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Chapter 1- An invitation to social psychology Social Psychology- the scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in social situations Phillip Zimbardo- the balance of power in prisons is so unequal that they tend to be brutal places unless the guards observe strict regulations curbing their worst impulses Kurt Lewin- founder of modern social psychology -the behavior of people is always a function of the field of forces in which they find themselves The Milgram Experiment-62.5 % of participants went all the way -step by step nature was crucial for the results obtained Seminarians as Samaritans- Darley and Batson- whether seminarians were in a hurry or not was a very powerful predictor The Fundamental Attribution Theory-failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behavior Dispositions- internal factors that guide a person’s behavior Social Psychology encourages us to look at another person’s situation to try to understand the complex field of forces acting on the individual in order to fully understand the behavior Channel factors- Kurt Lewin-creates more participation Called the nudge in behavioral economics Gestalt psychology- objects are perceived not by means of some passive and unbiased perception of objective reality but by active interpretation of what the object represents Naive realism- the belief that we see the world directly Construal- one’s interpretation about a stimuli or situation that one confronts Schemas-a knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information that is used to help in understanding events Capture the regularities of life and lead us to have certain expectations we can rely on Stereotype- schemas we have for people of various kinds Automatic vs Controlled Processing -One is unconscious and often based on emotional factors -Another is based on consciousness and controlled by deliberate thought -Automatic processing gives rises to implicit attitudes whereas controlled processing results in explicit attitudes and beliefs that we are aware of Stimuli and situations have an effect on our behavior without our conscious awareness -Bargh & Pietromonaco : hostile vs neutral words vs Donald Why does mental processing take place outside of our awareness? -Efficiency, faster and can run parallel -Research on human behavior should nor rely on self report information on why people believe such a behavior took place -We need to isolate true causes of people’s behavior
Natural selection- molds animals and plants so that traits that enhance the probability of survival and reproduction are passed onto subsequent generations Group living allowed for greater protection against predators and greater success in hunting Infants are born to produce the full range of possible sounds that exist in all languages Theory of mind-the ability to recognize that other people have beliefs and desires -Develops around the age 2 and is sophisticated by 3/4 Parental investment