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29 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

social facilitation

The tendency to perform a task better in front of others than when alone. For contrast, see social interference.

social pressure

The entire set of psychological forces that are exerted on an individual by other people or by the individual’s beliefs about other people.

social interference

The tendency to perform a task worse in front of others than when alone. For contrast, see social facilitation.

impression management

The entire set of ways by which people either consciously or unconsciously attempt to influence other people’s impressions (perceptions and judgments) of them.

stereotype threat

The threatened feeling that occurs, during the taking of a test, when a person is reminded of the fact that he or she belongs to a group that, according to a culturally prominent stereotype, is expected to perform poorly on the test. See stereotypes.

informational influence

The class of social influence that derives from the use of others' behavior or opinions as information in forming one's own judgment about the objective nature of an event or situation. For contrast, see normative influence.

group polarization

The tendency for a group of people who already share a particular opinion to hold that opinion more strongly-or in a more extreme form-after discussing the issue among themselves.

normative influence

The class of social influence that derives from people's concern about what others will think of them if they behave in a certain way or express a certain belief. For contrast, see informational influence.


A model of thinking in which members of a group are more concerned with group cohesiveness and unanimity than with realistic appraisal of the actions being considered.

foot-in-the-door technique

A technique for gaining compliance in which one first asks for some relatively small contribution or favor before asking for a larger one. Complying with the first request predisposes the person to comply with the second.

low-ball technique

A sales trick in which the salesperson suggests a low price for the item being sold, and then, when the potential customer has agreed to buy it at that price, pretends to discover that the item cannot be sold for that price.

reciprocity norm

The widespread sense of obligation that people have to return favors.

prisoner’s dilemma games

A class of laboratory games in which the tendency to compete can be pitted against the tendency to cooperate. In such games, the highest combined payoff to the two players occurs if both choose the cooperative response, but the highest individual payoff goes to a player who chooses the competitive response on a play in which the other chooses the cooperative response.

superordinate goals

The goals shared by two or more groups, which tend to foster cooperation among the groups.

factor analysis

A statistical procedure for analyzing the correlations among various measurements (such as test scores) taken from a given set of individuals; it identifies hypothetical, underlying variables called factors that could account for the observed pattern of correlations and assesses the degree to which each factor is adequately measured by each of the measurements that was used in the analysis.

trait theories of personality

Theories of personality that are based on the idea that people can be described and differentiated in terms of hypothetical underlying personality dimensions, called traits, which can be measured by questionnaires or other quantitative means.

sibling contrast

Tendency to emphasize and exaggerate the differences between siblings.

split-parent identification

Tendency for each of two siblings to identify with a different one of their two parents.

defense mechanisms

In psychoanalytic theory, self-deceptive means by which the mind defends itself against anxiety. See displacement, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, repression, sublimation.

psychodynamic theories of personality

Any theory that describes personality and its development in terms of inner mental forces that are often in conflict with one another and are shaped by experiences in early childhood.


The defense mechanism by which a drive is diverted from one goal to another that is more realistic or acceptable. Also called sublimation in cases where the goal toward which the drive is diverted is highly valued by society.


The defense mechanism by which the mind prevents anxiety-provoking ideas from becoming conscious.


The defense mechanism by which a person consciously experiences his or her own unconscious emotion or wish as though it belongs to someone else or to some part of the environment.

reaction formation

The defense mechanism by which the mind turns a frightening wish into its safer opposite.

humanistic theories

Personality theories that attempt to focus attention on the whole, unique person, especially on the person's conscious understanding of his or her self and the world.


The defense mechanism by which a person uses conscious reasoning to justify or explain away his or her harmful or irrational behaviors or thoughts.

phenomenological reality

Humanistic theorists' term for each person's conscious understanding of his or her world.


In humanistic psychology, the fulfillment of drives that go beyond one's survival needs and pertain to psychological growth, creativity, and self-expression.

social–cognitive theories of personality

Theories of personality that emphasize the roles of beliefs and habits of thought that are acquired through one’s unique experiences in the social environment. Also called social–learning or social–cognitive–learning theories.