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social psychology exam #1 (textbook)
Terms in this set (109)
What is social influence?
the effect that words, actions, or mere presence of other people have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes or behavior
What is the level of analysis for a social psychologist?
the individual in the context of a social situation
What is the goal of social psychology?
identify universal properties of human nature that make everyone susceptible to social influence, regardless of social class or culture
What do sociology and social psychology have in common?
they share an interest in the way the situation and the larger society influence behavior
What is the main difference between social psychology and sociology?
social psychology focuses more on the psychological make up that that makes people more susceptible to social influence
What do social psychology and personality psychology have in common?
they both emphasize the psychology of the individual rather than what makes each person different from the other
What is the main difference between social psychology and personality psychology?
social psychology puts more emphasis on what psychological processes are shared by most people around the world that makes them more susceptible to social influence
What is the fundamental attribution error?
the tendency to overestimate the extent to which people's behavior is due to internal factors and to underestimate the role of situational factors and social influence
What is behaviorism?
the school of psychology maintaining that to understand human behavior, one need only consider the reinforcing properties of the environment (rewards vs. punishment)
What did early behaviorists overlook?
the importance of how people interpret their environment
the way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world (often more important than the objective properties!)
What is Gestalt psychology?
A school of psychology stressing the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people's minds, rather than the objective physical attributes of the object
What are the two basic, primary human motives?
-the need to feel good about ourselves
-the need to feel accurate
Given the choice between distorting the world to feel good about ourselves and representing the world accurately, which normally wins?
we would rather feel good about ourselves!
What is social cognition?
how people think about themselves and the social world; how they select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgements and decisions
What is self fulfilling prophecy?
you expect that you or another person will behave in some way, so you act in ways to make your prediction come true
What do researchers who try to understand human behavior from a social cognition perspective assume?
they assume that people try to view the world as accurately as possible
What is hindsight bias?
the tendency for people to exaggerate how much they could've predicted an outcome after knowing that it already occurred
When is the observational method of research helpful?
when the goal is to DESCRIBE what a particular group of people or type of behavior is like
What is ethnography?
-a type of observational research
-chief method of cultural anthropology
-researchers observe a group from the inside
According to the textbook, define the Observational Research Method
the technique where a researcher observes people and systematically records measurements or impressions of their behavior
What is interjudge reliability and what method of research is it specifically helpful in?
the level of agreement between two or more people who independently observe and code a set of data
it is specifically helpful with observational research
What is the point of interjudge reliability?
by showing that two or more people independently came up with the same observations, researchers ensure that the observations are not the subjective and distorted impressions of one individual
What is archival analysis and what research method is it a form of?
archival analysis is a form of observational research in which the researcher examines the accumulated documents of a culture
What are some things that a researcher using archival analysis might look at?
diaries, newspapers, novels
What are some limits on the observational method of research?
- certain kinds of behavior are hard to observe because they rarely occur or they are only done in private
- when using archival analysis, the researcher is at the mercy of the author who originally created the material
- observational research doesn't do much to explain behavior (what social psychologists aim to do), mostly, it's just used to describe it
According to the textbook, define correlational research
the research technique where two or more variables are measured and the relationship between them is assessed. The intention is to find out how much one variable can be predicted by the other
A study involving the relationship between children's aggressiveness and other factors like TV viewing habits would most likely use what kind of research method?
What is the correlation coefficient?
a statistical technique that assesses how well you can predict one variable from another variable
If you were to try to predict a person's weight from their height, what statistical technique would you calculate?
the correlation coefficient
What are some advantages of using surveys in research?
- surveys allow researchers to judge the relationships between variables that are difficult to observe
- surveys allow researchers to use representative samples to infer things about the population
According to the textbook, define the Experimental Method of research
the method in which the researcher randomly assigns participants to different conditions and ensures that these conditions are identical (except for the manipulated independent variable!)
Which method of research is considered "the method of choice" by researchers in social psychology? Why?
the method of choice by researchers in social psychology is the experimental method because it allows researchers to make causal inferences
What does the experimental method of research ALWAYS involve?
experimental methods always involve intervention by the researcher (manipulation of a variable [independent variable])
What is internal validity?
internal validity involves making sure that nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable; the researcher tries to control for any external variables
What results occur when a study has good internal validity?
results that were ONLY affected by the manipulated independent variable
What is the most important element of experimental research?
the most important element to experimental research is RANDOM ASSIGNMENT of participants to conditions
What is the probability level (P-level) and what does it tell researchers using the experimental method?
the probability level is a number that tells researchers how likely it is that the results of their experiment occurred by CHANCE and not because of their intervention (independent variable)
When analyzing the probability level of an experiment, when are results considered significant?
Results of an experimental are considered significant if the probability level is less than 5 IN 100 that the results were due to chance
What are some disadvantages to the experimental method?
- the situation created in the experimental might be too artificial to translate to real world situations (external validity)
What is external validity and how can it be used to describe disadvantages in experiments?
External validity is the extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to other situations and other people
In experiments, it can be difficult to generalize the results found in the lab to real world settings
What is psychological realism?
psychological realism works to explain the extent to which psychological processes triggered in a lab experiment are similar to the processes that occur in everyday, real world life
What can be used to heighten psychological realism in an experiment?
Researchers often tell cover stories to participants of an experiment in order to increase psychological realism
What are cover stories?
Cover stories are explanations by researchers to participants about the study that are different that what the true purpose of the study is
In experimental research, what is one of the best ways to increase external validity?
One of the best ways to increase the external validity of an experiment is to conduct FIELD EXPERIMENTS
What are field experiments?
Field experiments are experiments that are conducted in natural settings rather than in a lab
What is the basic dilemma of the social psychologist?
In experiments, there is almost always a trade off between internal and external validity! (difficult to have both)
If we have complete and total control of variables in order to isolate the independent variable and achieve high internal validity, we might end up controlling to a point where the experiment doesn't generalize to other situations and people outside the lab
In experimental methods of research, what is the ultimate test in external validity of an experiment's results?
REPLICATIONS are the ultimate test of external validity
-if the results can be replicated in different populations or settings, you can say that the experiment has high external validity
What is meta-analysis? What does it help researchers determine about their studies?
meta-analysis is a statistical technique that averages the results of 2 or more studies to see if the effect of an independent variable is truly reliable
What is basic research?
basic research is conducted purely out of the curiosity of the researcher. it is designed to find the best answer to the question of why people behave as they do
What is applied research?
applied research is designed to solve a particular social problem
What does cross cultural research aim to determine?
cross cultural research aims to find out whether or not a certain psychological process is present in more than one culture or if it is specific to the culture in which people were raised
What does the evolutionary theory explain?
the evolutionary theory aims to explain the ways in which animals adapt to new environments
What is evolutionary psychology?
Evolutionary psychology is the attempt to explain social behavior in terms of genetic factors that have evolved over time due to the principles of natural selection
In order to avoid ethical issues, what is the purpose of informed consent?
informed consent is an agreement to participate in an experiment, granted in full awareness of the nature of the study, which is explained in advance in order to avoid ethical issues
What is the Institutional Review Board and what is it's purpose?
the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a group made up of at least one scientist, one non-scientist, and one member not affiliated with the institution that reviews all psychology research at that specific institution and decides whether or not it meets ethical guidelines
When deception is used in an experiment, what is crucial to also use?
Debriefing is crucial to use when deception is first used
What does cognitive dissonance ALWAYS produce? And what do we do about it?
cognitive dissonance always produces discomfort, in response, we try to reduce it
What do our responses to the discomfort of cognitive dissonance resemble?
with cognitive dissonance, we try to reduce discomfort, this is similar to hunger and thirst!
What are the 3 basic ways in which we go about reducing the discomfort involved in cognitive dissonance?
1. we change our behavior in order to bring it in line with the dissonant cognition
2. we attempt to justify our behavior by changing one of the cognitions
3. we attempt to justify our behavior by adding new cognitions (self affirmation)
What is self affirmation and what does it aim to do?
self affirmation is the process of reminding ourselves of our positive attributes; it aims to help us justify our behavior through the addition of a new cognition
What is the impact bias?
The impact bias is the tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of our emotional reactions to negative events in the future
How does a person with high self-esteem react when they behave in a way that is contrary to their opinions of themselves, when compared to a person with low self-esteem?
People with high-self esteem experience the MOST COGNITIVE DISSONANCE when they behave in ways that go against their, already high, opinions of themselves.
Whereas, people with low self-esteem don't set the bar as high for themselves, so they don't experience the same amount of dissonance upon behaving in ways contrary to their opinions of themselves
What is post decision dissonance?
The cognitive dissonance aroused after making a decision
How do we go about reducing post decision dissonance?
we usually enhance the attractiveness of the chosen alternative (in a decision) and, in turn, devaluing the rejected alternative
With post decision dissonance, what causes the dissonance to be greater?
the more important the decision, the more post decision dissonance we experience
What is lowballing?
a strategy where a salesperson induces a customer to AGREE to a purchase a product at a low cost, later the salesperson claims that the low cost was an error and that the cost is actually higher. Frequently, the customer will still agree to make the purchase, even at the inflated price.
What is lowballing an example of?
Lowballing is an example of post decision dissonance
What areas of the brain are activated during cognitive dissonance?
the striatum and other areas of the prefrontal cortex are activated
What is the justification of effort?
the tendency for individuals to increase their liking for something that they worked hard to attain
What is external justification?
a reason or an explanation for dissonant behavior that resides outside the individual
What is internal justification?
internal justification is when reduction efforts are completed by changing something about oneself
What is counter-attitudinal advocacy?
the act of stating an opinion or attitude that runs counter to one's private beliefs or attitudes
What have many studies found about the relationship between external incentive and attitude change?
the smaller the external incentive, the greater the attitude change (need to compensate for small incentives by changing oneself in order to reduce dissonance)
What is insufficient punishment?
insufficient punishment is the dissonance aroused when individuals lack enough external justification for having resisted a desired activity or object
What is often the result of insufficient punishment?
insufficient punishment often leads to the devaluing of the desired activity or object that the individual previously resisted
What is the relationship found between external/internal justification and threats?
The less severe the threat, the less external justification present.
Therefore, the less external justification present, the more need for internal justification.
What is self persuasion and what is it a result of?
self persuasion is a long lasting form of attitude change that results from attempts at self justification
What is hypocrisy induction and what is the purpose of it?
hypocrisy induction is the arousal of dissonance by having individuals make statements that run counter to their behaviors and then reminding them afterwards of the inconsistency between what they stated and their actual behavior.
the purpose of this is to lead individuals into more responsible behaviors.
What is the justification of kindness?
if we have done someone a personal favor, we are more likely to feel positively towards them than if we don't do the favor or if we do the favor because of an impersonal request
What is the self perception theory?
the theory that when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain, we infer these states by observing our behavior and the situation in which it occurs
What is impression management?
impression management is the attempt by people to get others to see them as they want to be seen
What is ingratiation?
ingratiation is a part of impression management where people flatter, praise and generally try to make themselves likeable to another person, that person often being of higher status
What is self handicapping and what are the two forms of it?
self handicapping is the strategy where people create obstacles and excuses for themselves so that if they do poorly on a task, they can avoid blaming themselves directly
1. behavioral self handicapping
2. reported self handicapping
What is behavioral self handicapping?
people engage in behavioral self handicapping by acting in a way that reduces the likelihood that they will succeed on a task, so that if they end up failing, they can blame it on the obstacles that they themselves actually created
What is reported self handicapping?
people devise excuses and in case they fail, they can fall back on those excuses to make them feel better
What form of self handicapping is more extreme?
behavioral self handicapping is more extreme than reported self handicapping
What are the gender differences involved in self handicapping?
Studies show that women are less likely to engage in self handicapping behaviors
What is the backfire issue with self handicapping?
while self handicapping is meant to soften the blow of possible failure, it might end up actually CAUSING failure
What are the two forms of social cognition?
1. automatic thinking
2. controlled thinking
What is automatic thinking?
thinking that is unconscious, unintentional, involuntary, and effortless
In what main way does automatic thinking help us?
automatic thinking helps us understand new situations by relating them to prior experiences
What are schemas?
schemas are mental structures that people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects and that influence the information people notice, think about, and remember
What is Koraskovs syndrome?
people lose the ability to form new memoreis and must approach every situation as if they were encountering it for the first time (no past schemas to related to!!)
What makes us more likely to use schemas?
We are more likely to use schemas with more ambiguous information (need to fill in the gaps)
The certain schemas that we choose to help us make sense of something depends on what?
schemas that we choose depend on accessibility (the extent to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of people's minds and therefore are more likely to be used when making judgements about the social world)
What are the 3 ways in which schemas can become accessible?
1. schemas can be accessible through past experiences
2. schemas can be accessible through relation to a current goal
3. schemas can be TEMPORARILY accessible from recent experiences ("priming")
What is priming?
Priming is the process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait or concept (a form of automatic thinking)
What are two requirements of thoughts in order for them to act as "primers" for a schema?
the thoughts have to be both accessible and applicable (to the situation)
What is the self fulfilling prophecy in terms of automatic thinking?
When you have an expectation of what another person is like, this influences how you behave towards them. This causes that person to behave consistently with how you treat them, and therefore they fit your original expectations.
Study: elementary school kids, some labeled "bloomers" some not, this caused the teachers to favor the "bloomers" and consequently, those kids performed better. What is this an example of?
this study is an example of the self fulfilling prophecy
What is controlled thinking?
thinking that is conscious, voluntary, intentional and effortful
What is the illusion of free will?
sometimes it may seem like a thought that we have causes our behavior but in actuality, it could be a third variable. That third variable being an unconscious attention that causes both the conscious thought AND the behavior
What is in the best interest of society when comparing free will and the illusion of free will?
studies show that regardless of how much free will we actually have, it is in societies best interest for each of us to believe we have free will
What is counterfactual thinking?
the act of mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what might have been
-a conscious act, however not always intentional or voluntary
How does counterfactual thinking have an effect on emotional reactions?
the easier it is to "mentally undo" an outcome, the stronger the emotional reaction to it.
Say that a person just recently lost their spouse in a car accident, the more that this person thinks about how the tragedy could've be avoided, the more distress they experience overall. What is this an example of?
this example demonstrates counterfactual thinking
What is the overconfidence barrier?
people tend to put too much confidence in the accuracy of their judgments
What are two approached to overcoming the overconfidence barrier?
1. get people to realize that there is a possibility that they might be wrong
2. teach people statistical and methodological methods about how to reason correctly
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