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(solution) Prepare at minimum a 1,800 word paper (no maximum) in which you

Prepare at minimum a 1,800 word paper (no maximum) in which you examine the discipline of social psychology. As a part of your examination, be sure to address the following items:

  • Define social psychology.
  • Discuss how social psychology differs from other related disciplines (e.g., clinical psychology, general psychology, sociology).
  • Explain the role of research in social psychology.
  • Choose one of the major famous experiments in Social Psychology's history and explain the relevance of it to social psychology (choose from: Milgram, Zimbardo, Asch, Sherif)
  • Choose a subfield of social psychology research and find recent research in the field and explain the importance of that research - it should be peer reviewed (from the library)
  • Any assignment that has more than 15% of the paper quoted (properly or improperly) will be subject to a point deduction.

    • You must use the textbook as part of your paper (files attached)
    • You must use exclusive peer reviewed research - no old textbooks, no websites, no encyclopedias, no dictionaries.  Using these resources will result in failing grades.
  • The proper use of APA formatting will be required 

Introducing Social Psychology


Chapter ? 1












? What is social psychology?


Social psychology?s big ideas


Social psychology and human values


I knew it all along: Is social psychology simply common




Research methods: How we do social psychology


Postscript: Why I wrote this book


There once was a man whose second wife was a vain and


selfish woman. This woman?s two daughters were similarly


vain and selfish. The man?s own daughter, however, was


meek and unselfish. This sweet, kind daughter, whom we all


know as Cinderella, learned early on that she should do as


she was told, accept ill treatment and insults, and avoid


doing anything to upstage her stepsisters and their mother.


But then, thanks to her fairy godmother, Cinderella was able


to escape her situation for an evening and attend a grand


ball, where she attracted the attention of a handsome prince.


When the love-struck prince later encountered Cinderella


back in her degrading home, he failed to recognize her.


Implausible? The folktale demands that we accept the power


of the situation. In the presence of her oppressive


stepmother, Cinderella was humble and unattractive. At the


ball, Cinderella felt more beautiful?and walked and talked


and smiled as if she were. In one situation, she cowered. In


the other, she charmed.


The French philosopher-novelist Jean-Paul Sartre (1946)


would have had no problem accepting the Cinderella


premise. We humans are ?first of all beings in a situation,? he


wrote. ?We cannot be distinguished from our situations, for


they form us and decide our possibilities? (pp. 59?60, paraphrased). What Is Social Psychology?


Social psychology is a science that studies the influences


of our situations, with special attention to how we view and


affect one another. More precisely, it is the scientific study of


how people think about, influence, and relate to one another


(Figure 1.1).


Figure 1.1 Social Psychology Is . . . Social psychology lies at psychology?s boundary with


sociology. Compared with sociology (the study of people in


groups and societies), social psychology focuses more on


individuals and uses more experimentation. Compared with


personality psychology, social psychology focuses less on


individuals? differences and more on how individuals, in


general, view and affect one another.


Social psychology is still a young science. The first social


psychology experiments were reported barely more than a ? ? century ago (1898), and the first social psychology texts did


not appear until just before and after 1900 (Smith, 2005). Not


until the 1930s did social psychology assume its current


form. And not until World War II did it begin to emerge as the


vibrant field it is today.


Throughout this book, sources for information are cited


parenthetically. The complete source is provided in the


reference section that begins on page R-1.


Social psychology studies our thinking, influence, and


relationships by asking questions that have intrigued us all.


Here are some examples:


How Much of Our Social World Is Just in Our Heads? As


we will see in later chapters, our social behavior varies not


just with the objective situation but also with how we


construe it. Social beliefs can be self-fulfilling. For example,


happily married people will attribute their spouse?s acid


remark (?Can?t you ever put that where it belongs??) to


something external (?He must have had a frustrating day?).


Unhappily married people will attribute the same remark to a


mean disposition (?Is he ever hostile!?) and may respond


with a counterattack. Moreover, expecting hostility from their


spouse, they may behave resentfully, thereby eliciting the


hostility they expect.


Would People Be Cruel If Ordered? How did Nazi


Germany conceive and implement the unconscionable


slaughter of 6 million Jews? Those evil acts occurred partly


because thousands of people followed orders. They put the


prisoners on trains, herded them into crowded ?showers,?


and poisoned them with gas. How could people engage in


such horrific actions? Were those individuals normal human


beings? Stanley Milgram (1974) wondered. So he set up a


situation where people were ordered to administer


increasing levels of electric shock to someone who was


having difficulty learning a series of words. As we will see in


Chapter 6, nearly two-thirds of the participants fully ? complied.


To Help? Or to Help Oneself? As bags of cash tumbled


from an armored truck one fall day, $2 million was scattered


along a Columbus, Ohio, street. Some motorists stopped to


help, returning $100,000. Judging from the $1,900,000 that


disappeared, many more stopped to help themselves. (What


would you have done?) When similar incidents occurred


several months later in San Francisco and Toronto, the


results were the same: Passersby grabbed most of the


money (Bowen, 1988). What situations trigger people to be


helpful or greedy? Do some cultural contexts?perhaps


villages and small towns?breed greater helpfulness? Tired of looking at the stars, Professor Mueller takes up social psychology.


Reprinted with permission of Jason Love at A common thread runs through these questions: They all


deal with how people view and affect one another. And that


is what social psychology is all about. Social psychologists


study attitudes and beliefs, conformity and independence,


love and hate. Social Psychology?s Big Ideas


What are social psychology?s big lessons?its overarching


themes? In many academic fields, the results of tens of


thousands of studies, the conclusions of thousands of


investigators, and the insights of hundreds of theorists can be boiled down to a few central ideas. Biology offers us


principles such as natural selection and adaptation.


Sociology builds on concepts such as social structure and


organization. Music harnesses our ideas of rhythm, melody,


and harmony.


What concepts are on social psychology?s short list of big


ideas? What themes, or fundamental principles, will be worth


remembering long after you have forgotten most of the


details? My short list of ?great ideas we ought never to


forget? includes these, each of which we will explore further


in chapters to come (Figure 1.2).


Figure 1.2 Some Big Ideas in Social Psychology We Construct Our Social Reality


We humans have an irresistible urge to explain behavior, to


attribute it to some cause, and therefore to make it seem


orderly, predictable, and controllable. You and I may react


differently to similar situations because we think differently.


How we react to a friend?s insult depends on whether we


attribute it to hostility or to a bad day.


A 1951 Princeton-Dartmouth football game provided a


classic demonstration of how we construct reality (Hastorf &


Cantril, 1954; see also Loy & Andrews, 1981). The game


lived up to its billing as a grudge match; it turned out to be


one of the roughest and dirtiest games in the history of either


school. A Princeton All-American was gang-tackled, piled on,


and finally forced out of the game with a broken nose.


Fistfights erupted, and there were further injuries on both


sides. The whole performance hardly fit the Ivy League


image of upper-class gentility.


Not long afterward, two psychologists, one from each school,


showed films of the game to students on each campus. The


students played the role of scientist-observer, noting each


infraction as they watched and who was responsible for it.


But they could not set aside their loyalties. The Princeton


students, for example, saw twice as many Dartmouth


violations as the Dartmouth students saw. The conclusion:


There is an objective reality out there, but we always view it


through the lens of our beliefs and values.


We are all intuitive scientists. We explain people?s behavior,


usually with enough speed and accuracy to suit our daily


needs. When someone?s behavior is consistent and


distinctive, we attribute that behavior to his or her


personality. For example, if you observe someone who


makes repeated snide comments, you may infer that this


person has a nasty disposition, and then you might try to


avoid the person. Our beliefs about ourselves also matter. Do we have an


optimistic outlook? Do we see ourselves as in control of


things? Do we view ourselves as relatively superior or


inferior? Our answers influence our emotions and actions.


How we construe the world, and ourselves, matters. Our Social Intuitions Are Often Powerful but


Sometimes Perilous


Our instant intuitions shape our fears (is flying dangerous?),


impressions (can I trust him?), and relationships (does she


like me?). Intuitions influence presidents in times of crisis,


gamblers at the table, jurors assessing guilt, and personnel


directors screening applicants. Such intuitions are




Indeed, psychological science reveals a fascinating


unconscious mind?an intuitive backstage mind?that Freud


never told us about. More than psychologists realized until


recently, thinking occurs offstage, out of sight. Our intuitive


capacities are revealed by studies of what later chapters will


explain: ?automatic processing,? ?implicit memory,?


?heuristics,? ?spontaneous trait inference,? instant emotions,


and nonverbal communication. Thinking, memory, and


attitudes all operate on two levels?one conscious and


deliberate, the other unconscious and automatic. ?Dual


processing,? today?s researchers call it. We know more than


we know we know.


Intuition is huge, but intuition is also perilous. An example:


As we cruise through life, mostly on automatic pilot, we


intuitively judge the likelihood of things by how easily various


instances come to mind. Especially since September 11,


2001, we carry readily available mental images of plane


crashes. Thus, most people fear flying more than driving,


and many will drive great distances to avoid risking the


skies. Actually, we?re many times safer (per mile traveled) in


a commercial plane than in a motor vehicle (in the United States, air travel was 230 times safer between 2002 and


2005, reports the National Safety Council [2008]). Social cognition matters. Our behavior is influenced not just by the


objective situation, but also by how we construe it.


© The New Yorker Collection, 2005, Lee Lorenz, from


All Rights Reserved. Even our intuitions about ourselves often err. We intuitively


trust our memories more than we should. We misread our


own minds; in experiments, we deny being affected by things


that do influence us. We mispredict our own feelings?how


bad we?ll feel a year from now if we lose our job or our


romance breaks up, and how good we?ll feel a year from


now, or even a week from now, if we win our state?s lottery.


And we often mispredict our own future. For example, when


selecting clothes, people approaching middle age will still


buy snug (?I anticipate shedding a few pounds?); rarely does


anyone say, more realistically, ?I?d better buy a relatively


loose fit; people my age tend to put on pounds.?


Our social intuitions, then, are noteworthy for both their


powers and their perils. By reminding us of intuition?s gifts


and alerting us to its pitfalls, social psychologists aim to


fortify our thinking. In most situations, ?fast and frugal? snap


judgments serve us well enough. But in others, where accuracy matters?as when needing to fear the right things


and spend our resources accordingly?we had best restrain


our impulsive intuitions with critical thinking. Our intuitions


and unconscious information processing are routinely


powerful and sometimes perilous. Social Influences Shape Our Behavior


We are, as Aristotle long ago observed, social animals. We


speak and think in words we learned from others. We long to


connect, to belong, and to be well thought of. Matthias Mehl


and James Pennebaker (2003) quantified their University of


Texas students? social behavior by inviting them to wear


microcassette recorders and microphones. Once every 12


minutes during their waking hours, the computer-operated


recorder would imperceptibly record for 30 seconds.


Although the observation period covered only weekdays


(including class time), almost 30 percent of the students?


time was spent in conversation. Relationships are a large


part of being human.


As social creatures, we respond to our immediate contexts.


Sometimes the power of a social situation leads us to act


contrary to our expressed attitudes. Indeed, powerfully evil


situations sometimes overwhelm good intentions, inducing


people to agree with falsehoods or comply with cruelty.


Under Nazi influence, many decent-seeming people became


instruments of the Holocaust. Other situations may elicit


great generosity and compassion. After the 9/11 catastrophe,


New York City was overwhelmed with donations of food,


clothing, and help from eager volunteers.


The power of the situation was also dramatically evident in


varying attitudes toward the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Opinion


polls revealed that Americans and Israelis overwhelmingly


favored the war. Their distant cousins elsewhere in the world


overwhelmingly opposed it. Tell me where you live and I?ll


make a reasonable guess as to what your attitudes were as ?


? ?


? the war began. Tell me your educational level and what


media you watch and read, and I?ll make an even more


confident guess. Our situations matter.


Our cultures help define our situations. For example, our


standards regarding promptness, frankness, and clothing


vary with our culture.


Whether you prefer a slim or voluptuous body depends on


when and where in the world you live.


Whether you define social justice as equality (all receive the


same) or as equity (those who earn more receive more)


depends on whether your ideology has been shaped more


by socialism or by capitalism.


Whether you tend to be expressive or reserved, casual or


formal, hinges partly on your culture and your ethnicity.


Whether you focus primarily on yourself?your personal


needs, desires, and morality?or on your family, clan, and


communal groups depends on how much you are a product


of modern Western individualism.


Social psychologist Hazel Markus (2005) sums it up: ?People


are, above all, malleable.? Said differently, we adapt to our


social context. Our attitudes and behavior are shaped by


external social forces. Personal Attitudes and Dispositions Also


Shape Behavior


Internal forces also matter. We are not passive


tumbleweeds, merely blown this way and that by the social


winds. Our inner attitudes affect our behavior. Our political


attitudes influence our voting behavior. Our smoking


attitudes influence our susceptibility to peer pressures to


smoke. Our attitudes toward the poor influence our


willingness to help them. (As we will see, our attitudes also


follow our behavior, which leads us to believe strongly in


those things we have committed ourselves to or suffered for.)


Personality dispositions also affect behavior. Facing the same situation, different people may react differently.


Emerging from years of political imprisonment, one person


exudes bitterness and seeks revenge. Another, such as


South Africa?s Nelson Mandela, seeks reconciliation and


unity with his former enemies. Attitudes and personality


influence behavior. Social Behavior Is Biologically Rooted


Twenty-first-century social psychology is providing us with


ever-growing insights into our behavior?s biological


foundations. Many of our social behaviors reflect a deep


biological wisdom.


Everyone who has taken introductory psychology has


learned that nature and nurture together form who we are.


As the area of a rectangle is determined by both its length


and its width, so do biology and experience together create


us. As evolutionary psychologists remind us (see Chapter


5), our inherited human nature predisposes us to behave in


ways that helped our ancestors survive and reproduce. We


carry the genes of those whose traits enabled them and their


children to survive and reproduce. Thus, evolutionary


psychologists ask how natural selection might predispose


our actions and reactions when dating and mating, hating


and hurting, caring and sharing. Nature also endows us with


an enormous capacity to learn and to adapt to varied


environments. We are sensitive and responsive to our social




If every psychological event (every thought, every emotion,


every behavior) is simultaneously a biological event, then we


can also examine the neurobiology that underlies social


behavior. What brain areas enable our experiences of love


and contempt, helping and aggression, perception and


belief? How do brain, mind, and behavior function together


as one coordinated system? What does the timing of brain


events reveal about how we process information? Such questions are asked by those in social neuroscience


(Cacioppo & others, 2007).


Social neuroscientists do not reduce complex social


behaviors, such as helping and hurting, to simple neural or


molecular mechanisms. Their point is this: To understand


social behavior, we must consider both under-the-skin


(biological) and between-skins (social) influences. Mind and


body are one grand system. Stress hormones affect how we


feel and act. Social ostracism elevates blood pressure.


Social support strengthens the disease-fighting immune


system. We are bio-psycho-social organisms. We reflect


the interplay of our biological, psychological, and social


influences. And that is why today?s psychologists study


behavior from these different levels of analysis. Social Psychology?s Principles Are Applicable


in Everyday Life


Social psychology has the potential to illuminate your life, to


make visible the subtle influences that guide your thinking


and acting. And, as we will see, it offers many ideas about


how to know ourselves better, how to win friends and


influence people, how to transform closed fists into open




Scholars are also applying social psychological insights.


Principles of social thinking, social influence, and social


relations have implications for human health and well-being,


for judicial procedures and juror decisions in courtrooms,


and for influencing behaviors that will enable an


environmentally sustainable human future.


As but one perspective on human existence, psychological


science does not seek to engage life?s ultimate questions:


What is the meaning of human life? What should be our


purpose? What is our ultimate destiny? But social


psychology does give us a method for asking and answering


some exceedingly interesting and important questions. ?






? Social psychology is all about life?your life: your beliefs,


your attitudes, your relationships.


The rest of this chapter takes us inside social psychology.


Let?s first consider how social psychologists? own values


influence their work in obvious and subtle ways. And then


let?s focus on this chapter?s biggest task: glimpsing how we


do social psychology. How do social psychologists search for


explanations of social thinking, social influence, and social


relations? And how might you and I use these analytical


tools to think smarter?


Throughout this book, a brief summary will conclude each


major section. I hope these summaries will help you assess


how well you have learned the material in each section.


Summing Up: Social Psychology?s Big Ideas


Social psychology is the scientific study of how people think


about, influence, and relate to one another. Its central


themes include the following:


How we construe our social worlds


How our social intuitions guide and sometimes deceive us


How our social behavior is shaped by other people, by our


attitudes and personalities, and by our biology


How social psychology?s principles apply to our everyday


lives and to various other fields of study Social Psychology and Human




Social psychologists? values penetrate their work in ways


both obvious and subtle. What are such ways?


Social psychology is less a collection of findings than a set of


strategies for answering questions. In science, as in courts


of law, personal opinions are inadmissible. When ideas are


put on trial, evidence determines the verdict.


But are social psychologists really that objective? Because


they are human beings, don?t their values?their personal


convictions about what is desirable and how people ought to behave?seep into their work? If so, can social psychology


really be scientific? Obvious Ways Values Enter Psychology


Values enter the picture when social psychologists choose


research topics. It was no accident that the study of


prejudice flourished during the 1940s as fascism raged in


Europe; that the 1950s, a time of look-alike fashions and


intolerance of differing views, gave us studies of conformity;


that the 1960s saw interest in aggression increase with riots


and rising crime rates; that the feminist movement of the


1970s helped stimulate a wave of research on gender and


sexism; that the 1980s offered a resurgence of attention to


psychological aspects of the arms race; and that the 1990s


and the early twenty-first century were marked by


heightened interest in how people respond to diversity in


culture, race, and sexual orientation. Social psychology


reflects social history (Kagan, 2009).


Values differ not only across time but also across cultures. In


Europe, people take pride in their nationalities. The Scots


are more self-consciously distinct from the English, and the


Austrians from the Germans, than are similarly adjacent


Michiganders from Ohioans. Consequently, Europe has


given us a major theory of ?social identity,? whereas


American social psychologists have focused more on


individuals?how one person thinks about others, is


influenced by them, and relates to them (Fiske, 2004; Tajfel,


1981; Turner, 1984). Australian social psychologists have


drawn theories and methods from both Europe and North


America (Feather, 2005).


Values also influence the types of people who are attracted


to various disciplines (Campbell, 1975a; Moynihan, 1979). At


your school, do the students majoring in the humanities, the


arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences differ


noticeably from one another? Do social psychology and sociology attract people who are?for example?relatively


eager to challenge tradition, people more inclined to shape


the future than preserve the past? Different sciences offer different perspectives. Finally, values obviously enter the picture as the object of


social-psychological analysis. Social psychologists


investigate how values form, why they change, and how they


influence attitudes and actions. None of that, however, tells


us which values are ?right.? Not-So-Obvious Ways Values Enter Psychology


We less often recognize the subtler ways in which value


commitments masquerade as objective truth. Consider three


not-so-obvious ways values enter psychology.


The Subjective Aspects of Science


Scientists and philosophers now agree: Science is not purely


objective. Scientists do not simply read the book of nature.


Rather, they interpret nature, using their own mental


categories. In our daily lives, too, we view the world through


the lens of our preconceptions. Pause a moment: What do


you see in Figure 1.3? Can you see a Dalmatian sniffing the


ground at the picture?s center? Without that preconception,


most people are blind to the Dalmatian. Once your mind


grasps the concept, it informs your interpretation of the


picture?so much so that it becomes difficult not to see the




Figure 1.3 What Do You See? R. C. James ?Science does not simply


describe and explain nature;


it is part of the interplay


between nature and


ourselves; it describes


nature as exposed to our


method of questioning.?






PHILOSOPHY, 1958 This is the way our minds work. While reading these words,


you have been unaware that you are also looking at your


nose. Your mind blocks from awareness something that is


there, if only you were predisposed to perceive it. This


tendency to prejudge reality based on our expectations is a


basic fact about the human mind.


Because scholars at work in any given area often share a


common viewpoint or come from the same culture, their


assumptions may go unchallenged. What we take for


granted?the shared beliefs that some European social


psychologists call our social representations (Augoustinos


& Innes, 1990; Moscovici, 1988, 2001)?are often our most


important yet most unexamined convictions. Sometimes,


however, someone from outside the camp will call attention


to those assumptions. During the 1980s feminists and


Marxists exposed some of social psychology?s unexamined


assumptions. Feminist critics called attention to subtle


biases?for example, the political conservatism of some


scientists who favored a biological interpretation of gender ? differences in social behavior (Unger, 1985). Marxist critics


called attention to competitive, individualist biases?for


example, the assumption that conformity is bad and that


individual rewards are good. Marxists and feminists, of


course, make their own assumptions, as critics of academic


?political correctness? are fond of noting. Social psychologist




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