Introduction to social psychology

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  • Created by: Shannon
  • Created on: 12-01-16 14:32
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  • Introduction to social psychology
    • Definition
      • The scientific study of the way individuals think, feel and behave in social situations
    • Sociology as a science
    • Experiment
      • A hypothesis test in which something is done in order to see its effect on  something else
        • Looking for relationship between cause and effect
          • Correlation is not causation
    • Social cognition
      • The study of the cognitive processes and structures that influence and are influenced by social behaviour
      • The computer is a metaphor for the human mind
      • Cognition gives social order
        • Strive for consistency
          • Inconsistency can occur when a person is persuaded to behave in a way that is different to their attitude
        • Cognitive balance - congruency between expectancy and outcome
        • People find causes to behaviour and events in order to render the world a meaningful place
    • People are intuitive psychologist - Fritz Heider
      • Our own behaviour is motivated rather than random
      • We attribute causes for behaviour
      • Errors and biasies can occur due to limited information
        • Untitled
        • False consensus effect
          • People see their own behaviour as typical and assume others would behave the same
    • People are cognitive misers - Nisbett and Ross
      • Limited in their capacity to process information
      • Take cognitive shortcuts / heuristics
    • Misconceptions of chance
      • Gambler's fallacy
        • We have no control over the events that are going to happen
    • Social thinker as a motivated tactician
      • Choose strategy based on their personal goals, motives and needs
        • More personally important = more likely to be successful = claim responsibility but deny responsibility to failure
    • Power of the situation
      • Agentic mode of thinking
        • People transfer personal responsibility to the person giving orders
    • Automatic thinking
      • Implicit
      • Schemas
        • Mental templates
          • Guides our perceptions and interpretations of our experience
      • Emotional reactions
        • Instant
        • Happens before there is time for deliberate thinking
        • One neural shortcut takes information from ear to thalamus to amygfala before the cortex intervenes
    • Confirmation bias
      • People tend not to seek information that might disprove what they believe
      • We are eager to verify our beliefs but less inclined to seek evidence that might disprove them


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