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Social Psychology- Chapter 18 notes

Social thinking
when the unexpected occurs we analyze why people act as they

Attributing Behavior to Persons or to situations
attribution theory- suggests how we explain somebody's behavior-
by crediting either the situation or the persons disposition.
(produced in 1958 by Fritz Heider) ex. a teacher may be
wondering why a childs hostility reflects an aggressive
personality or reaction to stress or abuse.
We often fall prey to the fundamental attribution error (the
tendency for observers, when analyzing anothers behavior, to
underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate
the impact of personal disposition).
Dave Napolitan and George Goethals did an experiment in 1979
with college students and how they judge somebody's warmth
as a person.

The Effects of Attribution
we often struggle to explain others actions, happy married couples
think of harsh comments a temporary condition, she must
have had a bad day at work. Unhapily married couples think
of it as why did i marry such a hostile person.
its better to drain the swamps then swat the mosquitos. this means
think of what is causing somebody to do something and try to
fix that instead of one of the problems coming from it.

Attitudes and Actions
attitudes are feelings based on our beliefs; that predispose our
reactions to objects, people and events.

Attitudes can Affect Actions
our attitudes predict our behavior imperfectly because other
factors, including external situation and also influence
our attitudes affect behavior when other influences our minimal.

Actions can Affect Attitudes
people stand up for what they believe in and they also start to
believe in what they stand up for.
The foot in the door phenomenon- a tendency for people with
who agree to a small action to comply later with a larger one.
if the king destroys a man that is proof to this king it must have
been a bad man.
the foot in the door phenomenon has helped boosted charitable

Role playing affects attitudes
when you adopt a new role you strive to follow the social
prescriptions, at first it feels fake because you are acting a role
but after a while that becomes who you are.
Phillip Zimbardo in 1972 did an experiment with cops and inmates
who were drawn out of a hat. the kids who were chosen to be
cops turned into horrible people in that prison because the act
became a part of them.
in the Greece military in 1970 they used role playing for there
soldiers to become torturers.

Cognitive dissonance theory- Relief from tension
proposed by leon festinger, we often bring our attitudes in line with
our actions.
if i chose to do it we must believe it.

Social Influence
hijacks, bombings, UFO sightings have a tendency to come in
on campus people wear bluejeans and on the highs sreets people
where suits

Conformity and Obedience
when somebody laughs or coughs others do the same
if a bunch of people look upwards you probably also will
bar tenders seed there tip jars with money because they know
others will follow
illness is psychologically contagious
we are all natural mimics
part of mimicry is from empathy
after columbine there were threats in every state except Vermont

Group Pressure and Conformity
adjusting our behavior or thinking toward some group standard
Asch did an experiment with lines and made people guess which
were the same length. he had actors and one real person all
the actors said the same one (wrong one) and most times they
would go with the crowd
1/3 of the time these students were willing to call white black

Conditions that strengthen conformity
one is made to feel incompetent or insecure
the group has at least 3 people
the group is unanimous
one admires the groups status and attractiveness
one has made no prior commitment to say any response
others in the group observe ones behavior
ones culture strongly encourages respect for social standards

Reasons for Conforming
normative social influence- we are sensitive to social norms
when we accept others opinions about reality we are responding to
informational social influence
the longest way on the wrong side of the road is 30 miles on a
british highway the lady thought all the hundreds of other cars
were going the wrong way.
people in most english speaking countries tend to prize
individualism more than conformity and obedience.

Stanley Milgram did an experiment with electric shock- teachers
and learners were assigned. the learners had to answer
questions correctly otherwise they were to be shocked, the
voltage rates kept getting higher the learners were shrieking to
get out. only 37 percent stopped the experiment only to find
out that it was an act and nobody was being electrocuted.
for men and women around 65% of people continued the
experiment although they new they could be putting
somebody in danger.

Lessons From conformity and Obedience studies
people are always lost wether to resound to the pleas of the victim
or the orders from the officers
with kindness and obedience on a collision course, obedience
usually won
strong social influences show that people will conform to
falsehoods or captivate cruelty
93 percent of people said they would administrate the test if
somebody else did the shocking
i was only following orders- director of nazi deportation of jews to
concentration camps
the normal reaction to abnormal behavior is abnormal behavior

Group influence
social psychologists study to find out how people operate in

Individual behavior in the presence of others
first they focused on how we are influenced by others
we are influenced by the mere presence of others

Social Facilitation
when you are being watched you get the more likely response
if you are a basketball player that is good at free throws you will be
more likely to do well with others watching
When something is difficult for somebody and somebody is
watching they do badly
home teams win about six out of ten games so you are more likely
to win when you are at your home field because you have a
more friendly audience
comedians seem funnier in a crowded room
crowding amplifies reactions

Social Loafing
when you are put in a group for something you dont try as hard as
you might if you were by yourself
ex. for tug of war you wont pull as hard when you are in a group
because you rely on others to pick up your extra work
on average you only give 82% effort
people feel less accountable so they dont worry about what others

the presence of others can arouse people or it can diminish their
feelings of responsibility
other times it can be both arousing and diminishing their
ex. a food fight or screaming at a reff during a game

Effects of Group interaction
being in the presence of others can
motivate people to exert themselves or tempt them to free-
ride on the efforts of others
make easy tasks easier and difficult tasks harder
enhance humor or fuels mob violence
research shows that interacting with people shows good and
bad effects.

Group polarization
over time differences between college students tends to grow over
this is called group polarization
when more people in a group favor or oppose something
when students discussed racial issues with prejudice they
discovered talking about it gave them more prejudice
the internet provides a medium for group polarization
but it is also a place for people who support bad things like white
supremacy to find support and grow in strength

Group Think
many peoples opinions are suppressed or self censored
this happens especially after somebody voices there opinion very
GROUP THINK- the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire
for harmony in a decision- making group overrides a realistic
appraisal of alternatives
truth spreads from arguments among friends
this has happened with many historic events including
watergate cover up
pearl harbor
escalation of the Vietnam war
the us space shuttle challenger explosion
led by overconfidence, conformity, self justification, and group
groupthink is prevented when a leader welcomes various options,
invites experts and critiques of developing plans
None of us is as smart as all of us

The Power of individuals
in power of social influence we must not overlook the power of the
when we are pressured we may react by doing the opposite of
what is expected
European social psychologists have sought to better understand
minority influence
the power of one or two to sway the majority
a minority that holds to its position is far more successful in
swaying the majority than is a minority that waffles
a consistent, persistent, minority voice can sometimes sway the
majority- Gandhi
nonviolence helped win India's freedom from England in 1947
even when a minorities influence is not yet visible, it may be
persuading some members of the majority to rethink their

an unjustifiable and usually negative attitude toward a group-often
a different cultural, ethnic, or gender group.
a mixture of beliefs (stereotypes)
prejudice is a negative attitude
discrimination is a negative behavior
in the 1970s if people saw a white man push a black man they
considered it horsing around while if the situation was
reversed and the black man was pushing the white man they
would see it as violent.
our pre convinced ideas about people bias our impressions of their
behavior. prejudgements color perceptions

How Prejudiced Are People
nearly everybody agrees that children of different races should
attend the same schools
prejudice can be very subtle
six out of ten people in Germany and Britain say that immigrants
are bad for their country.
at the NJ turnpike blacks were 13.5% participating and 35% pulled
gender prejudice exists too
women are more likely to choose a man with feminine features

Social roots of prejudice
why does it arise?
social divisions
emotional scapegoating

Social inequalities
people with a lot of possessions seem to justify everything
women are perceived as unassertive but sensitive
this is why they have been chosen as the caretakers
discrimination increases prejudice through the reactions it
provokes in its victims.
You cannot oppress people for over three centuries and then say
it is all over and expect them to put on suits and ties and be
citizens and go to work on wall street
being a victim of discrimination can produce anger or self-blame
both can open new grounds for prejudice
poverty brings a higher crime rate and somebody can use that to
justify continuing discrimination against those who live in

Us and Them: Ingroup and Outgroup
we are a group bound species
we cheer for our groups, die for them
we define who we are by our groups
the social definition of who you are also implies who you are not
drawing a circle that includes us. the in group includes us and
excludes them the out group
by grouping people with the toss of a coin leads people to show
favoritism to their own group when dividing rewards
there is an urge to distinguish enemies from friends and to have
ones group be dominant
many high school students form cliques

Emotional Roots of prejudice
from the visions of society and passions of the heart
Scapegoat theory
the theory the prejudice offers an outlet for anger by
providing someone to blame
following 9/11 people lashed out on the innocent arab-americans,
about whom negative stereo types blossomed

Cognitive Roots of Prejudice
springs from the division of society
stereo typed beliefs are how we simplify the world

one way to simplify the world is to categorize
we put people into groups and stereo type them
people in other ethnic groups are more like us then they appear

Vivid Cases
we often judge the frequency of events by the instances that
readily come to mind
we think about terrorist groups and because of that we judge the
islamic people we see because we only know of them doing
bad things and not good things even though they are good
people. that is the problem with the human mind

The Just-World Phenomenon
reflects the idea that we commonly teach our children- that good is
rewarded and evil is punished
what terrible criminals these people must have been to receive
such treatment -Bergen-Belsen said this when visiting a
concentration camp after world war II.
sometimes this makes the rich think they deserve there luck
of being rich and the poor deserve being poor.

any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy.
the most destructive force in our social relationshipsj