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Scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.
Social Thinking: Attributions
- Attribution Theory: We tend to give a causal explanation for someone’s behavior, often by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition.
- According to Kelley’s 3-factor theory, attributions should logically depend on: Consistency, Distinctiveness, Consensus
- In actuality, biases in attributions often occur:
- Fundamental Attribution Error: tendency to
- overestimate impact of personal disposition and underestimate the of the situations in analyzing the behaviors of others
- Self-serving bias
Effects of Attribution
How we explain someone’s behavior affects how we react to it.
Social Thinking: Attitudes
- Cognitive Dissonance Theory: when our
- attitudes and actions are opposed, we experience tension. To relieve ourselves of this tension we bring our attitudes closer to our actions
Social Thinking: Attitudes
- Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon: tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request
- behavior->attitudes-> behavior
- Door-in-the-face Phenomenon: tendency for people who have first declined a large request to comply later with a smaller request.
Social Thinking: Attitudes
- Expectations about a social position defines how those in the position ought to behave, eventually attitudes follow
- Ex. Zimbardo’s 1972 prison experiment, and studies on Halloween Costume effects( more likely to act like their costume, even though they know thats not who they are)
Role Playing Affects Attitudes
- Impression Management: Our attempt to control/manage what others think of us.
- Primacy effect: 1stimpressions
- Framing effect: Presenting self in favorable
- Self-handicapping: reduces likelihood that others will think we are inadequate(the way you word thingsEx. I can speak two languages! Oh yeah I speak another language.
The greatest contribution of social psychology is its study of attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions and the way they are molded by social influence.
The Chameleon Effect
Conformity: Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard
Reasons for conformity
- Normative Social Influence: influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval
- Informational Social Influence: influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality
- =Asch’s conformity experiments. Factors:Size of majority and “minority” groups, task, culture
Group Pressure and Conformity
- -Suggestibility is a subtle type of conformity, adjusting our behavior or thinking toward some group standard.
- -An influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality.
Conditions that Strengthen Conformity
- 1.One is made to feel incompetent or insecure.
- 2.The group has at least three people.
- 3.The group is unanimous.
- 4.One admires the group’s status and
- 5.One has no prior commitment to a response.
- 6.The group observes one’s behavior.
- 7.One’s culture strongly encourages respect for a social standard.
People comply to social pressures. How would they respond to outright command?
Stanley Milgram designed a study that investigates the effects of authority on obedience.
- A third of the individuals in Milgram’s study resisted social coercion.
- An unarmed individual single-handedly challenged a line of tanks at Tiananmen Square.
Lessons from the Conformity and Obedience Studies
In both Asch's and Milgram's studies, participants were pressured to choose between following their standards and being responsive to others.
- In Milgram’s 1963 study, participants were torn between hearing the victims pleas and the experimenter’s orders. Worse if no social comparison and/or buffers present.
- Would might still make right today?
Social Influence: Group dynamics
- Social Facilitation: Improved performance on tasks in the presence of others. Occurs with simple or well-learned tasks but not with tasks that are difficult or not yet mastered (social inhibition occurs instead)
- Social Loafing: Tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable
- ->Individual evaluations help
- Loss of self-awareness and self- restraint (mob behavior) in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity
- Asking name helps
The bystander effect
- Diffusion of responsibility and Social comparison lead to lack of intervention
- Assign responsibility to specific individuals
Like-minded groups tend to make more extreme decisions than the individuals
- Groups fail to appraise alternatives and tend to produce poorer quality thinking than individuals when
- Group harmony a priority
- Disagreement discouraged
- Leader makes position known
- “Prejudgment” (applying a sterotype to some one but it is okay to generalize but don't assume all do to their face)
- A prejudice is an unjustifiable (usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members.
- Prejudice is often directed towards different cultural, ethnic, or gender groups.( good think-generalization)
- Components of Prejudice
- 1.Beliefs (stereotypes)
- 2.Emotions (hostility, envy, fear
(Study with teachers and "Special students" )
Why is Prejudice Formed?
- Negative Stereotypes applied blindly
- Social categorization & isolation: In-group bias
- Identity foreclosure (those who look up to others and believe to what they think(such as kids believing what their parents think)
Phenomena Related to Stereotypes
Self-Fulfilling prophecy Stereotype threat
How Prejudiced are People?
Over the duration of time many prejudices against interracial marriage, gender, homosexuality, and minorities have decreased.
Racial & Gender Prejudice
Americans today express much less racial and gender prejudice, but prejudices still exist.
- Implicit Association Test
- Nine out of ten white respondents were slow when responding to words like “peace” or “paradise” when they saw a black individual’s photo compared to a white individual’s photo
Most women still live in more poverty than men. About 100,000,000 women are missing in the world. There is a preference for male children in China and India, even with sex- selected abortion outlawed.
Emotional Roots of Prejudice
- Scapegoat Theory
- Prejudice provides an outlet for anger [emotion] by providing someone to blame.
After 9/11 many people lashed out against innocent Arab-Americans.
Cognitive Roots of Prejudice
One way we simplify our world is to categorize. We categorize people into groups by stereotyping them.
- In vivid cases such as the 9/11 attacks, terrorists can feed stereotypes or prejudices (terrorism).
- Most terrorists are non-Muslims.
- Just-World Phenomenon
- Tendency to believe that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get
- Equal-status contact
- Inter-group cooperation toward achieving super- ordinate goals
Social Relations: Conflict
- Social Trap
- A situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self- interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior
- Zero-sum situations
- Non-zero-sum environment
Social Relations: Interpersonal Attraction
- Who do we get attracted to?
- Early on, physical beauty important & we rate what is beautiful as good (intelligent, innocent, mentally healthy). In the long run, personality characteristics prevail
- Mere Exposure Effect
- Proximity & repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them. Ex. Conceptions of
- attractiveness vary by culture
Dating and Mate selection
Birds of a feather or opposites attract?
Social Exchange Theory
- Social behavior is an exchange process, the aim of which is to maximize one’s benefits and
- minimize costs