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108 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What is casual attribution and what are the three main parts to it?

How we make sense of our and other's behaviour

The power explanatory styles behind our beliefs and expectations

Attribution theory

Attributional biases

What example was shown in class of expectations shaping perception of social reality?

Joshua Bell playing violin in Washington DC subway getting little attention vs selling out an expensive concert in Boston

What example was given showing the placebo effect?

Sham knee surgery resulting in nearly identical results as legitimate surgery

What are the two basic parts to attribution?

Attribution - inferring causes of one's own/others' behaviour

Explanatory style - person's habitual way of explaining events

What three parts are their to explanatory style?

How does an optimistic attributional style view negative events?

How does a pessimistic attributional style view negative events?




External, unstable, specific

Internal, stable, global

What five things does an optimistic attributional style predict?

Academic achievement

Physical health


Relationship satisfaction

Likelihood of being elected to office

What three things can a growth mindset improve?

How is a growth mindset taught to children?

Success in many domains

Relationship quality

Resilience after setbacks

Praising effort, not outcome

What is the fundamental attribution error?

Overestimating internal factors and underestimating external factors when explaining other people's behaviour

What's an example of the fundamental attribution error at work?
Quiz game where questioner rated as more intelligent by contestants even though they were randomly put in the position

Four explanations for why the fundamental attribution error exists?

Perceptual - salience of the person

Cognitive - dispositional inference more automatic; situational factors are analyzed with effort

Motivational - dispositional explanations are more comforting if we believe in a "just world hypothesis" (people getting what they deserve)

Cultural - less attention to social context, belief that behaviour comes from internal attributes

In theory, people should weigh what two things to interpret significance/meaning of behaviour to end up at a causal explanation?

In reality what are the four steps leading into causal explanation?

Behaviour + context = interpretation = causal explanation

Behaviour + context = interpretation = causal explanation

What happens when participants observing behaviour are also kept busy by another task?
They don't correct their initial automatic impression and don't take into account the nature of the material being discussed
Saw the person as being anxious as they didn't take into the fact that questions were anxiety-provoking
What happens if the context has more salience?
Then we focus more on context that a person is in and less in the person engaged in the behaviour
What are two reasons as to why we make the fundamental attribution error so easily?

Not good at assessing the validity of our own judgements

Seeing an individual in particular situations results in limited/biased information

What is a self-serving bias?

Explained primarily as a form of what?


People attributing failures and other bad events to external circumstances, but to attribute their successes and other good events to themselves

Self enhancement

The telephone pole wasapproaching; I was attempting to swerve out of its waywhen it struck my car

What is causal attribution? Ex?

Linking an event to a cause

Inferring a personality trait is responsible for a behaviour

What is shown in attributional style in children in the classroom relating to gender?


Girls attribute failure to lack of ability

Guys attribute failure to lack of effort

Girls are told 'that is wrong' whereas boys are told 'try harder'

What is the covariation principle?

Idea that behaviour should be attributed to potential causes that happen with an observed behaviour

What are the three types of covariation information that are important?

Consensus - whether most people would behave the same way, or few/no other people would behave that way

Distinctiveness - whether the behaviour is unique to a particular situation or happens in all

Consistency - Whether one would behave the same way if it happened again

High consensus means what?
High distinctiveness means what?

Low consistency means what?

Says more about situation than person

Says more about specific situation than person

Hard to attribute to person or situation, effect is likely due to less predictable combination of circumstances

High consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency is an _______ attribution

Low consensus, low distinctiveness, high consistency is an ________ attribution



What is the discounting principle?

What is the augmentation principle?

What was found in the astronaut example?

Idea that people should give less weight to a cause of a behaviour if there could have been

other causes

Idea that people should give more weight to a cause of behaviour if other causes are present that would normally give a different outcome

Out-of-role behaviour gave more extreme judgements (outgoing when should be subdued seen as high extraversion)

What are counterfactual thoughts?

In addition to this, what else influences our attributions?

Thoughts of what might have/could have/should have happened 'if only' something had happened differently

Our knowledge of what actually happened in the past

What is emotional amplification?

Another determinant of how easy it is to imagine an event not happening is whether what?

Increasing emotional reaction to an event that is proportional to how easy it is to imagine the event not happening

Ex. wouldn't have died if chose a different seat

Whether it resulted from a routine action or a departure from the norm

Ex . chose a different grocery store than usual

What's the actor-observer effect?

What do the actor and observer see as more salient, the situation or the person?

Tendency to attribute own behaviour to external factors, but others' behaviour to internal factors

Actor PoV: situation is salient

Observer PoV: person is salient

Give three reasons why the actor-observer effect occurs

Ex of each

Actor takes their nature into consideration

Observer does not take nature into consideration

''Because that's where the money is'' - actor taking into account that he's a crook and thus interprets question as why he robs banks instead of gas stations vs observer invoking individual's dispositions to offer an explanation


Actor oriented outward, toward situational opportunities and constraints

Observers are focused on actor and actor's behaviour


Actors know what intentions influenced them to behave a certain way

Observers can only guess at those intentions

Which culture focuses more on context, Japanese or Americans?

Westerners see dispositions and internal causes whereas Asians see?

Americans see the individual behaviour of the fish as _________ caused vs Chinese who see it as?

What does all this mean?


Situations and context

Internally; externally caused

Westerners are generally more subject to fundamental attribution error

What is an example priming culture?
Showing 'American' pictures leads to more individual thinking vs showing 'Chinese' pictures leading to more collective reasons

Do lower or higher social class individuals put more attention on situations?



otherPossibly because attention to toher people is more necessary for effective functioning than it is for higher social-class people

What are emotions?

What are moods?

Short & specific multidimensional responses to challenges/opportunities important to one's life goals

Long lasting emotions

What are the five components to emotions?

Fast & automatic construal

Physiological response - cardiovascular changes & activation of parts of brain

Expressive behaviour - communicating feelings via facial expressions/touch/voice

Subjective feeling - words describing qualities of emotion

Action tendency - motivation to behave in certain ways (anger motivating justice)

What does the amygdala do in relation to emotions?
What happens when there is a lesion in this area?

What two things happen when there is a lesion to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex?

Regulate fear

Cause disturbances in emotional reaction to fearful stimuli

Cause hyperrationality, inability to commit to decisions

What are the two main theories about whether emotions affect our moral judgements?

Rationalist theories - dentology/consequentialism: no/little role for emotions

Virtue ethics - emotions play a central role; training of the emotions create moral character

What did Jamie Pennebaker look at in his study with college students/unemployed/new mothers/prisoners/spouses of victims?

What were the two randomly assigned conditions?

What was the dependent measure?

Whether expressing emotions is good to do

Experimental - Participants told to write about deep thoughts/feeling about a very emotional issue affecting their life in the next five days

Control - Write about random/superficial topics

Long-term physical/mental health

In the experimental condition, what was the immediate result?

What were the four long-term benefits?

What did writing for longer result in?

What happened between genders, ages, educational level, and whether it was written or spoken?

More distress

^mood, ^grades, ^immune function, less doctor visits and missed days at work

Stronger results


What were the three possible explanations for these benefits?

Expression removes need for suppression

Confiding is cathartic (no need to hide)

Meaning making (insight words used/narratives starting poorly organized then slowly becoming coherent over time)

This study provided evidence as to why what four things provide positive benefits?


Social support/close friendship


Keeping a diary

What are the four parts to emotional intelligence (EQ)?

Perceiving emotions

Understanding emotions (envy vs jealousy)

Managing emotions

Using emotions (what emotions to use when test taking)

What three benefits have been correlated with high EI?

Business leaders more effective

Children higher achievement

More life and relationship satisfaction

What were Darwin's three hypotheses about emotional expressions?

Universality (all people use same 30-40 muscles)

Resembles those of other species (we share evolutionary history with other mammals)

Evolutionary (blind people show emotions similarly to sighted)

What are the six universal facial expressions of emotion?







What is the benefit of expressing embarrassment?

Usually is when telling something self-depreciating which results in trust and positive feelings in others

What are emotional accents?

What is a focal emotion? Ex?

Specific ways people from different cultures express particular emotions

An emotion especially common in a particular culture. Anger in honor-based emotions

What is the affect valuation theory? Ex?

What are display rules? Four types?

Emotions promote important cultural ideals are valued and are an important role in social lives of individuals - excitement in USA to chase independent action & self-expression

Culturally-specific rules saying how, when, and to who people express emotion


What's the commitment problem?

What two ways do emotions solve this? Ex?

What chemical can help with commitment?

Remaining committed while facing daily struggles of life

Expression of certain emotions signal sincere commitment to others' well-being. Timely expression of sympathy

Emotions motivate us to prioritize others' welfare ahead of ours. Guilt


What can touch do in commitment?

Emotions can motivate us to join groups where what will happen?

More touching = higher commitment and providing rewarding experiencing to others

Find out our status/place within social groups

Whats the broaden-and-build hypothesis?

Idea that positive emotions broaden thoughts and actions, helping people build social resources

What are the two ways emotions can influence our perception?

Perceiving events in ways consistent with the emotions currently being felt

Emotions can influence broader judgments (circumstances are fair/safe/unfair/dangerous)

What does the social intuitionist model of moral judgement say?

What does this mean?

That people first have fast, emotional reactions to morally relevant events, then rely on reason to arrive at a judgement of right or wrong

Our reasoning is to justify the moral decision we made emotionally/intuitively

What does the moral foundations theory propose?

What are the five?

There are five evolved, universal moral domains where specific emotions guide moral judgements






What does care/harm focus on?

What is it triggered by?

What emotion does it elicit?

Suffering of others, especially those who are vulnerable

Signs of weakness & pain


What does fairness/cheating focus on?

What is it triggered by?

What emotion does it elicit?

Others acting justly

Unfair acts


What does loyalty/betrayal focus on?

What is it triggered by?

What emotions does it elicit?

Committments we make to groups

Violations of strong, cohesive social collectives

Pride or rage

What does authority/subversion focus on?

What emotions is it founded on?

Finding one's place in social hierarchies


What does purity/degradation focus on?

What emotion does it elicit?

Avoiding dangerous diseases/contaminent and socially impure ideas/actions


What are the two measurable components of happiness?

Life satisfaction - how well one thinks life is going in general

Emotional well-beings - tendency to experience more positive emotions than negative emotions at any moment in time/over a given length of time

What is affective forecasting?

Are we accurate in it?

Predicting future emotions like if an event will make us happy/angry/sad & for how long


What are two biases that interfere with people's ability to predict their future happiness?

Immune neglect - People underestimating their ability to be resilient during difficult events, which leads to overestimating how much problems will reduce their well-being

Focalism - focusing too much on the most immediate parts of significant events and neglecting impacts of associated factors/other events

What are the three factors that determine recollections of pleasure?

Peak moment of pleasure at the start of the event

Feeling at the end of the event

Duration neglect - length of pleasureable experience is minimally related to the overall recollection

What does cognitive dissonance theory say?

What are two ways to reduce dissonance?

Attitude change can happen from an inconsistency between attitude and behaviour

Changing behaviour

Changing attitude

After making a choice between two object/courses of action, how do people engage in dissonance reduction?

By finding new attractions in the chosen alternative and previously undetected flaws in the unchosen alternative

What is induced (forced) compliance?

Subtly convincing people to behave in a manner inconsistent with their beliefs/attitudes/values which leads to dissonance and a change in their original attitudes to reduce their dissonance

What did the Festinger and Carlsmith experiment on forced compliance find?

Smaller amounts of compensation lead to feeling like one must justify their behaviour and typically do so by changing their attidues to align better with their behavior

What is effort justification?


Reducing dissonance by rationalizing why one has spent time/effort/money on something that turned out to be a failure/disappointing/painful

Initiation rituals/wars/escalating disastorous policies

What is self-perception theory?

People knowing their attitudes by looking (outward) at their behaviour & the context in which it occurred, and inferring what their attitudes must be

Self perception accounts for attitude change when?

More motivated dissonance reduction is invoked when?

Attitudes are weak/unclear to begin

Attitudes are more strongly held

If cognitive dissonance is aversive, it should be accompanied by a high level of _______

What was found when subjects were induced to write essays contrary to their attitudes? (free choice groups, no choice group)


Free to choose and arguing against their own position showed the most change in attitude.

Free to choose and arguing for their own position, and not free to choose arguing against their own position had roughly equal amounts of change (1/2 of free to choose, argued against own position)

What is self-affirmation?

Affirming one's good qualities & core values can help a person cope with ego-threats and eliminate feelings of dissonance

What is an attitude?

Composed of what three parts?

Evaluating something positively/negatively

Affect (emotion) - how much someone likes/dislikes something

Cognitions - thoughts (knowledge/belief/memories/images) that reinforce feelings

Behaviours - Work with affect to approach/avoid something

What are four ways to measure attitude?

Likert scale

Response latency


Implicit attitude measure

How does a Likert scale work?

What's a downside to it?

Scale of 1-7 from strongly disagree to strongly agree

Doesn't allow for complex responses

What is response latency?

What is centrality?

How is it measured?

The amount of time one takes to respond, suggesting shorter time means stronger attitude

How central an attitude is to one's belief system

Measure a variety of attitudes in a domain and calculate how strongly each one links to the others.

What are implicit attitude measures?

When is it used?

What are two measures?

What are researchers tapping into? Ex?

An indirect measure of attitudes without self reporting (people don't realize their attidues are being examined)

When people may be unwilling/unable to report their true feelings/opinions

Affective priming & implicit association tests (IAT)

Nonconscious attitudes - smiling behaviour/degree of physical closeness/HR/sweaty palms

What are two reasons why attitudes may be inconsistent?

What can introspection of our attitudes cause cause?

Attitudes may conflict with one another

Different parts of an attitude may not align

Find our real reasons for liking something which can lead to regretting/not liking that as much

Studies show that consistency between attitudes and behaviours are higher when?

Behaviour has the ability to _____ attitudes and can conflict with those ______ without knowing it

They are both at the same level of specificity

Bypass, attitudes

What is something Festinger did not realize when creating the cognitive dissonance theory?

That dissonance occurs even before the decision is made

Inconsistency in what aspect causes dissonance?

What four parts must be there?

Inconsistency in core values/beliefs

Behaviour was freely chosen

Behaviour wasn't sufficinetly justified

Behaviour had negative consequences

Negative consequences were forseeable

How can people offset/reduce negative effects of psychological inconsistency, and threats to self-identity and self-esteem more generally?

Self-affirmation - Affirming other important elements of identity like values

What does system justification theory say?


That people are motivated to justify an existing sociopolitical system as desirable/fair/legitimate

Through stereotypes that play up the advantages of belonging to a relatively disadvantaged group

(poor being happier than the rich)

What is terror management theory (TMT) based on?

How does TMT believe people cope with this anxiety?

The certainty of mortality eliciting high anxiety

By striving for symbolic immortality via offspring & identification with institutions and cultural worldviews that live on after their own death

Give four reasons why it can be hard to predict behaviour from attitudes.

Attitudes can be ambiguous/inconsistent

Attitudes can conflict with other powerful determinants of behaviour

Attitudes and their targets can be at different levels of generality

Some behaviour is automatic, making it bypass conscious attitudes

What is social influence?


That results from?

How people impact each other

Through changes in attitudes/beliefs/feelings/behaviour

That result from comments/actions/presence of others

What are the three types of social influence and what are they in response/responding to?

Conformity - social influence in response to real/imagined pressure from others

Compliance - responding favorably to an explicit request made by another person

Obedience - Less powerful person in an unequal power relationship submits to the demands of the more powerful person

What is cultural learning?

When is it a good strategy to use?

Getting new behaviours from others

When individual learning is too costly/unreliable

What is the conformist bias?


What is the prestige bias?


Copying the behaviour of the majority

Stanley Cup riots

Copy the behaviour of successful individuals

Do what high-status people do

What are three explanations for why we conform?

Automatic mimicry and the Chamelon Effect

Informational social influence

Normative social influence

What is the chameleon effect that is observed in automatic mimicry explaining why we conform?

Nonconscious mimicry of expressions/mannerisms/movements/other behaviours of those with whom one is interacting

What is informational social influence in explaining why we conform?


The influence of other people from their comments/actions as a source of information as to what is correct/proper

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

What is normative social influence in explaining why we conform?

Ex? What was the conformity rate?

Why did people conform?

Influence of other people that comes from the desire to avoid their disapproval

Asch's conformity experiment - 75%

Normative social influence - desire to avoid being criticized/disapproved/shunned

What seven things affect normative conformity pressures?

Group size (up to 4, then levels off)

Group unanimity


Culture (individualism/collectivism)

Gender (small effect)

Ambiguity/difficulty of the task

Anonymous responding

What four things increase obedience as observed in Milgram's obedience experiments?

Physical distance from the victim

Depersonalization of the victim

Gradual escalation of commitment

Absence of rebellious role model/contradictory authorities

Indicate whether the follow cases are more or less obedient:

Less educated

Authoritarian individuals

Overall are individual differences or situational factors more indicative of obedience?

Less educated = more obedient

Authoritarian individuals = more obedient


What is the ideomotor action phenomenon?

What are two reasons for why we mimic?

Where thinking about a behaviour makes performing it more likely

We see others do a behaviour and it makes us more likely to do it

Prepares us for interaction with them

What was found in mimicry of Hispanic participants during an interview?

Hispanic people are more attuned to the emotions/behaviours of others --> interviewer mimicing them lead to less anxiety

What happened during the Sherif experiment?

What was the participants' behaviour a result of?

Had a light in a black room that was stable

Light appeared to move

Had participants call out their estimates

People's estimates converged over time

Informational social influence - Influence of other people from taking their comments/actions as a source of info as to what's correct/proper/effective

How can minorities influence majorities?

Majorities elicit more conformity, but it's usually public compliance.

Majorities wonder why the minority keeps stating its opinion --> leads to the majority considering the stimulus more carefully --> results in thoughts that produce genuine changes in attitudes/beliefs

Minorities influence less people, but it is deeper and results in private acceptance

What are the three types of compliance approaches?

Those based on the mind

Those directed at the heart

Those based on the power of norms

What's the norm of reciprocity?

What is the reciprocal concessions technique/door-in-the-face technique?

A norm that says people should provide benefits to those who benefit them

Compliance approach where one asks someone for a very large favour that they'll definitely decline, and then following that request for a smaller favour

What's the that's-not-all technique?

What's the foot-in-the-door technique?

Compliance approach where one adds something to an original offer, thus creating some prepssure to reciprocate

Compliance approach involving making an initial small request that everyone will comply with, then a larger request involving the real behaviour of interest

What two reasons explain why a positive mood increases compliance?

What's the negative state relief hypothesis? Ex?

Moods decide how we interpret events

Mood maintenance (feels good to feel good)

Idea that people engage in certain actions, like agreeing to a request, to relieve their negative feelings and feel better better themselves - Guilt

What are descriptive norms?

What are prescriptive norms/injunctive norm?

Behaviour shown by most people in a given context (is)

The way a person's supposed to behave in a given context (ought)

In the Milgram experiment, what were four reasons participants continued to complete the experiment?

Sense of fair play (received payment already)

They'd agreed in the first place

Normative social influence (desire to avoid disapproval of experimenter)

Avoid making a scene and upsetting others

What were the four versions of Milgram's experiment that he tried to 'tune in the learner' and increase the awareness of the learner's suffering?

What was found as the learner became more real/present?

Remote-feedback version - Teacher can't see/hear learner

Voice-feedback version - Can't see, can hear

Proximity version - Learner was shocked in the same room as teacher

Touch-proximity version - Teacher forced the learner's hand onto the shock plate

Obedience rate went down

What were the four versions of Milgram's experiment that he tried to 'tune out the experimenter' and weaken the 'signal' coming from the experiment, thereby strengthening/weakening the forces acting on participants to complete the experiment?

What was found as the experimenter became less salient and less of an authority in the participant's mind?

Standard version - experimenter in the same room as participant

Experimenter-absent version - experimenter gave initial instructions IRL, then issued orders over the phone

Confederate version - Having a confederate as a participant deliver the orders

Two experimenter version - One tells the other to stop, but continues

Became easier for participant to defy him, obedience went down

What did the experimenters say that dramatically reduced the stress of the teachers?

What does this mean?

The experimenter said that they (experimenter) was responsible, not the teacher

Participants could use this as a justification for their actions

Participants in obedience studies are caught in a conflict between what two opposing forces?

What happens when participants tune out the learner and tune in the experimenter?

Normative social influence

Moral imperatives

Participants go more towards normative social influence (aka obey)