Social

The Self

Definition of Culture

In this video William Kornblum of the City University of New York defines culture in three major parts: ideas, norms, and material culture. Kornblum defines each aspect and how they interplay to create our idea of culture. How does Kornblum define each of these aspects? How might our definitions of these aspects differ from those living in other societies?

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Facebook and GPAs

This video clip discusses an Ohio State University study that shows that Facebook users have a lower GPA than those that did not use Facebook. Do you think Don Tapscott’s commentary is valid? How does self-regulation affect Facebook use? What are the pros and cons of a social networking site like Facebook?

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Hikikomori in Japan

In this clip Norwegian host Bridget, subtitled in English, describes the occurrence of hikikomori. People with this condition seclude themselves in their room for years at a time. In Japan alone, hikikomori occurs in 1 million young people with ages ranging between 25 – 35 years. Bridget speaks with Matsumoto from New Start, a program seeking to pull these recluses from their rooms. How do hikikimoris avoid having a social role? How has the internet aided in hikikimoris ability to remain in seclusion?

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Self Regulation

This group project from students at Baruch College explains self regulation, including the control theory. The clip shows students comparing their test grades; one of the students gets an “F” on his test and immediately goes home to study while his classmates go out partying because they got “A’s”. What does TOTE stand for? How did self-regulation help the failing student improve his grade?

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Looking Glass Self

This clip from a student project shows Vern who explains Charles Horton Colley’s term “looking-glass self.” Vern dances through the hall and imagines how he appears to others, then imagines how others will judge him, and lastly develops an emotional response as a result of how others have judged him. In relation to the looking-glass self, what is George Herbert Mead’s definition of the “generalized other” and how does it contribute to the self?

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Girls’ Self-Esteem

This video clip, sponsored by Dove, shows girls of various ages and backgrounds and how interactions with peers affected their self-esteem. Some of the girls explain that they changed the way they looked because of their peers words and appearance. One of the girls featured explains that she stopped eating and received positive feedback from her peers. How was her eating disorder a form of self-protection?

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The Mirror in My Mind: Body Image and Self-Esteem

Everywhere we look – in magazines, on billboards, no TV, and in the movies – there are surgically perfected women who are unrealistically thin and men whose muscles ripple and bulge. How can the rest of us measure up to these standards? And why should we? This video explores and explains the damages these cultural forces can do to a young persons developing sense of self-worth. How does social comparison, upward and downward, affect self-esteem?

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Spencer Pratt – I’m a Celebrity

Spencer Pratt, a reality TV star who is most famous for being on the MTV “reality TV” show, The Hills, explains that he sees the other participants of the show I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here as servants and speaks to the other people about his black belt and how he isn’t afraid of anyone else. He and his wife, Heidi (also from the show The Hills) leave the show shortly thereafter. What signs of narcissism does Spencer show in this clip? What self-presentations does Spencer offer to his cast mates?

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Sully’s Personal Side

Katie Couric interviews Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger who successfully crash landed an airbus carrying 159 passengers in the Hudson River. Although he is recognized as a national hero, he and his wife do not consider him a hero. What did Sully take away from this experience? How has Sully’s life been affected by the choices he made?

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Intervention – Ben & Josh

Ben, a 25-year-old genius addicted to DXM (dextromethorphan), and Josh, an overweight 22-year-old addicted to food, tell A&E’s show Intervention about their lives and how they became addicted. Most of this clip focuses on Ben, who is a potential genius and has caused himself many injuries. Although aware that his actions are risky, he continues to take DXM and live on the streets. What self-defeating behaviors has Ben undergone throughout his life?

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Social Cognition

Jim Mora Playoffs

After a loss, head coach Jim Mora was asked to comment during the customary post-game press conference. Coach Mora attributed the Colts’ loss to turnovers, interceptions and giving up field position. Were Coach Mora’s remarks internal attributions or external attributions? What type of attribution would he have made if he blamed the referees for the Colts’ losing effort?

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Fundamental Attribution Error

This video explains the concept of the fundamental attribution error. What example does the instructor offer to explain fundamental attribution error? How likely are people in more individualistic cultures or societies to commit such an error, versus people in more collectivist cultures?

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Women, Math, and Stereotype Threat

This video explores the idea that once a group of people expect a certain outcome, that outcome will occur. In this case, women were told that they do not perform as well as men on math tests, and then were given a test to take, and did poorly. What reasons do the researchers give for these results?

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Priming, Money, and the Effect on Us

In this clip, the BBC’s “Bang Goes the Theory Team” conducts an experiment to see how priming works. They conduct an experiment with Dr. Peter Naish; two groups were asked to count. One group counts slips of paper and the other counts bank notes. Then, each group is given a bowl of candy. The group that counted slips of paper only ate as much candy as they needed to determine how crunchy or chocolaty the candy is while the money group continued to eat 50% more than the paper group. Through this experiment Dr. Naish shows that money is synonymous with resources, linking money and food and thereby making the money group hungry. They conduct a second experiment with words and a third with ice. How do these experiments show priming? How does money affect the experimental group in each experiment?

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Heuristic Childcare

In this animation project, a mother leaves her son at home under the care of a robot who keeps heuristics in mind while he watches him. The robot deems certain activities and objects too dangerous for the child according to those heuristics. Define heuristics. What uncertain events did the robot keep the child from falling victim to? What event was he unable to predict?

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Availability Heuristic

In this clip about estimating risk (the availability heuristic) ABC News describes how road rage is “running rampant.” Bob Lichter explains that the media over-dramatizes reckless driving. According to an AAA study, road rage is up 51%; however, these reports were based on media reports. The AAA representative explains that we are more likely to pay attention to salacious reports. Define availability heuristic. How do the media use the availability heuristic in this example?

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Responsibility of Strangers

In this ABC news clip editors from “What Would You Do?” conduct a social experiment about the attribution theory. In the first part of the experiment Havala, an actor, sits on the beach, sets up an iPod radio, and then leaves. While she is away, a man (part of the experiment) comes by and steals her iPod radio. Neighboring people on the beach say and do nothing. In the second experiment, Havala chats with the people next to her. The man steals the radio again and one of the people she spoke with followed the culprit. In the third experiment, Havala acts obnoxiously but still receives help when the man steals her radio. In a second set of experiments, they use Shea who is an attractive and well-dressed woman. How do her neighbors react when the culprit takes her radio the first time? How does Carrie Keating explain their actions?

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Emotion and Affect

A Happiness Gene

In this clip, a geneticist, Gene Hama, explains that people are born with a long or short gene that acts like a natural version of Prozac and affects their happiness. Hama found that people with a long form of the gene were happier overall whereas people with the short gene were more neurotic. What does Hama explain about genes at the end of the clip? How do Hama’s findings demonstrate the hedonic treadmill theory?

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Putting Your Best Face Forward

UBC Assistant Professor Dr. Elizabeth Dunn explains her theory “putting your best face forward.” Dr. Dunn explains that in initial interactions we do our best to be impressive whereas we’re not as likely to put in the necessary effort with intimate partners/friends. Dr. Dunn focused her research on romantic couples and asked them to each “put their best face forward” in order to get along better with each other and feel more cheerful. How does Dr. Dunn’s theory take advantage of positive conscious emotions?

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Discovering Psychology: Communication of Emotion

This student project explores emotion and how it is communicated. They humorously cover the various ways we communicate, including voice quality, facial expression, body language, personal space and explicit acts. Take the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories of emotion into account; how do the body’s and mind’s reactions occur and in what order?

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Non-Verbal Communication Tools: Facial Feedback

This video from Expert Village explains facial feedback as a non-verbal communication tool. Tracy Goodwin explains how facial feedback evokes your response to what someone else is saying. Tracy explains that you want to encourage or discourage the speaker with your facial expressions. What is the facial feedback hypothesis? How does it relate to the James-Lange theory of emotion?

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The Science of Love the Aron Study

Putting Art Aron’s theory that danger can provoke passion to the test, an attractive female experimenter stands on a windy suspension bridge and asks a male participant to take part in an experiment. She asked them to fill out a sheet then write a brief dramatic story based on a photograph. She then offered to explain the experiment over the phone. She stopped 20 men on a windy suspension bridge and stopped the same number of men on a sturdier bridge. The men who met her on the suspension bridge were more likely to call the experimenter and write more romantic stories. What is Aron’s theory? How is this an example of excitation transfer?

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I Love You Man – Film Trailer

In this trailer for the film I Love You Man, Jason Segal leaves his dog’s droppings in the middle of the Venice beach boardwalk. A jogger steps on it and tells Jason to pick up after his dog. Jason then intimidates the jogger by screaming in his face and says, “Society tells us to act civilized but the truth is we’re animals and sometimes you’ve got to let it out.” He convinces Paul Rudd to “let it out” as well. How is this clip an example of the catharsis theory? What is another, possibly more constructive way to vent anger?

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When Emotions Make Better Decisions – Antonio Damasio

Antonio Damasio, acclaimed researcher and professor of neuroscience, explains the importance of emotions in decision-making. He speaks with David Brooks about people who suffer from brain damage and are unable to make simple decisions. Damasio explains that they are unable to choose because emotions allow us to “mark things as good, bad or indifferent”. Without conjuring up the emotion, they are unable to make a decision. He also ties emotion to memory. Would people with brain damage, like those Damasio describes, be able to affective forecast? Without emotional reactions, would the risk-as-feelings hypothesis work to help brain-damaged people make decisions?

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Emotional Intelligence in Practice

This clip offers two examples—one where the nurse lacks emotional intelligence with a knee-surgery patient and another where she shows emotional intelligence with the patient. Define emotional intelligence. How do the nurses’ approaches to the patient’s cries differ? What emotionally intelligent techniques does the second nurse use? How does the patient react?

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Attitudes, Beliefs, and Consistency

Stanford Prison Experiment

This clip explains Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. Students volunteered to participate as either prisoners or prison guards. The prisoner participants were arrested from their homes and were kept in small cells for 24-hour periods. The guards worked 8-hour shifts. Although students entered the experiment in good physical and mental health, prisoners became ill and zombie-like while guards became demanding and demeaning. Why didn’t any of the volunteers bow out of the experiment?

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Tough Day? Think Positive!

In this Huggies ad a child is confronted with a tough day—he gets fired, his car is impounded, and he is unable to get into his house. Even with all these difficult and challenging occurrences, he keeps a smile on his face and seems to have a positive attitude. What do attitudes allow us, as humans, to do? In this baby’s situation, how does a positive attitude help him get through a tough day?

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Mere-Exposure Effect: Attraction and Intimacy

In this student project, Amber defines the mere exposure effect and gives an example of how it works. As she makes her way to her apartment, she sees various advertisements for a type of beer. When she reaches into her refrigerator for a beer she has to choose between Stone IPA and Bud Light. Which does she choose and why? What would happen if she had tasted and disliked the advertised beer and then saw multiple ads for it?

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Moral Pharmacist – Social Experiment

This video is a good exploration of attitudes, how they are formed, and what function they serve the people in this experiment. Our attitudes are part of our emotional aspect of being, our patterns of beliefs and values and shape our future actions. There are three types of Attitudes (A, B, C: Affectively based (emotional), Behaviorally based (observing behaviors of others) and Cognitively based (reacting with our rational thoughts over our emotions). In this clip, a pharmacist refuses to fill a birth control prescription for a young woman. Other people in the pharmacy observe; they offer the teenage girl support, but only to a point. Who interferes with the pharmacist and what do they say? What happens when a more outspoken actor tries to fill her contraception prescription and how do the observers react? How are dual attitudes present?

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Cognitive Jones

In this student project, a young man sits in front of his television and drinks a 6-pack of Jones Soda. He then sees a news report reporting that the FDA has recalled Jones Soda because it contains an addictive substance. Jones Soda is made illegal. The young man is obviously disturbed by the news, paces around his room, and calls a friend who also drinks Jones Soda. Although he knows Jones Soda is illegal and thinks it is wrong to drink it, he sells a poker chip set to get a 4-pack. His friends try to convince him to drink other sodas. Eventually, the young man seeks counsel. Is this a good example of cognitive dissonance? Why or why not?

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Johnny Depp in Fraternity Initiation

In this clip from 21 Jump Street, Johnny Depp is a pledge in a fraternity. The pledge father explains the hardships that will befall the pledges as they attempt to become active brothers. The pledges aren’t allowed any form of individuality and are demeaned as they complete insensible tasks. What is effort justification? How does effort justification make the pledges feel hazing is worth it to become a brother? Why would the pledges wish to become a part of such a group?

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Social Influence and Persuasion

MAC vs PC - Counselor

The Mac and the PC are sitting with a therapist. The therapist asks the Mac to say something positive about PC. He does. Then PC begins giving Mac a compliment …and ends with an insult. After the remark, the therapist recommends they should come in twice a week. Are these commercials targeting the central route to persuasion, the peripheral route, or both?

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Chevrolet 2007 Super Bowl Commercial - "Ain't We Got Love"

This commercial shows images of celebrities singing songs that include the Chevrolet brand name. Most of the scenes show these celebrities walking toward, driving, or polishing their Chevys. Which route of the elaboration likelihood model does Chevrolet target in this commercial? Which two unconditioned stimuli (UCS) are paired with the brand Chevrolet?

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Treatment for Guilt, Shame, and Depression by Dr. Quintal

In this brief clip a patient of Dr. Quintal explains her constant feelings of guilt and shame and how, with Dr. Quintal’s help, she was able to feel guilt-free. As she continued to see Dr. Quintal, she felt less shame and is able to feel happy with herself and her life and feeling in control of both her emotions and livelihood. Define guilt and shame; how do they differ?

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I Can’t Forget: 9/11 Survivors

This clip shows survivors of the 9/11 attacks who explain their experiences. They describe the day’s occurrences, how they were able to survive, and remember the friends they lost. Define survivor guilt. How can survivor guilt take place not only after catastrophic events occur but also during a recession?

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Mood Food and ADHD

Canadian twins Scott and Spencer McHaffie excel in hockey but fail in school. Diagnosed with ADHD at an early age, the twins were a handful at home and in the classroom. Gretchen LeFever believes that ADHD is overdiagnosed and overmedicated. Dr. Michael Lyon provides parents of children with ADHD nutritional aids and diets to hinder ADHD symptoms. Theonine or “mood food” helped the McHaffie boys learn and play better. What changes in their diet have helped the twins with their ADHD symptoms?

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Performance on the Court (Yerkes-Dodson Law) Basketball Blog

In this basketball blog, Chase describes how to achieve peak performance by using the Yerkes-Dodson Law of Arousal in his pre-game preparation. He explains arousal levels and that the ideal place to be is somewhere between the high and low extremes. Does Chase sufficiently explain Yerkes-Dodson Law of Arousal? Where is the curve (higher or lower) in the inverted-U if a task is more difficult? Why?

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Social Psychology Persuasion Techniques

In this student project, Faina uses various persuasion techniques to get peers to help her finish her homework. They go over the door-in-the-face technique, foot-in-the-door technique, and reciprocal helping. Were the group’s definitions of the persuasion techniques accurate? Were their examples accurate? What are some other persuasion techniques that could apply to this situation?

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Jim Jones Mass Suicide 30 Years Later

[Please note this video includes disturbing images.] This remembrance of Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre of People’s temple documents the 1978 mass suicide of over 900 people, including children, in Guyana. The photographer brought in the day after describes the horrendous scene and remains haunted by it. How was Jim Jones able to influence his followers to commit suicide? What is normative influence and how does it relate to this tragedy?

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Asch Conformity Experiment

The Asch conformity experiments were a series of studies published in the 1950s that demonstrated the power of conformity in groups. These are also known as the "Asch Paradigm". The volunteer is surrounded by actors who choose the wrong line length in a visual perception test. Why does the volunteer conform to the group?

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One Year Later: Inside the Polygamist Ranch Raid

This AP news clip provides a glimpse into the YFZ Ranch a year after it was raided on a tip that young girls were being sexually abused and forced into marriage to older men. The community consists of polygamist husband Warren Jeffs and his 58 wives and 439 children. The families living in the YFZ Ranch live a different lifestyle than the majority of people living in the U.S. What are group norms? How do the YFZ Ranch families’ group norms differ from yours?

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Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ Official Movie Trailer

After Michael Jackson’s untimely death in 2009, a film based on his planned concert tour entitled This Is It hit theaters worldwide. The film follows his performance preparations and features footage of Jackson with people from his tour. As noted, this film had a limited release of two weeks. What is the fast-approaching-deadline technique? Research how much was grossed over the film’s showing. Was this technique effective?

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Vince with Slap Chop

In this infomercial for Slap Chop, Vince shows all the different ways he can use the Slap Chop. He explains how it will help you save time, eat healthier, makes cleaning easier, and helps you lose weight. Along with the Slap Chop Vince offers the Graty and shows how easy both the Slap Chop and Graty are to use. How is Vince using the that’s-not-all technique? How is he using persuasion?

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Danielle Fishel – Nutrisystems Commercial

Danielle Fishel, famous as Topanga from 90’s tv show Boy Meets World, endorses Nutrisystem and claims that she lost jobs because she was overweight. She was able to lose nearly 30 pounds. Is she a trustworthy source? How is Fishel a convert communicator?

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AT&T Yard Sale Rollover Minutes Commercial

In this AT&T commercial a mother protects her roll-over minutes at a garage sale. Her son says that they’re antique, but the mother explains that they’re exactly the same and “saving minutes saves money.” AT&T has consistently used the same family and basic campaign but has changed the activities and interactions the family has had. What persuasion technique(s) are being used in this commercial?

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TV – Not Good for Babies and Children

Michael Rich explains why children are more susceptible to advertising on television. The APA asks parents to pay attention to the pervasive effects of advertising. In February, the APA’s Task Force on Advertising and Children formally backed a proposal to restrict advertising to kids 8 years old and younger. The task forces report carefully lays out why children should be seen as victims of advertising, not consumers. How do Dr. Rich’s comments explain the impressionable years hypothesis?

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Prosocial Behavior

Pay It Forward – The Power of Three

In this trailer for Pay It Forward, one young student devises a plan to “pay it forward” by offering three people big favors and then have those people help three others. His purpose is to change the world. How does this clip show prosocial behavior? How does it show reciprocity?

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Monkey Cooperation and Fairness

A pair of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) show very compelling signs of cooperation and a sense of fairness, by working together to solve a problem using tools, and then sharing the reward. They also show signs of understanding fairness: when unequal rewards are given to one monkey and not another, the monkey receiving the lesser treat would rather go hungry than accept anything less than an equal reward. How do the monkeys show equity and equality? How do the monkeys show that they feel they are underbenefited?

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Dilbert Prisoner’s Dilemma

Arrested for the murder of a fictitious coworker, Dilbert and colleagues face interrogation by the police. Dilbert announces that his knowledge of the prisoner's dilemma will save him. Define the prisoner’s dilemma. Is Dilbert’s explanation correct? How does it work?

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Chris Brown Apology

Chris Brown, famous hip hop singer, apologizes for his attack of girlfriend and fellow hip hop singer, Rihanna. He explains that he has done his best to live in a way that can make others proud of him and says his actions are inexcusable. He mentions that he has been blessed with family, friends, and singing ability and is trying to understand why he did what he did. Brown mentions that he was raised in an abusive environment and that he shouldn’t have done what he did. What is forgiveness? Why is Brown asking the public for forgiveness? What are the benefits of receiving foregiveness?

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A Lesson in Conformity - Classic Sesame Street

In this classic Sesame Street clip, we are told the story of Stan and Dan. Every time Stan does something new, Dan has to do it as well, because he wants to be just like Stan. One day, Dan decides to go his own way. What might account for such a change? What do you think of Stan’s decision at the end of the video?

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Hartford Man Hit by Car and No one Helps

In this silent clip an elderly man gets hit by a car as he is crossing the street. Although there are many passersby in cars and on foot, no one rushes to his aid. A crowd of people gathers on the sidewalk, multiple cars drive past, and only after a full minute do people gather closer to him to see if he is okay. How does this clip demonstrate pluralistic ignorance? How does it demonstrate the bystander effect?

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Social Psychology Experiment

This experiment conducted by student Sarah Lisenbe of Mississippi State University, examines conformity to gender roles. She placed common male and female signs on opposite transparent doors instructing people to walk through the correct entrance. This silent clip shows students entering and leaving the building by the doors with their designated sex. Some students seem baffled by the signs, but continue to enter through the door designated for them. What does this experiment show about obedience and conformity?

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The Bystander Effect

In this clip the narrator explains “the bystander effect” and the “diffusion of responsibility.” Experimenters use the Liverpool Street Station in London to conduct their experiment. A male actor lies on the floor, crumpled in pain. Numerous people walk by as he is on the floor for more than 20 minutes without aid. A female actor lies on the floor and is helped after five minutes; once one man helps another woman, who was watching from afar, comes to help as well. What happens in the third experiment? Why? How does similarity with the actor (in appearance) prompt others to help?

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The Cult of the Suicide Bomber

This clip from “The Cult of the Suicide Bomber” documentary shows suicide bombers at work. Footage of young boys learning about “martyrdom” is shown. Tariq Hamid, a suicide bomber, missed his target; although this is true, his family and friends celebrate his death. Why do suicide bombers sacrifice their life so obediently and willingly?

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The Fifth Ape – Richard Dawkins

This Richard Dawkins documentary, “The Fifth Ape”, deals with the philosophical and social ramifications of the theory of evolution. To find out whether sexual selection plays a role for altruism and kindness among humans, he visits women who are looking for sperm donors, as well as a sperm bank manager. One of the sperm bank’s most popular donors is a “really nice guy.” Dawkins explains that all organisms are “survival machines.” How does Dawkins define the selfish gene? What is kin selection? What is altruistic helping?

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Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Beyonce, and the VMAs – Full Story

In this video from the 2009 VMAs rapper/producer Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for the best female music video to announce that Beyonce’s video should have won. This was Swift’s first VMA win and she was clearly upset and confused by West’s interruption. When Beyonce wins the VMA for best video of the year she asks Swift to come out and give her acceptance speech. How does Beyonce show empathy and altruistic empathy? Was Kanye attempting egoistic helping?

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Baby Left in Car – Social Experiment

In this social experiment an actor playing the mother leaves her child in the car while shopping. They park the car on a public street in view of passersby. When the researchers notice that people do not stop they play audio of a baby’s cries to try to get people’s attention. No one has stopped even though it is a hot day. Even when people hear the cries no one stops to help; a woman with her son finally stops and calls the police to report that the child had been left. The woman then confronts the actor. Another man calls the police and tells the actor “you should be shot.” Are some of the passersby experiencing negative state relief hypothesis? Why or why not? How are people’s reactions different when in groups?

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New Center at Stanford to Study Brain’s Role in Compassion, Altruism

William Mobley and Jim Doty describe a new center, CCARE (Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), at Stanford; its goal is to enhance altruistic behavior by examining altruism in a multidisciplinary fashion. Doty uses the Dalai Lama as an example of someone who has dedicated his life to compassion. They hope to teach compassion to all people. How does CCARE plan to discover the origins of compassion?

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Reaction to Women Abusing Men in Public

This ABC news experiment shows a woman publicly abusing her boyfriend verbally and physically. In a previous experiment men who abused women in public were confronted by passersby. In this documentation, Carrie Keating explains that men create more damage but women abuse men more often. As the girlfriend beats her boyfriend passersby either do nothing or have interesting reactions. Often, when people see the girlfriend beat the boyfriend they assume the boyfriend did something wrong. How does the gender of the abuser affect the reactions of passersby? Why is it okay for women to abuse men but not vice versa?

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Park Goers Reaction to Interracial Couples Fighting

In this clip an experiment is conducted to show how the public reacts to abuse in a biracial relationship. In the first experiment it is a white boyfriend and African American girlfriend. One male passerby stops but doesn’t interfere. Two female passersby lead the girlfriend away from the boyfriend. In the second part of the experiment, they used an African American boyfriend and a white girlfriend. In both situations, women were most likely to help. What does this say about helping those similar to ourselves? Why might men not be as eager to help?

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Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, Attraction, and Exclusion

Friends – Candy Lady

In this clip from the TV show Friends, a large mob of anxious, pushy people wait at Monica’s door to receive free candy. Is this a good example of deindividuation? What are some of the factors that result in deindividuation?

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New Mexico Lobos Soccer Player Elizabeth Lambert Plays Rough with BYU

Female soccer player from New Mexico, Elizabeth Lambert, plays very aggressively. She is shown punching competing players in the back, tripping competing players, and pulling one player’s ponytail so hard that she is thrown to the floor. The ESPN reporters ask what the limit is with this kind of sportsmanship. Is Lambert’s aggression warranted? Is this reactive or proactive aggression? When does aggression become violence?

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Anti-Social Behavior

In this brief clip, young boys feel intimidated by a group of “hoodies” standing on a corner. At first, they are reluctant to leave their home, but one boy ventures out even though he is afraid of what might happen to him. Define anti-social behavior. Are the boys guilty of anti-social behavior? How are aggression and anti-social behavior interconnected?

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On Aggression: What Makes Us Fight?

This clip from Virginia Commonwealth University, hosted by Lucky Severson, explains aggression and its history. Are there genes responsible for aggressive behavior? Edward Kravitz, neurologist, examines how aggression is brought about by the nervous system. He conducts experiment with lobsters; none of these lobsters have been trained to fight. In so doing, Kravitz would like to see if they inherently want to combat. Kravitz believes serotonin functions like a dimmer switch in the brain. Kravitz does another study with fruit flies. How does Kravitz explain serotonin’s involvement in aggression? Does Kravitz’s research support the instinct or learning theory of aggression?

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Deal or No Deal Models in Fat Suits

Models Leyla Milani and Brooke Long from the television show Deal or No Deal wear fat suits and undergo makeup treatment to simulate the experience of obesity. What do you think of the recent trend of television figures wearing fat suits? Is it effective in changing the public’s perceptions of obese people? How might Leyla and Brooke be showing signs of rejection sensitivity?

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What Do Men Find Attractive?

This short clip addresses some of the traits men value in women, particularly the waist-to-hip ratio. Besides waist to hip ratio, men are also attracted to full lips, well-defined cheekbones, and breasts. What confidence do you have in the researcher’s findings? Why or why not? Was the waist-to-hip ratio in figure C physically realistic?

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Secrets of the Sexes: Male Height

At the beginning of this clip, women created a computer simulation of the ideal man. However, there was no relationship between those physical preferences and the length of time spent with men during a speed dating session. What character judgments are associated with male height? What did the speaker state at the end of the clip? What are the implications for shorter men?

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Secrets of the Sexes: Male Status Attraction

A college instructor who describes himself as “short and skinny” is often perceived by women as a “nice guy.” Researchers give Peter “a more affluent look”—a suit and trendy sunglasses, resulting in a change in women’s attitudes toward him. Would you expect the same pattern of results if the suit outfit were worn the day before the casual outfit? What does this say about what features attract women?

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Domestic Violence Public Service Announcement

This anti-domestic violence PSA from Canada shows a man with two children in a restaurant. A waitress pours coffee into his mug and accidentally over pours. The waitress apologizes but he verbally and physically abuses her in front of the entire restaurant. What is domestic violence? How does this clip emphasize other people’s actions/inactions?

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Testosterone Factor

This National Geographic clip discusses testosterone and how it works in humans. Testosterone has a reputation for causing violence, rage, and aggression while also being associated with sex and power. Testosterone levels affect our skills. The 2D-4D ratio shows the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in utero. How does this ratio work? What might the length of your ring finger say about you?

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Lying, Cheating, Stealing Teens

This CBS News report covers the alarming rate at which teens are now lying, cheating, and stealing. David Scott believes we’re in a moral decline. Eli Cox, Marketing Chair for Red McCombs School of Business, says that our society focuses too much on “me” and not enough on the community. Results from a survey of 30,000 American high school students shows that 83% lied to a parent, 30% stole from a store, and 64% cheated on a test in the past year. Also, 93% of students felt satisfied in their ethics. How are lying, cheating, and stealing forms of antisocial behavior? What are some other types of antisocial behavior? Do you have any questions about the results of the survey?

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Facebook Manners and You

This comical clip explains how to have manners on Facebook, a popular social networking site. Alice and Timmy are in a relationship until Alice discovers Timmy has listed himself as “single.” In retaliation she posts embarrassing photos of him. How do social networking websites show that belongingness is a basic need? What is social acceptance? How are acceptance and rejection used on Facebook?

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Dating in the Dark TV Show

This clip from the show Dating in the Dark is a dating show where three men and three women meet in a pitch-black room and, by those interactions, decide whether or not they would like to continue to date any of the other contestants. If contestants enjoy each other’s company, they can request to see one another again. If they do not, they can deny other’s advances. In their final interaction, each contestant is asked to choose the person they’d most like to date. They then get to see that person with the lights on for the first time and can decide if they’d still like to date. What is attraction? What is rejection? Do you think a mental attraction can overcome the lack of a physical attraction?

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Proximity Psych

In this project the student defines proximity in relation to famous couples whose relationships may or may not have been built on propinquity. The student shows photographs from films and television shows and refers to couples that budded from the casts. Define the mere exposure effect. How does physically closeness become intimacy?

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Laws of Attraction

In this CBS clip from the series Medical Mysteries, we meet with Jena Pincott who began studying the chemistry of romance. She wrote a book called Do Gentleman Really Prefer Blondes? and discovered that men are less likely to follow their sense of smell to base attraction. A new DNA matchmaking service, ScientificMatch.com, is designed to match men and women based on chemical makeup. Jena and Peter are a “perfect chemical match” based on an algorithm. Jena explains that “opposites attract.” How does Jena explain that opposites attract? How did Helen Fisher explain it?

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The Pickup Artist TV Show

The Pickup Artist, a reality TV show from VH1, shows how two self-proclaimed Casanovas (Mystery and Matador) teach unconfident men how to be attractive to women. Some of the men haven’t had sex, some are unable to approach women because they are petrified, and some need confidence overall. Through makeovers, training, and putting the men in club situations, they are transformed and hope to become “the pickup artist.” In the beginning of the clip how did men show signs of rejection sensitivity? Why have these men been socially rejected in the past?

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Relationships, Love, and Dating Advice: Women's Physical Appearance and Character - Dating Tips

Antone Christopher, author of The Bitter Man’s Guide to Dating and The Bitter Woman’s Guide to Dating, shares some of the inferences men can draw from a woman’s appearance. He uses the example of a woman’s nails (the way they are polished, maintained) to explain her lifestyle and personality characteristics. Are inferences such as those Antone Christopher suggested commonplace in society? How do Antone’s comments mirror Carl Rogers’ idea of self-actualization?

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Milla Jovovich - Calvin Klein "Escape" Ad

In this Calvin Klein cologne commercial, a female and a male model run through a narrow hallway in pursuit of one another. What type of love is demonstrated in this clip, according to Berscheid and Hatfield? What would Robert Sternberg say about this kind of love over time?

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Prejudice and Groups

Tyra Banks Addresses the Unflattering Bathing Suit Photos

Tyra Banks addresses the criticism and remarks about her weight gain in the tabloids. Tyra suggests that if she had lower self-esteem that she may be starving herself like others do. Do celebrities possess enough power to influence perceptions of physical appearance, particularly weight in society? What factors contribute to prejudice against people who are overweight?

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Rise in Hate Groups

This news clip discusses the rise of hate groups in the United States since 2000. Harry Smith and Morris Dees confer over reasons for this rise, including the election of President Barack Obama. What does Dr. Dees think about domestic versus foreign hate groups and public safety? Define Gordon Allport’s contact hypothesis; how might his theory reduce prejudice between groups?

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Shopping While Black – Social Experiment

In this social experiment a African American actress shops at an upscale store and is prejudiced against by a boutique worker (also played by an actress). According to a recent survey, 60% of African Americans feel they’re victimized by the stigma of “shopping while black”. The experiment shows the shopper dressed up and dressed down. Other shoppers don’t interfere with this discrimination. A security guard and sales clerk force the African American shopper out of the store. One woman gets upset by the clerk’s discriminatory comments. Some others try to defend her. What is a stereotype? Why were ingroup members more likely to help the shopper?

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YouTube’s Symphony

This video documents the process of creating an orchestra by having people audition on YouTube. Those who make the cut travel to Carnegie Hall to play a concert. One of the problems discussed is the language barrier between the various members of the orchestra. How has the internet changed people’s ability to communicate with each other? How does music affect people’s ability to connect to each other? Since the YouTube orchestra was chosen via posting video clips on YouTube, how does evaluation apprehension aid orchestra hopefuls?

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Diane Schroer on Transgender Discrimination

Starting a new life and searching for a new career isn't easy, but Diane Schroer, a highly-decorated veteran, is no stranger to a challenge. A former Airborne Ranger qualified Special Forces officer, Schroer began taking steps to transition from male to female shortly after retiring as a Colonel after 25 years of distinguished service in the Army. When she interviewed for a job as a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress, she thought she'd found the perfect fit. Schroer accepted the position, but when she told her future supervisor that she was in the process of gender transition, they rescinded the job offer. Why would the Library of Congress rescind their job offer even though she was the best candidate for the position?

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Social Loafing Quality

This student project attempts to provide an example of social loafing. Three friends decide to make a snack. Two of the girls are working hard to finish the dessert while the third girl stirs and texts at the same time. Two of the girls continue to finish preparing the dessert for the oven as the other chats on the phone. At the end, one student explains who the free rider was. What has research shown about working alone versus working in a group? When do we work harder?

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Psychology and the Legal System

Accused of Child Murder

In this news clip, reporters discuss the shocking news that Melissa Huckaby, a 28-year-old Sunday school teacher, allegedly murdered and dumped the body of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in an irrigation ditch after two weeks of heavily publicized searching. Because Cantu’s disappearance and murder was highly publicized, the judge ordered a gag order. What does this entail and how does it affect Huckaby’s case?

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OJ Simpson Vegas Robbery

This news clip describes jury selection in the O.J. Simpson Vegas trial. Since Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in 1995, jury selection for this case was difficult. Simpson was eventually charged on all 10 counts in the Vegas trial. If his murder trial and the “not guilty” verdict had not been widely publicized, do you think he would have received the same verdict he did in Vegas?

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Elisabeth Fritzl Children’s Detail

This news video details the story of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was imprisoned by her father Josef Fritzl for the majority of her life in a secret chamber. The reporters discuss the horrors discovered. What do you think about the commentary provided about Rosemarie Fritzl’s ignorance to the abuse in her home? How could abuse like this go on for more than 20 years without anyone knowing?

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Psychology and the Environment

Extracting Taste out of Waste

This video shows how restaurant waste in San Francisco becomes nutrient-rich compost used in farms and vineyards. What is the purpose of weeds in Canard’s farm? How does “garbage” make its way back onto 2,000 San Francisco restaurant tables?

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Bottle Bank Arcade – The FunTheory.com

The FunTheory.com conducts an experiment in order to get people to recycle their bottles by making it a fun activity. The experimenter sets up a bottle bank with flashing lights and a display, giving the “player” points for their bottles. The flashy bottle bank receives bottles from 100 people, while a nearby bottle bank is used only twice. Considering that one of the hardest parts about changing our behavior is changing our attitude about something, would this be an effective way to get all people to recycle? What other “games” do you think would make green activities entertaining?

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A Clockwork Green

George Lundberg, Editor in Chief of Medscape General Medicine begins the short clip with an introduction of the speaker and topic. Stephen Moffic, a professor of psychiatry, offers his perspective on why physicians and psychiatrists have not addressed the emotional, physiological, and behavioral effects of environmental issues. Moffic also notes a paradigm for social influence research and the importance of emotions in changing attitudes toward global warming. According to Moffic, why do people tend to discount global warming despite having caused it and possessing the ability to prevent further degradation of the earth? Do you agree or disagree with his stance? Why?

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Therapy with a Dose of Nature

Thomas Dohert, coordinator of ecopsychology studies at Lewis & Clark's graduate school discusses the relationship between a person's values and their beliefs about the environment. Graduate students share their experiences in ecopsychology courses and how the perspective benefited them personally and professionally. What is eco-therapy? What are some ways to help people connect with the environment?

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We Have to Live Within the Carrying Capacity of the Earth

Christopher Slatter of EuroNews interviews Bjorn Stigson of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Stigson remarks on the balancing act between development and our environment. He cautions that we have to live within the carrying capacity of the earth, and that we may need to change our lifestyles and consumption patterns to reduce emissions. What is the carrying capacity? According to Stigson, how long will it take for societies to change their lifestyles and consumption patterns?

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Mathis Wackernagel: The Ecological Footprint

The developer of the ecological footprint concept, Mathis Wackernagel, is interviewed. He defines the concept by a financial analogy, and thus ecological footprints are our world's ecological capital. Wackernagel continues with the financial analogies likening our current ecological depletion of 25-30% as going into bankruptcy. How is a person's or country's ecological footprint calculated?

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Where Does E-Waste End Up?

A Greenpeace scientist, Kevin Brigden, analyzed the soil and water of two large e-waste recycling markets—India and China and found extremely high levels of contamination. In light of this, leading electronics companies have vowed to begin developing safer, non-toxic alternatives in their products. Why isn't this waste processed in the United States since most of the electronic components were used there? How does it feel to know that the technology consumption of advanced countries puts people of developing countries at risk?

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The Psychology of Climate Change

Journalist and ABC news correspondent, Bill Blakemore, speaks to some of the psychological phenomena that occur when people think about environmental crises. In particular, Blakemore focuses on some of the defense mechanisms we use to cope with the discomfort caused by environmental issues. How is selective denial harmful? How is selective denial adaptive?

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How to Reuse Everyday Items

In this instructional video, a number of suggestions are given on how to reuse everyday items. These items include old newspapers, produce bags, greeting cards, mouse pads, file folders, and junk mail. Which of the household items would be easiest for you to reuse? Which item in the video is the least likely to be reused? Why?

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How to Be Green at Work

Howcast uses a similar format to the clip above, but this time on how to be “green” at work. Practical and some less practical workplace suggestions are given for employees. Suppose you want to do your part to reduce your reliance on personal transportation. What are some potential options for you and your workplace?

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