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Chapter 15 Social Psychology

by: Patrece Savino

Chapter 15 Social Psychology PSY 151

Marketplace > Wake Forest University > Psychlogy > PSY 151 > Chapter 15 Social Psychology
Patrece Savino
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Lecture notes
Intro to Psychology
Dr. Schrillo
Class Notes
social psychology lecture psych
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Patrece Savino on Saturday April 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 151 at Wake Forest University taught by Dr. Schrillo in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychlogy at Wake Forest University.


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Date Created: 04/02/16
Chapter 15: Social Psychology 4/6/16 • Social psychologists study… o How individuals are affected by the actual, implied, or imagined presence of other people ▯ Thoughts (perceptions, inferences, judgments, etc.) ▯ Feelings ▯ Behavior o 2 directions: ▯ How other people influence our thoughts, feelings, and behavior ▯ OR how we think, feel, and behave toward other people o Focus on the individual • Two overarching ideas 1. “People who do crazy things aren’t necessarily crazy.” ▯ What did someone do that you think is crazy? ▯ Why do you think that this is crazy? 2. “Two thirds of what we see is behind our eyes.” • The Power of Situations (Nazi Germany ▯ Milgrim’s experiment) o Obedience & Conformity (overarching idea #1) ▯ Obedience: Milgrim’s experiment • Confederates: someone in the study who’s an actor o Experimenter with lab coat & one actor pretending to be a participant • 2/3 of all participants obeyed the experimenter fully to the end o Evidence that strong leaders cause people to obey and conform strong situation • What makes a situation a strong situation and how do you change the experiment to make people act in the way you would expect? o Reduced obedience effect if… not as strong of a situation ▯ “Learner” is in the same room as the participant ▯ Researcher is an ordinary person ▯ Researcher is not in the room ▯ Dissenter present (another person acting as another participant saying no to the experimenter) • Stronger obedience effect if… o Other obedient participants • CONCLUSION: Normal people with normal personalities can sometimes be put in a situation that leads them to do things that looks crazy (#1) ▯ Conformity: Asch’s Studies: doing something to go along with a group, not because you agree with the group, but because you feel some kind of peer pressure • Asch’s studies • 12 confederates and one real participant • Showed people a picture of one line and another picture of three lines and they are told to match picture one to one of the lines in picture 2 o Confederates all choose line a when it’s really line b, and when it comes around to the participant, the average participant will choose line a • Strong situation o The average participant conformed on 1/3 of the trials o Over 75% of participants conformed at least once o Around 50% of the participants conformed on half of the trials • Findings: o Size of the group matters o Presence of a dissenter matters ▯ With just one dissenter, mean conformity dropped to 5% of trials from 1/3 of the trials • Pluralistic ignorance: we think that we are the only ones who dissent, and we all conform to something that we think that everyone else thinks even though they’re dissenting as well o The Bystander Effect ▯ People who are taught about the bystander effect are less likely to be bystanders ▯ Kitty Genovese ▯ Darley & Latané studies • Students participated in a discussion group • Accomplice faked a seizure • Interested in whether or not people will help the person having the seizure will assist before the seizure ends o When there’s only 2 people, the participant and the accomplice almost 90% will assist before o As the number of people goes up the number of people who assist during the seizure decreases ▯ diffusion of responsibility • 3 steps to their bystander effect model o The more people that are around, the less likely a bystander is to… 1. notice that something is happening 2. interpret the incident as an emergency 3. assume responsibility for taking action • In-group/out-group bias o People tend to perceive in-group members more favorably than out-group members o They differentially distribute rewards amongst in-group members and out-group members o Minimal Group Effect: ▯ Groups based on random toss of coin or any other number of methods of random assignment ▯ Participants rated in-group members more favorably and distributed rewards potentially to in-group members ▯ *just the act of categorization is enough to cause this even if they don’t know each other or get no personal gain o The bias shown by a group gets stronger when… ▯ Members of the group strongly identify with the group ▯ The group is not a large majority ▯ The group has high status, but there is a threat to status ▯ Threat to group values, customs, or traditions ▯ Threat to economic security of physical safety • The Limits of Perception (overarching idea #2) o The experience: one-to-one correspondence between what you see and “what is out there” (feels simple, direct, and accurate) o The reality: perception is not simple, involves many steps, and is often inaccurate (though it is generally lawful) o The Fundamental Attribution Error ▯ Perceivers too often assume that people do what they do because of what they are, not because of what situation they’re in ▯ We routinely under-estimate the power of situations • Trained psychologists predicted that only 1% of subjects would comply in Milgrim’s experiments ▯ underestimated the power of the situation and attributed too much to the person ▯ Example: people judge someone for leaving a meeting and think that it’s based on their personality, but the person really just had to go to the bathroom ▯ Gilbert’s Attribution Model • Trait inference – Automatic believing • Situational Correction – Controlled unbelieving • *Start with a trait inference and then correct for situational correction ▯ Jones & Davis • Showed people a woman behaving anxiously o Is she an anxious person? • Two different situations o Chill situation – nothing in the environment that should make her anxious ▯ People said that yes, she’s an anxious person o Job interview – anxiety provoking situation strong situation ▯ If it’s a strong situation, people will correct for the situation because most people are anxious in job interviews • Same study, but put people under cognitive load (start at 900 and count backwards by 7s) before doing tasks like this o When people were under cognitive load, they could not correct for the situation anymore o Anytime we don’t have conscious attention available, we may not be able to correct for situations ▯ Fundamental attribution error most likely to happen when… • We are in a hurry (cognitive load) • We have a lot on our mind (cognitive load) • We don’t know much about the person • The other person’s situation is not apparent to us • It serves our interests ▯ …situation that brings all of these together ▯ someone cuts you off in traffic: you make judgments on the other person based on all of these ▯ The confirmation bias • People selectively seek confirming information about their judgments of a person • People selectively remember the confirming information • Don’t seek or remember anything that disconfirms information ▯ The Actor-Observer Bias • While people often see the behavior of others in terms of traits…people frequently explain their own behavior in terms of situations ▯ judge ourselves and judge each other differently • Why might it happen? o Perceptual asymmetry: people have no access to the other person’s situation ▯ Back to example of people judging guy for leaving the meeting ▯ Person leaving sees his own situation but it is not apparent to other people • Storms studies: o Couples watching themselves on tapes from perspective of their partner when they’re having an argument o Participants stopped making solely internal explanations to their partner’s behavior ▯ they are their partner’s “situations” • Too often… o We see other people’s behavior as being “them” and not “the situation” o Whereas we see our own behavior as being the situation


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