>> Discovering Psychology by Don Hockenbury, Sandra E Hockenbury (6th Edition)


Chapter 11: Social Psychology


  1. The Concepts of Social Psychology and Person Perception
    • Social psychology- examines how one’s emotions, behavior, and thoughts are affected by other people’s existence and the social environment.
    • Person perception- pertains to the mental processes used in judging and drawing conclusions about people’s traits. It is affected by:
      1. The observable person’s traits
      2. Self-perception
      3. goals in the circumstance
      4. Particular situation in which the process happens
    • Social categorization-refers to the mental process that classifies persons into groups based on common traits.
      1. Explicit cognition- conscious process connected with judgments, reasoning, and perceptions.
      2. Implicit cognition- related with nonconscious social assessments
      3. Implicit personality theory- assumes that people share common characteristics

  2. The General Attributional Biases
    • Attribution- explains one’s own behavior and others.
      1. Fundamental attribution error- inclines to attribute the behavior of people to personal traits rather than focusing on external factors.
      2. Blaming the victim- the inclination to blame victim for his/her own disaster
      3. Hindsight bias- tends to overestimate one’s capacity to have forecasted the result of a situation
    • Self-serving bias- the tendency to attribute success to one’s own ability while attributes failure to external factors. It is generally manifested in individualistic cultures.
    • Self-effacing bias- blames oneself for failures and attributes them to personal causes while attributes success to external factors. It is generally manifested in collectivistic cultures.

  3. The Impact of Attitudes to Behavior
    • Attitude- is a learned tendency to assess persons, objects, or problems in a specific method. It is made up of 3 components:
      1. Cognitive component- ideas and judgments about a certain topic
      2. Affective component- emotions towards the object
      3. Behavioral component- tendency to behave in a certain way
    • Attitudes are likely to affect your behavior when:
      1. A desirable result is anticipated
      2. Attitudes are often expressed
      3. Attitudes have been made through direct encounter
      4. Knowledge is high about the topic
      5. Interest is vested in the topic
    • Cognitive dissonance- refers to the occurrence of a psychological tension due to inconsistent perceptions.

  4. The Stereotypes of Prejudice
    • Prejudice- a negative view towards a particular group of people.
    • Stereotypes- a group of traits that are attributed to those part of a particular social group.
      1. Out-group homogeneity effect- the tendency to view people who are part of the out-group as more alike with each other.
      2. In-group bias- the inclination to favorable view the behaviors of in-group members and unfavorably view the behaviors of out-group members.
      3. Ethnocentrism- the view that one’s culture is better than others.
      4. Implicit attitudes- are instinctive, inadvertent, and hard to control.
    • Muzafer Sherif- conducted the Robbers Cave experiment which illustrated that cooperative effort can help minimize intergroup conflicts.

  5. The Reasons and Role of Culture in Conformity
    • Social influence- studies how the social environment and other individuals influence one’s own behavior.
    • Conformity- refers to the adjustment of views, judgment, or behavior to sync with other people or the standards of social groups.
      1. Solomon Asch- demonstrated the conformance of people to the opinion of the majority despite knowing that it is wrong.
    • Reasons of conforming to the majority:
      1. Normative social influence- the aspiration to be admired and recognized by the group
      2. Informational social influence- the aspiration to be right
    • Rod Bond and Peter Smith- discovered that conformity is commonly high in collectivistic cultures

  6. The Influential Factors of Obedience
    • Obedience- is a responsive action to a direct order from a higher authority.
    • Stanley Milgram- conducted an obedience experiment to determine the conditions where individuals obey and disobey the commands of an authority representative
    • Factors that influence obedience
      1. Established mindset leaning towards obedience
      2. Context or circumstance
      3. Slow, constant escalation of the command
      4. The observable person’s behavior and encouragements
      5. Physical and psychological division from victim
      6. Existence of other people who resist commands
    • Philip Zimbardo- carried out the Stanford Prison Experiment to determine how situational factors and social functions can influence behavior.

  7. The Factors that Influence Helping Behavior
    • Prosocial behavior- any behavior that aids other people, whichever intention applies: self-serving or selfless.
    • Altruism- helping others without expecting a reward or benefit.
    • Ignited by the murder of Kitty Genovese, Bibb Latane and John Darley- pioneered many experiments involving people who seemed to need aid by bystanders.
    • Factors that increase the probability of helping behavior
      1. The “feel-good, do good” impact
      2. The guilt feeling
      3. Witnessing others who are eager to help
      4. A person with no fault
      5. Competency to help
      6. A close relation with the victim
    • Factors that minimize the chance of helping behavior
      1. The existence of other people
        1. Bystander effect- the phenomenon where helping behavior reduces in the presence of other people
          1. Diffusion of responsibility- created with the presence of other bystanders
      2. Being in a large city or a very small municipality
      3. Unclear circumstances
      4. High personal costs