- Social psychology is the study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others.
- Western Ideas began with
- Plato’s idea that the man was supposed to be rational
- Aristotle idea was that man’s behaviour changes with observation and analysis
& Roman ideas was that Man & society were secular and dependent
was important to constantly question aspects around us
- Rooted in academic skepticism
- It was important to constantly question aspects around us
- Christianity’s ideal was of supremacy of man on earth as decided by God
- Rene Descartes by 17th century developed scientific methods of analysis and rejected Christian doctrine
- Emergence of Sociology
- August Comte’s idea was to find a true final science in the highest order to understand society and the individual
- Emergence of Social Psychology
- 1862: Proposed two branches
of Psychology: Physiological and social
- American view of identity as being individualistic
- Gestalt perspective: the environment is not only made up of individuals but also their interrelationships
- 1924: Floyd Allport introduced experimental methods in social psychology
- World Wars and Great
Depression in America greatly shaped social psychology
1936 the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
was established. It began by creating ethics and values in research
- Kurt lewin was a founder
- “No research without action, and no action without research”
- By the world wars fascism was a major problem and its anti-intellectual stand led to immigration of social scientists to America
- Additionally, social behavior knowledge in wartime programs were included
- In 1936 the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) was established. It began by creating ethics and values in research
- After the wars ended social psychology grew in America and its theories began to be used world over
- Many prominent social
psychologists came out post war:
Festinger (1957): Cognitive dissonance
- Influence of group on individuals
Milgram (1963): Obedience
- Most people would follow any instruction given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being.
Allport: Contant hypothesis
- Desegregation and reduction of racial prejudice
- Elaine Hatfield and Ellen Berscheid (1969) – Interpersonal or Romantic Attractions
- Zimbardo – Social roles and its effects
- Bib Latane and John Darley (1968) – bystander intervention
- Leon Festinger (1957): Cognitive dissonance
- Crisis in social psychology
also known as the Crisis of Confidence
- Started in 1970’s
- Questions were raised about the need for social psychology
- Ethical issues were brought up due to studies by Zimbardo and Milgram
conclusions were questioned due to
- White male dominated bias
- University students are major sample
crisis of confidence was reduced by the following measure:
- Increase in experimental methods
- Increase in correlational methods
- Increased interest in the concept of the self
1980’s social psychology developed an interdisciplinary and
- culture specific and evolutionary human behavior were of concern
- Cognitive science and neuroscience became important parts of the Social psychology
- Important milestones:
- 1970s – European and Latin American SP association founded
- 1995 – Asian Association of SP was formed
- Western Ideas began with
- The manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember,
and use information about the social world.
- How we think about the social world
- Attempts to understand it and ourselves
- Our place in it
- Automatic processing
- Controlled processing
- Simple rules for making complex decisions or drawing inferences in a rapid manner and seemingly effortless manner.
- Four types:
- Status Quo
- Why do we need/use these?
- Information overload: demands placed on our cognitive
system are greater than its capacity.
- Stress increases incidence of information overload
- Conditions of uncertainty
- Information overload: demands placed on our cognitive system are greater than its capacity.
- You meet someone new at a house party. He is dressed in a suit. His hair is neatly placed and is clean shaven. Talks effortlessly and can hold a conversation. You notice that he also has clean personal habits and is very gentlemanly in his manners. You enjoy his company but he leaves the party early as he has a meeting the next morning.
- Later you realize you forgot to ask him about his profession. What could it be?
- You meet your neighbor for the first time. You notice that she is dressed conservatively, is neat in her personal habits, has a very large library in her home, and seems very gentle and a little shy.
- What could her profession be?
- Representativeness Heuristic
- Prototype comparisons: Summary of the common attributes possessed by members of a category.
- Rule: The more a person resembles or matches a given group, the more likely she or he is to belong to that group.
- Can these judgement be wrong?
- Decisions or judgments based on representativeness tend to ignore base rates – frequency with which given events or patterns occur in the total population.
- Asians are less likely to be governed by representativeness heuristics compared to North Americans.
- Is it safer to be in a Big SUV or a smaller, lighter car, in the event of an accident?
- How often do you use your cell phone during class hours?
- Availability Heuristic
- A strategy for making judgements on the basis of how easily specific kinds of information can be brought to mind.
- Ease and amount rules
- Self relevant, personal familiarity and emotional judgments follow the ease rule
- Amount rule is followed for when we have less information about a particular subject, or if the task is inherently difficult.
- Anchoring and Adjustment
- It involves the tendency to use a number of value as a
starting point to which we then make adjustments
- Usually takes place during times of uncertainty
- We use something we know as a starting point
- We stop as soon as a value we consider plausible is
- To save “mental effort”
- It involves the tendency to use a number of value as a starting point to which we then make adjustments
- Status Quo
- Belief that the Status quo is good because it has
existed for a length of time and therefore must be of some use
- Eg a product that has been in the market for a long time may be preferred over a new, better product
- Study on chocolates (Eidelman, Pattershall, Crandall, 2010)
- Uncertainty is again central to these decisions.
- Belief that the Status quo is good because it has existed for a length of time and therefore must be of some use
- Mental framework centering on a specific theme that helps us to organize information
- Influences three processes:
- Attention: Act as filters: information consistent with
them are more likely to be noticed. However, information that is starkly
different is also noticed
- More used when cognitive load is high
- Encoding: Information consistent with schemas is
- Sharply different are also encoded, especially if they don’t agree with us
- Retrieval: Retrieval of consistent information is
- However, it may simply be that people report things that are consistent with their schemas.
- When corrected for this response tendency we notice that both inconsistent and consistent information are equally likely to be retrieved.
- Priming: A situation that occurs when a stimuli or event increases the availability in memory or consciousness of specific type of information held in memory
- Unpriming: Effects of the schemas tend to persist until they are somehow expressed in thought or behavior and only then do their effects decrease.
- Perseverance effect: The tendency of schemas to remain unchanged even in the face of contradictory information
- Effects of schemas: (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968): Teachers and student IQ
- Automatic processing: occurs after extensive experience with a task or type of information, we reach a stage where we can perform the task or process the information in a seemingly effortless, automatic and nonconscious manner.
- Controlled processing: occurs when a task or type of information requires systematic, logical and highly effortful manner of processing.
- Social neuroscience: Remember the experiment on
immediate judgement of individuals as good or bad?
- If immediate judgement is made, amygdala is more responsible
- If judgement are reserved and thought through it is due to the prefrontal cortex.
- Gallup Research:
- Chimpanzees were put in front of large mirrors
- They were seen vocalizing, gesturing, and making other social responses.
- Pick food out of their teeth, groom themselves, blow bubbles, and make faces for their own entertainment.
- From all appearances, they recognized themselves.
- Developmental Psychologists says for human children self-recognition takes place between 18 – 24 months of age
- Self-recognition among great apes and humans is the first clear expression of the concept “ME”
- The ability to see yourself as a distinct entity is a necessary first step in the evolution and development of a self-concept.
- Self-concept is the sum total of beliefs you have about yourself.
- Second step involves understanding social factors.
- Charles Horten Cooley (1902) suggested the Looking-glass self
- Other people serve as a mirror in which we see ourselves.
- Person’s self grows out of society’s interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others.
- The term refers to people shaping their self-concepts based on their understanding of how others perceive them. Cooley clarified that society is an interweaving and inter-working of mental selves.
- George Herbert Mead (1934)
- We often come to know ourselves by imagining what significant others think of us and then incorporating the perceptions into our self-concept.
- Gallup tested his apes, those that had been raised in isolation—without exposure to peers—could not recognize themselves in the mirror.
- Only after such exposure did they begin to show signs of self-recognition.
- Among human beings, our self concepts match our perceptions of what other’s think of us.
- What we think of ourselves often does not match specific others actually think of us
- Where does our self-concept come from?
- Perception of our own behaviour
- Influences of other people
- Autobiographical memory
method where people achieve insight into their own beliefs, attitudes, emotions
- Various techniques-
- Dream analysis
- Self-knowledge is derived from introspection, a looking inward at one’s own thoughts and feelings.
- People assume that to truly know someone you must have access to private subjective experiences.
- The method where people achieve insight into their own beliefs, attitudes, emotions and motivations.
- Richard Nisbett and Timothy Wilson (1977) – Research subjects often cannot accurately explain the causes or correlates of their own behaviour.
- This findings has forced researchers to confront a question
- Does introspection improve the accuracy of self-knowledge?
- Wilson (1985) – Introspection can sometimes impair self-knowledge. Wilson and Jonathan Schooler (1991)- taste and rate five brands of strawberry jam.
- Reasons for taste preferences agreed less with consumer reports experts than did those who made their ratings without analysis.
- Murray Millar and Abraham Tesser (1989), people can reflect on their own behaviour by listing either, reasons or feelings.
- For behaviours that are cognitively driven , such as making investment decisions, listing reasons may well increase the accuracy of self-knowledge.
- Affective behaviours – why you love another person, focusing on your feelings is more helpful than making a list of reasons.
- The usefulness of introspection may also depend on the amount of time people have and the cognitive resources available for self-reflection.
- Some subjects had to think simultaneously about another task while others were free to concentrate only on the self-ratings .
- Each subject’s responses were later compared to a friend’s ratings of that subject on the same attributes.
- Result: The self-friend ratings were more highly correlated when subjects focused on the task than when they could not.
- Introspection can increase self-insight-provided we have enough time and cognitive resources.
- Perceptions of our own behaviour
- Daryl Bem (1972) proposed this theory on Self-Perception.
- Cognitive dissonance argues that people become uncomfortable when they hold multiple conflicting opinions or behave in ways that conflict with their beliefs.
- Self-perception theory, by contrast, argues that people develop their attitudes based upon their own behaviour.
- For example, a woman who is paid to walk another person’s dog might then develop more affection for dogs in general, ultimately identifying herself as a dog-lover.
- People infer what they think or how they feel by observing their own behaviour and the situation in which takes place.
- Have you ever listened to your self-argue with someone, only to realize with amazement how angry you were?
- People do not infer their own internal states from behaviour that occurred in the presence of compelling situational pressures such as reward or punishment.
- When people are gently coaxed into doing something, and when they are not otherwise certain about how they feel, they come to view themselves in ways that are consistent with the behaviour.
- Subjects induced to describe themselves in flattering terms scored higher on a later test of self-esteem than did those who were led to describe themselves more modestly.
- Facial Feedback Hypothesis
- Changes in facial expression can lead to
corresponding changes in the subjective experience of emotion.
- For example, an individual who is forced to smile during a social event will actually come to find the event more of an enjoyable experience.
- James Laird (1974)
- 80 muscles in the human face that can create over 7,000 expressions.
- Can we vary our own emotions by contracting certain muscles and wearing different expressions?
- Laird argues that facial expressions affect emotion through a process of Self-Perception
- “If I’m smiling, I must be happy”
- Robert Zajonc (1993)
- Smiling causes facial muscles to increase the flow of air-cooled blood to the brain, a process that produces a pleasant state by lowering brain temperature.
- Frowning decreases blood flow, producing an unpleasant state by raising temperature.
- People need to infer how they feel. Rather, facial expressions evoke physiological changes that produce an emotional experience.
- Zajonc etal (1989) – Repeat Vowels 20 times each, including the sounds “ah”, “e”, “u” and the German Vowel “u.”
- In the meantime, temperature changes in the forehead temperature and subjects reported on how they felt.
- Ah, e – cause people to miming smiling and lowered forehead temperature and elevated mood.
- U and u. – sounds that cause us to mimic frowning, increased temperature and dampened mood
- The facial muscles can influence emotion even when people are not aware that they are wearing a particular facial expression.
- It’s possible to alter how you feel by putting on the right face.
- Other expressive behaviors such as body posture can also provide us with sensory feedback and influence the way we feel.
- When people feel proud, they stand erect with their shoulders raised, chest expanded, and head held high (expansion).
- When dejected, however people slump over with their shoulders drooping and head bowed (contraction).
- Emotional state is revealed in the way you carry yourself.
- Sabine Stepper and Fritz Strack (1993) arranged for subjects to sit in either a slumped or upright position by varying the height of the table they had to write on.
- Those forced to sit upright reported feeling more pride after succeeding at a task than did those who were put into a slumped position.
- Vocal cues
- People tend to speak quickly and raise their voice when fearful or anxious, but to slow down and lower the voice when sad or depressed.
- Can the way you speak influence the way you feel?
- Aron Siegman & Stephen Boyle (1993) – talk about experiences that had made them anxious or sad.
- Spoke at a normal rate
- Instructed: Speak either fast and loud or slow-and-soft
- Result: Speech style amplified emotions.
- Talking about anxiety-related events made subjects more anxious when they spoke fast and loud.
- Talking about sad events made them feel sadder when they spoke slow and soft.
- Our emotions can be influenced by sensory feedback from the voice as well as from the face and body.
- Self-Perceptions of Motivation
- Hypothesis—reward for an enjoyable activity undermines interest in that activity—seems to contradict intuition and a good deal of psychological research.
- Intrinsic & Extrinsic motivation
motivation- People are said to be intrinsically motivated when they engage in
an activity for its own sake, out of sheer enjoyment without expecting tangible
payoff for their efforts.
- eg: listening to music, spending time with friends
- Intrinsic motivation- People are said to be intrinsically motivated when they engage in an activity for its own sake, out of sheer enjoyment without expecting tangible payoff for their efforts.
- Extrinsic Motivation- Engaging in an activity as a means to an end—to win money, grades, or recognition, to fulfill obligations, or to avoid punishment.
Behaviorists- People do strive for reward
What happens to the intrinsic motivation once that reward is no longer available?
someone is rewarded for listening to music or spending time with their friends,
his or her behavior becomes overjustified or overrewarded, and can be
attributed to extrinsic as well as intrinsic motives.
- Overjustification is the tendency for intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that have become associated with reward or other extrinsic factors.
- For self-perceivers such Overjustification can be dangerous:
- Observing that their efforts have paid off
- People begin to wonder if the activity was ever worth pursuing in its own right.
- Numerous experiments were conducted to study the problem of overjustification
The overjustification effect can have serious implications-
- For the ways in which parents socialize their children
- Classroom teachers use reward to improve study habits,
- Business managers structure incentive programs to increase worker productivity.
- If a reward is presented in the form of verbal praise, or as a special bonus for superior performance, then it is actually enhance intrinsic motivation by providing feedback about one’s competence.
- For those who tend to be focused on the achievement of specific goals, such extrinsic inducements as reward, game scores, and competition can have a positive effect on intrinsic motivation.
Two important theories-
- Social Comparison Theory
- Two-factor Theory
- Social Comparison Theory
- People describe themselves in ways that set them apart from others in their immediate local environment.
- Two-factor theory
- People seek social comparison information to evaluate their abilities and opinions.
- Autobiographical memory
- Recollections of the sequence of events that have touched your life.
- Memories shape the self-concept.
- When people recall their own experiences- reported more events from the recent than from the distant past, and they often have difficulty dating these events.
- People in general retrieve a large number of personal memories from their late adolescence and early adulthood
- Reminiscence Peak may reflect the fact that these are formative and busy years in one’s life
- Although people often cannot attach correct dates to past events, they make better estimates when using personal or historical landmarks.
- Not all experiences , leave the same impression.
- For events of great personal or societal impact, people seem to have Flashbulb memories.
- Memories that are as vivid as a snapshot.
- Flashbulb memories “feel” special and serve as prominent landmarks in the biographies that we write about ourselves.
- People cannot recall anything that happened before the age of three or four, a phenomenon known as “Childhood amnesia”.
- Researchers caution that these reports may not be memories at all, rather educated guesses or stories derived from parents, photographs, and other sources.
- By linking the present to the past and providing us with a sense of inner continuity, autobiographical memory is a vital part of one’s identity.
- The self guides our recollections in three important ways-
- Self –description – self is like a mnemonic device by viewing new information as personally relevant.
- The self reference effect is thus greater when the words to be recalled accurately describe the subject than when they do not.
- People tend to overemphasize their own role in past events (Egocentric)
- The tendency to think after an event that we knew beforehand what would happen (Hindsight)
- People learn about themselves—introspection, by observing their own behavior, by comparing themselves to others and by organising their personal memories around existing beliefs about the self.
- Definition: Beliefs people hold about themselves that guide the processing of self-relevant information.
- Hazel Markus (1977), the cognitive molecules of the self-concept are called self-schemas.
When processing information , people-
- Make rapid judgements about themselves on matter that are relevant to self-schemas
- Quick to notice, recall or reconstruct past events that fit their own self-schemas.
- Reject information that is inconsistent with their self-schemas.
- People often view others through the lens of their self-schemas as well.
- Body-weight schematics, for example, seem to notice whenever someone else eats too much or gains another pound.
- Individualism and collectivism are so deeply ingrained in a culture that they mold our very self-conceptions and identities.
- Hazel Markus & Shinobu Kitayama (1991)—Most North Americans and Europeans have an independent view of the self as an entity that is distinct, autonomous, self-contained and endowed with unique dispositions.
- Asia, Africa and Latin America, people hold an Interdependent view of the self as part of a larger social network that includes one’s family, co-worker, and others to whom we are socially connected.
- Independent view- “the only person you can count is yourself”
- Interdependent view- “I am partly to blame if one of my family members or coworkers fails” and “My happiness depends on the happiness of those around me”.
- Marks & Kitayama (1991) reported 2 differences-
- American college students perceive themselves as less similar to others (independent conceptions of the self believe they are unique )
- Americans are more likely to express jealousy, pride, and other “ego focused” emotions that affirm the self as an autonomous entity.
- Non-westerners are more likely to experience “other-focused” emotions that promote social harmony.
- North American research indicates that men are more likely to derive a positive self-image by fulfilling the goals of independence and autonomy, while women define themselves somewhat more by their social connections.
- False Modesty
- Impression Management
- False Modesty
- People sometimes present a different self than they feel.
- Another reason for disparage themselves and praise others—sportsmanship of praising the opponent to set the state for a favourable evaluation
- Francis Bacon, said ‘Modesty’ is one of the art of ostentation.
- Understanding one’s own ability, also serves to reduce performance pressure and lower the baseline for evaluating performance.
- Shallow gratitude—superficial gratitude offered to appear humble, while in the privacy of the their own minds, the subjects credited themselves.
- Shallow gratitude may surface when we outperform others around us and feel uneasy about other people’s feeling toward us.
- If we think our success will make others feel envious or resentful—a phenomenon that Julia Exline and Marci Lobel (1999) call as “the perils of outperformance”.
- We may downplay our achievements and display gratitude.
- For superachievers, modest self-presentation come naturally.
- Self-handicapping—protecting one’s self image with behaviours that create a handy excuse for later failure.
- If we fail while handicapped in some way, we can cling to sense of competence, if we succeed it can boost our self image.
- Handicaps protect both self-esteem and public image by allowing us to attribute failures to something temporary or external.
- Impression Management
- Self-presentation refers to our wanting to present a desired image both to an external audience (other people) and to an internal audience (ourselves).
- In the unfamiliar situations, we are self-conscious of the impressions we are creating.
- Preparing to have our photographs taken, we may try out different faces in a mirror.
- Self presentation tactics
- Ingratiation – making the other person like you by praising them
- Self deprecating – imply that we are not as good as someone else—to communicate admiration or to simply lower the audience’s expectations of our abilities.
- Self promotion- selling what we want to seem as
- Self-verification perspective—the processes we use to lead others to agree with our own self-views—suggests that negotiation occurs with others to ensure they agree with our self-claims (Swann, 2005).
- The word esteem comes from the Latin aestimare- estimate or appraise.
- Self-esteem refers to our positive and negative evaluations of ourselves- Coopersmith,1967.
- Some individuals have a higher self-esteem than others do and this attribute can have influence on the way they think and feel about themselves.
- The feeling is not stable it may vary depending on one’s success, failures, changes in fortune, social interactions and other experiences.
- Research—people with unstable, fluctuating self-esteem react more strongly to +ve or –ve life events than do people whose sense of self-worth is stable and secure.
- Self-concept consists of numerous self-schemas, some parts are judged more favorably or more clearly than other parts of the self.
- High self-esteem
- Feeling about themselves—happy, healthy, success etc.,
- Persist longer at difficult tasks.
- More accepting of self than confirming to peer pressures.
- An individual’s self-esteem is their subjective appraisal of themselves as intrinsically positive or negative, and can have significant implications for psychological functioning.
self-esteem inevitably varies from time to time, depending on the context we
find ourselves in.
- Eg: Psychology marks.
- Robins etal (2002)—meta-analysis of 50 self-esteem studies—people’s lifespan general tendencies to have either high or low self-esteem can vary.
- Baumeister & Colleagues (1989)—people with lower self-esteem deal with life events quite differently from individuals with self esteem.
- Self-concept to some extent depends on the parenting style of our primary caregivers.
- There are three parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian and permissive) which differ on two dimensions-
- How demanding—controlling, imposing rules and punishments.
- How responsive—warm and supportive
- The parents is towards the child.
- Authoritative parents place a lot of demands on their child, imposing rules on them and disciplining them for disobedience.
- They also responsive, supportive and warm.
- Children with the highest self-esteem are typically brought up by authoritative parents—parents has a style high on both of these dimensions
- They are overly strict and demanding, failing to be responsive to the child’s needs.
- Children with lower self-esteem and less confidence in their abilities are often brought up with one of two less effective styles of parenting.
- They are responsive, but not strict enough indulging their child’s every desire.
- Levels of chronic self-esteem people have may be determined during childhood.
- Major criticisms of the study of self-esteem has been the over-emphasis on the negative consequences of lower self-esteem.
- Lower-self-esteem is frequently cited as an antecedent of anti-social behaviour, including the violent behaviour of youth gangs, murderers etc.,
- Baumeister, Smart and Boden (1996)- higher self-esteem is associated with higher levels of aggression and violence.
- People with higher self-esteem who have their ego threatened in some way eg: Someone contradicting their viewpoint or their positive self-appraisal, will react, aggressively to defend their higher self-esteem.
- Individuals who respond with aggression to an ego-threat are narcissistic.
- They tend to have extremely high self-esteem, believing that they somehow special and superior to others, but at the same time, their self-esteem is unstable.
- People with normal, stable higher levels of self-esteem are typically no more aggressive than individuals with lower self-esteem.
- Relationship between narcissism and aggressive
- Bushman and Baumeister (1998) –
higher in narcissism were even more aggressive than individuals lower in
narcissism when they felt their ego was threatened.
- Mood Regulation
- Everyone wants to feel positive about themselves and their lives, to this end, do everything possible to maintain a positive outlook.
Wood and her colleague indicates that people with lower self-esteem are less
likely to make the effort to feel good than people with higher self-esteem.
- People with higher and lower self-esteem differ in their reactions to positive and negative life events.
- People with low self-esteem were more likely to dampen the good feelings they experiences, by distracting themselves, trying to make themselves feel less good, and trying to calm themselves.
- People reporting a failure in their everyday life to list their immediate plans and reasons for those plans.
- Lower self-esteem were less likely to express goals to improve their mood than were people higher in self-esteem.
- People with lower self-esteem make less effort to regulate their mood.
- They do not try and maintain a good mood after a positive life event, neither are they motivated to elevate their mood after a negative life events.
- Lower Self-esteem can be maladaptive, and explain why people with lower self-esteem tend to feel worse than those with higher self-esteem after a negative event.
- Power distance index (PDI): The power distance index is defined
as “the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and
institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed
- A higher degree of the Index indicates that hierarchy is clearly established and executed in society, without doubt or reason.
- A lower degree of the Index signifies that people question authority and attempt to distribute power
- Individualism vs. collectivism (IDV): This index explores the “degree to
which people in a society are integrated into groups.”
- Individualistic societies have loose ties that often only relate an individual to his/her immediate family. They emphasize the “I” versus the “we.”
- Collectivism, describes a society in which tightly-integrated relationships tie extended families and others into in-groups. These in-groups are laced with undoubted loyalty and support each other when a conflict arises with another in-group
- Uncertainty avoidance (UAI): “a society’s tolerance for
ambiguity,” in which people embrace or avert an event of something unexpected,
unknown, or away from the status quo.
- A high degree in this index opt for stiff codes of behavior, guidelines, laws, and generally rely on absolute truth, or the belief that one lone truth dictates everything and people know what it is.
- A lower degree in this index shows more acceptance of differing thoughts or ideas. Society tends to impose fewer regulations, ambiguity is more accustomed to, and the environment is more free-flowing
- Masculinity vs. femininity (MAS):
- Masculinity is defined as “a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success
- Feminity represents “a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.”
- Women in the respective societies tend to display different values. In feminine societies, they share modest and caring views equally with men. In more masculine societies, women are somewhat assertive and competitive, but notably less than men. In other words, they still recognize a gap between male and female values. This dimension is frequently viewed as taboo in highly masculine societies
- Long-term orientation vs. short-term orientation (LTO): This dimension associates the
connection of the past with the current and future actions/challenges.
- A lower degree of this index (short-term) indicates that traditions are honored and kept, while steadfastness is valued.
- High degree in this index (long-term) view adaptation and circumstantial, pragmatic problem-solving as a necessity.
- Indulgence vs. restraint (IND): This dimension refers to the degree of freedom that societal norms give to citizens in fulfilling their human desires. Indulgence is defined as “a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun.” Restraint is defined as “a society that controls gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms
evaluation that are made of various aspects of a individuals environment
and social world
can range from favorable or unfavorable
- Depending on issues, ideas, objects, actions
- Attitudes can be certain and sure or uncertain and unsure
may be explicit attitudes or implicit
- Explicit attitudes are conscious and reportable
attitudes are uncontrollable and usually not consciously accessible
- Implicit attitudes are assessed using the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
- Attitudes can range from favorable or unfavorable
- Attitudes are important as
theyaffect our behavior.
- Usually when attitudes are strong and accessible (explicit)
- But implicit attitudes also have a role to play in determining behaviour
- Attitude development:
- Classical conditioning
- Operant conditioning
- Observational learning
- Often attitudes and
behaviours are not in sync with one another i.e. attitudes don’t fit with
our behaviour or vice versa. This is known as Cognitive dissonance
- Resolution occurs when either the attitude is changed or behaviour is in line with the attitude
Social Influence (Read: How To Win Friends & Influence People )
- Social Influence is the effort put by one or more people in order to change the behavior, attitudes, or feelings of others
- Conformity: Here individuals usually change their attitudes or behavior to be in line with existing social norms.
- Social norms are either
clearly defined and known – explicit, or are underlying and not clear – implicit
- Either way, individuals follow them most of the time
- Therefore, it’s easier to predict behaviour
- Facades of conformity
- Conforming would lead to upward mobility.
- More conforming when someone intends to leave the organization
- Conformity reduces personal freedom but to reduce social chaos conforming is important
- Research studies have shown
that even when participants conformed they didn’t agree it was because of
the influence of others on them.
- Reason: focus on internal information rather than on the overt actions (actor-observer effect)
- Introspection illusion: Our belief that social influence plays a miniscule role in shaping our own actions but has a major role in shaping the actions of others.
- Solomon Asch’s study on conformity was pioneering
- Sherif’s autokinetic effect
- Factors responsible for
- To look good to others
- Cohesiveness is the extent to which we are attracted to a social group and want to belong to it.
size: The larger the group, the more pressure to conform.
- Tops of at 3-4 members. Then it levels off.
- Recent studies don’t support this notion and say that group size up to 8 and beyond can also affect conformity
- Descriptive norms: behaving how people generally do in a given situation
- Injunctive norms behaving how one ought to behave.
- Normative focus theory: norms will influence behavior only to the extent that they are important or salient for the people involved
- Zimbardo’s Prison study
- The main purpose of the study was to determine whether participants would come to behave like real guards and real prisoners—whether they would, in a sense, conform to the norms established for these respective roles.
- study after only 6 days; initial plans called for it to last 2 weeks.
- Conclusion: it is the situations in which people find themselves—not their personal traits—that largely determine their behavior
recent research, including another dramatic prison study (this time
conducted jointly by social psychologists and the BBC) offers a much
more optimistic set of conclusions (Reicher & Haslam, 2006)
- In contrast to the findings of the Stanford Prison Study, guards and prisoners in the BBC research did not passively accept their roles. Rather, the guards actually rejected their power over the prisoners while the prisoners, in contrast, identified closely with one another and actually took action to gain equal power.
- They succeeded, and for a time, the “prison” adopted a democratic structure in which guards and prisoners had relatively equal rights.
- When this new structure seemed to fail, however, both groups moved toward acceptance of a rigidly authoritarian approach in which the prisoners surrendered almost totally and no longer offered any resistance to their inequality.
- Social norms and the social structure from which they arise do not necessarily produce acceptance of inequalities.
- Social change occurs because people decide to challenge an existing social structure rather than accept it
- Bystander effect: When in
the presence of a large groups, individuals tend to not help assuming
someone else will.
- Occurs because of Diffusion of responsibility: More number of witnesses present, less likely is the victim going to receive help
- The idea of someone else will do it
if the person requiring help is of the in-group, they are more likely to
- The race of the victim is also important
- Five major decisions before
deciding to help or not
- Observing or failing to observe something unusual in the environment
interpreting an event as an emergency
- Pluralistic ignorance: The tendency of all the bystanders to depend on one another to understand the situation
- Deciding if it is the individuals’ responsibility to provide help
- Deciding if the individual has the knowledge/skill to help
- Making the final decision to provide help
- Helping also requires inhibiting fear
- (Study Tip: Observation, Interpretation, Responsibility,
Knowledge, Decision, Fear Inhibition)
- External factors
responsible for helping
- Helping people we like
- Helping those who are not responsible for their problems
- Exposure to live prosocial models
- Playing prosocial video games
- Mood and helping behaviour
- Positive emotions
- Negative emotions
- Feelings of elevation- “Faith in humanity restored”
- Factors that reduce helping
- Social exclusion
- A reduced form of self-awareness that makes people act in impulsive, wild ways
- Putting an economic value on Prosocial Behaviour
- Effects of being helped
- Perceived motives matter
- Sometimes can work
negatively because self-esteem may being to suffer
- Especially if the one being helped is of a lower status
- Non conformity
restrictions that often influence the thought, expression, and behavior
of most people don’t seem to apply to the powerful
- Powerful people are less dependent on others for obtaining social resources
- They may not pay much attention to threats from others or efforts to constrain their actions in some way
- They may be less likely to take the perspective of other people and so be less influenced by them.
- People who possessed power, or were merely primed to think about it, were in fact less likely to show conformity to the actions or judgments of others than people lower in power
- Overall, then, situational information might have less influence on their attitudes, intentions, actions, and creative expressions
- The restrictions that often influence the thought, expression, and behavior of most people don’t seem to apply to the powerful
- External factors responsible for helping
- One of the most obvious and
direct influences on attitudes and behavior is the power of authority
- Parents, teachers, police, judges
- Why do we conform so
readily to authority?
- Fear of punishment
- Consequences for disobeying
- Stanley Milgram’s Obedience
- Was interested in studying whether or not most people would continue to obey an authority figure, even at the expense of another person.
- Prosocial Behavior: behaviour that results in people helping others without immediate reward to themselves.
- Empathy is the ability to share someone’s feelings and to understand them from there point of view
- Emotional empathy- The ability to share others’ feelings
- Empathic accuracy- The precision with which one perceives others’ feelings.
- Empathic concern- Feelings of concern for another’s wellbeing.
- Altruism is the ability to act selflessly for the benefit of others, without any apparent reward.
- Motives for prosocial
- Empathy-Altruism hypothesis
- Negative state relief model
- Empathic joy
- Kin Selection theory
- Competitive altruism
- Defensive helping
- (Study Tip: NECKED)
- Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis
- The act of deriving pleasure from helping others, knowing that helping others would bring pleasure to oneself.
- Empathetic accuracy
- Better friendships
- More prosocial behavior
- Better social adjustment
- Negative state relief model
- Individuals help others in order to reduce their own negative feelings.
- Empathic Joy hypothesis
- People show positive reaction when they receive help and this induces the positive feeling in the helper leading them to engage in greater prosocial behavior
- Kin Selection theory
- You are more likely to help closer relatives than distant relatives or non relatives
are more likely to help younger relatives than older relatives
- Evolutionary basis
- Reciprocal altruism
- Helping non family members in the expectance of reciprocal help
- Competitive altruism theory
- It involves helping others to increase one’s own reputation or social status
- Defensive helping
- The help given to the members of out-groups to reduce the threat they pose to the status of the in-group
- Creation of dependence
- Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis
Negative Social Relations (Read: Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past)
- We make judgments about
others based on their group membership.
- in-group are preferred
- out-group are not as preferred
- Stereotyping—beliefs about what members of a social group are like.
- Prejudice —negative emotional responses or dislike based on group membership.
- Discrimination—differential treatment based on group membership
- (Study Tip: Stereotype is cognitive, Prejudice is
emotional, Discrimination is behaviour)
- Gender stereotypes
- Related to both genders.
- Negative and positive stereotypes
effect on women, especially in the corporate world.
- 1% of CEO’s in the fortune 500 companies are occupied by women
ceiling effect: a final barrier that prevents women, as a group, from
reaching top positions in the workplace.
- The trend is weakening.
- Glass Cliff: Choosing women for leadership positions that are risky, precarious, or when the outcome is more likely to result in failure – usually at a time of crisis.
- Shifting standards: Stereotypes against in-group members
- Schemas are a major reason for developing stereotypes
- Reliance on stereotypes reduces by negating them
- Not personal
about underlying essences of the group
attributed to biologically based features that distinguish one
group from another
- Used as a justification for their differential treatment
- Essences—usually attributed to biologically based features that distinguish one group from another
- some theorists have suggested that all prejudices are not the same
is not a generic negative emotional response
- Specific intergroup emotions including fear, anger, envy, guilt, or disgust are important
- Discriminatory actions would be different depending on what emotion underlies prejudice
- E.g. Anger=direct harm, Pity/Guilt=avoidance
prejudice- Links between group membership and trait associations or
evaluations that the perceiver may be unaware of.
- They can be activated automatically based on the group membership of a target.
- Methods to reduce Prejudice
hypothesis: Constant engagement with out-group
- Change categorizations based on similarities
- Supported by research
rethinking categorization based only on out-group measure
- Shifts in the boundaries between our ingroup (“us”) and some outgroup (“them”)
- Superordinate goals: goals that both groups need to reach for benefit
people can feel collective guilt based on the actions of other members
of their group
- Can reduce racism
- Contact hypothesis: Constant engagement with out-group
- Gender stereotypes
- Actions that are designed to harm others
- Perspectives on Aggression
- Aggression stems from thanatos i.e. death instinct
- Aggression stems from inherent fighting instinct;
- Strongest in males due to evolution
- Genes may be ‘slightly’ responsible
- Males more aggressive toward males
- Males less aggressive toward females (except in cases of domestic violence)
same for females
- Generally not as aggressive as males, irrespective of sex
- External conditions cause motive to aggression, especially increase in frustration levels
- Biological Factors [Freud]
leads to arousal to harm which is the cause of frustration
- Frustration always leads to aggression
- Aggression always stems from some frustration
- Frustration leads to arousal to harm which is the cause of frustration
- Modern → Social
- Aggression comes from experience including experiences with aggressive people and culture
- General Aggression Model
(GAM) [Anderson Bushman]
inputs can create aggressive behaviour:
- Frustration, provocation, exposure to other aggressive people or discomfort
- Traits predisposing towards aggression, attitudes and beliefs about violence, perceiving others as hostile
- Situational factors
- 2 inputs can create aggressive behaviour:
- 3 processes in a human
being when exposed to input of aggression causing stimuli
- Arousal – increase physiological excitement
- Affective – hostile feelings
– hostile thoughts/beliefs/attitudes
of these will lead to decision to overt aggression
- Also known as thoughtful impulse
- Appraisal of these will lead to decision to overt aggression
- Direct provocation leads to
- Criticism of us
- Statements harming public image
- Excitation Transfer Theory
- states physiological arousal dissipates slowly and a portion of it may transfer from one situation to another
- As a result of overexposure to violent things, people may become desensitive to aggression contact
- But it may also increase tendency to aggress
- Emotion → heightened arousal → aggression (excitation transfer theory)
- Attribution theory – explaining the cause of one’s or others’ behaviour
- 2 types
- Dispositional attribution are based on to internal factors like personality, motivation
- Personal attributions are explanations in terms of personal characteristics
- Situational are external factors like environment, others’ influence
- 2 types
- Locus of control
- The belief individuals have of whether their behaviour is controlled by themselves or are external
- Internally controlled motivators are better
- Attribution errors
- Fundamental Attribution Error
- Attribution of others’ behaviour as due to personal factors even in the presence of powerful situational factors
- Self-serving bias
- Acceptance of credit when successful
- Blaming others when unsuccessful
- Fundamental Attribution Error
- Attribution theory: A group of theories that describe how people explain the causes of behaviour.
- Jones’s Correspondent Inference Theory – Edward Jones & Keith Davis (1965)—
- This theory describes how we use others’ behaviour as a basis for inferring their disposition
- The process of making an internal attribution. T
- Internal disposition are based on understand the link or correspondence between motive and behaviour.
- People make internal inferences based on three factors-
- Persons’ degree of choice- free choice is indicative of internal disposition
- Non common effects- effect that can be caused by one specific factor but not by others.
- Helps zoom in on a cause for others behaviour
- Low social desirability- When individual’s behaviour doesn’t indicate socially desirability
- Kelley’s covariance theory of attribution argued that people take three factors into account when making a personal vs. situational attribution:
- Consensus: the extent to which other people behave in the same way in a similar situation to the person in question.
- More people=higher consensus
- Consistency: the extent to which the person in question behaves this way every time the situation occurs at different times.
- Distinctiveness: the extent to which the person in question behaves in the same way to other situations.
- If consistency is high, and distinctiveness and consensus are low, then a personal attribution is more likely:
- If consistency is high, and distinctiveness and consensus are also high, then a situational attribution is more likely.
- Consensus: the extent to which other people behave in the same way in a similar situation to the person in question.
|Personal Attribution||Situational Attribution|
|Consistency (High)||Consistency (High)|
|Distinctiveness (Low)||Distinctiveness (High)|
|Consensus (Low)||Consensus (High)|
- Social loafing: In a group, each additional individual puts in less effort, thinking that others will be putting in their effort.
What is a Group?
- A group may be defined as an organised system of two or more individuals, who are interacting and interdependent, who have common motives, have a set of role relationships among its members, and have norms that regulate the behaviour of its members.
social unit with a unique identity where there are two or more individuals who
perceive themselves as belonging to the group.
- Characteristic of the group helps in distinguishing one group from the other and gives the group
- Common motives: A group has common motives and goals. They work towards goals, or away from certain threats.
- Interdependency: A group is interdependent on its members. Each doing their own part
- Goal directed/Need based: Individuals who are trying to satisfy a need through their joint association also influence each other.
- Communication: A gathering of individuals who interact with one another either directly or indirectly.
and Norms: A group has interactions that are structured by a set of roles and
norms. Norms are created by the group members and determine how individuals
behave in the group and specify the behaviours expected from group members.
different from a crowd as there is neither any structure nor feeling of
belongingness in a crowd.
- Irrational behaviour in crowds no interdependence among members.
are special kinds of groups.
- In groups, performance is dependent on contributions of individual members.
- In teams, both individual contributions and teamwork matter.
- In groups, the leader or whoever is heading the group holds responsibility for the work.
- However in teams, although there is a leader, members hold themselves responsible
- It’s different from a crowd as there is neither any structure nor feeling of belongingness in a crowd.
- Mob behaviour is characterised by homogeneity of thought and behaviour as well as impulsivity.
Reasons for joining Groups
- Security: Groups reduce individual insecurity by diffusion of responsibility, sense of comfort, and protection. Individuals feel stronger, and are less vulnerable to threats.
- Status: Perceived to be important by others when individuals are group members.
- Self-esteem: Groups provide feelings of self-worth and establish a positive social identity. Being a member of prestigious groups enhances one’s self-concept.
- Satisfaction of one’s psychological and social needs: Needs such as sense of belongingness, giving and receiving attention, love, and power are fulfilled through a group.
- Goal achievement: Groups help in achieving such goals which cannot be attained individually.
- Provide knowledge and information: Group membership provides knowledge and information and thus broadens our view. As individuals, we may not have all the required information. Groups supplement this information and knowledge.
- Proximity: when we are around the same group of people, there are higher chances of building relationship. Commonality in interests, attitudes, and background are important determinants of your liking for your group members.
Similar interests, attitudes and backgrounds, help people negotiate with one
another and understand each other better. Leading to building of groups. Psychologists
have given several explanations for this.
- One explanation is that people prefer consistency and like relationships that are consistent.
- When we meet similar people, they reinforce and validate our opinions and values, we feel we are right and thus we start liking them
- Common motives and goals: When people have common motives or goals, they get together and form a group which may facilitate their goal attainment.
Stages of Group Formation
- Groups usually go through different stages of formation, conflict, stabilisation, performance, and dismissal.
- Tuckman suggested that groups pass through five developmental sequences.
- These are: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.
- Forming: When group members first meet, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the group, the goal, and how it is to be achieved. People try to know each other and assess whether they will fit in. There is excitement as well as apprehensions.
- Storming: Intragroup conflict will occur here. In this stage, there is conflict among members about how the target of the group is to be achieved, who is to control the group and its resources, and who is to perform what task. When this stage is complete, some sort of hierarchy of leadership in the group develops and a clear vision as to how to achieve the group goal.
- Norming: Group members by this time develop norms related to group behaviour. This leads to development of a positive group identity.
- Performing: By this time, the structure of the group has evolved and is accepted by group members. The group moves towards achieving the group goal. For some groups, this may be the last stage of group development.
- Adjourning: For some groups, there may be another stage known as adjourning stage. In this stage, once the function is over, the group may be disbanded. However, it must be stated that all groups do not always proceed from one stage to the next in such a systematic manner.
- Sometimes several stages go on simultaneously, while in other instances groups may go back and forth through the various stages or they may just skip some of the stages.
TYPE OF GROUPS
Major types of groups are enumerated below :
and Secondary Groups:
groups have pre-existing formations which are usually given to the individual e.g
- Face to face interaction
- Emotional bonds
- Boundaries are fixed
- Important for developing beliefs and values
groups are those which the individual joins by choice. E.g. football clubs,
- relationships among members are more impersonal,
- less frequent
- Boundaries are not set
- Primary groups have pre-existing formations which are usually given to the individual e.g family, caste
and Informal Groups:
functions of a formal group are explicitly stated as in the case of an office
- The roles to be performed by group members are stated in an explicit manner.
- The formation of formal groups is based on some specific rules or laws and members have definite roles.
- There are a set of norms which help in establishing order.
- The formation of informal groups is not based on rules or laws and there is close relationship among members.
- The functions of a formal group are explicitly stated as in the case of an office organisation.
- Ingroup and Outgroup:
refers to one’s own group also referred to as us or we
- Members are similar and favoured
refers to another group, also referred to as they or them
- Members are different and discriminated
- These differences can be easily understood by studying Tajfel’s experiments called as the minimal group paradigms where random division of group also lead individuals to support the in-group in comparison to the out-group.
- Ingroup refers to one’s own group also referred to as us or we
- It has been found that groups are more likely to take extreme decisions than individuals alone. Strengthening of the group’s initial position as a result of group interaction and discussion is referred to as group polarisation. This may sometimes have dangerous repercussions as groups may take extreme positions, i.e. from very weak to very strong decisions.
- Social psychology in India
- Traditional (ancient) social psychology is derivative of scriptures like the Upanishad, Vedas, Dharmashastras, Nitishastra, Smritis, Arthashastra, Mahabharat, Puranas and so on
- Two major ideas in ancient
Indian social psychology
- Dharma is translated not
correctly in English as ‘proper action’, or ‘moral duty’, or ‘law of
- Rigvedic concept and later elaborated in Gautam’s Dharmashastra (about 600 B.C.)
Dharma is dependent on four aspects:
- Guna- physiological and psychological attributes of an individual
- Desh- the individuals country and region of origin
- Kala- the historical context one is born in
- Shrama– The work and occupation one is engaged in
- Self is not only limited to
the individual but a larger, all pervasive cosmic reality
- The self is immensely interdependent and cannot exist as a sole reality
- Western civilizations
effect on Indian social psychology
- West formed the model for “modern” society
with British colonization
- Industrialization, market-capitalism, science and tech etc.
- Indians who were exposed to western ideas brought them to India during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries
out evil practices like sati, caste system, etc
- Tagore, Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- Some individuals like Gandhi and Tilak rejected western ideals and reasserted Indian spiritual ideas and claimed that these ideas are correct but implemented incorrectly
- Pre-Independence Social
psychology in India
in the first Psychology Department established at Calcutta University.
- N.N.Sengupta – First chairman of the department, had worked with Hugo Munsterberg (student of Wundt) at Harvard University.
with the Eminent Sociologist Radhakamal Mukherjee published “Social
Psychology” in 1928 four years after Allport’s (1924)
- Widely noticed by the academic community.
- Origin in the first Psychology Department established at Calcutta University.
- After Independence
- Nehru considered the adoption of Western Science and Technology
- Academic exchange programmes: large number of Indian scholars went abroad for higher studies and many distinguished western scholars visited India.
- Gardner Murphy, part of UNESCO team, travelled to India and many Indian Psychologists worked with him to understand the social psychological consequences of communal hatred.
- Indian Social Psychologists primarily worked in the areas of Prejudice, Stereotypes, and social attitudes.
- Large scale surveys were conducted using various attitude measures.
- Adinarayanan (1953; 1957), Rath and Sircar (1960) and Anant (1970) others – Racial & communal attitudes; case attitudes.
- Attitude change became major themes of research with increasing importance on community awareness plans for health, family planning, agricultural innovations.
- Crisis Identity
- Western social psychological theories did not provide solutions to the complex problems of social change and development facing the country.
- Sinha (1966; 1977) called for an indigenous psychology
- Indian studies did not heavily rely on experimental methods or created their own theoretical basis, methods or ideology
- Concern of scholars struggling to recover, revive, and reconstruct indigenous Indian concepts.
- Indian social psychology is gradually evolving to create an identify of its own.
- No effort, has been made by any Indian Psychologist to write a textbook on social psychology from an Indian Perspective.
- The hope is that by utilizing untapped cultural resources social psychology may find solutions of Indian problems from an Indian perspective.
- The hallmark of this perspective would be the interdependence of individual and society
- Recent advances in Social
social psychology integrates both past types of social psychologists
- Individuals that study only overt social behavior
- Individuals that study only covert understanding such as human cognition
- Modern social psychology integrates both past types of social psychologists
- Social Neuroscience:
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission
tomography (PET) scans, and other techniques.
- Van Berkum (2009): encountering statements, consistent or inconsistent with their beliefs/values – powerful effects in the brain.
- Montgomery, Sccherman and Haxby (2009) on Empathy – mirror neurons in frontal operculum.
- Multicultural Perspective
- Swami et. al. (2010) – 10 countries men and women attractions – slim or heavier body – cultural difference