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Never underestimate the

power of stupid people in

large groups.
Unit 14 (Social Psych)
Chapters 74-80
• Attitudes are composed of 3 components:
 Affective response
 Behavioral response
 Cognition

• Can be strong or weak

• Have an attitude toward ____.
A Particular Attitude: Prejudice
Prejudice: emotional response/feeling to a

Discrimination: Unjustifiable negative

behavior to a group

Stereotype: generalized belief about a group

How Prejudiced Are People?
Racial Prejudice Decreasing?

Americans’ approval of interracial dating based on survey

responses 1987-2009.
Cognitive Roots of Prejudice
Categorization: Prototypes help us organize
• Availability Heuristic

• Ingroup/Outgroup Bias
• Outgroup homogeneity
(own-race bias)
Emotional Roots of Prejudice

Scapegoat Theory: group becomes

outlet for prejudice, anger, frustration;
justifies discrimination

Ingroup/Outgroup Bias:
self-serving to believe your
group is different & better
Social Causes of Prejudice
Social Norms & Culture
• Define the everyday world we experience
– Status Quo:
– Stereotypes:

Just-world hypothesis
• Tendency to believe the world is a fair
place & individuals generally get what
they deserve
Defining Aggression
• Intend to harm
– Need not be the goal; but effects known
– Need not be effective; but attempt to harm
Defining Aggression
Behavior intended to harm (physically or
psychologically) another
“Why did you do it?”

As a Means to an End To do Harm

(end in & of itself)
Instrumental Hostile

“How did you do it?”

Personal Without Personal Without
Responsibility Confrontation Responsibility Confrontation
(Face to Face) (Face to Face)
Direct Indirect Direct Indirect
Biopsychosocial Understanding of
The Biology of Aggression
• Twins: identical twins more
similar than fraternal twins
• Gender = both aggressive but
act differently
Neural Influences
• Electrical brain stimulation can excite or inhibit
aggressive behaviors
• Low activity in frontal lobes = less impulse control
• Certain hormones (e.g., testosterone, adrenaline)
• Psychoactive drugs (e.g., alcohol)
The Psychological side of Aggression
Aversive Events: Frustration-Aggression
• Blocked goals = Distress
• Physical pain/discomfort
• Environment unpleasant: odors, crowding, heat
Attributions: Just-world hypothesis
• Tendency to believe the world is a fair place &
individuals generally get what they deserve
• Retaliation/revenge = justice
• Results in Rape Myth
Baseball, Heat, Aggression

From A.S. Reifman, R.P. Larrick, and S. Fein, "Temper and Temperature on
the Diamond: The Heat-Aggression Relationship in Major-League Baseball,"
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 17, pp. 580-585.
The Psychological side of Aggression
Learned behavior: Modeling

• Aggression is Rewarded
• Practiced through Play

Catharsis = idea that acting out better than holding in the pressure
to act
– Good in responding to the physiological arousal
– Bad in learning training the response
– No evidence for “build up” or preventing “snapping”
– BUT if idea is believed/tolerated then it has social endorsement
Social and Cultural aspect of Aggression
Rejection-induced aggression
• Inequalities perceived to be unjustified

Social Scripts: Blueprints for how to act

• relevant to Rape Myths
• Cultures of Honor
• Southern US; Puerto Rican
• “Be a man.”
Southern Culture of Honor

From D. Cohen, R.E. Nisbett, B.F. Bowdle, and N. Schwart (1996) "Insult, Aggression, and the Southern Culture of
Honor: An 'Experimental Ethnography'" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 945-960.