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Psych 221 | Lectures1 + 2 - 1/12/16 & 1/14/16

by: Gabriella Morales

Psych 221 | Lectures1 + 2 - 1/12/16 & 1/14/16 PSYCH 221

Marketplace > Pennsylvania State University > Psychlogy > PSYCH 221 > Psych 221 Lectures1 2 1 12 16 1 14 16
Gabriella Morales
Penn State
GPA 3.3

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About this Document

Material covering week 1
Intro to Social Psychology
Nicholas Pearson
Class Notes
SocialPsychology, social, Psychology, PennState, PennStateUniversity, PSU, psych, Psych221, Nicholas, Pearson, NicholasPearson
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabriella Morales on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYCH 221 at Pennsylvania State University taught by Nicholas Pearson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 114 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Pennsylvania State University.

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Date Created: 01/21/16
Lectures 1 + 2 - 1/12/16 & 1/14/16 Thursday, January 21, 2016 6:17 PM  Kitty Genovese  Why did people fail to help her? Personality vs. Social Psychology  Personality psychologists focus on personalities of individuals  Social psychologists consider the influence of the situation  Often influenced in the nature of the situation to do the wrong thing Definition of Social Psychology= Scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people Latane and Darley (1968)  Man had a seizure, nobody helped Info: Group Size:  6 in total= You + victim + 4 others > 31%  3 in total = you + victim + 1 other > 62%  2 in total = you + victim > 85%  Under certain circumstances, the helping behavior goes away due to social influences and people -LECTURE 2-  Subjectivity of the Social Situation  What exactly do we mean by the social situation?  One Strategy:  Identify the objective properties of the situation  Document the behaviors that follow from these objective properties Behaviorism: A school of psychology maintaining that to understand human behavior, one needs to consider only reinforcing effects of environment Behaviorism: an objective window  Chooses not to deal with cognition, thinking, and feeling  -Thinks these concepts are too vague  Either reward or punishment.  Why shop at a store?  Reward for shopping there or punishment for not shopping there. Problem: Ignored how we construe a situation (estimation about the reality around you)  Inadequate for understanding the social world.  Look at the situation from the viewpoint of the people in it, to see how they construe the world around them  Have a holistic view rather, we understand the bigger picture. Emphasis on construal, the way people interpret the social situation, has its roots in Gestalt psychology  Not all about pluses and minuses  Gestalt Psych ( Holistic View) th  Early 20 century  Not thinking about individual instances whether I was rewarded or punished.  Stressing the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people’s minds (gestalt or “whole) rather than objective, physical attributes of the object  Kurt Lewin founded upon this idea Ex: The mind is actively involved in interpreting perceptual input rather than passively recording it  Priming. Talking about old people, see old lady. Talk about young women, see the young woman first Definition of Construal – The way a person perceives, comprehends, and interprets a social situation Definition of Fundamental Attribution error: The tendency to explain our own and other people’s behavior entirely in terms of personality traits  Underestimating the power of social influence  When we underestimate the power of social influence, we gain a feeling of false security  Increases personal vulnerability to possibly destructive social influence  Lulls us into lowering our guard By failing to fully appreciate the power of the situation, we tend to:  Oversimplify complex situations & Decreases our understanding of the true causes  Ex: Banging upstairs, we assume guy is a jerk meanwhile someone could be fixing the floor Aspects of the social situation that may seem minor, can have powerful effects  Can overwhelm personality differences  **Situational forces trumps personality forces** Where Contruals Come From: Basic Human Motives  Contruals shaped by two basic human motives:  1) The need to be accurate, want to understand people, situation, and ourselves. Will seek out info to be accurate  2) Natural drive to feel good about ourselves. Want to be liked, respected, like ourselves. Deals with self- esteem.  Motives may tug in opposite directions.  Ex. Get first grade back on exam and get a D. You could try to understand as accurate as possible ( not read, study enough, take good notes) (Means its my fault) OR  You could say its not your fault, the teacher is stupid and makes too hard questions, test was crap. Feels good about yourself but you neglect the truth  Most people have a strong need to maintain reasonably high self-esteem  People will often distort the world in order to feel good about themselves  As the distant between memories gets greater and greater, you may distort things ( Forget about all the bad memories from high school) and highlight and remember the good stuff  Not being accurate but feel better about myself for doing it DEFINITION OF SELF-ESTEEM: People’s evaluations of their own self-worth; the extent to which they view themselves as good, competent, and decent Justifying Past Behavior:  – Acknowledging major deficiencies in ourselves is very difficult, even when the cost is seeing the world inaccurately  –Normal people can put a slightly different spin on existing facts, one that puts us in the best possible light  – Justifying what you did  Ex: Get into bad fight with friend, and the next day you think about it & you feel bad. Maybe it was your fault, you did it. Would hurt your self-esteem, so protect it, you put a spin on the story. Suffering and Self-Justification  The more unpleasant the procedures to get into a group, the better people like the group.  Humans beings are motivated to maintain a positive picture of themselves, in part by justifying their past behavior  Under certain conditions, this leads them to do things that at first glance might seem surprising or paradoxical  The harder the hazing, the more connected and liked your going to like the group  Voluntarily undergoing a painful or embarrassing event (hazing)  May result in justifying the behavior by inflating the rewards associated with the event  (“My fraternity is the greatest thing ever!”) The Social Cognition Approach: The Need to be Accurate  Social cognition approach: Takes into account how people think about the world  We try to gain accurate understandings s we can make effective judgments and decisions  But we typically act on the basis of incompletely and inaccurately interpreted information  How people think about themselves and the social world; how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgments and decisions. Expectations about social world:  Our expectations can even change the nature of the social world  Self-fulfilling prophecy  Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968) found that a teacher who expects certain students to do well may cause those students to do better  How does such a self-fulfilling prophecy come about?  Teachers expecting specific students to perform better will often pay more attention to them, listen to them with more respect, call on them more often, etc.  This, in turn, helps these students feel: Happier, more respected, more motivated, and smarter. Additional Motives:  Biological drives ( hunger & sex, internally driven)  Desire for rewards ( Self esteem or social cognition approach)  Need for control ( Like to think we are in charge of our destiny, when control gets taken away, people become uncomfortable. People rebel.  How we construe social influence is more important than actual social influence  Self-Esteem Maintenance: The desire to feel good about ourselves  Social Cognition Approach: Need to be accurate What makes social psych unique?  Focus on how individuals are influenced by their CONSTRUAL of social situations  Construals are determines by basic motives  Ex: Self-Esteem maintenance and social cognition


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