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Barron's Social Psychology
Terms in this set (39)
A set of beliefs and feelings. Attitudes are evaluative, meaning that our feelings toward people, particular events, and places are necessarily positive or negative. A great deal of social psychology research focuses on what affects people's attitudes and what kind of impact behaviors have on attitudes. Attitudes do not perfectly predict behaviors.
Mere Exposure Effect
The more one is exposed to something, the more one will come to like it.
Central Route to Persuasion
One of the ways persuasive messages can be processed. Involves deeply processing the content of the message.
Peripheral Route to Persuasion
One of the ways persuasive messages can be processed. Involves other aspects of the message including the characteristics of the person imparting the message. Certain characteristics of the communicator have been found to influence the effectiveness of a message.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Based on the idea that people are motivated to have consistent attitudes and behaviors. When they do not, they experience unpleasant mental tension or dissonance. This change in attitude happens without conscious awareness. Based on experiments by Festinger and Carlsmith in the late 1950s.
Festinger and Carlsmith
Conducted the classic experiment about cognitive dissonance in the late 1950s.
Strategies used to get others to comply.
Foot-in-the-Door Compliance Strategy
One of the compliance strategies used to get others to comply. Suggests that if you can get people to agree to a small request, they will become more likely to agree to a follow-up request that is larger.
Door-in-the-Face Compliance Strategy
One of the compliance strategies used to get others to comply. Suggests that after people refuse a large request, they will look more favorably upon a follow-up request that seems, in comparison, much more reasonable.
Norms of Reciprocity Compliance Strategy
One of the compliance strategies used to get others to comply. Occurs when people think they ought to do something nice for someone who has done something nice for them.
Explains how people determine the cause of what they observe.
When we attribute a person's behavior to his or her internal personality or character rather than the situation the person is in.
When we attribute a person's behavior to the situation the person is in rather than his or her internal disposition.
Expectations we have about others can influence the way the others behave. Rosenthal and Jacobson's "Pygmalion in the Classroom" experiment explored self-fulfilling prophecies.
Fundamental Attribution Error
Occurs when people tend to overestimate the importance of dispositional factors and underestimate the role of situational factors. People are more inclined to make this error when explaining the behavior of others -- they do not evidence this same tendency in explaining their own behaviors.
A person's link to various groups such as family or company is stressed.
Importance and uniqueness of the individual is stressed.
Tendency for people to overestimate the number of people who agree with them.
Tendency to take more credit for good outcomes than for bad ones.
People evidence a bias toward thinking that bad things happen to bad people. This belief in a just world, in which misfortunes befall people who deserve them, can be seen in the tendency to blame victims. If the world is just in this manner, then, assuming we view ourselves as good people, we need not fear bad things happening to us.
Ideas about what members of different groups are like. These expectations may influence the way we interact with members of these groups. May be either negative or positive and can be applied to virtually any group of people.
An undeserved, usually negative, attitude toward a group of people. Stereotyping can lead to prejudice when negative stereotypes are applied uncritically to all members of a group and a negative attitude results.
Acting on a prejudice. Prejudice is an attitude; discrimination is a behavior.
Belief that one's cultures is superior to others. A specific kind of prejudice. People from one culture become so used to their own culture that they see it as the norm and use it as the standard by which to judge other cultures.
Stems from a group's belief that they themselves are good people. The people with whom they share group membership are thought to be good as well.
Contact between hostile groups will reduce animosity if the groups are made to work toward a goal that benefits all and necessitates the participation of all (a superordinate goal). Sherif's 1966 camp study "Robbers Cave" established the effectiveness of superordinate goals.
Holds that the feeling of frustration makes aggression more likely.
Diffusion of Responsibility / Bystander Effect
The larger the number of people who witness an emergency situation, the less likely anyone will be to intervene. The larger the group of people who witness a problem, the less responsible any one individual feels to help. People tend to assume that someone else will take action so that they need not do so.
Social psychologists study what factors increase the chance that people will like one another:
1. Similarity: we are drawn to people who are similar to us and share our attitudes, backgrounds, and interests.
2. Proximity: the greater your exposure to another person, the more you will generally come to like that person.
3. Reciprocal liking: the more someone likes you, the more you will probably like that person.
People perform tasks better in front of an audience than they do when they are alone.
Being watched by others hurts performance when the task being observed is a difficult one rather than a simple, well-practiced skill.
The tendency of people to go along with the views or actions of others. Solomon Asch (1951) found that in approximately 1/3 of the cases when people gave an incorrect answer, the participants conformed to that wrong answer. Approximately 70% of the participants conformed on at least one of the trials. In general, conformity is more likely to occur when a group's opinion is unanimous. Groups larger than three (in addition to the participant) do not significantly increase the tendency to conform.
Studies that focus on participants' willingness to do what another asks them to do. Milgram (1974) found that over 60% of participants obey experimenters' orders, even when the orders involve potentially hurting someone else. Participants' compliance is decreased when they are in close contact with those people whom they are being ordered to harm. When the experimenter left in the middle of the experiment and was replaced by an assistant, obedience also decreased. When other people were present in the room and they objected to the orders, the percentage of participants who quit in the middle of the experiment skyrocketed.
Rules about how group members should act.
Phenomenon wherein individuals do not put in as much effort when acting as part of a group as they do when acting alone. A possible explanation is that an individual's efforts are more easily discernible than when in a group. Thus, as part of a group, a person may be less motivated to put in an impressive performance.
The tendency of a group's view to get stronger during group discussions, which may lead to more extreme decisions. Explanations include the fact that in a group, individuals may be exposed to new, persuasive arguments they had not thought of themselves and that the responsibility for an extreme decision in a group is diffused across the group's many members.
Tendency for some groups to make bad decisions. Groupthink occurs when group members suppress their reservations about the ideas supported by the group. As a result, a kind of false unanimity is encouraged, and flaws in the group's decisions may be overlooked. Highly cohesive groups involved in making risky decisions seem to be at particular risk for groupthink.
Loss of self-restraint that occurs when group members feel anonymous and aroused. Sometimes people get swept up by a group and do things they never would have done if on their own.
Zimbardo's Prison Experiment
Social psychologist, Philip Zimbardo, assigned a group of Stanford students to play either the role of a prison guard or a prisoner. All were dressed in uniforms, and the prisoners were assigned numbers. The prisoners were locked up in the basement of the psychology building, and the guards were put in charge of their treatment. The students took to their assigned roles perhaps too well, and the experiment had to be ended early because of the cruel treatment the guards were inflicting on the prisoners.
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