Psychology-ch1

Psychology-ch1 - Ch1 The Field of Social Psychology: How We...

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Ch1 – The Field of Social Psychology: How We Think About and Interact with Others Social psychology  – nature and causes of individual behavior and thought in social  situations.  Social thinking  – beliefs, judgments (that we make others) Social influence  – conformity, persuasion Social relations  – prejudice, aggression Social Psychology is Scientific in Nature The term science itself refers not to topics of interest such as physics or  biochemistry, but to 2 things What makes something a science? 1. A set of values 2. Several methods that can be used to study a wide range of topics. (research) Values  associated with a science. 1. Order  – there are lawful, not haphazard, relationships among events. Things  happen for a reason (otherwise u can’t study it :P) 2. Determinism  – every event has a physical, potentially measurable cause (of  course: chicken and egg – something happened suddenly) 3. Accuracy  – scientist’s commitment to gather and evaluate info as carefully,  precisely, and error-free as is possible (scientific method) 4. Objectivity  – scientist’s commitment to be as free of bias as possible when  obtaining, evaluating info. 5. Open - mindedness  – willingness to change even strongly-held views if you get  (wrong) info that contradicts what you believe 1
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6. Skepticism  – attitude that doubts all claims not supported by solid research  evidence. (not what you believe as a scientist—culture changes, but what your  data says) Diff btwn Social Psychology and Sociology Sociologists and social psychologists share an interest in studying how people behave in  groups.   1. Sociologists study groups, from small to very large (using demographics) 2. Most social psychologists study average individuals – how each person thinks  about, is influenced by, and relates to others 3. Examples: marriage; racial prejudice Sociologist  – how prejudice has changed in the last 20 yrs Psychologist  – what leads to prejudice in a certain person Social Psychology Seeks to Understand the Causes of Social Behavior and Thought v. Major Categories 1. The Actions and Characteristics of Other Persons a. Being cut off in traffic, being invited to a party b. Attractiveness; race c. We treat pretty ppl nicer.  2. Cognitive Processes  – how we interpret and think about the behavior of  others 2
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a. Thinking about excuses for being late (forgot vs. traffic accident) b. If he told you the same excuse 5x, you’d interpret it differently 3. Environmental variables:  Impact of the Physical World a. Heat and crime 4. Cultural Context   a. Divorce looked down upon ~1900 as opposed to now 5. Biological Factors
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Psychology-ch1 - Ch1 The Field of Social Psychology: How We...

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