Define social psychology (great place to use an in-text citation) Define your assigned psychological phenomenon. (Use in-text citations). What is the historical background of your psychological phenomenon? Give real-life examples or experiences with your psychological phenomenon. What do experts say about the psychological phenomenon you researched? Has your psychological phenomenon been in the news lately? Conclusion-What did you learn from your research?
Social psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people and the social context in which they exist (Aronson et al., 2019). It explores various topics such as attitudes, conformity, obedience, group dynamics, and social cognition.
The assigned psychological phenomenon for this paper is the self-serving bias. The self-serving bias refers to the tendency for individuals to attribute their successes to internal factors, such as personal qualities or abilities, while attributing their failures to external factors, such as luck or situational circumstances (Miller & Ross, 1975). This bias allows individuals to maintain a positive self-image and protect their self-esteem.
The historical background of the self-serving bias dates back to the 1960s when researchers began investigating attribution theory. Attribution theory focuses on how individuals explain and interpret the causes of behavior, including their own behavior (Heider, 1958). This theory led to the exploration of various biases in attribution, including the self-serving bias.
One of the earliest studies on the self-serving bias was conducted by Miller and Ross (1975), who found that students tended to attribute their successes to internal factors and their failures to external factors. This finding sparked further research on the self-serving bias in various domains, such as academic achievement, sports performance, and interpersonal relationships.
In real-life situations, the self-serving bias can be observed in various contexts. For example, imagine a student who performs well on an exam and attributes their success to their intelligence and hard work. On the other hand, if the same student performs poorly on another exam, they may attribute their failure to factors like a difficult test or distractions in the environment. Similarly, in sports, athletes often attribute their victories to their skills and efforts, while attributing losses to factors like bad luck or unfair officiating.
Experts in social psychology have extensively studied the self-serving bias and provided insight into its underlying mechanisms and consequences. For example, researchers have proposed that the self-serving bias serves a psychological protective function by helping individuals maintain a positive self-image (Sedikides & Gregg, 2008). Moreover, studies have shown that the self-serving bias can influence individuals’ emotions, motivation, and subsequent behaviors (Mezulis et al., 2004).
Despite its importance in understanding human behavior, the self-serving bias is not frequently covered in mainstream media. However, its implications can be seen indirectly in news stories related to self-presentation, attribution errors, and biases in decision-making. For example, when politicians attribute their successes to their own skills and talents while blaming external factors for failures, it reflects the presence of the self-serving bias in public figures.
In conclusion, the self-serving bias is a psychological phenomenon that involves attributing successes to internal factors and failures to external factors. It has a rich historical background rooted in attribution theory. Real-life examples of the self-serving bias can be found in academic, sports, and interpersonal domains. Experts in social psychology have shed light on the mechanisms and consequences of the self-serving bias. While not explicitly discussed in recent news, its influence can be observed indirectly in stories related to self-presentation and biases in decision-making. Overall, researching the self-serving bias has provided a deeper understanding of how individuals protect their self-image and maintain their self-esteem.