Social Psychology

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Study guide for exam 1 (spring 2012)

Cognitive Dissonance

The theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent.

when our awareness of our attitudes and our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes.

the more irrevocable the consequences, the greater the dissonance and need to reduce it by overemphasizing the good things about the choice made

• The engine of self-justification

Mental Contortion / Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: sees to it that no evidence—the absence of evidence—is evidence for what we believe

Reasoning area of the brain

researcher found reasoning areas of brain virtually shut down when confronted with dissonant information. the emotion circuits of the brain lit up when consonant was restored

Dissonance Theory

That behavior transcends the effects of rewards and punishments and often contradicts them. Explains why people are unreasonable at processing information and continue to be bias after they make an important decision

self-justification

Self-justification is when people encounters cognitive dissonance, they justify the behavior and deny any negative feedback

How Social Reality is Created and Recreated

Our social reality is NOT FIXED and unchanging. We play a role in our own social reality.

exp. when you Smile, it makes a difference in your interactions with others

The way we perceive reality is different for everyone

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (3 step)

1. Perceiver forms expectations about target which tends to be false, based on inaccurate information

2. Target reacts towards that person in a way consistent with perciever's expectations

3. The target interpret the perceiver's expectation and response, interaction, if continues over time target internalize it

Rosenthal and Jacobson 1968 -IQ study in students

- Teachers were told 20 students be late bloomers and would make IQ gain

(Within 10 point range, students labeled late bloomers gained 10 points in 80% who gained in IQ, 20 point and 30 point gained)

- don't see as much gain in IQ for gifted students, but for students who need the extra help, you see a big difference in IQ gain when they are perceived as gifted.

- Speaks to importance to interaction of students and teachers

Rosenthal's study 4 Factors that affected self-fulfilling prophecy

1. Climate: socioemotional mood (e.g. teachers were warmer toward students identified as gifted)

2. Feedback: affective information (praised more often and less criticism (positive reinforcement)) and cognitive (detailed, quality feedback)

3. Input: teach more towards students and expected more from them

4. Output: encourage responsiveness (greater opportunities to seek clarification)

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy can be aversive

Harris 1992 did troubles kids study
•68 pairs of unacquainted boys, split into 2 groups
•kids labeled hyper treated negatively, leads to self fulfilling prophecy

We all have biases: positively and negatively
-we love to predict our environment
-the problem, reinforcing our beliefs on someone, may have a Negative affect on them
-can result in individuals internalizing labels causing negative self-beliefs and low self-esteem

methods use to overcome biases

• Address the issue
• Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts
• Be conscious of stereotypes you may have
• Awareness!
• Redefine your definitions (of what intelligence is for school)
• Pay attention to communication in general

Area biases can affect

• Employment
• School
• Relationships

Organizing Principles in Social Psychology: The Self

For a long time, Behaviorism ruled: based on learning, what you learned, didn't take into consideration of internal processes

Gordon Allport in 1943

Famous Social Psychologist
-Argued need to get beyond behaviorism
• What is the self? humans cannot develop sense of self in social isolation

The Self

• The self is YOU, a social being with the ability to engage into an object of focus
(symbolic communication)

The self: symbol using social being who can reflect on his/her own behavior

distinction between the self as an "object" of awareness and the self as "subject" of awareness

Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness is our Survival Mechanism:

To be part of group, have to engage in self-awareness. Allowed us to monitor our own behavior and the behavior of others and be part of a group.

Self-awareness allowed us to ponder our existence.
-religion is a byproduct of our ability to engage in self awareness

Self-concept

Self concept: the idea of who you are, how you define yourself, how self concept influences our behavior

Self-serving bias

We tend to take credit for positive situations that happens to us and blame negative things away

exp. in book, unemployed workers, if they externalize rejections, more likely to continue the job search, if blames themselves, less motivated to search for a job

Benefits: protects our self-esteem
Drawback: if you don't learn from your mistakes, you wont learn

Dual-Process Theories

Theories of social cognition that describes 2 basic ways of thinking about a social stimuli:
1. Hot Approach/Implicit Cognition
2. Cold Approach/ Explicit Cognition

Hot and Cold approach is held as separate ways of thinking, we can switch between them throughout the day but cannot do both at once

Hot Approach: Implicit cognition/ Dual-Process theory

Judgment/decisions making skills under control of automatically activated evaluations held outside awareness.

exp. when you stereotype, happens at subconscious level, affects how you interpret people..almost based on emotion

benefit: uses few cognitive resources, operates on autopilot

for a long time, belief popularly held

Cold approach: Explicit cognition/Dual-Process theory/

judgment/decision are things we are consciously aware of. Thinking about what you will say or do uses many cognitive resources, mentally draining.
• we don't use as much because uses a lot of mental energy
• Most of the time, we operate on implicit cognition

Organizing Principles in Social Psychology: Culture

Culture shapes social behaviors, our ideas, symbols, preferences, and material objects that we share. Most research argues culture develops in response to the country you come from

Culture shapes peoples' view of reality and of themselves

• Culture measure in textbook pg. 19

Collectivism

• Harmony, group need over individual needs
• Tightly knit social relationships, conformity, similarity. strong family units, especially with extended families
• Submit to the influence of ones group
• Don't search for your identity, its given to you
• 70% of the worlds population

(group level variables, but overall the US we is more individualistic)

Individualism

• A philosophy of life focusing on what's best for the individual needs over the group
• Care about self and your own goal
• Loosely knit social relationships
• tend to think they are unique, independent
• Autonomous of others influence

• Declaration of independence outcome of individualism

Socioeconomic development

Socioeconomic development: when economy becomes better, collectivist cultures can shift more
towards individualist

• Most Individualistic countries: US, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Netherlands
• Least individualistic cultures: Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Indonesia, S. Korea, Taiwan

Conducting Research in Social Psychology

1. Select topic and literature review
2. Develop theory & hypothesis: an educated guess built on research you conducted
3. Select research method (IRB), test hypothesis
4. Collect Data
5. Analyze data: support hypothesis
6. Report results: if research is supported, report result and share it
• If you've done good lit. review & have a good theory, you should find support

Research Methods

-Descriptive research: no manipulation, just observing and collecting data. Such as case studies
-Intervention: exposing groups to different variables
-Survey
-Archival

Naturalistic Observational

no manipulation, unobtrusive observation. Natural settings, generate ideas to further research where lab experiment isn't possible
• Time consuming, no control, observer effect/bias, cannot make causation

Participant Observation: Participants of the group

• Get closer information
• Festinger study: cognitive dissonance, Doomsday cult. interested in how people would respond when prediction did not occur.

Problem with participation observational research?
• Researcher bias, no control, bystander affect
• low on validity and reliability
• Cannot make causation

Archival Research

Use of already existing records
• Music lyrics, census info, newspaper, cultural beliefs and norms

Gale Bessenoff 2007 study, ways females presented in media. Younger female=more sexual and older females=fully clothe. why young females have lower self esteem
• Playboy study: preferences of female shape, men attracted to bigger women in times of depression, the idea they were healthier. During a prosperous economy, men preferred thinner women.
• Research shows that we see more aggression when its hot outside

Survey Methods

Used to assessed things we cannot see
• Public polling tech

Exp. study done now on how comfortable students were talking about racial issues at UWRF
• Representative sample (smaller amount that accurately reflect population being studied as a whole) to avoid sample bias.

Survey problems are overused.
• Social desirability: socially sensitive topics, responding in manner you think is socially acceptable. Oftentimes difficult to get at, must be self reported in some ways, but people don't want to admit they are prejudice.

Correlational Research

Correlational study's observe or measure to find arelationship between A and B, correlations must be bidirectional & cannot be unidirectional.

physical attractiveness is curvilinear, in a study, less attractive & more attractive may date less than average people

Correlation coefficient

Correlation coefficient -1.00 to +1.00, the closer to 1, the stronger the relationship
• A zero is no relationship, points scattered
• + or - 1.00 in is a perfect relationship
• tend to see correlations of .60 in social science
• + relationship, as one increase other decrease
• - relationship, as one decrease, one increase

Experimental Research:

To establish cause and effect, must conduct an experiment.
1. Create 2 or more groups liked in all ways except condition being varied.
2. Directly varying condition you think effect behavior
3. Record whether condition has effect on behavior

Independent variable

the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied

• set their size, amount, or values

Dependent variable

The experimental factor that is being measured; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

Extraneous variables

Any variable, apart from the independent variable that can effect the dependent variable. Effects the result in an experiment in an unwanted way.

• researcher wants to prevent from affecting outcomes of the experiment

Random assignment

• Used to control for extraneous variables
• to make sure every participant have equal chance being in both control or experimental group
• Through random assignment, groups are assumed as equal on extraneous variables/balanced
• After controlling for extraneous variables by random assignment, we can say there is causation if we see a difference

Meta-Analysis

One study is not that convincing; Majority rules
• Examine various research methods & Statistical techniques to look at overall results & effects
• use multiple methods to test relationship between those specific variables

Emerging technologies in social psychology research

-Virtual environment: used in conformity, may set up mock trial
-Implicit or unconscious measures/ www.implicit.harvard.edu
-Brain imaging techniques (fMRI, MRI)
• How love affects the brain

2 Components to the SELF

2 Components to the SELF, there's the "I" and the "me"

Self-awareness is Reflective thinking

• Self-awareness starts at 18 months. (Red dot on forehead, attempt to touch red dot on forehead not mirror because they know they are looking at own reflection)
• About 18 months, rapid development of spindle neurons allows us to have self-awareness
• Self-awareness disengages and turns off during times of difficult task and when we are threatened to allow for quick decision making
• fight or flight active response for survival
• When we engage in self-awareness, that's where our morals are held

• When you disengage in self-awareness, you automatically response
• Most people fluctuate between private and public self-awareness

Private self-awareness

• Private aspects (attitudes, beliefs)
• Tend to Act in line with personal beliefs
• Responsive to current mood
• Can intensify moods positively and negatively

Public Self-Awareness

• Worry more about Physical appearance
• Whether you are being accepted by group
• Conform more often to group

Milgram shock study: to see how far people would shock others if they were told to
• Found people more likely to engage in public self-awareness when authority figure was present

High in Private Self Consciousness

those who are habitually high in private self-consciousness:
• Tend to have complex self-concept
• Downfall, hard on self, higher rates of negative feelings

Should engage in distracting activities: keep self busy to disengage in negative feelings or thoughts
• On average people tend to engage in one or more of the other

High in Public Self Consciousness

• Concern about being judged
• More likely to conform to group
• More focus on Physical appearance in addition to others

Self-regulation

Self-regulation
• Ability to control and direct our behavior
• Ability to delay/forgo immediate gratification of small rewards to attain larger ones

- for people low on self regulation, high on impulse control, we tend to see same brain area acting out
- Ability to control our behaviors uses a lot of cognitive resources, drains a lot of mental energy
- people who over regulate are OCD

Self-regulation is a self skill, children who are taught to self-regulate tends to be more successful in life. This is a learned trait that at any point in your life, you can increase your ability to self-regulate

• uses the same brain region as self awareness
• To self-regulate, you monitor yourself, plan,

Ways to exercise self regulation

1. Education!
2. Consistent and predictable reward system (for children)
3. Having future oriented models
4. Practice your willpower and say NO to temptation
5. Discuss the consequences of actions
6. Chart progress
7. Piggy bank
self-control its something you can increase by engaging in some of these exercises

Control theory of Self-Regulation

theory contending that, through self-awareness, people compare their behavior to a standard, and if there is a discrepancy, they work to reduce it

• Such as studying for an exam or practicing a sport
• We engage in this cycle all the time

Self Discrepancies

Self Discrepancies: is when self-regulation does not meet our standards. Discrepancy between our actual self and our ideal self causing: anxiety, guilt

• If it doesn't line up, we may feel dejection-related emotions; Disappointment, frustration, depression
• May say things like "I wish I was more physically attractive."

If you can set your own standards, you tend to be less depress

Self-Control

Self Control is Depleting

• We have a limited amount of self control making it difficult to self regulate on a 2nd unrelated task

Depleting resources (where we tend to self regulate)
• Watching scary movie
• Job interviews
• Studying for exams, Aging

Our brain is fueled by glucose/sugar. If individuals drink something with glucose, this may temporary increase the brains ability to self-regulate, giving it additional fuel to help you self-regulate.

The self (as a knowledge structure)

The self as a knowledge structure
• Self-schema
• Can be complex or simple
• Importance qualities, aschematic (things that don't matter to you)
• Impacting events: such as a divorce, cancer, were discriminated against, poor
• Stands out: things that you've been rewarded for, opposites of stereotype,
• Influence what we remember, pay attention to, behaviors
o Such as if you are a Feminist would pay attention to equality and abortion rights
o beauty, if ideal self doesn't match with actual self, would result in depression, eating disorders, and so on

Biculturalism

Individual with a bicultural background who views themselves and the world through both individualist and collectivist lenses by cultural frame switching

Cultural frame switching

Cultural frame switching: move between 2 cultural belief systems in response to situational cues

• Ralston et al. (1995) Hong Kong bilingual-Chinese manager's values questionnaire study. Found that if presented in English, manager's sorted items based on individualistic traits, but if presented in native language, more likely to indicate collectivist value.

Learn a new language and get a new soul (Czech proverb)

Cultural Beliefs and Gender

• Women tend to have more relational self-concept. Close relationships. Relational descriptors: caring, nurturing. Why females are better at remembering relation type dates.

• Men tend to have more Independent self concept, Larger group, Relationships not as close, more competitive, protective

Social identities

Shared set of values, beliefs, and goals

Strategic self-presentation

How we present the self to others is stressful, we Self-regulate and risk losing control of our performance because it depletes our resource

Self regulation is like a muscle, we can exercise it, some people can get really good at it.
-If you constantly engage in self-regulation, you can become good at it & it wont elevate blood pressure and heart

Strategic Self-Presentation strategies

6 strategic self-presentation strategies:
1. Ingratiation
2. Modesty
3. Self-promotion
4. Exemplification
5. Intimidation
6. Supplication
7. Self-handicapping

Intimidation

Intimidation: arouse fear and gain power by convincing others they are powerful

-Used to make people fear you and do what you want, people who use this would be drill sergeants, Bullies, and even parents

Supplication

Supplication: when individuals advertises weakness or dependence to others

-exp. Homeless individuals and students who ask help
o seen as Poor functioning
o Intent to make people feel sorry for you
o Makes people judge them worse, leads to decrease self-esteem

Self-handicapping (2 types)

Self-handicapping: when an individual creates obstacles to his/her own performance. Used when skills central to our self-concept is threatened. to protect self-esteem.

-Can be Helpful, can protect & enhance self-esteem, reduce stress, anxiety & can actually improve performance

2 types of self-handicapping: Self-reported & behavioral. Behavioral handicapping is worse, you actually engage in behavior to self-handicap such as partying night before exam

Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring: the tendency to use cues from other peoples self-presentations to control our own self-presentations (to be accepted)

Benefit: you are adaptable & flexible
Drawback: if high in self monitor, seen as fake & don't have a complex self

High Self Monitor individuals

• Are Skilled impression managers
• Monitor and mimic how others behave
• Experience less psychological arousal because utilize resources that builds up (like a muscle)
• Less consistent across situations
• Have less intimate relationships
• Judge people more on superficial values, high reliance on being physically attractive
• Tend to brown-nose
• Might be good at sales, negotiations

Self-esteem

Self-esteem: how you evaluate your self concept.

-we tend to think that we are good people
-Developed as an internal meter to see if we are accepted as part of a group
-If things effect our self-esteem, we would engage in self-regulation: Internal meter of group inclusion

Low Self-Esteem

• Most people don't have negative self-views of themselves

Individuals with truly low self-esteem are:
• Unhappy & pessimistic
• Needful of social acceptance
• Encounter financial & academic problems
• Less successful careers
• Less physically healthy
• Negative things effects them for a longer period of time

in low self-esteem individuals, it takes more self-regulatory resources to boost up positive feeling to increase self esteem

Unstable self-esteem

Unstable self-esteem: when people act as if they are accepting of themselves, but deep down, they don't believe it. Surface level self-esteem.

• Hidden cost of trying to preserve it—aggression
• Almost as if need to consistently reassure themselves that they are good. If challenged, become defensive or aggressive.

Best way to test someone's self esteem is to make fun of him or her.

Self reflection

when we self-reflect, we bask in glory of others, they become part of our self concepts, such as your significant other or children to raise our self esteem.

Social comparison

Social comparison is when we compare ourselves to those we know: depending on the bond with individual & relevance of task if it's important to our self-concept. Can lower our self-esteem if they outperform us at something that is important to us.

Attitudes

Attitude: some sort of positive or negative evaluation
• Specialized terms for certain classes, self-esteem is an attitude about yourself

-prejudice is negative attitude you have towards a group

Attitudes can be implicit and explicit: Involves 3 components
1. Emotional: feelings of uneasiness, negative affect, etc. affective response towards something, any feeling
2. Cognitive: marijuana is a gateway drug, more explicit, how do you feel, evaluate something
3. Behavioral: I will not smoke marijuana

Argument against Attitudes and Persuasion model is that you may not need all 3 of these. That attitude, doesn't always influence your behavior.

Implicit Attitudes

Implicit attitudes (automatic thinking), oftentimes we have implicit attitudes towards others

Explicit/ Dual Attitude

Explicit or dual, your cognitive thinking, can have attitudes that are conflicting, such as being prejudice, but in effortful thinking you may say no, but implicitly you may be

Attitude Development

• Theodor Newcomb 1930, Bennington College study on how attitudes developed

• Reference groups: a lot of groups can enter into your self concept, who you are, they tend to influence our behaviors, how we judge the world, and ourselves. Can be high levels such as religion, state, family and friends

Theodor Newcomb 1930, Bennington College study

Theodor Newcomb 1930, Bennington College study (very small and liberal college)

Found a social & political conservatism shift during time at college for students who:

o Contact with professors
o Shaped students life course
o Most students were from conservative families, by time most graduated, became liberal
o Biggest predictor for shift in attitude was contact with professors

Functional approach to Attitude

Functional Approach: we develop attitudes to satisfy different psychological needs; Need for acceptance from others
o Goes back to self-monitoring to get people to like you

Cognitive Approach to Attitude

Cognitive Approach; making sense of our world.

Brain filled with different file folders for info, to be easily retrieved
-we need to understand something about people we don't know so that we can interact with them
-A lot of people tend to have negative attitude

Reaction Formation/ Psychoanalytic (Freud)

Defense mechanisms to help protect self esteem.

Reaction formation: if something causes you anxiety, you act out the opposite of how you truly feel

Exp. if a man is a closet homosexual, this causes extreme anxiety, what we see, according to theory is that the person will act the opposite of of urges/ s an extremely negative attitude against homosexuals in order to counter the feeling

Mere Exposure & evolution

The more we are exposed to things, the more we like them. Reason is we are naturally nervous about things causing us harm, so if see someone once who didn't harm us, if we keep seeing them, we naturally start to have a positive affect towards them

Behaviorist

Behaviorist: Subject to learning processes: Classical conditioning processes.
-How implicit attitudes towards individuals is developed through classical conditioning
Neutral = Muslims
UCS → dirty, BAD,: UCR: Negative feelings
CS→ Muslims; CR → Negative feelings towards Muslims

The media is the biggest source of negative attitudes

Operant conditioning

conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response

Observational learning: models, what you observe from others are negatively or positively reinforced for.

Attitudes and behavior/ LaPiere study 1934

Attitude should predict behavior:

• LaPiere study 1934: wrote letters to restaurants and asked if they would serve Chinese individuals, many said NO. He later showed up at same places with a Chinese person and found that they were served. Got people interested in the disconnect found between peoples attitude and their behavior.

• Social norms, social desirability,

Theory of Planned Behavior

Attitudes predict intention, but intention is also influenced by subjective norms, and perceived control of situation

Exp. in I/O, relationship between employee satisfaction and turnover rates, which isn't always the case

• things that can influence subjective norm is the cultural norm/ or environment

Exp. If satisfied with job, norm would be to show up on time? Things such as kids, car trouble are external factors you have no control over

Persuasion (2 channels)

• Attempt to directly change attitudes

2 channels by which to alter attitudes:

1. Central route: looking at argument itself, cognitive evaluation. Fact based.
-Exp. When you are evaluating a college, influence on explicit level, weight out pros and cons

2. Perpetual route: sounds smart, looks at environment surround argument, takes into context.
-Exp. you don't have good product, may try to influence by presenting something appealing instead of facts, related to implicit, influencing someone outside of their awareness

Central Route

• fact based
• evaluate on a conscious level
• content
• structure
• data
• political debates, car ads with safety info, computer ads, all based on data, structure of argument and context itself

Central Route in Persuasion / Content, style, and structure

Content, style, and structure

• Make strong logical arguments, fact based
• Ones sided vs. 2 sided
• Break complex arguments down, if info too complex, people will be turned off
• Personal relevance, want to grab their attention,
• Encourage active participation, when people are thinking about your argument, don't want them to leave the room having questions about it, want them to ask so that you can answer

When using central route in persuasions, will see that:
• Attitudes are more accessible because you've thought about them over and over
• They are persistent and stable, your changing their attitudes, once attitude change, more persistent
• Resistant
• Predict behavior: stronger relationships between attitudes developed this way than behavior

Peripheral Route to Persuasion

Looks more at context, influence feelings, heart, emotion (appeals to emotion)

• Subtle cues and context
• Occurs automatically
• Used when you don't have a lot of data or not the best product
• Less likely to lead to large attitude change

If we WANT to INFLUENCE peoples behavior, want to use "central route"

Source and message characteristics in peripheral route

• Credibility
• Similarity-preferences (used quite often), we trust ourselves, so we trust people similar to us, especially when it comes to preferences for things

• Personal attractiveness; putting attractive people in ads, related to classical conditioning, product is neutral but we have positive affective naturally towards attractive people, so our positive response to attractive person rubbed off on product

• Talking fast, vivid images, often used in peripheral route, makes it more difficult to focus on argument, makes you less likely to contradict and logically process info

techniques used such as:
• Vivid images
• Environment: can influence people, get to relax
• Relate to person; find something you have in common with person, makes you connected to them in some way. Because we like ourselves, we have greater positive affect towards others similar towards us

• If you can get someone to say yes to you once or do something for you, they are more likely to repeat that a second time, even it you ask them a stupid question

How to know which persuasive route to take.

Think about audience itself, who are you trying to persuade

• Characteristics of audience when deciding what route to take. These are often not mutually exclusive, you may see both central and peripheral routes used in ads

need to consider the:
-Motivation, ability (educational level, who's your audience), time & interest, need for cognition, Product itself

Fear

Fear; scare tactics and anxiety provoking

• Need to be able to cut through the chatter, attention, tough behavioral changes

• Different countries have different levels of tolerance, some countries allow more extreme use of fear in advertising than the US

exp. Doctors sent letters to their patients who smoked, such as quit now and live longer, continue and die sooner

Ethical issues when using Fear tactics

Is it right for advertisers to bring about anxiety to people? Feelings of guilt in people? Should they be allowed to make people feel crappy, sad? Should there be some guideline?

With commercials you don't really have a choice to watch it, it comes on fast.

Fear can create: anxiety and stress, Victim blaming—AIDS, Low Social Economic Status→ lacks means to change so what's the point, Increasing intensity with desensitization

For FEAR to be effective, want to present fear but also information for people so that they know what they can do to prevent it or avoid it

Rationalization and Attitudes/ Festinger (Dooms Day cult study)

Humans are motivates to maintain consistency between beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.

• Infiltrated Dooms Day Cult

-Festinger was Interested in what would happen on 12/21 at midnight when the world didn't blow up

-Found that there were 2 types of members, extreme and not so extreme
-At midnight, found that those who were extreme in their belief were even more committed when the world didn't end.
-They self-justified that because of their belief, the world didn't explode. they were actually out trying to recruit people to join their cults

Cognitive Dissonance

we Experience mental anxiety when there is a mismatch between our attitudes and behaviors. we can't change the behavior, but can change our attitude.

Cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger)

People motivated to maintain consistency in their thoughts, feelings, and actions. When inconsistencies/conflict exist between our thoughts, feelings, and action it can lead to a strong tension and discomfort (mental anxiety/cognitive dissonance). To reduce the tension or dissonance we change our original attitude to fit our behavior

No matter what we do, we tend to rationalize or actions (self-justification)

asserts that rationalization shapes attitudes

Festinger's 1959 Boring Task Study

study found that participants who, for $1,lied to others that the task was very enjoyable and fun came to believe that it was enjoyable to a far greater degree than those who lied for $20. The $1 liars also expressed greater enthusiasm for the task than a control group who were not asked to lie.
-consistent with cognitive dissonance theory

-finding surprised a lot of attitude researchers contradicted reinforcement theories, which predicted that participants who were paid more would exhibit greater attitude changes

Festinger and Carlsmith 1959
- predicted participants given insufficient monetary justification for lying (the $1 liars) experienced greater cognitive dissonance, thus expressing more liking for the adult task than those who receive sufficient monetary justification (the $20 liars)

6 Ways to reduce cognitive dissonance

6 common strategies:

1. changing attitudes: people can simply change their attitudes to make them consistent with discrepant attitudes or prior behaviors

2. Adding cognitions: if 2 discrepant thoughts cause dissonance, people can add more confident thoughts. Such as getting drunk relaxe me, makes me happy, good for my mental health.

3. Altering the importance of the discrepancy: Such as, it's more important to stay relaxed and fit and with my friends than to worry about the health effects of alcohol

4. reducing perceived choice: people can convince themselves that they are not freely choosing to engage in the discrepant behavior. Such as, I have no choice but to drink. so much stress in my life, getting drunk is only way to blow off steam.

5. making self affirmations: people can remind himself of cherished aspects of their self-concept that are unrelated to the current dissonance, thus restoring their feelings of overall integrity. Suggest saying I have so many other positive qualities and accomplishments in other areas it's okay if I've fallen short in this one small area.

6. changing behavior: people can change their behavior so it no longer conflicts with their attitude. Suggest I'm going to stop getting drunk again

Cognitive dissonance and Behaviorism

cognitive dissonance contradicts behaviorisms' belief that we only do things for rewards and more likely to continue a behavior if we are rewarded

Exp.
-Fraternities: when hard to get into, once thru process, will like fraternity more than one easy to get into. Belief that it must be great and that's why you made yourself go through it
-Grad school
-The psychology of sex experiment

Elliot: if people go through a great deal of pain, discomfort or embarrassment to get something, that will be happier with that something than if it came easily to them

once we make a decision about something

- If we are faced with new information that contradicts our belief (dissonance) we explain it away

- If info is consistent with our beliefs, we will think its correct and useful

Exp. Iraq war and WMD
-Democrats said republicans lied (easy to reduce cognitive dissonance),
-for republicans still believed that weapons were there but that it was moved or changed rational for the war


• researchers have found that our Reasoning abilities in the brain shuts down when we are faced with dissonance/conflicting information

• The absence of evidence becomes evidence

In cognitive dissonance, you are changing your attitude to make it fit your believes to relief mental anguish

Jenny McCarthy

o Believed child got autism from shots
o goes out and preaches that shots are causing autism
o Person and public commitment to her belief
o Contradictory evidence, yet she justifies her belief that it's the medical community wanting $
o She has social support
o "I know children regress after vaccination because it happened to my own son""
o In the U.S., more cases of measles reported in 2008 than any other year since 1997

Rationalization trap

Rationalization trap is potential for dissonance reduction to produce a succession of self-justifications that can ultimately results in chain of unintelligent or immoral actions.

The Power of Irrevocablility

The Power of Irrevocability

o People continue to be biased after making important decisions! This Bolster our decisions-especially when it can't be unmade

examples:
o Buying a Mercedes, find self justifications for our actions
o Racetrack example: betters weren't sure before bet, but sure of horse winning after bet
o Coupons

If you want help making a decisions, never ask someone who has just done what you want to do.

how can you get someone to like you

by asking them to do something for you even if it's something insignificant.

because we like ourselves and think positive of our selves, if we do something for others, we rationalize that they must be good and that's why we helped them. therefore, we are more likely to help them again in the future.

Sudan Tribes

...removed front tooth

social psychology

the discipline that uses scientific methods in an attempt to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, and imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport)

social psychology exists as a discipline in both psychology and sociology, with the larger of the 2 being the psychological branch

both studies social behavior, but from different perspectives.

Kurt Lewin

a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, instrumental in establishing social psychology as a respected field of scientific inquiry

instrumental in founding the Society for the psychological study of social issues ( SPSSI) & served as its 1st president in 1941

his motto was, no research without action, and no action without research

contemporary social psychologist

draws on insights of sociology, anthropology, biology and neurology, political science, and the economics to gain a better understanding of how the individual fits into the larger social system.
-An integrative science.

Psychological social psychology

focus on individuals and how they respond to social stimuli.

Even when psychological social psychologist study group dynamics, they generally emphasize the process that occur at the individual level

definition of social psychology in the book reflects this psychological perspective

sociological social psychology

downplays the importance of individual differences and the effects of in media social stimuli on behavior

instead, it focuses on larger group or societal variables, such as People's socioeconomic status, social roles, and cultural norms

social psychology is more than common sense

our social world beliefs are best characterized as being embedded within a naïve psychology. Instead of being based on careful scientific analysis, they are often develop from everyday experiences and uncritical acceptance of other people's views and opinions.

Though commonsense psychological believes often results in good decision-making, they can also produce distorted and contradictory judgments

social psychology has no grand theory that explains all aspects of social behavior, there are some important and organizing principles and perspectives

the self / shaped by-and shapes-the social environment

for most of the past century, behaviorist perspective in psychology focus on studying only observable actions, which prevented the concept of the self from being a focus of research in social psychology. most social psychologists explained people's behavior simply by examining social cues in the situation, without considering how each person's life experiences and self-evaluations might shape the response

it wasn't until the early 1970s that an increase in number of social psychologist, led by empirical studies and growing interest in human cognition focused on the self

today, in contemporary social psychology, the self this self related constructs are important and explanatory tools of the discipline

the Self

the self is both a simple and complex concept. It's not a mental construct located in your head-it's you, a social being with the ability to engage in symbolic communication and self awareness.

the reason the cognitive processes of symbol usage and self awareness are important in definition is because both are essential for us to mutually engage in planed, coordinated activities in which we can regulate our behavior and anticipate the actions of others

this ability to analyze ourselves, our surroundings, and possible future realities allows us to actively create and re-create ourselves and our social world

self awareness and symbol usage

self awareness, symbol usage-thus, the self -- may have evolved in our ancestors as a means to better deal with an increasingly complex social environment

self-awareness, not only provided our ancestors with knowledge about their own behaviors, but they could also use this inner experience to anticipate how rivals might behave in future such as war and social bargaining, giving them an advantage in these activities but they could also use this symbolic communication to discuss things not physically present, such as a herd of antelope

these 2 defining features of the self became the means by which our ancestors developed an adaptive advantage in their environments for survival and reproducing

selfhood also allow our ancestors to ponder their existence. such as the elaborate burial sites created during the upper Paleolithic period 40,000 years ago-- provides evidence that the modern human mind and the self were emerging

social psychologist M. Brewster Smith Smith contend that this new search for ultimate meaning among others led to the development of myths, ritual, and religion which affirmed to each social group its value as the people

self serving bias

the most agreed-upon explanation for self-serving bias is that it allows us to

-used to enhance and protect our self worth

Although self-serving biases provide a less than accurate view of ourselves, it may be functionally efficient because it often boost our self-confidence

interactionism

social psychology's emphasis on the self represents an affirmation of Kurt Lewin's belief that both person and situation no factors influence social behavior. This perspective was later called interactionism

interactionism combines personality psychology which stresses differences among people with traditional psychology which stresses differences among situations

social thinking automatic or deliberate?

There has been a running debate concerning the nature of human behavior. One perspective that people are move to act due to their needs, desires, and emotional affect. This is described as the hot approach which argues that cool, calculated planning of behavior is secondary to heated, impulsive action that fulfills desires

the alternative viewpoint that people's actions are principally influenced by the rational analysis of choices facing them in particular situations. The code approach asserts how people think will ultimately determine what they want and how they feel

in the 50s and 60s, the hot perspective was most influential. By the 80s, the cold perspective dominated the thinking within social psychology. One reason for this shift was the computer age resulting in people's everyday lives being saturated with terminology and thinking of this new technoscience

reflecting this new reality, many social psychologist borrows concepts from cognitive psychology and developed theories of social cognition that provided numerous insights into how we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about our social world. Like a computer, these theories often described people methodology, processing information and fix sequence, or serially, working on only one stream of data at a time

despite this, the computer model is less helpful in explaining other ways of thinking because the human brain is more complex and performs many mental operations simultaneously in parallel

in response to criticism, cognitively oriented social psychologist has sought to establish a more balanced view of human nature by blending the traditional hot and cold perspectives into what some have termed the warm look

dual process theories of social cognition

that social thinking and behavior is determined by 2 different ways of understanding and responding to social stimuli

one mode of information processing-is based on effortful, reflective thinking which no action is taken until its potential consequences are properly weighed and evaluated, the cold approach

the alternative mode-relate to the hot perspective legacy based on minimal and cognitive effort in which behavior is often impulsively/automatically activated by emotions, habits, or biological drive

the essential assumption to keep in mind regarding dual process theories is that many aspects of human behavior results from automatic process this may occur spontaneously and outside our awareness

culture

culture shapes social behavior

people view of the world through cultural lenses

by culture, we mean the total lifestyle of people, including all the ideas, symbols, preferences, and material objects that they share

this cultural experience shapes people's view of reality and of themselves, status, significantly influences their social behavior

generation next or Y

young adults born between 1981 and 1988

the label is meant to distinguish them from the older generation X adults born between 1966 in 1980

in a national survey conducted by the pew research Center, more than two thirds of generation next saw their generation as unique and distinct. reflects a desire for individual expression

though more socially tolerant than past generations, generation next believes that their generation is more interested in focusing on themselves then helping others

individualism

preference for a loosely knit social framework in which society individuals are supposed to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. Belief system asserts that society is a collection of unique individuals who pursue their own goals and interests and strives to be relatively free from the influence of others

individualism can be traced back to the early Greeks and Romans writings and ideas and medieval Anglo-Saxon England

didn't make a significant appearance on the world stage until the 16th century when people became more geographically mobile and regularly interacted with others from radically different cultures

during the late 1800s and early 1900s the age of industrialization and urbanization in Western societies, social roles became increasingly complex and compartmentalize

today it's common practice to find or create one's own identity rather than be given an identity by one's group.

Self-discipline, self-sufficiency, personal accountability and autonomy are highly valued characteristics in a person in an individualistic society

collectivism

preference for a tightly knit social framework in which individuals can expect relatives or other members of their social group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.

political sciences Ronald Inglehart and social psychologist Daphnia Pyserman contend that collectivism is the older of the 2 philosophies because it focuses on the type of thinking and behavior that affords the most protection for people who live in threatening environments or survival needs are extremely salient

in contrast, individualism is a more recent philosophy of life because it developed among people who inhabit relatively safe environments where their survival is not dependent on maintaining strong group ties

social scientists commonly think of these differing ideologies as reflecting 2 similarly universal and common human needs: the need for autonomy and the need for communion

individualism and collectivism are not permanently unchanging characteristics of a
given society. Individualism is closely linked with social economic development. When collectivist cultures become industrialized and experience economic development, they often experience a shift toward some of the cultural beliefs associated with individualism and away from some of the cultural beliefs associated with collectivism

evolutionary psychology

the evolutionary perspective is partly based on the writings of Charles Darwin who theorize that genetic changes the population of the species occur over many generations due to the interaction of environmental and biological variables

genes

are the biochemical units of inheritance for all living organisms, and the human species has about 30,000 different genes

natural selection

as the environment changes, members within the species possessing traits better suited to the new condition will flourish a process called natural selection

Reproduction is central to the natural selection process, the essence of natural selection is that the characteristics of some individuals allow them to produce more offspring than others

evolution

refers to the gradual genetic changes that occur in the species over generations

2 important points to keep in mind when considering the process of evolution:

1. individual organisms don't evolve, populations evolve
2. evolution does not necessarily result in species being transformed into more complex forms of life. Instead, the key feature of evolutionary process has to do with the degree to which it organisms inborn genetic traits help it adapt to its current environment

scientist points out when the species changes environments, or when its environmental changes an unavoidable period of time exists in which its biological makeup not in tune with its surrounding

social neuroscience

studies the relationship between the neuro processes of the brain and social processes

into sizes of the brain influences social interaction, but also of how social interaction can influence the brain

example. using machines such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal parts of the brain

cerebral cortex

the wrinkled looking outer layer of brain tissue that coordinates and integrates all other brain areas into a fully functioning unit

90% of our cerebral cortex is of relatively recent evolution the frontal lobe is its largest region

frontal lobe

the frontal lobe is involved in the coordination of movement and higher mental processes, such as planning, social skills, and abstract thinking

recent brain imaging studies indicate that a region of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex called the anterior cingulate cortex is especially active when people are self aware

anterior cingulate cortex

a region inside the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex of the brain

contains a special type of brain cells or neuron's called spindle neuron, which are much larger than other neutrons in the brain

spindle neurons

spindle neurons collect waves and neural signals from one region of the brain and send them to other regions

it appears the anterior cingulate cortex with its spindle neurons act as an executive attention system that facilitates self awareness

humans are one of only a few species who possess spindle neuron

research indicate when people are trying to exert self control over their own thinking and behavior (self-regulate), the anterior cingulate cortex is also actively working in concert with areas in the prefrontal lobe regions ( the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the oritofrontal cortex)

scientific method

the scientific method consists of a set of procedures used to gather, analyze, and interpret information in a way that reduces error and leads to dependable generalizations

basic research

social psychologist conduct basic and applied research

basic research is simply to increase knowledge about social behavior, knowledge for knowledge sake

no attempt is made to solve a specific social psychological problem

applied research

in contrast to basic research, applied research is designed to increase the understanding of and solutions to real-world problems by using current social psychological knowledge

social psychology: to research goals acquiring and applying knowledge

one important ethical questions surrounding applied research is whether there should be any limits on the use of social psychological knowledge

basic research has taught us a great deal about the conditions under which people become suspect about to persuasion and influence.

considerable debate about the proper role that social psychologist should play in applying their knowledge to the world.

1 point of view is that the discoveries of any science should be used for whatever purpose interested parties consider important
-that scientist should be neutral truth seekers & not be concerned about how their discoveries are utilized. Followers of this value free perspective believe that social psychologists should use the facts of their science to influence social policy, decisions undermine scientific basis of the discipline

a 2nd point of view, 1st proposed by Kurt Lewin in the 40s is that social science and social action should not be separated. Contemporary followers of this value ladder and perspective believes that merely studying society and its problems without a commitment to changing society for the better is irresponsible.

a commonly accepted belief within the philosophy of science today is no science is untouched by values and the politics of the culture in which it is practiced

6 steps in the process of social psychological research

step 1: Select a topic and review past research must be knowledgeable about pass research findings in their areas of interest and keep up to date on recently published studies. literature review

step 2: develop a theory, generate hypothesis, and select a scientific method once research literature has been digested. theory must be developed that can be empirically tested using hypothesis that logically flow from the ferry. Scientific method must be used to allow the hypothesis to be tested in a way that minimizes errors and leads to dependable generalization

step 3: obtain approval to conduct the study. Prior to conducting research all proposed studies must be submitted for approval to institutional review boards IRB's

step 4: collect the data. Social psychologists used both qualitative and quantitative data. The 3 basic techniques of data collections are self-reports, direct observations, and archival information

step 5: analyze data and reevaluate the theory. Can be analyzed using either descriptive or inferential statistics, with the latter mathematical analysis being more valuable because it allows researchers to generalize their findings to the population of interest. If results did not support the studies hypothesis, that theory from which the hypothesis for derived needs to be reconsidered and perhaps revised.

Step 6: report the results. Not every study will be published and make its way into a social psychological literature. In those cases, scientific journal without publish a submitted article is there are problems with the hypothesis or methods, or falls in the data analysis. In addition articles are often rejected for publication because reviewers decide the research is a very important. Because of this less than 10% of the submitted research articles get published

hypothesis

an educated guess or predictions about the nature of things based upon the theory, it's a logical implication of the theory

theory

in organized system of ideas that seeks to explain why 2 or more events are related

what makes a good theory

predictive accuracy: can it reliably predict behavior?

Internal coherence: are there any logical inconsistencies between any of theoretical ideas?

Economy: does it only contained what is necessary to explain the phenomenon in question?

Fertility: does it generate research and can be used to explain a wide variety of social behavior

variables

factors in a study that can be measured and that are capable of changing

operational definition

a very clear description of how a variable in a study has been measured

deception

a methodological technique in which the researcher misinformed participants about the true nature of what they are experiencing in a study

the reason for using deception is to increase the likelihood the response of participants are as close as possible to the response of people in real-world setting

2 main forms of deception and research:

1. Not fully disclosing the true nature of the study until it is over
2. exposing participants to a trained member of the research team, called a Confederate

deceptions should be used cautiously by researchers because it could lead to a loss of trust in social scientist by those participating if they believe the researcher had abuse them in the course of the investigation

Confederate

a member of the research team who follows a script designed to create a specific impression on participants

by their nature, Confederates misinform participants about the true nature of what they are experiencing

institutional review boards IRB's

because of previous studies such as the Milgram shock study

in 1974 the US government develop regulations requiring all institutions seeking federal funding to establish institutional review boards IRB's for research involving human participants. There are comparable IRB's for studies using nonhuman subjects to. These reviewing bodies compose a scientist, medical professionals, clergy, and other community members, make sure that the welfare of human participants is protected.

These guidelines focus on risk/benefit ratio, which weighs the potential risk to those participating in a study against the benefits that the study may have for advancing knowledge about humanity

in assessing proposed studies, priority is always given to the welfare of the participants over any potential benefits for research

informed consent

procedure by which people freely choose to participate in the study only after they are told about the activities they will perform

debriefing

a procedure which the conclusion of a research session in which participants are given full information about the nature and hypothesis of the study

sample

a group of people who were selected to participate in a research study

regarding the data collected from the sample of participants there are 2 broad categories: qualitative and quantitative

population

all the members of an identifiable group from which a sample is drawn

qualitative data

qualitative data exist in a non-numeric form, such as a scientist narrative report of conversation between 2 people

quantitative data

quantitative data is numerical

scientist collecting this type of data, when studying the same 2 people conversing, might rate each person's level of physical attractiveness with a numerical scale in which 1 indicates very unattractive and 5 indicates very attractive.

researchers often collect both qualitative and quantitative data in the same study

3 basic techniques of data collection

1. self-report
2. direct observations
3. archival information

these 3 ways of collecting information are not always mutually exclusive. Example, the personal memoirs of historical figures represent both self-reports and archived data

self-report data collecting

collecting data using self-reports the researchers to measure important subjective states, such as people's perceptions, emotions, or attitudes

the self/social connection exercise in book provides an example of the commonly used self-report scale and social psychology so just how is self-esteem measured

the disadvantage of self-report data, is that it relies on people accurately describing these internal states-something they are not always willing or able to do

direct observation data collecting

researchers prefer to directly observe people's behavior, recording its quantity and direction of change over time

this technique is widely employed in observational and experimental studies

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