Social psychology

Social Psychology
Psychology 40S
Focuses in Social Psychology
“We cannot live for ourselves alone.”
Herman Melville
Social psychology studies how we behave, think
and feel in social situations.
Social Psychology explained video clip
Attitudes & Actions
Attitudes are mixtures of belief and emotion
that predisposes us to respond to other people,
objects, or institutions in positive or negative
If we believe a person is mean, we may feel
dislike for the person and act in an unfriendly
Our attitudes affect our actions!
Actions Can Affect Attitudes
Not only do people stand for what they believe in
(attitude), they start believing in what they stand
D. MacDonald/ PhotoEdit
Cooperative actions can lead to mutual liking (beliefs).
Situations Matter
• Video: Situation Matters
What is this video saying?
Social Psychology Experiment #1
Philip Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment
Social Psychologist Philip
Zimbardo designed an
experiment to observe the
behaviour of people in a
mock prison.
Role Playing Affects Attitudes
Zimbardo (1971) assigned the roles of guards and
prisoners to random students and found that guards
and prisoners developed role- appropriate attitudes.
The experiment was to last for 2 weeks and had to be
shut down after 6 days.
Phillip G. Zimbardo, Inc.
Philip Zimbardo’s Prison
This is one of the most famous
and controversial studies ever
conducted in the field of social
Philip Zimbardo’s study is a
classic example of the power of
the situation and how easily an
individual can slip into a role
and have it become real.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
Assignment #1: The Stanford Prison
Experiment Sheet
Answer the two questions under “Thinking
Critically” 2 marks
Power of the Situation
A Real Example: Abu Ghraib Prison
ORANGE TEXTBOOK (Psychology 8th Edition)
1. Read page 729 (Purple section)
2. Find a quote from this section or in your
own words briefly explain why good
people do bad things.
3. Write down and be prepared to discuss
Watch Quiet Rage:
The Stanford Experiment
Assignment #2: Prison Experiment
Fill sheet out while you are watching
the video. Hand in for marks at the
end of the video.
Due today at the end of class. 5 marks
Social Psychology Experiment #2
Solomon Asch’s Experiment
• In 1951 social psychologist
Solomon Asch devised an
experiment to examine the
extent to which pressure
from other people could
affect one's perceptions.
• In total, about one third of
the subjects who were placed
in this situation went along
with majority’s wrong
Group Pressure & Conformity
Conformity: An influence resulting from one’s
willingness to accept others’ opinions about
William Vandivert/ Scientific American
Watch Asch’s Experiment (and
Conformity in the Elevator)
• Asch Experiment Video
Read more on page 732 in the orange
Conditions that Strengthen
The person feels insecure.
The group has at least 3 people.
The group is unanimous.
The person admires the groups’ status.
Others in the group are observing the
person’s behaviour.
Cults and Conformity
A Real Example
• Watch Jonestown Massacre
Assignment #3: Cults and Conformity Sheet
Answer the two questions under “Thinking
Critically” 2 marks
Social Psychology Experiment #3
Stanley Milgram’s Experiment
Stanley Milgram, a
psychologist at Yale
University, conducted a
social psychology
experiment that focused on
the effects of authority on
Stanley Milgram
• Milgram (1961) came up with a famous and
controversial experiment.
• He tested whether people would shock a person
simply because an authority figure told them to do
• Two-thirds of Milgram's participants delivered
shocks as they heard cries of pain, signs of heart
Milgram Experiment
ABC news
Both Photos: © 1965 By Stanley Miligram, from the
film Obedience, dist. by Penn State, Media Sales
Milgram’s Study
Conditions that Strengthen
1. The person giving the orders is perceived
as an authority figure is close at hand.
2. The victim is depersonalized or at a
distance from the person obeying
3. There were no role models for defiance
(no one else is disobeying)
Assignment #4: The Milgram
Experiment Sheet
Answer the two questions under “Thinking
Critically” 2 marks
Journal Entry #2
Topic: Social Psychology
Reflect on the 3 Social Psychology
Experiments discussed in class. How can
they all relate to real life situations?
Choose on of the experiements and give an
example of your own. (e.g. How you act
differently in different roles, a time when you
conformed or when you have obeyed a person
in authority and why.)
QUIZ on the 3 Social Psychology Experiments
15 marks
Explanation of each experiment
Name of the Social Psychologist
Purpose of each experiment
Relate the experiment to a real situation
either one that was discussed in class or
your own

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