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Unformatted text preview: Welcome to Social Psychology! "The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another." Welcome to Social Psychology! Is this true? Opposites attract Is this true? Birds of a feather flock together How can both be true? Birds of a feather flock together Opposites attract True or False: Most of us have quite accurate insight into the factors that influence our moods True or False: To alter the way people act, one needs first to change their hearts and minds. True or False: The greater the reward promised for an activity, the more one will come to enjoy the activity True or False: Most people would disobey an authority who orders them to hurt a stranger True or False: People will pull harder in a tugofwar when part of a team then when by themselves. True or False: The greater the cohesiveness or "we feeling" in a group, the more likely they are to make a good decision. True or False: To be mentally healthy, people need and opportunity to act out, and thus to vent, their aggression. True or False: Depressed persons tend to be unrealistic in their perceptions of themselves. All False! As "natural" social psychologists, our insights are often good, but sometimes in need of correction. Enter scientific research psychology! The "Heaven's Gate" suicides: Why did they do it? "The incredible saga of how a charismatic former music teacher and 38 androgynous followers killed themselves in order to hook up with a UFO." The "Heaven's Gate" suicides: Why did they do it? The "Heaven's Gate" suicides: Why did they do it? Important to distinguish personality explanations from social explanations An Important Message of Social Psychology: The Often Unrecognized Power of the Situation Three Very Big Questions: 1. Are humans basically selfcentered and competitive, wanting to get all they can, any way they can? OR, Are they basically othercentered and cooperative, wanting to help each other out, and willing to make sacrifices for the good of the whole? Three Very Big Questions: 2. Are humans around the world basically the same, no matter their culture or region? OR, Are humans very different from each other, depending on the cultural traditions they've been exposed to? Three Very Big Questions: 3. Is it better to see reality clearly, even if it is unpleasant? OR, Is it better to wear "rosecolored glasses," distorting reality to some extent to keep ourselves happy and motivated? ...
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- Spring '07