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Psyc 221 Week 3 Notes

by: Kajal Kaushal

Psyc 221 Week 3 Notes Psyc221

Kajal Kaushal


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About this Document

Week 3 notes
Social Psychology
Dylan Selterman
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Social Psychology

Popular in Psychology (PSYC)

This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kajal Kaushal on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc221 at University of Maryland - College Park taught by Dylan Selterman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Maryland - College Park.


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Date Created: 09/01/16
Religion & Morality Big Questions Existential questions… and answers Human conscientiousness Terror Management Theory (TMT) Mortality salience ­> Anxiety/ distress Increases belief in supernatural agents, afterlife, mind­body distinctions Thoughts of death make people more spiritual, helps them cope with grief  and anxiety Foxhole Athesism Mortality salience ­> Worldview defense Religious & secular people? Explicit (survey) vs. implicit (IAT) scores Explicit shows expected patterns, polarized Implicit show that both become more religious Supernatural act = Real >> Supernatural = Imaginary Religion & Coping Universality of suffering & harm Even to innocent people Found in Christianity & Buddhism Divine purpose is orderly = Belief in a just world  When things go wrong… In­group social support God as a parental figure “personal relationship” with God Proximity – seeking under stress/threat Compensatory control; SDT (self­determination theory) External attributions, i.e. god Meaning­making from trauma Increases happiness & well­being, longevity April 4, 2016 Religion as Social Identity 70% of Americans say religious identity >> other social identity (ethnic, geographic) Identity ­> continuity, certainty Advertise self to others Share beliefs & connect Judgements/decisions (WWJD) Mind perception & assessment Fast judgements of others; halo effect Thought/attitudes ­> behavior E.G., lust (fantasy) & adultery (action) When people were told that the shocks they received were unintentional, they  reported it as less painful. When it was intentional, they reported as more painful. Religion & Social Issues Moralizing normative behavior E.g., sex, eating, work Religious people less likely to commit adultery Self­control/ willpower Experimental religious primes Tighter societies (increases socail norms), behaviors ­> meaningfulness, decreases suicide rate Peoples everyday normative actions have more meaningfulness, more to  live for.  God as the Enforcer God ­> Post­Modern Justice Social loyalty & good behavior Experimental evidence ­> less cheating in lab tasks Even in non­social settings (e.g. math tests) Primed with god as a punisher ­> less likely to cheat Primed with a nice God ­> no effect “Mean Gods make good people” 10 commandments & honor pledges Less likely to break a rule, if you are likely to be punished Religion Binds People Autonomy vs. Community Morals Homo Duplex – “Two level Man” Trust facilitates cooperation in large groups Cultural evolution Strong moral norms ­> competitive advantage Religion Binds Communities  Religion & Morality: Increases in­group cooperation & altruism Decreases free­rider problems Keep authority/structure in tact Mobilize around common causes Religious Groups Conflict & Competition Resources, territory, ideas Group deservingness and vicitmization Moral strivings & viciousness (“holy war”) Mortality salience ­> Radicalization Religious prejudice >> Racial prejudice Caveat: historical artifact Mortality “Blinds” Religiosity ­> Lower IQ Science denial Beliefs >> Behavior Why? Closed­mindedness Analytical thinking, questioning Conformity Morality “Binds” Group­level conerns & pathogens Parasite­stress; outsiders are “undesirable” Atheists are less trusted, less liked in groups (by far) Distrust ­> Belief that God watches Discrimination for jobs (teachers, day care) Atheism? Atheists & Secular people have “religious” experiences Unity with humankind, universe Transcendence of time, space Esp. with psychedelic drugs Emotion: elevation; awe Behavior: rituals; superstition; “holy” ground Cognition: karma, sacrilized ideal; “sell you soul” “Groupishness” Group­level morality Politics, sports, nations “Collective Effervescence” Synchornized movements & chants April 6 , 2016 Heinz’s Dilemma  Jury Nullification – allows the jury to provide a verdict of Not Guilty if they believe it is  not a morally upheld law.  Trolley Is it morally ok to kill 5 people rather than 1? Is it ok to push a fat man in front of the trolley? Still the same because you’re sacrificing 1 for 5 Disgust Evolved for physical health/ cleanliness Disgust promotes moral sancity/purity Moralizing normative behavior (food, sex, work) Emotions ­> Moral Judgement Moral intuitiveness; intuitive primacy Logic & reason are afterthoughts April 11 , 2016 The Psychology of Free Will Free Will: The ability to do otherwise. The Garden of Forking Paths Analogy Anti­Free Will Beliefs in Philosophy Determinism All events, including human action, are ultimately pre­determined by causes   external to the will. All events have a cause, all effects are determined by a prior cause The Consequence Argument 1. You can’t change the past 2. You can’t change the laws of nature 3. Our present actions are the necessary consequences of the past and the laws of nature  (if determinism is true) 4. There is nothing we can now do to change the fact that our present actions are the  necessary consequences of the past and the laws of nature.  5. There is nothing we can now do to change the fact that our present actions occur (i.e.  we do not have free will) Free Will and Neuroscience Ben Libet (1985) scanned participants brains while asking them to push a button Brain activity increased before participants were aware of their decision to push the  button Updated 2008 study Decision predicted 7 seconds before awareness Brain “decides” >> person becomes aware of decision Free Will and Psychology Less than 5% of behaviors governed by conscious control (Baumeister) Embodied cognition Priming Biases/heurstitcs Free Will & Social Psychology Most people believe in free will BUT demonstrate that the belief in free will is selective Make self­serving attributions about the causes of behavior We tke credit of the positive things (free will), but not for our misdeeds and  failures (“I had not choice”, “I was abused as a child”) Spontaneous self­descitptions completing the phrase “I am….” 34% were non­chosen aspects of life Believers in free will: Are more likely to be politically conservative Are more likely to be religious Does religion cause free will beliefs or are believers in free will drawn to  religion? Endorse binding moal foundations In­group What matters is whether we think we are making choices Blameworthiness/ praiseworthiness Retributive justice Justice based on punishment rather than rehabilitation Behavior Experimental Design How are free will beliefs manupulated? Randomly assign some participants to read passsages about neuroscience that  support anti­free will beliefs. Randomly assign some participants to read statements like “Science shows no  free will” Cons of Anti­Free Will Beliefs Reactive anger from loss of autonomy? Reduced beliefs in free will cause: Increased cheating Increased aggression and reduced helpfulness Increased conformity Decreased gratitude The Menendez Brothers Wealthy family Kill their parents Pros of Anti­Free Will Beliefs BUT Reduced free will beliefs also cause a decrease in the endorsement of retributive  punishment and an increase in the endorsement of rehabilitation.  Future Research! Research on Pros of anti­free will beliefs are lacking  Do decreased free will beliefs Decrease judgement? Increase forgiveness? Increase empathy? Determinism is not Fatalism! Even if determinism is true, the future is still unknown to us We should still strive toward our groals and be present and mindful March 28 , 2016 Modeling/ Learning Rewards & Punishments Gang initiation Modeling & Imitation Parents Bobo doll study Effects increase when model is rewarded Copycat crimes Copying Bad? Blue­dyed meth Using sulphuric acid to dissolve body Dealer named “Walter White” Teacher with drug­equipment and $10,000 “for cancer therapy/surgery” Learning Theory Rewards and Punishments Punishments backfire Increases anger; increases counter­aggression People retaliate even when they know there will be negative consequences Reactive anger/reciprocity Innate Aggression? Freud’s aggression instinct… Violence in chimpanzees  Homicidal fantasies 80% of men; 60% of women Most involve a male target For men ­> 60% of the time a stranger Longer and more detailed For women ­> only 33% strangers, more likely to focus on romantic  partner/spouse  Also more fleeting, less detailed Aggression – Then and Now Violence is on the decline Pinker – “Better Angels” Murder, warfare rates decreases Within societies & internationally Statistical probability; non­violent strategies Emotions & Affect The Utility of Emotions Drive to act, think E + movere in Latin Emotions don’t exist in a vacuum Arise from mental states, interactions, even muscular movement Environment X Mental Processing  Emotional Experience Negative emotion: Help fix situational or chronic problem Focus on reduction for its own sake =Inflating self­esteem Evaluate stimuli, create attitudes Communication with others Alerting Bonding  Feedback Learning Theory Observatoin/modeling Response becomes conditioned “Pruning” & neural plasticity Pathways are strengthened or weakened depedning on how often they are  activated Evolutionary Theory Innate, universally recognized Facial expressions; animal behavior Specific emotions triggered for specific behaviors, events Danger ­> Fear; Seperation ­> Sadness “Good Times” ­> Happiness Positive vs. Negative Emotions Negative emotions (fear, anger): Rigid response geared toward threatening situations Chronic experience – psychopathology Emotions ­> Goal Postitive Emotions (joy, pride): Less distinct, blend together Response is more flexible Goal ­> Emotion Positive + Negative Emotions In combination Social norm ­> Innappropriate Reality ­> Resilience Psychological health increases following bereavment, abuse, trauma Cognitive Effects Emotions change thinking processes Mood ­> thoughts, behavioral intentions Life satisfaction Changes ­> openness/ acceptance vs. skepticism and inquisitiveness Both perspectives can have value Broaden & Build Positive emotions: Broaden perceptual field  Broader visual search patterns (eye tracking) Negative emotion – narrow visual focus Enhance thought­action connectivity Flexible & creative thinking, openness Negative emotion – details Brainstorming vs. Editing Broadened Social Attention Increases IOS for self & friend (closeness) Inclusion of others in self­concept Increases imaginative/attentive to friends Increases honesty and self­disclosure Decreases prejudice toward out­group members Build eduring psychological/physical resources Decreases pain and chronic health conditions Fight off illness/disease Longer lifespan March 30 , 2016 Affective Forecasting Type of emotion vs. intensity/duration Poor estimates of subjective experience E.g. Heartbreak, tend to exaggerate the emotion intensity & length Underestimate resilience, adaptation, benefits General Positive Affect The hedonic treadmill Decreases “highness” (dopamine) over time Can’t be high forever over the same stimulus, people habituate over time Effects wont be long lasting Many events (even traumatic ones) do not have long lasting emotional effects Winning the lottery vs. paralysis Difference in speed of adaptation Positive Emotions Ward off adaptation with openness & new experiences Self­expansion, growth, challenges New and exciting things vs. Boredom Generating Positive Affect Gratitude expression Interpersonally or diaries Savoring Desserts & moments,  Do they take their time? Happier people savor the food Capitalization Sharing a positive event with another person close to you Mindfulness Mediation 3 weeks – increased daily positive emotion 8 weeks – increased physical wellness, efficacy/goal achievement, relationship  quality Forgivness, kindness, & social support ~ Empathy – altruism instinct Expressive writing (meaning – making) Integrate experiences into life narrative Sex Both positive & negative affect More positive than negative affect Caveat: personality Sex and intimacy may be completely different for people Money Raw wealth Upward comparisons Compare ourselves to those who have more than us Money can buy happiness… If you spend it the right way Gifts for close others, building teamwork, ect.  END. Midterm 2.


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