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chapter1 - Chapter 1 Intro to Social Psychology Social...

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Chapter 1: Intro to Social Psychology 1. Social Psychology - the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people. o Tasks = description + explanation o 1st step = careful description, objective o 2nd step = why? o Theory - scientific explaination that connects and organizes existing observations and suggests fruitful paths for future research Give us hints about where to look nexst Make predictions about future events and control previously unmanageable phenomena 2. 4 Theoretical Perspectives of Social Psych: o The sociocultural perspective - the theoretical viewpoint that searches for the cuases of social behavior in influences from larger social groups View that persons prejudices, preferences and political persuasions are affected by factors that work at the level of the group Eg nationality, social class Social norm - a rule or expectation for appropriate social behavior Of central importance to theory Culture - the beliefs, customs, habits and language shared by the people living in a particular time and place Includes all human-engineered feautres of the environment - subjective features (rules, etiquette) and objective features (houses, clothing) Interested in differences in behavior from one culture to the next o The evolutionary perspective - a theoretical viewpoint that searches for the causes of social behavior in the physical and psychological predispositoins that helped our ancestors survive and reproduce Human social behaviors (smiling, sneering, etc) evolved along w/ physical features (upright posture) Natural selection - the process by which characteristics that hep animals survive and reproduce are passed on to their offspring The driving force of evolution Adaptation - a characteristic that is well designed for survival and reproduction in particular environment Replace previous less well-designed characteristics Interested in general characteristics of our species → search for general patterns in human social behaviors around the world Also interested in differences between individuals (eg, all societies form some type of long-term parental bond but w/ different mating strategies, monogamous, gay, etc) 1. The social learning perspective - theoretical viewpoint that focuses on past learning experiences as determinants of a person's social behaviors.
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