Social psychology is the scientific discipline that attempts to understand & explain how the thought, feeling, & behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.
Ψ Social psychology: A broad field whose goals are to understand & explain how our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, & behaviors are influenced by interactions with others. It includes the study of stereotypes, prejudices, attitudes, conformity, group behaviors, & aggression.
Ψ Person perception refers to seeing someone & then forming impressions & making judgments about that personís likeability & the kind of person he or she is, such as guessing his or her intentions, traits, & behaviors.
Ψ The following four things influence your judgment of others:
• Physical appearance: initial impressions & judgments of a person are heavily influenced & biased by a personís physical appearance.
• Need to explain: explain why a person looks, dresses, or behaves in a certain way.
• Influence on behavior: first impressions will influence how you would like or interact with a person.
• Effects of race: members of one race generally recognize faces of other races.
Ψ Physical appearance: Attractiveness - for better or for worse, a personís looks matter, since people who are judged to be more physically attractive, generally make more favorable impressions.
Ψ Stereotypes are widely held beliefs that people have certain traits because they belong to a particular group, they are often inaccurate & frequently portray the members of less powerful, less controlling groups, more negatively, than members of more powerful or controlling groups.
Ψ Schemas are mental categories that, like computer files, contain knowledge about people, events, & concepts.
Four Kinds of schemas:
Person schemas include our judgments about the traits that we & others possess.
Role schemas based on the jobs people perform or the social positions they hold.
Event schemas, also called scripts, contain behaviors that we associate with familiar
activities, events, or procedures.
Self-schemas contain personal information about ourselves, & this information.
influences, modifies, & distorts what we perceive & remember & how we believe.
Schemas - disadvantages
• Schemas may restrict, bias, or distort what we attend to & remember & thus
cause us to overlook important information.
• Schemas are highly resistant to change because we generally select & attend
to information that supports our schemas and deny any information that is
inconsistent with them.
Schemas - advantages
• contain information about how people think & behave.
• help people analyze & respond appropriately in a particular social situation.
• provide guidelines for how to behave in various social events (event schemas).
& help us explain the social behavior of others (role schemas).