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Week/ Chapter 1 Social Psychology

by: Tamika White

Week/ Chapter 1 Social Psychology PSY 2401

Marketplace > Temple University > Psychlogy > PSY 2401 > Week Chapter 1 Social Psychology
Tamika White
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This is week/chapter 1 notes of social psychology. My notes are everything covered in the lectures. Test material will be only from material covered in class.The definitions are highlighted in ye...
Foundations of Social Psychology
Dr.Melinda J. B. Mattingly
Class Notes
social psychology




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tamika White on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 2401 at Temple University taught by Dr.Melinda J. B. Mattingly in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see Foundations of Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Temple University.


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Date Created: 01/24/16
Chapter/Week 1: What is Social Psychology? INTRODUCTION Social Psychology- is the scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in a social context  It’s scientific because the scientific method is applied  What makes social psychology unique is it’s emphasis on the social nature of individuals  Even implied or imagined presence of others can have important effect on individuals. (It can be in a real social setting or an imagined one) For example: if people imagine receiving positive or negative reactions from other people their self-esteem can be affected significantly  We are affected by people so much because a fundamental part of being human is to be social Humans have a need to FEEL GOOD about their selves + Have a need to be ACCURATE - These different motivations influence how we process information - On one hand we want to be accurate in our judgment about ourselves and others, but on the other hand we don’t want to be accurate if it’s something bad Why is social psychology important?   Study social issues, why they happen, try to change the negatives  Know how to reduce prejudices and discrimination  Know how to make your romantic and friendship relationships better  -Improving your social relations (The arrow on each highlighted word refers to the definition of the word in the corresponding row) Social Psychology vs. Personality Psychology Differences Personality psychology -> Seeks to understand stable differences Example: Extroverts, Introverts between individuals Social Psychology: Seeks to understand how social factors affects The power of a social situation can override most individuals regardless of their different your personality personalities Related: Social psychologist study how receiving negative feedback (social factor) is especially likely to trigger aggressiveness in particular types of children (a personality factor) Social Psychology vs. Cognitive Psychology Differences Cognitive Psychologists -> Study mental processes such as thinking, Example: investigation of thoughts and how learning, remembering and reasoning we solve problems Social Psychology: Are interested in how people learn, Example: applied cognitive psych to social remember and reason with respect to social context information and how these processes are relevant to social information Related: The last few decades there’s been an explosion of interest in the intersection of cognitive and social psychology, for the study of social cognition Social Psychology vs. Sociology Differences Sociology-> Typically classifies people in terms of their Example: might track the racial attitudes of nationality, race and socioeconomic class and the middle class in the US other group factors Social Psychology: Focus on the psychology of the individual, Example: might examine some of the specific even when they study groups of people they factors that make individuals more or less usually emphasize behavior of the individual likely to behave in a racist way toward in the group context members of some group. Related: They both look at issues such as: violence, prejudice, cultural differences, and marriage. Many share the same training and publish in the same journals History of Social Psychology: 1880s-1920s The birth of psychology  The title “founder of social psychology” has many candidates, but Flyod Allport author of one of the first 3 textbooks in social psych was particularly important because of it’s focus on the interaction of individuals and their social context and it’s emphasis on the use of experimentation and the scientific method, helped establish social psych as the discipline it is today 1930s-1970s  Adolf Hitler caused a surge in social research, his rise in power brought about desperate answers of social psychological questions such as: violence, prejudice, conformity, obedience, etc.  Brought many Europeans over to America to study Social psychology  Milgram’s research of destructive obedience became the most famous research in the history of social psychology (Critical number to conform: 3 people) 1970-1990s/2000s  There were many disagreements of the dominant research method, laboratory experiments because of: ethical reasons, cultural limitations, and experimenter expectations  Having more precise methods of experiments relieved the issue.  Social cognition emerged as a pluralism approach was adapted. Social cognition - the study of how people perceive, remember and interpret information about themselves and others  Social cognition now examines issues in virtually every major area in social psych. Today’s Interests:  Automatic vs. controlled processes “How much control over our thoughts and actions and how vulnerable are we to influences beyond our awareness or control?” Unconscious vs. conscious process Mind vs. body influence: “Brains and bodies influence, and are influenced by our social experiences” Example: Stress, Physical state influences mental state Neural vs. Social –  With access to brain imaging equipment social psych can expand Example: Social neuroscience has shown us if you don’t conform your brain interacts in certain ways Culture  With technology it’s fast, and easy to interact with people from vastly different cultures  Culture – May be considered to be a system of enduring meanings, beliefs, values, assumptions, institutions, and practices shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next (Important to note that even within a particular society people are often treat differently as a function of social categories such as class, gender, race, physical appearance and economic class.) Interdisciplinary  Blending in terms of people’s expertise with fields such as economics, environmental science, political science and etc.  There’s rapidly growing social psych that are crossing academic fields and creating new areas of study. Ex: Behavioral economics, embodied cognition, etc.


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