Social Psychology Essay

Submitted By eampadu
Words: 2620
Pages: 11

Social Psychology
How people influence one another
We have a bio need for social interaction
Social isolation activates areas of cingulate cortex (also associated w/ physical pain)
We seek to conform to a group (evolutionarily)
Social Facilitation: The presence of others enhances our performance 1897 – 1st social psych experiment – bicyclist’s bike faster when racing others rather than the clock
Social Disruption: Presence of others worsens performance (usually when task is difficult
Assigning a cause to someone’s behavior (Why you are acting the way you are)
Internal Attribution Saying that the cause of a behavior is because of an internal personality (This person acts this way because that’s the way she is)
External Attribution Attribute cause of behavior to something external (The person is acting this way because of an external reason- life problems)
Fundamental Attribution Error Lee Ross (1977) Tendency to overuse the internal attribution for other behavior, but underused it for yourself (for ourselves, we use the external attribution)
Social Comparison theory Leon Festinger (1954) We evaluate our own beliefs, reactions, behaviors by comparing them to others. Can lead to mass hysteria When entire group behaves irrationally Most likely when situation is ambiguous “Collective delusions” entire group is convinced of something false

Conformity Tendency to conform behavior as a result of group pressure Solomon Asch 1950s Confederates people who are really researchers but act as research participants to “fool the real participants” People conform 37% of the time People with low self-esteem are more likely to conform Asians are more likely to conform than Americans (due to cultural differences)
Tendency to engage in atypical behavior when one is stripped of usual identity Phillip Combardo- Studied dehumanizing conditions in prisons Stanford prison study
24 undergrad males assigned to either prisoner or guard
No names, uniforms, etc (identity stripped)
Study was not replicated
Demand characteristics
Emphasis on unanimity of the group at the cost of critical thinking “devils advocate” – points out counter example for the sake of critical thinking
Group think can lead to cult behavior exhibiting intense devotion to a cause without thinking critically
The power is HORIZONTAL The power transmission comes from our equals our peers

Obedience Power transmission is Vertical Taking orders from those who are in authority superior (boss teacher, etc
Stanley Milgram- student of Asch Wants to explore obedience in Nazi Germany
Milgram’s Paradigm (1960s)
1) Proposes a study on “the effects of punishment on learning”
a. Man in white lab coat “the experimenter”
b. Confederate (actually a researcher)
c. Pick from hat “teacher” or “learner”
d. Administer word pairs and “learner” has to memorize them, or will get shocked
e. The farther away the experimenter is the less likely the teacher will administer the shock
Hypothesis is NOT effects of punishment on learning- it’s the effects of authority on obedience
Shocks are fake
Use of confederate and rigged hat draw
Pro social Behavior and aggression Pro social – behavior intended to help others Antisocial- includes aggression. We are a combination of both *Bystander Nonintervention - Kitty Genovese- stabbed in NYC for 35 minutes No one comes to aid. - Bystander effect Psychological paralysis – want to help, but don’t know what to do. In a group people are less likely (rather than more likely) to help
Plausible ignorance
Error in assuming that no one else is perceiving the situation as we do (ie, if no one else seems to think it’s a big deal we will act calm too)
Diffusion of responsibility
Even if situation is clearly an emergency we are less likely to help if in a group because the more people there are the less responsible we personally feel
People are more likely to help