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Week 1 Notes

by: Sophie Levy

Week 1 Notes PSYC 3430

Sophie Levy
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Intro To Social Psych
Aaron Moss
Class Notes




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sophie Levy on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3430 at Tulane University taught by Aaron Moss in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Intro To Social Psych in Psychology at Tulane University.

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Date Created: 09/05/16
Slide  1:  What  is  Social  Psychology   Friday,  September  2,  20111:16  AM Today's  Goals -­ Define  social  psychology -­ Describe  what  social  psychologists  study -­ Explain  how  social  psychology  differs  from  other  disciplines -­ Highlight  how  the  situation  often  determines  behavior Define  social  psychology -­ Social  psychology:  scientific  study  of  how  people's  thoughts,  feelings,  and   behaviors  are  influenced  by  the  real,  imagined,  or  implied  precense  of  others ○ It's  a  scientific  discipline  because  it  relies  on  scientific  method   (observations,  experimenting,  analysis,  reporting) ○ The  studies  test  theories,  manipulate  variables,  record  observations,  and   report  their  findings   -­ Psychologists  are  interested  in  people's  thoughts  ( cognitions),  feelings  ( affect),   and  behaviors ABC's:  affect,  behavior,  cognition ○ ○ Affect:  observing;  ex:  measuring  facial  muscle  movement ○ Behaviors:  observing,  manipulating  situation ○ Cognitions:  surveys,  questions,  reaction  tests -­ How  we  are  influenced Our  behavior  is  influenced  by  others  present  in  a  situation ○ § Ex:  standing  for  the  national  anthem  at  home  vs  at  a  stadium ○ Our  behavior  is  sometimes  influenced  when  we  imagine  other  people   being  present § Ex:  a  poster  with  eyes  in  a  classroom  can  make  someone  more   honorable ○ Our  behavior  is  sometimes  influenced  simply  by  the  implied  presence  of   other  people § Ex:  stopping  at  a  stop  sign  when  no  one's  there   § Ex:  gods   -­ Why  conduct  research?  "The  desire  to  know"   1. Separate  fact  from  fiction  (intuition  from  evidence) 2. Avoid  hindsight  bias  (the  idea  that  you  knew  it  all  along) 3. Avoid  personal  bias  and  unfounded  conclusion   ○ Others:  to  solve  problems  and  improve  things -­ Social  psychology  vs.  Folk  wisdom -­ Why  conduct  research?  "The  desire  to  know"   1. Separate  fact  from  fiction  (intuition  from  evidence) 2. Avoid  hindsight  bias  (the  idea  that  you  knew  it  all  along) 3. Avoid  personal  bias  and  unfounded  conclusion   ○ Others:  to  solve  problems  and  improve  things -­ Social  psychology  vs.  Folk  wisdom ○ Social  psychologists  investigate  human  behavior –something  we're  all   familiar  with § Evidence  doesn't  always  support  our  theories ○ Folk  wisdom:  fluid;  can  explain  a  phenomenon  AND  it's  opposites § Ex:  opposites  attract  /  birds  of  a  feather  flock  together   § Not  empirical– without  systematic  procedures,  we  get   contradictory,  exaggerated,  or  inaccurate  advice ○ Sometimes  the  evidence  supports  our  intuitions  and  beliefs  about   behavior  and  sometimes  it  doesn’t -­ Avoid  hindsight  bias:  the  tendency  to  believe  we  knew  it  all  along ○ Ex:  political  analysts  deciding  that  we  should've  known  that  Trump  would   be  successful  in  his  presidential  run   -­ Avoid  unfounded  conclusions:  conclusions  that  do  not  have  enough  support ○ Ex:  psychodynamic  prospective:  Freud  had  elaborate  theories  about  how   sex  and  aggression  motivated  human  behavior § His  ideas  weren't  empirically  tested  and  his  theories  weren't   falsifiable   What  do  social  psychologists  study -­ Kitty  Genovese:  woman  murdered  with  neighbors  watching  and  not  helping ○ Demonstrates  the  power  of  the  situation:  how  people  are  influenced  by   the  social  factors  in  a  situation -­ Power  of  the  situation ○ Ex:  presence  of  other  people,  whether  real,  imagined,  or  implied ○ People  tend  to  overemphasize  personality  and  underemphasize  situations   when  explaining  others'  behavior;  personality  explanations  are   incomplete   -­ Interactionism:  that  behavior  is  a  result  of  personality  (to  a  small  extent)  and   several  situational  factors  (to  a  much  larger  extent)   ○ Studied  by  Lewin,  whose  work  led  to  the  idea  of  "channel  factors"  which   is  still  popular  today -­ Situation  and  social  behavior   ○ The  self  (e.g.,how  do  other  people  influence  how  we  think  of  ourselves?) ○ Social  cognition  (e.g., how  does  being  under  time  pressure  influence  how   we  think  of  others?) Social  influence  (e.g., how  does  the  mere  presence  of  others  influence  our   ○ performance  on  tasks?) ○ Attraction  and  close  relationships  (e.g., how  does  similarity  influence  our   ○ The  self  (e.g.,how  do  other  people  influence  how  we  think  of  ourselves?) ○ Social  cognition  (e.g., how  does  being  under  time  pressure  influence  how   we  think  of  others?) ○ Social  influence  (e.g., how  does  the  mere  presence  of  others  influence  our   performance  on  tasks?) ○ Attraction  and  close  relationships  (e.g., how  does  similarity  influence  our   choice  of  friends,romantic  partners?) ○ Aggression  (e.g., does  exposure  to  violent  media  really  affect  our   behavior?) ○ Prosocial  behavior  (e.g., how  does  the  presence  of  others  influence   whether  we  help  people  in  need?) ○ Stereotyping, prejudice, and  discrimination  (e.g.,how  does  exposure  to   media  images  create  stereotypes,even  outside  our  conscious   awareness?) ○ Groups  (e.g.,how  does  being  part  of  a  group  influence  decision -­‐making?) How  does  social  psychology  differ  from  similar  fields   -­ Kitty  Genovese  studies ○ Clinical  psychologist:  would  be  concerned  with  whehter  Winston  Mosely   (murderer)  was  a  psychopath,  etc. ○ Sociologist:  would  wonder  what  this  crime  says  about  society  or  how  it   affected  society  in  general ○ Counseling  psychologist:  would  wonder  how  the  family  coped  with  their   loss ○ Social  psychologist:  would  wonder  about  the  situational  forces  that  drove   the  behavior  of  either  Winston  Mosely  or  the  bystanders -­ Social  psychology  relies  on  experiments  to  test  ideas ○ Philosophers  debate  ideas;  anthropologists  catalogue  behavior  in   ethnographies;  sociologists  rely  on  interviews  and  correlation  data -­ Social  psychology  often  manipulates  the  situation  people  are  in   ○ Other  psychologists,  like  cognitive  or  personality  psychologists,   manipulate  what  people  do   Important  concepts:   1. Importance  of  construal:  that  what  we  "see"  in  the  world,  visually  or  in  social   behaviors,  is  a  construction  of  reality;  how  we  interpret  situations  and   behaviors ○ Ex:  the  Kanizsa  triangle   ○ Our  construal  of  events  are  influenced  by  top-­‐down  and  bottom-­‐up   cognitive  processes § Top-­‐downprocessing:  relies  on  knowledge  and  expectations   (schemas)and  stereotypes  to  construct  our  experience § Bottom-­‐up  processing:  relies  on  input  from  sensory  organs  to   construct  our  experience ○ cognitive  processes § Top-­‐downprocessing:  relies  on  knowledge  and  expectations   (schemas)and  stereotypes  to  construct  our  experience § Bottom-­‐up  processing:  relies  on  input  from  sensory  organs  to   construct  our  experience 2. Automatic  vs  controlled  processing ○ Controlled  processes:  decisions  and  behaviors  that  we're  consciously   aware  of ○ Automatic  processes:  decisions  and  behaviors  that  we're  unconsciously   aware  of 3. Evolution  vs  culture  in  explaining  behavior ○ Both  are  used  to  explain  behavior;  right  now,  evolutionary  social   psychology  is  popular ○ Evolution:  when  a  behavior  is  universally  exhibited  by  humans,  it  suggests   the  behavior  is  evolved § Naturalistic  fallacy:  the  claim  that  the  way  things  are  is  as  they   should  be– should  be  AVOIDED  in  talking  about  evolution § Instead  of  talking  about  evolution  as  destiny,  we  should  speak  of   how  well  or  ill  suited  an  organism,  person,  behavior,  or   psychological  process  is  to  its  environment ○ Culture:  when  a  behavior  varies  across  culture,  it  suggests  it  is  determined   by  culture Slide  2:  Research  Methods  in  Social  Psychology Friday,  September  2,  2016 12:08  PM Today's  Goals -­ Discuss  how  social  psychologists  test  ideas -­ Go  over  different  types  of  experimental  aexperimental  research -­ Identify  the  components  of  an  experiment How  social  psychologists  test  ideas Theories -­ Starts  with  a  theory:  the  body  of  related  propositions  intended  to  describe   some  aspect  of  the  world ○ Provide  a  way  to  organize  and  explain  different  observations -­ From  theories,  we  derive  hypotheses:  predictions  about  what  will  happen   under  certain  circumstances ○ Can  be  a  cause-­‐and-­‐effect  relationship -­ Scientists  seek  to  find  support  for  their  theories -­ NOTHING  is  ever  proven;  theories  are  either  supported  or  they  aren't ○ Sometimes  theories  are  overturned -­ Two  ways  to  build  support  for  a  theory:      1.  Descriptive  or  correlational  research ○ By  surveys,  observations,  or  archival  research 2. Experimental  research   Survey  Research:  asking  people  questions  using  interviews  or  questionnaires   -­ Ex:  teacher  evaluations,  census,  etc.   -­ Surveys  need  to  be  conducted  with  a  random  sample  from  the  population  being   studied  for  reliable  results -­ Sometimes  researches  use  stratified  random  samples:  random  sampling  with   assurance  you  get  even  samples  from  each  possible  group ○ Ex:  getting  samples  from  freshman,  sophomores,  juniors,  and  seniors  at  a   university ○ Everyone  has  an  equal  chance -­ Random  samples  are  different  fro  onvenience  samples :  picking  from   whoever's  there– used  often  in  experiments -­ Two  issues  with  survey  research 1. Self  report  bias ○ Everyone  has  an  equal  chance -­ Random  samples  are  different  fro  onvenience  samples :  picking  from   whoever's  there– used  often  in  experiments -­ Two  issues  with  survey  research 1. Self  report  bias 2. Cannot  establish  causation   ○ Ex:  1936  magazine  conducted  a  poll  and  predicted  the  landslide  loss  of   Roosevelt  for  the  presidential  election.  Their  problem?  They  only  called   landlines,  which  were,  at  that  time,  only  owned  by  wealthy,  conservative   people Observational  Research:  systematically  observing  behavior  in  either  natural  or   contrived  settings -­ Ex:  "Personal  Space  Invasions  in  the  Lavatory" ○ Researchers  had  a  hypothesis  that  when  people  were  too  close  to  one   another,  it  caused  physiological  arousal   ○ An  observer  was  stationed  at  the  mirror  and  told  to  "groom"  himself  and   systematically recorded  where  men  stood  and  how  long  it  took  them  to   start  peeing Archival  Research:using  historical  data  to  look  for  relationships  between  some   variable  and  some  behavior -­ "historical":  data  collected  at  some  point  in  the  past,  often  for  different  reasons -­ Sources:  census  reports,  police  records,  sports  statistics,  newspapers,  etc.   -­ Prof's  research:  conducted  on  the  arrest  of  Dr.  Henry  Louis  Gates  Jr ○ Gates  returned  to  his  house  from  a  vacation  and  found  his  door  jammed;   asked  his  black  cab  driver  to  help  him  open  the  door ○ A  neighbor  called  the  police,  and  Gates  was  ultimately  arrested  for   disorderly  conduct ○ The  study  was  on  a  Op/Ed  columns  written  about  the  arrest:  17  written  by   black  authors  and  19  written  by  white  authors ○ Coders,  blind  to  the  hypothesis,  read  the  articles  and  made  judgments   concerning  the  perspective,  whether  there  was  harm  to  Gates  or  to  black   people,  and  if  there  was  other  examples  of  racism ○ Results:   § Significant  differences  in  perspective,  harming  black  people,   systematic  racism,  and  denying  intent § No  difference  in  whether  Gates  was  harmed § Does  not  necessary  show  correlation,  but  it  shows  that  there  is   something  about  race   Correlational  Research:  seeks  to  determine  if  a  relationship  exists  between  two  or   more  variables -­ Can  suggest  that  a  causal  relationship  exists,  but  cannot  establish  it § Does  not  necessary  show  correlation,  but  it  shows  that  there  is   something  about  race   Correlational  Research:  seeks  to  determine  if  a  relationship  exists  between  two  or   more  variables -­ Can  suggest  that  a  causal  relationship  exists,  but  cannot  establish  it ○ There  is  often  a  hypothesis  in  mind  ab-end-­‐effect  relationship -­ Why  conduct  correlational  studies? ○ As  a  starting  point  for  other  research – finding  evidence   ○ It  is  sometimes  the  only  option  if  the  research  would  be  unethical   -­ Correlation  coefficient  (r  ):   a  statistic  that  summarizes  the  strength  and   direction  of  the  relationship  between  two  variables;  range  from   -­‐1.0  to  1.0 ○ Closer  to  1.0:  the  stronger  the  relationship ○ Closer  to  0.0:  the  weaker  the  relationship ○ Positive:  direct  relationship ○ Negative:  indirect  relationship ○ A  0.6  or  higher  is  concerned  a  strong  relationship –we  don't  consider  0.8,   for  example,  because  people's  behaviors  are  complex  (personality  still   matters) ○ Correlation  ≠ causation   1. The  reverse  causation  problem –what  causes  what? 2. The  third  variable  proble– is  there  something  we  haven't   measured?     § Ex:  there  is  a  high  correlation  between  the  number  of  churches  and   the  number  of  murders  in  an  area…  third  variable  is  population § Spurious  correlations:  shouldn't  be  related,  but  correlation  is  strong Experimental  Research:  Researches  manipulate  some  aspect  of  the  situation  and   measure  how  the  manipulation  influences  people's  response -­ Establishing  causality 1. Cause  and  effect  must  co-­‐vary § Proven  by  correlation   2. Cause  must  precede  effect  in  time 3. Must  be  able  to  rule  out  alternative  explanations  for  the  observed   relationship  between  the  cause  and  effect -­ Independent  variable(IV):  cause;  manipulated  by  the  experimenter -­ Dependent  variable (DV):  effect,  the  response  the  researcher  measures  after   the  experimental  manipulation   -­ Experiments  can  establish  causation  directly  by  showing  that  manipulating  the   IV  leads  to  predicted  changes  in  DV -­ Ex:  a  study  that  questions  if  fear  causes  a  desire  to  affiliate ○ Independent  variable:  fear;  There  are  two  groups –one  of  which  is  told   that  they  will  be  receiving  extremely  painful  shocks,  the  other  of  which   believes  they  will  be  receiving  mild  shocks -­ Experiments  can  establish  causation  directly  by  showing  that  manipulating  the   IV  leads  to  predicted  changes  in  DV -­ Ex:  a  study  that  questions  if  fear  causes  a  desire  to  affiliate ○ Independent  variable:  fear;  There  are  two  groups –one  of  which  is  told   that  they  will  be  receiving  extremely  painful  shocks,  the  other  of  which   believes  they  will  be  receiving  mild  shocks ○ Dependent  variable:  desire  to  be  together;  They  are  each  told  that  they   have  10  minutes  to  wait  before  the  experiment,  and  they  fill  out  surveys   on  whether  they  desire  to  wait  with  people  and  their  intensity  on  this   preference ○ Notes:  controlled  gender;  ruled  out  personality  by  randomly  assigning   groups


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