PSY205: Intro to Social Psychology (Social Psychological framework…
PSY205: Intro to Social Psychology
Definition of social psych
The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another.
include the following
How we construct our
is shaped by the interplay of biological disposition and social environment
social psychology’s principles
apply to our everyday lives and to various other fields of study
Social Psychological framework
Social Influences Shape Our Behavior
Relationships are a big part of being human. As social creatures, we respond to our immediate contexts. Sometimes social influences leads us to act contrary to our expressed attitudes.
i.e. Under Nazi influence, many decent people became instruments of the Holocaust.
Social Behavior Is Biologically Rooted
We inherit genes and adopt traits that will prolong survivability. We also have the capacity to learn and to adapt to varied environments. We are sensitive and responsive to our social context.
An interdisciplinary field that explores the neural bases of social and emotional processes and behaviours, and how these processes and behaviours affect our brain and biology.
To understand social behaviour, social scientist suggests that must consider both under-the-skin (biological) and between-skins (social) influences. We are bio-psycho-social organisms.
We Construct Our Social Reality
Our self concept and identity, influence our emotions and actions. (i.e. How we perceive our environment based on our referent point)
Our Social Intuitions Are Powerful but Perilous
Thinking, memory, and attitudes all operate on two levels intuitive/autonomic and deliberate. Our autonomic intuitions shape our fears, impressions and relationships. However, We intuitively trust our memories more than we should
Personal Attitudes and Dispositions also Shape Behaviour
Our inner attitudes and Personality dispositions influence behaviour. Different people may react differently due to personality differences. E.g. Emerging from years of political imprisonment, one person exudes bitterness and seeks revenge. Another, such as South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, seeks reconciliation and unity with his former enemies.
HOW DO HUMAN VALUES INFLUENCE
such as their hidden assumptions (preconceived stereotypes) when forming concepts, choosing labels, and giving advice.
The enduring behaviours, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
Maybe the cause of certain underlying social assumptions.
A society’s widely held ideas and values, including assumptions and cultural ideologies.
Our social representations help us make sense of our world and it may also subtly influence our views
the penetration of values into science is not a reason to fault social psychology or any other science. That human thinking is seldom dispassionate is precisely why we need systematic observation and experimentation if we are to assess our positions and ideas against empirical data.
such as the psychologists' choice of research topics and
the types of people who are attracted to various fields of study.
and practical prediction
Hypotheses is a testable proposition that describes a
that may exist
between event/ variables
Test the hypothesis by
selecting a research design.
The study of the naturally occurring relationships among variables.
Correlation and cause
Correlational research allows us to predict, but it cannot tell us whether changing one variable (such as social status) will cause changes in another (such as health).
When two variables correlate, any combination of the following is possible.
Either one may cause the other, (i.e. X causes Y; or Y causes X)
or both may be affected by an underlying mediating variable/ covariate. (i.e Z causes X and Z causes Y)
Survey procedure in which every person in the population being studied has an equal chance of inclusion.
Factors to consider
Consider this example when Joop van der Plight and co-workers (1987) asked English voters what percentage of Britain’s energy they wished came from nuclear power, the average preference was 41 percent. They asked other voters what percentage they wished came from (1) nuclear, (2) coal, and (3) other sources. The average preference for nuclear power among these respondents was 21 percent.
WORDING OF QUESTIONS
The precise wording of questions may also influence answers. One poll found that only 23 percent of Americans thought their government was spending too much “on assistance to the poor.” Yet 53 percent thought the government was spending too much “on welfare” ( Time, 1994). Likewise, most people favor cutting “foreign aid” and increasing spending “to help hungry people in other nations” (Simon, 1996).
ORDER OF QUESTIONS
The first question may evoke certain attitudes and emotions (i.e. if liberals were asked a question on LGBT in the first question, it may evoke certain attitudes)
The way a question or an issue is posed; framing can influence people’s decisions and expressed opinions.
Often uses real world settings. Applicable to daily settings.
Difficult to conclude causation.
Studies that seek clues to cause–effect relationships by manipulating one or more factors (independent variables) while controlling others (holding them constant).
Social psychologists’ experiment by constructing social situations that simulate important features of our daily lives and adjusting the independent variable to pinpoint influences.
The variable being measured, so called because it may depend on manipulations of the independent variable.
The experimental factor that a researcher manipulates
The process of assigning participants to the conditions of an experiment such that all persons have the same chance of being in a given condition.
(Note the distinction between random assignment in experiments and random sampling in surveys. Random assignment helps us infer cause and effect. Random sampling helps us generalize to a population.)
THE ETHICS OF EXPERIMENTATION
Degree to which an experiment is superficially similar to everyday situations. But the experiment should have experimental realism
Degree to which an experiment absorbs and involves its participants.
Achieving experimental realism sometimes requires deceiving people with a plausible cover story. Approximately one-third of social psychological studies (though a decreasing number) have used deception
In research, an effect by which participants are misinformed or misled about the study’s methods and purposes.
Another issue would be demand characteristics
To minimize such demand characteristics —cues that seem to evoke certain behaviour—experimenters typically standardize their instructions or even use a computer to present them
developed by the American Psychological Association (2010), the Canadian Psychological Association (2000), and the British Psychological Society (2009) mandates the following
An ethical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate.
A post-experimental explanation of a study to its participants. Debriefing usually discloses any deception and often queries participants regarding their understandings and feelings.
Can explore cause and effect by controlling variables and by random assignment
Some important variables cannot be studied with experiments
Research done in natural, real-life settings outside the laboratory.
that organize their observations
is an integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events.
A good theory
that we can use to
confirm or modify the theory
generate new exploration,
suggest practical applications.
their findings to improve people’s everyday lives