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77 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Social psychology

The scientific study of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in a group

Channel factors

At the surface, seemingly unimportant things that affect behavior


People's interpretations/inferences about stimuli or situations they confront

Gestalt psychology

People perceive objects not by means of some automatic registering device but by active, usually unconscious, interpretations of what the object represents as a whole

Prisoner's dilemma

Situation involving payoff for two people, cooperation produces the best result for both


Generalized knowledge about the social world


Schemas that we have for people of various kinds

Automatic processing

Reacting quickly to frightening situations so they can take immediate actions

Controlled processing

Conscious thoughts

Naturalistic fallacy

The way things are differ from the way things "should" be

Hindsight bias

Overconfidence in predicting a given outcome

Observational research

Not in a lab, low internal validity, high external validity

Archival research

Looking at evidence found in archives to make conclusions

Reverse causation

In correlational, possible explanation of why causation cannot be concluded

Third variable

In correlational, possible explanation of why causation cannot be concluded

Experimental research

Manipulating a variable, very controlled, high internal validity, low external validity

Longitudinal study

Looking at same Ps at at least two different times


Experimenter has no control over assignment of variables, or levels

Natural experiments

Events occur that investigator believes to have causal implications for some outcome

Field experiment

Experiment conducted outside the lab

Basic science

Seeks to understand phenomena

Applied science

Studying real problems, which gives rise to basic science

Deception research

Research which involves a level of deception to the participant

Snap judgments

Immediate judgments about a person, there may be a transactional relationship in the accuracy of snap judgments, but they are not 100% accurate

Pluralistic ignorance

People act in ways that conflict with their private beliefs because of a concern for social consequence

Ex: not asking question in lecture

Primacy effect

Disproportionate influence of judgment by information presented first

Recency effect

Disproportionate influence of judgment by information presented last

Framing effect

The way information is presented, including order, can "frame" the way it is processed and understood

Positive and negative framing

Ex: changing the name of the War Department to the Defense Department

Construal level theory

Psychologically distant actions and events are thought about in abstract terms; actions and events that are close at hand are thought about in concrete terms

Confirmation biases

Tendency to test a proposition by searching for supporting evidence

Bottom-up processes

Data driven, individual forms conclusions based on stimuli encountered through an experience

Top-down processes

theory driven mental processing; individual filters and interprets new information in light of existing knowledge


Filing information away in memory based on what information is attended to and the initial interpretation of the information


Extraction of information from memory


Momentarily activate a concept and hence make it accessible

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Tendency for people to act in ways that bring about the very thing they expect to happen


Intuitive mental judgments that allow us to make decisions quickly

Availability heuristic

Process whereby judgments of frequency or probability are based on how readily pertinent instances come to mind

Ex: tornadoes in Kansas

Representativeness heuristic

Process whereby judgments of liklihood are based on assessments of similarity between individuals and group prototypes or between cause and effect

Ex: Is he gay? Does he seem like other gay people I know?

Anchoring and adjustment

Ex: Think population of Turkey, over under 10 or 100 million


Feeling of ease associated with processing information

Base-rate information

Information about relative frequency of events of members

Planning fallacy

Tendency for people to be unrealistically optimistic about how quickly they can complete a project

Illusory correaltion

Idea that two ideas are related when they are not

Attribution theory

Study of how people understand the causes of events

Causal attribution

Process people use to explain both their own and other's behaviors

Explanatory style

A person's habitual way of explaining events with 3 dimensions: internal/external, stable/unstable, global/specific


Try to determine what causes, intern/extern, symptomatic of the person in question or applicable to everyone, coincide with observation or effect we are trying to eplain

Consensus, distinctiveness, consistency

Consensus covariation

What most people would do in a situation

Distinctiveness covariation

What an individual does in different situations


What an individual does in a given situation on different occasions; whether the next time, the person would act the same way

Discounting principle

The idea that people should assign reduced weight to a particular cause of behavior if other plausible causes might have produced it

Augmentation principle

Idea that people have greater confidence that a particular factor is the cause of behavior if other causes are present that would normally produce the opposite outcome

Counterfactrual thoughts

Thoughts of what might have, could have, or should have happened, "if only" something had been done differently

Emotional amplification

Our emotional reaction to an event tends to be more intense if it almost did not happen

Ways to amplify: time/proximity, routine/deviation

Self-serving attributional bias

Tendency to attribute failure and other bad events to external circumstances, but attribute success and other good events to oneself

Fundamental attribution error

Tendency to attribute people's behaviors to elements of their character or personality, even when powerful situational forces are acting to produce the behavior

Just world hypothesis

People get what they deserve in life, and deserve what they get

Perceptual salience

Stuff that is more salient is more likely to be thought of as causal

Cognitive mechanics of attribution

(1) observe behavior in question, identify what behavior is, what it means (2) characterize person based on behavior observed (3) Adjust judgment basedon situational constraints, change initial dispositional inference

Actor-observer difference

Difference in attribution based on who is making the causal assessment: the actor (who is relatively disposed to make situational attributions) or the observer (who is relatively disposed to make dispositional attributions

Culture and attribution

Western societies pay less attention to situations than do the rest of the world, we see personalities as less malleable

Perseverance Effect

Tendency to maintain one's beliefs even if it's been discredited

How can our impressions be changed?

1. Outcome dependency

2. Increasing cost of being wrong

3. Accountability

4. Debiasing instructions


Two key dimensions to avoid schema driven thinking?

Motivation & Ability

Types of Schemas

1. Types or groups of people

2. Traits

3. Situations (scripts)

4. Ourselves

5. Objects

Basic Characteristics of Schemas

1. We have schemas for EVERYTHING

2. Schemas are FUNCTIONAL

3. Schemas vary WITHIN individuals

4. Schemas vary BETWEEN individuals

Effects of Schemas

1. Influence attention & memory

2. Allow filling in the gaps (making inferences)

3. Shape interpretations of ambiguous info

4. Speed up processing

Stages of schema usage

Availability --> Accessability --> Application

Sources of accessibility

Temporary & Chronic

Function of attributions

1. Help predict and control environment

2. Help determine thoughts, feelings, & behaviors

3. Influence expectations for future

4. Impact on own performance

When do we make attributions?

Negative or unexpected

Heider's 2 types of attributions

Internal & External

Correspondent Inference Theory

We often infer that behaviors correspond to people who engage in them

Cues that people look for in correspondent inference theory

Social Desirability


Social Role

Cognitive Roots of Attributional Errors & Biases

1. Perceptual Salience

2. People are Cognitive Misers

3. Self-Esteem Concerns

4. People seek a coherent understanding of the word (fluency)