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What Is Social Psychology?

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Presentation on theme: "What Is Social Psychology?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Is Social Psychology?
1 What Is Social Psychology?

2 Social Psychology The exploration of the interaction of an individual person and a given situation Three main areas of interest: social perception social influence social interaction

3 Social Psychology Social perception Social influence
forming an impression of others based on available information Social influence the process by which one’s thoughts and actions are affected by others Social interaction the relationship between two or more individuals

4 Social Psychology Social psychology overlaps with other disciplines
sociology personality psychology cognitive psychology

5 Social Psychology Macro Micro Sociology Psychology Social Psychology

6 What are the roots of social psychology?
Social Facilitation versus Social Loafing Norman Triplett: Bicycling (1898) Max Rigelmann: Tug-a-War (1913)

7 The roots of social psychology: Social Facilitation
In 1898 Norman Triplett noted that competitive cyclists performed better during races than during solo rides. Subsequent research confirmed that a well-learned performance is enhanced in the presence of others. Note the element of well-learned performance

8 The roots of social psychology: Social Loafing
In 1883 Max Ringelmann conducted a study from which he concluded that an individual’s performance actually gets worse in the presence of others. Individuals make less of an effort when in a group than they would if they were attempting to achieve the goal on their own

9 Social Loafing vs. Social Facilitation
Although these tow concepts seem to contradict each other, they do not. Social facilitation occurs when people are performing in the presence of others yet their individual contributions can be identified social loafing occurs when persons are performing a task as part of a group and individual effort cannot be identified.

10 Social Psychology in the 20th Century
Charles Horton Cooley Human Nature and Social Order (1902) Edward Ross Social Psychology (1908) William McDougall Introduction to Social Psychology (1908) George Herbert Mead Mind, Self, and Society (1934)

11 Social Psychology in the 20th Century
The publication of two textbooks in 1908 was a major milestone Social Psychology, published by Floyd Allport in 1924, was based on experimental research In 1936, the SPSSI was formed The SPSSI’s publication, The Journal of Social Issues, shifted the thinking on human behavior

12 The Impact of World War II
The actions of Adolf Hitler brought many social psychologists to the United States Kurt Lewin Fritz Heider Solomon Asch The premises of social psychology were key to US wartime efforts The study of conformity (and its role in the war) peaked in interest

13 Adolf Hitler and Propaganda
Muzafer Sherif Stanely Milgram Adolf Hitler’s ability to manipulate the values of thousands of Germans generated many questions about human behavior and the power of propaganda. 13

14 Social Psychology Research Comes in Two Types
Basic research The fundamental ideas behind behavior and cognitive processes Applied research Using social psychological ideas to address issues in other fields

15 Action Learning "Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice." (Lewin 1948) Kurt Lewin argued that the objective of social psychology must be a better understanding of human behavior for a purpose The objective is to apply research and create a more considerate and peaceful world

16 Practicing What We Preach
Kurt Lewin, the father of modern social psychology, coined the term “action research” a half-century ago to describe research that is conducted with the goal of solving social problems. 16

17 What Are The Different Perspectives of Social Psychology?
Sociocultural Perspective Evolutionary Perspective Social Cognitive Perspective Social Learning Perspective

18 Sociolcultural Perspective
This perspective focuses on the relation-ship between social behavior and culture Social behavior is not only influenced by the presence of others but also cultural norms will have a significant influence Note the differences between individualistic versus collective cultures

19 Evolutionary Perspective
This perspective focuses on the physical and biological predispositions that result in human survival Natural selection would indicate that those behaviors that enhanced survival would be passed on to subsequent generations Evidence of this approach would be seen in other animals as well as human beings

20 Social Cognitive Perspective
This perspective is derived from the behavioralism perspective It assumes that an individual’s cognitive process influences and is influenced by behavioral associations Classical and operant conditioning are aspects of this perspective

21 Social Learning Perspective
This perspective argues that individuals learn from observing the behaviors of others Individuls observe modeled behaviors and, in turn behave in a similar manner Sanctions either reinforce or discourage a give behavior

22 Modern Social Perspectives on Why People Steal
Modern Social Perspectives on Why People Steal. While each perspective takes a different approach, they can work together to address the same issues. 22

23 Modern Social Perspectives on Why People Steal
Sociocultural Perspective: Because of the influence of a materialistic culture People steal because the culture places a greater emphasis on objects considered valuable than it does people

24 Modern Social Perspectives on Why People Steal
Evolutionary Perspective: The emphasis is on survival of the gene pool People steal because acquiring certain objects can improve the changes for survival

25 Modern Social Perspectives on Why People Steal
Social Cognitive Perspective: Cognitive processes have not been established that identify stealing as wrong No cognitive conditioning has occurred to link stealing with a negative experience

26 Modern Social Perspectives on Why People Steal
Social Learning Perspective: The pattern of stealing has been established through observation As such, stealing is perceived as an acceptable behavior

27 Social Psychology and Other Disciplines
The premises of social psychology are valuable to many other fields Economics and business Neuroscience Government Other areas of psychology

28 Social Psychology and Other Fields
Social Psychology and Other Fields. Social psychologists can work with individuals from other disciplines to perform research that is mutually beneficial. 28

29 Is Social Psychology Just Common Sense?
“Common sense” knowledge is often belied by social psychology research The hindsight bias We often think we knew what would happen after it happens

30 Doesn’t Everyone Agree with Us?
Common sense is subjective, and not uniform across all people The false consensus effect The assumption that everyone shares one’s opinion Caused by differential construal Different people judge circumstances differently

31 How Do We Minimize Bias? Confirmation bias The scientific method
Paying attention only to information that supports our beliefs Disregarding information that conflicts with our beliefs The scientific method A process for conducting research that minimizes different types of bias

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