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Social Psychology Lecture notes week 4

by: Ivy Notetaker

Social Psychology Lecture notes week 4 Psyc 3580

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Social Psychology lecture notes for Sept 6 and Sept 8
Social Psychology
Dr. Gitter
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ivy Notetaker on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 3580 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Gitter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Social Psychology Dr. Gitter 9/6/16 (Continued from “The fallacy of introspection”) ­ Selective social comparison o I’m pretty good at sports… but who am I comparing myself to?  Not Cam Newton or Bo Jackson… probably a nerd that’s not good at  sports. ­ Consistency motive  o Confirmation bias­ seek out situations that confirm the self; avoid disconfirming  situations o Domains become important.  Favor situations that confirm positive self­views.  I’m a good athlete­ play a lot of sports.   Avoid situations that disconfirm positive self­views. So, what’s the result? ­ Outcome of all this self­enhancement? ­ 3 symptoms of self­enhancement gone hay­wire: o positive illusions­ the 3 characteristics of self­enhancement that normal people  use to make them feel good about themselves 1. Better­than­average ­ People rank themselves high on their skills compared to others­ most thought they were  in the top 10% ­ Everyone’s better than the “average person”. ­ Statistically impossible! 2. Illusion of control­ people think they have more control than they actually do ­ Ex. craps­ game of chance; people did things (rolling dice harder or softer) to try to  increase chances; when they actually have no control over their chance of winning at all ­ Ex. motorcycles­ not wearing helmets because they’re “good drivers”­ don’t take into  account other drivers ­ Ex. risk­taking in general­ people think they have more control over their situations than  they actually do 3. Unrealistic optimism­ idea that good things will happen to you ­ Ex. marriage survey o 2 questions:   What percent of marriages end in divorce? 50%  What is the probability that you will get a divorce? Most said 0% o Problem with unrealistic optimism?  Health prevention concerns­ going to the doc, taking vitamins, not  smoking or tanning; Cancer won’t happen to me. **Everyone (including healthy people) sees the world through a biased lens. Self­Esteem 3 commonly accepted classifications: 1. Global 2. Domain specific 3. State Measuring Self­Esteem (SE) ­ Explicit SE­ asking people how they feel about themselves o Rosenburg Self­Esteem scale­most widely used scale in social psychology  10 questions with answers ranked 1­5 (greatly disagree to greatly agree) ­ Implicit SE­ unconscious gravitation toward people, places, and things that resemble or  have anything to do with the self o Where would you most likely find someone named George? Georgia  Phyllis? Philadelphia o What profession would Dennis have? Dentist o Implicit SE= unconscious SE  Name letter preferences­ monogramming, car tags with names, initials on  car  “Smelf­esteem”­ people like their smell better than other’s  Characteristics Associated with Self­Esteem: ­ Self­view o (on a 5 point scale)  High self­esteem (HSE)­ very positive; between 4 and 5  Low self­esteem (LSE)­ positive, but less so; between 2.5 and 4 ­ Self­certainty o HSE­ know who they are; numbers on scale are consistently high o LSE­ self­concept confusion; results on scale vary per day; changes/fluctuations­  but usually more realistic ­ Response to evaluation: o Positive feedback­ everyone likes it! o Negative feedback  HSE­ bounce back quickly  LSE­ take it personally, generalize it to other aspects of themselves, ruins  their day ­ Behavior patterns o LSE­ self­protective  Avoid failure­ talk about drawbacks of not doing it  Use caution o HSE­ self­enhancing  Seek success­talk about the positives of doing it  Takes risks **Most people are between HSE and LSE or are a combination of them both. Self­Esteem Myths or Questions: ­ Gender differences­ not as big of a difference as people think; result of experiences Kids=love themselves, age 13=self­esteem drops­ more drop in women than in  men but a small difference; about the same level for adults ­ Males do outscore females. o Greatest difference in adolescents. o SMALL difference. o Mostly because men like themselves so much. o Comes as experiences: body images, bullying ­ Self­esteem and aggression o Bullies don’t necessarily have LSE  o Unreasonably HSEaggression (video on Canvas) o Narcissism  Threatened egotism­ almost addicted to how much you love yourself;  when someone insults you, it’s a threat to egomust prove them  wrongaggression o Unreasonably LSE no aggression  LSE­ protective of what they have; not going to fight ­ Narcissists: o Most really love themselves, some hate themselves deep down (research still  being done on this) o Poor relationship partners­ friends or significant others are only worth what they  can give you. They are fun at first…then dump you quickly.  Cheat on romantic partners  Don’t care if you like them…just want you to admire them. o Tend to be very successful and likeable. o Very aggressive­physically and sexually o Very prejudice­ believe that their groups are the best and others are bad o Very persistent­ but also stubborn.  Ex. Billy Mitchell­ won Pacman and ate every ghost, fruit, etc.; holds  world record for many arcade games (video on canvas) o Associated with being a psychopath.  Narcissistic Personality Disorder­ won’t go to treatment or will go for  affirmation that others are wrong and there’s nothing wrong with them;  don’t usually grow out of it; debate on if its nature or nurture that causes it 9/8/16 What is self­esteem good for? ­ How about feeling positive about yourself? ­ People with high SE rate themselves as more attractive, smarter, and more likable. o However, objective results do NOT confirm this! So, what is SE good for? ­ Is it a proxy for your success? ­ “top­down” vs. “bottom­up” views of SE o Bottom­up: positive attributes self­esteem o Top­down: self­esteempositive attributes (or just a perception of positive  attributes) ­ Studies done when school children are praised in class (no matter how they perform).  o Didn’t work!   The wrong type of praise can be counterproductive. ­ Entity theorists­ believe you have natural abilities and that cannot change ­ Incremental theorists­ believe you can improve whatever skills you have with practice  or effort ­ Now­ praise for effort, not talent­ makes students want to work harder ­ Brown and Dutton (1994)  o Fake Personality Trait­ Integrative Ability (IA)   People thought they were being asked questions about their personality.  Were asked questions like “What links these 3 words together: car,  swimming, and cue?” (pool)  Were asked if they think they had “the trait” or not… people of HSE 3x  more likely to say they did, even though they didn’t do any better at the  task than the others. What it’s good for: ­ Does encourage people to take risks with possible positive benefits. o Relationships and making new friends is a good sign of self­esteem. ­ Resource stock: greater resiliency to negative feedback  o HSE means you take a hit and bounce back. o Tendency for HSE to abstract failure to make themselves feel better.  Need to Belong: ­ Baumeister and Leary (1995) ­ Fundamental human motivation o Just like eating, sleeping and breathing­ we need social relationships. o Lack of social relationships are related to:  Psychological problems  Health problems Sociometer theory: ­ Leary and Baumeister (2000) ­ SE as a gas gauge for social acceptance. o SE fluctuates with gains and losses in relationships. o Especially sensitive to losses. ­ Gas gauge can be wrongly calibrated.  o Narcissists­ set too high. (always on full) o Depressed­ set too low. o Could actually be lonely or could only perceive to be lonely.  Fighting Temptation ­ Automatic vs. Controlled o Automatic­ reading, saying alphabet, walking o Controlled­ saying alphabet backwards ­ Self­regulation­ self’s capability to monitor and alter responses o Overriding automatic impulses in favor of controlled thoughtful behavior  Instant vs. delayed gratification  o Doing something we want could step on others’ toes­ ruining relationships (that  are important for survival)  “YOLO” vs. “Control­o” o Important function in development of culture. o Do we have free­will? ­ Four main categories of self­regulation: 1. Thought control  Auto: let your mind wander  Cont: focus and study for exam 2. Affect regulation  Auto: I’ll cry if I want to  Cont: Keep emotions inside­ We don’t laugh at funerals. 3. Impulse control  Auto: I want that cake!  Cont: I need to stick to my diet. 4. Performance control­ persistence  Auto: I should give up.  Cont: I think I can, I think I can…  Only one of the 4 that’s to continue doing something instead of stopping  something. Delay of Gratification (Mischel and colleagues)  ­ Tempt people measure response  ­ Used 4 year old kids o Gave child a marshmallow and a choice:  Eat immediately or don’t eat and they would get another marshmallow.  Left alone in room for 20 minutes, watched through one­way window. o Followed kids into adulthood:  Kids who were more patient (and didn’t eat marshmallow): o Were rated more competent by teacher and parents o Got better grades and SAT scores o Attained higher levels of education o And eventually earned more money ­ Ex. being in class (or college) delayed gratification ­ More self­control= less likely to be aggressive or to abuse drugs and alcohol ­ 3 ingredients of self­regulation 1. Standards­ guidelines of what we (or our society, parents, friends) set for  ourselves.  Ex. speed limits, no cussing, working hard in school, wearing pink on  Wednesdays (haha)­ motivated by consequences (speeding tickets, getting  mouth washed out with soap, bad grades) 2. Monitoring: self­awareness  Attending to whether we’re meeting our standards or not  Ex. I what I’m doing right now doing to help me reach my goals? o Self­Discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1986)  Actual self­ How am I doing?  Multiple selves  Ideal Self­ wants, wishes, desires o Ex. fitness goals  Ought self­ what’s appropriate o Ex. standards (explained above)  Monitor, compare to actual self and look for discrepancies o Actual/Ideal discrepancies sadness, depression o Monitoring system is emotional responses o Actual/Ought discrepanciesworry, anxiety **Discrepant self­views  Emotional response  Motivates self­change Ex. Not living up to standardsfeeling sad/depressed/anxiousworks  harder or changes to fulfill standards 3. Strength: mental resources  ­ The Limited Resource Model o Self­regulation is like a muscle: with use, it becomes fatigued.  o Participants in “taste­testing” are seated at a table containing radishes and  cookies.  1  group­ instructed to not eat cookies, eat all the radishes you want= they  wndt the cookies, smell them, etc.  2  group­ instructed to not eat radishes, eat all the you want= it was easy  for them to eat cookies and leave the radishes o Alternative predictions 1. Priming­ engaging in self­regulation primes the process and makes it more likely  to occur  SR exertion should increase subsequent SR 2. Skill model­ SR is a skill independent of resources  SR exertion shouldn’t affect subsequent SR 3. Depletion­ SR draws on a limited resource common to all SR efforts  SR exertion should decrease subsequent SR ­ Dependent variables (DV)  o DVs (independent studies)  Persisting at impossible puzzle tracing exercise  Restricting emotion to funny or sad video  Drinking bad tasting beverage because it’s healthy o In all cases, those in the self­regulatory depleted condition fared worse: persisted  less, showed more emotion, drank less  ­ Ego­depletion is domain independent o Enacting self­regulation in one domain, temporarily depletes your ability to  regulate in other domains ­ Ability vs. Motivation  o Baumeister suggests that self­regulatory depletion results from a decrease in the  ability to sustain performance o Motivation is also important.  Self­determination theory (Ryan and Deci)  Self­efficacy beliefs (Bandura)  When we lack the motivation or lack the expectation of success, self­ regulation “failures” are likely. Ways to regulate better: 1. Change situation to require less energy. a. Ex. If you’re trying to quit smoking, don’t go to a bar or have cigarettes at home. 2. Avoid the double whammy. a. Ex. Don’t try to cut out alcohol and cigarettes at the same time.  3. Avoid alcohol/drugs when trying to regulate. a. Impairs decision making 4. Strive for delayed gratification. a. Builds self­control over time. b. Ex. display clothing that you’ll be able to wear when you lose weight 5. Make behavior automatic! a. If you do something enough, it becomes a habit and does not require as much self­ regulation. 6. Use cognitive strategies.


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