social psychology

  1. Explain the two fundamental axioms? construction of reality and pervasiveness of social influence.
    construction of reality- the way we see things shaped by social and cognitive processes. reality is specific to each person which is why two people can interpret the same event differently.

    pervasiveness of social influence- other people influence ALL of a person's thoughts, feelings and behavior even if they are not physically present.
  2. Define social psychology.
    The scientific study of the effects of social and cognitive processes on the way individuals perceive, influence and relate to others.
  3. The operation of social and cognitive processes is described by the 3 processing principles. What are they?
    Conservatism- established, pre-existing views are hard to change.

    Accessibility- the most readily available information is that which affects thoughts. feelings & behaviors the most.

    Superficiality versus depth- normally people process information with little effort but there are times when our goals are threatened and we process info more extensively.
  4. People have three basic motives when constructing reality and are influenced by others. What are they?
    strive for mastery- people seek to obtain as much information as possible and try and understand and predict events in order to get rewards.

    seeking connectedness- people seek support and acceptance from those around them whom they care and value.

    valuing me and mine- we want to see ourselves, people associated with us and possessions in a positive light.often why people of the same group see things in the same way (biased).

  5. what are the 8 principles of social psychology
    two fundamental axioms- construction of reality & pervasiveness of social influence.

    3 motivational principles- strive for mastery, seeking connectedness & valuing me and mine.

    3 processing principles- conservatism, accessibility & superficiality versus depth.
  6. what do social processes refer to?
    The ways in which other people influence people’s understanding of the world and guide their actions
  7. When did social psychology become an empirical science? refer to Plato, Triplett & Ringelmann.
    social psychology came about around the late 19th century when there was increased interest into the effect of social influences on thoughts and behavior. Philosophers like Plato highlighted the impact of other people influencing the behavior of others. He came up with the concept of "crowd mind" which is also referred to as mob mentality. even the most wisest, even tempered of people can become irrational mobs when put in a crown situation.

    Norman Triplett (1898)- investigated the influence of the presence of others on behavior. He found that when schoolchildren were asked to wind up fishing wire as fast as possible, performance was better in the presence of others compared to doing the task alone.

    Contradicts Ringelmann (1880)- he found that when people worked together to push a cart and pull a rope, people put in less effort than when they worked alone.
  8. How did the rise of Nazism shape the development of social psychology?
    • At the time of WW2, lots of psychologists were fleeing Europe and going to N.America to carry on studying. Before that N.America was heavily influenced by behaviorism and Gestalt theories but Nazism genocide was the pivotal point to when people started wondering about the influence of others on individual behavior. How could people hold such prejudice views of other groups, massacre thousands of Jews on the say so of Hitler?
    • The U.S govt also called in social psychologists to convince people to eat less  expensive foods and eat more cheaper, basic rations. They also helped to maintain military morale and improve performance of aircraft crews. Further, they taught soldiers to resist enemy propaganda.
  9. What do cognitive processes refer to?
    The ways in which people’s memories, thoughts, emotions and motives influence their understanding of the world and guide their actions.
  10. Outline why social psychology split from general psychology?
    The social psychologists rejected behaviorism as they focuses too much on the effect of the environment and didn't account for how people were feeling and what they were thinking. It was the effect of how an individual interpreted the stimuli presented to them that influenced behaviour.
Card Set
social psychology
key terms/ideas