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Process of changing attitudes


Evaluations of a particular person, behavior, belief, or concept

Changing Attitudes

Only through message source (attitude communicator), charecteristic of the message (2 sided, fear based), charecteristic of the target (intelligent, gender differences)

Central Route Processing

Recipient thoughtfully considers issues, swayed by logic, merit, judgement. Highly involved + motivated and have a high need for cognition

Peripheral Route Processing

Persuaded on basis of factors unrelated to the nature of content. Factors irrelevant (time, messenger) influence. Uninvolved, unmotivated, bored or distracted, low need for cognition

Cognitive Dissonance

The conflict that occurs when a person holds two contradictory attitudes. (Festinger and carlsmith)

Reducing Cognitive Dissonance

By modifying one or bothcognitions ("i really dont smoke that much"), changing perceived importance of the cognition ("not enough evidence"), adding another cognition ("excersice so much i compensates"), denying that cognitions are related ("no evidence smoking causes cancer")

Social Cognition

The cognitive processes by which people understand and make sense of others and themselves


Sets of cognitions about people and social experiences. Organize info stored in memory, represent how social world operates, and give us frameworkto recognize, categorize and recall info relating to social stimuli. "Thin slices of behavior" and categorizes a certain type of people.

Impression Formation

Process by which an individual organizes information about another to form an overall impression of that person

Central Traits

Major traits considered in forming impressions of others. Alters the meaning of other traits

Attribution Theory

The theory of personality that seeks to explain how we decide, on the basis of samples of an individuals behavior, what the specific causes of that person's behavior are

Process of determining behavior (attribution theory)

notice an event, interpret the event, form an initial explanation, if time, cognitive resources, and motivation are available, then formulate and reseolve problem, and double check until process stops. if not available, process stops after intial explanation.

Situational causes

perceived causes of behavior that are based on environmental factors

Dispositional causes

perceived causes of behavior that are based on internal traits and personality factors

Errors in attribution

Halo effect (initial understanding that a person has positive traits is used to infer uniformly positive charecteristics), assumed similiarity-bias (tendency to think people as familiar to onseself, even meeting them for first time), self serving bias (tendency to attribute personal success to personal factors (skill,ability, effort) and to attribute failture to factors outside), fundamental attribution error (tendency to over-attribute others behavior to dispositional causes and corresponding minimization of importance of situational causes)

Fundamental attribution error

norms and values for social responsiblity. "i am late" in english, "the clock made me late" in spanish. effort and hard work to success in asia, innate ability to success in western society.

Collectivistic Orientation

worldview that promotes noton of interdependence. see themselves as part of a larger, social network.

Individualist Orientation

Personal identity, uniqueness of individual.

Social Influence

Process by which actions of an individual or group affect behavior of others.


Two or more people who interact with one another, perceive themselves as a part of a group, interdependent. Hold norms, expectations regarding appropriate behavior


Change in behavior or attitude brought about by a desire to follow the standards of other people. (asch experiment) 1950s

Reasons to Conform

Charecteristics of a group (more attractive--> more conform. status-social rank held within group can motivate), situations that individual is responding to (higher in public), kind of task (if no answer, more susceptible to social pressure. if less competent than others, more susceptible), unanimity of group (unanimous support, most susceptible)

Social Supporter

Group member whose dissenting views make nonconformity to the group easier


type of thinking inwhichgroup members share such strong motivation to achieve consensus that they lose ability to evaluate alternative points of view. columbia nasa 2003. Entrapment- committments to a failing point of view are increased to justify investments intime and energy that have already been made.

Social ROles

behaviors associated with people in a given position. zimbardo tested. conforming to social role can have powerful consequence on behavior.


Behavior that occurs in response to direct social pressure. foot-in-door (little, then big), door in face (big, then little), thats-not-all (inflate, then discount), not so free ( norm of reciprocity)


Change in behavior in response to commands of others. milgram in 1960s.


Set of generalized beliefs and expectations about a group. dont view in uniqueness but in terms of group charecteristics.


negative (or pos) evalutation of a group and is members. modern racism- flashing of faces, prejudice hidden.


the actions of negative stereotypes. behavior directed toward individuals on the basis of their membership to a group.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

expectations about the occurence of a future behavior that increase likelihood that behavior will occur. no ambiton --> may be treated in a way that brings about lack of ambition. Stereotype threat- self-stereotyping feel threatened that they will fulfill their stereotype.

Foundations of prejudice

Observational learning approach (behavior of elders and peers affect. may commend for expressing certainattitudes and mass media). Social identiy theory (membership to a group is a source of pride and self-worth --> ethnocentric, viewing world and judging others in terms of their group membership. ingroup >outgroup, expanding ingroup and devaluing outgroup, we are superior.) Means of categorization, and feel other groups are hindering to attain societal resources.

Social Neuroscience

Subfield that seeks to identify the neural basis of social behavior. amygdala structure and how it reacts to stimuli.

Implicit Association Test

Reveals hidden bias. automatic reactions often provide most valid indicator of what they velieve. we absorb associations about groups reflective our culture

Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination

Contact as equals and cooperate, making values of equality norms, providing info about targets and good qualities

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