AS Psychology - Social Psychology Unit 1

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Social Psychology Revision.
What is social psychology?
The study of how behaviour is influenced by the presence of attitudes and actions of other people.
Psychologists investigate such things as the effect of culture on our beh. what happens when join
groups; why we help others (and why sometimes we don't)
Theories in social psych:
Milgram's Agency Theory Tajfel's Social Identity Theory
Natural to obey a person in authority Is an automatic act to put ourselves in
groups ­ this causes PREJUDICE
Autonomous state: acting on your own free will
1. Social Categorisation ­ Putting ourselves
Agentic: following orders; acting as an agent for
into groups (in group = us, out group =
Explains: moral strain, when you do something 2. Social Identification ­ Absorbing the
because you are told to, even though it goes culture, norms and values of in group
against your morals/beliefs. 3. Social Comparison ­ act of comparing
groups to raise self-esteem.
Milgram believed we switched between the a. In group favouritism: Making a
two depending of the situation. member from the out-group look
b. Out-group denigration:
discrimination stemming from
prejudice caused by grouping.
Agency Theory Social Identity Theory
S Milgram's study 65% obeyed and Reicher and Haslam support the forming
killed another of groups.
Hofling 21/22 nurses obeyed Tajfels own study
order from "Dr Smith"
O More about groupings, i.e. Reicher Milgram's study showed 65% people
and Haslam authority ignored, follow orders of authority figure NOT just
overruled and a self-governing their group beh. (however lab exp lack
commune also collapsed reliability)
D We follow other people within our Agency theory ­ our beh. is determined
group instead of those in authority by which state we are in (autonomous and
(SIT) agentic state)
A Helps to explain moral strain and Applies to real world beh. e.g. football
real beh. such as the Nazi's ­ fans and hooliganism, prej and disc.
humans are more complex ­ Biased towards specific cultures
individual differences.

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Social Psychology Revision.
What is obedience?
Following an order given by a person with authority over you. Blind obedience is doing what you're
told w/o thinking for yourself about whether or not you should do it.…read more

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