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69 terms


The enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
social representations
Socially shared beliefs—widely held ideas and values, including our assumptions and cultural ideologies. Our social representations help us make sense of our world.
hindsight bias
The tendency to exaggerate, after learning an outcome, one's ability to have foreseen how something turned out. Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon.
An integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events.
A testable proposition that describes a relationship that may exist between events.
correlational research
The study of the naturally occurring relationships among variables.
experimental research
Studies that seek clues to cause-effect relationships by manipulating one or more factors (independent variables) while controlling others (holding them constant).
dependent variable
The variable being measured, so called because it may depend on manipulations of the independent variable.
independent variable
The experimental factor that a researcher manipulates.
mundane realism
Degree to which an experiment is superficially similar to everyday situations.
experimental realism
Degree to which an experiment absorbs and involves its participants.
In research, an effect by which participants are misinformed or misled about the study's methods and purposes.
demand characteristics
Cues in an experiment that tell the participant what behavior is expected.
informed consent
An ethical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate.
In social psychology, the postexperimental explanation of a study to its participants. Debriefing usually discloses any deception and often queries participants regarding their understandings and feelings.
spotlight effect
The belief that others are paying more attention to one's appearance and behavior than they really are.
illusion of transparency
The illusion that our concealed emotions leak out and can be easily read by others.
Beliefs about self that organize and guide the processing of self-relevant information.
possible selves
Images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
A person's answers to the question "Who am I?".
social comparison
Evaluating one's abilities and opinions by comparing oneself with others.
The concept of giving priority to one's own goals over group goals and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications
Giving priority to the goals of one's groups (often one's extended family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly.
interdependent self
Construing one's identity in relation to others.
planning fallacy
The tendency to underestimate how long it will take to complete a task.
immune neglect
The human tendency to underestimate the speed and the strength of the "psychological immune system," which enables emotional recovery and resilience after bad things happen.
dual attitudes
Differing implicit (automatic) and explicit (consciously controlled) attitudes toward the same object. Verbalized explicit attitudes may change with education and persuasion; implicit attitudes change slowly, with practice that forms new habits.
A person's overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth.
A sense that one is competent and effective, distinguished from self-esteem, which is one's sense of self-worth. A bombardier might feel high self-efficacy and low self-esteem.
external locus of control
The belief that chance or outside forces determine one's fate.
learned helplessness
The sense of hopelessness and resignation learned when a human or animal perceives no control over repeated bad events.
self-serving bias
The tendency to perceive oneself favorably.
self-serving attributions
A form of self-serving bias; the tendency to attribute positive outcomes to oneself and negative outcomes to other factors.
defensive pessimism
The adaptive value of anticipating problems and harnessing one's anxiety to motivate effective action.
false consensus effect
The tendency to overestimate the commonality of one's opinions and one's undesirable or unsuccessful behaviors.
false uniqueness effect
The tendency to underestimate the commonality of one's abilities and one's desirable or successful behaviors.
Protecting one's self-image with behaviors that create a handy excuse for later failure.
The act of expressing oneself and behaving in ways designed to create a favorable impression or an impression that corresponds to one's ideals.
Being attuned to the way one presents oneself in social situations and adjusting one's performance to create the desired impression.
Activating particular associations in memory.
misinformation effect
Incorporating "misinformation" into one's memory of the event, after witnessing an event and receiving misleading information about it.
controlled processing
"Explicit" thinking that is deliberate, reflective, and conscious.
automatic processing
"Implicit" thinking that is effortless, habitual, and without awareness, roughly corresponding to "intuition."
overconfidence phenomenon
The tendency to be more confident than correct—to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs.
confirmation bias
A tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions.
A thinking strategy that enables quick, efficient judgments.
representativeness heuristic
The tendency to presume, sometimes despite contrary odds, that someone or something belongs to a particular group if resembling (representing) a typical member.
availability heuristic
A cognitive rule that judges the likelihood of things in terms of their availability in memory. If instances of something come readily to mind, we presume it to be commonplace.
counterfactual thinking
Imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn't.
illusory correlation
Perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists.
regression toward the average
The statistical tendency for extreme scores or extreme behavior to return toward one's average.
Mistakenly attributing a behavior to the wrong source.
attribution theory
The theory of how people explain others' behavior—for example, by attributing it either to internal dispositions (enduring traits, motives, and attitudes) or to external situations.
dispositional attribution
Attributing behavior to the person's disposition and traits.
situational attribution
Attributing behavior to the environment.
spontaneous trait inference
An effortless, automatic inference of a trait after exposure to someone's behavior.
fundamental attribution error
The tendency for observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others' behavior. (Also called correspondence bias, because we so often see behavior as corresponding to a disposition).
The camera perspective bias
people judge how they see the situation.. ex: camera on suspect vs. detective
perspectives change with time
presidential elections
A self-conscious state in which attention focuses on oneself. It makes people more sensitive to their own attitudes and dispositions.
A favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone (often rooted in one's beliefs, and exhibited in one's feelings and intended behavior).
implicit association test (IAT)
A computer-driven assessment of implicit attitudes. The test uses reaction times to measure people's automatic associations between attitude objects and evaluative words. Easier pairings (and faster responses) are taken to indicate stronger unconscious associations.
A set of norms that defines how people in a given social position ought to behave. ex prison
foot-in-the-door phenomenon
The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.
cognitive dissonance
Tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of two inconsistent cognitions. For example, dissonance may occur when we realize that we have, with little justification, acted contrary to our attitudes or made a decision favoring one alternative despite reasons favoring another.
insufficient justification
Reduction of dissonance by internally justifying one's behavior when external justification is "insufficient".
self-perception theory
The theory that when we are unsure of our attitudes, we infer them much as would someone observing us, by looking at our behavior and the circumstances under which it occurs.
overjustification effect
The result of bribing people to do what they already like doing; they may then see their actions as externally controlled rather than intrinsically appealing.
self-affirmation theory
A theory that (a) people often experience a self-image threat, after engaging in an undesirable behavior; and that (b) they can compensate by affirming another aspect of the self. Threaten people's self-concept in one domain and they will compensate either by refocusing or by doing good deeds in some other domain.