Chapter 5: Social Perception and Social Influence

In this chapter, we will focus on the “social self”, how we can define and understand it and how it relates to the field of conflict analysis, resolution and management.  We will also look in some detail at the question of how we perceive others around us, including their thoughts, feelings and behaviours (and the errors that we make during these perceptions).

You will then be introduced to the topics of attitudes and conformity, compliance and obedience and learn about some of the major social psychology studies that have deepened our understanding in these areas. Finally, you will learn about social groups, how they are formed and maintained, the purpose they serve, and why group membership may contribute to conflict. In this context, we will briefly consider the topics of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. To conclude the chapter, we will apply the social identity theory to help explain a contemporary social conflict and how it may be addressed.

Learning Outcomes

  • describe the essence of social psychology
  • describe and explain phenomena and theories that try to explain why people think, feel and behave the way they do in social settings
  • consider selected phenomena and theories for conflict management
  • apply the social identity theory to explain a social conflict situation.

Key Readings

Chapters 2, 3, Chapter 4 pp. 141-150, Chapter 5 pp. 313-335 in:

Kassin, S., Fein, S., Markus, H. R., McBain, K. A., & Williams, L. (2020). Social psychology (2nd Australian and New Zealand edition. ed.). Cengage Learning.



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Neuroscience, Psychology and Conflict Management Copyright © 2024 by Judith Rafferty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.