Psych 111 - Lilenfeld chapter 13 Social Psychology: how...

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Lilenfeld chapter 13 Social Psychology: how others affect us 1. Social Psychology (534): study of how people influence others’ behavior, beliefs, and attitudes— for good and bad 1. Helps us understand why we act helpfully and heroically in the presence of others 2. Also why se show our worst sides, caving in to group pressure or standing idly while others suffer 3. Helps us understand why we’re prone to blindly accept irrational, even pseudoscientific, beliefs 1. Ex. War of the Worlds by Orson Welles 4. We humans are a highly social species 5. Need to belong theory (535): biologically based need for interpersonal connections. By Baumeister and Leary 1. Schacter did an experiment with 5 male volunteers to live alone. Longest was 8 days, shortest was 20 min 2. Social isolation can lead us to behave in self-destructive ways and even impair our mental functioning 6. Conformity, obedience, and many other forms of social influence become maladaptive only when they’re blind or unquestioning 7. Social facilitation (536): enhancement of performance brought about by the presence of others. Occurs on task we find easy. 1. Being surrounded by others can make us perform better. By Zajonc 1. Ex. Bike race by Triplett 2. Social disruption: a worsening of behavior in the presence of others—occurs on task we find difficult. “Choke” 8. Attributions (536): process of assigning causes to behavior 1. Internal: inside the person 1. Ex. Joe robbed bank because he’s impulsive 2. External: outside the person 1. Bill robbed bank because his family was broke, peer pressure 9. Fundamental attribution error (537): tendency to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences on other people’s behavior. By Lee Ross 1. Dispositional influences: enduring characteristics, like personality traits, attitudes, and intelligence 2. Because of the fundamental attribution error— 1. We attribute too much of people’s behavior to who they are 2. Underestimate the impact of situational influences on others 3. Attribute too little of their behavior to what’s going on around them 3. Applies only to explaining other people’s behavior 1. When explaining the causes of our own behavior, we invoke situational influences 4. Evidence for fundamental attribution error 1. Ex. Experiment by Jones and Harris. “Debaters” were to read aloud their given speech on pro/anti-Castro. When given chance to say their own opinion, said same thing even though it was picked out randomly 2. Cultural influences: situational/external factors, [“something is pushing on the circle”] (Chinese/Japanese) vs. dispositional/internal factors [“the circle wants to move to the right”] (U.S) 10. Social comparison theory (538): theory that we seek to evaluate our beliefs, attitudes, and abilities by comparing our reactions with others’ 1. Doing so helps us to understand ourselves and our social worlds better
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2. Mass hysteria (538): outbreak of irrational behavior that is spread by social contagion
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Psych 111 - Lilenfeld chapter 13 Social Psychology: how...

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