Chapter 14

Module 14.1

Perceiving Others

Impression Formation

•      Process by which we form an opinion of another person

•      Influenced by

–   Personal disclosure

–   Social schema, first impressions

–   Stereotypes

–   Self-fulfilling prophecies


•      Personal explanations about the causes of behaviors or events

–   Dispositional versus situational causes

Cognitive Biases in Attribution

•      Fundamental attribution error

–   Attribute behavior to internal factors

–   Disregard external situational factors

•      Actor-observer effect

–   Attribute one’s own behavior to external causes

–   Attribute others’ behavior to internal causes

•      Self-serving bias

–   Attribute personal success to internal factors

–   Attribute failure to external factors


•      Evaluation or judgment of person, object, social issue

•      Components

–   Cognitions, beliefs

–   Emotions

–   Behaviors

Sources of Attitudes

•      Social environment

•      Heredity, through

–   Intelligence

–   Temperament

–   Personality traits

Attitudes and Behavior

•      Attitudes only modestly linked to behavior

•      Factors limiting relationship

–   Situational constraints


•      Attempts to change another’s attitude

–   Elaboration likelihood model (ELM)

•   People more likely to evaluate a message when

–  Motivational state is high
–  Possess relevant skills/knowledge
–  Central rather than peripheral route

Variables Influencing Persuasion

•      Source variables

–   Communicator who presents message

•      Message variables

–   Presenting one or two sides

–   Running counter to source’s interests

–   Repetition

•      Recipient variables

–   Intelligence, self-confidence, mood

Module 14.2

Relating to Others


•      Feelings of liking others

•      Having positive thoughts about them

•      Inclinations to act positively toward them

•      Includes friendships and romantic relationships

Determinants of Attraction

•      Similarity

–    Attitudes, appearance, class, race, other similarities

•      Physical attractiveness

–    Major determinant of initial attraction

–    Matching hypothesis

•      Proximity

–    More chances for interacting

•      Reciprocity

–    Liking others who like us back

Helping Behavior

•      Murder of Kitty Genovese

–   Lack of prosocial behavior

•      Bystander intervention

–   Decision-making process

•   See need for help

•   Recognize as clear emergency

•   Assume personal responsibility

•   Determine kind of help

•   Implement course of action

Influences on Helping

•      Situational ambiguity

•      Perceived cost

•      Diffusion of responsibility

•      Similarity

•      Mood and gender

•      Attributions of the cause of need

•      Social norms


•      Preconceived attitude formed without critical thought or evaluation

–   Usually negative

–   Components

•   Cognitive: biased beliefs

•   Emotions: dislike

•   Behavior: discrimination

Development of Prejudice

•      Negative stereotypes that are learned or acquired

•      Direct experience

•      Cognitive biases

–   Out-group negativism

–   In-group favoritism

–   Out-group homogeneity

Prejudice: Individual Differences

•      Why are some people more prejudiced than others?

–   Learning experiences

–   Cognitive style

•   Universalist orientation: less prejudiced

–   Authoritarian personality style

•   Rigidity, obedience and respect for authority

Effects of Stereotyping and Prejudice

•      How do they effect stereotyped groups?

–   Lowered expectations

•   Underperformance, lowered motivation

•   Lower self-esteem

–   Stereotype threat

Reducing Prejudice

•      Allport: contact hypothesis

–   Reduce prejudice by bringing groups into close contact

–   Facilitated by

•   Social and institutional support

•   Acquaintance potential

•   Equal status

•   Intergroup cooperation

•      Teach empathy

•      Avoid stereotypical thinking

–   Rejecting negative thoughts

–   Rehearsing positive images

•      Diversity education

Human Aggression as Instinct

•      Fighting instinct as basic survival mechanism

•      Between males

–   Establish dominance

–   Defend territory

–   Claim food, mates, resources

•      Human aggression may be too complex to be based on instinct


Influences on Aggression

•      Biological

–   Violent behavior and abnormal brain circuitry

•   Neurotransmitter serotonin

–   Male sex hormone, testosterone

–   Inherited tendencies

•      Learning

–   Albert Bandura

–   Aggressive behavior learned like other behaviors

–   Observational learning, reinforcement

•      Sociocultural

–   Violence occurs within social contexts

•   Social stressors, child abuse

•   Violence as social influence tactic

•      Alcohol use

–   Strongly linked to aggressive behavior

–   Loosens inhibitions

–   Impairs cognitions, sensitivity, perception

•      Emotional

–   Frustration, anger may trigger aggression

•      Environmental

–   Rising temperatures, more aggression

•   Induce angry, hostile thoughts and feelings

–   Extreme high temperatures, dampen aggression

Module 14.3

Group Influences on Individual Behavior

Our Social Selves

•      Two parts of self-concept

–   Personal identity (individual identity)

•   Distinguishes as unique individual

–   Social identity (group identity)

•   Member of social groups


•      Adhering to social norms

–   General social norms

–   Group or peer norms

•      Asch’s classic study

–   Measured performance in face of wrong answers by group members

•      Why do people conform?

–   Assume majority must be correct

–   Highly value group acceptance

–   Easier to go along

•      Gender and cultural differences

•      Personality

–   Low self-esteem, shyness, desire to be liked

•      Situational factors

•      Process of acceding to the requests or demands of others

•      Influences

–   Recognized authority

–   Social validation

–   Consistency

Compliance Techniques

•      Foot-in-the-door technique

–   Small then larger favor

•      Bait-and-switch technique

–   Item not available as advertised

•      Low-ball technique

–   Low price becomes higher

•      Door-in-the-face technique

–   Excessively large, then smaller request


•      Compliance with commands of others, usually authority figures

•      Milgram’s research

–   “Teacher” shocks “learner”

–   Most subjects obeyed, delivering high voltage shock

–   Demonstrates potential for ordinary people to do harm by following authority

•      Why do people obey immoral commands?

–   Legitimization of authority

•   Early socialization

•   Taught to obey authority figures

–   Social comparison

–   Foot-in-the-door effect

Social Facilitation

•      Tendency for people to work better in the presence of others

–   Exposure to others induces energizing arousal

–   Increases performance of dominant responses

•   Not always correct response

Social Loafing

•      Tendency for people to apply less effort working as members of a group

–   More likely when performance not evaluated

–   Reduced with

•   More appealing tasks

•   Visibility of individual performance

•   Individual accountability

•   Public feedback on individual performance

Mob Behavior

•      Deindividuation

–   Sense of losing sense of individuality in a group

–   May be destructive

•   Deviant, reckless mob behavior

•   Examples: lynchings, looting, riots, hate groups

–   Results from

•   Anonymity

•   Shifting attention (to actions of group)

Group Decision Making

•      Group polarization

–   Group members become more extreme

–   Risky-shift phenomenon may occur

•      Why does it occur?

–   Social validation

–   Normative influences

•      Groupthink

–   Tendency for members of a group to lose ability for critical evaluation

–   Pressure to conform prevents debate

–   Likely with

•   Members strongly attached to group

•   External threat present

•   Strong-minded leader

Avoiding Group Think

•      Recommendations

–   Encourage consideration of all alternatives

–   Group leader avoids stating preferences

–   Outside opinions and analyses

–   Encourage “devil’s advocate”

–   Subdivide into independent groups

–   Meetings to reassess and evaluate new information

Module 14.4

Application: Psychology Goes to Work

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

•      I/O psychology

–   Studies people at work and organizations in which they work

–   Major areas

•   Job satisfaction

•   Adjustment to changing workplace

I/O Psychology: Job Satisfaction

•      Job satisfaction depends on

–   Qualities of job

•   Status, pay, benefits

•   Interesting and fulfilling

–   Personality traits of employees

•   Self-esteem, self-efficacy, emotional stability

–   Fit between attributional style and amount of control at work

I/O Psychology: Changing Workplace

•      Challenges of the changing workplace

–   Less secure

–   Changes in technology

–   Flexible work shifts, locations

•      Organizational culture

–   Shared values and norms

–   Develop to fit needs of workers, workplace