2 Social PsychologyThe branch of psychology that studies how people think, feel, and behave in social situations
3 Social CognitionThe mental processes that people use to make sense out of their social environmentPerson perceptionSocial categorizationImplicit personality theoryAttributionAttitudesStereotypes
4 Person PerceptionYour reactions are determined by your perceptions of othersYour goals determine the amount and kind of information you collectYou evaluate people partly in terms of how you expect them to behave (social norms)Your self-perception influences how you perceive others
5 Physical Attractiveness Implicit cultural message is “beautiful is good”Attractive people are perceived as more intelligent, happier, and better adjustedReally no difference between attractive and less attractive people on these characteristicsAttractive people are more likely to attribute other people’s approval of their accomplishments to looks rather than effort or talent.
6 AttributionProcess of inferring the causes of people’s behavior, including one’s ownThe explanation given for a particular behavior
7 Attribution Bias Fundamental attribution error Actor-observer discrepancyBlaming the victim (just-world hypothesis)Self-serving biasSelf-effacing bias
9 Using Attitudes as Ways to “Justify” Injustice Just-world biasa tendency to believe that life is fair, e.g., it would seem horrible to think that you can be a really good person and bad things could happen to you anywayJust-world bias leads to “blaming the victim”we explain others’ misfortunes as being their fault,e.g., she deserved to be raped, what was she doing in that neighborhood anyway?
10 Attitudes What is an attitude? predisposition to evaluate some people, groups, or issues in a particular waycan be negative or positiveHas three componentsCognitive—thoughts about given topic or situationAffective—feelings or emotions about topicBehavioral—your actions regarding the topic or situation
11 Cognitive DissonanceUnpleasant state of psychological tension or arousal that occurs when two thoughts or perceptions are inconsistentAttitudes and behaviors are in conflictit is uncomfortable for uswe seek ways to decrease discomfort caused by the inconsistency
12 Dissonance-Reducing Mechanisms Avoiding dissonant information– we attend to information in support of our existing views, rather than information that doesn’t support themFirming up an attitude to be consistent with an action– once we’ve made a choice to do something, lingering doubts about our actions would cause dissonance, so we are motivated to set them aside
14 PrejudiceA negative attitude toward people who belong to a specific social group
15 Stereotypes What is a stereotype? A cluster of characteristics associated with all members of a specific group of peoplea belief held by members of one group about members of another groupI always include a discussion here about stereotypes not always being negative, but taking on a negative connotation. For example, African-Americans are seen as being naturally athletic, Caucasians are seen as being smart -- this leads to media statements about Black athletes such as, "look how talented a player s/he is." and white athletes such as, "boy is s/he a cerebral player" or "that player really works hard." These statements are negative toward both groups, implying that Black athletes don't work hard or aren't smart and that White athletes have no talent.I also discuss the definitions of prejudice and racism here and distinguish them from stereotypingI also spend some time talking about social categorization's usefulness to people and the differences between categorizing on chosen (e.g., clothes) vs. unchosen (e.g., race, gender) characteristics of a person
16 Social Categories In-group—the social group to which we belong In-group bias—tendency to make favorable attributions for members of our in-groupEthnocentrism is one type of in-group biasOut-group—the social group to which you do not belongOut group homogeneity effect—tendency to see members of the out-group as more similar to each other
17 Social Identity and Cooperation Social identity theorystates that when you’re assigned to a group, you automatically think of that group as an in-group for youSherif’s Robbers Cave study11–12 year old boys at campboys were divided into 2 groups and kept separate from one anothereach group took on characteristics of distinct social group, with leaders, rules, norms of behavior, and names
18 Robbers Cave (Sherif)Leaders proposed series of competitive interactions which led to 3 changes between groups and within groupswithin-group solidaritynegative stereotyping of other grouphostile between-group interactionsFor more detailed explanation of this study, here are my actual lecture notes:Leaders then proposed a series of competitive interactions which led to 3 changes between groups and within groupswithin-group solidarity – loyalty to own group increased, put aside internal strife to beat enemynegative stereotyping of other group –other group as out-group, own group as in-group; engaged in stereotyping of other groupHostile between-group interactions – called names, loss of good sportsmanship, accusations of cheating, raiding, “warfare”
19 Robbers Cave Overcoming the strong we/they effect establishment of superordinate goalse.g., breakdown in camp water supplyovercoming intergroup strife - researchstereotypes are diluted when people share individuating information
20 Social Influence• How behavior is influenced by the social environment and the presence of other peopleConformityObedienceHelping Behaviors
21 ConformityAdopting attitudes or behaviors of others because of pressure to do so; the pressure can be real or imagined2 general reasons for conformityInformational social influence—other people can provide useful and crucial informationNormative social influence—desire to be accepted as part of a group leads to that group having an influence
22 Asch’s Experiments on Conformity Previous research had shown people will conform to others’ judgments more often when the evidence is ambiguousCurrently, I am trying to reproduce Asch's experiment in my classroom, but am still working out the details. However, even if you can't get conformity from the subject, the students think it is a fun and informative demonstration. In addition, film clips are available with replications of his study, although not on the Gray CD.another approach is to stop lecture at the point where you will introduce conformity and ask the students to do something (e.g., get up and change seats) -- then discuss their behavior as it relates to conforming -- individual instructors may prefer to use this demonstration under obedience, however.
23 Asch’s Experiments on Conformity All but 1 in group was confederateSeating was riggedAsked to rate which line matched a “standard” lineConfederates were instructed to pick the wrong line 12/18 timesComparison linesStandard lines123Discovering Psy 2e slides, Shulman
24 Asch’s Experiments on Conformity ResultsAsch found that 75% participants conformed to at least one wrong choicesubjects gave wrong answer (conformed) on 37% of the critical trialsWhy did they conform to clearly wrong choices?informational influence?subjects reported having doubted their own perceptual abilities which led to their conformance – didn’t report seeing the lines the way the confederates had
25 ObedienceObediencecompliance of person is due to perceived authority of askerrequest is perceived as a commandMilgram interested in unquestioning obedience to ordersThis photo of Stanley Milgram was scanned in from the Myers text, NOT on the CD
26 Stanley Milgram’s Studies Basic study procedureteacher and learner (learner always confederate)watch learner being strapped into chairlearner expresses concern over his “heart condition”Photo scanned in from Gray 3e fig 14.8, NOT on CD
27 Stanley Milgram’s Studies Teacher goes to another room with experimenterShock generator panel – 15 to 450 volts, labels “slight shock” to “XXX”Asked to give higher shocks for every mistake learner makesFigure adapted from Hockenbury 12.4, was on CD
28 Stanley Milgram’s Studies Learner protests more and more as shock increasesExperimenter continues to request obedience even if teacher balks120150300330“Ugh! Hey this really hurts.”“Ugh! Experimenter! That’s all.Get me out of here. I told youI had heart trouble. My heart’sstarting to bother me now.”(agonized scream) “I absolutelyrefuse to answer any more.Get me out of here. You can’t holdme here. Get me out.”(intense & prolonged agonizedscream) “Let me out of here.Let me out of here. My heart’sbothering me. Let me out,I tell you…”This table was adapted from Hockenbury, Table 12.3Instructor could also tape the confederate’s responses instead of using this table
29 Obedience How many people would go to the highest shock level? 65% of the subjects went to the end, even those that protested
30 Obedience Percentage of subjects who obeyed experimenter XXX( )Percentageof subjectswho obeyedexperimenter100908070605040302010Slight(15-60)Moderate(75-120)Strong( )Verystrong( )Intense( )Extremeintensity( )Dangersevere( )Shock levels in voltsThe majority ofsubjects continuedto obey to the endThis figure is from the Myers text,
31 Explanations for Milgram’s Results Abnormal group of subjects?numerous replications with variety of groups shows no supportPeople in general are sadistic?videotapes of Milgram’s subjects show extreme distress
32 Explanations for Milgram’s Results Authority of Yale and value of scienceExperimenter self-assurance and acceptance of responsibilityProximity of learner and experimenterNew situation and no model of how to behave
33 Follow-Up Studies to Milgram This figure is adapted from the CD version of figure 12.5 in Hockenbury
34 Critiques of MilgramAlthough 84% later said they were glad to have participated and fewer than 2% said they were sorry, there are still ethical issuesDo these experiments really help us understand real-world atrocities?
35 Effects of a Nonconformist If everyone agrees, you are less likely to disagreeIf one person disagrees, even if they give the wrong answer, you are more likely to express your nonconforming viewAsch tested this hypothesisone confederate gave different answer from othersconformity dropped significantlyI like to discuss with students the effect of a nonconformist on others in the group by discussing a study by Moscivici & Personnaz:(a) Showed blue slides to a group of people with a few confederates sprinkled in there. In group 1, a majority of the group said “green” when the slide was actually blue; in group 2 a minority of people said “green” when the slide was actually blue(b) The hypothesis was that when a minority of people stuck up for their position (green not blue) that other people might listen and really try to see green(c) When they showed a white screen and asked for the color of the afterimages, group 1 reported yellow afterimages (seeing only blue), but group 2 reported orange afterimages (seeing a little red in there which is the complement of green!!)
36 Why Don’t People Always Help Others in Need? Diffusion of responsibilitypresence of others leads to decreased help responsewe all think someone else will help, so we don’t
37 Why Don’t People Always Help Others in Need? Latane studiesseveral scenarios designed to measure the help responsefound that if you think you’re the only one that can hear or help, you are more likely to do soif there are others around, you will diffuse the responsibility to othersKitty Genovese incidentAlthough Gray does not give the Kitty Genovese story (using Latane's helping studies instead), I find it useful to tell her story because it really captures the attention of the students. Both the Hockenbury & the Myers texts have Kitty's story in them (Hockenbury is more detailed).
38 Social Pressure in Group Decisions Group polarizationmajority position stronger after a group discussion in which a minority is arguing against the majority point of viewWhy does this occur?informational and normative influencesAgainstForGroup 1Group 2Before group discussionStrength of opinion(a)After group discussion(b)This figure was adapted from the Gray CD version of figure 14.6
39 Social Pressure in Group Decisions Groupthinkgroup members try to maintain harmony and unanimity in groupcan lead to some better decisions and some worse decisions than individuals
40 Individual and GroupsSocial Loafing—tendency to expend less effort on a task when it is a group effortReduced whenGroup is composed of people we knowWe are members of a highly valued groupTask is meaningfulNot as common in collectivist cultures
41 Influence of Others’ Requests —Compliance Sales techniques and cognitive dissonancefour-walls techniquequestion customer in such a way that gets answers consistent with the idea that they need to own objectfeeling of cognitive dissonance results if person chooses not to buy this thing that they “need”Also see speaker notes for slide on reciprocity norm.
42 Sales Techniques and Cognitive Dissonance Foot-in-the-door techniqueask for something small at first, then hit customer with larger request latersmall request has paved the way to compliance with the larger requestcognitive dissonance results if person has already granted a request for one thing, then refuses to give the larger item
43 The Reciprocity Norm and Compliance We feel obliged to return favors, even those we did not want in the first placeopposite of foot-in-the-doorsalesperson gives something to customer with idea that they will feel compelled to give something back (buying the product)even if person did not wish for favor in the first placeAn example I use in class for reciprocity norm is the "baby safety seminar" I attended while pregnant with my first child. For the first hour, we got a lot of useful safety tips, information, and resources. Then came the sales pitch for the products this company wished us to buy. The idea being that they had given us an hour of their time and useful handouts/information, we felt guilty just walking out on the pitch, even though we knew we weren't interested in the product.The "safety seminar" setup had the additional advantage of working on the 4-walls technique. The presenter kept asking us "would you buy a product with a label that says 'dangerous for your child'?" -- of course, all of us would answer "No" which set up the premise that we should buy their product because it was so much safer than any other.
44 Defense against Persuasion Techniques Sleep on it—don’t act on something right awayPlay devil’s advocate—think of all the reasons you shouldn’t buy the product or comply with the requestPay attention to your gut feelings—if you feel pressured, you probably are