Social Psychology: Bringing It All Together Essay

3853 Words16 Pages
Social Psychology: Bringing It All Together

PSY 301

Sarah Koerner-Jordan

October 22, 2012

Franchelle Guy

Social Psychology: Bringing It All Together

Social psychology is the scientific study of human thoughts, feelings, and behavior as they relate to and are influenced by others (Feenstra, 2011). It is a broad field that covers a variety of topics. Social psychologists study a variety of topics, including views of the self, persuasion, attraction, and group processes. Researchers study all aspects of social psychology and in some cases enlist the help of a “confederate”, someone who appears to be a naïve part of the experiment. The confederate ensures that the experiment is going as planned. A part of social
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An optimistic person will higher self-esteem and more satisfaction overall with their life events. Pessimistic style people have been linked to depression and suicide. Attitudes have been considered important to social psychology. Attitudes are evaluations.
Our attitudes involve evaluations of other people, behaviors, and objects. In the theory of planned behavior, if we want to predict a behavior we need to know three things: (1) attitude toward that behavior, (2) subjective norms related to that behavior, and (3) perceived behavioral control. If someone has a positive attitude, positive subjective norms, and high perceived behavioral control, we can predict with some accuracy that they will engage in the same behavior and vice versa. For example: I would be more likely to eat at a restaurant my best friend highly recommends, especially if I haven’t eaten there before. The gap between what one believes and what they do creates a type of tension known as cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance can be reduced without changing one’s attitude and it can be helpful in understanding or promoting behavior change. For example, when Japanese college students are aware of potential public scrutiny of their choices, they show greater dissonance. Self-Perception Theory states that we can figure out our attitudes by looking at our behaviors. For example, if someone detests

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