Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1
Social What is Social Psychology?
Scientific study of the way in which
people’s thoughts, feelings, and
actions are influenced by the real or
imagined presence of other people.
imagined Main Themes of Social
Power of the situation Social reality is
subjective/constructive, thus subject
to bias and error
to Social behavior is largely automatic Social psychology is a scientific
discipline Why Science and not personal
experience and common sense?
experience Common sense gives us conflicting
predictions - “dueling proverbs”:
Does “absence make the heart grow fonder”
Are “two of a feather than together”
Do “birdsheads better flock one”
is o“opposites attract”?
do“out of sight,cooks spoil the broth”?
d “too many out of mind”? I
Does Social Psychology only
confirm what we already know?
confirm “Decades of research by social psychologists
have revealed that couples who live together
before they marry are less likely to divorce than
those who do not cohabitate before marriage” …
so the advice “test drive before you buy” is true. “Decades of research by social psychologists
have revealed that, whether choosing friends or
falling in love, we are most attracted to people
whose traits are most like our own….so the
aphorism “birds of a feather flock together” is
true. The Problem of Hindsight Bias: The
“I knew it all along” phenomenon Outcomes seem obvious and easy to predict in
Makes findings of social psychology seem trite
When judging the decisions of others, hindsight
bias affects our evaluations of t...
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