SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Attempts to explain how the: – Actual – Imagined – Or implied presence of others Influences the: – Thoughts – Feelings and – Behavior of individuals SOCIAL PERCEPTION Social Perception: The way we seek to know and understand people’s behavior. We try to understand behavior based on: • • • • Physical appearance Group membership Nonverbal behavior Attributions IMPRESSION FORMATION Impression formation is often based on rapid assessments of easily observable qualities and behaviors in others First impressions are often based on physical appearance and the accompanying stereotypes, as well as nonverbal behavior STEREOTYPES Stereotypes are “cognitive shortcuts” that provide us with information about an individual we do not personally know Although stereotyping can bring greater speed and efficiency to our social judgments, it also inhibits thought and can promote prejudice and discrimination ATTRIBUTIONS Causes of event Other people’s behavior Our own behaviors DISPOSITIONAL (INTERNAL) Explanations of behavior based on the internal characteristics or dispositions of the person performing the behavior SITUATIONAL (EXTERNAL) Explanations of behavior based on the external circumstances or situations FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR Refers to our tendency, when we look for causes of a person’s behavior, to focus on the person’s personality traits and overlook how the situation influenced the person’s behavior COLLECTIVIST VS INDIVIDUALIST CULTURES People from collectivist cultures tend to make external attributions. Collectivists view the self as dependent upon the group and strongly influenced by social obligations. People from individualist countries view the self as internally driven and unaffected by situational influences. Consequently, they tend to make internal attributions. SELF-SERVING BIAS Explaining our successes by attributing them to our dispositions or personality traits and explaining our failures by attributing them to the situation Actor-observer effect Refers to the tendency, when you are behaving (or acting), to attribute your own behavior to situational factors. However, when you are observing others, you attribute their behavior to their personality traits SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND BEHAVIOR Social Influence: The exercise of social power by a person or group to change the attitudes or behavior of others in a certain direction. The three main behavioral consequences of social influence are: • Conformity • Compliance • Obedience COMPLIANCE AND OBEDIENCE Milgram demonstrated that we will often obey the destructive commands of an authority figure. Underestimating the situational pressures that lead to all forms of social influence will make you more susceptible to its power. STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT 1. What are the design flaws of Zimbardo’s experiment? 2. Discuss the ethics of the experiment. 3. Discuss the reasons given for people’s behavior in the experiment – consider selfserving bias, internal and external attributions and the fundamental attribution error.
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