PSY 161 Exam 2 Flashcards

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social psychology and individual differences
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“A favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone that is shown in their beliefs, thoughts, and behavior” (Myers)


implicit vs explicit attitudes

explicit- consciously accessible, better predict deliberate, conscious behavior

implicit- unconscious associations between objects and evaluative responses, better predict automatic, uncontrollable behavior


tripartite model of attitudes

card image

any stimuli can create an attitude that can affect our cognition and behavior


univariate attitude

= One dimension with two endpoints

i.e., you either rate something positively (ex. like) OR negatively (ex. Dislike)

Implies that positive and negative attitudes are mutually exclusive – You cannot have both

attitudes are more commonly thought of as univariate


bivariate attitude

Two independent dimensions

Attitudes are a function of these two dimensions:
Positivity (low to high),Negativity (low to high)

Can evaluate something both positively and negatively (i.e., ambivalence (some positive and some negative feelings towards something), ex. liking rochester in the summer and hating it in the winter)

better measure of personality


how can we measure attitudes?

ask (self-report)

social desirability:
random response technique
bogus pipeline

Implicit/Indirect measures:
ex. Modern racism scale (asking indirect questions that reveal an underlying attitude)
Implicit Association Test (IAT)


random response technique

technique to measure attitudes

ask people if they had sex with a prostitute, but have them flip a coin first. If the coin lands heads they answer “yes” regardless, if they land tails they answer truthfully. Double the number that answer yes from tails and that is your actual number


bogus pipeline

technique to measure attitudes

ask people questions while hooked to a polygraph and people tend to answer more truthfully to avoid the lie detector finding their lie


Implicit Association Test (IAT)

a computer driven assessment of implicit attitudes. The test uses reaction times to measure people's automatic associations between attitude objects and evaluative words. Easier pairings (and faster reaction times are taken to indicate stronger unconscious associations

ex. Have people categorize (by clicking a right or left key on a keyboard) peoples' faces as either african american or european american

then have them categorize words as either good or bad

then have people sort either good words or european american faces with the left key and either african american faces or bad words with the right key (if you associate good with europeans and bad with africans then you should sort the things more quickly)

then switch such that africans and good are on the left key and europeans and bad are on the right key (if you associate good with europeans and bad with africans then you should sort the things more slowly)


shooter bias

test of implicit attitudes

Experiment that was done on police officers. The officers see a picture of a white or black man with either a cell phone or gun and the cops quickly have to make the decision to shoot or not

People have “associations” between white and good- not simply a “preference”
influenced by media influence. Critisim: measuring cultural influences not necessarily individual influences

Cops probably said they were not racist and when they are just talking to a black person they may not appear racist (explicit), but when they are forced to make a decision to shoot suddenly then their implicit attitudes show (implicit)


dual processing theories

There are two distinct types of psychological processes, explicit (controlled) and implicit (automatic)

Implicit and explicit attitudes do not always agree

Implicit and explicit attitudes can change independent of each other

Correlations between implicit and explicit attitudes are only .24


how can attitudes form?

Mere exposure
Basic learning processes
a. Classical Conditioning
b. Instrumental conditioning
c. Observational learning
Self perception


mere exposure effect

a way to form an attitude about something

more exposure leads to more positive feelings (as long as you were neutral or liked the thing to begin with)

ex. seeing a random chinese symbol and rating it more positively the more times you see it

ex. People preferred the mirrored image of themselves 60% of the time, but chose the normal pictures of their partner 90% of the time. You see yourself in the mirror and in pictures so you are used to both perspectives so that is why the percentage is lower


classical conditioning

a way to form an attitude about something

An initially neutral stimulus begins to evoke a reaction after repeated pairings with another stimulus. Then the neutral stimulus evokes the same reaction as the actual stimulus

Subliminal conditioning – Stimuli are outside of conscious awareness

ex. Classically conditioning a neutral stimulus (budweiser) with a preconditioned stimulus (good looking girls that make you feel good) and with enough exposure then budweiser makes you feel good too


instrumental conditioning

a way to form an attitude about something

rewards and punishment

ex. get a reward after dinner if you eat all your vegetables then the child grows up to love vegetables

ex. Reward for bottle deposits- In states that recycle you can get money (a reward) for recycling, so those states view recycling much more positively and recycle heavily


observational learning

a way to form an attitude about something

modeling behavior after a role model (like your parents)


cognitive appraisal

a way to form an attitude about something (observational learning)

sometimes we form attitude rationally, by thinking through and weighing information

Kids have strong opinions about things that mimic their parents opinions, but in their teens kids begin to think for themselves

Different degrees of cognitive appraisal (some people retain different amounts of their parents’ opinions)

We think we use more cognitive appraisal than we do


self perception theory

a way to form an attitude about something

we infer our internal states from our behavior

Ex. Follow someone around a grocery store and see how many vegetables they pick up. If they have a lot you can infer they have a positive image about vegetables. You can apply this same thing to yourself

Only applicable when the case is ambiguous (you don’t have an opinion either way)

alternative to dissonance theory- Does not involve any discomfort (unlike in dissonance)

ex. related to boring peg turning task and dissonance: Observers saw the $1 people and since they didn’t really have a good reason to lie they must have actually liked the study so they guessed that those people were most satisfied


genetic attitude formation

a way to form an attitude about something

genes -> basic traits -> attitudes

Genetics also play a role in attitudes

ex. In twins if one MZ (identical, from one egg) twin likes jazz music the other MZ twin is more likely to like jazz than a DZ (fraternal, from 2 eggs) twin even when the twins do not have any shared environments (twins separated at birth),

more similar personality traits which then lead to similar attitudes


embodied cognition

The brain and the body are so deeply connected that they influence each other in subtle, reciprocal ways

Thinking evokes bodily states- pulse starts going up, start sweating during a scary movie

Bodily states influence thinking- smiling while watching a cartoon makes it funnier


implicit vs explicit attitude formation

Compared to explicit attitudes, implicit attitudes may be more closely related to:
Early experiences (e.g., smokers’ early experiences with smoking)
Affective or emotional experiences
Cultural biases (e.g., cultural stereotypes)

Smoking may remind someone of your grandpa which is a positive affective experience (implicit attitude) towards smoking, but have a negative explicit attitude because you know smoking is bad for you


when are attitudes predictors of behavior?

In the absence of situational constraints (if you order food when out with friends and it comes cold you won't send it back and be a downer to your friends, but you would send it back if by yourself, "go with the flow")

When they are at the same level of specificity (ex. attitude towards religion (general) is a good predictor of overall religious behavior (general), but not as good of a predictor for church attendance (specific))

when the attitude is strong or extreme (you are much more likely to act on something you strongly believe in)

When the attitude is formed from direct experience (you feel more strongly if something directly affects you)

when the attitude is assessed shortly before a behavior (Election polls better predict results of an election one week vs. one month before actual election, attitudes change over time and can be variable)

low self-monitors (high self monitors constantly adjust their behavior based on the situation regardless of their attitudes)


theory of planned behavior

card image




a set of norms that defines how people in a given social situation out to behave


cognitive dissonance theory

tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of 2 inconsistent cognitions

people desire consistency among their "cognitions"

a perceived inconsistency -> dissonance (unpleasant)

we seek to reduce dissonance through various means


ways to reduce cognitive dissonance

change your attitude

adding consonant cognitions (adding positive statements that add pros to the negative action so it doesn't seem so bad)

altering the importance of the discrepancy (thinking in the short term if something has long term negative consequences so it doesn't seem so harmful right now)

reducing the perceived choice ( people don't feel as bad if they don't think they have a choice about doing the negative action)

changing behavior


counter-attitudinal Behavior

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behavior and attitude contradict

Intentionally bored the subject by making them turn pegs. Tell the subject that they are testing expectations and they need to tell the next subject that the test was really fun (lie) so that they have high expectations or tell the truth. Had 3 conditions (Control: tell the truth, Insufficient justification: $1 to tell lie, Sufficient justification: $20 to tell lie) and had them talk to the next subject, then had the subject complete a survey about how much they enjoyed the peg turning task.


ben franklin effect

dissonance theory and folk wisdom suggest that we like people not for the favors they have done for us but for the favors we have done for them


spreading the alternatives

way to reduce cognitive dissonance

People who own neither and iPhone or droid don’t care about the choices and don’t have a distinct attitude

Once you purchase one you love the positive qualities of your phone and keep thinking of all the negative thoughts of the other phone

You have dissonance about the cool features of the phone you didn’t buy since you don’t have those cool features so you just don’t think about those positive qualities and only think about the negative of the phone you didn’t buy to make your phone seem even better and fix the dissonance

Affective forecasting errors- if you know you can’t return something you use spreading the alternatives to reassure yourself that you made the right decision to buy it


information inconsistent with beliefs

way to reduce cognitive dissonance

People actually believed the world was going to end and when the world didn’t end they made up an excuse and lied to themselves to fix dissonance

You believe something, someone tells you something that is contradictory, so you change your beliefs


effects of effort expedenture

a way to reduce cognitive dissonance

the more effort you put into something the more you are going to "like" it so that way your efforts are justified

ex. fraternity hazing: You feel dissonance if you go through a rough hazing so then you feel like the group is awesome so the hazing was worth it to be in the frat



a way to reduce cognitive dissonance

People generally think people are very agreeable towards each other and we don’t need to all fight in wars and such

How did all the germans just watch all the concentration camp people die? Don’t think of the victims as people and it is a lot easier to perform terrible things to them. Think of jews as vermin and you don’t care about killing them since they are a pest


overjustification effect

part of the self-perception theory

bribing people to do something they already enjoy can lead them to see their behavior as externally controlled rather than intrinsically appealing


cognitive dissonance vs. self perception

Cognitive dissonance theory implies the experience of tension, while self-perception theory does not

evidence of the role of dissonance and tension supports cognitive dissonance theory

However, self-perception theory better accounts for some situations:
Attitudes that are not very important
Poorly formed attitudes
When we aren’t sure what our attitude is


impression management

also called "self-presentation theory"

Say what we think will make us look good to others
Consistent attitudes and behavior usually makes us look good

We don’t care about ourselves having a consistent attitude, we just care about “appearing” consistent and not hypocritical (no "real" attitude change)

Bogus Pipeline methodology



Inconsistency threatens self-worth

Threatened self-worth leads to attitude change rather than dissonance or tension per se

Self-affirming an important value eliminates the effects of dissonance on attitudes

“Yeah I smoke and I know its bad for me, but I am a really good friend”


comparing attitude theories (chart)

card image


elaboration likelihood model (ELM)

card image

how likely are we to elaborate on the message that was given?

central route-very likely to elaborate

peripheral route- less likely to elaborate


critical determinant

are we motivated/able to pay attention to the content of the message

ex. If you don’t need to buy a car and a car commercial comes on, you won’t be very likely to pay attention
While driving people cannot read a lot of words, so they can only focus on some pictures


peripherally vs. centrally-based attitudes

Peripherally-based attitudes are:
1. Weaker
2. Less resistant to counterargument
3. Less predictive of actual behavior


central route to persuasion

occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts

focus on arguments and systematic thinking, very likely to elaborate, lay out a strong reasoning as to why you should do it


peripheral route to persuasion

occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker's attractiveness

heuristic thinking, less likely to elaborate, cues that trigger thoughts without much critical thinking


source characteristics

credibility (expert, trustworthy)

likeability (physical attractiveness, fame, similarity)



source characteristic of persuasion

believability. a credible communicator is perceived as both expert and trustworthy

perceived expertise-You are more likely to believe a professor than an undergraduate about a topic

trustworthy- You are most likely to believe someone who is arguing against their self interest, so you trust them.
Overheard message: you are likely to believe a message that you “just happened to overhear”. You believe they are being honest since they aren’t being paid and have nothing to gain, so you trust them


sleeper effect

a delayed impact of a message that occurs when an initially discounted message becomes effective, as we remember the message but forget the reason for discounting it



source characteristic of persuasion

physical attractiveness- having qualities that appeal to an audience. An appealing communicator (often someone similar to the audience) is most persuasive on matters of subjective preference
We are like people who are more famous and attractive because we want to be like them and are attracted to them

similarity- We are more likely to listen to what people have to say if we are more similar to them


6 persuasion principles

Authority- people defer to credible experts

liking- people respond more affirmatively to those they like

social proof- people allow the example of others to validate how they think, feel, and act

reciprocity- people feel obliged to repay in kind
what they received

consistency- people tend to honor their public commitments

scarcity- people prize what's scarce


message characteristics- reason vs emotion

persuasion message characteristic

Well educated people are more persuaded by reason (same for more interested people)

Less educated people are more persuaded by emotion (same for less interested people)


message characteristics- discrepancy

persuasive message characteristic

The more discrepant the message is, the less likely we are to change our attitude

if you read a poem and don't like it, then read someone else who praised the poem, you are more likely to like the poem (especially when you think it is written by a famous poet- credibility)


message characteristics- 1 vs 2 sided

persuasive message characteristic

1 sided argument- just talk about pros or cons
more effective if the audience is:
Initially on your side
Unaware of both sides

2 sided- talk about pros and cons
are more effective if the audience is:
Initially opposed to you
Aware of both sides

Effectiveness varies depending on the initial attitude


message characteristic- message order

persuasive message characteristic

primacy effect- other things being equal, information presented first usually has the most influence
generally info presented first influences you more strongly. You interpret the second side of the story through the lens of the first side

recency effect- information presented last sometimes has the most influence. recency effects are less common then primacy effects
people remember the second side of a story if there is a long pause in between the sides or if you have to make a decision regarding the stories right after


message characteristics- amount of information

persuasive message characteristic

If someone has a longer message we assume it’s a good quality argument


message characteristics- repetition

persuasive message characteristic

the more we hear an argument the more we like it


message characteristics- positive and negative emotion

persuasive message characteristics

Positive emotion makes us like something better (we like coca cola because they advertise with cute polar bears that make you feel good)

Negative emotion- a small/moderate amount of fear can be persuasive, too much fear makes us shut it out and is ineffective


persuasive message characteristics

reason vs emotion
1 vs. 2 sided – depends on the initial attitude
Message order (Primacy effect, Recency effect)
Amount of information
Positive and negative emotion


ways to resist persuasion


Attitude inoculation


selective avoidance



way to prevent persuasion

Responding to a perceived threat to one’s freedom by acting in contradiction to the persuasion or influence

a motive to protect or restore one's sense of freedom. Reactance arises when someone threatens our freedom of action

When we know someone is trying to persuade us we try to rebel


attitude inoculation

way to prevent persuasion

Exposing people to weak attacks on their attitudes so they can better refute stronger attacks



way to prevent persuasion

forewarning people about counterattitudinal arguments decreases their effectiveness


selective avoidance

way to prevent persuasion

avoiding attacks on one's beliefs to maintain the belief


channel of communication

the way the message was delivered, necessary for persuasion

either face to face, in writing, on film, or in some other way


two step flow of communication

the process by which media influence often occurs through opinion leaders, who in turn influence others


need for cognition

the motivation to think and analyze

assessed by agreement with items such as "The notion of thinking abstractly is appealing to me" and disagreement with items such as "I only think as hard as I have to"

prefer central routes to persuation



also called new religious movement

a group characterized by:
distinctive rituals and beliefs related to its devotion to a god or a person
isolation from the surrounding "evil" culture
a charismatic leader


persuasive elements

the communicator (leader)
the message
the audience



“A belief about the personal attributes of a group of people.” (Myers)

A cognitive representation that associates a social group with …specific attributes… in an oversimplistic way

a shortcut (generalization, heuristic)we use to categorize people into groups and give entire groups the same characteristic

tend to overestimate the differences between groups



“A preconceived negative judgment of a group and its individual members” (Myers)

an unjustified negative attitude toward a social group or its individual members



“Unjustified negative behavior toward a group or its members” (Myers)


implicit vs explicit prejudice

Explicit prejudice – Consciously accessible prejudicial attitudes; Easily controllable

Implicit prejudice – Unconscious associations between a social group and evaluative responses
Test using Implicit Attitude Test (IAT)


cognitive sources of stereotypes

social categorization- the tendency to classify people into groups
Grouping vegetables, animals (reptiles, mammals), UofR students, musicians, etc.
Can have negative consequences, but usually serves a good purpose

ingroup/outgroup categorization-the tendency to classify people as ingroup or outgroup members
Another step of social categorization that includes yourself. I’m a european causcasian, so are you so you are in my ingroup. They are asian so they are on the outgroup.
Outgroups can often lead to discrimination. Beaten when you wear the opponent to a sporting event.

consequences of ingroup/outgroup categorization- outgroup homogeneity bias, ingroup-outgroup bias


outgroup homogeneity bias

the tendency to perceive outgroup members as being more similar to each other than are member's of one's ingroup

well documented effect

Differentiating between races- you can remember your own race better than others ("own-race bias")

"they are alike, we are diverse"


ingroup-outgroup bias

the tendency to have more negative attitudes towards outgroup members than towards ingroup members

how prejudice comes about


minimal group procedure

assign people to completely arbitrary groups and have them rate group members

Results: Most people rate ingroup members more favorably than outgroup members (i.e., they demonstrate the ingroup-outgroup bias)

you behave such that it favors your group


social identity theory

We all have a basic need to maintain/enhance
self-esteem. Self-esteem is influenced by personal and social identities. Therefore, we’re motivated to evaluate ingroups more positively than outgroups

grounded by our personal accomplishments, boosts self esteem through accomplishments in our groups (group success)


social identity research

ingroup bias experience -> increased self esteem
self esteem threat -> increased ingroup bias

lower status groups show more ingroup bias

basking in reflected glory ("BIRGing")- people are more likely to wear yankees gear right after the yankees win a world series than after they went .500


social dominance orientation

a motivation to have one's group dominate other social groups



believing in the superiority of one's own ethnic and cultural group, and having a corresponding disdain for all other groups


authoritarian personality

a personality that is disposed to favor obedience to authority and intolerance of outgroups and those lower in status


realistic group conflict theory

the theory that prejudice arises from competition between groups for scarce resources


terror management

according to the "terror management theory" people's self-protective emotional and cognitive responses (including adhering more strongly to their cultural worldwide views and prejudices) when confronted with reminders of their own mortality


stigma consciousness

a person's expectation of being victimized by prejudice or discrimination


how do stereotypes affect us?

effects on social judgments (shooter bias)
effects on behavior (walking slowly after elderly priming)
effects on stereotyped individuals


stereotype threat

a self-confirming fear that one’s behavior will verify a negative group stereotype.

Stereotyped group members know about the stereotype
In situations that may confirm the stereotype, they may become anxious
Anxiety interferes with optimal functioning, harming performance and confirming the stereotype

Self full filling prophecy- you change your behavior to fit an attitude/stereotype and your behavioral change causes that idea to come true


just-world phenomenom

the tendency of people to believe that the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get



accommodating individuals who deviate from one's stereotype by thinking of them as "exceptions to the rule"

maintains the original group sterotype



accommodating individuals who deviate from one's stereotype by forming a new stereotype about this subset of the group


optimist view of stereotype changes

view that stereotypes are changing

"superstitious, lazy, and ignorant" boxes were checked by a high number of african americans in 1933 and those number are decreasing


pessimistic view of stereotype changes

study when people saw a video of 2 men talking and the black man lightly pushes the black man, people still thought the black man was being aggressive
when the white man pushed the black, people thought he was "just playing around"

many hate groups still exist in every state

black people generally get jail sentences for a longer time


mixed view of stereotype changes

Stereotypes and beliefs are different cognitive structures

Stereotypes can be automatically activated

An activated stereotype will influence behavior unless it is inhibited

Reducing prejudice is a long, difficult process


illusory correlation

the phenomenon of perceiving a relationship between variables (typically people, events, or behaviors) even when no such relationship exists

Majority group members have few interactions with minority group

b. Negative events are distinctive events

c. We overestimate the co-occurrence of distinctive events

d. Also, remember out-group homogeneity bias


ultimate attribution error

a.k.a. group-serving bias

Tendency to attribute the negative behavior of a minority group member to dispositional characteristics and positive behavior to situational factors


stereotype suppression effects

telling someone not to use stereotypes leads to someone writing a less stereotyped essay, but sat more chairs away from the skinhead



a change in behavior due to commands of others
(most direct social influence)



yielding to a direct, explicit appeal meant to produce certain behavior or agreement to a particular point of view

conformity that involves publicly acting in accord with an implied or explicit request while privately disagreeing

middle of direct/indirect social influences

ex. saying a line is an incorrect length just because other people in the room said the same



a change in behavior or attitude brought about by a desire to follow the beliefs or standards of others

a change in behavior or belief as the result of real or imagined group pressure

most indirect social influence

types of influence in conformity situations: normative influence, informational influence



conformity that involves both acting and believing in accord with social pressure


normative influence

based on a person’s desire to fulfill other’s expectations, often to gain acceptance.

Going along with the crowd regardless of one’s actual beliefs.

type of influence in conformity situations


informational influence

based on accepting evidence about a reality provided by other people

type of influence in conformity situations


factors influencing when people conform

group size
cohesiveness of group
unanimity of group
status of group members
prior commitment


resisting conformity

desire for uniqueness


factors that affect minority influence

flexible and open-minded, not rigid
not too deviant from the majority


majority vs minority influence

Majority influence: public, normative (go with the flow, you may not deeply believe the view point)

Minority influence: private, informational (you actually believe the view point)


Cialdini's 6 principles of compliance

1. Friendship/liking – Mary Kay, Tupperware Parties
2. Commitment/consistency – Signing Contracts
3. Scarcity – “Last Chance to Buy!”
4. Reciprocity – Free Samples, buying raffle tickets after receiving a coke from a participant
5. Social validation – “Don’t Get Left Behind!”
6. Authority – “4 out of 5 Dentists Agree…”

reasonableness (not one of the 6)- people are more likely to comply if you give them a reason, even if they know its fake (cognitive miser, we hear a reason, so we don't really listen to it)


compliance strategies

1. The foot-in-the-door technique
2. Door-in-the-face technique
3. That’s not all technique
4. Lowballing
5. Bait and switch
6. Labeling


foot-in-the-door technique

Get people to agree to a small request, then they will be much more likely to agree to a larger request


door-in-the-face technique

Ask people for a huge request that the participant will not agree to then when they say no, the experimenter asks for a smaller request (which was the main goal) then people agree since its more like a consolation


that's not all technique

Offered a deal at a high price, then they add on an additional item for the same price which makes you think it’s a better deal

Ex. infomercials



You agree to a deal then after the agreement the price gets raised (or added to) or part of the offer is taken out

a tactic for getting people to agree to something. people who agree to an initial request will often still comply when the requester ups the ante. People who receive only the costly requests are less likely to comply with it

ex. car dealers


bait and switch

initial commitment, then it is not available and only a more costly option is available

ex. tell a participant they will get paid for a fun study, after they arrive tell them the study was cancelled and only a boring, unpaid study is available and see if they do it (many will)



a label is assigned to a person, then request made consistent with the label

Tell the professor they are fair then ask them to change your exam grade and they are more likely to change the exam grade (some normative influence too)


factors affecting obedience

legitimacy of authority
proximity of authority
unanimity of authority
proximity of victim
willingness of victim
seeing peer disobey