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attribution theory

- people tend to attribute other people's actions, misfortunes, and successes to their personal traits, rather than situational forces

fundamental attribution error

tendency to emphasize internal causes and ignore external pressures

when will someone's attitudes actually guide their behavior?

when the attitude and behavior are specific, strong, and unconscious, or developed from personal experience

Cognitive dissonance

- a highly motivating state in which people have conflicting cognitions, especially when their voluntary actions conflict with their attitudes
- they hide these conflicting emotions
- explains why people undergo unpleasant experiences

normative social influence

the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them

informational social influence

- when we do not know how to behave, we copy other people
- they thus act as information sources for how to behave as we assume they know what they are doing

social loafing

a decrease in performance because of being in a group

social facilitation

an increase in an individual's performance because of being in a group


when group members lose their sense of personal identity and responsibility and the group "assumes" responsibility for their behavior

group polarization

when individuals in a group have similar, though not identical views, and their opinions become more extreme/pronounced

group think

occurs when members of a group are highly cohesive and strive for concurrence among members

social exchange theory

We help others if we perceive the benefits of helping to outweigh the costs

in-group favoritism

the tendency to like people in one's own in-group rather than out-group

Out-group homogeneity effect

The perception of out-group members as more similar to each other than in-group members

just world phenomenon

people tend to believe the world is just and that people both get what the deserve and deserve what they get

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