2 What Is Social Psychology? Social Psychology: Scientific studies of how individuals behave, think, and feel in social situations; how people act in the presence (actual or implied) of othersNeed to Affiliate: Desire to associate with other people; appears to be a basic human trait
3 Comparison and Attraction Social Comparison: Making judgments about ourselves by comparing ourselves to others (e.g., comparing our feelings and abilities to those of other people)Interpersonal Attraction: Social attraction to another personPhysical Proximity: Physical nearness to another person in terms of housing, school, workPhysical Attractiveness: Person’s degree of physical beauty as defined by his or her cultureHalo Effect: Tendency to generalize a limited impression to other personal characteristicsCompetent: When people display a high degree of knowledge, ability, or proficiency
4 SimilaritySimilarity: Extent to which two people are alike in terms of age, education, attitudes, and so onSimilar people are attracted to each otherHomogamy: Tendency to marry someone who is like us in almost every way
5 Self-DisclosureProcess of revealing one’s private thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and personal history to othersShould be used cautiously and sparingly by the therapist performing therapyMay lead to countertransference in therapy (when the therapist makes an unhealthy connection to the client)Reciprocity: Return in kind; reciprocal exchangeOverdisclosure: Self-disclosure that exceeds what is appropriate for a relationship or social situation
6 Love and AttachmentRomantic Love: Marked by high levels of interpersonal attraction, sexual desire, and heightened arousalLiking: Relationship based on intimacy but lacking passion and commitmentMutual Absorption: When two lovers almost always attend only to each otherEvolutionary Psychology: Study of evolutionary origins of human behavior patterns
7 Figure 14.2FIGURE 14.2 What do people look for when considering potential dating partners? Here are the results of a study in which personal ads were placed in newspapers. As you can see, men were more influenced by looks, and women by success
8 Life in GroupsSocial Role: Patterns of behavior expected of people in various social positions (e.g., daughter, mother, teacher, President (!))Ascribed Role: Assigned to a person or not under personal controlAchieved Role: Attained voluntarily or by special effort (teacher, mayor, President)Role Conflict: When two or more roles make conflicting demands on behavior
9 GroupsGroup Structure: Network of roles, communication, pathways, and power in a groupGroup Cohesiveness: Degree of attraction among group members or their commitment to remain in the groupIn Group: A group with which a person identifiesOut Group: Group with which a person does not identifyCohesive groups work better together
10 Some More Important Terms Status: Level of social power and importanceNorm: Accepted but usually unspoken standard for appropriate behavior
11 Figure 14.3FIGURE 14.3 Results of an experiment on norms concerning littering. The prior existence of litter in a public setting implies that littering is acceptable. This encourages others to “trash” the area.
12 Social PerceptionFundamental Attribution Error: Tendency to attribute behavior of others to internal causes (personality, likes, etc.). We believe this even if they really have external causes!Actor-Observer Bias: Tendency to attribute behavior of others to internal causes while attributing one’s own behavior to external causes (situations and circumstances).
13 Social InfluenceChanges in a person’s behavior induced by the actions of another person.Someone else influences your decision: husband, wife, mother, peer, etc.Types of Social Influence:Conformity, Obedience, Compliance
14 ConformityBringing one’s behavior into agreement with norms or the behavior of others.Solomon Asch’s Experiment: You must select (from a group of three) the line that most closely matches the standard line. All lines are shown to a group of seven people (including you).Other six were accomplices, and at times all would select the wrong line.In 33% of the trials, the real subject conformed to group pressure even when the group’s answers were obviously incorrect!
15 FIGURE 14.4 Stimuli used in Solomon Asch’s conformity experiments.
16 Group Factors in Conformity Groupthink: Compulsion by decision makers to maintain agreement, even at the cost of critical thinkingGroup Sanctions: Rewards and punishments administered by groups to enforce conformity or punish nonconformityUnanimity: Unanimous agreement
17 Obedience (Milgram) Conformity to the demands of an authority. Would you shock a man with a known heart condition who is screaming and asking to be released?Milgram studied this; the man with a heart condition was an accomplice and the “teacher” was a real volunteer. The goal was to teach the learner word pairs.
18 Milgram’s Conclusions 65% obeyed by going all the way to 450 volts on the “shock machine,” even though the learner eventually could not answer any more questionsGroup support can reduce destructive obedienceIncreased closeness between the teacher and learner also reduced obedience
19 Figure 14.6FIGURE 14.6 Results of Milgram’s obedience experiment. Only a minority of subjects refused to provide shocks, even at the most extreme intensities. The first substantial drop in obedience occurred at the 300-volt level (Milgram, 1963).
20 Figure 14.7FIGURE 14.7 Physical distance from the “learner” had a significant effect on the percentage of subjects obeying orders.
21 ComplianceBending to the requests of one person who has little or no authority or social power.Foot-in-the-Door Effect: A person who has agreed to a small request is more likely later to agree to a larger demand.Once you get a foot in the door, then a sale is almost a sure thing.Door-in-the-Face Technique: A person who has refused a major request will be more likely later on to comply with a smaller request.After the door has been slammed in your face (major request refused), person may be more likely to agree to a smaller request.
22 Compliance (cont'd)Low-Ball Technique: Commitment is gained first to reasonable or desirable terms, which are then made less reasonable or desirable.Henry accepts a great price the for a new car. Then later the salesperson informs Henry of the multiple fees that need to be added to the price, making the final price not such a good deal at all.Passive Compliance: Quietly bending to unreasonable demands or unacceptable conditions.
23 Assertiveness Training Instruction in how to be self-assertiveSelf-Assertion: Standing up for your rights by speaking out on your behalf; direct, honest expression of feelings and desiresAggression: Hurting another person or achieving one’s goals at the expense of another personAttempting to get one’s way no matter whatNo regard for others’ feelings
24 Attitudes and BeliefsAttitude: Learned tendency to respond to people, objects, or institutions in a positive or negative waySummarize your evaluation of objectsBelief Component: What a person believes about the attitudinal objectEmotional Component: Feelings toward the attitudinal objectAction Component: One’s actions toward various people, objects, or institutions
25 Attitude FormationDirect Contact: Personal experience with the object of the attitudeInteraction with Others: Discussions with people holding a particular attitudeChild Rearing: Effects of parental values, beliefs, and practicesGroup Membership: Affiliation with othersMass Media: All media that reach large audiences (magazines, television)Mean World View: Viewing the world as dangerous and threatening
26 Attitude Measurement and Change Chance Conditioning: Learning that takes place by chance or coincidenceReference Group: Any group a person identifies with and uses as a standard for social comparisonPersuasion: Deliberate attempt to change attitudes or beliefs through information and argumentsCommunicator: Person presenting arguments or informationMessage: Content of communicator’s argumentsAudience: Person or group to whom a persuasive message is directed
27 Cognitive Dissonance (Festinger) Contradicting or clashing thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, or perceptions that cause discomfortWe need to have consistency in our thoughts, perceptions, and images of ourselvesWhat happens when people act in ways that are inconsistent with their attitudes?Justification: Degree to which one’s actions are explained by rewards or other circumstancesIf little justification exists for actions, we will change our attitude to reduce the dissonanceUnderlies attempts to convince ourselves we did the right thing
28 Figure 14.6Cognitive dissonance is a state of tension that arises when people perceive that their attitudes do not match their behavior. Theoretically, they could resolve this discrepancy by changing either their attitudes or their behavior or by developing a new attitude or excuse to explain the discrepancy. Most of the research, however, has focused on how cognitive dissonance leads to a change of attitudeCognitive DissonanceThe classic study on cognitive dissonance was done by Festinger and Carlsmith in 1959.The general principle is that, if you entice people to do something by means of a minimum reward or a tiny threat so that they are acting voluntarily or almost voluntarily, they will change their attitudes to defend what they are doing to reduce cognitive dissonance. This procedure is a powerful way of changing attitudes because people are actively participating, not just quietly listening to someone.**If you start by changing people’s behavior, their attitudes will change too.
29 Figure 14.10FIGURE Summary of the Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) study from the viewpoint of a person experiencing cognitive dissonance.
30 CultsGroups that profess great devotion to a person and follow that person almost without questionLeader’s personality is usually more important than the issues he/she preachesMembers usually victimized by the leader(s)Recruit potential converts at a time of need, especially when a sense of belonging is most attractive to potential convertsLook for college students and young adults
32 Humans in Social Context Social RolesPatterns of behavior expected of people in various social positionsAscribed RoleAssigned to a person or not under personal controlAchieved RoleAttained voluntarily by special effortRole ConflictWhen two or more roles make conflicting demands on behaviorAscribed RoleAssigned to a person or not under personal controlAchieved RoleAttained voluntarily by special effort (teacher, mayor, President)Role ConflictWhen two or more roles make conflicting demands on behavior
33 Group Structure, Cohesion, and Norms Network of roles, communication, pathways, and power in a groupGroup CohesivenessDegree of attraction among group members or their commitment to remaining in the groupBehavior tends to be closely coordinated
34 Group Structure, Cohesion, and Norms In GroupA group with which a person identifiesGroup cohesiveness is strongOften attributed positive qualitiesOut GroupGroup with which a person does not identifyOften attributed negative qualitiesWe tend to exaggerate differences between the two
35 Group Structure, Cohesion, and Norms StatusLevel of social power and importanceHigher status bestows special privileges and respectNormWidely accepted but usually unspoken standard for appropriate behavior
37 BrainwashingEngineered or forced attitude change requiring a captive audience; three steps:Unfreezing: Loosening of former values and convictionsChange: When the brainwashed person abandons former beliefsRefreezing: Rewarding and solidifying new attitudes and beliefs
38 Cults (cont'd)Some examples: People’s Temple and Jim Jones; Heaven’s Gate; Branch DavidiansWhere does “Scientology” fit?
39 PrejudiceNegative emotional attitude held toward members of a specific social groupDiscrimination: Unequal treatment of people who should have the same rights as othersPersonal Prejudice: When members of another racial or ethnic group are perceived as a threat to one’s own interestsGroup Prejudice: When a person conforms to group norms
40 Prejudiced Personality and Intergroup Conflict Authoritarian Personality: Marked by rigidity, inhibition, prejudice, and oversimplificationEthnocentrism: Placing one’s group at the center, usually by rejecting all other groupsSocial Stereotypes: Oversimplified images of people who belong to a particular social groupSymbolic Prejudice: Prejudice expressed in a disguised fashion“Prejudice is socially unacceptable,” but will still express prejudice in disguised form
41 Other Concepts Relating to Prejudice Status Inequalities: Differences in power, prestige, or privileges of two or more people or groupsEqual-Status Contact: Social interaction that occurs on an equal level, without obvious differences in power or statusSuperordinate Goal: Goal that exceeds or overrides all other goals, making other goals less important
42 Classroom IdeasMutual Interdependence: When two or more people must depend on each other to meet each person’s goals.Jigsaw Classroom: Each student only gets a piece of information needed to complete a problem or prepare for a test; to succeed and get all pieces, students must all work together.Prejudicial stereotypes tend to be very irrational
43 AggressionAny action carried out with the intention of harming another person.Ethologists believe that aggression is innate in all animals, including humans.Ethologist: Studies natural behavior patterns of animals.There appears to be a relationship between aggression and hypoglycemia, allergy, and certain brain injuries and disorders.Certain brain areas can trigger or end aggressive behavior.Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: Frustration tends to lead to aggression
44 Aversive Stimuli Produce discomfort or displeasure Aggression Cues: Signals that are associated with aggressionWeapons Effect: Observation that weapons serve as strong cues for aggressive behavior
45 Figure 14.12FIGURE Personal discomfort caused by aversive (unpleasant) stimuli can make aggressive behavior more likely. For example, studies of crime rates show that the incidence of highly aggressive behavior, such as murder, rape, and assault, rises as the air temperature goes from warm to hot to sweltering (Anderson, 1989). The results you see here further confirm the heat-aggression link. The graph shows that there is a strong association between the temperatures at major league baseball games and the number of batters hit by a pitch during those games. When the temperature goes over 90°, watch out for that fastball (Reifman, Larrick, & Fein, 1991)!
46 Social Learning Theory (Bandura) and Television Social Learning Theory: Combines learning principles with cognitive processes, socialization, and modeling to explain behaviorNo instinctive (innate) desires for shooting guns, knife fights, and so onAggression must be learnedDisinhibition: Removal of inhibition; results in acting-out behavior that normally would be restrainedTelevision seems to be able to cause desensitization to violenceDesensitization: Reduced emotional sensitivity
47 Figure 14.13FIGURE Violent behavior among delinquent boys doesn’t appear overnight. Usually, their capacity for violence develops slowly, as they move from minor aggression to increasingly brutal acts. Overall aggression increases dramatically in early adolescence as boys gain physical strength and more access to weapons
48 Social Learning Theory and Television: A Conclusion Television seems to be able to cause desensitization to violenceDesensitization: Reduced emotional sensitivity
49 Prosocial Behavior and Bystander Apathy Prosocial Behavior: Behavior toward others that is helpful, constructive, or altruisticBystander Apathy: Unwillingness of bystanders to offer help during emergenciesRelated to number of people presentThe more potential helpers present, the lower the chances help will be given
50 Decision Points Reached before Giving Help Noticing the person in troubleDefining an Emergency: Until someone declares the situation an emergency, no one actsTaking Responsibility: Assume responsibility to helpDiffusion of Responsibility: Spreading responsibility to act among several peopleSelect a course of action
51 Figure 14.15FIGURE This decision tree summarizes the steps a person must take before making a commitment to offer help, according to Latané and Darley’s model.
52 Empathy ConceptsEmpathic Arousal: Emotional arousal that occurs when you feel some of the person’s pain, fear, or anguishEmpathy-Helping Relationship: Helping person in need because we have emotions such as empathy and compassion for that person
53 MulticulturalismGives equal status to different ethnic, racial, and cultural groupsTwo ways to break stereotypesSeek individuating information that helps you see a person as an individual and not as a member of a group.Don’t believe just-world beliefs: That people generally get what they deserve.
54 More Ways to Break Stereotypes Note self-fulfilling prophecies: Expectations that prompt people to act in ways that make expectations come true.Understand that different does not mean inferior.Social Competition: Rivalry among groups, each of which regards itself as superior to others.Look for commonalities