Social Psychology Chapters 1-4

Social Psychology
the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another
Social Thinking
how we perceive ourselves and others, what we believe, judgments we make, and our attitudes
Social Influence
culture, pressures to conform, persuasion, and groups of people
Social Relations
prejudice, aggression, attraction and intimacy, and helping
Social Neuroscience
an interdisciplinary field that explores the neural bases of social and emotional processes and behaviors and how these processes and behaviors affect our brain and biology
Culture
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
Social Representations
a society’s widely held ideas and values, including 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.
Theory
an integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events; a good theory effectively summarizes many observations and makes clear predictions
Hypothesis
a testable proposition that describes a relationship that may exist between events
Field Research
research done in natural, real-life settings outside the laboratory
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 while controlling others
Independent Variable
the factor in an experiment that is being manipulated
Dependent Variable
the factor in an experiment that is being measured
Random Sample
survey procedure in which every person in the population being studied has an equal chance of inclusion
Variables that could influence survey answers?
unrepresentative samples, order of questions, response options, wording of questions, and framing
Framing
the way a question or an issue is posed; framing can influence people’s decisions and expressed opinions
Random Assignment
the process of assigning participants to the conditions of an experiment such that all persons have the same chance of being in a given condition; helps us infer cause and effect
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
Deception
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 participants 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
Debriefing
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 our 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
Self Concept
what we know and believe about ourselves
Schema
a mental template by which we organize our worlds
Self-Schema
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
Influences on the self?
The roles we play, the social identities we form, the comparisons we make with others, how other people judge us, & the surrounding culture
Social Comparison
evaluating one’s abilities and opinions by comparing oneself with others
Individualism
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
Independent Self
construing one’s identity as an autonomous self
Collectivism
giving priority to the goals of one’s group (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
Impact Bias
overestimating the enduring impact of emotion-causing events
Psychological Immune System
includes strategies for rationalizing, discounting, forgiving, and limiting emotional trauma
Immune Neglect
the human tendency to underestimate the speed and strength of the “psychological immune system” which enables emotional recovery and resilience after bad things happen
Dual Attitude System
differing implicit (automatic) and explicit (consciously controlled) attitudes toward the same object; verbalized explicit attitudes may change with education and persuasion, while implicit attitudes change slowly with practice that forms new habit
Self-Esteem
the overall sense of self-worth we use to appraise our traits and abilities
Terror Management Theory
proposes that people exhibit self-protective emotional and cognitive responses (including adhering more strongly to their cultural worldviews and prejudices) when confronted with reminders of their mortality
Self-Efficacy
a sense that one is competent and effective, distinguished from self-esteem, which is one’s sense of self-worth; a sharpshooter in the military might feel high self-efficacy and low self-esteem
Locus of Control
the extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable by their own efforts or as externally controlled by chance or outside forces
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 an 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
Group-Serving Bias
explaining away outgroup members’ positive behaviors; also attributing negative behaviors to their dispositions (while excusing such behavior by one’s own group)
Self-Handicapping
protecting one’s self-image with behaviors that create a handy excuse for later failure
Self-Presentation
the act of expressing oneself and behaving in ways designed to create a favorable impression or an impression that corresponds to one’s ideas
Self-Monitoring
being attuned to the way one presents oneself in social situations and adjusting one’s performance to create the desired impression
Priming
activating particular associations in memory
Embodied Cognition
the mutual influence of bodily sensations on cognitive preferences and social judgments
Spontaneous Trait Transference
when we say something good or bad about another, people spontaneously tend to associate that trait with us.
Belief Perseverance
persistence of one’s initial conceptions, such as when the basis for one’s belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives
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 corresponds to “intuition”
Emotional Reactions
often nearly instantaneous reactions that happen before there is time for deliberate thinking
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
Heuristic
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 is representing a particular 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
Illusionary Correlation
perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists
Illusion of Control
perception of uncontrollable events as subject to one’s control or as more controllable than they are
Regression Toward the Average
the statistical tendency for extreme scores or extreme behavior to return toward one’s average
Misattribution
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
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
a belief that leads to its own fulfillment
Behavioral Confirmation
a type of self-fulfilling prophecy whereby people’s social expectations lead them to behave in ways that cause others to confirm their expectations
Attitude
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
Role
a set of norms that defines how people in a given social position ought to behave
Foot-In-The-Door Phenomenon
the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request
Lowball Technique
a tactic for getting people to agree to something; people who agree to an initial request will often still comply when the requester ups the ante; people who receive only the costly request are less likely to comply with it
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
Selective Exposure
the tendency to seek information and media that agree with one’s views and to avoid dissonant information
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
Facial Feedback Effect
the tendency of facial expressions to trigger corresponding feelings such as fear, anger, or happiness
Over-Justification 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 (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