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Week 1: Introduction[edit]

Social Psychology Definition & Focuses of Social Psychologists[edit]

Social Psychology is a branch of psychology that seeks a broad understanding of how human beings think, act, and feel. It is concerned with the effect of other people (real or imagined) on our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

What do Social Psychologists focus on?

They focus on the individual members that make up the group, how human beings think, act, and feel. Thoughts, actions, and feelings are a joint function of personal and situational influences.

Why people study social psychology

  • Their curiosity about people: how to understand people, why they do/ don’t do certain things. (E.g. why people watch reality television? Why certain cultures live longer).
  • Experimental philosophy: psychology originated from philosophy, the main difference between the two is that psychology realise heavily on scientific method and philosophy deals with problems by thinking very carefully and systematically.
  • Making the world better: psychologists come into the field because of injustice, violence, pollution, poverty or suffering and that they wish to understand the causes of these problems and perhaps begin to find ways of fixing them.
  • FUN, FUN, FUN...: Sociologists get to spend their working lives asking the most interesting questions that we as individuals think about, and then testing those ideas.

A,B,C Triad[edit]

The three dimensions of social psychology:

ABC.JPGAffect (How people feel inside), Behaviour (What people do), Cognition (What people think about) Triad.

  • Affect- How people feel about themselves (e.g. self esteem), how they feel about others (e.g. prejudice), and how they feel about various issues (e.g. attitudes).
  • Behaviour- what people do, their actions. Social psychologists are interested in all the various behaviours people engage in, such as, helping others, joining groups, liking others, hurting others and loving others.
  • Cognition- what people think about? What people think about themselves (e.g. self- concept), what they think about others (e.g. stereotypes), and what they think about various problems and issues in the social world (e.g. protecting the environment).

Culture and Nature[edit]

“Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stone. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.” Jules Henri Poincare

Social Animals or Cultural Animals:

Social Animals: seek connections to others and prefer to live, work, and play with other numbers of their species.

  • Being cultural is special about human beings; it is the most defining trait of what make us human.
  • Human life is almost impossible to imagine without culture, we are the most cultural animal.

To be a cultural animal means to have culture- organized, information- based system.

  • The view that evolution formed the human psyche so as to enable humans to create and take part in culture.

A culture enables learned patterns to be passed down in generations, so that the culture survives even as its members die and have been replaced.

  • E.g. Alexander Graham Bell’s invention the telephone; it is still used today; it has been passed down in culture.

People are products of both nature and culture.

  • Nature has given humans certain traits and abilities;
  • Over time there enabled some people to survive and reproduce better than others.
  • Humans survive and reproduce by means of their culture (pg 40).

The Duplex Mind:

  • The idea that the mind has two different processing systems.
  • Two processing systems: Conscious and automatic.

Automatic system- the part of the mind outside of consciousness that performs simple operations.

  • It continues to operate during sleep, which is why you can hear the alarm clock.

Conscious system- the part of the mind that performs complex systems.

  • Seems to turn on when you wake up and turn off when you go to sleep.

Links and Journals[edit]

  1. (BRENDA)
  1. Funder, D.C. (2001). Personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 197- 221.
  1. Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers, New York: Harper Torchbooks. (Looking at page 169).
  1. Aronson, E. (2000). Social animal (7th ed.). New York: Freeman.
  1. (Suicide of a man raised as a girl)
  1. (Woman mistakenly raised as a boy

Week 2: Social Self[edit]

Self Constructs[edit]

  • Self esteem: refers to global feelings of self worth, self liking.
  • Comes from social comparisons (Fat, short, thin).
  • Self-esteem plays a part of position on social latter.
  • Basking- linking one-self to winners. (positive)
  • Blasting- criticising a rival group

“Most mentally- positive people have a more inflated self worth” Shelly Taylor Self-Perception Theory Daryl Bem's (1967) self-perception theory- that we learn things about ourselves from our own behaviors, but only if we lack strong inner thoughts or feelings about this part of ourselves.

Self presentation: Body language, not acting- public communication- more important that private self-esteem, get greater social rank.

  • Good self presentation demonstrates positive traits (a non-threat; but supportive, not in love with oneself).
  • Self efficiency: (Bandura)– belief in ability “I can”, “ I can’t”.

Carl Roger’s self- congruence: “the organised, consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself"

  • Two main sources that influence our self-concept are childhood experiences and evaluation by others.
  • According to Rogers, we want to feel, experience and behave in ways which are consistent with our self-image and which reflect what we would like to be like, our ideal-self. The closer our self-image and ideal-self are to each other, the more consistent or congruent we are and the higher our sense of self-worth. A person is said to be in a state of incongruence if some of the totality of their experience is unacceptable to them and is denied or distorted in the self-image.

Three Components of Self-Concept[edit]

The self-concept includes three components:

  1. Self Worth (or self-esteem) – what we think about ourselves. Rogers believed feelings of self-worth developed in early childhood and were formed from the interaction of the child with the mother and father.
  2. Self-Image – How we see ourselves, which is important to good psychological health. Self-image includes the influence of our body image on inner personality. At a simple level, we might perceive ourselves as a good or bad person, beautiful or ugly. Self-image has an effect on how a person thinks feels and behaves in the world.
  3. Ideal Self – This is the person who we would like to be. It consists of our goals and ambitions in life, and is dynamic – i.e. forever changing. The ideal self in childhood is not the ideal self in our teens or late twenties etc.

Theory of Social Learning[edit]

Julian B. Rotter claimed that the expected outcome of an action and the value we place on that outcome determine much of our behaviour. (e.g.People whose positive self-concept leads them to believe they will succeed at a task are likely to behave in ways that ultimately lead to success, while those who expect failure are much more likely to bring it about through their own actions).

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation[edit]

To be motivated means to be moved to do something.

Intrinsic motivation -wanting to perform an activity for its own sake,

  • To doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable.
  • Intrinsic motivation was first acknowledged within experimental studies of animal behavior, where it was discovered that many organisms engage in exploratory, playful, and curiosity-driven behaviors even in the absence of reinforcement or reward (White, 1959).
  • (e.g. A writer might be intrinsically motivated to write novels, because they love to watch words being created into a interesting novel).

Example 1

  • A student who does his homework only because he fears parental sanctions for not doing it is extrinsically motivated because he is doing the work in order to attain the separable outcome of avoiding sanctions.

Extrinsic Motivation- performing an activity because of something that results from it.

  • doing something because it leads to a separable outcome.

Example 2

  • A person who is extrinsically motivated to write might write in order to make more money. This writer might be very motivated and would possibly spend long hours writing, even if they did not like to write.


Why people seek self knowledge:

  • Looking at this section in the book, I like many others found that I have a need for more self knowledge.
  • There are three main motives for self- knowledge:
  • Appraisal motive- the simple desire to learn the truth about oneself, whatever it is. It consists of a broad, open-minded curiosity, and its main preference is for information that is both important and reliable.
  • Self- enhancement motive- the desire to learn favorable or flattering things about the self.
  • Consistency motive- a desire to get feedback that confirms what the person already believes about himself or herself.

Self Esteem[edit]

Self Esteem- refers to how favourably someone evaluates himself or herself.

  • Those who have very high self-esteem hold very favourable views, they generally consider themselves to be likable, very attractive, competent, and morally good people. (e.g. "I am great").
  • People with low self- esteem regard themselves as ugly, incompetent, unlikable, and morally wicked. (e.g. "i am so- so").

File:Self esteem 1.jpg

Self- Protection[edit]

Self-Protection- trying to avoid loss of esteem.

  • People with generally lower self- esteem tend to avoid failure, embarrassment, rejection and other misfortunes, even if this means not taking chances or pursuing opportunities, people with high self-esteem are opposite, they like to take chances and pursing opportunities because they believe that they can do it.

Quick Quiz[edit]

Question 1 Interpersonal self is known as:

  1. Self- concept
  2. Self- esteem
  3. Agent- self
  4. Public- self

Question 2 _______ emphasises what makes the self different and sets it apart from others.

  1. Interdependent self- construal
  2. Independent self- construal
  3. Self as impulse
  4. Self as institution

Question 3 The simple desire to learn the truth about oneself is called the______ motive.

  1. Extrinsic
  2. Consistency
  3. Appraisal
  4. Self- enhancement

Answers: Question 1:4. Question 2:2. Question 3:3.

Links & Journals[edit]

Links and Journals:

Week 3: Social Thinking[edit]

What is Social Cognition?[edit]

“Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses from the object before us, another part(and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our own mind.” William James

Question: How can someone believe so intensely and then reject those same beliefs, especially without objective events to illuminate the way of the world is?

Answer: is that cognition is linked to the social and cultural world, and so people's beliefs are shaped by those around them.

  • the cognitive biases and errors that people can make.
  • Processes of social cognition, how people think about the events in their lives.

Social Cognition: a movement in social psychology that began in the 1970's, that focused on the thoughts about people and about social relationships.

"People Think about other people more than any other topic"

Cognitive miser- a term used to describe people's reluctance to do much extra thinking.

  • People's capacity to think, even though it is great then most people's animals, is limited, & so people must conserve there thinking.
  • Conscious thinking requires more than automatic thinking.

James Ridley Stroop (1935)[edit]


Stroop Test- a standard measure of effortful control over responses, requiring participants to identify the colour of a word (which may name a different colour).

  • In the stroop test, they found that people have difficulty in overriding the automatic tendency to read the word, rather than name the ink colour, this is known as the Stroop Effect.

Organised packets of information that are stored in memory are known as Knowledge Structures.

  • They are formed when a set of related concepts are frequently bought to mind, or activated.

"Automatic thinking requires little effort because it relies on knowledge structures"

Schemas- knowledge structures that represent substantial information about a concept, its attributes, and its relationships to other concepts.

  • Schemas can be useful, because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting a vast amount of information. However, these mental frameworks also cause us to exclude pertinent information in favor of information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs and ideas.
  • Schemas can contribute to stereotypes and make it difficult to retain new information that does not conform to our established schemas.

Scripts- are knowledge structures that define situations and guide behaviour.

  • are knowledge structures that contain information about how people (or other objects) behave under varying circumstances.
  • Motives, intentions, goals, situations that enable (or inhibit) certain behaviour; & cause sequence of events, as well as the specific behaviours themselves.

Priming- planting or activating an idea in someone's mind. "wakening of associations" William James


Attributions- are the influences people make about events in their lives. There are four types of attributions:

  1. Internal Stable Attributions: involve ability,
  2. Internal Unstable Attributions: involve effort,
  3. External Stable Attributions: difficulty of the task; &
  4. External Unstable Attributions: involve luck.

Covariation principle states that for something to be the cause of a behaviour, it must be present when the behaviour occurs and absent when the behaviour does not occur.

There are three types of covariation information they are:

  1. Consensus
  2. Consistency
  3. Distinctiveness

Attitudes, Beliefs, and Consistency[edit]

"the concept of the attitude is probably the most distintive and indespensible concept in contemporary American social psychology" Gordon W. Allport (1935)

Attitudes and Beliefs

  • Attitudes are global evaluations toward some object or issue. (e.g. whether we like the major of our town,or basketball).
  • Beliefs are pieces of information about something; facts or opinions. (e.g. when you think that a certain person is major).

Different Attitudes[edit]

Dual Attitudes are different evaluations of the same attitude object, implicit versus explicit.

Implicit Attitudes are automatic and non conscious evaluate responses; & Explicit Attitudes are controlled and conscious evaluative responses.

  • Conflicting each other; For example: liking something you consciously don't like.

Erving Goffman- used the term stigma to refer to an attribute that is "deeply discrediting" Stigma refers to an attribute that is perceived by others as broadly negative.

Operant Conditioning[edit]

Operant Conditioning is the term used by B.F. Skinner to describe the effects of the consequences of a particular behavior on the future occurrence of that behavior. There are four types of Operant Conditioning: Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, and Extinction. Both Positive and Negative Reinforcement strengthen behaviour while both Punishment and Extinction weaken behaviour.

Heider's P-O-X Theory[edit]

my friend’s friend is my friend my friend’s enemy is my enemy my enemy’s friend is my enemy my enemy’s enemy is my friend Heider’s Balance Theory (1958)

Heider's P-O-X Theory is the idea that relationships among one person (P), the other person (O), and an attitude object (X) may be either balanced or unbalanced.

  • There is a great journal article in the links section of this chapter (Social Balance Theory:Revisiting Heider’s Balance Theory for many agents).

Cognitive Dissonance Theory the theory that inconsistencies produce psychological discomfort, leading people to rationalise their behaviour or change their attitudes.

  • How people rationalise their behaviour so as to bring their attitudes into line with their actions.

Belief Preseverance the finding that once beliefs form, they are resistant to change, even if the information on which they are based is discredited.

Ronnie Janoff- Bulman- Assumptive Worlds: expresses the view that people live in social worlds based on their assumptions of how things operate.

There are three main types of Assumptions:

  1. The world is benevolent.
  2. The world is fair and just.
  3. I am a good person.

Links & Journals[edit]

Week 4: Aggression[edit]

Aggression and Antisocial Behaviour[edit]


Aggression any behaviour intended to harm another person who is motivated to avoid the harm.

Aggression is:

  1. A behaviour,
  2. Is not an emotion, such as anger,
  3. Is not a thought; &
  4. Is intended to harm.
  • To capture different types of aggression based on different motives, you need to make a distinction between hostile aggression and instrumental aggression.

Hostile Aggression- impulsive, and angry behaviour that is motivated by a desire to harm someone. Instrumental Aggression- premeditated, calculated harmful behaviour that is a means to some practical or material end.

There are also other types of aggression that are both verbal and physical they are called; passive aggression and active aggression.

Antisocial Behaviour is behaviour that either damages interpersonal relationships or is culturally undesirable.

According to social learning theory, aggression is not an innate drive like hunger in search of gratification.

  • People learn all types of behaviours the same way as they always do, by direct experience and also by observing others, this is called modeling.

Modeling is observing and copying or imitating the behaviour of others. (For studies concerning modeling refer to Bandura's studies with children and aggressive behaviour)

Frustration-aggression hypothesis[edit]

  • proposal that "the occurrence of aggressive behaviour always presupposes the existence of frustration" and "the existence of frustration always leads to some form of aggression".

Hostile Cognitive Biases[edit]

  • People are much more likely to behave aggressively when they perceive ambiguous behaviours from others as stemming from hostile intentions that when they perceive the same beahviours as coming from other intentions.

Hostile attribution bias- the tendency to perceive uncertain actions by others as aggressive. Hostile perception bias- the tendency to perceive social interactions in general as being aggressive. Hostile expecation bias- the tendency to assume that people will react to potential conflicts with aggression.

Aggeressive people believe that people;

  1. Assume that when someone does something to hurt or often them, it was deliberately and intentionally designed to hurt them,
  2. View ambiguous acts as aggressive, &
  3. expect others to react aggressively.

Self & Culture[edit]

  • Cultural changes in running amok show that when people believe their aggression is beyond control, they are often mistaken.

Amok is basically like going berserk.


  • Most violent individuals, then to have a higher self-esteem and think that they are better than other people and they have a high opinion of themselves, as opposed to having low self-esteem.
  • There seems to be a lot of studies that point out that poor self-control is an important cause of crime.

Narcissismis the condition of thinking oneself superior or special, feeling entitled to preferential treatment, being willing to exploit others,and having low empathy with "lesser" human beings.

Other types of Antisocial Behaviour[edit]

  • Cheating, littering, stealing and many others are types of anti social behaviour.
  • Deindividuated people are more likely to steal than people who can be readily identified.

Ghosts of Rwanda[edit]

  • Genocide- The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.

File:Ghosts of rwanda.jpg

  • The Rwanda Genocide Began:On April 6th, 1994.
  • The Rwandan President Habyarimana was killed after a still-mysterious missile shoots down his plane.
  • Hutu extremists come and quickly seize control of the Rwandan government.
  • The genocide lasted 100 days, on average, 8,000 Rwandans a day will be butchered.
  • It is the fastest rate of mass killings in the twentieth century.
  • Approximately 800,000 people - roughly 10% of the population - are murdered.
  • 90% of the victims are Tutsis.
  • On July 17th, the killings ceased.By this date, Tutsi RPF forces have captured Kigali.
  • The Hutu government fleed to Zaire, followed by a tide of refugees.
  • The French end their mission in Rwanda and are replaced by Ethiopian U.N. troops and the RPF sets up an interim government in Kigali.
  • Although disease and more killings claim additional lives in the refugee camps, the genocide is over.
  • This was the most touching video I had ever watched, it actually inspired me to look more into the topic, and I chose Genocide as my essay topic.

Links and Journals[edit]

Week 5: Prejudice[edit]

Prejudice and Intergroup Relations[edit]

Prejudice- a negative feeling toward an individual based solely on his or her membership in a particular group.

  • Prejudice illustrates racism.

Racism- prejudiced attitudes toward a particular race.

  • Unequal treatment of different people based on groups or categories to which they belong is called Discrimination.


  • Stereotypes are a form of discrimination.

Stereotypes- are beliefs that associate groups of people with certain traits. Another definition is that stereotypes are generalizations, or assumptions, that people make about the characteristics of all members of a group, based on an image (often wrong) about what people in that group are like. Example, one study of stereotypes revealed that Americans are generally considered to be friendly, generous, and tolerant, but also arrogant, impatient, and domineering. Asians, on the other hand, were expected to be shrewd and alert, but reserved.

  • most stereotypes are negative, and most prejudiced depict outgroups as inferior or as having bad traits.

'There are two types of groups: Outgroups and Ingroups Outgroups are people who belong to different categories and groups than we do (Hip-hop groups, performing arts students etc). Ingroups are people who belong to the same groups as we do, for instance if I belong a basketball sporting group and so do others.

  • A theory called Scapegoat Theory proposes that people blame their problems and misfortunes on outgroups(explained above).

Stigmas are characteristics of individuals that are considered socially unappealing, such as being really over weight, having bad breath, being poor, have a physical defected and more..

Prejudice, Targets & The Impact[edit]

  • The people that are at most targeted by prejudice are homosexuals.
  • People tolerate homosexuality more when when it is some one of the opposite gender.
  • Though most stereotypes carry cultural specific information, many cultures from Europe, the Americas, and African America tend to carry high self esteem, which means that they might have a higher tolerance of stereotypes or racism.
  • The self-fulfilling prophecy effect suggests that people come to act accordance with stereotypes that others have of them.
  • Stereotype threats makes interracial interactions anxiety provoking, people worry about whether those stereotypes will be confirmed by themselves.
  • People have been able to rise above their natural antagonisms and create a society in which different cultures, even if formerly competing, could be able to live in peace and tolerance.
  • People overcome prejudice by making conscious efforts to be fair and equal.

There are two points for overcoming stereotypes,and reducing prejudice:

  1. Internal: The belief that prejudice is morally wrong; &
  2. External: The desire to avoid social disapproval, motivations for avoiding prejudice are not mutually exclusive.

Links & Journals[edit]

Tropp Group Processes Intergroup Relations)

"Mid-Semester Break"[edit]

  • I think everyone knows by now that mid semester break isn't really a break, pretty much its time to start our assessments.
  • My mid semester break included me looking into my essay topic which was on genocide at first, but then eventually got changed to the Need to belong..

Wishing everyone good luck for essays and exams...


Week 10: Relationships[edit]

The Need to Belong[edit]

  • The need to belong is the desire to form and maintain close, lasting relationships with other individuals.
  • The need to belong can provide a point for understanding and explaining this social behaviour and individual desire to satisfy the needs for belongingness.
  • A lacking of this motive (need to belong) would leave people to feel the desire to discontinue their existing partnerships (if they were not up to scratch), as well as, the need not to form social groups, or have someone living with them.
  • This among human beings is a "fundamental human motivation that is something all human beings possess, that is to form and uphold at least a minimum amount of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships"
  • According to Baumeister: The need to belong drives people to affiliate, commit, and remain together, and it makes them reluctant to live alone.

Critera For Satisfying The Need to Belong[edit]

There are two criteria’s involved in satisfying this drive to belong:

  1. First: there is a need for frequent, affectively positive or pleasant interactions with a few other people, that are free from conflict and negative affect, &;
  2. Second: these interactions must take place in the context of a temporary stable and enduring framework of affective concern for each other’s well being, as well as, continuation into the foreseeable future.

The need to belong theory of Baumeister and Leary (1995): suggests that a need to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of interpersonal relationships, is innately prepared (and hence nearly universal) among human beings.

  • That is to say, it is found in various levels in every culture but that the strength and amount varies from individual to individual, and how they gratify and express the need to belong.

Not belonging: The fear of social exclusion and rejection is enough alone to change any individual, many would do the accepted thing to any standard they can, and seek to make more favourable impressions, then to be left alone.


Attraction: anything that draws two or more people together, making them want to be together and possibly to form a lasting relationship. Social Acceptance: a situation in which other people have come to like you, approve of you, and include you in their groups and relationships ( All social animals are in the quest of being socially accepted). Social Exclusion (rejection): being prevented by others from forming or keeping a social bond with them; the opposite of acceptance.

  • What people do actively do for others to like them is called ingratiation.
  • People who are in high self-monitoring seek to maximise each social situation, whereas those low in that trait pay more attention to permanent connections and feeling rather than fluctuating ones.

Self- monitoring is the ability to change one's behaviour for different situations.

  • Being excluded, rejected, and ignored by others is called Ostracism

Rejection Sensitivity is formed as a result of repeated rejection.

Children and Rejection[edit]

There are three main reasons why children are rejected by there peers:

  1. They are withdrawn or socially isolated.
  2. They are aggressive or violent.
  3. They are different from other children in some way.
  • The most general explanations for rejection is deviance.

Close Relationships: Passion, Intimacy, & Sexuality[edit]

What is Love?

  • Passionate love is strong feelings of longing, desire and excitement toward a special person,

In contrast: compassionate love is mutual understanding and caring to make the relationship succeed.

  • Love grows and changes through out the years.

Sternberg's Triangle[edit]


Sternberg proposed that love is composed of three different ingredients:

  1. Passion- feelings of romantic attraction, physical attraction to the other person,and sexual attraction.
  2. Intimacy- feeling close to the other person, understanding your partner.
  3. Commitment- a conscious decision that remains constant.


Attachment Theory: a theory that classifies people into four attachment styles (SECURE, PREOCCUPIED, DISMISSING AVOIDANT and AND FEARFUL AVOIDANT), based on two dimensions (ANXIETY & AVOIDANCE). (for more depth about attachment theory check links)

Self- acceptance- regarding yourself as being a reasonably good person as you are.


Diamond suggests that attachment, love and sex are two separate psychological systems in humans, so love and sex don't always match. Evolutionary Theory emphasises that the sex drive was shaped by natural selection, whereas; Social Exchange Theory views sex as a resource that women have and that men want and are willing to exchange other resources for.

  • Sexual jealousy is found in all cultures and societies, although its forms, rules and expressions may vary from one to another. Sexual possessiveness is deeply rooted in human nature.

Monogamous relationships: long term monogamous matting is much more common among human beings than among other species.


  • An episode on the Tyra Banks Show, which I found related a lot to various topics of Social Psychology, especially toward relationships, need to belong and the way people perceive each other.
  • The episode was about a groups of individuals that where put into a room together, and were basically asked to form a mini society in which they had to give each other labels such as: Town Whore, Mr Reliable, Cheater, etc.. After different phases were played through, they finally got to the church, in which they had to marry.
  • This it where it became interesting, because they spend 30mins labeling each other and stating why they we not desirable mates and where still single. They came to where they had to ask a member to get married or risk being alone. This really hit the topic of need to belong as none of the contestants wanted to be alone... Check out the link for sneak previews and behind the scenes footage.

Links & Journals[edit]

  • Social Psychology & Human Nature: Baumeister & Bushman: Two dimensions of Attachment? (Page 368).
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The Need to Belong: Desire for Interpersonal Attachments as a Fundamental Human Motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497- 529.
  • Brown, L. H., Kwapil, T. R., Myin- Gremeys, I., & Silvia, P. J. (2007). When the Need to

Belong goes Wrong: The Expression of Social Anhedonia and Social Anxiety in Daily Life. Psychological Science, 18, 778- 782.

(For more links on the need to belong; feel free to check out my references on my essay as soon as it is up).

Week 11: Groups[edit]

What Groups Are & Do[edit]


Group a collection of at least two people who are doing or being something together.

  • Conflicts between groups helps solidify feelings of belonging to a group.

In human evolution, a tendency to form groups may have been beneficial because:

  • Group members can help each other find food.
  • There is safety in numbers.
  • Groups can accomplish tasks that would be too difficult for lone individuals.

Cultural groups preserve information and pass it along to future generations, they can use information as well as reason from experience to organise themselves. Groups benefit from role differentiation and division of labour.

Deindividuation the loss of self- awareness and of individual accountability in a group.

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible" Stanislaus Lezczynski, King of Poland.

A vital and distinctive feature of human groups is that many of them are made up of many distinct, well-defined, individual roles.

Optimal Distinctiveness Theory preposition that when people feel very similar to others in a group, theyseek a way to be different, and when they feel different, they try to be more similar. Identifying people in groups and holding them accountable for their actions produces better outcomes.

  • People are flexible enough to take on (& occasionally drop) roles.

Zajonc's Theory of Social Facilitation states that the presence of others increases arousal, which increases the dominant response tendency. The presence of others can make people perform better, especially on easy and familiar tasks.

Narcissists are individuals who regard themselves as better than others and are constantly trying to win the admiration of others.

Group Think refers to the tendency of group members to think alike. It is most likely when:

  1. is similar and cohesive,
  2. Is isolated from other ideas,
  3. Has High self esteem.

It is also marked by these symptoms:

  • An appearance of unanimous agreement,
  • An illusion of invulnerability,
  • Pressure to conformity,&
  • A sense of moral superiority.

Power & Leadership[edit]


  • Typically most larger groups have a hierarchy of power compared to smaller groups.

What makes a successful leader?

  • Someone who is humble, has integrity, decisiveness, competence, vision and is extremely persistent.

What does Power refer to?

  • It refers to one's person control over another person's outcomes and behaviour.

Power has % crucial effects on the Powerful:

  1. It alters attention to rewards and punishments,
  2. It changes the relationships between people,
  3. It makes people rely more on automatic processing,&,
  4. It removes inhibitions against taking actions.

Links & Journals[edit]

Week 12: Prosocial[edit]

Prosocial Behaviour is about doing good for others and society; it builds relationships and allows society to function.

There are all types of forms of Prosocial Behaviour:

  • Obeying Rules,
  • Conforming to norms,
  • Co-operating, and,
  • Helping.

What promotes prosocial behaviour? Public circumstances; people behave better when others are watching and know who they are.

Reciprocity- is the obligation to return in kind what another has done for us.

Equity- means that each person receives benefits in proportion to what he/she did.

  • Equality is that everyone gets the same amount regardless of performance.
  • The tragedy of the commons suggests that people overuse common resources to the point of depleting and destroying them.
  • Communication is said to improve the chances of cooperation, and forgiveness helps repair relationships and provides health benefits to both the forgiver and the forgiven person.

Milgram's Shock Experiments- the majority of participants delieved extreme shocks to a screaming victim in obediance to an authority figure. (I think we all remember this experiment from PSYCH 102 & later).


  • Ps recruited for a study on learning, one person is the teacher, the other is the learner, it was rigged so that Mr. Wallace is learner.
  • The procedure was that the teacher shocks learner for mistakes, they were told by the authority figure to do so, the Shocks ↑ in 15 V increments to 450(XXX)
  • They were trying to see how far will participant go, when told by a authority figure to do so.
  • Check out Slide Show:

What does Conformity mean?

  • Conformity means going along with the crowd and that it can be either a negative or positive thing.
  • Conformity can be a prosocial behaviour, as well as, obedience (following orders from an authority figure). As it can be made easier to get along with others and for society to function.

The Evolutionary Theory of Kin Selection

  • it suggests that we prefer to help others who are related to us.
  • helping is motivated by empathy (emotional response that corresponds to the feelings of the other person, because it motivates people to reduce others' distress).

  • People get pleasure from helping others, it is said that males tend to help strangers more than do females. Though females are more helpful towards immediate family as well as volunteering.

Links & Journals[edit]

Week 13: Environmental[edit]


"Environmental psychology studies the interactions and relations between people and their environments."

Environmental psychology is also known as:

  • environmental social sciences, environmental sociology,architectural psychology, socio-architecture, ecological psychology, behavioural geography and many more.
  • Environmental Psychology evolved from social psychology and branched out into its own form & theories.

Negative Environmental Influences:

  1. Human spatial behavior,
  2. Environmental stressors, Environmental risks,& Environmental design,
  3. Complex relations between physical stressors and people's mental and emotional adjustment to it.

Density and Crowding

Density- the number of people per space & Crowding- Subjective positive experiences due to density.

Environmental Risks: Risk perception studies, For example: Diseases, pollution, accidents, terrorism and many others.

“We shape our buildings and our buildings shape us”- Churchill

Biophilia Hypothesis[edit]

  • Humans have an instinctive affinity with life-like processes i.e., nature, due to our evolutionary history.- Edward Wilson.
  • Proposition: Human beings have a genetic predisposition towards “life-like” or “nature” processes.
  • Humans evolved as creatures deeply enmeshed with the intricacies of nature, and that we still have this affinity with nature ingrained in our genotype.

Nature-Deficit Disorder

  • Children are spending less time outdoors, resulting in behavioural problems,
  • (e.g., ADHD),exacerbated by parental fears, restricted access to nature, and technology. Richard Louv.
  • Video link on NDD:

Environmental Concerns

  • "Pro environmental attitudes, beliefs and values about the relationship between humans and the natural environment.
  • Considers the environment as valuable in its own right and as worthy of protection, care, and preservation by humans.
  • The top of social concern is: Environmental protection. The impacts of human population and consumption on the environment (e.g. Water, energy resources,and trees.


  • Actions do not necessarily follow attitudes.Need awareness of serious personal consequences or strong pro-conservation personal norm.
  • Prompts are more successful if they are:
  1. administered close to the point of


  1. polite (rather than demanding),
  2. request a response that is easy to

perform.(Geller, 1981)

  • They use the art of persuasion to socially influence and remove obstacles, as well as, avoiding social traps (e.g.logging industry vs. green's) to increase desired environmental behaviours.

Environmental Impact[edit]

I = P x A x T

  • I = Impact on the environment,
  • P = The population,
  • A = Consumption per person(affluence), and,
  • T = environmental effect of particular technologies that support the level of affluence.

(From environmental readings)

Psychology & The Future[edit]

Many psychologists work for environmental management agencies, planning authorities, government bodies, advise on psychological and social considerations and issues, including measurement and assessment of:

  • community attitudes, values and concerns,
  • the relative effectiveness of differing communication and behaviour change strategies,
  • ‘the people side’ & the planning & design of sustainable human settings & natural environment based services.

Links & Journals[edit]

Tutorial Review[edit]

Tutorial 1: Introduction[edit]

Covered information about what to expect this semester for social psychology unit.

  • Looked at our assessment:


  • Learning journal- ideas, thoughts and feelings.
  • Can be links to sites you have read.
  • Can write in Bullet points.
  • Can base on the 10 topics: 200- 300words.

66% Depth/Insight fullness. 33% Regularity.


  • Open Book,
  • Questions from textbook + website, related to lectures and tutorials.
  • Name tags everyone.

Tutorial questions about social psychology:

  1. Definition of Social Psychology.
  2. What you know?
  3. What you don’t know?
  • The tutorial room was cleared out so that we could have a chance at a greetings exercise. This exercise was designed as sort of an icebreaker for students. The tutor gave us a characteristic, students had to form groups based on each of the characteristics given out.

They ranged from:

  • Our country of birth,
  • Where about we live,
  • Eye colour,
  • What our political preference was,
  • How many siblings we have,
  • Our relationship status, and many more.

Tutorial 2: Communication[edit]

We were exploring interpersonal communication models as well as participated in some communication exercises. Some of the Questions we went through:

What levels of communication are there? Looking at:

  • Opinions, ideas, judgements, feeling and emotions.
  • Affects, group communication (cliques), Different types of greetings and social connection.
  • Some examples of communication,
  • What level of cognition is required for the different stages?
  • Verbal and non verbal types of communication.

Different types of Communication

  • Body language- The gestures, postures, and facial expressions by which a person manifests various physical, mental, or emotional states and communicates non verbally with others. Where asked to pair up with someone and stand;uncomfortably too far apart for a conversation, stand just perfect for a conversation, and to awkwardly close for a conversation.Whether those distance differed from person to person.

Shannon and Weaver Model

Levels of problems in the analysis of communication: 3 levels of problems of communication:

  1. The technical problem: how accurately can the message be transmitted?
  2. The semantic problem: how precisely is the meaning 'conveyed'?
  3. The effectiveness problem: how effectively does the received meaning affect behaviour?

Just thought I'd list some strengths & advantages of SWM:

  • simplicity,
  • generality, and
  • quantifiability.

Transmission Model Of Communication: Its important since it underlies the 'common-sense' understanding of what communication is. But the more i looked into it the more disadvantages it had..

Grouped up again to form more trusting partnerships for basis's of communication.

Tutorial 3: Prejudice[edit]


The requirement of this tutorial was to make sure we were at the lecture to watch Ghosts of Rwanda so that we could compare it with Australian Eye (aboriginal- blue eyed brown eyed experiment (Jane Elliot).

  • Just to write notes on key things we found in the film.
  • People with the brown eyes were given all the power,and,
  • Those with blue eyes are: discriminated against and felt inferior.
  • Ghosts of Rwanda: Includes summary of what I got from the video as well as links to watch parts online. Link: User:Kristina#Ghosts_of_Rwanda
  • Brainstorming of examples and ideas from movies (key words).

Tutorial 4: Cross-cultural Training[edit]

Looking at the meaning of all the students names and sharing them with others.

Looked at:

  • First Name,
  • Middle Name,
  • Last Name,
  • Nick Names, and,
  • Any other names..
  • If names had any meanings, why they might have been chosen and where we were from culturally linking to our names.
  • How our names do in everyday life, with different people, difficulty. etc...
  • Followed by a presentation of what we had found out.
  • Looking at culture as a whole;adaption,mapping etc.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of cultural mapping.

Tutorial 5 Australian Zeitgeist[edit]

Looking at some socio-psychological terms:

  • Social capital,
  • Social disengagement, and,
  • Zeitgeist- refers to the ethos of an identified group of people, that expresses a particular world view which is prevalent at a particular period of socio-cultural progression.
  • What each of the terms meant?
  • Whether there were risks?
  • Social disengagement:CD listening.