Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 231
Information processing/Social psychology: in the late 1960s and early 1970s a new approach that became known as ‘cognitive psychology’ was starting to dominate psychology. Many cognitive psychologists were armed with the metaphor of the person as a faulty information-processing device and this idea was imported into social psychology in the 1970s. This metaphor implied that as people processed information about the world around them, they made a series of errors (in particular, because they had limited processing capacity) and these had a range of unintended and unfortunate consequences. As it became permissible to explain mental life in terms of events within the mind it also seemed possible to explain many of the outcomes of mental life, including social relations and social structure, in terms of these mental phenomena. It was compelling to ask whether it is possible to explain the relationships between people in terms of the mental states that these people experience. If we could explain social structure by reducing it to the aggregate effect of the ways that individuals think, then we might be able to explain important social phenomena – such as stereotyping and prejudice – without the need to consider competing and complicating explanations provided by other accounts.
Stereotypes/Social psychology: e.g., Hamilton and Gifford explained the phenomenon of false stereotypes in terms of an >illusory correlation.



Craig McGarty, „Stereotype Formation. Revisiting Hamilton and Gifford’s illusory correlation studies“, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Social Psychology
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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