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Week 1 and 2 PSY 331

by: Lauren Palermo

Week 1 and 2 PSY 331 PSY 331LEC

Marketplace > University at Buffalo > PSY 331LEC > Week 1 and 2 PSY 331
Lauren Palermo
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About this Document

the Self
Social Psychology
Thomas Saltsman
Class Notes




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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Palermo on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 331LEC at University at Buffalo taught by Thomas Saltsman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views.


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Date Created: 09/30/16
Day 1 The scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others  Deviates from sociology—broad groups of people/cultural status, but social psychology looks at INDIVIDUALs  (Gordon Allport) Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: the process by which someone’s expectations about a person or group leads to fulfillment of those expectations Socialemotional climate: Teachers create this for students that they perceive less positively “Opposites Attract”  real world example  April and Andy from Parks & Rec “Birds of a feather flock together”  Jim & Pam—so similar how can they not be together  Creates a dilemma—they don’t describe relationships simultaneously  Both seem reasonable  Rely on what research says not what “makes sense” Social Psychology  Who  When (traits that people want to have similar with others; different situations where you prefer someone similar to you and vice versa)  How (how are we gaging how someone is similar to dissimilar)  Why (why do we want someone who is similar to us or dissimilar)  Situational/individual factors that drive this Many explanations make sense  Not necessarily correct  Practical advice: rely on what research says not what makes sense In the discipline:  Personal experience, common sense, etc may help generate ideas, BUT scientific methods are used to test Science  It isn’t always perfect  Think critically about what you are reading Falsifiability  We can use the scientific method to question and build on other research (build/self correct over time)  Theories become more refined over time Social Psych in the world  Hazing  Cults  Obedience to authority  Discrimination  Political decision-making (how people make their decisions/believe what they do)  Drinking night before an exam Day 2 Social Psychology Research Methods: The Self (Part I) Psychology=science  Ideas are empirically tested  Follow the underlying idea of empiricism Empiricism: the practice of relying on observation  This is how something might work/lets take a look Scientific method  Rules and procedures used to gather, analyze, and interpret information We use it for:  What am I interested in?  How/why do I think this thing works  How am I going to provide a compelling test of it? /what is the best way to test hypotheses Population vs. Sample Population: entire group of all relevant individuals  Example: all college students  Does not have to be literally everyone  Determined by what you’re interested in Sample: a smaller group selected from population  Example: UB students Logic:  Population usually impractical  Samples much easier  Test sample  Use samples to generalize population Sampling issues  Most studied group: Psych 101 students o Who does this generalize to?  Not necessarily everyone!  BUT: not necessarily no one else  Should have reason to expect group differences o Example: WNY vs. Southern CA  Study of romantic relationship dynamics  Can’t expect that to be different for kids who are in NY or CA  Study of surfing experience  This has an expected difference—CA has more experience surfing than New Yorkers o Gender and Culture  Can be empirically tested Research Designs  Observational  Correlational  Experimental Observational:  Observing and describing  No attempt to manipulate (change) behavior Different levels of Observational Research:  Naturalistic Observation o Playground, bar o Not a part of it; staying out of the way  Archival Research o Looking back at previous data sets/things that already exist/looking at patterns o TV Commercials  Participant Observation o Leon Festinger, Cult life o Researcher puts themselves in the study Advantages of Observational Research:  Observe behavior in natural setting  Allows more generalizable conclusions (because there was no manipulation)  Sometimes it’s the only way to study a certain phenomenon o Imprisonment Disadvantages of Observational Research:  People may act differently when watched  Observer bias o If someone is aware of the hypotheses and they know which children are historically the more aggressive ones, they might be more inclined to say that those children they already know are aggressive are the aggressive ones Correlational Research  Measures relationships between variables  Variables are not manipulated o Aggression and violent TV  Correlation coefficient: r o Ranges from -1 to +1 o Direction (- or +)  If both aggression and violent TV are increasing that would be a positive correlation (both X and Y going up—line ending up in upper right hand corner)  If you are watching more violent TV and are engaging in less aggressive behaviors—negative correlation o Magnitude (Strength)  How much does it increase—increase a lot= strong magnitude  Strong is how close it is to 1 and -1 so the closer it is to 1 the stronger the magnitude is  R= -.4 is stronger than r=.2 Advantages of Correlational Research  Predicts behavior o Employee personality traits Disadvantages of Correlational Research  Cannot determine causality o Reverse causation  Aggression and violent TV  Third variable problem o Could be something else causing this association  Spurious Correlations o In 1975—found best predictor of adoption of birth control methods by teenagers was the number of electric appliances in the home o Should we stop teenage pregnancy by passing out toasters in school???? o This correlation does not tell us about the relationship  Tierney (1987)—found people who often eat oatmeal 4x more likely to get cancer than people who eat Frosted Flakes o There is a relationship but we don’t know why its happening o Research indicates that there is a strong positive correlation between homicides and ice cream sales—as ice cream sales increase, the rates of homicides also increase Correlational Research –in the news  Very common in popular press articles and news segments  Typically, they are types of things that make sense or we want to be true  It makes sense that being in an interdependent relationship could improve job performance… but o Reverse causality o Third variable o Have to scrutinize and ask questions Experimental Research  Research designed to test cause-effect relationships  Manipulate the interdependent variable (IV) o The “cause” o The thing we are changing o We are confident that the effect we see on our DV is being caused by IV  Measure the dependent variable (DV) o The “Effect”  Random assignment o Relatively confident that differences between gender/culture/religion that it is being spread evenly because of randomization o For it to be effective you have to have a lot of people— not just like 5 people (preferably hundreds of people) Example of Experimental Research  Global Warming vs. Pirate  Hypothesis: Compared to pirates, non-pirates cause increases in regional temperatures  Manipulate the independent variable o Randomly assign people to be pirates vs. not pirates for some period of time  Measure changes in dependent variable o Observe changes in regional temperatures when people are pirates and when they are not pirates What underlying cause is and what that relationship is= experimental research Advantages of Experimental Research:  Conclusions about causal relationships Disadvantages of Experimental Research:  Some things cannot be manipulated (have to rely on changing an IV but not manipulating it) o Pirate status o Gender o Race o Personality traits  Harder to extend to real life scenarios o If when participants are exposed to shocks vs. not shocks—that’s not something we see in every day life so its hard to see what people would naturally respond like In class coin and helping example IV= coin or not DV= helping (Whatever is expected to change as a result of the IV) What is the “self”?  Some aspects of me (off the top of my head) o Conscious experience (things I’m thinking right now) o Things I know o Physical characteristics o Likes/dislikes o Career o Family  Transfer from individual to group  Conscious experience—only going on with me  Physical characteristics—people can pin point/observe/see The self: a symbol-using social being who can reflect on his or her own behavior Self-serving bias: Tendency to take credit for positive outcomes but deny responsibility for negative outcomes in our life William James  First to delve into the idea of the self/multiple part of the self  The Father of American psychology o Late 1800s  Psych part of the Philosophy dept.  Largely based on theory not data The self: “I” and the “me”  “I”: the actor/knower/ processing information/evaluating/putting them into context  “Me”: what is known/passive things that are already there/memories/past experiences/attributes/things that are already there o It is the “I”’s job to interpret the aspects of “Me” o No interpretation of the identity without “I” Computer analogy  “I”= processor of computer (doing something)  “Me”= the hardware of the computer The “me” 3 components  Material “me”: body, property o Example: car  Social “me”: social roles and relationships o Multiple selves o Different ones for different contexts o Example: talking to friends vs. parents  Spiritual “me”: experiences, feelings, memories, personality o Internally; other people don’t have access  “Everything that can be called mine”  Classify your “I am” list Self-concept o Sum total of a person’s thoughts and feelings about the self o Who you think you are  Changes over time  Changes moment to moment o It’s big—different parts of self can be more active. Vs. not o Working/spontaneous self-concept  Different relationships, situations  Multiple self idea  Example: in class vs. at a party Self-concept  Who am I activity—reflects self-concept o Answers can be affected by context—how you are feeling right that seconds  1 grade Lauren vs. 9 grade Lauren Self-concept over development  Becomes more abstract (vs. concrete)  More situations/more confusing/contradictions eventually having to reconcile those contradictions  Mid-adolescence: opposing attributes detected but not reconciled o Noticing that you are awkward but noticing that you are also outgoing  Late adolescence: can reconcile/integrate o Example: happy + depressed = moody The “I”  The knower of ME o The active part o The I knows other things as well o ME is just one possible focus of attention (but there are a number of things that the “I” could focus on)  An evaluator o Example: I am a good friend o Evaluations are important  An Agent, Actor, or Executor o Doing things/taking action o Example: speaking in front of you now o Can engage in conscious or subconscious levels Self-Complexity  Tendency to define the self in terms of multiple, distinct domains  Both # of self-defining domains and overlap o Describing degree to which the domains overlap with each other  High self-complexity: o Think of themselves as … volunteer, sorority member, bills fan, student—all separate domains no overlap o Consequences for negative events: negativity is contained  If they fail a test/or lose a game—you have other domains to find value/pick yourself up again  Low self-complexity: o Think of themselves as student, pre-law, conscientious  All of these overlap/are strongly interrelated o Consequences for negative events: negativity spills over  If you have a failure in a domain that is highly related to other domains that you use to define yourself that is very devaluing  Risky to dedicate all your time and energy to one domain that is highly related to every domain in your life and you fail at it you’re fucked  Putting all your “Self eggs” in one basket= risky  But a benefit is if you do succeed you have a good sense of your self and who you are Self-consciousness  Tendency to engage in self-awareness (focus on the self)  Chronic or state o State—if we manipulate something, we have someone give a speech in front of an audience o Measure state self consciousness after they engage in the behavior o Chronic—constant awareness of shortcomings and avoidances behavior (drugs, suicide)  Private (5-point scale) o Can’t be seen o Personal attitudes, beliefs, moods o Trying to figure themselves out, reflecting, I’m alert to changes in my mood o Behave in line with internal standards (if they have a certain belief regardless of what happens to them they stick by it) o React more strongly to moods o High self-complexity  Public o Can be seen o Physical appearance, behavior in public settings o Concerned about the way I present myself, self- conscious about the way I look, worrying about making a good impression o People high in public self consciousness:  More likely to conform  More likely to judge themselves and others by their looks  Greater negative alcohol-related consequences Terms from book: Interactionism: an important perspective in social psychology that emphasizes the combined effects of both the person and the situation on human behavior  Both person and situational factors influence social behavior  Combines personality psychology (stresses differences among people) with traditional social psychology (which stresses differences among situations) Social Cognition: the ways in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about our social world  Shift to computer age lead to this theory  Theories (like computers) often describe people methodically processing information in a fixed sequence or serially working on only one stream of data at a time  For example: if a normally social able person acts irritable just before taking his midterms, you might logically consider the available information and conclude that his irritability is caused by situational factors Dual-process theories: theories of social cognition that describe two basic ways of thinking about social stimuli, one involving automatic, effortless thinking, and the other involving more deliberate, effortful thinking  Our social thinking and behavior is determined by 2 different ways of understanding etc.  One mode of processing information: related to cold perspective (action is taken until its potential consequences are properly weighed and evaluated)  Alternative mode of processing information: related to hot perspective legacy (based on minimal cognitive effort, where behavior is often impulsive and automatically activated by emotions, habits, or biological drives Explicit Cognition: deliberate judgments or decisions of which we are consciously aware Implicit Cognition: judgments or decisions that are under the control of automatically activated evaluations occurring without our awareness


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