Social Psych Unit 1 - Unit#1 Chapter 1 Social Psychology o...

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Unit #1 Chapter 1 - Social Psychology o Scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people - Construal o The way in which people perceive, comprehend and interpret a social situation. o Two people won’t ever perceive one situation in the same exact way Ex) Jane’s boss hasn’t responded to her email in a week. She can construe it as: a) boss is angry at me b) boss must trust me c) boss is very busy d) boss is a jerk In A & B she construes it to have something to do with her In C & D she construes it to have something to do with her boss o How we construe social influence is more important than actual social influence - Social Influence o the EFFECT that the words, actions or mere presence of others have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes or behavior ex) advertisements, peer pressure, parent’s influence even when they aren’t around - Gestalt Psychology (Kurt Lewin) o To understand perception, we need to understand the subjective way something (object, person, situation) appears in a person’s mind conjointly the whole picture ex) person dancing goofy on campus = weird. See they have an ipod in (take whole situation together) = not as weird - Behaviorism (B.F. Skinner) Pavlov & his dogs o All behavior could be objectively understood by examining the rewards and punishments of the person’s environment o There is no need to study subjective thoughts and feelings o Rewards reinforce the desire to continue behavior o Punishments weaken the desire to continue behavior - How do social psychologists understand behavior? o Personality vs. Social Psychology Kitty Genovese’s murder in NYC. No neighbors helped. Why not? Kitty Genovese Friend Flat Tire Beggar Gwen No help Help Help Help Simon No help Help Help No help Personality psychology focuses on the rows the individuals
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Social psychology focuses on the columns why did both people help out their friends, but not Kitty Genovese? - Social Psychology in Comparison o Social Psychology- more focused on construals than other disciplines, we use experimental methodology to figure out why people do what they do. Personality Psychology- more objective, not interested in people’s construals, more concerned in measuring personality variables o Sociology- Concerned with social class, structure, and institutions. Rather than focusing on the psychology of an individual, looks at society at large - Fundamental Attribution Error o We blame (attribute action to) the person, not the situation o Overestimate the extent to which people’s behavior is due to internal dispositional factors (their personality, traits) and underestimate the role of situational factors ex) someone cuts in line- we think they’re a jerk. We assume it has something to do with their personality. Don’t think “maybe they are late/bad day” (situational) - Two primary human motives for behavior o Self-Esteem approach: construe the world with the desire to feel good about ourselves.
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