Psychology Chapter 11 Flashcards

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Social Psychology
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Social Psychology-

The study of how people think about, influence, and relate to other people.


Person Perception-

Refers to the processes by which we use social stimuli to form impressions of others.

Ex: One important social cue is the face (physical attractiveness)



A generalization about a group's characteristics that does not consider any variations from one individual to another.

Ex: Sorority girls are all snobby.


Self-Fulfilling Prophecy-

Expectations cause individuals to act in ways that serve to make the expectations come true.


Attribution Theory-

Views people as motivated to discover underlying causes of behavior as part of their effort to make sense of their behavior.


Internal/External Causes-

Causes inside and specific to the person, such as his or her traits and abilities. External attributions includes causes outside the person, such as social pressure, aspects of the social situation, and the weather.

Ex: Did Beth get an A on the test because she is smart, or because the test was easy?


Stable/Unstable Causes-

Is the cause relatively enduring and permanent or is it temporary?

Ex: Did Aaron blow up at his girlfriend because he is hostile or because he was in a bad mood that day?


Controllable/Uncontrollable Causes-

We perceive that we have power over some causes, but not others.

Ex: Preparing a delicious food for a picnic but having rain on the picnic day.


Fundamental Attribution Error-

Observers overestimate the importance of internal traits and underestimate the importance of external situations when they seek explanations of another person's behavior.



In attribution theory, the person who produces the behavior to be explained. Usually explain their own behavior in terms of external causes.



The person who offers a causal explanation of the actor's behavior. Frequently explain the actor's behavior in terms of internal causes.


False Consensus Effect-

The overestimation of the degree to which everybody else thinks or acts the way we do. Can be important in social interactions.

Ex: Someone in a group to which you belong makes a racially sensitive remark. According to this effect, the person is likely to interpret silence on the part of others in the group as agreement.


Positive Illusions-

Favorable views of the self that are not necessarily rooted in reality.

Ex: People who have high self-esteem


Self-Serving Bias-

Refers to the tendency to take credit for one's own successes and to deny responsibility for one's own failures.

Ex: If you do well on an exam you are likely to take credit for that success but if you do poorly you are more likely to blame situational factors (the test was too hard).


Stereotype Threat-

An individual's fast-acting self-fulfilling fear of being judged based on a negative stereotype about his or her group.

Ex: Whenever people think that people from Eastern Kentucky are stupid and don't wear shoes you may be worried you might live "down" to those expectations.


Social Comparison-

The process by which individuals evaluate their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and abilities in relation to others.

Ex: You feel proud for getting a B on a test, only to feel deflated when you find out that your friend got an A.



Our feelings or opinions about people, objects, and ideas.


Cognitive Dissonance-

A concept developed by Festinger, it is an individual's psychological discomfort (dissonance) caused by two inconsistent thoughts.

Ex: We feel uneasy when we notice an inconsistency between what we believe and what we do.


Effort Justification-

One type of dissonance reduction, means rationalizing the amount of effort we put into something. Explains strong feelings of loyalty toward a group based on the effort it takes to gain admission into that group.


Self-Perception Theory-

Daryl Bem's explanation of how behaviors influence attitudes, stating that individuals make inferences about their attitudes by perceiving their behavior.


The Communicator (Source)-

Trust worthiness and expertise are credibility characteristics that help a communicator change people's attitudes or convince them to act. Other source factors include power, attractiveness, and likability.


The Medium-

Another persuasion factor is the medium or the technology used to get the message across.


The Target (Audience)-

Age and attitude strength are two characteristics of the audience that determine whether a message will be effective.

Ex: Younger people are more likely to change their attitudes than older individuals. Weaker attitudes on the part of the audience make attitude change more likely than do deeply held attitudes.


The Message-

What kind of message is persuasive? Some messages involve strong logical arguments, and others focus on exciting emotions such as fear and anger in the audience. Which is more likely to work and when? The elaboration likelihood model addresses this question.


Elaboration Likelihood Model-

Identifies two ways to persuade: a central route and a peripheral route. The central route to persuasion works by engaging someone thoughtfully with a sound, logical argument. The peripheral route involves non-message factors such as the source's credibility and attractiveness or emotional appeals.


Foot-In-The-Door Technique-

Involves making a smaller request at the beginning and saving the biggest demand for last.


Door-In-The-Face Technique-

Involves making the biggest pitch at the beginning, which the customer will probably reject, and then making a smaller "concessionary" demand.



An unselfish interest in helping another person.



Involves giving to another person to ensure reciprocity; to gain self-esteem; to present one-self as powerful, competent, or caring; or to avoid social and self-censure for failing to live up to society's expectations.



A feeling of oneness with the emotional state of another person.


Market Economy-

A decentralized system featuring the free exchange of products and services between producers and consumers.


Bystander Effect-

The tendency for an individual who observes an emergency to help less when other people are present than when the observer is alone.



Social behavior whose objective is to harm someone, wither physically or verbally.


Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis-

States that the blocking of an individual's attempts to reach a goal always leads to aggression.


Culture of Honor-

A man's reputation is thought to be an essential aspect of his economic survival.


Overt Aggression-

Physical or verbal behavior that directly harms another person.


Relational Aggression-

Behavior that is meant to harm the social standing of another person through activities such as gossiping or spreading rumors.



A change in a person's behavior to coincide more closely with a group standard.


Informational Social Influence-

Refers to the influence other people have on us because we want to be right.


Normative Social Influence-

The influence others have on us because we want them to like us.

Ex: An inner city gang or members of a profession such as medicine or law.



Behavior that complies with the explicit demands of the individual in authority.



The reduction in personal identity and erosion of the sense of personal responsibility when one is part of a group.


Social Contagion-

Imitative behavior involving the spread of behavior, emotions, and ideas.


Social Facilitation-

Improvement in an individual's performance because of the presence of others.


Social Loafing-

Each person's tendency to exert less effort in a group because of reduced accountability for individual effort.


Risky Shift-

The tendency for a group decision to be riskier than the average decision made by the individual group members.


Group Polarization Effect-

The solidification and further strengthening of an individual's position as a consequence of a group discussion or interaction.



The impaired group decision making that occurs when making the right decision is less important than maintaining group harmony.


Social Identity-

The way individuals define themselves in terms of their group membership.


Social Identity Theory-

The view that social identity is a crucial part of self-image and a valuable source of positive feelings about oneself.



The tendency to favor one's own ethnic group over other groups.



An unjustified negative attitude toward an individual based on the individual's membership in a group.



An unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group simply because the person belongs to that group.


Sexual Harassment-

Unwelcome behavior or conduct of a sexual nature that offends, humiliates, or intimidates another person.


Mere Exposure Effect-

The phenomenon that the more individuals encounter something or someone, the more probable it is that they will start liking the person or thing even if they do not realize they have seen it before.


Secure Attachment Style-

An attachment style that describes adults who have positive views of relationships, find it easy to get close to others, and are not overly concerned or stressed about their romantic relationships.


Avoidant Attachment Style-

An attachment style that describes adults who are hesitant about getting involved in romantic relationships and once in a relationship tend to distance themselves from their partner.


Anxious Attachment Style-

An attachment style that describes adults who demand closeness, are less trusting, and are more emotional, jealous, and possessive.


Romantic Love-

Also called passionate love, it is love with strong components of sexuality and infatuation, often predominant in the early part of a love relationship.


Affectionate Love-

Also called companionate love; it is the type of love that occurs when an individual has a deep, caring affection for another person and desires to have that person near.


Social Exchange Theory-

The view of social relationships as involving an exchange of goods, the objective of which is to minimize costs and maximize benefits.


Investment Model-

A model of long-term relationships that examines the ways that commitment, investment, and the availability of attractive alternative partners predict satisfaction and stability in relationships.