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Someone who acts as though they are a participant in an experiment, but are actually researchers

Situationist perspective

The view that social influence can goad people into doing things that are inconsistent with their usual behavior

Social psychology

The field of psychology that studies the nature and causes of people's thoughts and behavior in social situations

A-B problem

The issue of how well we can predict behavior on the basis of attitudes

Elaboration likelihood model

The view that persuasive messages evaluated (elaborated) on the basis of central and peripheral cues

Fear appeal

A type of persuasive communication that influences behavior on the basis of arousing fear instead of rational analysis of the issues

Peripheral route of persuasion

Associate with positive or negative cues

Central route of persuasion

Inspires thoughtful consideration of evidence and arguments

Selective avoidance

Diverting one's attention from information that inconsistent with one's attitudes

Selective exposure

Deliberately seeking and attending to information that is consistent with one's attitudes

Cognitive-dissonance theory

The view that we are motivated to make our conditions or beliefs consistent

Attitude-discrepant behavior

Behavior inconsistent with an attitude that may have the effect of modifying an attitude

Effort justification

The tendency to seek justification for strenuous efforts

Matching hypothesis

The theory that people tend to choose persons similar to themselves in attractiveness and attitudes in the formation of interpersonal relationships

Triangular model of love

Sternberg's view that love involves combinations of three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment

Consummate love

The ideal form of love within Sternberg's model


A pituitary hormone that stimulates labor in pregnant women and is connected with maternal behaviors such as cuddling

Primacy effect

The tendency to evaluate others in terms of first impressions

Recency effect

The tendency to evaluate others in terms of most recent impressions


A belief concerning why people behave in a certain way

Attribution process

The process by which people draw inferences about the motives and traits of others

Dispositional attribution

An assumption that a person's behavior is determined by internal causes such as personal attitudes or goals

Situational attribution

An assumption that a person's behavior is determined by external circumstances

Fundamental attribution error

The assumption that others act predominantly on the basis of their dispositions

Actor-observer effect

The tendency to attribute our own behavior to situational factors but to attribute the behavior of others to dispositional factors

Self-serving bias

The tendency to view one's successes as stemming from internal factors and one's failures as stemming from external factors


Acting the same in different situations


The extent to which a person responds differently in different situations

Foot-in-the-door technique

A method for inducing compliance in which a small request is followed by a larger request

Social facilitation

The process by which a person's performance is increased when other members of a group engage in similar behavior

Evaluation apprehension

Concern that others are evaluating our behavior

Diffusion of responsibility

The spreading or sharing of responsibility for a decision or behavior within a group

Social decision schemes

Rules for predicting the final outcome of group decision-making on the basis of members' initial positions


Taking an extreme position on an issue

Risky shift

The tendency to make riskier decisions as a member of a group than as an individual


A process by which members of a group are influenced by cohesiveness and a dynamic leader to ignore external realities as they make decisions (think Hitler or Mao)


The process by which group members may discontinue self-evaluation and adopt group norms and attitudes


Unselfish concern for well-being of others

Social Loafing

The feeling that in a large group you won't be noticed and therefore can get away with things that you couldn't in a small setting

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