Social Psychology: Seeks to explain how our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and behaviors are influenced by interactions with others Social Cognition: Focuses on how we perceive, store and retrieve information about social interactions *What is your first impression of the woman in this photo? The man? *What do you think he/she does for a living? What if SHE…. Looked like THIS… or like THIS… FIRST IMPRESSIONS Primacy Effect - form lasting opinion of someone based on initial impression • Physical Appearance • Nonverbal Cues • Associations with Others • Eye Contact SCHEMAS Set of assumptions we develop about any person or event We develop a schema for every person we know Schemas include behaviors we expect in certain situations Explain and predict behaviors of others FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR Attribute other people’s behavior personal characteristics rather than external factors Ex. Traffic Light and Honking ACTOR-OBSERVER BIAS Actor when explaining own behavior, observer when explaining others Ex. I am smiling because I’ve had a great day; She is smiling because she is a happy person. Self-Serving Bias Tendency to claim success is due to our efforts, while failure is due to circumstances beyond our control Ex. I got an A on the test because I am smart and work hard or I got a D on the test because of a biased test Social Psychology Why do we choose the friends we have? What attracted us to our friends in the first place? Why do you (or do you) need friends? Have your reasons for needing friends changed throughout the years? On the Agenda for Today…. Interpersonal Attraction! Why we need friends How we choose the friends we have WHY WE NEED FRIENDS Our psychological health depends on healthy friendships … why?? » Anxiety Relief » Companionship » Compare Experiences » Reduce Uncertainty How do we acquire the friends we have? # 1) Proximity Easy, and SAFE #2) Reward Values *Stimulation Value = the ability of a person to interest you or to expose you to new ideas and experiences *Utility Value = the ability of a person to help another achieve his or her goals *Ego- Support Value = the ability of a person to provide another person with sympathy, encouragement, and approval #3) Physical Appearance *MANY studies in this area *More attractive people are consistently perceived to possess more positive attributes *Moderate to below average attractive = better developed and finely honed skills in other areas / professional *See figure 18.5 on page 525 of text Many references to beauty/looks in our language * “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” * “Looks aren’t everything” * “Beauty is skin deep” Other factors… #4) Approval – We feel better about ourselves when people support us and agree with us #5) Similarity Why might this be? #6) Complimentary = The attraction that often develops between opposite types of people because of the ability of one to supply what the other lacks Six Factors involved in choosing friends Proximity Approval Complimentary Physical Appearance Reward Values… Similarity *Stimulation value *Utility Value *Ego-Support Value Misery loves company Psychologist Stanley Schachter tested this theory…. 10 As it turns out, Misery loves company…As Long As… THE COMPANY IS ALSO MISERABLE!!!