat, and 2) The brain in love. They are online. Enjoy! Go to Ted.com and type in Helen Fisher. Make sure you review these there will be questions on them!!!!!
∙ She talks about research done on couples who were madly in love, or still in love and recently dumped. She put 32 people in a fMRI brain scanner. 17 who were still with the person and 15 who were dumped. She mentions that the same parts of the brain that are affected when being in love are the same parts of the brain that are affected when on a cocaine high. She
uses a lot of poetry and old writers to present quotes about love. She mentions that romantic love is when a person becomes completely focused on another person. Even when the person was dumped, they could not stop thinking of the person they were in love with. It becomes an obsession.