Ch 10: Social Psychology

About This Chapter

You probably don't live in a bubble isolated from the outside world. Every day, you're exposed to the attitudes, opinions and ideas of other people. Learn how these influences sway your perceptions and behaviors.

About This Chapter

Consider how the opinions of your family and friends influence your attitudes and preferences. Do you agree with things in order to go along with the group majority? Watch Intro to Social Psychology to understand how our social groups influence our attitudes and, in turn, how our behaviors impact others.

You might think that stereotypes are always bad. Some are, but they also perform important cognitive functions. Find out how stereotypes can function as a way to quickly interpret and react to the world.

The next video lesson isn't about how to have 'attitude.' It's a look at psychological attitudes, or long-held beliefs - how they're formed and how they can be changed.

Why do we like certain people? How do we know when someone is 'the one'? These are questions that people wonder about every day, so it comes as no surprise that psychologists have tried to answer them. Play this lesson to find out about the rules of attraction.

When something happens, whose fault is it? The lesson on attribution covers how we understand cause and effect. Sometimes things really are out of our control, while other times we'd just like to think so.

Often, getting things done comes down to convincing others to support us on a course of action. How is this best done? What are effective means of persuasion? We'll reveal how to outsmart the next salesperson you meet.

Humans are social animals. Even if it goes against our own beliefs, sometimes we make choices that help us get along with others. This lesson helps explain why we sometimes choose conformity and other times choose to stand out from the crowd.

Any society depends on people being able to perform their jobs. But how do we rely on people to do what they are told? Studies on obedience and authority seek to understand the choices people make about what they're asked to do. We've included some footage of an actual experiment so you can see for yourself.

Is a group made up of individuals, or does it take on the character of a mob? Groups seem to 'think' differently from individuals. Watch this video to find out the dangers of group behavior.

Are you aggressive? Or are you assertive? What's the difference? Aggression is important area of study for psychologists. Understanding what aggression is will give you insight into your nature as a human being.

Another important area of research in social psychology is altruism. These studies seek to answer the question, 'Why do we choose to do things that might not seem to be in our own self-interest?' Is it because it feels good to help others? Watch the lesson and find out.

11 Lessons in Chapter 10: Social Psychology
Intro to Social Psychology

1. Intro to Social Psychology

What is social psychology and how is it used? This lesson offers an introduction to the social influences, as well as the group and individual behaviors, covered by this field.


2. Stereotypes

Stereotyping is something we do daily, even if we don't realize it. By classifying groups of people, we can better understand the world around us, although prejudice may be a result. In this lesson, we'll watch Amy categorize strangers she sees on a bus and determine the reasons why humans tend to stereotype.


3. Attitudes

Have you ever wondered how your attitudes are formed and how they affect your behavior? In this lesson, we'll take a look at some of the internal and external factors that form our attitudes and how our behavior can be affected or changed by various influences.


4. Attraction

What makes people attractive? In this lesson, you'll start with physical attributes and look beyond to other factors that determine attraction. Get ready to explore the love triangle!


5. Attribution

Do you attribute your success to your abilities and failure to outside forces? You'll explore possible ways of weighing personal responsibility and environmental factors when trying to determine what caused an outcome.


6. Persuasion

How are we persuaded to change our attitudes or behave in a certain way? In this lesson, you'll see four strategies of persuasion that can be used in a variety of social situations.


7. Conformity

Why do we conform? How do factors like group size and social status affect the likelihood of conformity? In this lesson, you'll explore two types of conformity.

Obedience and Authority

8. Obedience and Authority

What types of social situations make it more likely that we'll obey authority? You'll observe Milgram's electric shock experiment and what it revealed about the relationship between obedience and authority.

Group Behavior

9. Group Behavior

Do individuals behave differently in groups than they would on their own? How do group dynamics affect our decision-making skills? You'll learn about the benefits and potential pitfalls than can come from belonging to a group.


10. Aggression

What roles do nature and nurture play in aggressive tendencies? You'll explore origins of aggression and how acceptance of this behavior may differ among societies.


11. Altruism

Why do we help others, and when do we decide not to help others? In this lesson, you'll take a look at the biological and social motivation behind altruism.

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