social psychology

People have a tendency to explain unpleasant behavior by attaching a labels to the perpetrator (“crazy,” “sadistic,” or whatever), thereby excluding that person from the rest of “us nice people.” In that way, we need not worry about the unpleasant behavior because it has nothing to do with us nice folks. The danger in this kind of thinking is that it tends to make sue smug about our own susceptibility to situational pressures that could produce unpleasant behavior, and it leads to a rather simple-minded approach to the solution of social problems. […] Some situational variables can move a great proportion of us “normal” adults to behave in very unappetizing ways.

Elliot Aronson in The Social Animal
7:43 pm, by psychologicalsnippets

We are all susceptible to the hindsight bias, which refers to our tendency to overestimate our powers of prediction once we know the outcome of given event. For example, research has shown that on the day after an election, when people are asked which candidates they would have picked to win, they almost always believe they would have picked the actual winners- even though the day before the election, their predictions wouldn’t have been nearly as accurate.

Elliot Aronson in The Social Animal
7:43 pm, by psychologicalsnippets

Believing Our Own Lies

A good explanation of Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance.

9:31 am, reblogged by psychologicalsnippets

A great talk on the importance of introversion that incorporates some known principles of social psychology.

7:39 pm, by psychologicalsnippets

Attachment styles

Adults have four attachment styles: secure, anxious–preoccupied, dismissive–avoidant, and fearful–avoidant. The secure attachment style in adults corresponds to the secure attachment style in children. The anxious–preoccupied attachment style in adults corresponds to the anxious–ambivalent attachment style in children. However, the dismissive–avoidant attachment style and the fearful–avoidant attachment style, which are distinct in adults, correspond to a single avoidant attachment style in children. The descriptions of adult attachment styles offered below are based on the relationship questionnaire devised by Bartholomew and Horowitz and on a review of studies by Pietromonaco and Barrett.

There are several attachment-based treatment approaches that can be used with adults. In addition, there is an approach to treating couples based on attachment theory.

Secure attachment:

Securely attached people tend to agree with the following statements: “It is relatively easy for me to become emotionally close to others. I am comfortable depending on others and having others depend on me. I don’t worry about being alone or having others not accept me.” This style of attachment usually results from a history of warm and responsive interactions with relationship partners. Securely attached people tend to have positive views of themselves and their partners. They also tend to have positive views of their relationships. Often they report greater satisfaction and adjustment in their relationships than people with other attachment styles. Securely attached people feel comfortable both with intimacy and with independence. Many seek to balance intimacy and independence in their relationship.]

Insecure attachments

Anxious–preoccupied attachment:

People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to agree with the following statements: “I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others, but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I am uncomfortable being without close relationships, but I sometimes worry that others don’t value me as much as I value them.” People with this style of attachment seek high levels of intimacy, approval, and responsiveness from their partners. They sometimes value intimacy to such an extent that they become overly dependent on their partners—a condition colloquially termed clinginess. Compared to securely attached people, people who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to have less positive views about themselves. They often doubt their worth as a partner and blame themselves for their partners’ lack of responsiveness. People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment may exhibit high levels of emotional expressiveness, worry, and impulsiveness in their relationships.

Dismissive–avoidant attachment:

People with a dismissive style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with these statements: “I am comfortable without close emotional relationships. It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient, and I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me.” People with this attachment style desire a high level of independence. The desire for independence often appears as an attempt to avoid attachment altogether. They view themselves as self-sufficient and invulnerable to feelings associated with being closely attached to others. They often deny needing close relationships. Some may even view close relationships as relatively unimportant. Not surprisingly, they seek less intimacy with relationship partners, whom they often view less positively than they view themselves. Investigators commonly note the defensive character of this attachment style. People with a dismissive–avoidant attachment style tend to suppress and hide their feelings, and they tend to deal with rejection by distancing themselves from the sources of rejection (i.e., their relationship partners).

Fearful–avoidant attachment:

People with a fearful style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with the following statements: “I am somewhat uncomfortable getting close to others. I want emotionally close relationships, but I find it difficult to trust others completely, or to depend on them. I sometimes worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others.” People with this attachment style have mixed feelings about close relationships. On the one hand, they desire to have emotionally close relationships. On the other hand, they tend to feel uncomfortable with emotional closeness. These mixed feelings are combined with negative views about themselves and their partners. They commonly view themselves as unworthy of responsiveness from their partners, and they don’t trust the intentions of their partners. Similarly to the dismissive–avoidant attachment style, people with a fearful–avoidant attachment style seek less intimacy from partners.

(Source: optly)

10:50 am, by psychologicalsnippets

A fascinating example of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

8:41 pm, by psychologicalsnippets

It is not the number of arguments that partners have, nor the method of dealing with angry feelings, nor even whether they successfully resolve disagreements, that make a difference in defining success or failure in a relationship. The important defining factor is the ability to sustain emotional engagement and to reconnect to each other following arguments.

Marion Solomon, referencing research by John Gottman, in her book, Healing Trauma
1:02 am, by psychologicalsnippets

Screening Out the Introverts

A really interesting article that applies a lot to me personally- how introverts, who may be more drawn than extroverts to academic professions, may be slowly weeded out because of their innate personality qualities that seem to put them at a disadvantage in the current age.

9:29 pm, by psychologicalsnippets

'Losing Yourself' in a Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life

An example of experience-taking.

11:32 am, by psychologicalsnippets

Why You Never Truly Leave High School: New science on its corrosive, traumatizing effects. (NY Magazine)

This is a really, truly fantastic article on the psychological significance of adolescence, and why it is such a critical time for the development of our identities, and why these things stay with us for so long after we leave high school. Highly recommended.

4:51 pm, reblogged by psychologicalsnippets