Chapter 12:Social Psychology
Social PsychologyThe branch of psychology thatstudies how people think, feel, andbehave in social situations
Social CognitionThe mental processes that people use tomake sense out of their social environment– Person perception– Soci...
Person Perception• Your reactions are determined byyour perceptions of others• Your goals determine the amount andkind of ...
Physical Attractiveness• Implicit cultural message is “beautiful is good”• Attractive people are perceived as moreintellig...
Attribution• Process of inferring the causes ofpeople’s behavior, including one’sown• The explanation given for a particul...
Attribution Bias• Fundamental attribution error• Actor-observer discrepancy• Blaming the victim (just-worldhypothesis)• Se...
Using Attitudes as Waysto “Justify” Injustice• Just-world bias– a tendency to believe that life is fair; for example,it se...
AttitudesWhat is an attitude?– Predisposition to evaluate some people,groups, or issues in a particular way– Can be negati...
The Components of Attitudes
Cognitive Dissonance• Unpleasant state of psychological tensionor arousal that occurs when two thoughtsor perceptions are ...
Dissonance-Reducing Mechanisms• Avoiding dissonant information– we attend to information in support of ourexisting views, ...
PrejudiceA negative attitude toward people whobelong to a specific social group
StereotypesWhat is a stereotype?– A cluster of characteristics associated withall members of a specific group of people– a...
Social Categories• In-group—the social group to which webelong– In-group bias—tendency to make favorableattributions to me...
Social Identity and CooperationSocial identity theory– states that when you’re assigned to a group, youautomatically think...
Robbers Cave (Sheriff)• Leaders proposed series of competitiveinteractions which led to three changesbetween groups and wi...
Robbers CaveOvercoming the strong we/they effect–establishment of superordinate goals• eg, breakdown in camp water supply–...
The Jigsaw Classroom• Aronson (1992) brought together students in small,ethnically diverse groups to work on a mutualproje...
Social Influence• How behavior is influenced by thesocial environment and the presenceof other people•Conformity•Obedience...
Conformity• Adopting attitudes or behaviors of othersbecause of pressure to do so; the pressurecan be real or imagined• Tw...
Effects of Nonconformity• If everyone agrees, you are less likely todisagree• BUT, if one person disagrees, even if theygi...
Asch’s Experimentson ConformityPrevious research had shown peoplewill conform to others’ judgments moreoften when the evid...
Asch’s Experimentson Conformity• All but 1 in groupwas confederate• Seating was rigged• Asked to rate whichline matched a“...
Asch’s Experimentson Conformity• Results– Asch found that 75% participants conformed to atleast one wrong choice– subjects...
Obedience• Obedience– compliance is due toperceived authority ofrequester– request is perceived asan order• Milgram wasint...
Stanley Milgram’s StudiesBasic study procedure– teacher and learner(learner alwaysconfederate)– watch learner beingstrappe...
Stanley Milgram’s Studies• Teacher goes to another room withexperimenter• Shock generator panel – 15 to 450volts, labeled ...
Stanley Milgram’s Studies• Learner protestsmore and more asshock increases• Experimentercontinues torequest obedienceeven ...
Obedience• How many people would go tothe highest shock level?• 65% of the subjects went tothe end, even those whoprotested
Explanations forMilgram’s Results• Abnormal group of subjects?–numerous replications with variety ofgroups shows no suppor...
Explanations forMilgram’s Results• Authority of Yale and value of science• Experimenter self-assurance andacceptance of re...
Follow-Up Studies to Milgram
Critiques of Milgram• Although 84% later said they wereglad to have participated and fewerthan 2% said they were sorry, th...
Why Don’t People AlwaysHelp Others in Need?• Diffusion of responsibility–presence of others leads todecreased help respons...
Why Don’t People AlwaysHelp Others in Need?• Latane studies– several scenarios designed to measure thehelp response• found...
Increasing Bystander Helping• “Feel good, do good” effect• Feeling guilty• Seeing others who are willing to help• Perceivi...
Social Pressure inGroup Decisions• Group polarization– majority positionstronger after a groupdiscussion in which aminorit...
Individual and Groups• Social loafing — tendency to expend lesseffort on a task when it is a group effort• Reduced when– G...
Individual and Groups• Social facilitation — individual performanceis enhanced in the presence of others• Deindividuation ...
Sales Techniques andCognitive DissonanceFoot-in-the-door technique– ask for something small at first, then hitcustomer wit...
The Reciprocity Normand ComplianceWe feel obliged to return favors, eventhose we did not want in the first place– opposite...
Defense Against PersuasionTechniques• Sleep on it — don’t act on somethingright away• Play devil’s advocate — think of all...
PSYC 1113 Chapter 12
PSYC 1113 Chapter 12
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PSYC 1113 Chapter 12

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  • I 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!)
  • PSYC 1113 Chapter 12

    1. 1. Chapter 12:Social Psychology
    2. 2. Social PsychologyThe branch of psychology thatstudies how people think, feel, andbehave in social situations
    3. 3. Social CognitionThe mental processes that people use tomake sense out of their social environment– Person perception– Social categorization– Implicit personality theory– Attribution– Attitudes– Stereotypes
    4. 4. Person Perception• Your reactions are determined byyour perceptions of others• Your goals determine the amount andkind of information you collect• You evaluate people partly in terms ofhow you expect them to behave(social norms)• Your self-perception influences howyou perceive others
    5. 5. Physical Attractiveness• Implicit cultural message is “beautiful is good”• Attractive people are perceived as moreintelligent, happier, and better adjusted• Really no difference between attractive and lessattractive people on these characteristics• Attractive people are more likely to attributeother people’s approval of theiraccomplishments to looks rather than to effort ortalent.
    6. 6. Attribution• Process of inferring the causes ofpeople’s behavior, including one’sown• The explanation given for a particularbehavior
    7. 7. Attribution Bias• Fundamental attribution error• Actor-observer discrepancy• Blaming the victim (just-worldhypothesis)• Self-serving bias• Self-effacing bias
    8. 8. Using Attitudes as Waysto “Justify” Injustice• Just-world bias– a tendency to believe that life is fair; for example,it seems horrible to think that you can be a goodperson and bad things could happen to youanyway• Just-world bias leads to “blaming the victim”– we explain others’ misfortunes as being their fault,as in: She deserved to be raped. What was shedoing in that neighborhood anyway?
    9. 9. AttitudesWhat is an attitude?– Predisposition to evaluate some people,groups, or issues in a particular way– Can be negative or positive– Has three components• Cognitive—thoughts about given topic orsituation• Affective—feelings or emotions about topic• Behavioral—your actions regarding the topicor situation
    10. 10. The Components of Attitudes
    11. 11. Cognitive Dissonance• Unpleasant state of psychological tensionor arousal that occurs when two thoughtsor perceptions are inconsistent• When attitudes and behaviors are inconflict– it is uncomfortable for us– we seek ways to decrease the discomfortcaused by the inconsistency
    12. 12. Dissonance-Reducing Mechanisms• Avoiding dissonant information– we attend to information in support of ourexisting views, rather than information thatdoesn’t support them• Firming up an attitude to be consistentwith an action– once we’ve made a choice to do something,lingering doubts about our actions would causedissonance, so we are motivated to set themaside
    13. 13. PrejudiceA negative attitude toward people whobelong to a specific social group
    14. 14. StereotypesWhat is a stereotype?– A cluster of characteristics associated withall members of a specific group of people– a belief held by members of one groupabout members of another group
    15. 15. Social Categories• In-group—the social group to which webelong– In-group bias—tendency to make favorableattributions to members of our in-group– Ethnocentrism is one type of in-group bias• Out-group—the social group to which youdo not belong– Out-group homogeneity effect—tendency tosee members of the out-group as more similarto one another
    16. 16. Social Identity and CooperationSocial identity theory– states that when you’re assigned to a group, youautomatically think of that group as an in-group for you– Sheriff’s Robbers Cave study• 11- to 12-year-old boys at camp• boys were divided into 2 groups and kept separatefrom one another• each group took on characteristics of distinct socialgroup, with leaders, rules, norms of behavior, andnames
    17. 17. Robbers Cave (Sheriff)• Leaders proposed series of competitiveinteractions which led to three changesbetween groups and within groups–within-group solidarity–negative stereotyping of other group–hostile between-group interactions
    18. 18. Robbers CaveOvercoming the strong we/they effect–establishment of superordinate goals• eg, breakdown in camp water supply–overcoming intergroup strife• stereotypes are diluted when peopleshare individuating information
    19. 19. The Jigsaw Classroom• Aronson (1992) brought together students in small,ethnically diverse groups to work on a mutualproject.• Each student had a unique contribution to maketoward the success of the group; interdependenceand cooperation replaced competition• Results: Children in the jigsaw classrooms hadhigher self-esteem and a greater liking for childrenin other ethnic groups than those in traditionalclassrooms• Less negative stereotypes and prejudice and areduction in intergroup hostility
    20. 20. Social Influence• How behavior is influenced by thesocial environment and the presenceof other people•Conformity•Obedience•Helping Behaviors
    21. 21. Conformity• Adopting attitudes or behaviors of othersbecause of pressure to do so; the pressurecan be real or imagined• Two general reasons for conformity– Informational social influence — other people canprovide useful and crucial information– Normative social influence — desire to beaccepted as part of a group leads to that grouphaving an influence
    22. 22. Effects of Nonconformity• If everyone agrees, you are less likely todisagree• BUT, if one person disagrees, even if theygive the wrong answer, you are more likely toexpress your nonconforming view• Asch tested this hypothesis– one confederate gave different answer from others– conformity dropped significantly
    23. 23. Asch’s Experimentson ConformityPrevious research had shown peoplewill conform to others’ judgments moreoften when the evidence is ambiguous
    24. 24. Asch’s Experimentson Conformity• All but 1 in groupwas confederate• Seating was rigged• Asked to rate whichline matched a“standard” line• Confederates wereinstructed to pickthe wrong line 12/18times
    25. 25. Asch’s Experimentson Conformity• Results– Asch found that 75% participants conformed to atleast one wrong choice– subjects gave wrong answer (conformed) on37% of the critical trials• Why did they conform to clearly wrong choices?– informational influence?– subjects reported having doubted their ownperceptual abilities, which led to theirconformance – didn’t report seeing the lines theway the confederates had
    26. 26. Obedience• Obedience– compliance is due toperceived authority ofrequester– request is perceived asan order• Milgram wasinterested inunquestioningobedience to orders
    27. 27. Stanley Milgram’s StudiesBasic study procedure– teacher and learner(learner alwaysconfederate)– watch learner beingstrapped into chair– learner expressesconcern over his“heart condition”
    28. 28. Stanley Milgram’s Studies• Teacher goes to another room withexperimenter• Shock generator panel – 15 to 450volts, labeled “slight shock” to “XXX”• Asked to give higher shocks forevery mistake learner makes
    29. 29. Stanley Milgram’s Studies• Learner protestsmore and more asshock increases• Experimentercontinues torequest obedienceeven if teacherbalks
    30. 30. Obedience• How many people would go tothe highest shock level?• 65% of the subjects went tothe end, even those whoprotested
    31. 31. Explanations forMilgram’s Results• Abnormal group of subjects?–numerous replications with variety ofgroups shows no support• People in general are sadistic?–videotapes of Milgram’s subjectsshow extreme distress
    32. 32. Explanations forMilgram’s Results• Authority of Yale and value of science• Experimenter self-assurance andacceptance of responsibility• Proximity of learner and experimenter• New situation and no model of how tobehave
    33. 33. Follow-Up Studies to Milgram
    34. 34. Critiques of Milgram• Although 84% later said they wereglad to have participated and fewerthan 2% said they were sorry, thereare still ethical issues• Do these experiments really help usunderstand real-world atrocities (eg,abuse at Abu Ghraib)?
    35. 35. Why Don’t People AlwaysHelp Others in Need?• Diffusion of responsibility–presence of others leads todecreased help response–we all think someone else will help,so we don’t have to help
    36. 36. Why Don’t People AlwaysHelp Others in Need?• Latane studies– several scenarios designed to measure thehelp response• found that if you think you’re the only onethat can hear or help, you are more likely todo so• if there are others around, you will diffusethe responsibility to others• Kitty Genovese incident
    37. 37. Increasing Bystander Helping• “Feel good, do good” effect• Feeling guilty• Seeing others who are willing to help• Perceiving the other person as deserving help• Knowing how to help• A personal relationship
    38. 38. Social Pressure inGroup Decisions• Group polarization– majority positionstronger after a groupdiscussion in which aminority is arguingagainst the majoritypoint of view• Why does this occur?– informational andnormative influencesAgainst ForGroup 1 Group 2Before group discussionStrength of opinion(a)Against ForGroup 1 Group 2After group discussionStrength of opinion(b)
    39. 39. Individual and Groups• Social loafing — tendency to expend lesseffort on a task when it is a group effort• Reduced when– Group is composed of people we know– We are members of a highly valued group– Task is meaningful• Not as common in collectivist cultures
    40. 40. Individual and Groups• Social facilitation — individual performanceis enhanced in the presence of others• Deindividuation — when group membersfeel anonymous. Reduction of self-awareness and inhibitions when person ispart of a group where members feelanonymous (eg, riots)
    41. 41. Sales Techniques andCognitive DissonanceFoot-in-the-door technique– ask for something small at first, then hitcustomer with larger request later– small request has paved the way tocompliance with the larger request– cognitive dissonance results if person hasalready granted a request for one thing, thenrefuses to give the larger item
    42. 42. The Reciprocity Normand ComplianceWe feel obliged to return favors, eventhose we did not want in the first place– opposite of foot-in-the-door– salesperson gives something to customer withthe idea that they will feel compelled to givesomething back (buying the product)– even if person did not wish for favor in the firstplace
    43. 43. Defense Against PersuasionTechniques• Sleep on it — don’t act on somethingright away• Play devil’s advocate — think of allthe reasons you shouldn’t buy theproduct or comply with the request• Pay attention to your gut feelings — ifyou feel pressured, you probably are

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