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125 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

The Fundamental Attribution Error

The failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behaviour, and the corresponding tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions on behaviour

Channel Factors

Situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface but that have great consequences for behaviour (facilitating it, blocking it, or guiding it in a particular direction)


A knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information


A belief that certain attributes are characteristic of members of a particular group

Naturalistic Fallacy

The claim that the way things are is the way they should be

Hindsight Bias

People's tendency to be overconfident about whether they could have predicted a given outcome


A prediction about what will happen under particular circumstances


A body of related propositions intended to describe some aspect of the world

Balance Theory

People like their thoughts to be consistent with one another, and will so substantial mental work to achieve such cognitive consistency

Correlational Research

Research that does not involve random assignment to different situations, or conditions and that psychologists conduct to determine whether there is a relationship between variables

Experimental Research

Random assignment to different conditions/situations, and enables researchers to make strong inferences about how there different conditions affect behaviour

Natural Experiment

A naturally occurring event or phenomenon having somewhat different condition that can compared with almost as much rigour as in experiments where the investigator manipulates the conditions

External Validity

An indication of how well the results of a study generalize to contexts besides those of the study itself


The degree to which the particular way researcher measure a given variable is likely to yield consistent results

Measurement Validity

The correlation between some measure and some outcome the measure is supposed to predict

Regression to Mean

The tendency of extreme scores on a variable to be followed by, or, associated with less extreme scores

Statistical Significance

A measure of the probability a given result could have occurred by chance

Basic Science

Trying to understand some phenomena

Applied science

Science or research concerned with solving important real world problems


Self-knowledge stored in memory in cognitive structures

Reflected Self-Appraisals

A belief about what others thinks of one's self

Working Self-Concept

A subset of self-knowledge that is brought to mind in a particular concept

Independent Self-Construal

Autonomous entities that are distinct and separate from others

Social Comparison Theory

The hypothesis that people compare themselves to other people in order to obtain an accurate assessment of their own abilities, opinions and internal states


The overall positive or negative evaluation an individual has of himself/herself

Trait Self-Esteem

Person's enduring level of self regard across time (fairly stable)

State Self-Esteem

Dynamic, changeable self evaluations a person experiences as momentary feelings about the self

Contingencies of Self-Worth

A perspective maintaining self-esteem is contingent on successes and failures in domains of which a person had based on his self-worth

Sociometer Hypothesis

The idea that self-esteem is an internal, subjective index or marker of the extent to which a person is included or looked favourably by others


The desire to maintain, increase or protect one's positive self-views

Better than Average Effect

The finding that most people think they are above average on various personality trait and ability dimension

Self-Affirmation theory

The idea that people can maintain an overall sense of self-worth follow psychologically threatening information by affirming a valued aspect of themselves unrelated to the threat

Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model

The idea that people are motivated to view themselves favourably, and that they do so through two processes; reflection and social comparison

Self-Verification Theory

The theory that people strive for stable, subjectively accurate beliefs about the self because such self-views give a sense of coherence


Processes by which people intimate, alter and control their behaviour in the pursuit of goals, including the ability to resist short-term rewards that thwart the attainment of long-term goals

Self-Discrepancy Theory

A theory that behaviour is motivated by standards reflecting ideal and ought selves. Falling short of these standards produces specific emotions: dejection-related emotions for actual-ideal discrepancies, and agitation-related emotions for actual-ought discrepancies

Self-Presentation (impression management)

Presenting the person we would like others to believe we are


The tendency to monitor one's behaviour to fit the current situation


The tendency to engage in self-defeating behaviour in order to have an excuse ready should one perform poorly or fail

Pluralistic Ignorance

Misperception of a group norm that results from observing people who are acting in variance with their private beliefs out of concern for the social consequences; those actions reinforce the erroneous group norm

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

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

Primacy effect

A type of order effect: the disproportionate influence on a judgement by information presented first in a body of evidence

Recency effect

The disproportionate influence on a judgment by information presented last in a body of evidence

Framing effect

The influence resulting from the way information is presented, such as the order of presentation or the wording

Spin framing

The content is varied

Construal level theory

A theory about the relationship between psychological distance and abstract or concrete thinking: psychologically distant actions and events are thought about in abstract terms; actions and events that are close at hand are thought in concrete terms

Confirmation Bias

The tendency to to test a proposition searching for evidence that should support it

Motivated confirmation bias

Information that supports what a person wants to be true is readily accepted, whereas information that contradicts what the person would like to believe is subjected to critical scrutiny and often discounted

Bottom-up Processes

Data driven mental processing, in which an individual forms conclusions based on stimuli encountered in the environment

Top-down processes

Theory driven mental processing, in which individual filters and interprets new information in light of preexisting knowledge and expectations


Procedures that momentarily activate a particular idea or schema

Intuitive System

Operates quickly and automatically, and is based on associations, and performs many of its operations simultaneously

Rational System

Operates more slowly and controlled. Based on rules and deduction, and performs its operations one at a time. Can override the intuitive system


Mental shortcuts that provide serviceable, if usually rather inexact, answers to common problems of judgement. Yield answers that feel right and therefore often are not overridden by more effortful, rational considerations. Can sometimes distort judgement

Availability Heuristic

When we judge the frequency or probability of some even by how readily pertinent instances come to mind

Representativeness Heuristics

When we try to categorize something by judging how similar it is to our conception of a typical member of the category


The feeling of ease (or difficulty) associated with processing information

The regression effect

The statistical tendency, when two variable are imperfectly correlated, for extreme values on one of them to be associated with less extreme values on the other

The regression fallacy

The failure to recognize the influence of the regression effect and to offer a casual theory for what is really simple statistical regularity

The planning fallacy

The tendency for people to be unrealistically optimistic about how quickly they can complete a particular task, even when they are fully aware that they have often failed to complete similar projects on time in the past

Illusory correlation

the joint effect of the availability and representativeness heuristic, or the belief that they are correlated when in fact they are not

Attribution Theory

The study how people understand the causes of events

Casual Attribution

Linking an event to a cause, such as inferring that a personality trait is responsible for a behaviour

Explanatory Style

A person's habitual way of explaining events, typically assessed along three dimensions: internal/external, stable/unstable, global/specific

Covariation principle

the idea that behaviour should be attributed to potential causes that occur along with the observed behaviour


refers to what most people would do in a situation


Refers to what an individual does in a different situation


Refers to what an individual does in a given situation on different occasions

Situation Attribution

Consensus, Distinctiveness and Consistency are all high

Dispositional Attribution

Consensus and distinctiveness are low, but consistency is high

Discounting Principle

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

Augmentation Principle

The idea that people should assign greater weight to a particular cause of behaviour if other causes are present that normally would produce a different outcome

Counterfactual Thoughts

thoughts of what might have, could have or should have happened only if something had occurred differently

Emotional Amplification

An increase in an emotional reaction to and even that is proportional to how easy it is to imagine an event not happening

The Self-Serving Attributional Bias

People are inclined to attribute their own failure and other based events to external circumstances but to attribute their successes and good events to themselves

Fundamental Attribution Theory

The failure to recognize the importance of situation influences on behaviour and the corresponding tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions on behaviour

Just World Hypothesis

The belief that people get what they deserve in life and deserve what they get

Actor-Observer difference

A difference in attribution based on who is making the casual assessment: the action (situational attributions) or the observer (dispositional attributions)

Appraisal Process

A component of emotion; patterns of construal for evaluating events and objects in the environment based on their relation to current goals

Gives rise to emotions

Fast appraisals of whether an even is consistent or inconsistent without goals leads to general pleasant or unpleasant feelings

More deliberate appraisals-appraisals of casualty, responsibility, fairness and likely courses of action- transform initial pleasant or unpleasant feelings into more specific emotions

emotion process

1. Appraisal Process

2. Psychological responses

3. excessive behaviour

4. subjective feelings

5. action tendencies

Evolutionary Approach

The components of emotion enable adaptive reactions to survival related threats and opportunities all people face

Cultural Approach

Assumes that all emotions are strongly influenced by the values, roles, institutions and socialization practice vary across cultures

Principle of serviceable associated habits

the expressions of human emotion we observe today and derive from actions that proved useful inner evolutionary past

Darwin's 3 hypotheses about emotional expression

1. Universality

2. Because humans share an evolutionary history with other mammals, most recently our primates, our emotionally expressive behaviours should resemble those of other species

3. Blind individuals will still show expressions similar to those of sighted people because the tendency to express emotions in specific ways have been encoded by evolutionary process

Emotional Accents

A specific way people from different cultures express a particular emotion

Focal Emotions

An emotion that is especially common within a particular culture

Affection Validation Theory

Emotions that promote important cultural ideals are values and tend to play more of a prominent role in the social lives of individuals

Display rules

culturally specific rules that govern show, and when to whom people express emotion

Emotions solving commitment problem

1. Expression of certain emotions signal our sincere commitment to other's well being

2. Emotions can motivate us to put aside our own self interest and act in ways that prioritize the welfare of others

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to express, recognize and use emotions well within social interactions

Defined by 4 skills

1. the ability to accurately perceive other emotions

2. The ability to understand one's own emotions

3. the ability to use current feelings to aid in making good decisions

4. The ability to manage one's emotions in ways that fit the current situation

Broaden and Build Hypothesis

Positive emotions broadens our thoughts and actions and help us to develop emotion and intellectual resources such as empathy or the acquisition of knowledge

Social intuitionist model of moral judgement

The idea that people fist have fast, emotion reactions to morally relevant events and then rely on reason to arrive at a judgement of right or wrong

Moral Foundations Theory

A theory proposing that there are 5 evolved universal moral domains in which specific emotions guide moral judgements

1. Care/harm-centers on the suffering of others

2. Fairness/cheating-focuses on concerns that others act in a just fashion and it is triggered by unfair events

3. Loyalty/betrayal-permits the commitment we make to groups

4. Authority/subversion-is about finding one's place in social hierarchies

5. Purity/degredation-centers on avoiding dangerous diseases and contaminants and more metaphorically, socially impure ideas or actions

Components of happiness

1. Life Satisfaction

2. Emotional well being

Affective Forecasting

Predicting future emotions, such as whether an event will result in happiness, anger or sadness, and for how long

Immune Neglect

The tendency for people to underestimate their capacity to be resilient in responding to difficult life events, which leads them to overestimate the extent to which life's problems will reduce their personal well-being

Three factors that determine recollections of pleasure

1. Peak moment: at the start of an event

2. End: how you feel at the end of your experience

3. Length: minimally related to the over all recollection bias called duration neglect

Duration neglect

Giving relative unimportance to the length of an emotional experience, whether pleasurable or unpleasant, in judging and remembering the overall experience


An evaluation of an object in a positive or negative fashion that includes three components: affect, cognition and behaviour

At their core, attitudes affect how much someone likes/dislikes an object

Cognition: Thoughts that typically reinforce a person's feelings. These include knowledge or beliefs about the object, as well as associated images and memories

Associated with specific behaviours: A behavioural tendency to avoid or approach

Response latency

the amount of time it takes to respond to a stimulus, such as an attitude question

Implicit attitude measures

Affective priming and implicit association

Inconsistent Attitudes

1. Attitudes may conflict with one another

2. The different components of an attitude may not always align

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

The theory that inconsistencies among a person's thoughts, sentiments and actions cause an aversive emotional state (dissonance) that leads to efforts to restore consistency

Effort Justification

the tendency to reduce dissonance by justifying the time, effort, or money devoted to something that turned out to be unpleasant or disappointing

Induced (forced) compliance

Subtly compelling people to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with their beliefs, attitudes or values in order to elicit dissonances and therefor a change in their original views

You need free choice for dissonance

Self-perception theory

The theory that people come to know their own attitudes by looking at their behaviour and the context in which is occurred, and interfering what they attitudes must be

Sources of discomfort

1. Details with the easiness that arises when thinking about problems associated with broad socio-political system to which we are committed

2. Deals with extreme anxiety that can accompany thinking about the inevitability of death

System Justification Theory

The theory that people are motivated to see the existing socio-political system as desirable, fair and legitimate

Terror Management theory

The theory that people deal with the potentially crippling anxiety associated with the knowledge of the inevitability of death by striving for symbolic immortality through preserving values cultured worldview and believing they have lined up to their standards

Elaboration-likelihood Model (ELM)

A model of persuasion maintaining that there are two different routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route

Heuristic-systematic model

A model of persuasion maintains that there are two different routes to persuasion: the systematic route and and the heuristic route

Central Route (systematic route)

A route to persuasion wherein people think carefully and deliberately about the content of persuasive messages, attending to its logic and strength of its arguments, as well as to related evidence and principles

long lasting changes

Peripheral Route (Heuristic route)

A route to persuasion wherein people attend to relatively easy-to-process superficial cues related to persuasive messages, such as its length or the expertise or attractiveness of the source of the message

Factors determining the route of persuasion

1. Motivation-to devote time and energy to the message, when the message has personal consequences, it bears on our goals, interests, or well-bring. We're more likely to go through the central route and work carefully through arguments and relevant information

2. Ability-to process the message in depth, when we have sufficient cognitive resources and time, we're able to process persuasive messages more deeply

high motivation and high ability-central route

low motivation and low ability-peripheral route

Source characteristics for persuasion

Attractiveness (peripheral route)

Credibility- expertise and trustworthiness


Sleeper Effect (credibility)

Messages from unreliable sources exert little influence initially, but over time have the potential to shift people's attitude

Message Characteristics

Message quality (core values of the audience)

Vividness-more effective when information is exciting/interesting

Fear- scare tactic

Culture- tailor message to fit norms, values and outlook

Audience Characteristics

Need for cognition- strong cognition vs weak


Age- younger people are more susceptible to persuasive messages

Audience Size and diversity- larger groups are heterogenous


Secondary thoughts that are reflections on primary cognitions

Self-validation hypothesis

The idea that the likelihood of attitude change can depend not only on the direction and amount of thoughts people have in response to a persuasive message, but also hold on the confidence which they hold thoughts

Third Person Effect

The assumption by most people that others are more prone to being influenced by persuasive messages (such as those in media campaigns) than they are themselves

Agenda Control

Efforts of the media to select certain events and topics to emphasize, thereby shaping which issues and events people think are important

Attentional biases and resistance

Selective attention and selective evaluation

Though Polarization hypothesis

The hypothesis that more extended though about a particular issue tends to produce more entrenched attitude

Attitude Inoculation

Small attacks on people's beliefs that engage in their pre-existing attitudes, prior commitments, and background knowledge , enabling them to counteract a subsequent larger attack and thus resist persuasion