Why do we crave social interaction

Summary

content

  1. Introduction to social psychology
  2. Research methods in social psychology
  3. Social perception and attribution
  4. Social cognition
  5. The self
  6. Settings
  7. Attitude and behavior change strategies
  8. Social influence
  9. aggression
  10. Prosocial behavior
  11. Affiliation, Interpersonal Attraction, and Close Relationships
  12. Group dynamics
  13. Group performance and leadership
  14. Prejudices and intergroup relationships
  15. Social Psychology and Cultural Differences

Chapter 1: Introduction to Social Psychology

Most social psychology textbooks begin with everyday examples of social behavior or they begin with a formal definition of social psychology. We think it is a better way to familiarize you with our field by first describing some classic social psychological studies as examples. These are intended to give you an impression of the research questions that social psychologists deal with and of the methods used. Only then do we give you a formal definition of social psychology. We then discuss the differences between social psychology and its neighboring fields. The second half of the chapter is devoted to the history of social psychology; we will cover them from the early years around 1900 to the present day. Our American colleagues like to point out that a large part of this story took place in the United States. From a European point of view, however, we would like to point out that the development of social psychology has been influenced to a large extent by European researchers. This influence set in even before social psychology became established in Europe (over the past four decades).

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Chapter 2: Research Methods in Social Psychology

This chapter gives an overview of research methods in social psychology, from developing a theory to collecting data. After describing three quantitative research strategies (experiment, quasi-experiment and survey research), qualitative approaches are briefly discussed; the focus is on discourse analysis. Then the key elements of the experiment are dealt with because this is the most widely used research method in social psychology. We also deal with threats to the validity of experiments and discuss the problems of experimental research in social psychology. In the last section of the chapter, three methods of data collection are presented (observation, self-assessment and implicit measurement methods).

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Chapter 3: Social Perception and Attribution

Other people are so much a part of our everyday life that we take it for granted that we understand them. We are so familiar with their distinctive traits and activities that we seldom think about how we can manage to understand the similarities and differences between them, as well as figure out the confusing or complicated things that they sometimes do. This chapter describes research that has been done to understand these processes. Studies of how we perceive information about the social world show that our impressions of others depend on what information is available to us and when. Our assumptions about which personality traits go together also play a major role. Research into how people explain events shows that they do not consider all possible explanations of the behavior involved to be equally likely. Systematic distortions occur, for example, when we attach disproportionate importance to stable personality traits and abilities as causes. Such distortions occur particularly in individualistic Western societies. Impressions and explanations also depend on current motivations and goals. In fact, we describe and explain social events differently depending on who we are talking to and what circumstances we are in. In this respect, both communicative processes and private interpretations obviously play a role in social perception and in attributions.

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Chapter 4: Social Cognition

We live in a hectic social world. We meet many other people on any given day. We might meet her for the first time, we might go out with old friends, have an interview and try to make a good impression on a prospective employer, or we might be queuing at a supermarket checkout or waiting for you on a busy train station platform Train. Even with those of us who supposedly lead an ordinary life, there are no two days that are exactly the same. How do we find our way in this complex social life? What social information catches our attention? How do we organize and use them in our interactions with others and in our judgments about them? These are some of the questions that social cognition researchers are interested in. Answers to this provide an understanding of the human mental life. In this chapter we look at the way we process social information in situations like these. The chapter focuses primarily on an important distinction between social judgments: On the one hand, these judgments are often quick and automatic "gut reactions" such as categorization and heuristic processing and, on the other hand, judgments that are based on more cognitive effort, weighing and control (e B. Carefully forming an impression of others and avoiding stereotypes).

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Chapter 5: The Self

In this chapter we elaborate on theories and research on central aspects of the self. Throughout the chapter we emphasize the social nature of the self. First, we'll look at where self-knowledge comes from and explore both its personal and social origins. In connection with this we think about the correctness (or flawedness) of this self-knowledge. Second, we look at the organization and content of the self in terms of self-concept and self-worth, and consider how these structures guide our processing of social information - both in general and in the cultural area in which it takes place. In the third section, we focus on the motives that drive the self to achieve the self-concepts we are striving for. Fourth, we take a look at the regulatory functions of the self and how it enables us to pursue our goals and aspirations. The chapter closes with a discussion of identity negotiation processes and the extent to which the self can change.

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Chapter 6: Settings

Research into attitudes is a central area of ​​social psychology. "Attitudes" are the evaluations of facts, people, groups and other types of objects in our social world. Attitudes are important because they affect the way we perceive the world and behave. For example, a controversial free kick in the final of a soccer World Cup is likely to be perceived differently depending on which team you are supporting. Our voting behavior in elections also depends very much on our sympathy for the different candidates. In this chapter we introduce the concept of attitude. We are concerned with how attitudes are formed and how they are organized. We discuss theories that explain why we have attitudes. We also look at how social psychologists measure attitudes and how our attitudes help predict our behavior.

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Chapter 7: Attitude and Behavior Change Strategies

This chapter deals with two strategies for changing attitudes and behavior, namely persuasion and the use of incentives (e.g. taxation, legal sanctions). We will look at when, how, and why persuasion leads to change in attitudes and behavior, and an overview of the empirical research that has been carried out to test the validity of these theoretical interpretations. Eventually, we will apply these theories to advertising. The second part of the chapter will focus on the use of incentives. To encourage people to wear seat belts or quit smoking, governments often use legal sanctions or taxation to directly influence behavior rather than relying on the uncertain effects of persuasion. These strategies are quite effective in influencing behavior, but it is not so certain that they will also change attitudes.

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Chapter 8: Social Influence

This chapter deals with social influence in general and how to understand it in terms of basic motives. We begin by discussing “casual” social influence, in which people are influenced by the presence or implicit presence of others without any deliberate attempt to influence them. We deal with the influence of the mere presence of other people on the execution of a task as well as the influence of social norms. In the second part of the chapter, we ask why people submit to social influence and discuss the types of social influence and the motives underlying the influence on the part of the target of the influence. In the third part of the chapter we turn to “intentional” social influence. We introduce the theory and research on compliance, the influence of numerical majorities and minorities, decision-making in groups and obedience. Throughout the text we will see that social influence is a double-edged phenomenon. On the one hand, it is about the cement of society; he makes everything work and society would be in complete chaos without him. On the other hand, it can become a dangerous force responsible for some of the most extreme immoral forms of social behavior in humans.

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Chapter 9: Aggression

If you ask people what is most important for their wellbeing and quality of life, most of them put a peaceful and harmonious coexistence with others first. At the same time, however, the world is full of conflict and tension, not only on a political and societal level, but also in relationships between individuals, in the family, in partnerships, at school and at work. How can we explain why, despite the strong need to ban aggression and violence from our lives, it is so difficult for us to achieve the peaceful coexistence that we all long for? This chapter attempts to provide an answer to this fundamental question from the perspective of social psychological research. After a quick look at the definition and measurement of aggression, the main theories that explain aggressive behavior are presented. Then the question is discussed why not all people are equally prone to aggressive behavior and why certain situations favor aggressive behavior more than others. Particular attention is paid to the influence of media violence on aggressive behavior. The second part of the chapter looks at different manifestations of aggressive behavior in society, such as violence in the family, sexual aggression, bullying in school and at work, and violence between social groups. The chapter closes with an overview of ways to avoid and reduce aggression.

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Chapter 10: Prosocial Behavior

The topic of prosocial behavior covers a wide variety of phenomena and can be explored in very different ways. This chapter discusses various types of prosocial behavior and theories about why people help other people (and who they help). We treat prosocial behavior on the intra-individual level (are there biological mechanisms that influence helpful behavior?), On the interpersonal level (how does the relationship between the helper and recipient influence help behavior?) And on the group level (what do we know about help behavior within and between groups?). We also explore how situational factors influence helping behavior and show how social context is key to understanding many forms of helpful behavior. We also explore a whole range of different prosocial behaviors, from spontaneous acts of physical activity in emergency situations to long-term commitment to a specific cause or person. In addressing these topics, we highlight a wide variety of original and creative research methods used by researchers in the field. The chapter also looks at some of the more fundamental questions about prosocial behavior. For example, we ask whether helping behavior can really ever be selfless. We also ask whether prosocial behavior inevitably has positive effects. As the chapter progresses, we look at some amazing examples of prosocial behavior in humans. We will find that this also raises questions related to evolutionary history. In contrast to other living beings, people often cooperate with strangers, often in large groups and even without any personal advantage or gain for their own reputation. Dealing with prosocial behavior gives us the opportunity to explore some of the aspects that are specific to us humans.

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Chapter 11: Affiliation, Interpersonal Attraction, and Close Relationships

It is difficult to imagine that a person could live completely isolated from other people. In fact, we are almost constantly surrounded by others in our everyday lives; this ranges from strangers to people we feel very close to, such as our friends or a love partner. But why do we even feel the need to be with others, and why can it be so painful to be rejected by others? Why are we drawn to some people but not to others? What determines that some relationships are happy while others appear to lead to disaster? This chapter deals with such questions. We begin with an explanation of people's apparently natural need to be in contact with others. We then follow the development of a relationship, starting by discussing the factors that determine the initial interpersonal attraction. We discuss what determines the satisfaction in a relationship and its stability, and give an overview of the special components - the specific relationship processes - that characterize a successful or an unsuccessful love relationship. We conclude the chapter with some general processes that can occur in different types of relationships.

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Chapter 12: Group Dynamics

There are groups everywhere in social life. In this chapter we will look at why people form and join groups and what types of groups one can distinguish. Furthermore, we deal with three levels of analysis: At the individual level, we discuss the (changing) relationships between the group and its members. At the group level we deal with the development of the group, the group structure (status and roles) and the group norms. At the intergroup level, the question is how the (intergroup) context shapes the behavior of group members and the structure of groups.

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Chapter 13: Group Performance and Leadership

In this chapter we address the question of how social interdependence and interaction affect group performance. We provide answers to the following individual questions: How can group-specific effects on performance be determined? What are the main barriers and opportunities to performance when people work together in a group? What can we do to systematically optimize group performance? What makes leadership effective? Why is leadership so critical to group performance and how can it help optimize group performance? We answer these questions by outlining the basic principles, applying them to specific group tasks using examples, and selectively illustrating them using empirical research.

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Chapter 14: Prejudice and Intergroup Relationships

This chapter provides a number of different explanations for prejudice and discrimination in intergroup relationships.These range from explanations at the individual level in the sense of personality and individual differences as well as in the sense of the cognitive mechanisms associated with social categorization and stereotyping processes to explanations that can be more localized at the group level and refer to the relationships between Focus groups. At the group level, behavior that favors one's group can be beneficial to the individual, and when realistic conflicts arise between groups, prejudice can express and strengthen one's group's interests. Realistic conflicts, however, are not the only starting point for prejudice at the intergroup level. The theory of social identity e.g. B. introduces additional psychological factors that underlie ingroup favoritism, such as the motive that one's own group should be clearly differentiated from others in a positive way. We also address a number of additional group-level threats that can help explain bias and discrimination. The approach of providing a more detailed analysis of intergroup relationships capable of explaining specific forms of prejudice is continued by looking more closely at the role of different group emotions in this process. At the end of the chapter, we outline a variety of strategies that practitioners and politicians can use to try to reduce prejudice (e.g. through more frequent intergroup contact) and examine the strengths and limitations of these different approaches.

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Chapter 15: Social Psychology and Cultural Differences

When the same socio-psychological study is repeated in different parts of the world, the results are often quite different. This chapter presents a model for cultural differences that can be used to explain that this is not simply due to a lack of expert knowledge on the part of the investigator. Drawing on studies discussed in many of the previous chapters in this book, the chapter shows that cultural differences can be useful to social psychologists rather than hindering their work. By identifying the social behaviors that stand out as being particularly typical in different parts of the world, one can consider causal factors that have received insufficient attention in mainstream social psychology. It can also be checked which social-psychological phenomena are universally valid and which only occur in certain parts of the world.

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