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Controlled processing

"explicit" thinking that is deliberate, reflective, and conscious

Automatic processing

"implicit" thinking that is effortless, habitual, and without awareness, roughly corresponds to "intuition."


a thinking strategy that enables quick, efficient judgments

Availability heuristic

the more easily we recall something, the more likely it seems.

Representativeness heuristic

the tendency to presume, sometimes despite contrary odds, that someone or something belongs to a particular group if resembling a typical member

Illusory correlations

perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists

Regression to the Average (mean)

the statistical tendency for extreme scores or extreme behavior to return toward one's average

Fundamental Attribution Error

the tendency for observers to underestimate situation influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others' behavior

Situational attributions

attributing behavior to the environment

Dispositional attributions

attributing behavior to the person's disposition and traits

Behavioral Confirmation

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

Role playing

a set of norms that defines how people in a given social position ought to behave

Foot-in-the-door phenomenon

the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request

Cognitive Dissonance

Tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of two inconsistent cognition's

Correlational research

asking whether two or more factors are naturally associated

Experimental research

manipulating some factor to see its effect on another

Spotlight effect

the belief that others are paying more attention to one's appearance and behavior than they really are

Transparency effect (illusion of transparency)

the illusion that our concealed emotions leak out and can be easily read by others

Self-Serving Bias

the tendency to perceive oneself favorably


the concept of giving priority to one's own goals over group goals and defining one's identity in terms of personal attribute rather than group identifications


giving priority to the goals of one's groups and defining one's identity accordingly


a person's overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth


a sense that one is competent and effective.


inflated sense of self, most aggressive. Have high self-esteem, but they are missing the piece about caring for others

Locus of Control

the extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable by their own efforts or as externally controlled by chance or outside forces

Learned Helplessness

the sense of hopelessness and resignation learned when a human or animal perceives no control over repeated bad events.

Belief perseverance

persistence of one's initial conceptions, as when the basis for one's belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives

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