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Chapter 16: Social Behavior

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1 Chapter 16: Social Behavior

2 What is Social Psychology? Some Definitions
Social Psychology: Scientific study of how individuals behave, think, and feel in social situations; how people act in the presence (actual or implied) of others Culture: Ongoing pattern of life that is passed from one generation to another

3 Affiliation Need to Affiliate: Desire to associate with other people; appears to be a basic human trait Social Comparison: Making judgments about ourselves by comparing us to others; e.g., comparing our feelings and abilities to those of other people

4 Interpersonal Attraction
Social attraction to another person Physical Proximity: Physical nearness to another person in terms of housing, school, work, and so on Physical Attractiveness: Person’s degree of physical beauty as defined by his or her culture Halo Effect: Tendency to generalize a favorable impression to unrelated personal characteristics

5 Similarity Similarity: Extent to which two people are alike in terms of age, education, attitudes, and so on Similar people are attracted to each other Homogamy: Tendency to marry someone who is like us in almost every way

6 Figure 16.2 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 (Goode, 1996). Figure 16.2

7 Self-Disclosure Process of revealing private thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and one’s personal history to others Should be used cautiously and sparingly when you are the therapist performing therapy May lead to countertransference in therapy (When the therapist makes an unhealthy connection to the client)

8 More on Self-Disclosure
Reciprocity: Return in kind; reciprocal exchange Overdisclosure: Self-disclosure that exceeds what is appropriate for a relationship or social situation

9 Love and Attachment Romantic Love: Marked by high levels of interpersonal attraction, sexual desire, and heightened arousal Liking: Relationship based on intimacy and affection but lacking passion or deep commitment Mutual Absorption: When two lovers almost always attend only to each other Evolutionary Psychology: Study of the evolutionary origins of human behavior patterns

10 Social Roles 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 control Achieved Role: Attained voluntarily or by special effort: teacher, mayor, President Role Conflict: When two or more roles make conflicting demands on behavior and on people

11 Groups Group Structure: Network of roles, communication, pathways, and power in a group Group Cohesiveness: Degree of attraction among group members or their commitment to remaining in the group Cohesive groups work better together What kind of groups did you see on “Survivor,” “Road Rules,” and “Real World”?

12 Group Concepts In-Group: A group with which one identifies Out-Group: A group with which one does not identify Status: Level of social power and importance Norm: Widely accepted but usually unspoken standard of conduct for appropriate behavior

13 Figure 16. 3 Results of an experiment on norms concerning littering
Figure 16.3 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. (From Cialdini, Reno, & Kallgren, 1990.) Figure 16.3

14 Attribution Process of making inferences about the causes of one’s own behavior, and that of others

15 Social Perception Attribution Theory: Making inferences about the causes of one’s own behavior and others’ behavior; can attribute behavior to: External Causes: Ones that lie outside of a person Internal Causes: Ones that lie within a person

16 Facial Analysis

17 More on Social Perception
Fundamental Attribution Error: Tendency to attribute behavior of others to internal causes (personality, likes, and so on); we believe this even if they really have external causes! Actor-Observer Bias: Tendency to attribute behavior of others to internal causes, while attributing the behavior of ourselves to external causes (situations and circumstances)

18 Social Influence Changes in a person’s behavior induced by the presence or actions of another person Someone else influences your decision: husband, wife, mother, peer, etc. Peer pressure: Rudy is swayed by Fanny to go see “Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith” when he really wanted to see “War of the Worlds.”

19 Conformity Bringing one’s behavior into agreement with norms or the behavior of others in a group

20 Solomon Asch’s Experiment on Conformity
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!

21 Figure 16.4 Stimuli used in Solomon Asch’s conformity experiments.

22 Group Factors in Conformity
Groupthink: Compulsion by decision makers to maintain each other’s approval, even at the cost of critical thinking Group Sanctions: Rewards and punishments administered by groups to enforce conformity Unanimity: Unanimous agreement

23 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

24 Milgram’s Shocking Results
65% obeyed by going all the way to 450 volts on the “shock machine” even though the learner eventually could not answer any more questions The learner screamed and provided no further answers once 300 volts (“Severe Shock”) was reached Group support can reduce destructive obedience

25 More on Obedience Distance between the teacher and the learner was important Distance from the authority also had an effect

26 Figure 16. 6 Results of Milgram’s obedience experiment
Figure 16.6 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). Figure 16.6

27 Figure 16.7 Physical distance from the “learner” had a significant effect on the percentage of subjects obeying orders. Figure 16.7

28 Compliance Bending to the requests of one person who has little or no authority or other form of social power

29 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

30 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

31 Low-Ball Technique Commitment is gained first to reasonable or desirable terms, which are then made less reasonable or desirable Henry accepts the price he states for a new car; then later Tillie the saleswoman tells Henry, “The business would lose too much money on that price; can’t you take a bit less and add all these options?” Passive Compliance: Overtly bending to unreasonable demands or circumstances

32 Assertiveness Training
Instruction in how to be self-assertive Self-Assertion: Standing up for your rights by speaking out on your behalf; direct, honest expression of feelings and desires

33 Aggression Hurting another person or achieving one’s goals at the expense of another person Attempt to get one’s way no matter what No regard for others’ feelings

34 Broken Record Self-assertion technique that involves repeating a request until it is acknowledged Good way to be assertive without being aggressive

35 Table 16.2 Table 16.2

36 Attitudes and Beliefs Attitude: Mixture of belief and emotion that predisposes a person to respond to other people, objects, or institutions in a positive or negative way Summarize your evaluation of objects

37 Attitude Components Belief Component: What a person believes about an object or issue Emotional Component: Feelings toward the attitudinal object Action Component: One’s actions toward various people, objects, or institutions

38 Figure 16.8 Elements of positive and negative attitudes toward affirmative action.

39 Figure 16.9 Summary of the Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) study from the viewpoint of a person experiencing cognitive dissonance. Figure 16.9

40 Attitude Formation Direct Contact: Effects of direct experience with the object of the attitude Interaction with Others: Influence of discussions with people holding a particular attitude Child Rearing: Effects of parental values, beliefs, and practices

41 More on Attitude Formation
Group Membership: Social influences from belonging to certain groups Mass Media: All media that reach large audiences (magazines, television) Mean Worldview: Viewing the world and other people as dangerous and threatening

42 Attitude Measurement and Change
Reference Group: Any group a person identifies with and uses as a standard for social comparison Persuasion: Deliberate attempt to change attitudes or beliefs with information and arguments Communicator: Person presenting arguments or information Message: Content of communicator’s arguments Audience: Person or group to whom a persuasive message is directed

43 Implicit Association

44 Cognitive Dissonance (Festinger)
Contradicting or clashing thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, or perceptions that cause discomfort We need to have consistency in our thoughts, perceptions, and images of ourselves Underlies attempts to convince ourselves we did the right thing Justification: Degree to which one’s actions are explained by rewards or other circumstances

45 Brainwashing Brainwashing: Engineered or forced attitude change requiring a captive audience Generally three steps to brainwash someone: Unfreezing: Loosening of former values and convictions Change: When the brainwashed person abandons former beliefs Refreezing: Rewarding and solidifying new attitudes and beliefs

46 Cults Authoritarian group in which the leader’s personality is more important than the beliefs s/he preaches Group professes great devotion to a person or people and follows that person/people almost without question

47 More About Cults Cult members usually victimized by the leader(s) Will try to recruit potential converts at a time of need, especially when a sense of belonging is most attractive to potential converts

48 Some Final Words About Cults
Look for college students and young adults Some examples of cults: People’s Temple and Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidians, Osama bin laden and Al Qaeda Where does “Scientology” fit?

49 Prejudice Negative emotional attitude held toward members of a specific social group Discrimination: Unequal treatment of people who should have the same rights as others Scapegoating: Blaming a person or group for the actions of others or for conditions not of their making

50 More on Prejudice Personal Prejudice: When members of another racial or ethnic group are perceived as a threat to one’s own interests Group Prejudice: Occurs when a person conforms to group norms

51 Prejudiced Personality and Intergroup Conflict
Authoritarian Personality: Marked by rigidity, inhibition, prejudice, and oversimplification (“black and white” thinking) Ethnocentrism: Placing one’s group at the center, usually by rejecting all other groups Social Stereotypes: Oversimplified images of people who belong to a particular social group

52 Other Concepts Relating to Prejudice
Symbolic Prejudice: Prejudice that’s expressed in disguised fashion Equal-status Contact: Social interaction that occurs on equal level, without obvious differences in power or status Superordinate Goal: Goal that exceeds or overrides all other goals, making other goals less important Mutual Interdependence: When two or more people must depend on each other to meet each person’s goals or needs

53 Some More Concepts Relating to Prejudice
Jigsaw Classroom: Each student only gets a piece of information needed to complete a problem or prepare for a test; in order to succeed and get all pieces, students must all work together Summary: Prejudicial stereotypes tend to be very irrational

54 Aggression Any action carried out with the intention of harming another person

55 Ethologist Studies natural behavior patterns of animals Ethologists believe that aggression is innate in all animals, including humans 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

56 Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis
Frustration tends to lead to aggression Aggression Cues: Signals that are associated with aggression

57 Figure 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)! Figure 16.11

58 Figure 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 (Loeber & Hay, 1997). Figure 16.12

59 Social Learning Theory (Bandura) and Television
Social Learning Theory: Combines learning principles with cognitive processes, socialization and modeling to explain behavior No instinctive (innate) desires for shooting guns, knife fights, and so on Aggression must be learned Weapons Effect: Observation that weapons serve as strong cues for aggressive behavior

60 Social Learning Theory (cont.)
Disinhibition: Removal of inhibition; results in acting-out behavior that normally would be restrained Television seems to be able to cause desensitization to violence Desensitization: Reduced emotional sensitivity

61 Prosocial Behavior and Bystander Apathy
Prosocial Behavior: Behavior toward others that is helpful, constructive, or altruistic Bystander Apathy: Unwillingness of bystanders to offer help during emergencies Related to number of people present More potential helpers present, lower the chances that help will be given

62 Decision Points Reached Before Giving Help
Noticing the person in trouble Defining an Emergency: Until someone declares the situation an emergency, no one acts Taking Responsibility: Assume responsibility to help Diffusion of Responsibility: Spreading responsibility to act among several people

63 Figure This decision tree summarizes the steps a person must take before making a commitment to offer help, according to Latané and Darley’s model. Figure 16.14

64 Empathy Concepts Empathic Arousal: Emotional arousal that occurs when you feel some of the person’s pain, fear, or anguish Empathy-Helping Relationship: We are most likely to help person in need when we feel emotions such as empathy and compassion

65 Gives equal status to different ethnic, racial and cultural groups
Multiculturalism Gives equal status to different ethnic, racial and cultural groups To break stereotypes: Seek individuating information Information that helps us see a person as an individual and not as a member of a group Don’t believe just-world beliefs Belief that people generally get what they deserve

66 More Ways to Break Stereotypes
Note self-fulfilling prophecies Expectation that prompts people to act in ways that make expectation come true Different does not mean inferior Social Competition: Rivalry among groups, each of which regard itself as superior to others

67 Some More Ways to Break Stereotypes
Race is a Social Construction: Race is an illusion based on superficial physical differences and learned ethnic identities Look for commonalities Set an example for others

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