Social Psychology PSYCH301


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Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. (credit "background": modification of work by Nattachai Noogure; credit "top left": modification of work by U.S. Navy; credit "top middle-left": modification of work by Peter Shanks; credit "top middle-right": modification of work by "devinf"/Flickr; credit "top right": modification of work by Alejandra Quintero Sinisterra; credit "bottom left": modification of work by Gabriel Rocha; credit "bottom middle-left": modification of work by Caleb Roenigk; credit "bottom middle-right": modification of work by Staffan Scherz; credit "bottom right": modification of work by Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team)

Clive Wearing is an accomplished musician who lost his ability to form new memories when he became sick at the age of 46. While he can remember how to play the piano perfectly, he cannot remember what he ate for breakfast just an hour ago (Sacks, 2007). James Wannerton experiences a taste sensation that is associated with the sound of words. His former girlfriend’s name tastes like rhubarb (Mundasad, 2013). John Nash is a brilliant mathematician and Nobel Prize winner. However, while he was a professor at MIT, he would tell people that the New York Times contained coded messages from extraterrestrial beings that were intended for him. He also began to hear voices and became suspicious of the people around him. Soon thereafter, Nash was diagnosed with schizophrenia and admitted to a state-run mental institution (O’Connor&Robertson, 2002). Nash was the subject of the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind . Why did these people have these experiences? How does the human brain work? And what is the connection between the brain’s internal processes and people’s external behaviors? This textbook will introduce you to various ways that the field of psychology has explored these questions.


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This course will introduce you to the concepts and ideas in the area of social psychology. Social Psychology aims to discover the different ways in which people interact with other individuals, groups, and the larger society as a whole, as well as why people act in certain ways. As with an anthropology or sociology course, social psychology looks at the inner workings of groups of people. However, it differs from these courses in terms of its focus; social psychology focuses primarily on the single individual?s psychology as part of the group or society, rather than the culture or group interaction (though both of these areas have some relevance in social psychology). This may seem to be quite a broad subject area ? and it is. Humans are social creatures (in other words, they have evolved to be able to interact and communicate at high levels with individuals of their own species) and almost invariably exist in a social context (even a situation in which society is absent could be studied by social psychologists as a social context). Social psychology deals with a huge range of aspects of human life, including love, attraction, aggression, helping behaviors (or altruism), and obedience. While social psychology encompasses a multitude of topics, it also relates to many other fields, both within psychology and outside of it. For example, other branches of psychology (personality, gender, culture, emotions, clinical, and industrial psychology) have used important findings from social psychology in their own studies. Subjects outside of psychology, such as religion, economics, and even engineering, have made use of information that has come out of social psychology research. Social psychology research has undoubtedly had the greatest impact on the field of psychology as a whole. This course will introduce you to the most influential social psychology experiments and explain the impact that they have had on the field as a whole. First, we will introduce you to the broad topic of social psychology. Next, we will get into the content areas in which social psychological research is conducted. These areas will include the research, findings, and theories regarding self and person perceptions, attitudes, social influence, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal relationships, aggression, and altruism, in addition to applications of social psychology to health, law, businesses, and the environment.
Quiz PDF eBook: 
Social Psychology PSYCH301
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64 Pages
English US
Educational Materials

Sample Questions from the Social Psychology PSYCH301 Quiz

Question: If a lifeguard at the beach hesitates before jumping in to save someone who may or may not require help getting back to the beach safely, the lifeguard would be said to suffer from:


evaluation apprehension.

new employee nervousness.

incompetence on the job.

an anxiety disorder.

Question: Which of the following scenarios is NOT an example of indirect aggression?


Spreading false rumors about someone

Posting an unflattering photo of someone on a social media site

Blaming an innocent person for starting a false rumor about a third party

Intentionally hitting someone hard during a game of touch football

Question: Milgram found that participants were less likely to obey when:


another participant questioned the legitimacy of what was going on in the study.

the study was conducted in a professional environment at the university.

the experimenter was dressed like a professional scientist.

they were unable to see the learner face-to-face.

Question: Diffusion of responsibility occurs when witnesses to an emergency:


do not recognize that a situation is actually an emergency.

decide that the costs of helping are too great to become involved.

do not know how to help the person in need.

equally divide the theoretical responsibility for helping among the number of onlookers.

Question: The basic definition of aggression involves:


causing harm, even if by accident.

physical behaviors only.

feelings of anger.

engaging in an action with the intent to cause harm.

Question: Conformity can best be described as:


demanding that others do what you say.

granting someone's request.

following an order.

going along with the crowd.

Question: Frustrating situations tend to:


be unrelated to subsequent aggressive behaviors.

irritate people more than anger them.

remind people to keep their emotions in check.

increase aggression.

Question: Helping behavior is probably NOT related to which of the following factors?


Whether the person in need is a blood relative

Whether the helper has been reinforced for prior helping behavior

Whether the person in need appears to be a legitimate victim of a crime

Whether the witness and the person in need speak the same language

Question: In his classic study on conformity, Asch asked participants to make a series of perceptual judgments after hearing numerous other people say obviously incorrect answers out loud. He was most interested in learning:


whether or not the participant would say the correct answer.

whether or not the participant felt uncomfortable during the study.

if the participant questioned his or her own ideas of what was correct.

if the participant would quit the study before it was done.

Question: Aggression is considered to be instrumental if it:


makes the perpetrator feel guilty.

is used to achieve some other goal.

causes harm.

is solely intended to hurt someone's feelings.

Question: Social learning theory suggests that:


we learn aggressive behavior much like we learn many other things, by watching other people do it and be reinforced for it.

we learn not to be aggressive by being punished directly for our aggressive actions.

watching someone else be punished for being aggressive has no effect on our own levels of aggression.

aggression is innate, or something we are born with.

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Disclaimer:  This course is designed to address the fundamentals of Social Psychology.

It will NOT provide the education or experience needed for the diagnosing and treating of mental disorders.

Source:  Social Psychology. The Saylor Academy 2014,
Marion Cabalfin
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