Social Psychology

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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY MIDTERM

Q: Discuss why the scientific method provides a better guide to human behavior than common sense does.When discussing the scientific method and common sense as it regards to social psychology, one must understand what the scientific method and common sense are.

A: The scientific method is a systematic method used to observe variables in an attempt to answer some inquiry, in this case reasons for certain human behaviors. Common sense, on the other hand, is not a systematic method in its own right. It stems from the knowledge one gains from social groups within their life that heavily influence their cognitive processes and thought patterns. To more accurately answer the question, the scientific method provides a better guide to human behavior than common sense does because it is more foundational. What I mean is that common sense is not based on systematic observation. Human behavior is something that must be observed and studied. There are too many variables and affects associated with human behavior to rely upon common sense as the means to understand it. The scientific method takes into account and answers specific questions concerning social hypotheses, multi-cultural perspectives, and social attitudes. In short, common sense is shallow and provides no depth into understanding the "why" behind human behavior. It is void of any experimental methods or any means to accurately ascertain human behavior. The scientific method is clearly the proven guide because it is based upon data, observation, and variables, all of which are necessary to understand the dynamics of human behavior and social psychology.

Q: Perceptions and attitudes assist in structuring people's social consciousness. Describe how perseverance effect, self-fulfilling schemas, heuristics, automatic processing, and priming influence our social perceptions. Then examine how they influence social cognition.

A: Let us first obtain an understanding...
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