Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

Social Psychology – Week 1 - Recap

Lecture 1.4: The Psychological Construction of Reality

Do We Share The Same Reality?


We typically assume so, but perceptions are
powerfully influenced by what we pay attention to,
contextual factors, past experience, motivations, and
many other factors. Our experience of reality is
psychology constructed.
We often see what we expect to see, and don't see
what we don't expect to see. Same goes for
motivation; we often see what we want to see, and An example of the psychological phenomenon
don't see what we don't want to see. “Change Blindness” - how perceptions are effected
by our expectations, motivations, etc. - is the
An example would be the 1954 Princeton vs Color Changing Card Trick by psychologist and mag
Dartmouth school football game. After the football ician, Richard Wiseman.
game with lots of penalties, researchers asked
Our perceptions are a joint function of what's going
students to watch the game back and point out each
on out there vs. what's going inside our brains. Our
rule violation they spotted. Princeton students saw visual system isn't neutral. People aren't neutral;
Dartmouth break the rules twice as often as they come in with certain predispositions and
Dartmouth students did ̶ they saw a different reality. tendencies that lead them to process social
information in very particular ways.

RECAP BY ASHLEIGH HOLBROOKS FOR COURSERA'S SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY COURSE TAUGHT BY SCOTT PLOUS (AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2013)
Social Psychology – Week 1 - Recap
Lecture 1.5: Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is a preference for information that's People tend to focus on confirming evidence and
consistent with a preconception, rather than information end up perpetuating the stereotypes or the
that challenges it. Confirmation biases can serve to preconceptions or social expectations that they
preserve and strengthen social expectations and have. Especially when people aren't highly
stereotypes. motivated to question their beliefs.

When individuals interact with each other, they usually Rather than only leading us to seek out confirming
have expectations, and research suggests that those evidence, social expectations can also have an
expectations do not always receive a fair test. effect on the person about whom we hold the
expectations about.

Social expectations not only effect the person who hold them, but the other side as well.

RECAP BY ASHLEIGH HOLBROOKS FOR COURSERA'S SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY COURSE TAUGHT BY SCOTT PLOUS (AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2013)
Social Psychology – Week 1 - Recap
Lecture 1.6: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Sometimes our predictions and expectations can lead to


self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-Fulfilling prophecy is a term
coined in a 1948 journal article by sociologist, Robert
Merton. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a misconception that
later becomes true.

A study published in 1968 by psychologist Robert


Rosenthal and school principle Lenore Jacobson
demonstrated that just by expecting something of someone
can have an effect on performance, actions, etc. They
coined this phenomenon the Pygmalion Effect. The eventual truth of self-fulfilling prophecies can make
it hard to distinguish them from regular prophecies. For
In the study, Rosenthal and Jacobson told teachers that example, suppose North Korea suspects that South Korea
certain students selected at random would “bloom” is aggressive, this would lead them to arm, South Korea
academically in the coming year. As measure by IQ tests, would perceive this as aggressive, and they'd arm
the intelligence of the bloomers did improve. defensively, thus leading North Korea to see this as
confirmation that South Korea is in fact aggressive –
When teachers were told that random students would do known as a security dilemma.
well, they gave these students more attention and praise
than they gave other students, thus leading some of these Behavioral Confirmation – a social type of self-
students to actually improve more than the other students in fulfilling prophecy – takes place when people's social
a matter of 8 months. expectations lead them to act in a way that causes others
to confirm these expectations. A series of experiments
All cases of behavioral confirmation involve self-fulfilling prophecies, but not all self-
fulfilling prophecies involve behavioral confirmation. For example, someone expecting were conducted in the 1970s by Mark Snyder on the
to die young might smoke (believing that tobacco use won't matter) and end up dying subject (Reaction Time Contest by Snyder and Swann).
young from smoking -- a self-fulfilling prophecy that didn't involve a social expectation.

RECAP BY ASHLEIGH HOLBROOKS FOR COURSERA'S SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY COURSE TAUGHT BY SCOTT PLOUS (AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2013)
Social Psychology – Week 1 - Recap
Lecture 1.7: Thin Slices: Social Judgments in the Blink of and Eye

A balanced view of social perception is that it can be Ambady and Rosenthal conducted what's known as a
distorted by all sorts of factors just as any other perception meta-analysis – a statistical techinique that combines and
can be. However, it can also operate with surprising analyzes the results from different studies (literally, an
efficiency. Social perception is often influenced by context analysis of analyses).
effects, change blindness, confirmation bias, and other
psychological factors. Ambady and Rosenthal found that judgments about
people's personality, veracity, and level of depression
A good example of this is the study conducted by were just as accurate if not more so when the judgments
relationship researcher John Gottman, who invited 124 were based on thin slices of behavior less than 5 minutes
newlywed couples to visit laboratory and be videotaped in length.
while they discussed an ongoing disagreement in their
marriage. These videos were then rated by independent Social judgments made during the first minute of
observers as to how much positive or negative emotion had meeting a stranger are usually reliable and accurate!
been displayed in the first three minutes of the couple's Thin slice judgments are accurate because they may have
discussion. Socials judgments of this brief marital evolutionary values such as rapidly identifying potential
interaction predicted which couples were divorced six years threats, possible partners, and competent leaders. Our
later. Another good example is A Study of Yearbook brains may processe emotions before cognitions. Thun
Photographs by Nick Rule and Nalini Ambady. slices may avoid distractions that lower accuracy.

This is known in psychology as a thin slice of behavior.


The term 'thin slice' was coined by Nalini Ambady and Bob
Rosenthal in a 1992 psychological bulletin article, and was
popularized in the bestseller 'Blink' by Malcolm Gladwell.

Other thin slice examples to remember are: Psychologist Alex Todorov's 2005 study on thin slices predicting elections (PDF) the
2008 study by Ambady and Rosenthal on people accurately judging male sexual orientation (PDF).

RECAP BY ASHLEIGH HOLBROOKS FOR COURSERA'S SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY COURSE TAUGHT BY SCOTT PLOUS (AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2013)
Social Psychology – Week 1 - Recap
Lecture 1.8: What Other People Think of You

How long does it take for someone to form an impression


of someone? According to Occupational Psychologist
Terry Kellard, essentially, people make up their mind about
a person or what that person is like generally within the
first 15 seconds of meeting them. In the program “
The Human Zoo”, Dr. Keller recorded a job interviewer
forming impressions of 3 potential candidates for the job
within the first 5 seconds of speaking to them individually!

Thin slice research began with observations of behavior


lasting five minutes or less, but later research found that
social impressions are often formed in a matter of
seconds, and that once formed, these impressions are
frequently slow to change.

In other words, first impressions are very important!

RECAP BY ASHLEIGH HOLBROOKS FOR COURSERA'S SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY COURSE TAUGHT BY SCOTT PLOUS (AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2013)