Chapter 14: Social Psychology?

Chapter 14: Social Psychology
Lectures 20, 21, & 22
Learning Outcomes
• Define social psychology.
• Explain why people obey authority figures and
conform to social norms.
• Define attitude and discuss factors that shape it.
Learning Outcomes
• Define social perception and describe the
factors that contribute to it.
• Describe how and why people behave differently
as group members than as individuals.
Truth or Fiction?
People act in accord with their consciences.
We appreciate things more when we have to
work for them.
Truth or Fiction?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Opposites attract.
Truth or Fiction?
We tend to hold others responsible for their
misdeeds but to see ourselves as victims of
circumstances when we misbehave.
Most people will torture an innocent person if
they are ordered to do so.
Truth or Fiction?
Seeing is believing.
Nearly 40 people stood by and did nothing while
a woman was being stabbed to death.
1. What is Social Psychology?
• Study of the nature and causes of people’s
thoughts and behavior in social situations
2. Social Influence
Obedience to Authority
• Milgram Studies (60s)
– Majority complied to demands of authority
even when that required they ‘inflict’ a harmful
shock on innocent people
Figure 14.5 The Experimental Setup in the
Milgram Studies (VIDEO)
When the “learner” makes an error, the experimenter prods
the “teacher: to deliver a painful electric shock.
4. Factors Contributing to Obedience to
Lack of social comparison
Perception of legitimacy of authority figures
Foot-in-the-door technique (other techniques)
door-in the-face technique; low-ball technique
• Inaccessibility of values
• Buffers between perpetrator and victim
5. Conformity
• Conform – when we change our behavior to
adhere to social norms
• Social norms – widely accepted expectations
concerning social behaviors
• Conformity- A change in behavior, belief, or both
to conform to a group norm as a result of real or
imagined group pressure
6. Conformity
• Asch Study (1955)
– Most people will conform, even when they are
8. Factors Contributing to Conformity
Collectivist culture
Desire to be liked by group members
Low self-esteem
Social shyness
Lack of familiarity with task
Group size
Social support
9. How Groups Influence Us?
Social Facilitation
• Presence of others facilitates performance
AKA social facilitation (audience)
– Increased arousal or motivation
– Evaluation apprehension
• Presence of others impairs performance (part or a
– Social loafing
– Diffusion of responsibility
10. The Bystander Effect and the Kitty
Genovese Case.
• The probability of a person’s helping in an
emergency is greater when there are no other
bystanders than when there are other bystanders
– Need to decide if this is an emergency
– Decide if personally responsible or not
– Decide how to help
• Students share their experiences Re their
adjustment to college.(Darley & Latane, 1968).
11. Altruism and the Bystander Effect
• Altruism-selfless concern for the welfare of others
• Factors that influence decision to help
– Good mood
– Empathic
– Believe an emergency exists
– Assume responsibility to act
– Know what to do
– Know the people who need help
– Similarity to people who need help
12. Mob Behavior and Deindividuation
• Highly emotional crowds may induce “mob
• Deindividuation
– The loss of self-awareness and self restraint in
a group situation that fosters arousal and
– lower concern of social evaluation
13. Polarization and the “Risky Shift”
• Polarization – taking an extreme position
– Or strengthening of the group prevailing opinion about
a topic following group discussion
– Risky shift
14. Groupthink
originated by Irving Janis 1982
• Unrealistic group decision making in which
external realities are ignored
• Influenced by
– Cohesiveness of group
– Dynamic group leader
– External threat
15. Contributors to Groupthink
Feelings of invulnerability
Group’s belief in its rightness
Discrediting of information contrary to decision
Pressure for group conformity
Stereotyping of members of out-group
16.Group Decision Making
• Social decision schemes
– Majority-wins
– Truth-wins
– Two-thirds majority
– First-shift rule
17. Attitude
• A relatively stable evaluation of a person, object,
situation, or issue, along a continuum ranging
from positive to negative, including behavioral
tendencies that follow.
• Attitudes are largely learned, and they affect
18. Components of an Attitude
Attitude toward Exercise
• Cognitive component (thoughts and believes
about attitudinal object)
– “Exercise is good for your health,” it’s good stress
reliever,” “it improves my appearance”
• Emotional Component (Feelings toward
attitudinal object)
– “Exercise make me feel great”
• Behavioral Component (Predisposition to act
toward attitudinal object)
– “I exercise every day,” “I read articles about exercise”
“I buy exercise equipment”
19. Is Our Behavior Consistent w/Our Attitude?
• Factors that affect the link between Attitudes (A)
and Behavior (B)
– Specificity
– Strength of attitudes
– Vested interest
– Accessibility
20. Attitude Formation
• Learned attitudes
– Conditioning or learning by observation
• Cognitive Appraisal
– Form opinion after appraisal and evaluation of
21. Changing Attitudes
Through Persuasion
• Elaboration likelihood model- describes the way
in which people respond to persuasive message
– Central route of persuasion
• Inspires thoughtful consideration of evidence
and arguments
– Peripheral route of persuasion
• Associate with positive or negative cues
22. The Persuasive Message
• Repeated exposure to things and people
enhances their appeal
• “Fear” appeal is more persuasive than facts
23. The Persuasive Communicator
• Characterized by:
– Expertise;
– Trustworthiness
– Attractiveness
– Similarity to their audience
Selective avoidance and selective exposure
24. The Context of the Message
Aspects of immediate environment (music)
Agreement and praise.
25. The Persuaded Audience
• High self-esteem
• Low social anxiety are more likely to resist social
• “I was worried about what the other person think of me if I refuse”
• “It is better to help others than to be self-centered.”
• “The other person might be hurt or insulted if I refuse.”
• “It does not matter what the other person thinks of me.”
• “I am perfectly free to say no.”
• “This request is unreasonable.”
26. Cognitive Dissonance Theory
• When attitudes and behavior are inconsistent,
individuals are motivated to reduce that
• Festinger & Carlsmith (1959)
– Attitude-discrepant behavior
• People paid less rated the task more
– Effort justification
27.Prejudice and Discrimination
• Prejudice - attitude
– Cognitive level – expectation that members of
target group will behave poorly
– Behavioral – avoidance, aggression and
• Stereotypes – fixed conventional attitudes
– May be positive or negative
28. Prejudice and Discrimination
• Sources of Prejudice
– Dissimilarity
– Social conflict
– Social learning
– Information processing
– Social categorization
Interpersonal Attraction
Selection of a Partner
Romantic Love
29. Interpersonal Attraction
• Factors contributing to attraction
• Physical appearance, similarity, and reciprocity
– Physical appearance
• Standards for beauty are cross-cultural
• Large eyes, high cheekbones, narrow jaws
30.Interpersonal Attraction
• Attraction-Similarity Hypothesis
– Our partners tend to be like us
• Similarity in Attitudes
– We are attracted to people who share our
• Factors that influence our preferences
– Propinquity
31. Selecting a Partner
– Gender differences in preferences
• Males – physical appearance
• Females – professional status
31. Love
• Triangular model of love
– Intimacy
– Passion
– Commitment
• Romantic love combines intimacy and passion
• Consummate love combines all three
Social Perception
First Impressions
• First impressions matter a great deal
– We infer traits from behavior
• Primacy effect
• Recency effect
Attribution Theory
• Process by which one draws conclusions about
the influences on another’s behavior
• Dispositional attributions
– Internal factors
• Situational attributions
– External factors
Attribution Theory
• Actor – observer effect
• Fundamental attribution error
– Attribute too much of other’s behavior on
– Cultural bias – individualistic cultures
• Self-serving bias
Body Language
• Communication through posture and gestures
– Touching
– Gazing and Staring
– Gazing and holding hands game
Beyond the Book
Slides to help expand the lectures
Factors Contributing to the Attribution Process
• Dispositional factors • Situational factors
– Low consensus
– High consensus
– High consistency
– Low consistency
– Low distinctiveness
– High distinctiveness
Video Connections: Stereotype Threat
• Agree or disagree: The solution to stereotype
threat lies in society and not in the individual
Stereotype Threat