The confederate ensures that the experiment is going as planned. A part of social psychology is developing a sense of self. As human beings, we like organization and patterns. We naturally categorize and organize information that comes into our environment. They are called self-schemas or self-concept, knowledge structures about the self. Schemas are organized packages of information. We have schemas about ourselves as well. Our self-schema is influenced by our culture, social life and environment around us. Self-concept is a set of ideas and beliefs that are gathered from capabilities or characteristics of oneself.
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Self-concept is gathered from academics, gender, and sexuality. Self-schema on the other hand, is put together by one self on what we believe of one self. It is not gathered by what we do or what skills we may have. If we are self-determined then we may think others who lack or have less determination are lazy or don’t want a better life. In reality we may be a self-handicapping type of person. All because our acting self wants to portray a better version of whom we really are. Self-esteem and self-efficacy have lots to do with our acting self. Self-esteem is the way ou feel and value yourself. Self-efficacy is your evaluation of your ability to perform tasks. Our acting self may affect how we act so that we resent an image of ourselves that we want others to have. For example, our acting self may portray having high self-esteem and high self-efficacy but in reality that may be far from the truth. In reality we may be a self-handicapping type of person. All because our acting self wants to portray a better version of whom we really are. When we meet people, we all try to figure out who the other person is, making an attribution.
Attributions are our explanations of the behavior of us and others. We need to make judgments in our everyday social interactions about why we act the way we do and why others act the way they do. Generally, we explain others’ behavior as due to either to something internal to the person or to something external to the person. When making an internal attribution you blame personality, attitudes, or some other dispositional factor for the action. Salespeople who attribute their performance to internal factors make internal attributions.
When you make an external attribution you attribute situational factors for the action. For example, if a bystander is rude to a female she may think he’s having a bad day; an external attribution. When people attribute behavior to dispositional factors when there are clear situational factors at work, they are engaging in correspondence bias, is known as fundamental attribution error. Such as, a person who is late for a business meeting blaming the traffic is an external attribute. People tend to have relatively stable patterns in making such decisions.
The pattern is that person’s explanatory style. The explanatory style of a person who makes internal, stable, and global attributions for positive and negative things may be: "I always forget to make that turn" (internal) OR "That turn can sure sneak up on you" (external) “The economy is just bad right now. I just have to hang on until it gets better. ” (unstable) OR they might think: “My degree is worthless because of changes that have occurred in our society. ” (stable) These attributes can either improve or destroy a person’s quality of life.
An optimistic person will higher self-esteem and more satisfaction overall with their life events. Pessimistic style people have been linked to depression and suicide. Attitudes have been considered important to social psychology. Attitudes are evaluations. Our attitudes involve evaluations of other people, behaviors, and objects. In the theory of planned behavior, if we want to predict a behavior we need to know three things: (1) attitude toward that behavior, (2) subjective norms related to that behavior, and (3) perceived behavioral control.
If someone has a positive attitude, positive subjective norms, and high perceived behavioral control, we can predict with some accuracy that they will engage in the same behavior and vice versa. For example: I would be more likely to eat at a restaurant my best friend highly recommends, especially if I haven’t eaten there before. The gap between what one believes and what they do creates a type of tension known as cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance can be reduced without changing one’s attitude and it can be helpful in understanding or promoting behavior change.
For example, when Japanese college students are aware of potential public scrutiny of their choices, they show greater dissonance. Self-Perception Theory states that we can figure out our attitudes by looking at our behaviors. For example, if someone detests overweight individuals then they would be more likely to have a healthy diet and/or workout regularly. The attitudes we report, those that rely on our knowledge and beliefs about an attitude object, are called explicit attitudes. Attitudes based in the automatic, unconscious reactions we have toward an attitude object are implicit attitudes.
Humans tend to evaluate their environment and the things in that environment, therefore forming attitudes. We aren’t always aware of the attitudes we hold and they continue to affect our behavior. Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Discrimination are the greatest problems faced by humanity are created by those attitudes. Showing prejudice is a negative attitude toward people or things based on their membership to a particular group. Stereotypes are beliefs about the characteristics of particular groups or members of those groups.
Discrimination is negative behavior toward individuals or groups based on beliefs and feelings about those groups. In reference to “groups”, a group you are a part of is called your ingroup such as a social club, a bowling league or poker club. A group you are not a part of is your outgroup. We naturally form discriminatory behavior toward those outside our groups, and we form categories that lead to stereotypes, discrimination and ultimately prejudice (Feenstra, 2011). Our personal identity or how we look at ourselves is learned based on our life’s challenges and or crisis as well as the support that we receive while growing up.
Sorting people into categories is related to stereotyping and prejudice. “For instance, one study found that people are more likely to cooperate with another person when they learn that the person shares their birthday. Even major life decisions – such as whom to love, where to live, and what occupation to pursue – can be influenced by relatively minor similarities”(Plous, 2012). People learn these negative attitudes toward groups by learning the norms of their social context (Feenstra, 2011). Social inequalities are found across cultures. Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination causes people to make assumptions about entire groups of people based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, or any other aspect of a person. These claims sometimes shape the way people think about others in their communities, and can hold serious consequences for individuals and communities (Michaelson, 2012). Stereotypes can lead a person to judge another before meeting or even speaking to the person. Judging a person before getting to know him or her is unfair and often lead to inaccurate conclusions.
To improve attitudes, judgments and behaviors we need to inform people and change our own attitudes and behaviors. We need to create situations for those in different groups to have contact and hopefully mutual respect will occur. Every day we face other people trying to persuade us to buy or do something (Feenstra, 2011). “As we explore persuasion, we can divide the persuasive communication into three parts: the communication (who), the message (what), and the audience (to whom). When listening to a persuader we are more likely to be persuaded by a person we deem credible.
Credibility has two aspects: expertise and trustworthiness. Someone with expertise appears to have knowledge and is able to communicate it such as doctors or pharmacists . A trustworthy communicator is someone we believe is giving us accurate information. The attractiveness of the communicator is another factor in the persuasiveness of the message. The more physically attractive communicator is more persuasive and less attractive communicators are less persuasive. People we like are also more persuasive to us.
An unattractive, angry, or noncredible person would be less likely to persuade us to do or buy something because of their demeanor or being noncredible. We are less open to the message if the person is angry, unattractive, or noncredible. A persuasive communicator might attempt to stir up emotion to motivate people to act. Emotions contain both physiological and cognitive elements. For example, when we are frightened our blood pressure and heart rate increase. A similar bodily state may be interpreted differently depending on the context such as when fear is felt when you are in a dark alley and a stranger appears.
Persuaders use our emotion to know how to form their appeal message and get a reaction. Persuasive message also vary in whether they emphasize gains or losses. “Framing is a critical activity in the act of persuasion because it helps shape the perspectives through which people views the message. Framing effective messages is commonly referred in the same way that a builder frames a house from the bottom up, the framing metaphor is better understood as a window or portrait frame drawn around information that focuses attention on key elements of the message.
Theorists contend that people act based on these perceptions, described as “the pictures inside our heads,” rather than “objective reality” (Hallahan, 1999). There are several persuasion techniques based on small requests or what appear to be small requests. The foot-in-the-door, the low-ball technique, the legitimization-of-party-favors technique, reciprocity and scarcity. The foot-in-the-door technique begins with a small request and moves to a larger request. With the low-ball technique, a request is made and accepted before the full cost is revealed.
The legitimization-of-paltry-favors technique validates small contributions. Reciprocity technique is considered a rule of social behavior, when others do something for us we feel obligated to do something for them in return. When commercials offer a product for a limited time or described the limited number available, the advertisers are using the scarcity technique. The overall resistance to persuasion varies with the type of technique used. Some techniques have a higher success rate than others and sometimes they are all used interchangeably by the persuader. Although they may be ndesirable, we are more vulnerable to these persuasive techniques than we think. We are more susceptible and willing to partake in the persuader’s request than not. Obedience to authority is an act of following orders coming from authority without a question. Starting with parents when we are kids, we tend to obey the orders coming from our teachers in school, then from our boss when we are adults and religious leaders. The authority that these figures have is given to them by society, and in most cases, obedience is a trait that we tend to develop out of fear, and in some cases out of respect.
When we are in school, we never question and do just what teachers ask us to do. Obedience is a trait that allows human beings to obey laws, believe in God, and follow social norms. Obedience is a virtue that allows schools to be great learning centers as otherwise it would be difficult for a teacher to conduct a class if some students refuse to follow or take orders. Conformity is a trait that makes people behave according to the wishes of others. In a group, people change their beliefs and attitudes to match them with the majority of the group.
When you are conforming, you are also being obedient. In order for people to comply, there must be a perceived authority in the group that influences the behavior of the group. Without this authority, it is hard to make members of a group to conform. If a member of the group fails to conform, he faces the wrath of the authority and loses his credibility which is so very important for him. It is this pressure that makes people to conform. The most important feature of compliance is that it is the unwritten code or law of the group and members adhere to the rules to be seen as being part of the group.
Even though there is a possible cause of physical harm, people will still be obedient and conform to the norms because the fear of failure and standing out is worse than their fear of being harmed. People have many behavioral characteristics that combine to create unique individuals. A behavioral characteristic that exists in all people is aggression. The text describes aggression as the causing of intentional harm to someone who is motivated to avoid that harm. Aggression does not need to be intentional to be labeled as such and the final result does not matter as much as the intent.
In some, aggression is a problem and is harder to control than in others. There are several factors that can contribute to aggression in people. Despite what many people believe aggression is not biological. It is a characteristic that people are able to portray, but it does not mean that a person must act aggressively. People may develop a higher aggressive tendency because of environmental factors, such as a hostel house hold, media, and influence from peers. They may also develop aggression due to physical factors, such as mental disorders, personality disorders, and head injuries.
Men also have a higher tendency to be more aggressive than women. The media, presence of weapons, alcohol and drug consumption all influence the instinctual aggressive behavior in humans. Aggression is a behavior with a variety of causes. However, if we practice gentleness and calm, rational behavior then it can influence others around us to do the same. “Altruism occurs when the motive for our behavior is entirely for the interest of others and is not motivated by self-interest” (Feenstra, 2011).
When you engage in actions for altruistic motives, your ultimate goal is the welfare of the other person, not yourself. The opposite of being altruistic, which is doing something purely for self-interest, is being egotistic. An example of an altruistic behavior is purchasing a gift for my son just because I know he wants it and I want to make him happy. There isn’t anything I want to gain other than my child’s happiness. If in turn I receive a hug, kiss, or “you’re the best mom in the world” comment that would be an unintended consequence or bonus.
Actions taken for egotistic reasons involve an ultimate goal of self-benefit (the kiss from my son) with the happiness of the other person being only an instrumental goal. If I purchased the gift for my son so he could think I am the “good guy” versus my husband who didn’t want to buy it, that would be an egotistic motive. Besides acting in altruistic ways there are a variety of reasons people might help one another. One reason we might help is because we want others to help us. We may also help because we believe others do or because others think we should.
The bystander effect is a combination of factors that makes helping less likely with more people present. For example, if a person is getting mugged on a crowded street corner and people believed they would be fine and no one helped. Having a large group observe an emergency seems to inhibit helping. The responsibility for helping gets diffused in large groups. The result of diffusion of responsibility is that less helping occurs with a larger population of bystanders. If we all have a genuine desire to help one another, we should first recognize the need for help and figure out the best possible way to be helpful in the situation.
We can know and try to abide by the five rules of helping in emergencies and always be aware of our surroundings. There are a variety of factors that are related to attraction. Proximity has a lot to do with who we meet and become friends with (Feenstra, 2011). We are more likely to become friends with our neighbor than someone further away from us. The most important factor in our liking of those who are close to us is repeated exposure and it doesn’t need to be in a face- to-face context. The tendency to have a greater liking for things we see often is called the mere- exposure effect.
We prefer highly attractive individuals to interact with; whether it’s as friends, dates or just to converse with. We are, also, attracted to individuals who play “hard to get” with us because we like the “chase” and the ideas that that person will like no one else but us. The desire for relationships is a fundamental need in humans. The need to belong is a part of that desire. The need to belong is an intrinsic motivation to affiliate with others and be socially accepted (Cherry, 2012). “Love” is a word with many meanings.
Depending on whom you are saying it to, it can be perceived as different things. To be in love differs from love. Love can be broken down into three categories: companionate, passionate, and compassionate. Companionate love is characterized by deep caring for another person, comfort and trust, and enjoyment of shared experiences (Feenstra, 2011). Older marriages, secure and satisfying marriages are those that consist of companionate love. Passionate love would describe the in love type of love. Passionate love involves intense emotional arousal and physical attraction.
This type of love is typically what begins a relationship and usually transition into a companitonate love. Young love is an example of passionate love. Another category of love is the self-giving, caregiving type of love called compassionate love. Compassionate love can be the type of love a parent and child have or a long-term friendship. Groups are generally defined as involving at least two people who are interacting and who form some kind of coherent unit. We also differentiate different types of groups. Relatives or friends are intimacy groups.
Groups that engage in tasks together are task groups. Social categorization, like being a woman or an African American, can be the basis of a group. Groups might also be described by loose associations, like those who like hip-hop music or football. When people are together and interacting with one another, they may act differently than if they alone. The term “groupthink” refers to a decision-making process that occurs when a desire for harmony and consensus within the group interferes with appropriate information seeking and leads to bad decision making (Feenstra, 2011).
For groupthink to occur there has to be certain conditions present within the group such as cohesiveness, an isolated group, a group consisting of a directive leader, poor procedures for researching alternative ideas, and high stress or threats. A group that shows characteristics of groupthink dismisses the input of others. Because the group does not consider risks or develop a backup plan when things go wrong, the group is surprised and left scrambling for answers when errors occur.
When individuals face decisions whose outcomes create a tension between what is best for the individual and what is best for the group, they are facing a social dilemma (Feenstra, 2011). There are three types of social dilemmas discussed in the text; they are tragedy of the commons, resource dilemma, and prisoner’s dilemma. When the individual can gain the best outcome by taking advantage of a colletive resource, but if too many in the group take advantage of the resource it will not be sustainable and will no longer be available is called the tragedy of the commons.
With resource dilemma, individuals contribute to a resource from which all may benefit. The prisoner’s dilemma can only involve two people. One strategy would be to always cooperate with your partner, no matter what they did. If the partner always cooperates, it’s a great strategy. By collectively cooperating, the best outcome is reached by both individuals involved. Although groups are made up of individual people, groups are qualitatively different from individuals. Groups affect how the individuals acts and thinks.
Given the amount of time most of us spend in groups and how the decision of groups affect our lives, understanding groups is important. As for the future of social psychology, I believe it is brighter, hopeful and filled with advances. Advances in technology have made available completely new tools for psychology researchers. “Social microscopes” are tools that give researchers a close-up view of individual lives in data-rich detail. For example, there are sensor devices that people can wear 24/7 to record their physical activity level, mobile phone apps that can keep track of happiness, and websites to log exercise. Social telescopes” allow researchers to bring into view social behavior at cultural and societal levels (Vanderlowe, 2011). Publishing will be the most turbulent aspect of academic research in the coming years. This because of a simple change: the current format for research articles is digital. Articles are no longer just ink on paper, but many 21st century academic practices still glorify the printing press for historic reasons The paper-bound journal has been succeeded by electronic articles, search engines, and digital communications, including social media (Vanderlowe, 2011).
With upcoming research and improvements the future is nearer than we think and will be vastly different from the past. Reference Cherry, K. (2012). What Is the Need To Belong? , About. com Guide Retrieved from: http://psychology. about. com/od/nindex/g/needtobelong. htm Feenstra, J. (2011) Introduction to Social Psychology, Chapter 6 Prejudice. Hallahan, K. (1999). Journal of Public Relations Research. Seven Models of Framing: Implications for Public Relations. Retrieved from: https://umdrive. memphis. du/cbrown14/public/Mass%20Comm%20Theory/Week%203%20Agenda%20Setting%20and%20Framing/framing%20and%20public%20relations. pdf Michaelson, A. (2012) Stereotyping Consequences. Retrieved from: http://www. ehow. com/info_8737902_stereotyping- consequences. html#ixzz2879WBnA2 Plous, S. (2012) Ingroup Favoritism. Retrieved from: http://www. understandingprejudice. org/apa/english/page7. html Vanderlowe, N/A. (2011). The Future of Social Psychology. Retrieved from: http://vanderlowe. wordpress. com/2011/09/11/the-future-of-social-psychology-wo