Presentation on theme: "The Social Animal Man is by nature a social animal; an animal who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than."— Presentation transcript:
1 The Social AnimalMan is by nature a social animal; an animal who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something in nature that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.AristotlePolitics, c. 328 B.C.
2 What is Social Psychology? Aristotle is credited as the first serious thinker to formulate some of the basic principles of social influence and persuasion.Unlikely that he was the first person to make such an observation.What does it mean to say that humans are “social animals”?
3 What is Social Psychology? There are as many definitions of “social psychology” as there are social psychologists.One critical component is social influence…
4 What is Social Psychology? Working definition of social psychology: The influences that people have upon the beliefs or behavior of others.Thoughts about these influences lead to many questions, about which most of us are interested…
5 What is Social Psychology? Questions about social influence:How are people influenced?Why do they accept influence?What are the variables that increase or decrease the effectiveness of social influence?Does such influence have a permanent or transitory effect?Do these effects influence everyone the same way?How does one person come to like another person? To like objects?How does a person develop prejudice?
6 What is Social Psychology? In some ways, we are all amateur social psychologists!Like scientific investigators, amateur psychologists test hypotheses.Unlike scientific investigators, however, amateurs lack rigor and impartiality.
7 What is Social Psychology? Rigorous and impartial study is important, even if the results of some social psychology studies seem obvious.
8 What is Social Psychology? One issue: Hindsight biasOur tendency to overestimate our powers of prediction once we know the outcome of a given eventAnother issue: “Truth”Many of the things we “know” turn out to be false when carefully investigated.
9 What is Social Psychology? Professional social psychologists have a great advantage over amateurs:Although both begin with careful observation, professional psychologists go beyond simple observation to actually make social situations happen.Can conduct experiments, holding some variables constantCan draw conclusions based on data more precise and numerous than those available to amateurs
10 What is Social Psychology? Most data in the text are based upon experimental evidence.To understand the experiments discussed, it is important to understand the experimental method.The final chapter in the book discussed methodology in more detail.
11 What is Social Psychology? The social psychologist studies situations that affect people’s behavior, sometimes in ways easily classified as abnormal.Aronson’s first law:People who do crazy things are not necessarily crazy.
12 What is Social Psychology? People have a tendency to explain unpleasant behavior by attaching a label to the perpetrator (e.g., “crazy”), thereby excluding that person from the rest of “us nice people.”In that way, we need not worry about it.
13 What is Social Psychology? The danger in this kind of thinking is that it tends to make us smug about our own susceptibility to situational pressures and leads to a simple-minded approach to the solution of social problems.
14 What is Social Psychology? In fact, some situational variables can move a great proportion of us “normal” adults to behave in very unappetizing ways.It is of paramount importance that we attempt to understand these variables and the processes producing the unpleasant or destructive behavior.
15 What is Social Psychology? Example: PrisonGuards?We may imagine them to be tough, callous, unfeeling, maybe even sadistic.A dispositional view of the world: People become guards to have an opportunity to exercise their cruelty with impunity.Prisoners?We may imagine them to be rebellious or docile or something else altogether.
16 What is Social Psychology? Example: PrisonRegardless of what we picture in our heads, the point is that there are pictures there already – and most of us believe that the prisoners and guards are quite different from us in character and personality.May be true, but may be much more complicated than thatExample: Zimbardo Stanford “Prison” Study
17 By Feb. 6th http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/aronson10e/default.asp You should have read chapter one by this time. Now that you have completed these power points, please go to the Social Animal website.Log in and take the quiz for chapter one, submit answers to my .