Introduction to Psychology
Social Psychology
Internal vs. External
Fundamental Attribution Error
Defensive Attribution
Self-serving Bias
Individualism vs. Collectivism
The Justification of Effort
• If someone works hard to attain a goal, the
will be more attractive than to the individual
who achieves the same goal with no effort.
• Hazing
• Basic training
• Charging money for pound puppies
• Aronson and Mills (1959) sex discussion
group with an embarrassing initiation
The ABCs of Attitudes
• An attitude can be defined as one’s
favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction
toward something or someone exhibited in
beliefs, feelings, or intended behavior.
• A – affect (feelings)
• B – behavior (intentions)
• C – cognitions (thoughts)
Why Do Behaviors Change
• Self-Presentation (Impression Management)
• Self-Justification (Cognitive Dissonance)
• Self-Perception
Conformity and Obedience
• Asch experiment
• Milgram experiment
• The difference a symbol of authority makes e.g., a
lab coat
• The nurse’s obedience experiment – much lower
level of compliance when the drug was familiar
and when they had an opportunity to consult with
• Knowledge and social support increase the
likelihood of resistance to authority
Norm Formation
• Norms can be arbitrary, pervasive and
• Norm violation examples
• Who am I?
• Categorize self-descriptions into group and
non-group identifications
• What is a group?
• Is this class a group
What is a group?
“Two or more people who, for longer than a few
moments, interact with and influence one
another and perceive one another as us”
People on a plane?
Five people waiting at the same corner for a bus.
People attending a worship service.
The Brittany Spears Fan Club.
The students in a seminar class.
Are groups good or bad?
• Conformity, obedience, diffusion of reponsibility,
deindividuation, panic, the risky shift, groupthink,
anonymity, social loafing
• Social, moral, and language development, sense of
membership and identity, charity, emotional
comfort, support, social facilitation, cooperation,
Calhoun’s Behavioral Sink (1962)
A rat colony lives in a quarter acre pen
Population stabilizes at about 150
He then divided the pen into 4 sections, the 2
largest males each claimed one section along with
a small harem of females, the rest of the colony
lived in terribly overcrowded conditions
• Breakdown in mating and nest building, eating of
the young, random an inappropriate aggression,
others passive and withdrawn
• Infant mortality 80%, adults showed marked signs
of stress related illness and premature death
Collective Behavior
• Deindividuation – loss of self awareness
and evaluation apprehension when the
situation allows one to feel anonymous
• When combined with high states of arousal
and a diffusion of responsibility it can
create a mob mentality, disinhibiting violent
and unacceptable behavior
• Convergence – only certain types of people would
bait a person to jump or commit an act of
violence, however, their actions spread throughout
a crowd by means of contagion.
• This can create a norm of callousness or cynicism
the seems to fit the situation. It creates the illusion
of consensus for violence and extreme acts.
• Deindividuation alone cannot explain all
these phenomena
• Riots, lynchings, mobs, wartime attrocities,
police beatings, road rage, escape panics
• Cheering at sporting events, spring break
behavior, Mardi Gras, fads, pop icons
• If you could do anything humanly possible
with complete assurance that you would not
be detected or held in any way responsible,
what would you do?
• Common findings: 36% antisocial, 19%
non-normative, 36% neutral, and 9%
• Robbing a bank is the most often reported