PSYC 2010- Chapter 12 Notes
PSYC 2010- Chapter 12 Notes Psyc 2010-003
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Dimery on Monday April 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 2010-003 at Clemson University taught by Edwin G. Brainerd in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 04/25/16
Chapter 12 Social Behavior Personal perception is the process of forming impressions of others. Physical attractiveness plays a huge role in the impressions people make on others. Attractive people tend to be associated with more positive characteristics rather than people who are less attractive. Stereotypes can also affect the way a person is viewed. These are the beliefs that a person has a set of characteristics just because they are apart of a particular group. There are gender, ethnic, and occupational stereotypes. Stereotypes cause people to have certain expectations of others. People tend to see what they expect to see, and also overestimate how often they see certain things. This is called illusory correlation. Evolutionary theorists say that humans automatically categorize certain people into groups because things that our distant ancestors did. They classified people as being in the ingroup, a group that one belongs to and identifies with, or in the outgroup, a group that one does not belong to or identify with. Ingroup members tend to be viewed with positive characteristics, and outgroup members tend to be viewed with negative characteristics. Humans make attributions to explain certain behaviors. These are inferences that people draw about the causes of events, others’ behavior, and their own behavior. Attributions are necessary to have an understanding of experiences. Fritz Heider was the first person to describe how people make attributions. He said that there are both internal and external attributions. Internal attributions ascribe the cause of behavior to personal dispositions, traits, abilities, and feelings. External attributions ascribe the causes of behavior to situational demands and environmental conditions. Bernard Weiner included stability with attribution. He said that you could have both unstable and stable internal and external attributions. Stable things are things that are permanent and unstable things are temporary. Sometimes attributions are not the correct explanations for events. Actor-‐observer bias is about how a person might view himself or herself differently then someone who is observing them. The fundamental attribution error refers to observers’ bias in favor of internal attributions in explaining others’ behavior. In general, actors favor external attributions for their behavior, while observers are more likely to explain the same behavior with internal attributions. Self-‐serving bias comes into play when people try to explain their successes and failures. This is the tendency to attribute one’s successes to personal factors and one’s failures to situational factors. Attribute tendencies are also influenced by individualism and collectivism. Individualism involves putting personal goals ahead of group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group memberships. Collectivism involves putting group goals ahead of personal goals and defining one’s identity in terms of the groups one belongs to. Collectivistic cultures seem to experience the fundamental attribution error less often than individualistic cultures. Self-‐serving bias seems to be prevalent in individualistic cultures. Western society tends to be more individualistic. Interpersonal attraction refers to positive feelings toward another person. Research has shown that the key determinant for physical attraction is physical appearance. The matching hypothesis states that males and females of about equal physical attractiveness are likely to select each other as partners. Even though many times people say, “opposites attract,” research has shown that actually people who are more similar to each other tend to attract to each other more. Research has also shown that people tend to gradually modify their attitudes in ways that make them more like the other person. This is known as attitude alignment. Psychologists say that there are many different types of love. One of them is passionate and another is companionate love. These are the types that romantic relationships have. Passionate love is a complete absorption in another that includes tender sexual feelings and the agony and ecstasy of intense emotion. Companionate love is warm, trusting, tolerant feelings for another whose life is intertwined with one’s own. These types of love can coexist, but they do not have to go hand in hand. Love is brought about by major dopamine release that activates pleasure centers all over the brain. Another type of love is love as attachment. This is similar to the infant-‐caregiver attachment discussed in the previous chapter. Hazan and Shaver said that romantic love is an attachment process. They said that it resembles the same attachment formed in infancy. If there was a secure attachment with their mother, then the adult will most likely find it pretty easy to get close to others and have feelings of love and trust. If the child was anxious-‐ambivalent, then as an adult they will most likely have a lot of feelings of rejection and jealousy. If the child was avoidant, then as an adult they will find it hard to get close to other people. People from different cultures tend to still look for the same types of things in their partner. The basis for love tends to differ in some cultures, though. In Western society, passionate love seems to be the basis, but in collectivistic societies marriages tend to be arranged. There are a few key things that researchers feel play apart in making someone attractive. Facial symmetry is a key element in someone being attractive because abnormalities tend to imply poor genes or health. Men also seem to look at a women’s waist to hip ratio. Most of the time men prefer women to have an hourglass figure. Men seem to place more emphasis on the youthfulness and physical attractiveness in their mates, and women seem to place more emphasis on social status, ambition, and financial potential in their mates. Attitudes are positive or negative evaluations of objects of thought. These can include social issues, groups, institutions, or people. Attitudes are made up into three components: • Cognitive component-‐ made up of the beliefs people hold about the object of an attitude • Affective component-‐ emotional feelings stimulated by an object of thought • Behavioral component-‐ predispositions to act in certain ways toward an attitude object The two main types of attitudes are explicit attitudes and implicit attitudes. Explicit attitudes are attitudes that one holds consciously and can readily describe. Implicit attitudes are covert attitudes that are expressed in subtle automatic responses over which one has little conscious control. The correlation between a person’s attitude and a person’s behavior is weak at best. Certain circumstances can influence one’s attitude and cause them to behave differently than they normally would. There are many things going on day-‐to-‐day that are trying to change your attitude. The source is the person who sends a communication. The receiver is the person to whom the message is sent, and whose attitude is trying to be changed. The message is the information transmitted by the source, and the channel is the medium through which the message is sent. A source that has high credibility, trustworthiness, and likability is more likely to influence someone’s attitude to change. The way that a message is presented also influences how well it will make someone change their attitude. The mere exposure effect is the finding that repeated exposures to a stimulus promote a greater likely of the stimulus. The type of attitude of the receiver also has an influence. Stronger attitudes are more resistant to change than weaker attitudes. Leon Festinger has the dissonance theory. This assumes that inconsistency among attitudes propels people in the direction of attitude change. His experiment showed that it was possible to influence someone to do something that they feel negatively about by telling him or her positive things about it. He said that cognitive dissonance exists when related attitudes or beliefs are inconsistent-‐ when they contradict each other. This can explain why some people come to believe their own lies. Solomon Asch did a study of conformity. Conformity occurs when people yield to real or imagined social pressure. He did this by showing a line on a piece of paper, and then showing three other lines and asking which of these lines were the same as the first line. Six of the people were working with him, and one person was not. All of the six people working with him were told to answer incorrectly. It was found that 37% of the time the seventh person would conform and answer incorrectly even if they knew that was the wrong answer. Stanley Milgram did a study of obedience by using a fake electrocution. Milgram was the experimenter, and he assigned a teacher and a learner. The learned had to answer an analogy question correctly, or they would be electrocuted. Each time a question was answered incorrectly the shock would be worse and worse. The learner was told by the experimenter to answer the first one correctly, and then get the rest of the questions wrong on purpose. There was not actually an electrocution. There was a recording that was played each time the learner was “electrocuted.” The teacher would begin to get worried as the screams because worse and worse. The experimenter would assure them that there was a shock, but that the learner was not actually experiencing any pain. 65% of the teachers in this experiment listened to the experimenter and did all of the electrocutions. This shows that we are more obedient than we would like to admit. There were many ethical concerns associated with this experiment. Phillip Zimbardo did an experiment on the power of situation. 24 college students were selected to take part in a life in prison study. Some were assigned as guards, and others as prisoners. The prisoners were arrested at their homes and then taken to the jail and treated just like an actual prisoner would be. The guards were told to treat the prisoners like actual prisoners would be treated, except not to inflict harm on them. It turned out that the roles were played just like they would actually be in real life. He attributed the roles to the enormous influence that social roles have on behavior. Social roles are widely shared expectations about how people in certain positions are supposed to behave. Behavior of individuals can also be different when they are in groups. There seems to be low productivity when working in groups. The bystander effect is that people are less likely to provide needed help when they are in groups than when they are alone. Social loafing is a reduction in effort by individuals when they work in groups as compared with when they work by themselves. There are also some things that explain decision-‐making in groups. Group polarization occurs when group discussion strengthens a group’s dominant point of view and produces a shift toward more extreme decision in that direction. Groupthink occurs when members of a cohesive group emphasize concurrence at the expense of critical thinking in arriving at a decision. Group cohesiveness refers to the strength of the liking relationships linking group members to each other and to the group itself. Personal Application-‐ Understanding Prejudice • Prejudice is a negative attitude held toward members of a group • Discrimination involves behaving differently, usually unfairly, towards the members of a group
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