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Social Psych Week 1 Notes

by: Annah Shrader

Social Psych Week 1 Notes PSY 3310

Annah Shrader
GPA 3.705
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About this Document

These notes cover the main points in the textbook and review what we covered in class 8/27/16.
Social Psychology
David Frank Ross (P)
Class Notes




Popular in Social Psychology

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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Annah Shrader on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 3310 at University of Tennessee - Chattanooga taught by David Frank Ross (P) in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 228 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Tennessee - Chattanooga.


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Date Created: 08/26/16
Social Psychology Notes Week one Key Points from Chapter 1 Text Book **This chapter covered a broad timeline of contributions made to the field of Social Psychology, how it came to be, and what it has become, most of which will be covered in detail in later chapters. What is Social Psychology?  Social Psychology: focuses on an individual's interaction with a particular situation, rather than on an entire group's interaction. Focus is on how individuals are in isolation, and how they behave when others are inserted. o Social Perception: this is when people judge others or situations and form impressions based off of observation. Example: someone might worry more about having a safe flight than a safe car ride. o Social Influence: this is when an individual's thoughts or actions are altered due to other human beings. Example: Buying Chaco’s because everyone seems to have them. o Social Interaction: the relationship between two or more people. Example: Racism and prejudice.  Social psychology intersects with many other divisions of psychology like cognitive psych and personality psych. It is said to lie as an intermediate between the extremes of Psychology and Sociology viewed as a continuum.  Social Psychology is not an isolated subject. Rather, it is integrated with fields like economics, business, neuroscience etc. Anything humans are involved in together makes social psychology relevant.  Jane Elliot's racial demonstration: a third grade teacher in 1968 taught her students what it felt like to be discriminated against by separating them into eye-color groups. Blue eyes were superior than brown eyes one day, and the opposite the next day. All students were white and accepted their social role as either inferior or superior quite enthusiastically due to their environment. Social Psychology Beginnings  Social facilitation and social loafing: The first published study in social psychology was conducted by Norman Triplett in 1898 trying to discover the overall performance in humans performing alone verses humans performing with others watching. He discovered a concept called social facilitation which means that individual humans perform better in front of other humans. This is contrasted with Ringlemann's social loafing (slacker), which is when efforts of an individual are reduced when working with a group towards one goal. Both of these terms are general and are never true 100% of the time.  The first two social psychology textbooks were introduced in 1908. Textbooks have evolved since, producing more examples of experimental research studies to support information.  Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI): organization formed in 1936 who address social and economic issues in the nation. It publishes research through the Journal of Social Issues and informs public policy.  The professional studies of human interaction did not arise until the early 20th century with roots in western culture. Today, most social psychologists are American. Hitler’s Influence  Social Psychology evolved dramatically after WWII. Many psychologists moved away from Europe during War time, like Kurt Lewin (father of modern social Psychology), and contributed to the States research on government systems and persuasion. During this time research on social influence and conformity was blooming especially in light of an entire country being persuaded to obey Hitler and massacre other humans: o Muzafer Sherif found that humans change their statements or beliefs to mimic that of the general society they are involved in. o Solomon Asch found that people will agree to an obviously wrong answer if the majority answers incorrectly. He used confederates, people that know about the research and are acting a part, to deliberately answer wrong on questions, and then observe how many participants would follow along. Ex: People will purchase items that are popular but unnecessary, or conform to business policy without actually agreeing with it. The main idea is that people want to fit in. o Stanley Milgram found that people will forsake their value system in light of obeying an authority figure. His experiment involved electric shocks administered by volunteers that were perceived as painful for the participant. Perspectives of Social Psychology o Sociocultural Perspective: Relationship between social behavior and culture. Ex: Why do some people celebrate death, while others mourn? o Evolutionary Perspective: Focuses on the biological characteristics that help species survive, heredity, and answering questions that expand across many generations. Ex: Why do humans get jealous?  Natural Selection: Adaptations that occur over time to help a species survive o Social Cognitive Perspective: Focuses on thought processes affecting behavior. Ex. A person sleeps more than 8 hours a night because they believe it is healthy. o Social Learning Perspective: Learning by way of reinforcement, punishment, and observation. People act certain ways because they have learned how to. Social Psychology is not just Common Sense  Social Psychology relies on objective evidence and the scientific method just like any other science. Common sense is subjective and typically biased by our personal values and experiences. Common sense is not to be relied upon in social psychology to explain the human behavior. o Hindsight Bias: You find out an answer or fact, and claim to have known it all along after learning the correct answer. o False Consensus Effect: An assumption that everyone has the same opinion as me. o Confirmation Bias: Ignoring information that goes against one’s belief, but being attentive to information that confirms one’s predisposed belief. Random Terms to know Cognitive Dissonance: our attitudes often times do not agree with our behaviors. Basic Research in social psych: fundamental behavior and cognitive processes. Applied research in social psych: the ideas of social psych being applied to other fields. Action Learning: This term is coined by Kurt Lewin. It literally means to take action. It is a way to solve real social problems by going out and doing something about it, instead of just simply researching the problem and writing about it in a textbook. “Practice what you preach.” Highlights from lecture one  Fundamental Attribution Error: When we observe negative behavior from a person, we assume the person has a negative personality, without considering if that person had a bad day or what their environment is like. Yet, when we have bad days, we blame the situation and not ourselves as a person.  Stanley Milgram’s Obedience experiment: Volunteers were willing to severely hurt other people just because an authority figure told them to do it. This case arose from WWII conformity research.  Group Think: It is easier to convince self when an entire group believes it. Terrible decisions can be made in a group due to lack of accountability.  Bystander Apathy: Humans think that someone else will take care of a situation and push off responsibility, especially in public. Videos covered: Can be found on Blackboard under the Videos tab.  Father Accused of Killing Drunk Driver who Ran Down his Kids  Teen Avoids Jail with “Affluenza” defense  Mike Brown Shooting, Ferguson Missouri!  Make American White Again (Not viewed but brought up in class)  UTC Flash Rave with Pepper Spray  The Bystander Effect Kitty Genovese  Challenger Explosion (Not viewed but brought up in class)  Tulane Medical Student shot while trying to stop attack on woman


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