Social Test I (Ch 1-3)
Terms in this set (158)
What Social Psychology is NOT...
-study normal, not abnormal
-consider whole individual, not reaction time, learning curve
-attempts to understand and explain everyday social behavior, the ways in which people interact and influence one another.
What are the 5 categories of social interaction?
1. Action & characteristics of others
2. Cognitive processes - beliefs, ideas, judgments
3. Ecological variables - e.g., temperature
4. Cultural context
5. Biological factors - genetic inheritance
Social psychology is the scientific study of...
-how individuals feel (A-Affect), and behave (B), and think (C- Cognition), with regard to other people and...
-how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are affected by other people
-uses appropriate sampling techniques
-uses standardized observation and recording techniques
-makes operational definitions of variables being studied
-avoids making inferences (assumptions about why an event happened)
-uses standardized techniques to quantify both independent and dependent variables
-uses appropriate statistical techniques to analyze data
Psychology is interested in...
-the individual (not "society" or a group)
-person's thoughts (beliefs, ideas, cognitions)
-person's feelings (emotions, preferences, likes, dislikes)
-person's behaviors (actions, intentions, or tendencies to act)
**this is different than social psychology
reminded us in his definition that we are affected by the actual, implied, or imagined presence of other people.
The ACTUAL presence of other people
-We act differently in the presence of others than we do when alone
-We are affected differently by others based on how we view those others.
• do you act the same way around your parents as you do around your friends?
The IMPLIED presence of other people...
-Social psychologists, department store security people, the IRS, and the highway patrol depend on an "implied presence" to bring out the best in us.
• the random audit
• unmarked and conspicuously marked police cars
• those white "speed lines" on the highway
-Humans even display items to remind ourselves (and others) that we are "in love" and "taken."
• we exchange pictures, rings, and other "emblems"
The IMAGINED presence of other people...
-We can stir our emotions and model good (or bad) behaviors just by thinking about others
*walking alone in the dark and suddenly hearing footsteps behind you
Outside Psy. Discipline
*focus on group factor
Within Psy. Discipline
*Identify individual traits & differences
*examine changes over life span
Social psychology has been a separate field of study within psychology for 100 years, but how is it different from related areas?
Sociology focuses on the _ level.
the influence of social class and multicultural differences
Cultural anthropology focuses on the _ level.
on a culture's unique aspects (emics) and factors common to all cultures (etics), such as a power structure.
cross-cultural research has blurred differences
-seeks to understand and treat people with psychological difficulties or disorders.
• such as whether different types of therapy work better with certain disorders
• e.g., effectiveness of group therapy vs. Rational Emotive Therapy with "genetic" vs. "social" alcoholics
• social psychology focuses on "normal" variations of similar behaviors.
• e.g., influence of family drinking history or peer pressure on maladaptive drinking in college students
-focuses on the influence of stable individual differences and on "grand" theories.
• e.g., introversion/extroversion, Type A or B personality, psychodynamics
-focuses more on how social factors influence individuals despite personality differences
*but most research includes subject variables(e.g., male/female, Type A/B personality) or reports how such variables might have affected the results
-APA combines Personality and Social Psychology into one Division (80 % of members identified with both fields)
-focuses on mental processes (thinking, learning, remembering, and reasoning).
• ...on thinking and on understanding our thought processes (metacognition) so we can learn and retrieve information better
Social psychology studies these processes, but emphasizes social aspects (social cognition), for instance:
-we notice and process events faster if they agree with our beliefs (confirmation bias)
-our behavior is influenced by implicit memory (automatically like someone who looks like a friend)
How "common" is common sense?
-There are many conflicting sayings (absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. out of sight out of mind)
-Each saying is true in SOME situations
-results are contingent on both who is studied (person variables) and where it is studied (situational variables)
History of Social Psychology
-Word "Social" ...
• Comes from Latin "socialis"
• roots in Sanskrit "sacati", meaning "he follows or accompanies".
• Related to words in Greek "association, following , sharing" and similar concepts.
-Milestones of Social Psychology
• Earth Day
• World on fire
-Founder of social psyc.
-Study "social facilitation"
-he studied people riding bicycles and reeling fishing line.
-people performed faster side by side than against the clock.
-In the 1960s, Zajonc finally developed a theory to "explain" why people sometimes perform better alone and sometimes perform better when others are present.
Max Ringelmann (1913)
-French agricultural engineer
-Studied behaviors similar to Triplett
-sociologist, believed social behavior was caused by imitation or suggestion
-wrote the first two text books.
-text named "Social Psychology" - marked distinct field
-began in 1927
*studied effects of working conditions (e.g., lighting) on productivity
*no matter how a condition was changed, productivity increased
*the Hawthorne effect: people work harder when they feel "special" and think others are "paying attention to them"
The Youth Years (1930s-1940s)
-Social psychology grew rapidly during this period.
-Muzafer Sherif: The Psychology of Social Norms. (1936).
-Researchers came to the United States to escape war in the 1930s, for instance:
• Kurt Lewin: Field Theory, B=f (PE).
• B: behavior; P: person; E: environment. • Interactionist perspective.
• Founder of modern social psychology
Besides business, who is the other heavy contributor to scientific research?
WWII & Social Psychology
-U.S. entry into WWII required money, sacrifice, and dedication from business and the public.
-Social psychologists were recruited to study how to change these attitudes and behaviors.
Dollard & Miller (1939)
• 1. Frustration produced by interrupting a person's progress toward an expected goal will always elicit the motive to aggress.
• 2. All aggression is caused by frustration.
-Late 1940s, basic research resumed, but many topics were still war related
Theory Development in the 1950s
-War-related research generated applied research, much of which had to be organized into theoretical generalizations after the war.
-College growth provided jobs for social psychologists and large student populations to
-Government and businesses continued to need input from social psychologists.
• how to "sell" (products, political candidates, patriotism); how to "manage" society in the new era of prosperity and the growth of media (especially movies and TV)
The turbulent 1960s & 1970s
-Controversy and growth occupied social psychology and the United States during this period.
-Along with the general public, students and researchers became less complacent around 1965 -- and great topics for applied research were readily available.
• ...Trust in the government and industry declined.
• Vietnam, rising inflation, and Watergate were partially to blame
• TV had an instant impact on attitudes
-Many new researchers were hired as the baby boomers spurred a second growth in colleges beginning in the late 1960s.
-...Large numbers of women became social psychologists.
-...Everyone became more interested in studying relationships.
• divorce was on the rise
• living together was losing its stigma
• love and sexual behavior became less taboo topics for research
-..."Experimentation" (drugs, communes, hippies, encounter groups) was popular.
• social psychologists were there, sometimes as participant observers
study how we perceive, remember, and interpret information about ourselves and others
Hot vs. Cold Perspectives
-Hot Perspective (we feel before we think)
• focus on emotion and motivation as determinants of our thoughts and actions.
-Cold Perspectives (we think before we feel)
• emphasize cognition
• People thoughts affect how they feel, what they want and what they do.
Social psyc. in a new country
-Integration of emotion, motivation, and cognition
-Biological and evolutionary perspectives
-Sociocultural perspectives • *cross-cultural research
• multicultural research
Many _ topics are being studied in new ways today.
-how can we control for social facilitation or mere exposure when gathering data on the Internet?
-do results differ if computers gather data?
-Internet sites have databases allowing students to do archival research that used to be costly or impossible.
Cultural variables and the growth of social psychology in other cultures are having an impact
-attribution theory is being "adjusted" to take into account differences in individualistic vs. collectivist cultures
-the challenge to develop valid measurement devices is huge
Contemporary Social Psychology
Social cognition: how we perceive, remember, and interpret information
Real world application: applying findings to social settings
The future of Social Psychology:
-Blurring of boundaries between disciplines
-PET (positron emission tomography)
-fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to study interplay of the brain and discrete thoughts, feelings and behaviors
-Internet (study attraction, attitudes, prejudice ..etc
Doing Social Psychology Research
What are the 3 steps to begin the research process?
1: Start asking questions.
2: Search the literature.
-What research has already been done on this topic and related topics?
3: Begin shaping the idea into a
-Hypothesis: An explicit, testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur.
An organized set of principles used to explain observed phenomena
Theories are usually evaluated in terms of which three criteria?
-Social psychologists rely on more precise "mini-theories" rather than the all-encompassing grand theory (cf. Freud or Piaget).
What is basic research?
-Goal: to increase our understanding of human
-Often designed to test a specific hypothesis
from a specific theory.
What is applied research?
-Goal: to enlarge our understanding of naturally
-Additional goal is to find solutions to practical
Conceptual variables are...
abstract or general variables.
An operational definition states...
-specifically how the conceptual variable will be manipulated or measured.
*transforms the variable from the abstract (conceptual) to the specific (operational)
-is used to evaluate the manipulation and measurement of variables
Construct validity refers to the extent to which:
-The manipulations in an experiment really manipulate the conceptual variables they were
designed to manipulate.
-The measures used in a study really measure the conceptual variables they were designed to
-Direction: + or -; Magnitude: strong or weak
-control the setting, study variables precisely, and
make cause-and-effect statements.
-combine results across studies
What is the goal of descriptive research?
to describe people and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Descriptive Research Methods:
-Observational studies: observe behaviors of interest.
-Archival studies: examine existing records of past events and behaviors.
-Surveys: ask people questions about their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
*Random sampling is important for achieving a representative sample
-Researcher observes people's actions to learn about human behavior.
-Elaborate observations require establishment of interrater reliability
The level of agreement among multiple observers of the same behavior
Advantage of observations:
-They avoid faulty recollections and distorted interpretations of our own behaviors.
*But are still vulnerable to self-presentation concerns (Reactivity Effect).
-Examine existing records of past events and behaviors
*vast databases we could not collect personally
*"the past" as recorded by media
What are the advantages to archival studies?
No subject reactivity. Observation is secondhand,
so our presence won't have biased participants' behaviors.
What are the disadvantages to archival studies?
data may not be complete or detailed enough
-Participants disclose their thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions.
*Gives researcher access to an individual's beliefs and perceptions.
Problems with self-reports:
-Participants' answers may or may not be accurate. Answers are affected by the way in which questions are asked; memories, etc...
-Social Desirability: respondents may give socially acceptable responses, especially if they
-Goal is to learn about the relationship between variables.
*How similar or distinct are two different variables?
*How well does one variable predict another variable?
-A statistic used to measure the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.
*ranging from +1.0 to -1.0
*the closer to +1.0, the stronger the positive association
*the closer to -1.0, the stronger the negative association
Advantages of Correlational Research:
-Can study the associations of naturally occurring variables that cannot be manipulated or induced.
-Can examine phenomena difficult or unethical to create for research purposes.
-Offers freedom in settings in which the variables are measured.
What is the 1 disadvantage of correlational research?
***correlation is not causation
Experiments are conducted to examine...
cause and effect relationships
What are the two essential characteristics of all experiments?
1. Researcher manipulates some variables, controls others (Extraneous or Confounding
Variables that might affect the results, but are not included as independent variables).
2. Random assignment to different treatment conditions is used.
Lab experiments are conducted in settings in which:
-The environment can be controlled.
-The participants can be carefully studied
Field research is conducted in real-world settings where:
-Advantage is that people are more likely to be acting naturally.
-Disadvantage is that the experimenter has less control.
-The factors experimenters manipulate to see if they affect the dependent variable on participants.
*It has two or more conditions (or levels).
*e.g., low, medium, and high background noise
-an operationally defined
measurement assessed to learn the effect of different conditions or levels of the independent variable.
*can be one or more dependent variables (DV) for each independent variable (IV)
The overall effect of the
independent variable on the dependent variable, ignoring all other independent variables
How the effect of each
independent variable is different as a function of other independent variables.
-Variables that characterize preexisting differences among
the participants in a study.
*Cannot be a true independent variable because cannot be manipulated or randomly assigned.
The conclusion, based on statistical analyses, that the
obtained result is unlikely to have occurred by chance alone and therefore should be taken seriously.
-The degree to which there
can be reasonable certainty that the independent variables caused the effects obtained on the dependent variable.
-To have internal validity, the experimenter must:
1. Include control or comparison groups in the experimental design.
2. Prevent experimenter expectancy effects from occurring.
-The degree to which the
findings can be generalized to other people and to other situations.
-Factors affecting external validity:
*Is the sample representative?
*What is the setting in which the research is conducted?
The extent to which the
research setting resembles the real-world setting of interest.
-The degree to which the experimental setting and procedures are real and involving to the participant.
*Highly involving experiences are often created through the use of deception and confederates.
-A set of statistical procedures for examining relevant research that has already been
conducted and reviewed.
-Allows one to combine the results of individual studies to measure the overall reliability and strength of particular effects
Ethics & Values in Social Psychology
-Researchers have a moral and legal responsibility to abide by ethical principles.
-The use of deception has caused particular concern in social psychology.
-Virtually every study now has to be evaluated for its ethics by other people before the study can be conducted.
What does the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) do?
Review research proposals to ensure that the welfare of participants is adequately protected.
Researchers must obtain _ from all potential research participants?
-nature, duration & purpose of the experiment
-potential risks, hazards
-Freedom to withdraw
-Deception and Debriefing
Ethical principles are based on...
-these values set standards for and impose limits on the conduct of research.
The Social Self
Self-reflection is necessary for us to be able to understand the...
*motives, emotions, and causes of our behavior.
*our inner self.
*how we manage ourselves is heavily influenced by the people around us.
*our outer self.
How do we evaluate ourselves, enhance our self-images, and defend against threats to our self-esteem?
How do we regulate our actions and present ourselves according to interpersonal demands?
How do we come to know ourselves, develop a self-concept, and maintain a stable sense of identity?
What is the cocktail party effect?
tendency to pick a personally relevant stimulus out of a complex environment
-the sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves.
-self-concept is made up of self-schemas
-Beliefs about oneself that guide processing of self-relevant information.
we dont see ourselves or others in relation to that topic.
Self-recognition is an important first step in the development of...
*A self concept
-except for human beings, only the great apes seem capable of self-recognition
-indicates a concept of me
At what age do we start to recognize our self?
18 to 24 months
Charles Horton Cooleys
*other people serve as a mirror in which we see ourselves.
George Herbert Mead
-added that we come to know ourselves by imagining what significant others think of us.
-these perceptions are then incorporated into our self-concept.
What are the five sources that influence the development of our self-concept?
2. Perception of our own behaviors
3. The influence of others, especially those important to us
4. Autobiographical memories
5. Our culture
Source #1: Introspection
-a looking inward at ones own inner beliefs, attitudes, emotions and motivations
-some people introspect more often than others.
-e.g., those high on the Private Self-Consciousness scale
-introspection gives more accurate information if: there is plenty of time; lots of practice at it
introspection can sometimes impair self knowledge
Millar & Tesser, 1989
"Accuracy of self-knowledge depends on the match between what we focus on and what caused behavior in question"
-For cognitively driven behaviors, it is better to focus on the reasons for the behavior.
-For affectively determined behaviors, it is more valuable to focus on ones feelings.
-The process of projecting forward and predicting how one would feel in response to future emotional events.
*People often have difficulty doing this
-People tend to overestimate the duration of their emotional reactions. Reasons:
* For negative events, we do not fully appreciate our psychological coping mechanisms.
* We focus only on the emotional impact of a single event, overlooking the effects of other life experiences.
Source #2: Perceptions of our own behavior
-Daryl Bem (1972): People can learn about themselves simply by watching their own behavior.
When internal cues are difficult to interpret, people gain insight by observing their own behavior.
* But only in the absence of compelling situational pressures
Facial Feedback Hypothesis
-Changes in facial expression can lead to corresponding changes in emotions.
-Laird (1974): Facial expressions affect emotion through process of self-perception.
-Subjects rated cartoons funnier if they were smiling rather than frowning.
-Alternative explanation: Facial movements evoke physiological changes that produce an emotional experience.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
-Intrinsic Motivation: Originates in factors within a person.
-Extrinsic Motivation: Originates in factors outside the person.
*sometimes a behavior can be motivated by both
The tendency for intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that have become associated with reward or other extrinsic factors.
Source #3: Influences of Other People
-People tend to describe themselves in ways that set them apart from others in their immediate vicinity.
-Implications: Change ones social surroundings, and ones spontaneous self-description changes.
-The self is relative.
-We define ourselves in part by using others as a benchmark.
Social Comparison Theory
-Festinger (1954): When we are uncertain about our abilities or opinions, we evaluate ourselves through comparisons with similar others.
Two-Factor Theory of Emotion:
-Schacter & Singer (1962)
* Schacter: Do we turn to others to determine something as personal and subjective as our own emotions?
* Two factors necessary to feel a specific emotion:
* We must experience physiological arousal.
* We must make a cognitive interpretation that explains the source of the arousal.
Source #4: Autobiographical Memories
Recollections of the sequence of events that occurred in your life, in part, shape your self-concept. Self-concept shapes memories as well.
1. Self-reference effects:
Self-relevant information is more effectively processed than information about other topics for reasons:
Self-relevant material is well organized in memory and readily placed in existing categories
Self-relevant material is processed deeply because it is related to other information already present in memory.
2. Egocentric Bias:
Perceiving and recalling oneself as a central actor in past events
3. Hindsight Bias:
Tendency to think after an event that we knew beforehand what was going to happen (e.g, break-up)
4. Flashbulb memories:
We remember where we were when vivid emotional events in history were happening.
Source #5: Cultural Perspectives
-Our self-concept is also influenced by cultural factors.
-Contrasting cultural orientations:
*Individualism: Ones culture values the virtues of independence, autonomy, and self-reliance.
*Collectivism: Ones culture values the virtues of interdependence, cooperation, and social harmony.
-People strive for personal achievement.
-Tendency to overestimate own contributions to team effort; take credit for self and blame others for failure.
-People derive more satisfaction from the status of the valued group.
-Tendency to underestimate own role and present self in more modest, self-effacing terms in relation to other members of the group
The Affective Self: Self-Esteem
-Pearl Baily once state :There is a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside
-Positive or negative evaluations of ourselves.
-Esteem: comes from Latin aestimare, meaning to estimate or appraise
-Negative (Low)- relatively anxious, unhealthy, depressed, pessimistic about the future and prone to failure.
-Positive(High) - tend to be happy, healthy, successful , productive and adaptable.
Why Do We Have a Need for Self-Esteem?
-Need for self-esteem is driven by primitive need to connect with others and gain their approval.
-Self-esteem serves as a sociometer.
-Greenberg et al. (1997): People are motivated to see themselves as valuable members of society as a way of coping with a deeply rooted fear that privately haunts us all.
-Satisfying this need postitively is critical to our entire outlook on life.
Leary & Baumeister (2000):
People are inherently social animals
Self-Esteem Influences on Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture
-Like individuals, social and cultural groups differ in their self-esteem.
-Gender differences? Kling et al. (1999) found that:
-Among adolescents and young adults, males outscore females on various general measures of self-esteem.
-But this difference is very small, particularly among older adults.
-Do stigmatized minority groups have low self-esteem?
-Gray-Little & Hafdahl (2000) found that African-Americans consistently score higher than their white counterparts on measures of self-esteem.
-The perceived discrepancies between a persons self-concept and various self-standards are related to our emotional states.
The real self:
what you think you are
The ideal self:
what you think you ought to be
Emotional consequences depend on which factors:
1) the amount of discrepancy.
2) the importance of the discrepancy
3) the accessibility/awareness:
-Self-focused attention leads people to notice self-discrepancies, thereby motivating either an escape from self-awareness or a change in behavior
1) reduce discrepancy.
2) withdraw from self-awareness: alcoholism..etc
* Depends on different types of self-consciousness
* self-consciousness: disposition to focus attention inward on the self; can be further analyzed into
-Certain individuals are characteristically more self-focused than others.
-Private vs. public self-consciousness.
-Private self-consciousness: The tendency to introspect about our inner thoughts and feelings.
-Public self-consciousness: The tendency to focus on our outer public image.
Limits of Self-Regulation:
-Self-regulation is the process by which we seek to control or alter our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and urges.
-Muraven & Baumeister (2000) theorized that self-control is a limited resource that can temporarily be depleted by usage.
a tendency to hold ourselves in high regard
What methods do we use to rationalize or otherwise enhance our self-esteem?
1. Self-serving cognitions
3. Basking in the glory of others
4. Downward social comparison
1. Self-Serving Cognitions
*People tend to take credit for success and distance themselves from failure.
*Most people are unrealistically optimistic.
*Kunda (1987): People bolster their rosy outlook with elaborate theories that link their own personal attributes to desirable outcomes
*Behaviors designed to sabotage ones own performance in order to provide a subsequent excuse for failure.
Individual Differences in Self-Handicapping
* Men often handicap themselves by taking drugs or neglecting to practice.
* Women tend to report stress and physical symptoms.
* Some set their goals too high, which sets up failure but not due to a lack of ability.
* Some engage in sandbagging by downplaying own ability, lowering expectations, or openly predicting failure.
* Self-esteem concerns:
* Low self-esteem individuals use self-handicapping to create a defensive, face-saving excuse in case they fail.
* High self-esteem individuals use self-handicapping as an opportunity to claim extra credit if they succeed.
* Self-handicapping does have its costs.
3. Basking in the Glory of Others
* Self-esteem is influenced to some extent by those individuals and groups with whom we identify.
* To raise our self-esteem we often bask in reflected glory (BIRG) by associating with others who are successful.
* To protect our self-esteem, we will cut off reflected failure (CORF) by distancing ourselves from others who fail or are of low status.
4. Downward Social Comparison
* When self-esteem is at stake, we tend to make comparisons with others who are worse off.
* We make temporal comparisons between our past and present selves.
* If we experience a tragic life event, we tend to:
* Affiliate with others in same predicament who are adjusting well (possible role models).
* Compare ourselves with others who are worse off.
* Reaction to a sibling, spouse, or close friend who is more successful than we are
* Success is important: BIRG
* Success is self-relevant: social comparison jealousy
Are Positive Illusions Adaptive?
* Those with the most realistic view of themselves are those who are depressed or low in self-esteem.
* Positive illusions are health-protective psychological resources that help people cope with adversity.
* Downside: Positive illusions can lead to chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviors.
A tendency to believe that the social spotlight shines more brightly on us than it really does.
* Shakespeare: All the worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
* Goffman: We each assume a certain face, or social identity, that others politely help us to maintain.
The process by which we try to shape what others think of us and what we think of ourselves.
* Two types of self-presentation, each serving a different motive:
1. Strategic self-presentation.
Our efforts to shape others impressions in specific ways to gain influence, power, sympathy, or approval.
Desire to get along with others and be liked
Desire to get ahead and gain respect for ones competence.
* Desire to have others perceive us as we truly perceive ourselves.
* Swann (1987): People are highly motivated to verify their existing self-concept in the eyes of others.
* Do we self-verify negative self-concepts?
* Desire for self-verification will sometimes overwhelm the need for self-enhancement.
The tendency to regulate ones own behavior to meet the demands of the situation
* High Self-Monitors: Sensitive to strategic self-presentation concerns.
* Low Self-Monitors: More concerned with self-verification.
High vs. Low Self-Monitors
High vs. Low Self-Monitors
* High self-monitors are concerned with public image.
* More anxious and depressed when they fall short of expectations set by others.
* Low self-monitors maintain a relatively consistent posture across situations.
* More upset when they fail to meet personal standards set for themselves.
The Multifaceted Self
* Historically, the self has been viewed as an enduring aspect of personality
* Stable over time and slow to change.
* But at least part of the self is malleable.
* Molded by life experiences.
* Varies from one situation to the next.
* Self is complex and multifaceted, not simple.