Soc Psych Midterm 1

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69 terms · Chapters 1-3,5

observer bias

Error introduced into measurement when observers over-emphasize behaviours they expect but do not observe behaviours they don't expect; tendency of observers to see what they expect to see

social disability bias

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

correlation coefficient

Mathematical way to represent associations between variables; range from -1 to +1 (tells how strong relationship is between the variables; bigger the number stronger the relationship)

positive correlation

correlation where as one variable increases, the other also increases, or as one decreases so does the other. Both variables move in the same direction.

negative correlation

Inverse correlation; As variable one increases (decreases), variable two decreases (increases); opposite directions

descriptive method

Recording observations, not manipulating any variables

experimental method

One or more factors (independent variables) are systematically changed to determine whether such variations affect one or more other factors (dependent variables)

independent variable

Systematically changed in an experiment (manipulated)

dependent variable

Measured in an experiment

inferential statistics

Special form of mathematics that allows us to evaluate the likelihood that a given pattern of research results occurred by chance alone.

internal validity

The extent to which an experiment allows confident statements about cause and effect; The certainty with which results of an experiment can be attributed to the manipulation of the independent variable rather than to some other, confounding variable.

external validity

The extent to which the findings of an experiment can be generalized to real-life social situations and perhaps to persons different from those who participated in the research

random assignment of participants to experimental conditions

basic requirement for conducting valid experiments; research participants must have an equal chance of being exposed to each level of the independent variable.

tri-council policy statement

Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans; Makes sure all researchers are following ethical guidelines

social cognition

The manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about the social world; How we make sense of our social world (ourselves and others)

automatic behavior/ processing

After extensive experience with a task or type of information, the stage at which we can perform the task or process the information in a seemingly effortless, automatic, and non-conscious manner. Ex) an adult riding a bike

controlled behavior/ processing

We think about the judgments we are making carefully and consciously (conscious effort) Ex) a kid learning how to bike


Mental frameworks centering around a specific theme that help us to organize social information (can relate to individuals or events)


refers to what information we notice


refers to the processes through which information we notice is stored in memory (what information we store)


refers to the processes through which we recover information from memory in order to use it in some manner (what we remember)


Increased availability in memory or consciousness of specific types of information held in memory due to exposure to specific stimuli or events; activating a certain schema

perseverance effect

The tendency for beliefs and schemas to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information

self-fulfilling prophecies

Predictions that, in a sense, make themselves come true

behavioral confirmation

A type of self-fulfilling prophecy whereby people's social expectations lead them to act in ways that cause others to confirm their expectations.


Simple rules for making complex decisions or drawing inferences in a rapid and seemingly effortless manner

representativeness heuristic

A strategy for making judgments based on the extent to which current stimuli or events resemble other stimuli or categories

availability heuristic

A strategy for making judgments on the basis of how easily specific kinds of information can be brought to mind.

counterfactual thinking

The tendency to imagine other outcomes in a situation than the ones that actually occurred ("what might have been")

upward counterfactuals

compare current outcomes with more favorable ones; negative feelings of dissatisfaction or envy

downward counterfactuals

compare current outcomes with less favorable ones; positive feelings of satisfaction or hopefulness

planning fallacy

Tendency to make optimistic predictions concerning how long a given task will take for completion

negativity bias

A greater sensitivity to negative information than to positive information

optimistic bias

Our predisposition to expect things to turn out well overall

threat superiority effect

We notice threatening faces faster than neutral/ happy looking faces

mood dependent memory

What we remember while in a given mood may be determined, in part, by what we learned when previously in that mood

mood congruence effects

We are more likely to store or remember positive information when in a positive mood, and negative information when in a negative mood

social perception

The process through which we seek to know and understand other persons

nonverbal communication

does not involve spoken language; relies on facial expressions, eye contact, and body language

in-group advantage

We recognize emotions and body language faster within our own group (culture)


Process through which we seek to identify the causes of others' behavior and so gain knowledge of their stable traits and dispositions

correspondence bias (fundamental attribution error)

Tendency to explain others' actions as stemming from dispositions, even in the presence of clear situational causes

correspondence inference

A theory describing how we use others' behavior as a basis for inferring their stable dispositions


Extent to which other persons react to some stimulus or even in the same manner as the person we are considering


Extent to which an individual responds to a given stimulus or situation in the same way on different occasions


The extent to which an individual responds in the same manner to different stimuli or events

discounting principle

Tendency to attach less importance to one potential cause of some behavior when other potential causes are also present.

augmenting principle

Tendency to attach greater importance to a potential cause of behavior IF the behavior occurs despite the presence of other inhibitory causes

self-serving bias

The tendency to attribute positive outcomes to internal causes but negative outcomes or events to external causes

impression formation (self-presentation)

The process through which we form impressions of others

implicit personality theory

Beliefs about what traits or characteristics tend to go together

subjective self-awareness

Recognition that the self is separate from other objects in one's physical environment

objective self-awareness

The organism's capacity to be the object of its own attention

symbolic self-awareness

Uniquely human capacity to form an abstract representation of the self through language. (Also knowing that death of the physical self is inevitable)

independent self-concept

Individualistic; expectation that people will develop a self-concept as separate from others

interdependent self-concept

Collectivistic; expectation is that people will develop a self-concept in terms of one's connections or relationships with others


The degree to which the self is perceived positively or negatively; one's overall attitude toward the self


Attempts to understand the self by self-examination; turning inwardly to assess one's motives.

self-perception process

the process through which people observe their own behavior to infer their own internal characteristics

reflected-appraisal process

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

social comparison theory

people compare themselves to others because, for many domains and attributes, there is no objective yardstick with which to evaluate the self, so other people are therefore highly informative.

downward social comparison

A comparison where the other does worse than the self (we feel good, like this person)

upward social comparison

A comparison where the other does better than the self (we feel bad, dislike this person unless in our group)

spotlight effect

We see ourselves in the public eye... even when we're not

public self-consciousness

Being paranoid when in the public eye


the behavior of withdrawing effort or creating obstacles to one's future success

non-common effects

Effects produced by a particular cause that could not be produced by any other apparent cause

actor-observer effect

Tendency to attribute our own behavior mainly to situational causes but the the behavior of others mainly to internal (dispositional) causes.


rules in culture about how close you can get to somebody

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