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71 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
what is social psych
The scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in a social context
how are social psych and sociology different?
Sociology tends to focus on the group level.

Social psychology tends to focus on the individual level.
how are social psych nad clinical psych different
Clinical psychologists seek to understand and treat people with psychological difficulties or disorders.
Social psychologists focus on the more typical ways in which individuals think, feel, behave, and influence each other.
how are social psych and cognitive psych different?
Cognitive psychologists study mental processes overall.

Social psychologists are interested in mental processes with respect to social information and how these processes influence social behavior.
knew it all along phenomenon
Common sense seems to explain many social psychological findings after the fact
Kurt Lewin’s Fundamental Principles of Social Psychology
What we do depends to a large extent on how we perceive and interpret the world around us.

Behavior is a function of the interaction between the person and the environment.

Social psychological theories should be applied to important, practical issues.
social psych changes in the mid 1970s
Integration of both “hot” (emotion, motivation) and “cold” (cognition) perspectives in the study of the determinants of our thoughts and actions
basic research
Goal is to increase our understanding of human behavior.

Often designed to test a specific hypothesis from a specific theory.
applied research
Goal is to enlarge our understanding of naturally occurring events.

Additional goal is to find solutions to practical problems.
conceptual variable
Conceptual: MOOD affects HELPING behavior.
independent variable
dependent variable
An organized set of principles that describes, predicts, and explains some phenomenon
an explicit testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur
observational studies
What percentage of people wash their hands after using the restroom?
archival studies
Examining existing records of past events
Questions about:

Random Sampling
correlational study
A statistical measure of the extent to which two variables are associated.

correlation is not causation
A type of research in which the investigator varies some factors, keeps others constant, and measures the effects on randomly assigned participants.
lab experiments
Conducted in settings in which:
The environment can be controlled.
The participants can be carefully studied.
field experiments
Conducted in real-world settings.
Advantage: People are more likely to act naturally.
Disadvantage: Experimenter has less control.
operational variable
Finding a dollar will increase the likelihood that people will complete a survey.
independent variable
dependent variable
main effect
The overall effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, ignoring all other independent variables
How the effect of each independent variable is different as a function of other independent variables
statistical significance
How likely is it that the results could have occurred by chance?

A set of statistical procedures for examining relevant research that has already been conducted and reviewed.

Allows one to combine the results of individual studies to measure the overall reliability and strength of particular effects.
self concept
How do people come to know themselves?

The sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves, made up of self-schemas

Beliefs can include personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles.
six factor concept scale
Having strength, toughness, and the ability to influence others
Task Accomplishment:
Having good work habits, ability to manage and complete tasks efficiently
Having special natural aptitudes and talents
Self-criticalness and difficulty performing under pressure
Pleasant and enjoyable to be with
Qualities valued as good and virtuous
Self-knowledge through looking inward at one’s own thoughts and feelings.
But does introspection always lead to accurate self-knowledge?
Wilson (2002): Introspection can sometimes impair self-knowledge!
problems with introspection
We have difficulty in predicting responses to future emotional events.
Affective Forecasting
We tend to overestimate the strength and duration of our emotional reactions.
“Durability bias”
why is there a durability bias
For negative events, we do not fully appreciate our psychological coping mechanisms.
We focus only on the emotional impact of a single event, overlooking the effects of other life experiences.
self perception theory
When internal cues are difficult to interpret, people gain insight by observing their own behavior.
But only in the absence of compelling situational pressures.
facial feedback hypothesis
Changes in facial expression can lead to changes in the subjective experience of emotions.
Laird (1974): Facial expressions affect emotion through process of self-perception.
Alternative explanation: Facial movements evoke physiological changes that produce an emotional experience.
intrinsic motivation
Originates in factors within a person

An inner drive that motivates people in the absence of external reward or punishment.
extrinsic motivation
Originates in factors outside the person

The desire to engage in an activity for money, recognition, or other tangible benefits.
overjustification effect
when intrinsic motivation once a reward is no longer available
influence of others on our "self"
People tend to describe themselves in ways that set them apart from others in their immediate vicinity.

The self is “relative.”
We define ourselves in part by using others as a benchmark.
social comparison theory
Festinger (1954):
When uncertain about our abilities or opinions, we evaluate self through comparisons with similar others.
schachters 2 factor theory of emotion
experience of emotion is based on two factors, physiological arousal and a cognitive interpretation of that arousal
autobiographical memories
Essential for a coherent self-concept.

Typically report more events from the recent than the distant past.
Exceptions to this recency rule:
Reminiscence peak
Tendency to remember

Flashbulb memories serve as prominent landmarks in our autobiographies.
Autobiographical memory is a vital part of, and can be shaped by, our identity.
Often motivated to distort the past in ways that are self-inflated.
transitional “firsts”
cultural influences on self concept
Self-concept is also influenced by cultural factors.
Contrasting cultural orientations:
Individualism: One’s culture values the virtues of independence, autonomy, and self-reliance.
Collectivism: One’s culture values the virtues of interdependence, cooperation, and social harmony.
the need for self esteem
Satisfying this need is critical to our entire outlook on life.
Those with a positive self-image tend to be happy, healthy, productive, and successful.
Those with a negative self-image tend to be more depressed, pessimistic about the future, and prone to failure.
self awareness theory
theory that self focused attention leads people to notice self discrepancies, thereby motivating either an escape from self-awareness or a change in behavior
Muraven & Baumeister
Exaggerate facial responses
Stifle emotional responses
ironic processes
Wegner (1994): Sometimes the harder we try to inhibit a thought, feeling, or behavior, the less likely we are to succeed.
implicit egotisim
nonconscious form of self-enhancement
mechanisms of self enhancement
How does the average person cope with his or her faults, inadequacies, and uncertain future?
We often exhibit implicit egotism, a tendency to hold ourselves in high regard.
What methods do we use to rationalize or otherwise enhance our self-esteem?
self serving cognitions
People tend to take credit for success and distance themselves from failure.
Most people are unrealistically optimistic.
Bolster rosy outlook by linking personal attributes to desirable outcomes
Why do we make excuses?
Way of protecting self from seeing failure as due to a lack of ability.
Self-Handicapping: Behaviors designed to sabotage one’s own performance in order to provide a subsequent excuse for failure.

Downplaying own ability, lowering expectations, or openly predicting failure
basking in the glory of others
To raise our self-esteem we often bask in reflected glory (BIRG) by associating with others who are successful.
To protect our self-esteem, we will “cut off reflected failure” (CORF) by distancing ourselves from others who fail or are of low status.
downward social comparisons
defensive tendency to compare ourselves with others who are worse off than we are

When self-esteem is at stake, we tend to make comparisons with others who are worse off.
Will make temporal comparisons between past and present selves.
If experiencing a tragic life event, we tend to:
Affiliate with others in same predicament who are adjusting well (possible role models).
Compare ourselves with others who are worse off.
self presentation
strategies people use to shape what others think of them
strategic self-presentation
Our efforts to shape others’ impressions in specific ways to gain influence, power, sympathy, or approval.
Common strategic self-presentation goals:
Desire to “get along” with others and be liked
Desire to “get ahead” and gain respect for one’s competence

(type of self-presentation)
Desire to have others perceive us as we truly perceive ourselves.
Do we self-verify negative self-concepts?
Desire for self-verification will sometimes overwhelm the need for self-enhancement.
self monitoring
tendency to change behavior in response to the self-presentation concerns of the situation
high and low self monitors
High Self-Monitors
Sensitive to strategic self-presentation concerns.
Low Self-Monitors
More concerned with self-verification.
multifaceted self
Historically, the self has been viewed as an enduring aspect of personality.
Stable over time and slow to change
But at least part of the self is malleable.
Molded by life experiences
Varies from one situation to the next
Self is complex and multifaceted, not simple.
attribution theory
a group of theories that describe how people explain the causes of behavior
personal attribution theory
attribution to internal characteristics of an actor, such as mood or effort
situational theory
attribution factors external to an actor, such as the people or luck
fundamental attribution error
tendency to focus on the role of personal causes and underestimate the impact of situations on other people's behavior
Kelley’s Covariation Theory
People make attributions using the covariation principle.
Three kinds of covariation are useful:
How are other people reacting to the same stimulus?
Is the person’s behavior consistent over time?
Does the person react the same or differently to different stimuli?
actor observer effect
tendency to attribute our own behavior to situational causes and the behavior of others to personal factors
self serving attributions
A bias in attributions to maintain our self-esteem
cognitive heuristics
Cognitive heuristics are information-processing rules of thumb.
Enable us to think in ways that are quick and easy
Problem is that using cognitive heuristics can frequently lead to error.
availability heuristic
Making judgments about the frequency or likelihood of an event based on how easily instances come to mind
Actual frequency influences how easily evidence comes to mind but so do other factors
false consensus effect
The tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which others share their opinions, attributes and beliefs
counterfactual thinking
we lament our missteps
we should have invested in a certain stock
should have become a doctor instead of a lawyer
motivational biases
Dunning (2001): The need for self-esteem biases social perceptions in subtle ways.
Belief in a Just World: The belief that individuals get what they deserve in life.
Can lead to a tendency to disparage victims
detecting deception
Mismatch between the behavioral cues that actually signal deception and the ones used to detect deception.
Four channels of communication provide relevant information:
Words: Cannot be trusted
Face: Controllable
Body: Somewhat more revealing than face
Voice: Most revealing cue
internal validity
degree to which there can be reasonable certainty that the independent variables in an experiment caused the effects obtained on the dependent variables
external validity
degree to which there can be reasonable confidence that the results of a study would be obtained for other people and in other situations