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GRE Psychology- Kaplan Sixth Edition > Social Psych > Flashcards

Flashcards in Social Psych Deck (80):

Aronson and Linder

Proposed gain-loss principle (an evaluation that changes will have more effect than an evaluation that remains constant)



studied conformity by asking subjects to compare the lengths of lines, "yielding to group pressure"



Developed social learning theory, which focuses on learning through social contexts; self-efficacy theory


Clark, K. and Clark, M. (1947)

Performed study on doll preferences in American American children; results were used int he 1954 Brown v. the Topeka Board of Education supreme court case


Darley and Latane

Proposed that there were two factors that could lead to non-helping: social influence and diffusion of responsibility (bystander effect)



Suggested that gender differences in conformity were not due to gender per se, but to differing social roles



Developed cognitive dissonance theory; also developed social comparison theory



Studied norms for interpersonal distance in interpersonal interactions



Developed balance theory to explain why attitudes change; also developed attribution theory and divided attributions into two categories: dispositional and situational



Studied attitude change: a process of communicating a message with the intention to persuade someone to agree. (3 parts: communicator, communication, situation)



Developed the concept of groupthink to explain how group decision-making can sometimes go awry



Proposed concept of belief in a just world



Divided leadership styles into three categories: democratic, autocratic, and laissez-faire



Studied how psychological inoculation could help people resist persuasion; can be protected against persuasion by using 'cultural truisms'



Studied obedience by asking subjects to administer electroshock, found that the drive to obey was stronger than the drive to not hurt someone against their will; also proposed stimulus-overload theory to explain differences between city and country dwellers



studied political norms


Petty and Cacioppo

Developed elaboration of likelihood model of persuasion (central and peripheral routes to persuasion)



Studied relationship between anxiety and the need for affiliation


Muzafer Sherif

Used autokinetic effect to study conformity where he evaluated 'norm formation,' which is when individuals conformed to the groups judgement, creating a group norm; also performed Robber's Cave experiment and found that having super-ordinate goals increased inter-group cooperation


Robert Zajonc

Studied the mere exposure effect; also resolved problems with the social facilitation effect by suggesting that the presence of others enhanced the emission of dominant responses and impairs the emission of nondominant responses.



Performed prison simulation and used concept of deindividuation to explain results


Norman Triplett

Published the first study of social psych (1898) - studied the effect of competition on performance and found that people perform better on familiar tasks when others are around.


William McDougall + E.H. Ross

Published the first social psych text books in 1908.



Studied how social approval influences behavior.


Reinforcement theory

Behavior is motivated by anticipated rewards (i.e. Verplank, Pavlov, Thorndike, Hull, Skinner)


Role Theory

Bindle (1978)- people are aware of the social roles they are expected to fill and their observable behavior is adopting those roles.


Cognitive Theory of Social Psych

Perception, judgement, memories and decision-making are all examples of cognitive concepts that influence our understanding of social behavior



are the "keystone" in modern social psychology; made up of cognition or beliefs, feelings, and behavioral predispositions.


Consistency theories

People prefer consistency and will change, or resist changing, attitudes based upon this preference.


Fritz Heider's Balance Theory

A theory on consistency and why attitudes change. Has three components: the person (P), other person (O), and thing or person (X). Balance exists when all exist harmoniously. If not, there is stress. People have the tendency to work to remove stress and achieve balance.


Leon Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance theory

Cognitive dissonance is when attitudes are not in sync with your behaviors. The greater the dissonance, the greater pressure to reduce it. It can be reduced by changing dissonant elements or adding consonant elements.


Two types of dissonant situations

1) Free choice- when a person makes a choice between several desirable alternatives, 2) forced compliance- when one is forced to act in a way that is inconsistent with their beliefs or attitudes (can happen through punishments or rewards)


Post-decisional dissonance

When CD emerges after making a choice


Spreading of alternatives

Reducing dissonance by trying to separate two alternatives to make one seem the clearly better option.


Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) experiment

Studied cognitive dissonance by paying participants either $1 or $20 to do an extremely boring task, but tell the next person that it was fun. Those paid $20 rated the task as less enjoyable. This was explained through CD and the minimal justification effect, saying that those who were only paid $1 to lie had to reduce the dissonance between their payment/ experience and their lie by rating the task as more enjoyable.


Minimal Justification effect

When behavior can be justified by means of external inducements, there is no need to change internal cognitions. But if external justification is minimal, you will need to reduce dissonance by changing internal cognitions.


Daryl Bem

Self-perception theory: people infer their attitudes based on their behaviors


Overjustification effect

If you reward people for something they already like doing, they may stop liking it


Carl Hovland + Walter Weiss (1952) study

Studied source credibility: found that highly credible sources were more effective in changing attitudes than were communications by low credibility sources.


"Sleeper effect"

The persuasive impact of a high credibility source decreases over time while that of a low credibility source increases over time.


Two-sided messages

Contain arguments for and against a position; used for persuasion since they seem like "balanced" forms of communication


Petty and Cacioppo Model of Persuasion 2 Routes

Central route: When we care about an argument or it is important to us, persuasion must go through the central route. Here we follow the argument closely, mentally evaluate the argument, and generate counterarguments of our own. Strong arguments change minds more here.

Peripheral route: where we either don't care about the situation or can't pay attention to the message. Here the strength of the argument doesn't matter, but how, by whom, or in what surroundings the argument is presented influences minds.


Refuted counterarguments

Presenting an attack on a cultural truism and then refuting it. This practice encourages people to defend their beliefs. (inoculation analogy)


Belief perseverance

Under certain conditions, people will hold beliefs even after they have been shown to be false.



When social pressure to behave in a particular way becomes so blatant that the person's sense of freedom is threatened, the person will tend to act in a way to reassert a sense of freedom.


Festinger's social comparison theory (+ 3 principles)

Suggests we are drawn to affiliate because of a tendency to evaluate ourselves in relation to others. Three principles: 1. People prefer to evaluate themselves by objective, nonsocial means whenever possible. When this isn't possible, people evaluate their opinions and abilities by comparing them to those of others. 2. The less similarity of opinions and abilities between people, the less the tendency to make comparisons. 3. When a discrepancy exists with respect to opinions and abilities, there is a tendency to change one's position so as to move it in line with the group.


Social Exchange Theory

Assumes a person weighs the rewards and costs of interacting with another person. If the rewards outweigh the costs, the more attraction to the person. We wish to maximize rewards and minimize costs.


Equity Theory

Proposes that we consider not only the costs and rewards to ourselves in an interactions, but also those of the other person. We refer an equal ratio of costs and rewards (inequality = instability)


Individual characteristics in attraction

Either 1) similarities attract (e.g. affiliation, intelligence, attitudes, education, eight, age, race, etc.) or 2) need complimentary, or "opposites attract," where people chose relationships so that they mutually satisfy each other's needs.


Attractiveness stereotype

the tendency to attribute positive qualities and desirable characteristics to attractive people (makes physical attractiveness a determination for attraction)


Spatial proximity in attraction

the closer someone is, the more accessible they are; may increase the number of exposures (i.e. mere exposure hypothesis)


Mere exposure hypothesis

the more we see something the more we like it (i.e. people, commercials, etc.)



a helping behavior were your intent is to benefit someone else at some cost to the self


Motivations for helping behaviors

altruism, egoism, selfishness


Pluralistic ignorance

leading others to the definition of an event as a non-emergency (i.e. if you're in a room and there is smoke, and someone acts as though nothing is wrong)


Diffusion of responsibility

The more people witnessing, the less responsibility each individual holds; blame/guilt can be shared with others. The more people that are there, the less likely any one is to report or intervene



Empathy-altruism model - when faced with situations in which others may need help, people might feel distressed and/or empathetic; both are important because either can promote helping behaviors


Frustration-aggression hypothesis

One possible explanation for aggressive behaviors; when people are frustrated, they act aggressively. Strength of frustration is correlated with aggression levels


Bandura's take on aggression

aggression is learning through modeling (direct observation) or through reinforcement



change in behavior that occurs as a result of situational or interpersonal pressure


Foot-in-the-door effect

demonstrates that compliance with a small request increases the likelihood of compliance with a larger request


Door-in-the-face effect

people who refuse a large initial request are more likely to agree to a later smaller request



is influenced by other people's views, social roles,a nd group memberships


Bandura's self-efficacy theory

a part of his larger framework of social cognitive theory; self efficacy is an individuals beliefs about their ability to organize and execute a particular pattern of behavior. People with strong self efficacy exert more on a difficult task than people with low self-efficacy


Self-efficacy judgements based on...

performance accomplishments (e.g. history of success with task), vicarious experiences (e.g. observed successful performances on task), social persuasion (e.g. task success as suggested by others), and physiological and emotional states


Primary effects

When first impressions are more important than subsequent impressions


Recency effects

when more recent information we have about an individual is most important for forming our impressions


Attribution theory

(Heider) The tendency for individual's to infer the causes of other people's behavior. Dispositional causes are those related to the person whose behaviors are being considered and situational attributions are external and are those related to features of the surroundings


Fundamental attribution error

When inferring the causes of other's behaviors there is a general bias toward making disposition attributions rather than situational ones


The Halo effect

the tendency to allow a general impression about a person to influence other, more specific evaluations about a person. Explains why people are often inaccurate in evaluations of people that they either believe to be generally good or generally bad



the tendency of decision-making groups to strive for consensus by not considering discordant information


risky shift

finding that group decisions are riskier than the average of the individual choices, one explanation is the value hypothesis- says risky shift occurs in situations in which riskiness is culturally evaluated


James Stoner (1978)

Presented dilemmas to couples to examine the risky shift in controversial situations. group decisions shifted toward caution instead of risk


Group polarization

A tendency for group discussion to enhance the group's initial tendencies towards riskiness or caution


Leadership + communication

leaders of groups engage in more in communication than non-leaders. also the more a person speaks, the more their perceived leadership status also increases


Laissez-faire leadership groups

groups were less efficient, less organized, and less satisfying for boys as compared to democratic groups


Autocratic leadership groups

more hostile, aggressive, and more dependent on their leader than were other groups. the quantity of work was greater than in other groups, but work motivation and interest was not


Democratic leadership groups

more satisfying and more cohesive than autocratic groups. work motivation and interest were stronger in democratic than in other groups


Cooperation vs competition

cooperation-people work together for mutual benefit so all can obtain a goal, competition- acting for individual benefit to obtain a goal that has limited availability


Prisoner's dilemma

to cooperate or compete, where either both can cooperate and avoid punishment, one can defect to avoid intense punishment and the other receives it, or both defect and both receive intense punishment. an individual would compete instead of cooperate if they wanted the best outcome for themselves or if they don't trust the other person and doesn't want to lose.