Okay, so let's get started.
I'm very pleased to welcome you all to today's Social Psychology Hangout.
I want to say just a few words about our guest of honor, who is Mahzarin Banaji -
somebody who is, in my opinion, not only one of the world's most
As we come to the end of our journey together, I hope you can look back and
see some main course themes and ideas that social psychology offers us,
such as the psychological construction of reality,
the surprising speed with which people form social impre
Thank you all for making time in your busy schedule for this hangout -
this wonderful hangout with Dan Gilbert, who is the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology
at Harvard University. If I were to free associate to Dan and think about what words
I'd like to begin this lecture with a question about
your friends and, if you have one, your romantic partner.
When you think about the people you've chosen as a friend or a partner, what's
the single most important factor that led you to be with one pers
When you ask people what the most important
social problems are facing society and the world, some of
the most common answers you get are war and terrorism, poverty,
prejudice and social injustice, violations of human rights, civil right
00:00:25,500 -> 00:00:28,800
According to the PsycInfo database, thousands of studies have been
published on the topic of happiness since the 1800s.
But of these articles, over 60% have appeared in just the last
ten years, and many of these new finding
I'm Dan Gilbert.
I'm a social psychologist and a professor here at Harvard University.
For centuries, happiness has been a subject for poets and philosophers,
but in the last few decades, psychologists, neuroscientists, even economists
have begun to
Over the last couple of weeks, the lectures and readings
have focused on peace and social justice.
Yet for most people, the desire for peace and social justice arises from something
that social psychologists haven't really studied much until recently: co
In previous videos, we've been talking about reducing conflict by
taking the third side. One way to do this is by serving as a mediator.
In mediation, a third party works to resolve
a conflict by facilitating communication and offering suggestions.
Previously, I cited research from psychology, political science, and history
suggesting that when it comes to reducing terrorism, war is not the answer.
And I cited statistics showing a rise in global terrorism
following the wars in Iraq and Afghanista
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In this lecture I want to move our discussion of aggression
from general principles to a specific type of aggression: terrorism.
This is a topic that evokes very strong feelings and strong opinions
for many pe
In our discussion of the bystander effect, we examined the role of bystanders
in the murder of Kitty Genovese and the fatal assault on Deletha Word,
but I didn't say much about the role of
the perpetrators, or more generally, about the topic of violence.
Over the past week or two, the lectures
and readings have focused on the interplay
between groups and individuals - how
groups influence individuals and vice versa -
as well as intergroup dynamics.
So, for example, we've covered obedience
In the heartland of the American Midwest,
eight-year-old Noah is already a boy apart.
Midwest America is a real difficult place for a child like Noah.
We have a lot of farmers - you know, hardworking people that have
always grown up that a boy's a bo
I want to say welcome to everybody. It just so happens that this first Google Hangout
of the course coincides with the Social Psychology Day of Compassion,
and it turned out that one person in our class decided,
as an act of compassion, that he was going
When it comes to intergroup bias, you
might be wondering: why are we
still dealing with prejudice, stereotyping, and
discrimination in this day and age?
Haven't we had enough time to work these
In the United States, it was roughly half
The difference between these two men seems obvious:
their faces are different, their hair is different - even their shirts are
a different color. And yet an experiment by psychologists Dan Simons and Chris Chabris
at Harvard reveals that our brains actua
In the last lecture, we discussed
categorical thinking, which is an
extremely valuable aspect of human
When it comes to social groups, however,
categorical thinking can give rise to
certain problems if people see sharp
divisions between t
It is all around us.
It is an illusion and yet profoundly real.
What we perceive as race is one of the first things we notice about each other.
Skin: darker or lighter. Eyes: round or almond, blue, black, brown.
Hair: curly, straight, blond, or dark.
I'm assuming that you've now seen the
Quiet Rage documentary.
If not, please watch that video first and
then come back and watch this one.
I won't go anywhere - I promise I'll stay
right here in this video.
So if you ha
In the last video, I mentioned how group
dynamics can involve intragroup dynamics
(that is, psychological processes
and behaviors taking place within a group)
or intergroup dynamics (the same thing between
or among different groups).
Okay, this is it right down here.
Yeah, it's right down the hallway here.
This is where it all happened in the summer of 1971.
Right down this corridor in the basement of the Psychology Department
is where we converted these offices and storage rooms t
It was a typical July afternoon in the little town of Coleman, Texas.
A hot wind from the Panhandle was blowing fine-grained Texas topsoil right
through my in-law's house while my wife and I, along with her parents, indulged
in what, for Coleman, was
In the last few lectures, we've broadened
our focus from individuals to groups, but
we've concentrated mainly on the effect
that groups have on a lone individual,
a single person -
for example, group pressure, or conformity,
or the road from indivi
In the last video, I ended by asking
whether the level of conformity that
Solomon Asch found seemed very high, or
fairly high, or fairly low, or very low.
For over 20 years after he published his
findings, most psychologists thought that
it was sur
Stanley Milgram's research on obedience
grew out of earlier studies that Solomon Asch
conducted on conformity,
the topic of this video and a close
cousin of obedience.
Conformity is a change in behavior or
belief as a result of social pressure, and
On April 15th, 1964, the New York Times
reported that in Albany, New York,
a crowd of 4,000 people chanted "jump,
jump, jump," as a suicidal teenager stood
on a twelfth-story hotel ledge.
The teenager had been under psychiatric
care at the Albany M
The videotape that you're about to see, edited specifically for this class,
is a slightly condensed version of Stanley Milgram's famous documentary,
Obedience, generously provided without fee by Alexandra Milgram.
To make this documentary, Professor Mi
In this video, I'd like to comment on
Stanley Milgram's documentary, Obedience,
and update the research a little bit.
So, if you haven't seen the documentary
yet, please do that first and return to
this video afterwards.
I never had the pleasure of meeting
Stanley Milgram, but in this video we'll
hear from two social psychologists who came
to know him well.
The first, Harold Takooshian, was a student of Stanley Milgram's in
the 1970's, and the second, Phil