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Chapter 10: How Do We Relate With Others?

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1 Chapter 10: How Do We Relate With Others?

2 Social Psychology The study of thought and behavior as influenced by social situations Attitudes – an evaluative belief held about something Acquired through learning; classical, operant and social learning

3 Classical and Operant Conditioning of Attitudes
Classical Conditioning Learned emotional and physiological responses Operant Conditioning Attitudes strengthened if rewarded and weakened if punished Consequences of direct interaction with object affect attitude Social Learning Observe a model and store mental representation of behavior Attitudes tend to be most like those around us « Teaching Tip Have students come to the board and sketch out examples of how attitudes can be learned through classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning. This activity is great for helping students engage in elaborative rehearsal of the material.

4 The Link Between Attitudes and Behavior
Attitude-behavior consistency Researchers interested in why this is often lacking What variables affect attitude-behavior consistency? Answers have practical social value Politics, consumerism, safe sex, prejudice How can attitudes be changed? « Discussion Tip Have students discuss times in which their attitudes did not predict their behavior very well. Then ask them to explain why this was the case. Was there any social influence or pressure involved? If so, this makes a nice segue to topics like conformity, compliance, and obedience.

5 Cognitive Consistency and Attitude Change
Attitudes change as new knowledge is acquired and different experiences are had Cognitive consistency Desire to avoid contradictions among attitudes or between attitudes and behavior Why?... Cognitive Dissonance theory « Discussion Tip Dissonance is a difficult concept for students to grasp. To help them, have them try to generate their own examples of dissonant situations, and then discuss what would likely happen in these cases.

6 Bring new beliefs or attitudes to situation
Dissonance Theory Inconsistencies cause unpleasant physical state – dissonance Motivated to restore state of consonance Three ways to remove inconsistencies Change behavior Change attitudes Bring new beliefs or attitudes to situation

7 Persuasion and Attitude Change
Persuasion = Direct attempts to change attitudes Advertisements, media, politicians, friends Exposed to multitude of persuasion attempts on daily basis Cognitive processes engaged during the persuasive attempt influence effect Central route where messages are critically evaluated Peripheral route where superficial aspects of arguments influence « Teaching Tip Have the students bring in their favorite advertisements and analyze them to determine which persuasive techniques they employ. « Technology Tip Web site describing persuasion tactics commonly used by con artists.

8 Other Variables Affecting Persuasion
Communicator variables Credible, attractive, expert Especially in peripheral route Message variables Present both pros and cons Audience variables Easier on peripheral route than central route Positive moods use less careful evaluation Easier to persuade: low IQ, sometimes high IQ, younger

9 How We Form Impressions of Others
Impression formation = How we understand and make judgments about others Attempt to determine what others are like so we can predict their behavior and guide ours

10 The Attribution Process
Attribution = Judging people by observing and determining cause of behavior Trait attribution Traits, abilities, characteristics of person Situational attribution Environmental causes « Teaching Tip Arrange to have a confederate come to class and behave in some unusual way. Then ask the class to discuss the attributions they made about him or her and how they arrived at these judgments.

11 Heuristics and Biases in Attribution
Realistically, not always possible to make careful attributions Humans are ‘cognitive misers’ Often use heuristics or shortcuts to make conclusions about others May lead to errors and biases « Teaching Tip Discuss with students the possible merits of using heuristics to make attributions. Guide them to the conclusion that there is always a trade off between speed and accuracy in making judgments.

12 Fundamental Attribution Error
The tendency to rely more on trait attributions than situational Reasons for this not entirely clear Varies by culture Individualistic cultures emphasize individual behavior and success over group; more likely to make fundamental attribution errors Collectivistic cultures emphasize group over individual

13 When observing own behavior take more situational factors into account
Actor/Observer Bias When observing own behavior take more situational factors into account Appears self-serving, but not always Factors: Cannot see own behavior, focused outward Have different knowledge about self than other

14 Helps protect self-esteem May become too self-serving and hurt
Self-Serving Bias Tendency to make trait attributions for successes, situational attributions for failures Helps protect self-esteem May become too self-serving and hurt « Teaching Tip Have students work collaboratively in groups on some sort of task for about 15 minutes. Then ask them to anonymously rate their contribution to the group’s final output in terms of a percentage (0%–100%). If you sum the percentages, they will likely sum to greater than 100%, indicating that some or all of the people engaged in a form of the self-serving bias.

15 Prejudice: How It Occurs and How to Reduce It
Prejudice hampers lives through violence, hate crimes or subtler forms (discrimination against minorities in home loans, women in workforce) Of hate crimes, most common motivations are racial, religious, and sexual orientation Prejudice is an attitude and develops like other normal cognitive processes; it is unique in its divisiveness « Discussion Tip Prejudice is a very sensitive issue, but sometimes very profitable discussions can come from having students talk about the prejudice they have experienced in their personal lives. However, use your own judgment in setting appropriate boundaries for such a discussion. For example, do not allow pejorative language or personal attacks to take place. « Teaching Tip Have students do an online search for Implicit Associations Tests. These tests measure our level of prejudice at the implicit level of memory. Ask students to do these on their own time. You may wish to allow students to volunteer what they learned about themselves from doing these tests, but we do not recommend forcing students to divulge this information. Be sure to explain to students that our attitudes are affected by the culture we grow up in, and that having negative associations about certain people does not necessarily mean that you have to act on these ideas.

16 Prejudice and Stereotypes
Stereotype: formation of a schema for specific groups of people Stereotypes can be helpful or hurtful Prejudice is stereotype gone awry Biased, negative stereotype + negative affect = prejudice Discrimination: behavioral expression of prejudice

17 Stereotype threat impairs African Americans’ academic performance
Claude Steele Stereotype threat - Fear that others will judge one based on prejudicial stereotypes May end up reinforcing aspects of the prejudice Can inhibit task performance Stereotype threat impairs African Americans’ academic performance

18 Social Transmission of Prejudice
Develop through classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning Jane Elliot’s “experiment” Created prejudice within hours of beginning experiment Children tend to adapt parents’ beliefs, more so for egalitarian beliefs than prejudicial beliefs Shaped by peers « Discussion Tip Have students discuss the ethics of Jane Elliot’s classroom demonstration of prejudice. « Technology Tip Anti-Defamation League’s Web site, entitled 101 Ways to Combat Prejudice, outlines practical ways to reduce prejudice in our world.

19 In-Group Bias: Us vs. Them
In-group bias: prefer groups of which we are members Like group members more than others Contributes to self-esteem View out-group members as inferior Affects way we perceive out-group members Out-group homogeneity bias: perceive members of out-group as alike

20 Intergroup Conflict and Prejudice: It’s Their Fault
Realistic-conflict theory Conflict amongst groups for resources (e.g. jobs, trophies) contributes to development of prejudice Minority out-group can become scapegoats Racial prejudice when direct competition between groups for jobs Muzafer Sherif’s Robber’s Cave experiment Competition between groups and affiliation with group led to prejudice

21 Does Social Contact Reduce Prejudice?
Contact hypothesis: contact between groups reduces prejudices Contact alone does not reduce prejudice, must be cooperative contact Superordinate goal: goal both groups want to achieve, but need help of other group Become one group, with one mission

22 Group Contact Characteristics That Reduce Prejudice
Groups need each other Have a common, superordinate goal Work at same level on equal playing field Contact is hospitable, informal, and free from negative emotional interaction Contact lasts a significant period of time Norm promote harmony and mutual respect

23 Real-life application of group contact Elliot Aronson
The Jigsaw Classroom Real-life application of group contact Elliot Aronson Jigsaw classroom: students from different ethnic groups work together to complete a project Reduces prejudice and hostility Increases academic performance and self-esteem Goal 4 – Application of Psychology. The real life strategy of jigsaw classroom is described.

24 The Nature of Attraction
Attitudes formed about a person determine whether or not we will be attracted Affective component particularly important Proximity Physical closeness to person affects attraction (someone we see often, live near) Mere exposure effect: the more often we see person or object, the more we like it Similarity Similarity predicts attraction across all cultures « Discussion Tip Prior to lecturing on attraction, have students discuss what qualities they find attractive in a potential mate. For people in relationships, ask them to discuss the ways in which they are similar and dissimilar from their partners. Do they see evidence for balance theory and/or the matching hypothesis in their own relationships?

25 The Nature of Attraction: Physical Attractiveness
Standards of attractiveness vary by culture, but is important factor in attraction Important to both men and women, with men placing more emphasis on it Matching hypothesis: involved with people whose physical attractiveness is similar to ours True for friendships and romantic partners Attractive people perceived as more interesting, kind, sociable, sensitive, and nurturing May be part biological and instinctive « Technology Tip page from the Jacksonville State University Encyclopedia of Psychology Web site that deals with information on attraction.

26 Figure 10.3 Cultural Differences in Physical Attractiveness
Which of these people do you find attractive? Standards of physical attractiveness vary across some cultures.

27 Groups and Group Influence
We belong to a multitude of groups Functions of groups Companionship Security Social identity Helps in gaining information and achieving goals Groups have power to influence behavior « Teaching Tip Give students 3 minutes to list all the groups to which they belong. This activity will drive home the meaning of the term “group” for students.

28 Social Forces Within Groups: Norms and Cohesiveness
Norms: laws that guide behavior of group members Explicit or implicit Breaking norms results in unpleasant consequences Cohesiveness: desire to maintain membership in group High cohesiveness includes high pressure to meet group norms Increases conformity « Teaching Tip Have a “break a norm” day in which students have to break a norm all day long. Then have them write a paper about their experiences. Be sure to caution students ahead of time not to break norms that are likely to get them into serious trouble (e.g., breaking the law). Review Table 10.2 Some Cross-Cultural Differences in Norms Governing Conversation Within the United States

29 Conformity Within a Group
Solomon Asch Subjects given series of lines and asked questions about them Confederates deliberately chose incorrect answers Subjects were most likely to follow confederates and choose wrong answer (74%) Conformity increases as majority group increases Maximum conformity with only 3 confederates

30 Figure 10.4 The Asch Procedure for Testing Conformity (after Asch, 1951)
In Asch’s study, 74% of the subjects conformed and chose the 6 1⁄4 line as the match for the comparison line after hearing the confederates make this obviously incorrect choice.

31 Factors Contributing to Conformity
Lacking confidence in own abilities High cohesiveness in group Responses are public, not anonymous Group has at least 3 unanimous members The idea of conformity is a cultural norm and/or no personal need to feel individuated « Technology Tip Web site from a group called the Center for Unhindered Living that contains arguments for why we should not conform to traditional norms. This site is highly opinionated and espouses opinions that many will find controversial. It may be useful in sparking discussion on the pros and cons of conformity.

32 Explaining Conformity
During debriefing Asch asked why conformed Normative conformity Subjects who knew their answer was wrong, but went along with group Desire to fit with group and be liked by others Informational conformity Subjects became convinced that their choice was actually wrong Heightened when unsure of opinions or abilities « Discussion Tip Point out to students that at times people who appear to be nonconformists are really just conforming to a different set of norms. Have students try to generate an example of a person who is truly a nonconformist. Also discuss how conformity can be both a good and bad thing.

33 Stanford Prison Experiment: The Dark Side of Conformity
Phillip Zimbardo Subjects assigned role of prisoner or guard in mock prison Within days, disturbing behaviors emerged Abuse on parts of guards Prisoners became docile and depressed

34 Explaining the Stanford Prison Experiment
New setting, isolated from outside world and norms of society, new norms developed Deindividuation – behavior controlled by external norms rather than internal values and morals Several aspects of experiment contributed to deindividuation

35 Decision Making in Groups
Group decisions not necessarily better than decisions made by individuals Groupthink: group fixates on one decision, without examining alternatives Factors related to group think: Group isolation (no outside information) Group cohesiveness (don’t rock the boat) Strong dictatorial leadership (can’t disagree) Stress in group (may not think logically)

36 Compliance Techniques
Foot-in-the-Door First asked to comply with small request, then bigger requests Effective because most want to behave in consistent manner – compliance reduces dissonance Door-in-the-Face Large request followed by smaller request High rates of compliance Effective for may reasons: perceptual contrast, reciprocity, guilt « Teaching Tip Have students do an assignment in which they use compliance techniques to develop a telemarketing script to help them solicit donations for a fictional charity. However, caution them that to actually attempt to solicit such funds would constitute fraud.

37 Studies have replicated results
Obedience Stanley Milgram Research question: Is it possible that the average person could be influenced to hurt others if an authority figure gave order to do so? Subjects asked to shock unseen participants (confederates) when mistake made on word list 65% of subjects shocked up to the 450-volt mark (even when confederate appeared injured) Studies have replicated results « Technology Tip Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg, contains footage of interviews with Holocaust survivors, as well as other information on the Holocaust. « Discussion Tip Discuss the Abu Ghraib prison scandal with your class. Explore how conformity, compliance, obedience, and prejudice may have contributed to the abuse. A repository of information on the scandal can be found at

38 Factors That Affect Obedience
Presence of perceived authority figure (relieves responsibility, intimidates) Physical distance of authority figure Timing of request (came quickly, little time to think) Shock levels increase incrementally (foot-in-the-door phenomenon, slippery slope) Psychological distances (don’t see consequences of actions) <<Teaching Tip Review Table 10.3 Some Experimental Conditions in Milgram’s Experiments and Their Resultant Rates of Obedience

39 Revisiting the Obedience Studies
Milgram’s study a demonstration of destructive obedience: that which leads to harm of others Ethics of study? Effect on subjects: stress-related behaviors, use of deception led to this Actual purpose of research was disclosed to participants (debriefing), but they are left with knowledge of their behavior Modern ethical principles guiding research

40 Aggression Aggression: action intended to cause harm to another Instrumental aggression: aimed at satisfying goal Hostile aggression: motivated by desire to hurt U.S. is considered an aggressive society

41 Biological Theories of Aggression
Males tend to be more aggressive then females 80%+ of violent crimes, including murder May be related to testosterone; correlation does not imply causation Serotonin Lower levels of serotonin found in two groups: survivors of suicide and adults institutionalized since childhood for aggression

42 Childhood Abuse and Aggression
Correlation between aggression and possible brain damage related to child abuse Child abuse and neglect correlated with several structural brain abnormalities Hippocampus, amygdala, left frontal and temporal lobes, cerebellum, corpus callosum

43 Learning Theories of Aggression
Albert Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiments Aggression is learned by viewing an aggressive model

44 Does Television Portray Violence Accurately?
TV portrays aggression unrealistically Portrays incidence of aggression as higher than actual rates No negative repercussions for aggressive acts Victims’ suffering not portrayed accurately Least accurate portrayal in children’s programs Leave children with false impressions regarding aggression, increasing likelihood children will model behavior « Technology Tip Web site for the UCLA Television Monitoring Report, a project that examines violence on television.

45 Situations That Promote Aggressive Behavior
Frustration-aggression hypothesis When frustrated, we activate a motive to harm others or objects Motives directed at what appears to be source of frustration Abusive parents may be in stressful situations such as poverty

46 Helping Behavior: Will You Or Won’t You?
Just as humans can engage in negative behaviors, we can also be very generous Altruism: willingness to help others without considering personal benefit Capacity for kindness and compassion What factors influence helping behavior? « Teaching Tip Before you begin talking about helping behavior, caution students to keep in mind that sometimes there are real costs involved in helping others. Remind them to always use common sense and good judgment when deciding whether to help others.

47 The Murder of Kitty Genovese
1964 Kitty Genovese was murdered in New York City while 38 of her neighbors heard Not one contacted the police or intervened Factors involved in decision to help Noticing something is occurring Correctly interpret events Feeling responsibility to intervene Deciding how to help Implementing strategy « Technology Tip Web site from Crime TV that discusses the Kitty Genovese murder.

48 Diffusion of responsibility
The Bystander Effect Latane and Darley Failure can occur at any stage in helping decision process As number of bystanders increases, likelihood of intervention decreases Diffusion of responsibility With more bystanders, more diffusion Pluralistic ignorance Group failure to perceive problem <<Teaching Tip Review Table 10.4, discussing variables that influence helping behavior

49 When People Choose to Help
People do choose to help total strangers Many forms and examples of altruism exist Failure to help not typically due to apathy or cruelty but to misunderstanding, confusion, or fear « Technology Tip Web site by a group called How You Can Change the World that contains information on ways to be altruistic and a forum to discuss ways to positively influence the world. Note: this site is politically liberal.


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