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-Social psychology: the scientific study of the feshowing page 1-3 out of 3

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Social psychology:
the scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of
individuals in social situations
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Social psychologists seek to understand how individuals act in relation to others in social
situations and why
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The power of the situation
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How does the situation people find themselves in affect their behavior?
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The milgram experiment
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The situation was effective in getting participants to do something that
would normally fill them with horror
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Seminarians as samaritans
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John darley and daniel batson (1973)
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Seminarians were good samaritans when they were not in a rush
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Nothing to do with religious association
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The fundamental attribution error
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People are governed by situational factors
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Dispositions:
internal factors, such as beliefs, values, personality traits,
and abilities, that guide a person’s behavior
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Fundamental attribution error:
the failure to recognize the importance
of situational influences on behavior, and the corresponding tendency to
overemphasize the importance of dispositions on behavior
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Channel factors:
situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the
surface but that can have great consequences for behavior-- facilitating it,
blocking it, or guiding it in a particular direction
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Introduced by Kurt Lewin (1952)
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Interpreting reality
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Gestalt psychology:
this approach stresses the fact that people perceive objects
not by means of some automatic registering device but by active, usually
nonconscious interpretation of what the object represents as a whole
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Our judgements and beliefs are actively constructed from perceptions and
thoughts
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Construal:
an interpretation of or inference about the stimuli or situations people
confront
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Schemas:
generalized knowledge about the physical and social world
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Capture the regularities of life and lead us to have certain expectations we can
rely on
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Experiment by Solomon Asch (1940)
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Shows that schemas can sometimes operate very subtly to influence
judgements
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Stereotypes:
a belief that certain attributes are characteristic of members of a particular
group
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They can be wrong and applied the wrong way
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Automatic vs. Controlled processing
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Automatic and nonconscious vs. conscious and systematic
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Types of nonconscious processing
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Much of our cognitive activity is hidden from us
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Often we can’t even identify some of the crucial factors that affect our
beliefs and behavior
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Functions of nonconscious processing
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Automatic processes are typically faster and can operate in parallel
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Conscious mental activity is slow and can only be done step by step
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Evolution and human behavior: how we are the same
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Charles darwin and evolutionary theory
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Natural selection:
an evolutionary process that molds animals and plants so that
traits that enhance the probability of survival and reproduction are passed on to
subsequent generations
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Group living, language, and theory of mind
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Theory of mind:
the understanding that other people have beliefs and
desires
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Recognized by children before age 2
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Evolution and gender roles
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Parental investment:
the evolutionary principle that costs and benefits
are associated with reproduction and the nurturing of offspring. Because
these costs and benefits are different for males and females, one gender
will normally value and invest more in each child than will the other
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Avoiding the naturalistic fallacy
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Naturalistic fallacy:
the claim that the way things
are
is the way they
should be
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No logical foundation
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People can fall into believing this because of evolutionary claims
about human behavior
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Social neuroscience
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New field focused on the neural underpinnings of social behavior
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fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)
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Scientists take a picture of the brain that detects blood flow to
active areas of the brain (while the patient is experiencing
emotions) thus showing which brain regions mediate various
feelings and behaviors
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Culture and human behavior: how we are different
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Cultural differences in social relations and self-understanding
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Cultural differences go far deeper than beliefs and values
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Independent (individualistic) cultures:
a culture in which people tend to
think of themselves as distinct social entities, tied to each other by
voluntary bonds of affection and organizational memberships but
essentially separate from other people and having attributes that exist in
the absence of any connection to others
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Westerners think of themselves as distinct social entities
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Interdependent (collectivistic) culture:
a culture in which people tend to
define themselves as part of a collective, inextricably tied to others in their
group and placing less importance on individual freedom or personal
control over their lives
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People do not want/need or have freedom and personal control
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Individualism and collectivism in the workplace
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Geert Hofstede (1980)
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Surveyed IBM employees around the world
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Examined differences in individualistic and collectivistic cultures