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66 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Social Psychology
The subfield of psychology that explores the effects of the social world on the behavior & mental processes of individuals & groups.
Social Cognition
Refers to mental processes associated with people’s perceptions of, and reactions to, other people.
The way one thinks about oneself.
Evaluations people make about their worth as human beings.
Festinger’s Theory of Social Comparison
Theory stating that people evaluate themselves in relation to others.
Reference Groups
The categories of people you feel you belong to & compare yourself with.
Downward Social Comparison
When one comapres themselves to those they view as being not as good as they are in an attempt to build self-esteem.
Upward Social Comparison
When one compares themselves to those they view as being better than they are in an attempt to build optimism towards improvement.
Relative Deprivation
The sense that one is not getting all that one deserves.
Social Perception
The processes through which people interpret information about others, draw inferences about them, & develop mental representations of them.
Mental representations about people & social situations.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
A process in which an initial impression causes us to bring out behavior in another that confirms that impression.
The process of explaining the causes of people’s behavior, including our own.
Internal Attribution
When we attribute behavior to an internal cause, or as a characteristic of the person. As an example, if someone failed to meet you for lunch and you felt it was because they were inconsiderate and forgetful, that would be an internal attribution.
External Attribution
When you attribute behavior to external causes, or aspects of the situation. As an example, if someone failed to meet you for lunch and you felt it was because they got caught in traffic or had an emergency to deal with, that would be an external attribution.
Fundamental Attribution Error
A bias towards overattributing the behvior of others to internal factors. For example, if someone does not say hello to you, you may think it is because they are not very nice, when in fact it may be because they like you so much they are shy.
Actor-Observer Bias
The tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to internal causes while attributing one’s own behavior to external causes. For example, if someone doesn’t talk to you and you don’t talk to them, you may think they are not talking to you because they are not nice, but you are not talking to them because you never have enough time to really strike up a good conversation.
Self-Serving Bias
The cognitive tendency to attribute one’s successes to internal characteristics while blaming one’s failure on external causes. Thinking you won a poker game because you were the smartest, but lost at blackjack because the deck was rigged is an example of this behavior.
A tendency toward a particular cognitive, emotional, or behavioral reaction to objects in one’s environment.
Cognitive Component of Attitude
A set of beliefs about the attitude object. An example would be the belief that no living thing should be harmed.
Affective Component of Attitude
The emotional component that includes how one feels about the object. An example would be when someone becomes upset upon hearing that an animal was harmed in an experiment.
Behavioral Component of Attitude
The way people act toward an object. An example would be protesting against animal cruelty.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
A theory stating that uneasiness results when people’s thoughts, beliefs, & attitudes are inconsistent with one another & with their behavior, & that such uneasiness motivates people to tryto restore consistency. One test confirming this theory was performed by Festinger & Carlsmith in 1959. One group was paid a dollar to lie about a dull task, claiming it was not dull. The second group was paid twenty dollars to do the same. Results showed that those who were paid less to lie stated that they actually didn’t mind the dull task, while those who were paid more felt the task was actually dull. This showed that those who had less reason to lie experienced cognitive dissonance, and thus mentally turned the lie into a truth.
Impressions or schemas of an entire group of people that involve the false assumption that all members of the group share the same characteristics.
A positive or negative attitude toward people in certain groups.
Differential treatment of people in certain groups and the behavioral component of prejudice.
Composed of three main elements: acceptance of very traditional or conventional values; willingness to unquestioningly follow the orders of authority figures; and an inclination to act aggresively toward individuals or groups identified by these authority figures as threats to the person’s values or well-being. People with this nature tend to view the world as a threatening place.
Important Components of Intimate Relationships
Love, interdependence and commitment.
The thoughts, emotions, & behaviors of one person affect the thoughts, emotions & behaviors of the other.
The extent to which each person is psychologically attached to the relationship & wants to remain in it.
Sternberger’s Triangular Theory of Love
Theory stating that the three basic components of love are passion, intimacy, and commitment. Various combinations of these components result in various types of love: romantic, companionate, and consumate.
Romantic Love
Love involving a high degree of passion & intimacy, yet lacks substantial commitment to the other person.
Companionate Love
Love marked by a great deal of intimacy & commitment but little passion.
Consummate Love
The most complete & satisfying type of love due to a high level of all three of Sternberger’s components.
Factors That Influence Marital Satisfaction
The ability to work through conflict; respect of one another’s feelings; the level of intimacy; communication; sharing of the work load; and holding similar personal views.
Learned, socially based rules that prescribe what people should or should not do in various situations.
A psychological state occuring in group members that results in loss of individuality & a tendency to do things not normally done when alone.
Factors Increasing the Likelihood of Deindividuation
The first factor is believing that, as a part of a group, one cannot be held personally accountable for one’s actions. The second factor is when the group’s norms become more important than one’s own thoughts & standards.
The changing of one’s behavior or beliefs to match those of others, generally as a result of unspoken, real or imagined group pressure. n example would be wearing something that friends are because you’re afraid you won’t be accepted if you don’t
The adjustment of one’s behavior because of a direct request. An example would be wearing something because a friend directly asked you to.
Factors That Lead to Conformity
Public conformity, private acceptance, ambiguity.
Public Conformity
When someone goes against what they know to be true or honest because they believe it was the socially desirable thing to do.
Private Acceptance
When someone allows another’s view of reality to become their own, even if the two views are opposite.
As the features of a situation become less clear, people rely more on others’ opinions.
Foot-in-the-door Technique
Getting a person to agree to small requests & then working up to larger ones.
Door-in-the-face Technique
Begins with a request for a favor that is likely to be denied. A lesser alternative (and what is actually desired) is then offered, and typically accepted.
Low-ball Technique
Once an oral commitment is made, the cost of fulfilling it is increased, and one can end up doing something initially unintended due to the feeling of obligation regarding following through with the initial commitment.
Strategies for Inducing Compliance
1. Foot-in-the-door Technique
2. Door-in-the-face Technique
3. Low-ball Technique
A form of compliance in which people comply with a demand from an authority figure.
Milgram’s Obedience Study
Participants induced a steadily increasing shock to a man who becomes very vocal about wishing to quit due to a heart condition. Milgram found that only five participants stopped before the 300 volt mark, and sixty-five percent went all the way to 450 volts, apparently killing the man.
Factors That Influence Obedience
The status & prestige of the leader; proximity; the behavior of others; and personality characteristics.
An act that is intended to harm another person.
Theories on Aggression
1. Genetic & Biological Mechanisms

2. Learning & Cultural Mechanisms Theory

3. Frustration-Aggression Theory

4. Generalized Arousal Theory
Genetic & Biological Mechanisms Theory
States that aggression is a hereditary factor and involves hormones and brain functions.
Learning & Cultural Mechanisms Theory
States that aggression is a learned behavior cultivated from the environment and the influences of those around you.
Frustration-Aggression Theory
Suggests that stress & frustration leads to aggression.
Generalized Arousal Theory
Suggests that arousal from one experience carries over to another, producing excitation transfer.
Helping Behavior
Any act that is intended to benefit another person.
An unselfish concern with another’s welfare.
Bystander Effect
A phenomenon in which the chances that someone will help in an emergency decreases as the number of people present increases. The diffusion of responsibility among witnesses leaves each witness with feeling less obligated to help and thus lowers the perceived cost of not helping.
Social Facilitation
A phenomenon in which the mere presence of other people improves a person’s performance on a given task. An example would be the performances in a play improving in front of a live audience.
Social Impairment
A reduction in performance due to the presence of other people. An example would be singing a song poorly in public due to shyness.
Social Loafing
Exerting less effort when performing a group task because one’s contribution cannot be identified. An example would be just about every high-school group project.
When group members are unable to realistically evaluate the options available to them or to fully consider the potential negative consequences of the option they are about to choose.
Conditions That Promote Groupthink
1. When the group is isolated from outside influences.

2. When the group is working under time pressure or other intense stressors.

3. When the group does not carefully evaluate alternative ways of solving the problem.

4. When there is a strong leader who obviously favors a particular solution.
Conditions that Negate Groupthink
1. Designation of a devil’s advocate to constantly challenge the group’s emerging decisions and to offer alternatives.

2. Encouragment of diverse opinions by allowing people to express them anonymously.