Social Psychology Questions and Answers

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What are four examples of how your observations of the behavior of others are relevant to or demonstrate concepts in social psychology?

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Here are four examples of concepts related to social psychology using the behavior of others and yourself:

  1. Observations of yourself: How do you define your own self-concept? Do you define yourself as belonging to certain groups or categories? Thinking about the concept of the "categorical self," what categories do you belong to (such as a student, or gender, racial, ethnic, or other categories)? Using the concept of self-esteem, would you rate yourself as having high self-esteem if you are confident and do not care about others' conceptions of you, or do you have low self-esteem and feel that your conception of yourself is based on the appreciation of others?
  2. Observations of another person: Perhaps you've observed examples of discrimination or prejudice, which are concepts in social psychology. For example, do some of your teachers or professors speak about girls or women not being interested or capable at math or science? That is an example of stereotyping. You may have experienced other examples related to race, gender, class background, ethnicity, or other variables.
  3. Observations of other people: Have you seen examples of stereotype threats? That means that people in a group that has experienced stereotypes are in fear of confirming or validating that stereotype. For example, a girl may be afraid to perform poorly on a math test, making her more anxious and less likely to perform well, because she is afraid of confirming that girls are bad at math.
  4. Observations of other people: Perhaps you've observed that people use attribution theory in different ways. They may look at students who don't do well on a test and attribute internal or external reasons for different students. For example, perhaps a boy didn't do well on a math test simply because he didn't receive a fair test (external attribution), while a girl (or a member of another group) didn't do well because she isn't good at math (internal attribution). 

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