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What is social psychology?

Examines the influence on the way people think, feel and behave. How others influence us.

What is The Self?

The person-including mental processes, body and personality.
Self-concept-Persons concept of himself- a schema ( mental representation) about self.
Self-Esteem-A persons evaluation of himself-how much he likes and respects himself

Motives guiding the self

Motive for self-enhancement-Motive to maintain high self esteem
3 ways to maintain high self esteem:
1) Social comparisons-downward-better than everyone else
2) Self-handicapping ( set yourself up for failure)
3) Basking in reflected glory ( name-dropping)
Interpret information to fit the way we see ourselves and hang out with people who verify this view
Attempt to controll the impressions others form of yourself


The way we evaluate a person, concept or group positively or negatively

3 Attitude components:
Cognitive, Emotional, Behavioural

Attitude strength-Durability of an attitude over time,affected by IMPORTANCE & ACCESSABILITY ( comes to mind easily)

Implicit attitudes-unconscious
Explicit attitudes-conscious

Attitude object associated with conflicting responses eg excercise ( know it is good for me but it's boring and time consuming)

Factors that impact on attitudes predicting behaviour:
1) Specifity-( recycle paper but not grey water)
2) Convenience
3) How attitude was acquired (personal experience?)


Deliberate attempt to change an attitude

Elaboration Likelihood Model

Knowing how to appeal to people requires figuring out if they will elaborate the argument or not.
Central route:
Inducing the recipient of a message to think carefully and weigh up the argument.
Peripheral route:
Appealing to less rational and thoughtful processes-influenced by superficial qualities

Cognitive dissonance

Percieved discrepancy between and attitude and a behaviour causing psychological tension. The tension motivates us to do something-change the behaviour or the attitude
Odd number of + is balanced
Even number of + is imbalanced= CD
Odd number of - is imbalanced=CD
Even number of - is balanced


Characteristics attributed to people based on their membership of specific groups-overgeneralised, inacurate and resistant to new info.


Judging people based on stereotypes-leads to discrimination( behaviour)


Inferring the causes of the mental states of others and ourselves

External attribution

Attributing behaviour to external situation

Internel attribution

Explaining behaviour due to personality traits

Fundamental Attribution Error

Attribute peoples behaviour to their personality and ignore possible situational causes

Self-serving bias

People tend to see themsleves in a more positive light than the way others see them.

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