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social psychology

the study of the causes and consequences of sociality

social cognition

how people understand each other


forming societies in which large numbers of individuals divide labor and cooperate for mutual benefit

4 species that are ultra-social

hymenoptera, termites, naked mole rats, and us


behavior whose purpose is to harm another

frustration-aggression hypothesis

principle stating that animals aggress when and only when their goals are frustrated/thwarted


The single best predictor of aggression is ________.


behavior by two or more individuals that leads to mutual benefit


a collection of people who have something in common that distinguishes them from others


a positive or negative evaluation of another person based on their group membership


a positive or negative behavior toward another person based on their group membership


when immersion in a group causes people to become less concerned with their personal values

diffusion of responsibility

individuals feel diminished responsibility for their actions because they are surrounded by others who are acting the same way


behavior that benefits another without benefiting oneself

kin selection

the process by which evolution selects for indivuals who cooperate with their relatives

reciprocal altruism

behavior that benefits another with the expectation that those benefits will be returned in the future

mere exposure effect

the tendency for the frequency of exposure to a stimulus to increase liking

passionate love

an experience involving feelings of euphoria, intimacy, and intense sexual attraction

companionate love

an experience involving affection, trust, and concern for a partner's well-being

social exchange

the hypothesis that people remain in relationships only as long as they perceive a favorable ratio of costs to benefits

comparison level

the cost-benefit ratio that people believe they deserve or could attain in another relationship


a state of affairs in which the cost-benefit ratios of two partners are roughtly equal

social influence

the ability to control another person's behavior

Three basic motivations to social influence

hedonic motive, approval motive, accuracy motive

hedonic motive

people are motivated to experience pleasure and to avoid experiencing pain

approval motive

motivated to be accepted and to avoid being rejected

accuracy motive

people are motivated to believe what is right and to avoid believing what is wrong


customary standards for behavior that are widely shared by members of a culture

normative influence

another person's behavior provides information about what is appropriate

norm of reciprocity

the unwritten rule that people should benefit those who have benefited them

door-in-the-face technique

is a strategy that uses reciprocating concessions to influence behavior


the tendency to do what others do simply because others are doing it


the tendency to do what powerful people tell us to do

Asch Conformity study

Research suggests that answer would depend, in part, on how other people in the room answered the same question

Stanley Milgram Study

If learner made a mistake, teacher (participant) would press a button that delivered an electric shock. 80% of participants continued to shock learner even after he screamed, complained, pleaded and fell silent


an enduring positive or negative evaluation of an object or event


an enduring piece of knowledge about an object or event

informational influence

another person's behavior provides information about what is good or right

Charlie Douglass

invented the Laff Box because suspected that television viewers would think a show was funny if they heard other people laughing


a person's attitutes or beliefs are influenced by a communication from another person

systematic persuasion

the process by which attitudes or beliefs are changed by appeals to reason; assumes people will be more persuaded when evidence and arguments are strong rather than weak

heuristic persuasion

the process by which attitudes or beliefs are changed by appeals to habit or emotion; assumes rather than weighing evidence and analyzing arguments, people will often use heuristics (simple shortcuts) to help them decide whether to believe a communication


a technique that involves a small request followed by a larger request

cognitive dissonance

an unpleasant state that arises when a person recognizes the inconsistency of his or her actions, attitudes, or beliefs

medial prefrontal cortex

area in brain that is activated when you think about the attributes of other people but not about the attributes of inanimate objects such as houses or tools; remains active all the time

social cognition

the processes by which people come to understand others


the process by which we draw inferences about others based on knowledge of the categories to which they belong

Four properties of stereotypes

inaccurate, overused, self-perpetuating and automatic

perceptual confirmation

the tendency for people to see what they expect to see

self-fulfilling prophecy

the tendency for people to cause what they expect to see


the tendency for people who are faced with disconfirming evidence to modify their stereotypes rather than abandon them


inferences about the causes of people's behaviors

situational attributions

when we decide that a person's behavior was caused by some temporary aspect of the situation in which it happened ("he was lucky that the wind carried the ball into the stands")

dispositional attributions

when we decide that a person's behavior is caused by his or her relatively enduring tendency to think, feel, or act in a particular way ("he's got a great eye and a powerful swing")

covariation model

we use three kinds of information: consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus

consistency information

information about the regularity of action

distinctiveness information

information about the generality of action

consensus information

information about the typicality of action

correspondence bias

the tendency to make a dispositional attribution even when a person's behavior was caused by the situation

actor-observer effect

the tendency to make situational attributions for our own behaviors while making dispositional attributions for the identical behavior of others

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