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FSU SOP 3004 - CHAPTER 1

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1/10/13CHAPTER 1 Social Psychology focuses on the Person X Situation InteractionResearch Methods in Social PsychologyIs psychology a science?I knew it all along Hindsight bias- the tendency to exaggerate one’s ability to have foreseen an outcome, after learning about ito Proverbial and anecdotal knowledge can support almost any claim “ Birds of a feather flock together” vs. “Opposites attract” “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” vs. “Our of sight, out of mind”Answering “WHY?” with Social Psychology Social psychology uses the scientific method to answer questions about human nature Through carefully designed experiments, social psychologists are able to distinguish between “common sense” and truth.How do social psychologists study what they study?Theories vs. Hypotheses Theories are integrated principles that explain and predict observed events  Hypotheses are testable predictionso allow theories to be testedTesting Theories Theory: clothing color influences people’s aggressive tendencies Hypothesis: people who wear black are more aggressive than people who don’t wear black Correlational approacho Tests for relationship between variableso Strength of relationship between two variableso Positively correlated, Negatively correlated, No correlationo ***Correlation does not equal causation*** Experimental Researcho 2 key features1. Control: manipulation of independent variable and all other variables kept constant2. Random assignment of representative sample of participantso Independent variables are often controlled or manipulated Color of T-shirt participants woreo Dependent variables are measured Aggressiono Operational Definition What do we mean by “aggression”? Must specify key terms used in the study (happiness, better, love, etc.)o Interpreting Results Interaction : when the effect of one independent variable on the dependent variable, depends on the value (or level) of the other independent variable  Main Effect : when an independent variable has an effect of similar magnitude and direction across levels of the other independent variableTerms: IV is something manipulated DV is something measured Correlational studies can determine variables that are related, but cannot determine that one variable causes anothero Experimental lab studies can determine causation1/15/13 The Traid Social psychologists are interested in three main aspects of human experience:o Affect- feelings, emotions, mood (in the head)o Behavior- observable actionso Cognition- thoughts or mental processesThe Self Concept (cognition part) Constructing the self concept Four methods1. Introspection2. The looking glass self3. Self-perception4. Vicarious self-perception***Priming*** Stimuli encountered in the world activated related concepts in the mindo Seeing snow activates information about “snow” in the mind Activation spreads to all related conceptso Seeing snow ALSO activates concepts like ice, Christmas, hockey, winter, etc.o This phenomenon is referred to as spreading activation1. Introspection Duplex mind:o We usually know what we feel or thinko But not often why we feel or think that way2. The looking glass self Learn about ourselves from others’ feedback Or by imagining how others see us Discrepancieso Peoples opinions of themselves do not perfectly match those of otherso People don’t always accept the opinions of otherso Others don’t always have complete insight3. Self-perception Observing our behavior and actions as we would observe others. Then interpret actions Particularly when we’re unsure or in a new situation Study:o Participants performed a boring know-turning tasko Asked to lie and were either paid $1 to lie or $20 to lieo Then filled out a questionnaire evaluating the task and surprisingly people who got $1 said they enjoyed the task moreo In novel situations we look to our behavior to make up our minds P’s remember they convinced someone to do the task. One dollar is insignificant amount for justification Need some justification for convincing other person…. It must have been fun!4. Vicarious Self-Perception People have a merged identity with similar otherso Sense of connection with others based on important self-relevant trait or featureo Once you establish you have a similarity or merged identity and you learn something new about them, you agree and think similarly Review:Four Ways of constructing self concept: Introspection: learn from “inner voice” The looking glass self: learn from the opinions/feedback of friends or family Self Perception: observe yourself from perception of a stranger Vicarious Self Perception: change self to mirror “merged other”1/22/12Self Esteem Self-concept: knowledge of one’s self Self-esteem: evaluation of one’s selfo Trait: how good you feel generally (stable)o State: how good you feel in the moment (changes)Measuring Self EsteemExplicit measure Self reports, conscious, you can control it  Problemso self-presenting: best behavior, trying to cultivate the best of you to fit something. Job interview, first date, meeting boyfriends parentso self-deception: want to see self as a positive thingImplicit measure Measuring self-esteem via primingo Prime “nurse” (activate) “doctor”o Does priming “me” activate “good? The Name Letter Test (NLT): high self esteem people with love the first letter of their last name, low self esteem will not Signature size: high self esteem people will sign their name larger Smell-esteem: lick hand and smell it a few minutes later, rating the smell of their saliva. Someone with high esteem will like their smell better than someone with lower self esteemExplicit vs. Implicit Explicit measures provide more content specific index of self-esteemo How great of a basketball player am Io Specific but susceptible to self-presentation Implicit measures provide a less biased measure of general positivityo How positive do I see myself overallo Avoids self-presentation, but not content specific oSelf-esteem movement Correlation does not imply causation No difference in…o Intelligence, success, social relationships, attractiveness Good grades more likely a cause of high self-esteem (or some other third variable like involved parents)High vs. Low self-esteem Self-protection vs. self-enhancemento Low self


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