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Social Sci LibreTexts

Chapter 11: Social Part I

  • Page ID
    10668
    • 11.1: An Introduction to the Science of Social Psychology
      The science of social psychology investigates the ways other people affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is an exciting field of study because it is so familiar and relevant to our day-to-day lives. Social psychologists study a wide range of topics that can roughly be grouped into 5 categories: attraction, attitudes, peace & conflict, social influence, and social cognition.
    • 11.2: The Psychology of Groups
      Each of us is an autonomous individual seeking our own objectives, yet we are also members of groups—groups that constrain us, guide us, and sustain us. Just as each of us influences the group and the people in the group, so, too, do groups change each one of us. Joining groups satisfies our need to belong, gain information and understanding through social comparison, define our sense of self and social identity, and achieve goals that might elude us if we worked alone.
    • 11.3: Culture
      Although the most visible elements of culture are dress, cuisine and architecture, culture is a highly psychological phenomenon. Culture is a pattern of meaning for understanding how the world works. This knowledge is shared among a group of people and passed from one generation to the next. This module defines culture, addresses methodological issues, and introduces the idea that culture is a process. Understanding cultural processes can help people get along better with others.
    • 11.4: Research Methods in Social Psychology
      To explore these concepts requires special research methods. Following a brief overview of traditional research designs, this module introduces how complex experimental designs, field experiments, naturalistic observation, experience sampling techniques, survey research, subtle and nonconscious techniques such as priming, and archival research and the use of big data may each be adapted to address social psychological questions.
    • 11.5: Social Cognition and Attitudes
      Social cognition is the area of social psychology that examines how people perceive and think about their social world. This module provides an overview of key topics within social cognition and attitudes, including judgmental heuristics, social prediction, affective and motivational influences on judgment, and explicit and implicit attitudes.
    • 11.6: Cooperation
      Humans are social animals. This means we work together in groups to achieve goals that benefit everyone. From building skyscrapers to delivering packages to remote island nations, modern life requires that people cooperate with one another. However, people are also motivated by self-interest, which often stands as an obstacle to effective cooperation. This module explores the concept of cooperation and the processes that both help and hinder it.
    • 11.7: The Family
      Each and every one of us has a family. However, these families exist in many variations around the world. In this module, we discuss definitions of family, family forms, the developmental trajectory of families, and commonly used theories to understand families. We also cover factors that influence families such as culture and societal expectations while incorporating the latest family relevant statistics.
    • 11.8: Love, Friendship, and Social Support
      Friendship and love, and more broadly, the relationships that people cultivate in their lives, are some of the most valuable treasures a person can own. This module explores ways in which we try to understand how friendships form, what attracts one person to another, and how love develops. It also explores how the Internet influences how we meet people and develop deep relationships. Finally, this module will examine social support and how this can help many through the hardest times.
    • 11.9: Relationships and Well-being
      The relationships we cultivate in our lives are essential to our well-being—namely, happiness and health. Why is that so? We begin to answer this question by exploring the types of relationships—family, friends, colleagues, and lovers—we have in our lives and how they are measured. We also explore the different aspects of happiness and health, and show how the quantity and quality of relationships can affect our happiness and health.
    • 11.10: Positive Relationships
      Most research in the realm of relationships has examined that which can go wrong in relationships (e.g., conflict, infidelity, intimate partner violence). I summarize much of what has been examined about what goes right in a relationship and call these positive relationship deposits. Some research indicates that relationships need five positive interactions for every negative interaction.

    Thumbnail: The Scream by Edvard Munch.