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Chapter 1 of Social Psychology

by: Megan Onuonga

Chapter 1 of Social Psychology Psyc 361

Marketplace > University of North Dakota > Psychology (PSYC) > Psyc 361 > Chapter 1 of Social Psychology
Megan Onuonga

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About this Document

These notes will help for the first Social Psych exam
Social Psychology
Dr. Joelle Ruthig
Class Notes
social, thinking, Influence, relations, reality, intuition, attitude, research, correlation
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Megan Onuonga on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 361 at University of North Dakota taught by Dr. Joelle Ruthig in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of North Dakota.


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Date Created: 09/13/16
Introducing Social Psychology ● What is social psychology? ○ Study of how people think about, influence and relate to each  other ■ Social thinking ● How we perceive others ● How we perceive others ● Beliefs ● Attitudes ● Judgements we make ■ Social influence ● Culture and biology: nature vs.  nurture ● Pressure to conform ● Persuasion ● Group influence ■ Social relations ● Prejudice ● Aggression ● Friendships, attraction, liking and  loving ● Helping and altruism ○ Social psychology vs. sociology ■ Greater focus on individual ■ Greater use of experimental methods ○ Social psychology vs. personality psychology ■ Less interested in individual differences, more on  individuals interacting w/ others ■ More focus on situational influences ● Big ideas in social psychology ○ We construct our social reality ■ 2 people react different because they think different ■ Examples ● Fighting hawks vs minnesota  gophers hockey game ● Our reason for personal failure vs.  someone else’s failure ■ We view reality through lenses of our beliefs and  values ■ Do we see ourselves as: ● In control? ● Superior or inferior? ■ These beliefs/views influence our emotions and  actions ○ Our social intuitions can be powerful or perilous ■ Gut reaction, initial response ■ Powerful ● Fears, impressions, nonverbal  language, gut feelings ■ Perilous ● Often inaccurate: plane crashes ● Wrong about ourselves: ○ Feeling invincible ○ Predicting our  emotions or future behaviors ○ Social influences shape our behavior ■ We are social creatures who respond to our  immediate social environment ■ Power of social situations may cause us to act  inconsistent from our expressed attitudes ● Nazi influence & holocaust ● New york city after 9/11 ■ What you find physically attractive depends on  where you live ■ As does whether you focus on self or  family/community ■ People are malleable ○ Personal attitudes and dispositions shape behavior ■ Inner attitudes affect our behavior ● Political attitudes and who you vote  for ● Smoking attitudes and susceptibility  to peer pressure ■ In same situation, different people have different  reactions ● Optimist vs pessimist ● Wallflower vs social butterfly ○ Social behavior is biologically rooted ■ Evolutionary psychology ● Inherited human nature predisposes  us to act in certain ways ■ Social neuroscience ● Explores neural and psychological  basis for social behaviors ○ Social psychology’s principles apply to daily life ■ In the courtroom ■ In the classroom ■ In our social relationships ■ In our beliefs and attitudes ● Social psychology: Just common sense? ○ Hindsight bias ■ Consequences ● Annoying someone (“I told you so”) ● Blame for what seemed obvious ● Arrogance ● Overconfidence in our  judgements/predictions ● Social Psychology research methods ○ Theory: integrated set of principles that explain and predict events ■ Good theory ● Parsimonious ­ simple statement  about a broad range of context ● Makes clear predictions that we can  test ○ Hypothesis: testable statement describing relationship between 2  events or variables ■ Used to test theories and direct research ○ Correlational research: study of naturally occurring relationships ■ Advantage: involves important variables in natural  setting ■ Disadvantage: cannot infer cause and effect ■ CORRELATION DOES NOT MEAN CAUSATION ■ Ex. Violent media and aggression in children ● X may cause Y ● Y may cause X ● Third variable may cause both X and Y ■ Survey Research ● Random sample: every person in  target population has an equal chance of being apart of the study ● Unrepresentative samples: not  random, not everyone has an equal chance ● Factors that may influence  participants’ survey responses ○ Order of questions ○ Response options ■ Ex. Jail sentence questionnaire  ○ Wording of questions ○ Experimental Research ■ Manipulating one factor (independent variable,  changed) to examine effect on another factor (dependent variable, what is being measured) ■ Control for possible 3rd variables ■ Can infer cause & effect ■ Issues ● Mundane realism ○ How they act in real  life ● Experimental realism ○ How absorbed they  are in the experiment ● Deception ● Informed consent & debriefing


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