What is an attitude, and why is it so important to social psychology?
An attitude is a set of feelings and beliefs, and can be positive or negative. Since we can have positive or negative attitudes about people, places, events, and items, attitudes shape our view of the world and the things we like or don’t like.
According to social psychology, why do you see the same advertisement for the same product over and over again?
The mere exposure effect hypothesizes that you will like something more and more as you see it more and more, which will make you more likely to buy what is being advertised.
An ad with a political candidate explaining directly why he is better than his opponent is an example of what idea of social psychology?
This is an example of the central route of persuasion.
An ad featuring a beautiful model and a famous athlete using a product without saying why it is better than a competitor’s product is an example of what idea in social psychology?
This is an example of the peripheral route to persuasion.
What did Richard LaPiere’s research show about attitudes and behavior?
His research, which looked at the behavior toward Asians in America in the 1930s, showed that, while hotel and restaurant workers at the time overwhelmingly said they would refuse service to Asians, a very small percentage actually did. This suggests that attitude does not necessarily dictate behavior.
Not getting into your first choice school and then deciding you didn’t want to go there anyway because the weather is too cold and the dorm rooms are small is an example of what?
This is an example of cognitive dissonance. When there is a difference in attitude and behavior, it can cause stress or angst, so one of those things may change.
Since you can’t get into a school that already rejected you, cognitive dissonance allows you to change your attitude.
What was Festinger and Carlsmith’s experiment on cognitive dissonance, and what does it teach us about motivation?
Participants in a study were paid either $1 or $20 to tell a confederate that the task to complete was enjoyable when it was really quite boring.
Those who were paid $1 actually changed their minds about the task so that they believed it was not boring. They had insufficient justification to lie, so they changed their attitude about the task.
Those who were paid $20 did not change their minds, and continued to believe the task was boring. They had an external justification for their behavior (saying the task was not boring and lying).
What compliance strategy believes a person should ask for something small to get something bigger later?
The foot-in-the-door phenomemon believes that if someone agrees to giving away something small, they will be more likely to give away something larger if it is requested later.
If you ask your parents for $50 and they say no, then you ask them for $20 and they say yes, what compliance strategy is employed?
The door-in-the-face strategy suggests that if you ask for something large, asking for something smaller will seem more reasonable and the request is more likely to be granted.
Why would we be more likely to donate money to kids wrapping presents for free during the holidays?
Norms of reciprocity are the idea that if someone does something nice for you, you should do something nice for him. So since the kids are wrapping presents for free for you, you think the least you could do is donate to their cause.
Why might you choose to believe you got in a car accident because someone cut you off instead of believing it is because you were not paying attention to the other cars on the road?
Attribution theory addresses how we understand behaviors and the causes of events. You may attribute your accident to someone else making a poor driving decision instead of you so you won’t feel bad or guilty.
What are the three kinds of information Harold Kelley proposed we use to make attributions?
- consistency: how consistent is this information over time?
- distinctiveness: how distinct is this information from the other information we have about the subject?
- consensus: how would others have responded given the same information?
How might self-fulfilling prophecy explain why people think the prettiest girl in school is stuck up?
Self-fulfilling prophecy states that when we have a preconceived notion about a person, group, or situation, we will behave in a way that will get the outcome we expect.
So we may treat the prettiest girl in school in a way that may make her feel defensive, which can make her seem stuck up.
What did Rosenthal and Jacobson’s experiment, “Pygmalion in the Classroom” show about self-fulfilling prophecy?
A class of students was issued a standard IQ test, but the researchers told teachers it was a measure of performance potential and randomly selected several students as being more capable than others.
The teacher used self-fulfilling prophecy to treat these kids as capable learners, and their scores improved more than the other students’.
What is a fundamental attribution error?
It is falsely attributing a cause for behavior or events, like when a teacher thinks a student failed to do well on a test because he is unintelligent, but the student actually had found out his parents were divorcing and couldn’t concentrate on the test.
If I believe everyone likes chocolate because I like chocolate, and you believe everyone likes vanilla because you like vanilla, what is being exhibited?
The false-consensus effect is occurring. We believe that because we feel one way about something, everyone else feels the same way about it.
Why are we more likely to take credit for our role in a successful group presentation than an unsuccessful group presentation?
The self-serving bias allows us to believe that we had a greater role in something’s success than in its failure.
What belief allows us to think that good things will come to good people, and bad things will ultimately befall bad people?
The just-world bias helps us make sense of the world by thinking that it is fair and just. This also allows us to blame victims of misfortune, believing things would have been different if they had made better decisions.
What is a stereotype?
A stereotype is a shared belief about a group of people and can be positive or negative.
What is a prejudice and how does it differ from a stereotype?
A prejudice is the affective component of stereotyping, like being scared of a group of people you believe to be violent.
What is discrimination, and how does it emerge from stereotypes and prejudices?
Discrimination is the action taken because of the prejudices that arise from stereotypes.
An example of discrimination is calling the police about a group of people loitering in an area because you believe them to be violent, even if they have done nothing wrong.
If you believe that other cultures are odd because they are not like your own, and that your culture is superior to other cultures, you are engaging in what?
Why might we see members of our out-groups as all being the same?
We have extensive experience with those who are part of our in-groups, so we see the variance therein. However, we have less experience with groups we are not part of, so we tend to see them as all being the same. This is called out-group homogeneity.
Why might we engage in in-group bias?
Researchers suggest that we have a need to see ourselves as good people. If we have a social identity that we believe makes us good, we will tend to favor people in our in-groups, since we believe they must also be good (or they would be part of our out-groups).
When prejudice is reduced through cooperation between groups to complete a larger goal, what is this goal called, and what is this belief?
This large, shared goal is called a superordinate goal, and the theory of minimizing prejudice through cooperation with other groups is called contact theory.
What did Sherif’s Robbers Cave study teach us about group conflict and superordinate goals?
- Kids were divided into two groups in a camp
- Both groups showed escalating hostility in competitive tasks resulting in prejudice
- This prejudice was only decreased when the two groups had to cooperate to complete a superordinate goal (like putting out a fire)
- This shows how easily in-groups form prejudices and hostility and how superordinate goals can reduce those prejudices
How would the frustration-aggression hypothesis explain a scapegoat?
This theory asserts that frustration makes us more likely to become aggressive, and when we can’t vent our aggression at the source of the frustration, we act out our aggression on someone or something else (a scapegoat).
What did the murder of Kitty Genovese lead Darley and Latane to study?
When Genovese was murdered in view of dozens of witnesses who did nothing, Darley and Latane wanted to find out why nobody helped. This led to their research on the bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility.
What did Darley and Latane find about the bystander effect?
They found that the more people there are involved as bystanders to an emergency, the less likely each individual will be to take action to stop the emergency.
The diffusion of responsibility phenomenon spreads out the feeling of responsibility within a group so it is less and less concentrated with each additional witness.
Why are we less scared of turbulence on an airplane if the flight attendants are smiling?
Pluralistic ignorance is the idea that we look at those around us to decide how we should react to a situation. If we are on a bumpy flight but the flight attendants or other passengers are unaffected, we will react as though nothing is wrong.
What are the three factors involved in deciding whether you may like someone?
- proximity: do you see this person regularly?
- similarity: is this person like you in a lot of ways?
- reciprocal liking: does this person feel positively about you, too?
What is social facilitation?
This is when the presence of one or more observers makes someone perform better at routine tasks.
What is the difference between social facilitation and social impairment?
While social facilitation explains that we may improve performance on simple or routine tasks, social impairment shows that we may perform difficult tasks more poorly than we normally would if we were doing them without being observed.
What is conformity?
It is the act of blending into a crowd, or following along with an idea, view, or action of others.
Explain Solomon Asch’s conformity study.
- Participants were asked to participate in a group vision test, measuring the length of lines
- All members of the group except the participant were confederates in the study
- Even if the confederates gave an obviously wrong answer, a significant percentage of the participants would conform to this wrong answer
What experimental findings explain how ordinary people may commit atrocities while following the orders of an authority figure?
Milgram’s obedience study showed the following:
- Participants were told to shock another participant (actually a confederate) when they answered a question incorrectly
- More than half of the participants administered the highest level of shock to the confederate because they were ordered to do so by the experimenter
- Even when the confederate screamed or begged the participant to stop, the majority of participants still followed orders to shock the confederate
What are group norms?
Group norms are the rules of behavior (implicit or explicit) that go along with belonging to a group.
Why might many overachievers dislike being part of group projects?
Within groups, social loafing is common. This occurs when individual members of a group do less than they would on their own because they believe someone else will “pick up the slack” or their performance will be less noticeable.
What is group polarization and why might it occur?
Group polarization is the phenomenon by which ideas and actions within a group are more extreme than they would be for the individual members. This may occur because groups tend to strengthen preexisting beliefs.
What term did Irving Janis coin, and what does it mean?
Groupthink is the mistaken unanimity of a group decision, which generally ends up negatively. Individual members of a group will downplay their own beliefs about the flaws of a plan for the sake of unanimity.
What may cause a person to riot when their favorite team wins a championship?
Deindividuation is the idea that people lose sight of their individual nature when they are excited (positively or negatively) and feel anonymous, as they might feel being a part of a giant fanbase.
What does Zimbardo’s prison study suggest about deindividuation?
People adapt to the roles they are given, so context deindividuates people and makes them act in ways they never imagined they would.
Participants were randomly assigned to be either a guard or a prisoner in a mock prison
Participants rapidly adapted to their assigned roles (ex. guards became more aggressive and sadistic, prisoners became more passive and dependent), leading to dangerous situations
Experiment was terminated early because of “guard” cruelty