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wade, tarvis, 3rd canadian edition

Self serving bias

the tendancy, in explaining one's own behaviour, to take credit for one's good actions and rationalize one's mistakes

Group-Serving Bias

the tendency to explain favourably the behaviours of members of groups to which we belong

just-world hypothesis

the notion that may people need to believe that the world is fair and that justice is served, that bad people are punished and good people are rewarded

social cognition

an area in social psychology concerned with social influences on thought, memory, perception, and beliefs.

social-cognitive neuroscience

a new specialty that draws upon technologies from neuroscience to study the emotional and soical processes underlying beliefs, prejudices, and social behaviours

Dispositional attribution

we are identifying the cause of an action as something in the person, such as a trait or a motive: "Joe stole the money because he is a born thief."

fundamental attribution error

the tendency, in explaining other people's behavior, to overestimate personality factors and underestimate the influence of the situation.

blaming the victim

the tendency to blame an innocent victim of the misfortune for having somehow caused the problem or for not having taken steps to avoid or prevent it


a belief about people, groups, ideas, or activities

explicit attitude

An attitude that we are aware of, that shapes our conscious decisions and actions, that can be measured or self report questionnaries

implicit attitude

an attitude that we are unaware, that my influence our behaviour in ways we do not recognize, and that is measured in various indirect ways.

cognitive dissonance

a state of tension that occurs when a person simultaneously holds two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent or when a person's belief is incongruent with his/her behavior

familiarity effect

The tendency of people to feel more positive toward a person, item, product, or other stimulus the more familiar they are with it.

validity effect

the tendency of people to believe that a statement is true or valid simply because it has been repeated many times.

coercive persuasion

designed to suppress an individuals ability to reason, think critically, and make choices in his or her own best interest


the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives

diffusion of responsibility

in groups, the tendency of members to avoid taking action because they assume that others will

bystander apathy

in crowds, when someone is in trouble, individuals often fail to take action or call for help becuse they assume that someone will do so.

social loafing

the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable


in groups or crowds, the loss of awareness of one's own individuality


the willingness to take selfless or dangerous action on behalf of others

social identity

the part of a persons self-concept that is based on his or her identification with a nation, religious or political group, occupation, or other social affiliation

ethnic identity

a, a persons identification with a racial or ethnic group


the process by which members of minority groups come to identify with and feel part of the mainstreem cluture

bicultural identity

the identity constructed by individuals who explore and adopt values from both their family's subculture and the dominant culture

assimilated identity

person has weak feelings of ethnicity but a strong sense of accultruation

ethnic separatist identity

person has a strong sense of ethnic identity but weak feelings of acculturation

marginal identity

person feels connected to neither their ethnicity or the dominant culture


a belief that one's own ethnic group, nation, or religion is superior to all others


a strong unreasonable dislike or hatred of a group, based on a negative sterotype

hostile sexism

sexism that reflects active dislike of women

benevolent sexism

sexism that reflects a superficially positive attitude put women on pedestal but nonethe less reinforces women's subordination.

contact hypothesis

the theory that prejudice declines when people have the chance to get used to one another's rules, food, music, customs, and attitudes, thereby discovering their shared interests and shared humanity.


a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people

basic concepts

Concepts that have a moderate number of instances and that are easier to acquire than those having few or many instances.


an especially representative example of a concept

Benjamin Lee Whorf

A linguist who noticed that the more words that you have for a certain type of thing, the more subtle the distinctions you recognize in it.


a unit of meaning that is made up of concepts and expresses a single idea

mental image

a mental representaion that mirors or resembles the thing it represents: mental images can occur in mnay and perhaps all sensory modalities

cognitive schema

an integrated mental network of knowledge, beliefs, and expectations concerning a particular topic or aspect of the world

subconscious processes

mental processes occurring outside of conscious awareness but accessible to consciousness when necessary

nonconscious processes

Mental processes occuring outside of and not available to conscious awareness

implicit learning

Learning that occurs when you acquire knowledge about something without being aware of how you did so and without being able to state exactly what it is you have learned.


mental inflexibility, inertia, and obliviousness to the present context.


The purposeful process by which a person generates logical and coherent ideas, evaluates situations, and reaches conclusions.

formal reasoning problem

a problem that can be solved using established methods and clearly specified information; you usually know when it has been solved, and there is a single right, or best, answer


a problem solving strategy guaranteed to produce a solution even if the user does not knw how it works

deductive reasoning

reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case (The sun rises every morning; therefore, the sun will rise on Tuesday morning.)


a set of obervations or propostions

inductive reasoning

A form of reasoning in which the premises porvide support for the conclusion, but it is still possible for the conclusion to be false

informal reasoning problems

problems with no clearly correct solution in which many approaches, viewpoints, or possible solutions may compete; information may be incomplete, or people may disagree on what the premises should be.


a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms.

dialectical reasoning

a process in which opposing facts or ideas are weighed and compared, with a view to determining the best solution or resolving differences

affect heuristic

the tendency to consult one's emotions instead of estimating probabilities objectively.

availability heuristic

tendency to judge events as more likely to occur when info pertaining to them comes readily to mind

fairness bias

a sense of fairness often taken precedence ovver rational self interest when people make economic choices

hindsight bias

the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon)

confirmation bias

the tendency to look for or pay attention only to information that confirms one's own belief

mental set

a tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past

postdecision dissonance

In the theory of cognitive dissonance, tension that occurs when you believe you may have made a bad decision.

justification of effort

the tendency of individuals to increase their liking for something that they have worked hard or suffered to attain


the ability to learn from one's experiences, acquire knowledge, and use resources effectively in adapting to new situations or solving problems

factor analysis

a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie one's total score

g factor

a general intellectual ability assumed by many theorists to underlie specific mental abilities and talents.

psychometric approach to intelligence

the measurement of mental abilities, traits, and processes

intelligence quotient

an index of intelligence, originally derived by diving mental age by chronological age and then multiplying by 100, but now derived by comparing an individuals score with the scores of others of the same age

stanford-binet intelligence scale

intelligence test first published in 1916 by stanford's Lewis Terman, who had revised Binet's test and established norms for North American children.

Wechsler Adult intelligence Scale (WAIS)

Intelligence test for adults devised by David Wechsler that produces a general IQ score and also provides specific scores for different kinds of ability

stereotype threat

a burden of doubt a person feels about his/her performance, due to negative sterotypes about his /her groups abilities

cognitive approach to intelligence

Assumes there are many kinds of intelligence and emphasizes the strategies people use when thinking about a problem and arriving at a solution.

triarchic theory of intelligence

a theory of intelligence that emphasizes information- processing strategies, the ability to creativley transfer skills to new situations and practical application of intelligence.

componential intelligence

information processing strategies you draw on when you are thinking intelligently about a problem.


awareness of mental contents and processes. If "cognition" refers to thinking, then "metacognition" refers to thinking about thinking.

experiential intelligence

component of Sternberg's Triarchic theory; AKA creative intelligence; refers to the ability to adjust to new tasks, use new concepts, combine information in novel ways, respond effectively in new situations, gain insight and adapt creatively.

contextual intelligence

the practical application of intelligence, which requires you to take into account the different contexts in which you find yourself. (Practical Intelligence)

tacit knowledge

strategies for success that are not explicitly taught but that instead must be inferred.

emotional intelligence

ability to perceive, imagine, and understand emotions and use that information in decision making


attributing human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object (personification)


tendency to think mistakenly that human beings have nothing in common with other animals

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