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An operational reformulation of some of the basic principles of psychoanalysis. Whatever disposition nature elects to give us, our most treasured attitudes are often formed as a result of exposure to attitude objects; our history of rewards and punishments; the attitude that our parents, friends, and enemies express; the social and cultural context in which we live; and other types of experiences we have.
Obviously, attitudes are formed through the basic process of learning. Numerous studies have shown that people can form strong positive and negative attitudes toward neutral objects that are in some way linked to emotionally charged stimuli. Attitudes are also involved in several other areas of the discipline, such as conformity , interpersonal attraction , social perception, and prejudice.
The topic of persuasion has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Persuasion is an active method of influence that attempts to guide people toward the adoption of an attitude, idea, or behavior by rational or emotive means. Persuasion relies on "appeals" rather than strong pressure or coercion. Numerous variables have been found to influence the persuasion process; these are normally presented in five major categories: who said what to whom and how.
Dual-process theories of persuasion such as the elaboration likelihood model maintain that the persuasive process is mediated by two separate routes; central and peripheral. The central route of persuasion is more fact-based and results in longer lasting change, but requires motivation to process. The peripheral route is more superficial and results in shorter lasting change, but does not require as much motivation to process. An example of a peripheral route of persuasion might be a politician using a flag lapel pin, smiling, and wearing a crisp, clean shirt. Notice that this does not require motivation to be persuasive, but should not last as long as persuasion based on the central route.
If that politician were to outline exactly what they believed, and their previous voting record, this would be using the central route, and would result in longer lasting change, but would require a good deal of motivation to process. Social cognition is a growing area of social psychology that studies how people perceive, think about, and remember information about others.
The study of how people form beliefs about each other while interacting is known as interpersonal perception. A major research topic in social cognition is attribution. One element of attribution ascribes the locus of a behavior to either internal or external factors. An internal , or dispositional, attribution assigns behavior to causes related to inner traits such as personality, disposition, character or ability. An external , or situational, attribution involves situational elements, such as the weather. Finally, we also attribute causes of behavior to either controllable or uncontrollable factors: how much control one has over the situation at hand.
Numerous biases in the attribution process have been discovered. For instance, the fundamental attribution error is the tendency to make dispositional attributions for behavior, overestimating the influence of personality and underestimating the influence of situations. This leads to assuming one's successes are from innate traits, and one's failures are due to situations, including other people. Heuristics are cognitive short cuts.
Instead of weighing all the evidence when making a decision, people rely on heuristics to save time and energy. The availability heuristic occurs when people estimate the probability of an outcome based on how easy that outcome is to imagine. As such, vivid or highly memorable possibilities will be perceived as more likely than those that are harder to picture or are difficult to understand, resulting in a corresponding cognitive bias.
The hindsight bias is a false memory of having predicted events, or an exaggeration of actual predictions, after becoming aware of the outcome. The confirmation bias is a type of bias leading to the tendency to search for, or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions. Another key concept in social cognition is the assumption that reality is too complex to easily discern. As a result, we tend to see the world according to simplified schemas or images of reality. Schemas are generalized mental representations that organize knowledge and guide information processing.
Schemas often operate automatically and unintentionally, and can lead to biases in perception and memory. Expectations from schemas may lead us to see something that is not there. One experiment found that people are more likely to misperceive a weapon in the hands of a black man than a white man. Stereotypes are often related to negative or preferential attitudes prejudice and behavior discrimination. Schemas for behaviors e.
Self-concept is a term referring to the whole sum of beliefs that people have about themselves. However, what specifically does self-concept consist of?
For example, an athlete at a university would have multiple selves that would process different information pertinent to each self: the student would be one "self," who would process information pertinent to a student taking notes in class, completing a homework assignment, etc. These "selves" are part of one's identity and the self-reliant information is the information that relies on the proper "self" to process and react on it. If a "self" is not part of one's identity, then it is much more difficult for one to react.
For example, a civilian may not know how to handle a hostile threat as a trained Marine would. Self-schemas are to an individual's total self—concept as a hypothesis is to a theory, or a book is to a library. A good example is the body weight self-schema; people who regard themselves as over or underweight, or for those whom body image is a significant self-concept aspect, are considered schematics with respect to weight.
In contrast, people who do not regard their weight as an important part of their lives are a-schematic on that attribute. It is rather clear that the self is a special object of our attention. Whether one is mentally focused on a memory , a conversation , a foul smell, the song that is stuck in one's head, or this sentence, consciousness is like a spotlight. This spotlight can shine on only one object at a time, but it can switch rapidly from one object to another and process the information out of awareness.
The self's ABCs are affect, behavior, and cognition. An affective or emotional question: How do people evaluate themselves, enhance their self-image, and maintain a secure sense of identity? A behavioral question: How do people regulate their own actions and present themselves to others according to interpersonal demands? A cognitive question: How do individuals become themselves, build a self-concept, and uphold a stable sense of identity?
Affective forecasting is the process of predicting how one would feel in response to future emotional events. Studies done by Timothy Wilson and Daniel Gilbert in have shown that people overestimate the strength of reaction to anticipated positive and negative life events that they actually feel when the event does occur. There are many theories on the perception of our own behavior. Daryl Bem's self-perception theory claims that when internal cues are difficult to interpret, people gain self-insight by observing their own behavior.
The fields of social psychology and personality have merged over the years, and social psychologists have developed an interest in self-related phenomena. In contrast with traditional personality theory, however, social psychologists place a greater emphasis on cognitions than on traits. Much research focuses on the self-concept , which is a person's understanding of their self.
The self-concept is often divided into a cognitive component, known as the self-schema , and an evaluative component, the self-esteem. The need to maintain a healthy self-esteem is recognized as a central human motivation in the field of social psychology. Self-efficacy beliefs are associated with the self-schema. These are expectations that performance on some task will be effective and successful. Social psychologists also study such self-related processes as self-control and self-presentation.
People develop their self-concepts by varied means, including introspection , feedback from others, self-perception , and social comparison. By comparing themselves to relevant others, people gain information about themselves, and they make inferences that are relevant to self-esteem. Social comparisons can be either "upward" or "downward," that is, comparisons to people who are either higher in status or ability, or lower in status or ability. Self-perception is a specialized form of attribution that involves making inferences about oneself after observing one's own behavior.
Psychologists have found that too many extrinsic rewards e. People's attention is directed to the reward and they lose interest in the task when the reward is no longer offered. Social influence is an overarching term given to describe the persuasive effects people have on each other.
It is seen as a fundamental value in social psychology and overlaps considerably with research on attitudes and persuasion. The three main areas of social influence include: conformity , compliance , and obedience. Social influence is also closely related to the study of group dynamics, as most principles of influence are strongest when they take place in social groups.
The first major area of social influence is conformity. Conformity is defined as the tendency to act or think like other members of a group. The identity of members within a group, i. Individual variation among group members plays a key role in the dynamic of how willing people will be to conform. The second major area of social influence research is compliance. Compliance refers to any change in behavior that is due to a request or suggestion from another person. The foot-in-the-door technique is a compliance method in which the persuader requests a small favor and then follows up with requesting a larger favor, e.
A related trick is the bait and switch. The third major form of social influence is obedience ; this is a change in behavior that is the result of a direct order or command from another person. Obedience as a form of compliance was dramatically highlighted by the Milgram study , wherein people were ready to administer shocks to a person in distress on a researcher's command.
An unusual kind of social influence is the self-fulfilling prophecy. This is a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true. For example, in the stock market , if it is widely believed that a crash is imminent, investors may lose confidence, sell most of their stock, and thus actually cause the crash. Similarly, people may expect hostility in others and actually induce this hostility by their own behavior. Psychologist have spent decades studying the power of social influence, and the way in which it manipulates people's opinions and behavior.
Specifically, social influence refers to the way in which individuals change their ideas and actions to meet the demands of a social group, received authority, social role or a minority within a group wielding influence over the majority. No matter if you are student, teacher, doctor, lawyer or entrepreneur, you will encounter some type of social influence.
A group can be defined as two or more individuals that are connected to each another by social relationships. They have a number of emergent qualities that distinguish them from aggregates :.
afhanoi.wecan-group.com/keq-volvo-manuales-de.php Temporary groups and aggregates share few or none of these features, and do not qualify as true social groups. People waiting in line to get on a bus, for example, do not constitute a group. Groups are important not only because they offer social support, resources, and a feeling of belonging, but because they supplement an individual's self-concept.
To a large extent, humans define themselves by the group memberships which form their social identity. The shared social identity of individuals within a group influences intergroup behavior , the way in which groups behave towards and perceive each other. These perceptions and behaviors in turn define the social identity of individuals within the interacting groups. The tendency to define oneself by membership in a group may lead to intergroup discrimination, which involves favorable perceptions and behaviors directed towards the in-group, but negative perceptions and behaviors directed towards the out-group.
Groups often moderate and improve decision making , [ citation needed ] and are frequently relied upon for these benefits, such as in committees and juries. A number of group biases, however, can interfere with effective decision making. For example, group polarization, formerly known as the "risky shift," occurs when people polarize their views in a more extreme direction after group discussion. More problematic is the phenomenon of groupthink.
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This is a collective thinking defect that is characterized by a premature consensus or an incorrect assumption of consensus, caused by members of a group failing to promote views which are not consistent with the views of other members. Groupthink occurs in a variety of situations, including isolation of a group and the presence of a highly directive leader. Janis offered the Bay of Pigs Invasion as a historical case of groupthink. Groups also affect performance and productivity. Social facilitation, for example, is a tendency to work harder and faster in the presence of others.
Social facilitation increases the dominant response ' s likelihood, which tends to improve performance on simple tasks and reduce it on complex tasks.
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Social loafing is common when the task is considered unimportant and individual contributions are not easy to see. Social psychologists study group-related collective phenomena such as the behavior of crowds. An important concept in this area is deindividuation , a reduced state of self-awareness that can be caused by feelings of anonymity.
Deindividuation is associated with uninhibited and sometimes dangerous behavior. It is common in crowds and mobs, but it can also be caused by a disguise, a uniform, alcohol, dark environments, or online anonymity. A major area in the study of people's relations to each other is interpersonal attraction. This refers to all forces that lead people to like each other, establish relationships, and in some cases fall in love. Several general principles of attraction have been discovered by social psychologists, but many still continue to experiment and do research to find out more.
One of the most important factors in interpersonal attraction is how similar two particular people are. The more similar two people are in general attitudes, backgrounds, environments, worldviews, and other traits, the more probable an attraction is possible. Physical attractiveness is an important element of romantic relationships, particularly in the early stages characterized by high levels of passion.
Later on, similarity and other compatibility factors become more important, and the type of love people experience shifts from passionate to companionate. Robert Sternberg has suggested that there are actually three components of love: intimacy, passion, and commitment. According to social exchange theory , relationships are based on rational choice and cost-benefit analysis.
If one partner's costs begin to outweigh their benefits, that person may leave the relationship, especially if there are good alternatives available. This theory is similar to the minimax principle proposed by mathematicians and economists despite the fact that human relationships are not zero-sum games. With time, long term relationships tend to become communal rather than simply based on exchange. Social psychology is an empirical science that attempts to answer questions about human behavior by testing hypotheses, both in the laboratory and in the field.
Careful attention to sampling, research design, and statistical analysis is important; results are published in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Social psychology studies also appear in general science journals such as Psychological Science and Science.
Experimental methods involve the researcher altering a variable in the environment and measuring the effect on another variable. An example would be allowing two groups of children to play violent or nonviolent videogames, and then observing their subsequent level of aggression during free-play period. A valid experiment is controlled and uses random assignment. Correlational methods examine the statistical association between two naturally occurring variables.
For example, one could correlate the amount of violent television children watch at home with the number of violent incidents the children participate in at school. Note that this study would not prove that violent TV causes aggression in children: it is quite possible that aggressive children choose to watch more violent TV.
Observational methods are purely descriptive and include naturalistic observation , "contrived" observation, participant observation, and archival analysis. These are less common in social psychology but are sometimes used when first investigating a phenomenon. An example would be to unobtrusively observe children on a playground with a videocamera, perhaps and record the number and types of aggressive actions displayed. Whenever possible, social psychologists rely on controlled experimentation. Controlled experiments require the manipulation of one or more independent variables in order to examine the effect on a dependent variable.
Experiments are useful in social psychology because they are high in internal validity , meaning that they are free from the influence of confounding or extraneous variables, and so are more likely to accurately indicate a causal relationship. However, the small samples used in controlled experiments are typically low in external validity , or the degree to which the results can be generalized to the larger population. There is usually a trade-off between experimental control internal validity and being able to generalize to the population external validity.
Because it is usually impossible to test everyone, research tends to be conducted on a sample of persons from the wider population. Social psychologists frequently use survey research when they are interested in results that are high in external validity. Surveys use various forms of random sampling to obtain a sample of respondents that are representative of a population. This type of research is usually descriptive or correlational because there is no experimental control over variables.
Some psychologists have raised concerns about social psychological research for relying too heavily on studies conducted on university undergraduates in academic settings,   or participants from crowdsourcing labor markets such as Amazon Mechanical Turk. Regardless of which method has been chosen to be used, the results are of high importance. Results need to be used to evaluate the hypothesis of the research that is done.
These results should either confirm or reject the original hypothesis that was predicted. There are two different types of testing social psychologists use in order to test their results. False positive conclusions, often resulting from the pressure to publish or the author's own confirmation bias , are a hazard in the field.
The Asch conformity experiments demonstrated the power of conformity in small groups with a line length estimation task that was designed to be extremely easy. Seventy-five percent of the participants conformed at least once during the experiment. Additional manipulations to the experiment showed participant conformity decreased when at least one other individual failed to conform, but increased when the individual began conforming or withdrew from the experiment.
Participants with three incorrect opponents made mistakes Muzafer Sherif 's Robbers' Cave Experiment divided boys into two competing groups to explore how much hostility and aggression would emerge. Sherif's explanation of the results became known as realistic group conflict theory, because the intergroup conflict was induced through competition over resources. In Leon Festinger 's cognitive dissonance experiment, participants were asked to perform a boring task. They were divided into 2 groups and given two different pay scales.
They could only overcome that dissonance by justifying their lies by changing their previously unfavorable attitudes about the task. One of the most notable experiments in social psychology was the Milgram experiment , which studied how far people would go to obey an authority figure. Following the events of The Holocaust in World War II, the experiment showed that most normal American citizens were capable of following orders from an authority even when they believed they were causing an innocent person to suffer. Albert Bandura 's Bobo doll experiment demonstrated how aggression is learned by imitation.
In the Stanford prison study , by Philip Zimbardo , a simulated exercise between student prisoners and guards showed how far people would follow an adopted role. In just a few days, the "guards" became brutal and cruel, and the prisoners became miserable and compliant.
This was initially argued to be an important demonstration of the power of the immediate social situation and its capacity to overwhelm normal personality traits. For example, it has been pointed out that participant self-selection may have affected the participants' behaviour,  and that the participants' personality influenced their reactions in a variety of ways, including how long they chose to remain in the study. The goal of social psychology is to understand cognition and behavior as they naturally occur in a social context, but the very act of observing people can influence and alter their behavior.
For this reason, many social psychology experiments utilize deception to conceal or distort certain aspects of the study. Deception may include false cover stories, false participants known as confederates or stooges , false feedback given to the participants, and so on. The practice of deception has been challenged by some psychologists who maintain that deception under any circumstances is unethical, and that other research strategies e. Unfortunately, research has shown that role-playing studies do not produce the same results as deception studies and this has cast doubt on their validity.
To protect the rights and well-being of research participants, and at the same time discover meaningful results and insights into human behavior, virtually all social psychology research must pass an ethical review process. At most colleges and universities, this is conducted by an ethics committee or Institutional Review Board. This group examines the proposed research to make sure that no harm is likely to be done to the participants, and that the study's benefits outweigh any possible risks or discomforts to people taking part in the study.
Furthermore, a process of informed consent is often used to make sure that volunteers know what will happen in the experiment [ clarification needed ] and understand that they are allowed to quit the experiment at any time. A debriefing is typically done at the experiment's conclusion in order to reveal any deceptions used and generally make sure that the participants are unharmed by the procedures.
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