Flashcards in Midterm Deck (106)
What Is Social Psychology?
The scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are
influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people.
• At the heart of social psychology is social influence.
Fundamental attribution error (FAE)
The tendency to explain our own and other people’s behavior entirely in terms of personality traits
Underestimating the power of social influence
Underestimating the Power of Social Influence Causes...
-we gain a feeling of false security
-Oversimplify complex situations
A school of psychology maintaining that to
understand human behavior, one need consider only
reinforcing effects of environment; an “objective worldview” • Chooses not to deal with cognition, thinking, and feeling
-A school of psychology stressing the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object
appears in people’s minds (the gestalt or “whole”) rather than the objective, physical attributes of the
Founding father of modern experimental social psychology
Ø Applied Gestalt principles to social perception
Ø Stressed the importance of taking perspective of the people in any social situation to see how they construe social
Construals shaped by two basic human motives
The need to be accepted Ø
The need to feel good about ourselves
• Motives may tug in opposite directions
Suffering and Self-Justification
The more unpleasant the procedure the participants underwent to get into a group, the
better they liked the group
(Hazing, gang initiation)
Social cognition motive
takes into account how people think about the world
• We try to gain accurate understandings so we can
make effective judgments and decisions
• But we typically act on the basis of incompletely and inaccurately interpreted information
How people think about themselves and the social world; how people select, interpret, remember,
and use social information to make judgments and decisions
Making sure that nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable
The extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to other situations and to other people.
the extent to which we can generalize from the experimental situation to real-life situations
the extent to which we can generalize from the people who participated in the experiment to people in general
Psychological processes triggered by experiments are similar to psychological processes in real life
A description of the purpose of a study, given to participants, that is different from its true purpose, used to maintain psychological realism
Improving External Validity
o Experiments conducted in natural settings rather than in the laboratory
o Participants unaware that they are in an experiment o Participants more diverse than typical college sample
Designed to find the best answer to why people behave as they do
o Conducted purely for reasons of intellectual curiosity
o Designed to solve a particular social problem
Conducted with different cultures, to see if psychological processes are present in both
cultures or specific to the culture in which people were raised.
Issues in Cross-Cultural Research
o Guard against imposing their own cultural viewpoints onto an unfamiliar culture
o Ensure that IV & DV are understood in the same way in different cultures
o Developed by Charles Darwin to explain how animals adapt to their environments
o Social behaviors prevalent today are due, in part, to
adaptations to past environments
- Impossible to test with experimental method
Automatic thinking (Type of social Cognition)
– No conscious deliberation of thoughts, perceptions, assumptions
-We often size up a new situation very quickly. • Often these quick conclusions are correct.
– Example: You can tell the difference between a college classroom and a frat party without having to think about
– Effortful and deliberate
– Thinking about self and environment – Carefully selecting the right course of action
How do we Automatic thinking?
Relate new situations to past experiences
– Use schemas
- Mental structures that organize our knowledge of the social world
- Influences the information people notice, think about, and remember
encompasses our knowledge and impression of:
– Other people – Ourselves
– Social roles
§ E.g., what a librarian or engineer is like
– Specific events
§ E.g., what usually happens when people eat a meal in a restaurant
-We base our judgement off of accessible shemas
What are schemas used for?
-Organize what we know
– Interpret new situationsSchemas as Memory Guides
• Helps “fill in the blanks” when trying to remember
– Remember some information that was there
§ Particularly information to which our schemas led us to pay more attention
– Also remember other information that was never there
§ Add this information unknowingly
§ Can’t form memories
– Each situation is new
The process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait, or concept.
Physical sensations can prime metaphors----> Metaphors can influence decisions
Accessibility and Priming (1 of 3)
• Something can become accessible for three reasons:
– Chronically accessible due to past experience. – Accessible because it is related to a current goal
– Temporarily accessible because of our recent
-priming is a good example of automatic thinking because it occurs quickly, unintentionally, and unconsciously.
What makes Our Schemas Come True?
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy