Lecture Notes: Chapter 1 - Introducing Social Psychology

Lecture Notes: Chapter 1 - Introducing Social Psychology -...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1 Int roducing Social Psychology What is Social Psychology? Social influence the effect that the words, actions, or mere presence of other people have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, or behavior.- Direct influence deliberate attempts at persuasion; through ads or even peer pressure- Indirect influence presence of other people; even when they are not physically with us, we still carry our mothers/fathers/teachers/etc. Social psychology the scientific study of the way in which peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. The Power of Social Interpretation Construal the way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world. Social psychology is concerned not so much with social situations in any objective sense but rather with how people are influence by their interpretation, or construal , or their social environment. I t is more important to understand how people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world than it is to understand the objective properties of the social world itself. EXAMPLE OF LAST T H REE BULLETS: Shy Jason admires Debbie from afar. As a budding social psychologist, I have the job of predicting whether Jason will ask Debbie to prom. - ONE WAY I might do this is to observe Debbies objective behavior towards Jason. Does she smile at him a lot? If so, the casual observer might decide Jason will ask her out. - BUT , as a social psychologist, I am more interest in looking at Debbies behavior through Jasons eyes how Jason interprets Debbies behavior. If she smiles at him, does Jason think its mere politeness or encouragement for him? If she ignores him, is she playing hard to get or does not like him?- To predict Jasons behavior , it is NOT enough to know the details of Debbies behavior; it is important to know how Jason interprets Debbies behavior. ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF LAST T H REE BULLETS: In a murder tail, the verdict always hinged on exactly how each jury member construes that evidence even when the prosecution is presenting compelling evidence it believes will prove the defendant guilty- During cross-examination, did a key witness hesitate for a moment before answering, maybe because she might not be certain of her data?before answering, maybe because she might not be certain of her data?...
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2011 for the course PSYC 2380 taught by Professor Bush during the Spring '10 term at University of Houston.

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Lecture Notes: Chapter 1 - Introducing Social Psychology -...

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