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162 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Social Cognition

-how people think about themselves and the social world

-how people select, interpret, remember and use social info to make judgments and decisions

automatic thinking

thinking that is non-conscious, unintentional, involuntary and effortless

What is social psychology?

the science of social behavior (people influencing other people)

-"the scientific study of the way in which people's thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people

Variables of a scientific study

-manipulate variables

-collect data


Personality psychology

Main goal: identify the traits that are best for describing behavior

Cognitive Psychology

-how the mind works

-memory, decision-making, etc.


behavior where one begins to start to feel less as a person and more influenced by the group

hindsight bias

after the fact, thinking you knew something all along

Abnormal psychology

-focuses on people who are suffering from psychological or emotional problems


study of how social forces influences behavior


mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects and that influence the info people notice, think about and remember

A stereotype is a type of ________?



extent to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of people's minds and are therefore likely to be used when making judgments about the social world


process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait or concept

self-fulfilling prophecy

when one has an expectation about what another person is like, which influences how they act toward that person, which causes that person to behave consistently with people's original expectations, making the expectations come true

judgmental heuristics

mental shortcuts people use to make judgments quickly and efficiently

availability heuristic

mental rule of thumb whereby people base a judgment on the ease with which they can bring something to mind

representativeness heuristic

mental shortcut whereby people classify something according to how similar it is to a typical case

base rate information

information about the frequency of members of different categories in the population

analytic thinking style

type of thinking in which people focus on the properties of objects without considering their surrounding context; this type of thinking is common in Western cultures

holistic thinking style

type of thinking in which people focus on the overall context, particularly in the ways in which objects relate to each other; this type of thinking is common in East Asian cultures

controlled thining

thinking that is conscious, intentional, voluntary and effortful

counterfactual thinking

mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what might have been

thought suppression

attempt to avoid thinking something we would prefer to forget

overconfidence barrier

fact that people usually have too much confidence in the accuracy of their judgment

individual differences

aspects of people's personalities that make them different from other people

fundamental attribution error

tendency to overestimate the extent to which people's behavior is due to internal, dispositional factors, and to underestimate the role of situational factors


to understand human behavior, one need only consider the reinforcing properties of the environment

Gestalt Psychology

importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people's minds rather than the objective, physical attributes of the object


people's evaluations of their own self-worth--the extent to which they view themselves as good, competent and decent

observational method

researcher observes people and systematically records measurements or impressions of their behavior


method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or culture by observing it from the inside, without imposing preconceived notions

interjudge reliability

level of agreement between 2+ people who independently observe and code a set of data; by showing that 2+ judges independently come up with the same observations, researchers ensure observations are not the subjective, distorted impressions of one individual

archival analysis

researcher examines accumulated documents (archives) of a culture

correlational method

2+ variables systematically measures and the relationship between them is assessed

correlational coefficient

assesses how well you can predict one variable from another


representative sample of people asked questions about their attitudes or behavior

random selection

ensures a sample of people is representative of a population by giving everyone an equal chance of being selected for sample

experimental method

researcher randomly assigns participants to different conditions and ensures that these conditions are identical except for the independent variable

independent variable

variable a researcher changes or varies to see if it has an effect on some other variable

dependent variable

variable a researcher measures to see if it is influenced by the independent variable; researcher hypothesizes that the dependent variable will depend on the level of the independent variable

Probability level (p-value)

tells researchers how likely it is that the results of experiment occurred by change and not because of the independent variable(s)

internal validity

nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable; controlling al lextraneous variables and random assignment

external validity

extent to which the results of study can be generalized to other situations and to other people

psychological realism

extent to which psychological processes triggered in an experiment are similar to psychological processes that occur in everyday life

cover story

purpose of a study given to participant that is different from its true purpose

field experiments

conducted in natural settings rather than lab


repeating a study, often with different subjects or settings

social perception

the study of how we form impressions of and make inferences about other people

nonverbal communication

the way in which people communicate, intentionally or unintentionally, without words; nonverbal cues include facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, body position and movement, the use of touch and gaze

-help express emotions, attitudes and personalities

-more "honest" than words

mirror neurons

respond when we perform an action and when we see someone else perform the same action

-basis of our ability to feel empathy


to express or emit nonverbal behavior, such as smiling or patting someone on the back

-all humans express emotions in the same way

primary emotions conveyed by the face are ________________?



interpret the meaning of the nonverbal behavior other people express, such as deciding that a pat on the back was an expression of condescension and not kindness

-all humans can interpret accurately

6 major emotional expressions







affect blend

facial expression in which one part of the face registers one emotion while another part of the face registers a different emotion


nonverbal gestures that have well-understood definitions within a given culture; they usually have direct verbal translations, such as the "OK" sign

implicit personality theory

type of scheme people use to group various kinds of personality traits together; for example, many people that someone who is kind is generous as well

-could lead to stereotypical thinking

attribution theory

description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other people's behavior

internal attribution

inference that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about the person, such as attitude, character or personality

-cause of behavior internal

external attribution

inference that a person is behaving a certain way because of something about the situation he is in; assumption is that most people would respond same in that sitution

covariation model

to form an attribution about what caused a person's behavior, we systematically note pattern between presence or absence of possible causal factors and whether or not the behavior occurs

-gather data on how behavior "covaries" across time, place, different

3 key types of information




consensus information

how people behave toward the same stimulus

distinctiveness information

info about the extent to which one particular actor behaves in teh same way to different stimuli

consistency information

info about the extent to which the behavior between one actor and one stimulus is the same across time and cirumstances

correspondence bias

tendency to infer that people's behavior matches their dispositions and personality

-fundamental attribution error

perceptual salience

seeming importance of information that is the focus of people's attention

two-step process of attribution

analyzing another person's behavior first by making an automatic internal attribution and only then thinking about possible situational reasons for the behavior, after which one may adjust the original internal attribution

actor/observer difference

tendency to see other people's behavior as dispositionally caused but focusing more on teh role of situational factors when explaining one's own behavior

self-serving attributions

explanations for one's successes that credit internal, dispositional factors and explanations for one's failures that blame external, situational factors

defensive attributions

explanations for behavior that avoid feelings of vulnerability and mortality

belief in a just world

form of defensive attribution wherein people assume that bad things happen to bad people and that good things happen to good people

self concept

all info/knowledge we have about ourselves

-influences our behaviors and thoughts and feelings


act of thinking about ourselves

self-awareness theory

idea that when people focus on themselves, they compare their behaviors to their inner standards and values

spontaneous self concept

aspects of identity that are in awareness at a given point in time


when it makes you distinct from other people, more aware of specific characteristics

optimal distinctiveness theory

people want to feel similar to their group but not too similar

-moderate level of distinctiveness

social comparison

process of comparing ourselves to other people in order to judge the self

upward social comparison

comparing yourself to someone who is better off than you

-can help one improve

-can make one feel worse

downward social comparison

comparing yourself to someone who is worse off than you

-can help one feel better

-do not get ideas on improvement

self-perception theory

describes how we make judgments about our attitudes, emotions and personality

-people look at their behavior to determine how they feel about something

-usually only happens with things one is more ambiguous about

over-justification effect

when people decide they performed a task that could have been fun for external reasons rather than the fact they enjoyed it

i.e. college athlete with scholarship

performance contingent rewards

reward depends on how well people perform task

task contingent rewards

rewards given for performing a task regardless of how well it is done

Two Factor Theory of Emotion

idea that emotional experience is result of 2 step self perception process in which people first experience physiological arousal and then seek an appropriate explanation for it

misattribution of arousal

process whereby people make mistaken inferences about what is causing them to feel the way they do

appraisal theories of emotion

emotions result from people's interpretations and explanations of events, even in the absence of physiological arousal

fixed mindset

idea that we have a set amount of an ability that cannot change

growth mindset

idea that our abilities are malleable qualities that we can cultivate and grow

social tuning

process where people adopt another person's attitudes

impression management

attempt to get others to see you the way you want to be seen


process of people flattering, praising and generally trying to make themselves likable to another person, often of higher status


strategy of people trying to create obstacles and excuses for themselves so that if they do poorly on a task, they can avoid blaming themselves

cultural differences in defining the sefl

people who grow up in western cultures tend to have an independent view of the self, whereas people who grow up in asian cultures tend to have an interdependent view of the self

gender differences in defining the self

women tend to have relational interdependence, focusing more on close relationships, whereas men tend to have collective interdependence, focusing on their membership in larger groups


when people focus on themselves they evaluate and compare their current behavior to their internal standards and values

-when people introspect about why they feel the way they do they often use CAUSAL THEORIES, many of which are learned from one's culture

-when people think about reasons for their attitudes they assume that their attitudes match the reasons that are plausible and easiest to verbalize, leading to REASONS-GENERATED ATTITUDE CHANGE


requires energy, and spending this energy on one task limits the amount that can be spent on another task

-level of glucose in the bloodstream is mental "fuel" spent on self-control

cognitive dissonance theory

awareness of consonant cognitions makes us feel good, but awareness of dissonant cognitions make us feel bad

-unpleasant feelings from dissonant cognitions motivates us to do something to change our state

-attitude/behavior dissonant with each other: you will be motivated to change your behavior

consonant cognitions

beliefs that are consistent or compatible with one another

dissonant cognitions

beliefs that are inconsistent with one another

how to reduce dissonant cognitions:

1. change the behavior (quit smoking)

2. change one of the dissonant cognitions (rationalization, "research isn't exact" "it won't affect me personally")

3. add more consonant cognitions ("it helps me lose weight" "I enjoy it a lot")

impact bias

tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of our emotional reactions to future negative events

post-decision dissonance

typically reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and devaluating the rejected alternatives

induced compliance paradigm

making people behave in ways that go against their attitudes

i.e. have participants write an essay in favor of abortion if they stated they are against it

effort justification paradigm

getting people to invest time and energy into something that may not be worthwhile

i.e. studies hard for test but still does poorly; relationship isn't working out

1. decide one didn't really put forth much effort

2. decide one really did get something/learned a lesson along the way

free choice paradigm

people forced to choose between 2 alternatives

-afterward most people feel a little dissonant

hypocrisy paradigm

researchers arouse dissonance by having people promote a positive behavior and then make them aware that they don't exhibit the behavior themselves


salesperson induces customer to agree to purchase a product at a very low cost, claims it was an error, and then raises the price; frequently, the customer will agree to make purchase at inflated price

justification of effort

tendency for individuals to increase their liking for something they have worked hard to attain

external justification

reason for dissonant personal behavior that resides outside the individual

i.e. in order to receive a large reward or avoid a sever punishment

internal justification

reduction of dissonance by changing something about oneself

i.e. attitude or behavior

counterattitudal advocacy

stating an opinion or attitude that runs counter to one's private belief or attitude

insufficient punishment

dissonance aroused when individuals lack sufficient external justification for having resisted a desired activity or object, usually resulting in individuals devaluing the forbidden activity or object


long-lasting form of attitude change that results from attempts at self-justification

rational behavior vs. rationalizing behavior

humans often process info in a biased way, one that fits our preconceived notions

-explanation: information or ideas that disagree with our views arouse dissonance and humans avoid dissonance even at the expense of rational behavior

Random assignment is:

a procedure by which each participant in an experiment is equally likely to take part in any of the experimental conditions

NOT key aspect of formal definition of social psychology

role of groups in society

replications increase:

external validity

Results of Sexual Double Standard research:

double standard was exhibited by people when in a group, but not individually

Personality psychologist prediction:

i.e. ashley likely will be a shy person both at home and at school

Annie has a lot of freckles. therefore, she always notices freckles of those around her. This is an example of:

chronic accessibility

psychologists believe that which 2 motives underlie the majority of people's thoughts and behaviors?

-need to feel good about oneself

-need to be accurate

for the average person, the correlation between income and niceness of apartment would be:


Provide an OPERATIONAL DEFINITION for laziness

Laziness in individuals can range from 1-10. 1 being relatively non-lazy and 10 being extremely lazy

judgments about why an event occurred or why someone behaved a certain way are called:


it is common taht if individuals perceive someone as helpful, they also view them as sincere. what theory does this fall under?

implicit personality theory

research on eyewitness identification has shown that:

speed, but not confidence, is strong indicator of accuracy

reflections on how past events might have turned out differently are:

counterfactual thoughts

New types of criminal lineups

blank lineup; none of people in lineup are actual perpetrator

2 nonverbal behaviors of women's body language in a bar/party setting


-approach tell

you can easily think up an example of a famous plane crash, so you overestimate the probability that your flight today will crash. this is an example of __________

availability heuristic

participants who drank ______ tended to exert better self-control than those who drank _____

lemonade with sugar; lemonade with artificial sugar

Students are asked to write descriptions of themselves:

students who had brown hair, compared to students who had red hair, were LESS likely to mention their hair color

according to cognitive dissonance theory, which participants would rate the running to be most enjoyable? (receiving one credit or three credits)

participants who received 1 credit

participants in front of a mirror or not while describing themselves

mirror influenced American students' ratings but not those of Japanese students

external rewards tend to:

reduce any inherent intrinsic interest

people generally ____ think they would be able to easily change a decision; however, research suggests people are actually _____ with their choice when decision is more permanent

do; happier

postdecisional dissonance is studied under which paradigm:

free choice

Parental investment hypothesis

men are more concerned with investing time/energy on women with greatest change of successfully reproducing, whereas women want to invest time/energy into men that can provide and support her and her offspring


narcissists are more likely to become hostile when given negative feedback than those low in narcissism

Dissonance is most upsetting and powerful when people behave in ways that _________

threaten their self-esteem

Participants who interacted with the _____ experimenter reported liking study more because they had insufficient _____ justification for participating

mean; external

social normms

can shape people's behaviors in powerful ways

Construals (how humans perceive situation)

shaped by the need to be accurate and the need to feel good about ourselves

diffusion of responsibility

the more people who witness an emergency, the less likely it is that any given individual will intervene

correlation does not prove:



explanation to participants, at end of experiment, the true purpose of the study and exactly what transpired


institutional review board

power of unconscious thinking

great deal of human thought occurs outside of conscious awareness. people unconsciously monitor what is going on around them, in case something important occurs that requires their conscious attention

independent view of the self

way of defining oneself in terms of one's own internal thoughts, feelings, adn actions and not in terms of thoughts, feelings, action of other people

interdependent view of the self

defining oneself in term's of one's relationships to other people; recognizing that one's behavior is often determined by the thoughts, feelings adn actions of other people

intrinsic motivation

desire to engage in activity because we enjoy it or find it interesting

extrinsic motivation

desire to engage in activity because of external rewards or pressures

why lowballing works:

1. although customers decision to buy is certainly reversible, commitment of sorts does exist

2. feeling of commitement triggered anticipation of exciting event (not doing it now creates dissonance)

3. although final price is higher than originally, it's only slightly higher than price at another place

how dissonance affects personal values

people facing choice will undergo either a softening or a hardening of their attitudes toward cheating on exams, depending on whether or not they decided to cheat

Dissonance and the "cognitive kaleidoscope"

reasoning areas of the brain virtually shut down when a person is confronted with dissonant information, and the emotion circuits of the brain light up happily when consonance is restored

the less external justification, the greater the need for

internal justification

large reward or severe punishment

external justification (I do or think this because I have to); temporary change

small reward or punishment

internal justification (I do this because I have convinced myself that it's right); lasting change

the Ben Franklin effect

whenever we act either kindly or cruelly toward a person, we never quite feel the same way about that person again

-we like people more after doing a favor for them

-we hate our victims