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Chapter 2: Fundamentals of Social Behavior

by: Katherine Szpuk

Chapter 2: Fundamentals of Social Behavior PSY 309

Marketplace > Eastern Michigan University > Psychlogy > PSY 309 > Chapter 2 Fundamentals of Social Behavior
Katherine Szpuk
GPA 3.0

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About this Document

These notes cover chapter 2. It is very lengthy. Originally posted under my crime and justice class, so I apologize!
Social Psychology
Stephen Jefferson
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katherine Szpuk on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 309 at Eastern Michigan University taught by Stephen Jefferson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Eastern Michigan University.

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Date Created: 01/28/16
Chapter 2: Fundamentals of Social Behavior  Evolution: Concept that different species are descended from common ancestors but have evolved.  Natural Selection: Process by which certain attributes are more successful in particular environment and therefore become more represented in future generations.  Chameleon affects: Not limited to casual, non-verbal behavior. -People shift attributes toward what they think other people’s might be, especially when individual is motivated to get along with the other person; Conformity.  Naturalistic Fallacy: Involves a bias toward believing biological adaptions are inherently good or desirable.  Domain-Specific Adaptions: Evolved to meet particular challenge- not useful with other challenges.  Domain-General: Attributes useful for dealing with various challenges across different areas of life. 4 Domain- General Adaptions that Shape Human Behavior  Humans are very intelligent beings.  Human survival is dependent on social relationships.  Human brain has evolved several tools to facilitate appropriate social sensitivity: - Recognition of human faces (fusiform face area) - Social exclusion sensitivity- Extremely PAINFUL - Inborn readiness to categorize people (closeness or solidarity; status or hierarchy).  Humans very intelligent Ability to imagine future supports uniquely human form of control over world. -Symbolic thought and language enables humans to consider multiple conceptualizations and communicate these to others. - Difference between humans and animal’s language is human language can be modified and imagined; Elaborate. -Ability to think about self symbolically enables people to think about meaning of experiences. -Some animals are self-aware: Elephants, dolphins, magpies, etc. Humans and Imagination  Humans able to develop theories about nature of reality, even if these theories are things we don’t actually have the ability to fully test empirically. Ex: Space time continuum, dark matter, time dilation effect (the faster you go, the slower time is for people). Conscious and Nonconscious Aspects of Thinking  Epstein: 2 mental, simultaneous operating systems.  Experiential: Thought and decision making. Rational: Logical, analytic and primarily linguistic processes. -Experiential and rational take place in different regions of the brain that support different types of thought processes. Ex: Amygdala, Hippocampus, Hypothalamus, Thalamus, etc. -The systems are neutrally connected and work together in producing thought and behavior- emotions play a role. 4 Domain-General Adaptions that Shape Human Behavior  Humans are motivated, goal striving beings.  Motivation: Process of generating and expending energy toward achieving or avoiding some outcome. -Humans direct behavior toward the satisfaction of needs and goals.  Needs: Internal states that drive action that is necessary to survive or thrive. -Humans strive towards goals to meet their needs.  Goals: Cognitions that represent outcomes for which we strive in order to meet our needs and desires. -Hedonism is one of the most basic aspects of human motivation.  Hedomism: Human preference for pleasure over pain. -Do things for outcome, not just pleasure. 2 Fundamental Psychological Motives 2 basic motivational orientations guide human behavior:  Security involves avoiding the bad- more right hemisphere activity in the brain.  Growth involves approaching the good- primarily left hemisphere activity in the brain. Ex: Carrot and Stick: If a horse does a task, they get the carrot. If they do not, they are beaten with the stick. Fundamental Psychological Motives Rank:  People are inclined toward social compliance to sustain security-providing feelings of acceptance and self-worth.  People exhibit a variety of behaviors when threatened. -Reject those who do not comply with social roles. Culture: The Uniquely Human Adaption  Culture: Set of beliefs, attitudes, values, norms, morals, customs, roles, status, symbols and rituals shared by self-identified group; Group where members think of themselves as a group. Common, Distinctive Elements of Culture  Beliefs: Accepted ideas about some aspect of reality; cultural truisms. Ex: Abortion  Attitudes: Preferences that refer specifically to how things are evaluated as good or bad. Ex: Movie critics decide if a movie is good or bad.  Values: Guiding principles and shared goals of members in wide range of situations.  Norms: Shared beliefs about appropriate or expected behavior in particular situations. Ex: How one would act at a funeral.  Morals: Beliefs about the nature of good and bad behavior; community morals, autonomy morals, divinity morals (CAD); Moral Foundation Theory.  Customs: Specific patterns or styles of dress, speech and behavior deemed appropriate in a particular context within a given culture. Ex: Different cultural accents.  Social Roles: Positions within a group that entail specific ways of acting, divide labor, responsibility and resources. Ex: Government  Cultural Symbols: Represent culture as a whole, beliefs or values prevalent in a culture. Ex: Bindis in the Indian culture.  Rituals: Patterns of actions performed in particular, reinforcing contexts that often signal change associated with beginning or end of something biological, historical, or cultural significathe. Ex: The 4 of July. Food for Body, Mind and Soul  Specific foods, food preparations, and ritualistic ways in which meals are consumed define a culture. Ex: Holiday dinners  Physical necessity of eating and food itself has social and spiritual significance.  Desire to adapt to or affiliate without culture often includes embracing food customs associated with that culture. Cultural Cultural Diffusion Cultural Evolution Transmission Process whereby Transfer of inventions, Process where by cultures develop knowledge and ideas from one members of a culture and propagate culture to another. learn explicitly or according to inexplicitly to imitate systems of belief beliefs and behaviors of or behavior that others in that culture. contribute to success of a society. Cross Cultural Conceptions of the Self  Fundamental Attribution Error -Common in individualistic cultures -Less common in interdependent cultures -Individuals from interdependent cultures may have greater tendency to acknowledge role of situation in influencing how people behave when compared to individuals from individualistic cultures. Achievement Motivation Varieties:  Independent Cultures -Defined by working to get ahead of others. -Person wishes to succeed to increase individual prestige.  Interdependent Cultures -Individual strives to achieve for sake of others -Person may strive to succeed to increase family prestige rather than individual prestige.  Filial Piety: -Value promulgated in Confucian and Buddhist cultures. -Achievement motivating strongly tied to a desire to fulfill family obligations. Self- Enhancement Bias  Self-serving bias -In the U.S., we tend to attribute successes to internal factors and failures to external factors.  False Uniqueness Effect -In the U.S. we tend to believe we are personally smarter, more attractive, more interesting, etc. than other people in general. Culture and Emotions Common Features Across Cultures  All cultures have categories of good and bad emotions  Vocal expression of emotions has been shown to be smaller across cultures  Facial expressions of various emotions can be accurately read by members of other cultures. How Does Culture Help Us Adapt?  Culture helps people adopt to 3 aspects of environment: -Physical environment -Social environment -Metaphysical environment  Adapting to physical environment -Group living in specific areas shapes development of technology differently. -Adaption to physical surroundings influences people’s basic perceptions and thought processes. -Culture affects susceptibility to tricks or visual perceptions.  Culture and social environment -All groups of people must get along with one another, cooperate to achieve mutual goals and minimize disruptive conflicts within the group. -In all cultures, people must determine how to orient themselves toward relationships -Community sharing -Authority ranking -Equality matching -Market pricing Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultures  Nature of the self: -Collectivist: Interdependent self-construal. -Individualistic: Independent self-construal.  Fitting in and sticking out -Collectivist: Social harmony and meeting cultural expectations. -Individualistic: Personal freedom; freedom of speech.  Individualistic and Collectivistic differences in emotion: -Ways emotions expressed and displayed. -Desirability of display of various emotions. -Difference in how distinctions between in group and out group members are viewed. Modernization and Cultural Views  Changes: - Increase in socioeconomic development - Industrial, technological and economic advantages. - Democratization.  Culture and Metaphysical Environment -Ability to think symbolically about time and space allows humans to imagine possibilities and communicate with one another in complex ways. -Humans use the same capabilities to manage fear of death (Terror Management Theory, or TMT). -Each culture creates unique cultural worldviews.  Creation Stories: -All cultures have stories about creation of the world and the people in it. Ex: Christianity Bases of Self-Worth: Standards, Values, Social Roles and Self Esteem  Self-esteem: Person’s evaluation of his or her value or self- worth.  Just World Beliefs: Ideas that good things will happen to the worthy and bad things to the unworthy. Striving for Immortality  Various forms of immortality found in all cultures and suggest human desire to minimize terror of death.  Literal Immortality: Some form of life after death for worthy people.  Symbolic: By being a part of something greater than the individual selves, some part of us will live on.  Biosocial: Obtained by having kids and identifying with larger collectives such as nations.  Creative: Contributions to one’s culture.  Natural: Strongly identifying with nature and coincident recognition that eternal part of one’s self will persist over time.  Experiential: Result from “peak” experiences.


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