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Social psychology

the scientific study of how a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavior are influenced by the real, imagined, or implied presence of others

Social influence

the process through which the real or implied presence of others can directly or indirectly influence the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of an individual


changing one's own behavior to match that of other people; refers to how an individual's behavior is influenced by the people around them to accept norms


kind of thinking that occurs when people place more importance on maintaing group cohesiveness than on assessing the facts of the problem with which the group is concerned; related to conformity; historical examples include: Bay of Pigs, Challenger, Iraq War

Consumer Psychology

branch of psychology that studies the habits of consumers in the marketplace


changing one's behavior as a result of other people directing or asking for the change; related to consumer psychology

Foot-in-the-door Technique

asking for a small commitment and, after gaining compliance, asking for a bigger commitment

Door-in-the-face Technique

asking for a large commitment and being refused and then asking for a smaller commitment

Norm of reciprocity

assumption that if someone does something for a person, that person should do something for the other in return

Lowball Technique

getting a commitment from a person and then raising the cost of that commitment

That's-not-all Technique

a sales technique in which the persuader makes an offer and then adds something extra to make the offer look better before the target person can make a decision; "If you act now, we'll send you this 15-piece set of knives as a bonus!"


changing one's behavior at the command of an authority figure; due to perceived authority of asker; request perceived as command; people will go rather far in obeying the commands of an authority figure - ex: The soldiers in Nazi Germany, soldiers who were "just following orders"

Characteristics of Groupthink

invulnerability, rationalization, lack of introspection, stereotyping, pressure, lack of disagreement, self-deception, insularity

Milgram's Experiment

classic study on obedience, the participants were presented with a control panel. Each participant ("teacher"), was instructed to give electric shocks to another person (the "learner," who only pretended to be shocked).

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