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Chapter 14 Notes

Chapter 14 Notes - Chapter 14 Social Psychology Social...

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Chapter 14: Social Psychology Social psychology - the subfield of psychology that explores the effects of the social world on the behavior and mental processes of individuals and groups Social cognition - mental processes associated with people’s perceptions of and reactions to other people Social Influences on the Self o Each of us lives in both a personal and social world Although we experience our thoughts and feeling as our own, they have been strongly influenced by other people o Self-concept - the way one thinks of oneself Although it’s unique to you, it is a product of your social and cultural environment o Self-esteem - the evaluations people make about their worth as human beings o Social Comparisons Leon Festinger (1954) self-evaluation involves 2 distinct types of questions: Those that can be answered by taking objective measurement (ex: your height) Those that cannot (ex: your creativity) Social comparison - using other people as a basis of comparison for evaluation oneself Festinger says that people look to others who are similar to themselves as a basis for comparison o Reference groups - categories of people with whom individuals compare themselves The performance of individuals in your reference groups can affect your self-esteem Downward social comparison - comparing yourself to those who are not as good to make yourself feel better and protect your self-esteem Upward social comparison - comparing yourself to those better than you, which can create optimism Relative deprivation - the sense that one is not getting all that one deserves Can create depression and anxiety When large groups of people experience relative deprivation, political unrest may follow o Social Identity Theory Social identity - the beliefs we hold about the groups to which we belong Part of our social-concept Permits us to feel part of a larger whole Social Perception o Social perception - the process through which people interpret information about others, draw inferences about them, and develop mental representations of them o The Role of Schemas
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Schemas - mental representations about people and social situations Schemas about people can affect our perception of them Influence what we pay attention to and what we ignore o We tend to process information about the other person more quickly if it confirms our beliefs about that person’s gender or ethnic group (for example) than if it violates those beliefs Influence what we remember about others Affect our judgment about the behavior of others Through top-down processing, our schemas about people influence our perceptions of them Accurate schemas help us categorize people quickly and respond appropriately in social situations If they are incorrect, they can create false expectations and errors in judgment about people that can lead to narrow-mindedness and even prejudice o First Impressions First impressions are formed quickly, usually changed slowly,
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Chapter 14 Notes - Chapter 14 Social Psychology Social...

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