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Ethics in psychology

correct rules of conduct necessary when carrying out research to protect participants from harm and respect their rights and dignity



psychologists measure the correlations between 2 variables without trying to control either variable (reporting what naturally occurs in people's lives)



the experiment manipulates/controls one variable and measures the effect on the other variable in order to determine if one thing causes another


Case study

descriptive research approach to obtain an in-depth analysis of a group, person, or phenomenon


Design of an experiment

how participants are allocated to the different conditions in an experiment


hindsight bias

the tendency to exaggerate, after learning an outcome, one's ability to have foreseen how something turned out; the "I-knew-it-all-along" phenomenon


Self Serving Bias

most people see themselves as better than average on any dimension that is subjective, common, and socially desirable; it is logically impossible for most people to be better than average so this is unrealistic


Advantages of self serving bias

- genuinely happier
- more likely to savor their success
- protects against depression
- stress buffer
- better social functioning
- capacity for creative and productive work
- enhancing motivation and persistence


Disadvantages of self serving bias

- illusory optimism increases our vulnerability because we dont take sensible precautions
- people who blame others for their social difficulties are often unhappier than people who can acknowledge their mistakes


scientific method

a self correcting process for asking questions and observing nature's answer; observing lots of people before making a conclusion


dual attitude system

different evaluations of the same attitude object; implicit attitude and an explicit attitude



mental shortcuts that help us make decisions and judgments quickly without having to spend a lot of time researching and analyzing information



gives priority to personal goals



focuses on the priorities of the group


spotlight effect

people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they actually are


false consensus

the tendency of people to overestimate the level to which other people share their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors


learned helplessness

a condition in which someone suffers from a sense of powerlessness arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed


self worth

- I am a good person
- I am comfortable with myself


Self competence

- I am highly effective at the things I do
- I am almost always able to accomplish what I try for


High self esteem

- Clear and certain self views
- expect success
- take credit for success
- resilience
- low depression and anxiety
- stable dating relationships
- happy marriages


Low self esteem

- higher vulnerability to a variety of clinical problems
- negative views of the world


self esteem and its correlates

- a persons overall opinion of themselves, either generally or in specific areas
- am I good/bad?
- am I worthy/unworthy?
- am I somewhere in between?


Self compassion

extending compassion to oneself in times of failure or suffering; composed of self kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness


fundamental attribution error

when we explain someone else's behavior (usually negative) we underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate impact of independent traits and situations


Ross et al quiz game study 1977

- to see if student participants would make the fundamental attribution error even when they knew that all the actors were playing a role
- the host asked the contestants a series of questions written by the host while the audience observed
- the audience were then asked to rate the host's and the contestant's intellect level
- audience members perceived the host as the smartest
- lack of cultural validitity



an individual has an excessive amount of confidence (can lead to narcissism)


automatic thinking

quick, involuntary, reflexive, and seemingly minimal effort thinking that we engage most of the time


controlled thinking

intentional, deliberate and effort full thinking


illusion of control

tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control a situation


planning fallacy

tendency to underestimate the amount of time a task will take


foot in the door

the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later for a larger request


door in the face

ask a large request first, knowing the person will say no, then proceed with a smaller request


low ball technique

technique in which the item or service is offered at a lower price than actually intended to be charged, after which the price is raised


LaPierre's research

- In a classic study, LaPierre drove through the US with a chinese couple. They stopped at over 250 restaurants and hotels and were refused service only once. Months later, the owners were surveyed on whether they would serve chinese people. The response was overwhelmingly negative, 92 percent of those surveyed said the they would not. Conclusion: the theory of deindividuation-- its a lot easier to mistreat someone that you cant see


When do attitudes influence behavior?

- the external influences on our actions are minimal
- the attitude is specific to the behavior


Stanford Prison Study

- students were randomly assigned to be either guards or prisoners in a makeshift prison for a 2 week study
- guards acted cruelly, brutally, and sadistically; devised cruel and unusual routines
- prisoners became anxious, depressed, and extremely stressed out; broke down, rebelled, or became apathetic
- experiment had to be terminated after 6 days
- participants behavior shows the effects of role playing and the power of the situation


cognitive dissonance

- we feel tension or lack of harmony when
- two beliefs are inconsistent
- a belief/attitude and a behavior are inconsistent
- to get rid of this tension, we adjust our beliefs or attitudes


Rosenhan's 1973 study

- examined individual differences how people differ in their thinking, feeling, and behavior
- used 8 participants, all normal
-sent them to psychiatric hospital and USA and said they were hearing voices
- all were admitted, and all but one were diagnosed with schizophrenia
- once admitted, they behaved normally but the behavior was distorted to fit in with their diagnosis
- took 7 to 52 days for them to be released
- unable to distinguish the sane from insane in a psychiatric hospital


Social cognition

focuses on how people process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations



mood disorder that causes persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest