Social Approach - Key Definitions

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  • Social Approach (Key Definitions)
    • Social Approach
      • The study of how human behaviour is influenced by the presence, attitudes and actions of others.
      • Assumptions
        • 1) All behaviour occurs in a social context, even when nobody else is present.
        • 2) Major influences on peoples behaviour are other people and the society around them.
    • Autonomous State
      • In this state people make decisions based on their own ideas, beliefs and expectations.
    • Agentic State
      • Individuals give up their own responsibility, deferring it to those of a higher status
    • Moral Strain
      • When we have to do something that we feel is immoral in order to obey authority and benefit society
      • Milgram suggested that we use defence mechanisms to avoid the stress of having to perform acts we find immoral.
        • Denial was found to be common in the Milgram studies and in the Holocaust
    • In-Group/Out-group
      • The in-group is the group of which we are a member. The out-group is another group of which we are not a member.
    • Social Categorisation
      • The automatic act of classifying people, including ourselves, as belonging to particular groups.
        • CAUTION: May trigger stereotypical views. e.g. Heavy metal fans are all head-bangers
    • Social Comparison
      • When you compare the group you belong to with out-groups.
        • Often involves making members of the in-group look good and members of the out-grouop look bad.
          • In-group favouritism
          • Discrimination stemming from prejudice caused by grouping


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