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Chapter 12 notes

by: Kirsten Swikert

Chapter 12 notes Psychology 100

Kirsten Swikert
GPA 3.2

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class notes over ch12
Intro to Psychology
Mark Graves
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kirsten Swikert on Saturday April 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psychology 100 at Western Kentucky University taught by Mark Graves in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychlogy at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 04/23/16
Social Psychology • The branch of psychology concerned with the ways in which we are influenced by others in our social environment and how we influence others • We divide our study of social psychology into three major areas: o Perceiving others (social perception) o Relating to others in positive and negative ways o Behavior in groups Perceiving Others • Forming impressions of others o Social psychology: the branch of psychology concerned with the ways in which we are influenced by others in our social environment and how we influence others o Impression formation: the process by which we develop an opinion or impression of others o Personal disclosure § Self disclosure: how much is too much? § Cultural differences § Social media impact on impression formation • Stereotypes o Social schema: a mental image or representation that we used to understand our social environment o Not always harmful or negative o May be an “automatic” process in some cases o Can damage relationships and lead to inappropriate decision-making about people o Self-fulfilling prophecies: an expectation that helps bring about the outcome that is expected • Attributions: an assumption about the causes of behavior or events o Dispositional causes: causes relating to the internal characteristics or traits of individuals o Situational causes: causes relating to external or environmental events o Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to attribute behavior to internal causes without regard to situational influences o The actor-observer effect: the tendency to attribute the causes of one’s own behavior to situational factors while attributing the causes of other people’s behavior to internal factors or dispositions o The self-serving bias: comes into play in accounting for the tendency of people to take credit for their successes but explain away their failures • Components of attitudes o Cognitions, emotions, and behaviors o Attitudes: positive or negative evaluations of persons, objects, or social issues § Attitudes can come from a variety of sources, including influential figures in our lives, personal experiences, and media § Strangely, attitudes are not always good predictors of behaviors • Cognitive Dissonance: holds that people are motivated to reconcile discrepancies between their behavior and their cognitions • The art of changing people’s mind’s o Persuasion: our active attempts to change another person’s attitude (or opinion or position) o Elaboration likelihood model: attitude change occurs through either a central processing route or a peripheral processing route § Central processing route: individual is highly involved and looks at content § Peripheral processing route: individual is less involved and looks at other factors such as attractiveness Relating to Others • Social psychologists study the ways in which people relate to each other. There are positive ways of relating, such as attraction and helping, and negative ways of relating, such as prejudice, discrimination, and aggression • Key factors in attraction o Attraction: feelings of liking for others; having positive thoughts about them; act towards them in positive ways o Similarity: we value others with similar attitudes and characteristics o Physical attractiveness: major determinant of initial attraction § What is beautiful is a good stereotype § Common view of what is beautiful § Matching hypothesis: the belief that people tend to pair off with others who are similar to themselves in physical attractiveness and other characteristics o Proximity: nearness § Increases the chances of interacting with others and getting to know them better o Reciprocity: the principle that people tend to like others who like them back • Prejudice: an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members o Components: cognitive, emotions, and behavior o Discrimination: unfair biased treatment of people based on their membership in a particular group or category o Racism: a negative bias held toward members of a specific racial group o Contact hypothesis: belief that increasing intergroup contact helps reduce prejudice and intergroup tension o How prejudices develop § In group: the group that one associates and identifies with § Out group: a group one does not identify with Group Influences on Individual Behavior • Personal identity: involves our sense of ourselves as unique individuals • Social identity: involves our sense of ourselves as members of particular groups • Conformity: the tendency to adjust one’s behavior to actual or perceived social pressures o Asch’s experiment with line lengths • Obedience: compliance with commands or orders issued by others, usually people in a position of authority o Milgram’s experiment with shocks • Performing in front of others o Social loafing: the tendency to expend less effort when working as a member of a group than when working alone o Social facilitation: the tendency to work better or harder in the presence of others than when alone • Biases in group decision making o Group think: the tendency of members of a decision-making group to be more focused on reaching a consensus than on critically examining the issues at hand § More likely when members strongly attach to a group, there is a presence of an external threat, or a presence of a strong minded leader • Doing what others want you to do o Compliance: the process of acceding to the requests or demands of others § Need for consistency, social validation, reciprocity, and perceptions of authority are important determinants of compliance § Low-ball technique: a compliance technique based on obtaining a person’s initial agreement to purchase an item at a lower price before revealing hidden costs that raise the ultimate price § Bait and switch technique: a compliance technique based on baiting a person by making them an unrealistically attractive offer and then replacing it with a less attractive offer § Foot in the door technique: a compliance technique based on securing compliance with a smaller request as a prelude to making a larger request § Door in the face technique: a compliance technique in which refusal of a large unreasonable request is followed by a smaller, more reasonable request


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