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122 Cards in this Set

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Scientific explanation that connects and organizes existing observations and suggests fruitful paths for future research.

evolutionary perspective

A theoretical viewpoint that searches for the causes of social behavior in the physical and psychological predispositions that helped our ancestors survive and reproduce.

psychological test

Instrument for assessing a person’s abilities, cognitions, or motivations.


A variable that systematically changes along with the independent variable, potentially leading to a mistaken conclusion about the effect of the independent variable.

social cognitive perspective

A theoretical viewpoint that focuses on the mental processes involved in paying attention to, interpreting, and remembering social experiences.

demand characteristic

Cue that makes participants aware of how the experimenter expects them to behave.

social psychology

The scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people.


Features or characteristics that individuals carry into social situations.

observer bias

Error introduced into measurement when an observer overemphasizes behaviors he or she expects to find and fails to notice behaviors he or she does not expect.


Environmental events or circumstances outside the person.

sociocultural perspective

The theoretical viewpoint that searches for the causes of social behavior in influences from larger social groups.

social learning perspective

A theoretical viewpoint that focuses on past learning experiences as determinants of a person’s social behaviors.

field experimentation

The manipulation of independent variables using unknowing participants in natural settings.

descriptive method

Procedure for measuring or recording behaviors, thoughts, and feelings in their natural state (including naturalistic observations, case studies, archival studies, surveys, and psychological tests).

social desirability bias

The tendency for people to say what they believe is appropriate or acceptable.


The beliefs, customs, habits, and languages shared by the people living in a particular time and place.


An opportunity or threat provided by a situation.


The process of consciously focusing on aspects of our environment or ourselves.


Relatively long-lasting feelings that are diffuse and not directed toward particular targets.


The force that moves people toward desired outcomes.

reflected appraisal process

The process through which people come to know themselves by observing or imagining how others view them.


A mental representation capturing the general characteristics of a particular class of episodes, events, or individuals.

scripted situation

A situation in which certain events are expected to occur in a particular sequence.


The process of activating knowledge or goals, of making them ready for use.


Favorable or unfavorable evaluations of a particular person, object, event, or idea.


The process whereby a culture teaches its members about its beliefs, customs, habits, and language.

social comparison

The process through which people come to know themselves by comparing their abilities, attitudes, and beliefs with those of others.

counterfactual thinking

The process of imagining alternative, “might have been” versions of actual events.


Relatively intense feelings characterized by physiological arousal and complex cognitions.

self-perception process

The process through which people observe their own behavior to infer internal characteristics such as traits, abilities, and attitudes.


The process through which people select, monitor, and adjust their strategies in an attempt to reach their goals.


Our attitude toward ourselves.


The process through which we try to control the impressions people form of us.


A high-level goal fundamental to social survival.

individualistic culture

A culture that socializes its members to think of themselves as individuals and to give priority to their personal goals.

injunctive norm

A norm that describes what is commonly approved or disapproved in a situation.


A mental representation of a specific episode, event, or individual.

pluralistic ignorance

The phenomenon in which people in a group misperceive the beliefs of others because everyone acts inconsistently with their beliefs.


A mental representation capturing our views and beliefs about ourselves.

collectivisitic culture

A culture that socializes its members to think of themselves in terms of their relationships and as members of the larger social group, and to prioritize the concerns of their relationship partners and groups before their own.

descriptive norm

A norm that defines what is commonly done in a situation.


A desired outcome; something one wishes to achieve or accomplish.


The ability of a behavior or cognitive process to operate without conscious guidance once it’s put into motion.

false uniqueness effect

Tendency tounderestimate the commonality of one'sabilities and one's desirable or successfulbehaviors.

4 social-cognitive processes

attention, interpretation, judgment, memory

downward social comparison

The process of comparing ourselves with those who are less well off.

representativeness heuristic

A mental shortcut people use to classify something as belonging to a certain category to the extent that it is similar to a typical case from that category.

discounting principle

The judgmental rule that states that as the number of possible causes for an event increases, our confidence that any particular cause is the true one should decrease.

covariation model

The theory that proposes that people determine the cause of an actor’s behavior by assessing whether other people act in similar ways (consensus), the actor behaves similarly in similar situations (distinctiveness), and the actor behaves similarly across time in the same situation (consistency).

correspondence bias (fundamental attribution error)

The tendency for observers to overestimate the causal influence of personality factors on behavior and to underestimate the causal role of situational influences.

self-serving bias

The tendency to take personal credit for our successes and to blame external factors for our failures.

anchoring and adjustment heuristic

A mental shortcut through which people begin with a rough estimation as a starting point and then adjust this estimate to take into account unique characteristics of the present situation.

social cognition

The process of thinking about and making sense of oneself and others.

self-fulfilling prophecy

When an initially inaccurate expectation leads to actions that cause the expectation to come true.

upward social comparison

The process of comparing ourselves with those who are better off.

cognitive heuristic

A mental shortcut used to make a judgment.

availability heuristic

A mental shortcut people use to estimate the likelihood of an event by the ease with which instances of that event come to mind.

attribution theories

Theories designed to explain how people determine the causes of behavior.

dispositional inference

The judgment that a person’s behavior has been caused by an aspect of that person’s personality.

false consensus effect

The tendency to overestimate the extent to which others agree with us.

correspondence inference theory

The theory that proposes that people determine whether a behavior corresponds to an actor’s internal disposition by asking whether (1) the behavior was intended, (2) the behavior’s consequences were foreseeable, (3) the behavior was freely chosen, and (4) the behavior occurred despite countervailing forces.

augmenting principle

The judgmental rule that states that if an event occurs despite the presence of strong opposing forces, we should give more weight to those possible causes that lead toward the event.


goal is to appear helpless - may be perceived as lazy and demanding

multiple audience dilemma

A situation in which a person needs to present different images to different audiences, often at the same time.

dramaturgical perspective

The perspective that much of social interaction can be thought of as a play, with actors, performances, settings, scripts, props, roles, and so forth.


The behavior of withdrawing effort or creating obstacles to one's future successes. - Reducelikelihood people will attribute our failures to incompetence and increaselikelihood people will attribute our successes from outstanding ability

basking in reflected glory

The process of associating ourselves with successful, high-status others or events.

public self-consciousness

The tendency to have a chronic awareness of oneself as being in the public eye.


an attempt to get others to like us

social anxiety

The fear people experience while doubting that they'll be able to create a desired impression.


The tendency to be chronically concerned with one's public image and to adjust one's actions to fit the needs of the current situation.

competence motivation

The desire to perform effectively.

cutting off reflected failure

The process of distancing ourselves from unsuccessful, low-status others or events.


An attempt to get others to see us as competent.

body language

The popular term for nonverbal behaviors like facial expressions, posture, body orientation, and hand gestures.


The tendency to feel tense, worried, or awkward in novel social situations and with unfamiliar people.

self presentation

The process through which we try to control the impressions people form of us; synonymous with impression management.

sleeper effect

delayed impact for a message - we can forget who said something (we heard something from a low-credibility source but after awhile we forget where we heard it, so we think it's true)

one versus two-side messages

only benefits vs. showing customers the benefits and weaknesses (domino's commercial)

initiation (1 cognitive dissonance)

dissonance begins with an action or decision that conflicts with an important aspect of the self

amplification (2 cognitive dissonance)

more dissonance arises when the action or decision: is seen as freely chosen, can't be justified as due to strong rewards or threats, can't be withdrawn, produces negative consequences

motivation (3 cognitive dissonance)

dissonance is experienced as unpleasant arousal

reduction (4 cognitive dissonance)

dissonance is reduced through change designed to remove the unpleasant arousal

Socratic Method

Effective wayto get people to perform socially beneficial acts is to make salient(prominent) the discrepancy between what they value and what they do

postdecisional dissonance

The conflict one feels about a decision that could possibly be wrong.

balance theory

Heider’s theory that people prefer harmony and consistency in their views of the world.

nonreactive measurement

Measurement that does not change a subject’s responses while recording them. (eg. covert techniques - observing an attitude-relevant behavior)

impression motivation

The motivation to achieve approval by making a good impression on others.

elaboration likelihood model

A model of persuasive communication that holds that there are two routes to attitude change—the central route and the peripheral route.


Change in a private attitude or belief as a result of receiving a message.

consistency principle

The principle that people will change their attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and actions to make them consistent with each other.

cognitive response model

A theory that locates the most direct cause of persuasion in the self-talk of the persuasion target.

counterattitudinal action

A behavior that is inconsistent with an existing attitude.

cognitive dissonance

The unpleasant state of psychological arousal resulting from an inconsistency within one’s important attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.

need for cognition

The tendency to enjoy and engage in deliberative thought.

peripheral route to persuasion

The way people are persuaded when they focus on factors other than the quality of the arguments in a message, such as the number of arguments.

dual process model of persuasion

A model that accounts for the two basic ways that attitude change occurs—with and without much thought.


An argument that challenges and opposes other arguments.

inoculation procedure

A technique for increasing individuals’ resistance to a strong argument by first giving them weak, easily defeated versions of it.

theory of planned behavior

A theory stating that the best predictor of a behavior is one’s behavioral intention, which is influenced by one’s attitude toward the specific behavior, the subjective norms regarding the behavior, and one’s perceived control over the behavior.

central route to persuasion

The way people are persuaded when they focus on the quality of the arguments in a message.

informational social influence

(to choose correctly) conformity thatresults fromaccepting evidenceabout realityprovided by otherpeople.

normative social influence

(to gain social approval) conformity based on aperson's desire to fulfillothers' expectations, oftento gain acceptance

perceptual contrast

Our evaluation of a given stimulus changes as afunction of the simultaneous or prior consideration ofanother stimulus.


scarce resources tend to be more desirable: Limited number tactic –“This is the last one in stock”• Deadline technique –“This deal holds for today only!”

door-in-the-face technique

A technique that increases compliance by beginning with a large favor likely to be rejected and then retreating to a more moderate favor.

personal commitment

Anything that connects an individual’s identity more closely to a position or course of action.

bait-and-switch technique

Gaining a commitment to an arrangement, then making the arrangement unavailable or unappealing and offering a more costly arrangement.

disrupt-then-reframe technique

A tactic that operates to increase compliance by disrupting one’s initial, resistance-laden view of a request and quickly reframing the request in more favorable terms. (300 pennies)

foot-in-the-door technique

A technique that increases compliance with a large request by first getting compliance with a smaller, related request.

social influence

A change in overt behavior caused by real or imagined pressure from others.

social validation

An interpersonal way to locate and validate the correct choice.


Behavior change designed to match the actions of others


Behavior change that occurs as a result of a direct request

norm of reciprocity

The norm that requires that we repay others with the form of behavior they have given us.

labeling technique

Assigning a label to an individual and then requesting a favor that is consistent with the label.

expert power

The capacity to influence other people as a function of a person’s presumed wisdom or knowledge.

that’s-not-all technique

A technique that increases compliance by “sweetening” an offer with additional benefits.

participant observation

A research approach in which the researcher infiltrates the setting to be studied and observes its workings from within.


Compliance that occurs in response to a directive from an authority figure

low-ball technique

Gaining a commitment to an arrangement and then raising the cost of carrying out the arrangement.

reactance theory

Brehm’s theory that we react against threats to our freedoms by reasserting those freedoms, often by doing the opposite of what we are being pressured to do.