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Exam 3 Book Summary

by: AmberNicole

Exam 3 Book Summary PSYCH 221


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About this Document

Covers the main points in the textbook on what will be covered on exam 3.
Intro to Social Psychology
Study Guide
social psychology, Psychology
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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by AmberNicole on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYCH 221 at East Carolina University taught by Thornton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Psychology in Psychlogy at East Carolina University.


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Date Created: 03/29/16
What is a Friend?  Relationships with friends are voluntary, unlike those with relatives (although people often see relatives as friends)  Relationships with friends differ from love relationships in the lack of romantic or passionate feelings  Reinforcement-affect model: relationships have one overriding goal: to increase pleasant feelings and decrease unpleasant ones  Social exchange theory: presumes we are generally motivated to obtain good bargains in our relationships with others. Equity is a specific form of social exchange, involving a fair ratio of costs and benefits for both partners in a relationship  Domain-specific models assume that different goals characterize different relationships at different times Getting Social Support  Social support: emotional, material, or informational assistance others provide  Health psychology: study of behavioral and psychological factors affecting illness  Having adequate social support is linked to reduced psychological and physical symptoms, better immune responses, and quicker medical recoveries. Such support can come from pets as well as people. Research has shown that sometimes having a dog can be more beneficial to live with than another person.  Rather than the classic “fight or flight” response, women’s more typical reaction to stress might better be described as “tend and befriend.”  Women are better at getting and giving support to their friends.  People seek out social support when threatened by impersonal dangers or social isolation but avoid social support if stress comes from crowding or fear of embarrassment  Lonely and depressed people think and behave in ways that ultimately drive away the very support they seek  For combating loneliness, college students find contact with their friends more useful than contact with family members. However, reassuring parents do have positive effects on grades and mood. Getting Information  Other people can provide useful information about objective reality, social norms, and the self  According to social comparison theory, people desire to measure themselves against similar others to evaluate their opinions and abilities  Women are more likely to disclose personal information and elicit self-disclosures from others  Self-disclosure can have negative as well as positive consequences, in that disclosed secrets may be betrayed  We seek information from others when we are uncertain about consequential issues and when the others are similar to us  Self-evaluation maintenance theory: we avoid comparisons with those who are very close to us when they excel in the same domains we do but take pleasure if their accomplishments reflect positive on our team.  Chronically happy people ignore information that others have outperformed them but are attentive to information that they have outperformed others Exchanging Material Benefits  Different exchange rules apply in different relationships  Communal sharing: everyone takes freely from a common pool as they need  Authority ranking: resources are distributed according to status  Equality matching: everyone gets the same share  Market pricing: people trade goods and services according to rules of self-interest, seeking the best possible “deal”  Some people characteristically adopt a communal orientation and keep less careful track of inputs and outputs in relationships  When people expect long-term interactions, they tend to adopt rules of communal exchange  People living or working near one another are especially likely to become friends, partly because they share resources and rewarding experiences  People have fewer face-to-face contacts in recent years, spending more time watching television and commuting, and Internet connections suggest mixed benefits and costs compared to face-to-face contact.  A person’s typical orientation toward exchange may depend on cultural factors affecting who they spend time around  In cultures and places where relatives interact frequently, people adopt more communal norms Gaining Status  Compared to women, men place more emphasis on power and less emphasis on intimacy in their relationships.  Consequently, men get more respect from their friends and acquaintances, whereas women get more affection  People seek affiliations with high-status individuals in contexts in which status is salient, more so in some cultures than others  Conversely, people sometimes distance themselves from others who may damage their status  Pursuing status in our relationships may reduce social support Defining Love and Romantic Attraction  The different components of love can be organized into 3 factors; passion, intimacy, and commitment  Passion consists of romantic attraction and sexual desire  Intimacy consists of close bonding  Decision/commitment consists of a decision that one loves another and has made a commitment to maintain that love  Feelings associated with love combine differently in different varieties of love, such as love for a family member or for a passionate lover  Passionate love is characterized by intense longing for another, whereas companionate love is composed of feelings of affection and tenderness  Nurturing love refers to the feelings parents have for their children  Attachment love refers to the desire to be cared for by another  Major goals of romantic relationships include sexual gratification, forming family bonds, and gaining resources and social status Obtaining Sexual Gratification  Some features of physical attractiveness, including low waist-to- hip ratios in women and bodily symmetry in both sexes, are widely regarded as attractive across cultures  Women are less interested in casual sexual opportunities and more selective about sexual partners  The two sexes are more similar in approaching long-term relationships  Individual differences in sexual desire have been linked to the hormone testosterone in both sexes, and estrogen and progesterone have been found to influence women’s sexual attractions in numerous ways  Within each sex, individuals with an unrestricted sociosexual orientation have more sexual partners and choose partners who are socially attractive  Restricted individuals choose partners with traits linked to good parenting  Attraction to the same sex raises interesting questions from an evolutionary perspective  It has been linked to tendencies to help brothers and sisters in traditional societies, and some evidence suggests it could be a byproduct of genetic inclinations that carry reproductive benefits in heterosexual relatives  Situations that increase general physiological arousal can increase passionate attraction  Two-factor theory of love: arousal from any source can be mistakenly attributed to the lover. However, arousal can boost attraction even when the person is aware the arousal did not come directly from the lover  Norms for expressing sexual feelings before and after marriage vary across cultures  Asian cultures are relatively restricted  North Americans and Australians are less restricted  Also vary for different subcultural groups within a society, such as religious and nonreligious individuals  Different people perceive potentially sexual situations differently  Compared to women, men generally perceive more sexuality in interactions between men and women  Culture and evolutionary mechanisms interact in influencing exual attraction  Boys and girls raised under the same roof are less likely to later become passionately attracted, suggesting a mechanisms blocking strong sexual attraction between siblings Establishing Family Bonds  Adult attachments share similarities with attachment bonds between mother and children  Unlike typical mammals, human adult males also bond with their offspring  Individuals differ in their styles of attachment  Some are secure and confident of their lovers’ support  Others are anxious/ambivalent  Others are avoidant  People oriented to exchange rather than to communal benefits experience more dissatisfaction with their marriage partners  Threatening situations increase the desire to be near those to whom we are attached  Erotomania: disorder in which the individual persists in believing that another person is deeply in love with him or her despite strong evidence to the contrary. It may involve a misfiring of a normal reaction to a threatened love bond  Men are somewhat more upset by a partner’s sexual relationship that by a deep emotional bond, whereas women tend to be relatively more troubled if their partners form a deep emotional bond with someone else  Marriage itself is a situation that can affect personal traits over time Gaining Resources and Social Status  A mate’s status, wealth, and dominance are more important to a woman considering a man than to a man considering a woman  Signs of youthful maturity and attractiveness are universally valued by men as signs of reproductive potential  Gay men act like heterosexual men in preferring relatively young attractive partners and paying relatively little attention to partners’ status  Sex differences in the desire for status in a mate are stronger in third world countries. However, even wealthy high status women in Western societies continue to seek male partners with status and wealth  Sex differences in mate choice are more pronounced when men and women are forced to choose which characteristics they most want in a mate  Polyandry often involves a woman marrying brothers and is found in areas where resources are scarce and families would not survive if their land holdings were divides among children  Polygyny is more common and is more extreme when a steep social hierarchy combines with a generally rich environment to allow one family to accumulate vast wealth  Both sexes seek long-term partners whose status and market value are similar to their own, but once people are involved in long-term relationships accounting of relative contributions decreases, and the partner’s needs become more merged with one’s own.  Dominance is only attractive in combination with kindness  Women’s feelings about their place in the social hierarchy are linked to their feelings about physical appearance; men’s are linked to status and resources Breaking Up  Several person factors affect relationship stability  Individuals who are unconventional, extraverted, or moody tend to have less satisfying and stable marriages  Some situations pull couples apart, including economic hardships and a societal excess of available mates  When there are relatively many available women and few men, norms shift toward sexual permissiveness and later marriage  When there is a relative surplus of men, societal norms shift toward earlier marriage and less permissiveness  Harmonious relationships depend on more than a pleasant personality in one individual, because negative communications or insecurities in the other can change the situation and lead to an unpleasant cycle  Commitment to a relationship changes perceptions of alternatives, leading people to see members of the opposite sex as less attractive  Studies of happy couples have led to the discovery of communication principles that can help keep marriages together  Some involve simply communication in a clear and considerate way and avoiding counter-attacks to a partners’ irritable barbs The Goals of Prosocial Behavior  Prosocial behavior is action intended to benefit another  There are two more limited types of Prosocial behavior  The first is action intended to benefit another but not for external reward  The second is called pure altruism, and it is an action intended solely to benefit another, thus not for internal or external reward Improving Our Basic Welfare: Gaining Genetic and Material Benefits  Because helping is typically valued in a culture, people may help to gain prestige and social approval  The most general helping norm is the norm of social responsibility, which states that we should help those who are dependent on us for assistance  Bystanders observing possible emergencies influence the decision to help in three ways  By serving as sources of potential aid  By serving as sources of information about whether aid is required  And by serving as sources of approval or disapproval for helping  Individuals having a strong desire for approval are more likely to help under public circumstances  Factors that draw attention to the social responsibility norm (e.g., helping models) lead to more helping  Consistent with the socially approved masculine gender role, men help more when the situation requires heroic, direct assistance of the needy, including strangers  Consistent with the socially approved feminine gender role, women help more when the situation calls for nurturing, supportive help for relationship partners Managing Self-Image  Because Prosocial behavior can affect how people view themselves, they can use it to both enhance and verify their self- definitions  Persons possessing strong religious codes and personal norms toward helping appear to help in order to act in accord with their self-images  The labels others apply to us affect our self-images  Therefore, when we are labeled as generous or kind, we become more helpful  Because most people value helping, they become more Prosocial when they are made to focus inside on this value  Not only does giving aid affect self-concept, so does accepting aid- by implying to the recipient that he or she may be incompetent, dependent, or inadequate Managing Our Emotions and Moods  Because helping is experiences as rewarding, it can be used to relieve an unpleasant state in the helper  In emergencies, this unpleasant state is aversive arousal (distress), which, according to the arousal/cost-reward model, leads to assistance principally when  1. The arousal is strong  2. There is a “we” connection between the victim and helper  3. Reducing the arousal involves small costs and large rewards  In non emergency situations, helping can relieve the unpleasant state of sadness  According to the negative state relief model, temporarily saddened individuals help more when they  1. See the personal benefits of aid outweighing the costs  2. View the help as able to influence their moods  Elated individuals help in a wide range of situations, probably because they have an overly positive view of helping opportunities Does Pure Altruism Exist?  According to the empathy-altruism model, people who experience empathic concern for a needy other are willing to help simply to improve his or her welfare (pure altruism)  Furthermore, perspective taking, which produces empathic concern, can be brought about by perceived attachments to another (similarity, kinship, friendship, familiarity)  In support of this model, those who take another’s perspective do feel empathic concern and do appear – at least on the surface – to want to help for reasons having to do with the other’s welfare rather than their own  A nonaltruistic explanation exists, however, for why perspective taking leads to seemingly selfless aid: The factors that lead naturally to perspective taking (similarity, kinship, friendship, familiarity) are traditional cues of shared genetic makeup  Thus, perspective taking may spur feelings of shared heredity and the resultant helping may serve the goal of promoting one’s own (genetic) welfare


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