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What is superstition?
Ex: Patron saints, devil, miracles, angels, black cats, power of prayer, underworld, if we have a soul.
- Belief outside the realm of your religious beliefs - supernatural beliefs
- Ex: Couples who adopt a child are more likely to get pregnant. Why? The pressure is off, the couple is relaxed.
- This is not true.
- Why do we believe it?
- a. We want it to be true
- b. selective attention. We focus on remembering the times it did occur.
What is felicific calculus or happiness calculation?
- How we determine what is good and what is bad.
- Ex: Want to buy a car. We add up all the pleasures each brand would bring and subtract the pain it will cause.
- (comfy car, sporty design, powerful engine) vs ( monthly payments, gas mileage)
We base decision on what brings us most pleasure and least amount of pain.
What is social cognition?
- How we make sense of our social world.
- How do we arrive at our decisions?
- Things we believe, affect our decisions.
- Things are dangerous we are unaware of (cigarettes, splenda, toys from China)
What is Cognitive Miser?
- Try to take short cuts in simplifying complex decisions.
- We don't go into deep analysis before making a decision.
- House depends on size.
- Who we marry, we simplify. Ignore info, play down, depending on what we want to do.
What is Contrast Effects? Reference points.
Honda vs Toyota
House vs House
Guy vs Guy
We compare - best points vs worst points
- House salesman. Will use decoy house. Show 3 houses. The decoy house is there to make the other house more appealing.
- Show you really bad house before showing you one that is over your price range.
- Decoy house is the reference point.
What is priming?
What is double entendre? Thinking something means one thing when it is something different. (Ex. Father thinks daughter is talking about party but talking about soft ball game.
- How we think of social events depends on what we are currently thinking about, as well as what beliefs and catagories we typically use to make sense of things.
- Rose colored glasses vs hostile world
- Our interpretation depends on what is prominant in situation.
- What is prominent is induced by PRIMING- a procedure based on the notion that ideas that have been recently encountered or frequently activated are more likely to come to mind.
- (Experiement: Some were asked to remember positive traits (adventurous, self-confident, independent, persistant). Others asked to remember negative traits (recless, conceited, aloof and stubborn)
- Afterwards a paragraph described number behaviors of man, could be interpereted as adventurous or reckless
- (skydiving) self confident or conceited, independent or aloof, persistant or stubborn. Then rated how desireable he was to meet. He was catagorized as less desirable than positive catagories primed.
Another example of priming.
We were told of weapons of mass distruction in Iraq. Primed to go to war.
How things are played up by media is priming.
What is framing? Use when problem is presented in a way to show potential for loss.
Presents gain or loss if take course of action.
We don't like to lose.
How something is worded to look like a gain, more apt to buy.
Ex: By putting new window in house, will save money.
Do this, you gain.
Do this, you lose. We don't like to lose.
Emphasise negative - get mammogram or will get cancer.
- Framing by emphasis on loss has bigger influence on us.
- Water heater, uses less gas.
- Ex: Program A 200 people saved
- Program B one third probability 600 saved and two thirds probability no one will be saved.
- Simple rewording of the options produce a drastic switch in answers.
What is Primacy Effect & Ordering of Information?
Primacy Effect influences our social judgment.
1st impression is lasting impression.
What we learn first about a person is much more lasting.
- What is Dilution Effect?
- Dilute impression, weaken impression with irrelevant information, distracts you.
- Politicians become more average with irrelevant information, our impression becomes diluted with more information we have to clutter our initial impression.
- Lot's of information, even if irrelivant, clutters the mind.
- Dilution effect occurs because the more information, they seem more similar to us, more average.
- Average person less likely to have high GPA or be terribly negative.
What is Judgmental Heuristics?
Taking mental short cuts. Way to solve problems with little thinking involved.
Accept things as true.
Harvard students get in because of legacy of families, donate money. Allowed because grandparents went there.
Jobs - more like them, more likely to be received. Ex: Same college, nationality
Stereo types: blond women, homosexual, dumb jock, men better at math than women.
Taller men make better leaders, All food in health food store is better for you, Professor more educated than plumber.
Put people in pigeon holes.
Higher price better than lower price, "more for your money"
- Examlple of Primacy Effect:
- a. Steve is intelligent, industrious....critical, stubborn
- b. Steve is critical, stubborn...intelligent, industrious
- Steve is given better rating when he was described by a.
What is Representative Heuristic?
We compare two objects to be similar, one acting like the other.
Ex: 2 bottles of wine. The most expensive is thought to be the best, rather than comparing wine, location, etc.
Ex: 2 boxes of cereal, Lucky Charms and Granola. Little girl wants the Lucky Charms, mom thinks Granola is better because of bowl on cover, not lucky charms.
Actually, Lucky Charms is better for child.
Cereal packaging is the representative heuristic.
- Heuristic - enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves
- Proceeding to a solution by trial and error.
What is halo effect?
A general bias in which a favorable or unfavorable general impression of a person effects our inferences and future expectations about that person.
Ex: George Bush, if you like him, will discount or explain away any behavior on his part that might be considered negative and exaggerate the goodness of his positive actions.
Ex: Women who eat health food are thought to be more feminine, attractive and likeable than junk food eaters.
- What is False-Consensus Effect?We believe the percentage of people that agree with us is overestimated.
- Think most people think the way we do.
- Put things in catagories of good/bad:
- spiders/puppies, good guy/bad guy
What affects our behaviors?
Social Distance Scale
- When we catagorize than the stereotype will guide our decision.
- Ex: Bar vs fine dining establishment
- Yuppie, college professor, party girl
What is Ingroup/Outgroup Effects?
Catagorizing into two groups, those in "my" group and those in outgroup.
My school vs your school
American vs foreigner
my ethnic group vs yours
We tend to see members of outgroups as more similar to one another than to the members of our own group
the outgroup look alike, think alike, act alike.
- False memories can be implanted, such as priest abuse bringing up memories through questions.
- Police Interrugation - Richard Jewel case, security gaurd who left backpack. Interrogated him to the point of a confession. Can make you doubt yourself, that you did it.
- False confession because of asking over and over in interrogation.
- False memories can be dangerous
Constructive Predictions and Reconstructive Memory:
Two thinking processes, predicting our reactions to future events and remembering past events, both are subject to considerable error.
Predicting how certain outcomes will make us feel (D on term paper, winning the lottery)
We overestimate what these effects will be
- Repeated traumatic events occuring over a long stretch of time are not usually forgotten.
- Memories of abuse can be unintentionally implanted by therapist in an attempt to help the client
- If a therapist believes victims of abuse have low self esteem, fear of being alone in the dark, fear of losing control, the therapist can prod the client into remembering abuse.
What is confirmation bias?
The tendancy to seek confirmation of initial impressions or beliefs.
Ex: an experiement when girls were told they were going to meet either an extrovert or an introvert. They prepared questions that they would like to ask this person. What type of questions did they ask? Questions that would confirm their origional hypothesis. Those that thought they were meeting an extrovert, asked questions that would confirm it. "What do you do to liven up a party?"
- What is Fundamental Attribution Error?A general human tendency to overestimate the importance of personality or disposition factors relative to situational or enviornmental influences when describing and explaining the causes of social behavior.
- Ex: Person in grocery store on food stamps, "she is lazy". or a convicted burglar is considered a terrible human being.
- There are more reasons that what appear that would make someone a burglar or be on food stamps.
What is the power of the social role?
As observers, we frequently lose sight of the fact that each individual plays many social roles and we might be observing only one of them.
The importance of social roles can be easily overlooked in explaining a persons behavior.
What is Egocentric Thought?
When people have a tendency to perceive themselves as more central to events than is actually the case.
People engaging in egocentric thought tend to think of themselves as key players in past situations.
Ex: World leaders perceive the world of foreign affairs to be revolving about themselves.
Ex: Teen doesn't want to go to school with pimple on his head, believing more people are looking and paying attention to him than are.
Belief they are the center of the universe.
- What is self serving bias?The tendancy for individuals to make dispositional attributions for their successes and situational attributions for their failures.
- Ex: Basketball game, if they make the shot, attribute it to their "eagle eye" but if don't make the shot, she claimed she was fouled or a soft spot on the floor.
What is ego defensive behavior?
A threat to a positive self view, must be defended against - perhaps through denial or a good excuse.
Ego defensive behavior is reducing decision making, will always produce dissonance. Look at pro and con.
We exaggerate the positive aspects and downplay, deemphasize the negative, playdown negative, emphasise positive parts of decision.
- What is rituals of rebellion?
What is Self Justification?
People are motivated to justify their own actions, beliefs and feelings.
When they do something, they will try to convince themselves and others that it was logical, reasonable thing to do.
Ex: People injected with epinephrine. Some forwarned about the syptoms (palpitations, sweating, hand tremors) had a sensible reason when they appeared (just the side effects)
Those who were misled about the effects of the drug had no such handy, logical explanation for their syptoms. They couldn't leave the symptoms unjustified, they tried to account for them by convincing themselves that they were either deleriously happy or angry, depending on the social stimuli.
If in the middle of an earthquake and afraid, no need to justify your fear. But, if in neighboring town, feel slight tremors and heard about earthquake, experience fear, you would need to justify why you were afraid.
What is cognitive dissonance?
A state of tension that occurs whenever an individual simultaneously holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes) that are psychologically inconsistant.
Dissonance: Tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.
Feeling of tension, being uncomfortable when you hold 2 different views of something.
Ex: cigarettes, enjoy smoking but know it's hazardous to your health.
Must make the two beliefs compatable, so we minimize problem. "Haven't smoked long enough to do damage."
- Eating dessert everynight; know cholesterol is high, try to watch transfats. Gives pleasure but conflicting is that it's not healthy.
- Mind games - should be able to have what we enjoy
- Don't eat foods rest of the day.
- Seat Belts - We distort reality to justify actions. Exaggerate what will happen if quit smoking; will gain weight. We are not as rational as we believe, we rationalize things so we can be right.
- Our belief that we are consistant with what we believe about ourselves.
What is escalation phenomenon?
Foot in the door behavior. If you commit yourself in small way, easy to get small commitment, will commit to greater thing later.
When you commit in a small way, sets the stage for further commitment.
- What is Dissonance as a consequence of making a decision?
- Ex: Buying car
- Will always experience dissonance because the chosen alternative is seldom entirely positive and the rejected alternative are seldom entirely negative.
What is irrevocability? Why is it important?
When buying a house, if not put money down, won't experience effort in convincing yourself it was a wise choice not bought, but, if put money down, start minimizing the leak in the basement, the crack in the foundation. The decision was irrevocable after giving downpayment.
People are more certain they are right after decision is made.
Helps reduce dissonence - play up positive of decision so you can feel better.
Once a choice is made people can get busy making themselves feel good about the choice they have made.
People feel they have made a wise choice once there is nothing more they can do about it.
- What is Cultural Bias?
- Intelligence Testing - Does not show a persons intelligence, we are raised in different cultures, language influences what we know.
Decision to behave immorally.
How can an honest person become corrupt? How can we get a person to be more honest?
Making a decision to cheat on a test when drawing a blank and seeing the answer from the woman in front of you.
Your conscience tells you it's wrong to cheat--and yet if you don't, you fail. Whether you cheat or not, you will feel dissonance. If you cheat, because you are an honest person. If you don't, I could have made sure I got a good grade.
If you do cheat, how do you reduce dissonance?You must justify, "cheating isn't so wrong, it's part of human nature.
If you decide not to cheat, you would justify giving up a good grade, you must convince yourself how wrong cheating is.
- Internal Justification:Changing your attitude to the direction of your statement.
What is Inadequate Justification?
If paid an small amount to cheat, changed their attitude about cheating, "not so bad".
Those who did not cheat inspite of a large reward, hardened their attitude about cheating to greater extent than those who refrained in the face of a small reward.
The greater the dissonence, the greater the attitude change.
- Dissonance: The guilty feeling we deal with, psychology of justification.
- External Justification: money or punishment.
- Drunk, high reason why did something wrong
- Didn't want to hurt someone's feelings
- Didn't want to get punished
Internal Justification - start to believe your own lies- change your feelings, convince self it wasn't wrong.
Less external justification - more internal justification - brings about an attitude change, must happen to have Internal Justification.
Smaller the reward the greater Internal Justification.
Ex - small reward, greater attitude change will be.
Paid small amount, justify by saying "got a lot out of it"
Inadequate rewards: what affect does it have? If not rewarded with $, justify in our mind w/attitude change, trick ourselves. Will come up with good justification.
Insufficient Punishment - driving the speed limit when law officer in vacinity, children cheat on test and get caught will be embarrased by teacher and punished.
We don't cheat while teacher is in the room, but when left alone will cheat. Does sever punishment stop them?
No, they learn not to get caught.
Greater the punishment the more the child will mend his ways while you are watching him. But may hit his sister again as soon as you turn your back.
Severe threat of punishment provides the child ample external justification for not hitting his sister while being watched.
- The Justification Effort - If person works hard to attain goal, that goal will be more attractive to the individual than it will be to someone.
- More than one way to reduce dissonence -
- Severe or harsh punishment doesn't work to teach it wrong to cheat. It teaches its wrong to get caught. You must have milder punishment for person to persuade themselves that cheating is wrong.
- Can't justify not cheating with mild punishment - it's inadequate.
- Less severe the threat, less severe justification.
- Harsh punishment just brings out more aggression.
- Mild punishment, children less aggressive w/ fighting over children
Value initiation if you have been through it before.
Hell week in college. Why go through severe initiation?
Experiement: Join group to talk about sex (college students). Put students through, didn't know it was about insects.
Discussed human sexual things.
- What is justification of cruelty? If cruel to person, how do you justify if you are a nice person?
- Convince yourself they are getting what they deserved!They brought it on themselves (battered woman)
- Kent State - justified students killed by saying they were pregnant, dirty, bugs to dehumanize the students.
- People dehumanize people they don't like, especially those with high self esteem.
- Viet Nam - Mi Li masacre, said ok to kill children, so they don't grow up to be viet cong.
What is self fulfilling prophecy? Act on our impressions of others.
Teachers believe potential in their students to be bloomers, got smarter, making significantly larger gains in IQ than the children not labeled bloomers.
Children treated differently.
When teachers see potential in their students create a warmer "climate" for them, they give those stdents more attention, more critical feedback and more opportunities to respond.
In their belief in the studen's potential for growth, whether true or false, leads them to create the optimal conditions for the student to grow.
- The way we treat others in a way to confirm what we believe about someone.
- Ex: When teachers see potential in their sutdents they create a warmer climate for them, both verbally and nonverbally, they give those students more attention, more critical feedback and more opportunities to respond. These conditions would make anyone gain in intellectual ability.
- Their belief in the students potential for growth, whether true or false, leads them to create the optimal conditions for the student to grow.
- Experiment where children were given IQ test. They were split in two groups. The teachers were told their group were "bloomers" making significant intellectual gains, giving the teachers a false expectancy about some of their students. When they observed the results, the group who were labeled bloomers got smarter, significantly, over the children not labeled as bloomer.
What is Illusory Correlation?
When we perceive a relationship between two entities that we think should be related, but are not.
Ex: Subjects read 24 statements that described different persons by their names, occupations, and two prominent character traits (Tom, salesman, talkative, boring or Bill, accountant, timid, courteous). They created illusionary correlation between trait and occupation because some people happened to have that particular trait that is seen with the occupation.
Why do people dehumanize others?
To justify why they are treated poorly or cruely.
People dehumanize people they do not like, especially those with high self esteem.
Ex: Soldiers who murdered children in Viet Nam had to dehumanize them by believing they were justified in killing them because they would just grow up and be an enemy or threat.
People with lower self esttem, degrading your victim will decrease if they can pay you back.
Soldiers degrade civilians because they cannot retaliate.
It is much easier to hurt someone once you dehumanize, (call stupid) increased chance of future atrocity (cruel act ususally physical violence or injury) will happen.
- Children who score lower on IQ test have less expected of them by their teachers, poor motivation happens.
- Self fulfilling prophecy for student, "why try if going to be treated this way".
- They become what you say they will become by the way you treat them. People become frustrated and hopeless with despair, brings on aggression towards yourself or another person.
- See your group isn't given same opportunity as others.
- Leads to Retreatism, (withdraw from enemy, remove oneself from uncomfortable situation) "so much hopelessness, resort to drinking or suicide."
What is Ingroup/Outgroup Effects?
A way of categorizing people by dividing them into two groups; "my" group and "those in outgroup".
"us" vs "them", our school vs their school, Americans vs foreigners, my nationality vs yours, my lunch table vs others.
"Ingroup Favoritism" refers to the tendency to see one's own group as better on a number of dimensions and to allocate rewards to one's own group. (Mafia)
Experiment: Strangers were divided into groups using trivial, inconsequential criteria, such as flipping a coin that randomly assigned the to either Group X or Group Q, known as minimum group paradigm.
Significant results are often obtained on the basis of group identification that means very little. The subjects are total strangers prior to the study and never interact with one another, their actions are completely anonymous. But, they behave as if those who share thier meaningless label (group X or Q), are their good friends and close kin. They like those who share their label. They rate them as having a better personality, better work ethic than those of other label. More money and rewards allocated for those who share their label.
This is what leads to racial and ethnic prejudice.
- This grouping causes two consequences to happen:
- Homogeneity effect and ingroup favoritism. Homogeneity refers to the fact that we tend to see members of outgroups as more similar to one another than to the members of our own group, the ingroup. We imagine the "outgroup" to all look alike, act alike.
- Ex: Women in a sorority perceived more similarity between members of other sororities than within their own because when they thought of their own group they had knowledge of them as individuals, unique personality and lifestyle. When they thought of outgroup, they lacked that information so they considered them in terms of a group label.
What is Cognitive Dissonance?
Is a state of tension that occcurs whenever an individual simultaneously holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes) that are psychologically inconsistent. Because cognitive dissonance is unpleasant, people try to reduce it.
The behavior is driven by cognitive discomfort rather than physiological need. Two ideas that contradict each other.
How do we reduce cognitive dissonance? By changing one or both cogitions in such a way as to render them more compatible or by adding more cognitions that help bridge the gap between the original cognitions.
Ex: someone who smokes but reads cigarettes cause cancer may try to reduce dissonance by seeking out intelligent people who smoke, so that they can convince themselves if these intelligent people smoke, it can't be that bad.
A football game, the people observing the game think in favor of the team they like (if ball is fumbled, their reaction for/against penatly).
By reducing dissonance, we maintain a positive image of ourselves.
We do not process information in an unbiased manner. We distort it in a way that fits our preconceived notions.
- People do not like to see or hear things that conflict with their deeply held beliefs and wishes.
- An ancient response to such bad news was to kill the messanger. Modern day version of that is to blame the media for presenting material that produces the pain of dissonance.What influences our behavior? Person with high self esteem will experience more dissonence than someone who thinks of himself as "not nice", less dissonance because they find it easier to commit act of dissonance.
- If good person, dissonance more uncompfortable.
- Experiment: Prisoners with low self esteem were given plastic surgery to improve looks, bolstered their self esteem, less likely to return to prison.
- Power of the mind over body has physical effects of dissonance. Ex: Hypnosis, told people who were hypnotized that the temperature was dropping. They began to shiver. When told it was getting warmer, began to sweat.
- Told they would not feel pain of flame, no blisters.
Dissonance as a Consequence of Making a Decision:
President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, he wanted to believe their were weapons of mass destruction. He interpreted information to justify the launch into war. They continued to assert that weapons would be found in order to reduce their dissonance.
Now the president had to add new cognition to justify the war to the American people. Suddenly, the U.S. mission was to liberate the nation from a cruel dictator and give the Iraqi people the blessings of democratic institution. The president and his people were successfuly deceiving themselves.
- How does a leader avoid falling into the self-justification trap? By bringing in in a skilled advisor from outside his circle because the advisor will not be caught up in the need to reduce the dissonance created by the leaders earlier decision.
- Once a small commitment is made, it sets the stage for ever increasing commitments (Viet Nam, bombing an unwinable war.)
What is the foot in the door technique? If an individual commits himself in a small way, the more likely they are to continue in that direction.
The process of using small favors to encourage people to accede to larger requests.
Why is the theory of cognitive dissonance attracted such interest?
Because it can explain and predict phenomena not readily explainable in commonsense terms.
The dissonance theory has been applied to account for a great many phenomena, ranging from how rumors spread to practicing safer sex, to reduction of racial prejudice.
It can be used to motivate for learning or for parents looking for a more effective means than severe punishment for helping their children learn moral and humane values.
Ex: Marine Corp, College initiation has used severe initiation to increase their members commitment to the group.
Changing ones attitude to justify one's behavior can have a powerful effect and initiate processes that are persistent over period of time. (Ex: women overweight)
Dissonance and Water Conservation:
- This is achieved by an individual changes their attitude as a result of felt dissonance (wearing condom speech)
- to be more inline with the position they advocated.
Those students who signed poster encouraging people to conserve water, saying "Take shorter showers. If I can, you can"
through commitment or mindful condition through asking students to respond to a water conservation survey, consisting of items designed to make them aware of pro-conservative attitudes and the fact that their showering behavior was wasteful, students that were started taking shorter showers. They practiced what they preached.
- Dissonance and the Power of Cult Leaders:
Jonestown and Jim Jones, the Jonestown massacre where an individual could have power enough to command hundreds of people to kill their children and themselves.
- One clue, the foot in the door phenomenon where if you get a small commitment it will be easier to get large commitment in the future.How could this happen?
- Jim Jones was charismatic, getting members to commit themselves to donating small amounts of money in response to his message of peace and universal brotherhood, he is able to request and receive a great deal more in the future.
- Followers eventually left homes, living families and friends to start a new line in a strange and difficult environment. They work hard, therefore increasing their commitment) they are cut off from potential dissenting opinion and surrounded by true believers. Then Jones takes sexual liberties with several married women among his followers who acquiesce (accept reluctantly without protest). Then Jones claims to be the father of their children and eventually induces his followers to perform a series of mock ritual suicides as a test of loyalty and obedience. This step-by-step fashion increases the commitment to Jim Jones.
- There were a number of events that increased commitment to finally contribute to the tragic outcome of suicide.
- Cultural Dissonance - Japan did experiment where students were paid to lie and say a task was interesting. They found the students began to actually believe the task was interesting (dissonance) and if a person observes someone he knows and likes saying a task is interesting rather than boring, that observer will come to believe the task is interesting.
- The observers tend to bring their evaluation in line with a lie their friend has told.
If individuals concentrate their time and effort on protecting their ego, they will never grow. To grow, we must learn from our mistakes. If we are intent on reducing dissonance, we will not admit our mistakes. We turn them into virtues or sweep them under a rug.
- You can increase the probability of learning from a bad experience by:
- a greater understanding of your own defensiveness and dissonance-reducing tendencies.
- The realization that performing stupid or immoral actions does not mean I am stupid or an immoral person.
- The development of enough ego strength to tolerate errors in myself
- Increasing my ability to recognize the benefit of admitting my errors in terms of my own growth and learning as well as my ability to form close, meaningful relationships with other people.
What is the physiological effects of dissonance?
If they commit themselves to a situation voluntarily, low experience of dissonance. Ex: People volunteered to get electric shocks, no internal justification needed to lessen the pain.
If paid to do it, only small amount of $, higher degree of discomfort.
Hunger, Thirst and Pain - Strong psychological components
- Attitude change as a means of reducing dissonance is not limited to postdecision situations. It occurs when someone says something they don't believe or does something stupid or immoral.Lying about a painting so not to hurt the persons feelings - an efficient way of reducing dissonance because it completely justifies your action.
- Ex: saying something in a conversation that you really don't believe, later trying to reduce dissonance by finding a reason for what you did (had too much to drink, but when can't justify, necessary to attempt to explain behavior by using internal justification, changing your attitude in the direction of the statement. If you can convince yourself that you believe what you clamined, it will reduce dissonance.
- Form of External Justification - the belief that it is all right to tell a harmless lie to avoid hurting a persons feelings.
- Another reason for External Justification is reward - earning something.
What is Hypocrisy Model? Wanting to get people to not view themselves as hypocrite.
Getting people to use condom's by putting them in situation where they are being hypocritical. Ex: College students to volunteer to mae a film on the importance of using condom for High School students.
They experienced dissonance because they were hypocritical, not using condoms themselves.
- Ex: Having to give speech about using a condom to preven AIDS, 1/2 the group was reminded of their own failure to use condom. This caused dissonance because the were made aware of their own hypocrisy.
- To remove hypocrisy and maintain their self estee they would need to start practicing what they were preaching.
What is Just World Hypothesis?
"individuals have a need to believe that they live in a world where people generally get what they deserve and
deserve what they get"
The idea that people need to believe one will get what one deserves so strongly that they will rationalize an inexplicable injustice by naming things the victim might have done to deserve it. Also known as blaming
the victim, the just-world fallacy, and the just-world effect.
- Example: Because it’s far too frightening for many to accept that bad things can happen to good people, and therefore that they themselves have no control over whether bad things might happen to
- them someday, they will instead search for ways to differentiate themselves from victims of ill fortune. For example, outsiders might deride people whose houses were destroyed by a tornado, blaming them for
- choosing to live in a disaster-prone area or for not building a stronger house.
What is relative deprivation? When one group has more than the other rather than everyone in the same boat.
If you are deprived by the way you live, causes frustration.
Frustration is the main cause of aggression and hostility.
Blocked opportunity to reach ones goal.
Unsatisfied Hope - Promises good life for those who work hard - males get jobs more than female, will experience frustration
What is the definition of a bully?
Intent to cause harm, physically or verbally.
Manifests in teasing, hitting, tripping, taking money, damaging property, snapping bra.
Slam books, online
Peaks in elementary school, occurs in the absence of adult, and middle school
3 out of 10 children bullied
Boys are more physical in bullying
Girls are more toxic, spread rumors, hurt reputation
No bearing on geography, race
Bully's come from homes where aggression is used
It is perceived as a form of power and control by the bully
- Who is the potential victim of a bully?Someone who appears to be different; height, clothes, stature, nationality.
- Bullies do not act alone, those who stand by are accompliceSocial responsibility of parents to get involved.
- 75% of school shootings involve bullying
- Side effects of bullying to the victim;
- Irritable, nightmare, disease, miss school, comforting habits, suicidal thoughts, suicide
- Intervention:Support group, teach children conflict resolution, build self esteem to speak up
- Doing nothing, ignoring is wrong. It will not go away!
- Best intervention is through communication.
- To encourage the victim to fight back encourages negative interaction
- When teacher mediates, it puts more stress on victim
- Silence is a form of agreement , not a good role model, you MUST speak up
Social biological aggression - Ape like animals became prehuman, leaving the tree. No difference between male vs female in tree.
When on the ground, different issues. Need for protection from the danger of preditors. Women busy having babies, man had to become aggressive in order to protect and survive.
Natural selection - weaker, smaller, less muscular, less aggressive selected against, did not survive, died off.
Survival of the Fittest other males from different groups came to take women, had to protect
Male hormone, testosterone, linked to aggression.
- Socializing process comes from fathers - boys taught to be aggressive through boxing gloves, guns, prize fights, sport competition.
- You can raise a son to be less aggressive
- Social learning and aggression - if the part of a monkey's brain that produces aggressive behavior is stimulated, the monkey will not be aggressive in the presence of a monkey whom it has learned to fear.
- Ex: Person steps on your toe is a considerate person, accident vs someone who is thoughtless and doesn't care about you or the pain. The latter would produce an aggressive response.
- The intention attributed to person, taking the intention of the other person into account
- Experiment of 3rd graders, another child's clumsiness prevented them from achieving a goal that would have resulted in cash. The children given an explanation (child was sleepy and upset) did not retaliate with aggression but children who were not given an explanation, directed aggression.
- We are less apt to retaliate against someone who has provoked anger when we hear a good excuse for their behavior before the event occurs.
- Experiment - two groups, one paired with a college boxer the other with speech major. The accomplice provoked the group by shocking them; then half the angered subjects viewed a violent prizefight scene with the others watched a nonaggressive movie. Those who watched the prizefight, administered ore shocks to the tarted and longer when paired with the boxer than the speech major. Even evoking a name that is paired with a known boxer, can evoke anger even though it has nothing to do with what the person actually did.
- Aggression is still aggression whether it succeeds its goal or not, EX: Bottle thrown at your head and you duck so it misses you. Still an act of aggression. It is the intention that matters
Ways of reducing aggression in society:
1. Reduce injustices that erupt into violent behavior create more justice more equality.
More opportunity will reduce violent aggression through talking, reasoning. If no role model, must choose for yourself.
2. Severe punishment is effective only temporarily, must do more show long range, better way.
Children copy parents behavior. Child will learn "not to get caught" and will be aggressive outside the home.
3. Mild punishment by warm, caring adult
Identification - good role model
Internalization - isn't way we should behave, creates cognitive dissonance by internally justifying not being violent.
Severe punishment, capitol punishment - no real difference in crime rate from states that have capitol punishment and those that do not.
Public Hangings - for minor things like pick pockets did not work. While the pick pockets were being hung, pick pockets worked the crowd, picking their pockets. Seeing a bad guy punished does not reduce the bad behavior.
If children see aggressive behavior rewarded, will increase likelihood of aggressive behavior.
Klu Klux Klan - bring their children and babies to events in order to socialize child. Showed Klan killing blacks, increased membership. Reward for Klan was popularity.
Greatest effect - showing movie to little children increased Klu Klux Klan.
To change people who are aggressive needs long term rehab to change - in prison, w/counseling and job opportunities.
Prisoners who have murdered someone have the lowest repeat offense when out of prison because, recidivism. 75% of murders are from aggression.
Children ages 6-12 with aggressive and emotional problems were treated by rewarding alternative behavior, reward for good behavior by praising, lots of attention when not aggressive.
Don't give attention when being aggressive. Punishment is still attention.
Teach children to respond to their aggression in a more positive way:
communicate - learn to share their feelings
reward for good behavior
make leader for group
Build empathy towards other people, reverse dehumanization process by showing person as human rather than uncivilized.
Dehumanized victims of Kent State by saying they were pregnant, filthy, crawling with lice, putting them in an inferior category to justify aggression.
Emotional Learning is the only way to build empathy and reverse dehumanization.
When you are raised with a minority it builds empathy.
Equal status contact (Interdependent relationship, need other people, meaningful contact.)
When Trueman integrated the military there were a lot of people upset but more time spent together, more human they became.
Nonaggressive Role Models: parents, teachers, experiments shows this works.
What is Deindividuation? - A state of lessened self-awareness, reduced concern over social evaluation and weakened restraints against prohibited forms of behavior because they can remain anonymous.
Ex: Spring Break, Mardi Gra people have anonymity, anonymous so crowd can become a mob, getting carried away with the emotion of the crowd, leading toward more aggression. Don't have to take responsibility for their actions.
What is Hostile aggression? The act of aggression stemming from a feeling of anger and aimed at inflicting pain or injury.
What is Instrumental aggression? There is an intention to hurt the other person, but the hurting takes place as a means to some goal other than causing pain. EX: Football game; player needs to block other player and must be aggressive to do so. The intention is to win the game, not to injure the person.
Is Aggression instinctive, inborn, instinctive or is it a learned behavior?
Some view it that human beings in our natural state are brutes who need law enforcement to keep order.
Others view that we humans are gentle creatures in our natural state, and as a result of restrictive society we are forced to become hostile and aggressive.
Sigmund Freud theorized humans are born with an instinct towards life, Eros
, and equally powerful death instinct. Thanatos
, an instinct driven towards death, leads to aggressive behavior.
What is Freud's Hydraulic Theory?
an analogy based on that of water pressure building up in a container
, unless aggression is allowed to drain off, it will produce some sort of explosion. Therefore, it is important to turn the destructive energy into acceptable or useful behavior.
- Ways to reduce stress; sports, TV, movies reading all provide minor relief from aggression.
- We justify aggression by accentuating the negative behavior about the victim.
- Violence breeds more violence. Watching violence on TV breeds violence.
- Aggression to attract public attention (riots) dramatic way to get attention for minority.
- Causes backlash - when the troops get called off, more aggression happens.
Better to protest in nonviolent way is more effective than aggression.
Freud believed aggressive behavior must come out somehow or the body will break down with disease.
- Aggression does not need to be learned, though the behavior can be modified by experience.
Ex: Cat and Rat raised in the same cage. Cat did not attach rat.
- When rats were raised isolated from other rats, they attached the rat when entering the cage, just as experienced rats used.
Ex: Bonobo, companion to the chimp, when meeting at an eating ground will first participate in communal sex, then eat peacefully. The chimps, when meeting at the eating ground, fight over food. Bonobo's form a female dominated society and are known for their sensitivity to others in the group.
Psychologists point out that all organisms have evolved with a strong mechanism that allows them to suppress aggression when it is in their best interest to do so. Aggression is an optional strategy. Aggression can be eliminated within a culture.
Human culture shows that aggression can be modified as with primitive tribes like the Pygmies in Africa. They live in a cooperative friendliness, both within their own tribe and among their relations with others. Acts of aggression are extremely rare.
It is our civilized society, where our elected leaders choose to spend our resources on military hardware , family violence is commonplace, drive by shootings have become a tragic aspect of urban life, rampage killings take place in high schools, suicide bombers have emerged as a fact of life.
By changing social conditions, humans can modify their aggressive tendencies!
Homicide rates for white southern males are higher than those for white northern males, especially in rural areas. Southerners will be inclined to endorse violence for the protection of property, it is a culture of honor. They are likely to use violence as a result of argument related homicides.
Farmer vs cattle rancher; farm's wealth cant be stolen but cattle can, so ranchers must establish themselves as someone you don't mess with.
This leads to humans cognitively primed for aggression. EX: Southern students at college in Michigan. Another student (on purpose) bumps into student, who then insulted him by calling him a degenerative name. Compared with northern white males who tended to shrug off the insult, southerners were more likely to think their masculine reputation was threatened, and being primed for aggression, were more likely to engage in aggressive behavior.
Job application letters sent out by someone who killed someone to defend their honor, they were more likely to be hired by South rather than North.
When is aggression useful? Survival of the Fittest - strongest and most aggressive male survive, allowing the young animals to have the strongest and smartest mothers and fathers enabling the group to be led by best leaders.
Aggression within the same group plays an important role in feeding, reproduction and determining dominance patterns. The strongest male passes on his vigor to subsequent generations.
To suppress aggression would affect the the same mechanism that drives one to kill his neighbor drives another to conquer outer space, to sink his teeth into a difficult mathematical equation, attack a logical problem.
- Cooperative behavior and mutual aid have great survival value for many forms of life.
- Altruistic behavior is sharing, EX monkey in cages, one has food other does not. The monkey with the food, though hesitant, shares his food with other monkey.
We are affected by our culture, what goes on at the playground, neighborhood influences our aggressive behavior. When cooperation is emphasized in group that leads to survival- working as a group and that is important for survival.
Watching each others back, engrained in military, working together for a purpose.
Winning is emphasized in our culture; end justifies the means
"The need is now for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger and the bear". Loren Eiseley.
What is Cathersis? The release of energy.
Competitive sports provide the needed release of aggressive energy.
Is hitting a pillow cathartic? No. Ex: participants made angry by being insulted. Given three choices; slugging away at a punching bag thinking about person who insulted him, slugging the punching bag thinking of its physical benefit or the option to sit still for a few minutes without punching anything. Which students felt less angry afterwards? The students who sat still and did nothing.
Expressing aggression leads to greater hostility because once we express negative emotions towards another person , we label that person and it becomes easier to follow such behavior with consistent statements and actions.
Retaliation tends to be more aggressive than the initial insult or attack, we engage in overkill.
Overkill minimizes dissonance. The greater the discrepancy between what the person did to you and your retaliation, the greater the dissonance.
What causes aggressive behavior?
Violence itself, in addition to intergroup hatred, revenge, war.
When a person commits an act of aggression, especially with a force that exceeds what the victim may have done, this sets up cognitive and motivational forces aimed at justifying that aggression, which opens the door to increased aggression.
Neurological and Chemical causes for aggression: Area of the brain called the amygdala, is associated with aggressive behavior. When that area is stimulated, docile organisms become violent as when the neural activity of that area is blocked and violent organisms become docile.
Testosterone: Chemical that influences aggression. Linked to prisoners who have committed violent crimes as opposed to those of nonviolent crimes, testosterone levels are higher.
Does this make men more aggressive than women? Yes. When women are arrested it has more to do with property crimes like shoplifting, fraud, forgery.
Girls are more inclined to commit social forms of aggression called relational aggression where activity is aimed at hurting others by sabotaging their relationships with peers.
Alcohol and aggression: Lowers inhibitions against committing acts sometimes frowned on by society, including acts of aggression. When individuals ingest enough alcohol to make them legally drunk, they tend to respond more violently to provocations than those who have ingested little or no alcohol. 75% of people arrested for murder have been drunk.
Alcohol reduces inhibitions, making us less cautious.
Pain and Discomfort are major precursors of aggression. If we experience pain and cannot flee the scene, we are more likely to attack.
When experience a sharp, unexpected pain (stub our toe) we lash out at the nearest available target. Ex: students who underwent the pain of having their hand immersed in very cold water showed a sharp increase in actually committing aggressive acts against other students.
Heat, humidity, air pollution, offensive odors lower the threshold for aggressive behavior.
EX: Great deal of tension in U.S. regarding war in Viet Nam was due to "long, hot summer". The tendency for riots and other forms of civic unrest occur with greater frequency in the heat of summer than in the fall, winter or spring.
Heat did not increase the number of burglaries, only aggressive acts.
Frustration leads to aggressive behavior and is found to be the major instigator of aggression.
Frustration-aggression is the result of a person being thwarted on the way to a goal, resulting in frustration.
What is Desensitization?
The repeated exposure to painful or unpleasant events tends to have a numbing effect on our sensitivity to those events.
Numbing effect of TV Violence and Video games; those who watched a lot of TV daily seemed indifferent to the mayhem of watching a bloody boxing match.
- What is social learning?
- Ex: adults punching and kicking a plastic, air filled Bobo doll, saying verbal abuse against the doll, as children watched.
- When child given the same opportunity they were not only kicking and punching what was modeled for them by the adults, they became even more aggressive than the adults.
Violence in media has a profound impact on the behavior of adults.
- TV plays a vital role in socializing children. It is steeped in violence, 61% of all programming has violence.
- and 78% of those show no remorse, criticism or penalty for their violent behavior. 40% of initiated violence came from people that were seen as hero's.
- The more violence children see on TV the more aggressive their behavior will be as teens.
- Watching violent behavior on TV gives aggressive children permission to be aggressive.
Ex: Study of males watching a movie of violent rape, of sexual orientation but no violence and a nonviolent nonaggressive film. When asked to administer shocks to subjects who answered a question wrongly, those who watched the rape administered high levels of shock, to women.
Empathy is an important phenomenon. When people see someone who is in wheel chair, difficult to inflict pain. Most people find it difficult to inflict pain purposely on another human being unless dehumanizing them first.
- Dehumanizing is a way of justifying acts of cruelty.
Easier to commit act against a "gook" than a fellow human being.
- Empathy training activities
significantly decreases aggressive behavior.
Causes of aggression:
Neurological and Chemical - area in brain called amygdala, when stimulated causes aggression.
Testosterone - hormone causes aggressive behavior
Alcohol - 75% of murders are from person who is drunk.
Frustration and Aggression - blocked ability to reach a goal
Rejection, Exclusion and Taunting - Bullying
Social Learning - Watching role model be violent, TV