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Social Psychology (2401) Week 1 Notes; 8/29 to 9/2

by: Asmaa Abdullah

Social Psychology (2401) Week 1 Notes; 8/29 to 9/2 PSY 2401

Marketplace > Temple University > Psychology > PSY 2401 > Social Psychology 2401 Week 1 Notes 8 29 to 9 2
Asmaa Abdullah
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About this Document

These are the notes for The Introduction to Social Psychology (Chapter 1) and what we covered from Social Psychological Research (Chapter 2) that we covered with Dr. Mattingly.
Melinda Mattingly
Class Notes





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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Asmaa Abdullah on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 2401 at Temple University taught by Melinda Mattingly in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 68 views. For similar materials see FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY in Psychology at Temple University.


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Date Created: 09/03/16
08/29: Syllabus and Introduction 08/31: Chapter 1: Introducing Social Psychology Social psychology: ● Scientific study of how people think, feel, and behave in a social context ● how social context influences our thoughts, feelings, and behavior ● Scientific study of social influence ○ we are influenced by people even if they are not present or if we  do not really interact with them (real or imagined) ○ influenced by any time of person ○ it can be direct/explicit or indirect/implicit ○ why? ■ human are social beings; we are in need of social  relationships ● the reason why solitary confinement  is considered an inhumane punishment Social psychology vs. Personality Psychology ● social context dictates what we do and might not show personality ● social context has stronger force on us than personality in most cases ● Personality Psychology: ○ what makes people different ● Social Psychology: ○ Phenomena that are shared by most people regardless of  personality ○ how people act in certain situations or places Social Psychology vs. Cognitive Psychology ● Cognitive Psychology: Somewhat intertwined with social psychology in that it is  more personal in regards of the way people think Social Psychology vs. Sociology ● There is also some overlap between sociology and social psychology since they  are both concerned with human behavior ● Individual vs. Group ○ Social Psychology explains actions of individuals even though  they use groups in experiments and research ○ Sociology is more interested in explaining the actions and  behavior of groups rather than the individual History of Social Psychology ● Psychology itself is about 150 years ; Social psychology has been around since  about 1880s ­ 1920s ○ Birth of social psychology ● 1930s ­ 1970s ○ Surge in social psychological research (huge proliferation) ○ Interactionist perspective emerged ■ Kurt Lewin ■ Interactions between a person and an environment ○ Hitler and the Holocaust (single greatest impact on social  psychology) ■ starting 1930s people started fleeing Europe (a lot  of social psychologist from Europe fled Europe) ■ a lot of people were trying to explain the effect of  Hitler’s rise of power on social action and context ■ Stanley Milgram's obedience study emerged  because of his interest in Hitler ● 1970s ­ 1990s/2000s ○ Cognitive revolution ■ before, there was a great deal of interest in  behavior ● there was an idea that you can only  study what you observe (behavior) ■ then the focus shifted to cognition in this period of  time ○ Social Cognition ■ the overlap of social and cognitive psychology ● Today ○ Automatic vs. controlled processes ○ Unconscious vs. conscious processes ■ Freud was the first to introduce the idea of the  unconscious ■ most people argue that most of our actions start at  an unconscious level ○ Mind and body influence ■ also a Freudian concept ■ the foundation of Health Psychology ○ Neural and social processes ■ popular because brain imaging technology is less  expensive and more available for people ■ how your brain reacts to different social influences  or concepts ○ Culture ■ there are cultural differences, however, people are  far more alike than we are different regardless of where you come from or what kind of person there are ■ but culture definitely does affect social behavior ■ there is more evidence that we are becoming a  more global society because we have more access to people of different  cultures ○ Social Media ■ has an important effect on social behavior ○ Interdisciplinary ■ much more branching out rather than working in a  pool of the same discipline (more interactive and comprehensive) General themes in Social Psychology ● Need to feel good about ourselves ○ the need for self­esteem ■ high self­esteem, we feel good about ourselves ■ low self­esteem, more prone to depression ● Need to be accurate ● ((Needs are mostly at odds with each other; need to feel good about ourselves  mostly wins out)) ● ((They are needs, not wants or desires)) Why is social psychology important? ● Social psychology tries to solves social issues ○ it started as a science of social issues in the first place ○ why people hold prejudices? What makes for positive  relationships? What makes a romantic relationship? >> These issues are  addressed by social psychology where social psychologists try to alleviate the  negative outcomes in social situations 09/02: Chapter 2: Social Psychological Research Introduction to Research Methods ● Hindsight bias ○ Tendency for people to exaggerate how much they could have  predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred ○ primarily a problem in social psychology because of all people’s  intimate contact with social situations and context ○ no matter what someone tells you, you are bound to find an  explanation or to justify that you already knew that ● Scientific Method ○ Question → Theory → Hypotheses → Research ○ Question → Hypotheses → Research → Theory → Hypotheses → Research ○ ((Both are equally valid)) ○ Theory ■ general phenomena that organizes different  observations and information ● you can’t test a theory because it is  general ● we must break them into hypotheses ○ Hypothesis ■ a phenomenon that you can test through research ■ simplified form of a theory Types of Research ● Basic Research ○ To answer general questions such as “Why people behave as  they do” ○ BIG, basic, and general questions about behaviors or such ○ to build up the foundation of knowledge to be able to answer more questions ● Applied Research ○ Research conducted to solve/address particular problems ○ a lot of psychology researches fall under applied research ○ much less interest in developing theory ● ((both research methods are very necessary for a science)) ● Operational definition ○ specific definition about the details of the research ○ important for replication ● Construct validity ○ basic kind of validity ○ Extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure Data Collection ● Self­reports/Surveys ○ Advantages ■ easy to make ■ little bit of understanding needed to administer  them ■ cheap ■ fast ■ get a lot of information ○ Disadvantages(do not outweigh advantages) ■ wording effects ● difficult terms and vocabulary ● confusing grammar ● words that elicit different responses  from people ■ ordering of questions can affect how people  respond ■ social desirability ● when people are untruthful in  surveys ○ people can  misrepresent themselves ○ may be deliberate or  not deliberate ■ Retroactive ● false recollection because of need to feel good/accurate ○ Representative Sample ■ Population ● The group that is of interest to the  research ■ Random Sample ● a sample taken from the population  of interest, each member of the population has an equal chance of being a participant ● should be representative of the  population I am studying ● we can almost never have a true  random representative sample ● not valid because ethically we  cannot force people to be in our study ■ Convenience Sample ● whoever wants to participate/ people willing to participate are are convenient to our study


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