Social - Social Psychology Social Psychology examines the...

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Social Psychology Social Psychology examines the influence of social processes on the ways in which people think, feel and behave. I. Social Cognition : the processes by which people make sense of themselves, others, social interactions and friendships A. First Impressions : the initial perceptions of someone, which affect future beliefs about that person 1. develop initial schemas a. influence future perception and memory 2. if too rigidly or automatically applied schemas can develop into stereotypes : characteristics attributed to people based on their membership in specific groups a. often overgeneralized, inaccurate, and resistant to new information b. but, save cognitive energy 3. often lead to prejudice : judging people based on (usually negative) stereotypes a. prejudice involves a distinction between in-groups and out-group i. particularly powerful in naturally occurring groups ii. people tend to see members of outgrows as too homogeneous, while emphasizing the individuality of in-group members B. Attribution: the processes of inferring the causes of one’s own and others’ mental states and behaviors 1. basic decision: is the behavior due to internal or external causes a. internal (dispositional) attribution : attributes of the person caused the behavior i. includes character, motives and abilities of the actor b. external (situational) attribution: situational factors caused the behavior 2. aspects of decision process a. 3-step process i. categorize the behavior ii. categorize the personality iii. adjust for the situation a. confirmation bias b. discounting c. augmentation d. unexpected behaviors 3. attributional bias : a cognitive shortcut for making an attribution that generally occurs outside of awareness a. fundamental attribution error : attributing the behavior of others to internal causes b. self-serving bias: attributing one’s own failures to external causes and ones; own successes to internal causes c. just world attribution: assumes people get what they deserve 4. cognitive dissonance : a perceived conflict between an attitude and a behavior or between an attitude and a new piece of information a. conflict leads to dissonance b. dissonance motivates a return to consistency 1
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i. involves changing the attitude, behavior, or perception of conflict ii. in attitude-behavior conflict the attitude is more likely to change iii. less dissonance if the person has a credible explanation for the conflict
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