Chapter 1 Outline
the scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in a
the scientific method of systematic observation descriptio, and
measurement to the study of the human condition.
Think, Feel, and Behave-
individuals’ attitudes toward particular groups of
people, or how their attitudes are affected by their peers or their mood. Strive to
establish general principles of attitude formation and change that apply in a
variety of situations, rather than exclusively to particular domains.
Example: social psychologist may study whether heat causes
people to behave more aggressively. The social aspect is: people hurting each
other. These are studies of social psychology because the thoughts, feelings, or
behaviors either (a) concern other people or (b) are influenced by other people.
Power of Social Context-
the social nature is so deep that our perceptions of something
can be influenced more by the reactions of others to it than by the thing itself.
During a debate Ragan had delivered a pair of witty one-liners that
created laughter among the audience. Psychologists wanted to see if the reaction
of the crowd affected the viewers opinion. There were participants to saw an
unedited version of the tape, participants who saw a version with the jokes and no
audience reaction, and participants who saw a version with the jokes but no
audience reaction. The result: Participants who saw a version with the jokes left in
but the audience reaction edited out (suggesting that the audience didn’t find the
jokes funny) rated Reagan much more negatively.
Social Psychology and Sociology-
Sociology tends to focus on the group level, and
sociologists most often study the relation between people’s behaviors and societal
variables. Social psychology tends to focus on the individual level, and they are more
likely to study the relation between people’s behaviors and more specific, immediate
variables, such as manipulations of mood and exposure to particular models of behavior.
Social Psychology and Clinical Psychology-
Clinical psychologists seek to understand
and treat people with psychological difficulties or disorders. Social Psychologists focus
on the more typical ways in which individuals think, behave, and influence each other.
Social Psychology and Personality Psychology-
Personality Psychology seeks to
understand differences between individuals that remain stable across a variety of
situations. Social Psychology seeks to understand how social factors affect most
individuals, regardless of their different personalities.
Social Psychology and Cognitive Psychology-
Cognitive psychology studies mental
processes such as thinking, learning, remembering, and reasoning. Social psychologists
are interested in how people think, learn, remember and reason with respect to social