Unit 4 Flashcards Preview

Psychology 106 > Unit 4 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Unit 4 Deck (40)
Loading flashcards...

Social Psychology

Branch of psychology that studies how people think, feel, and behave in social situations


Social Norms

Rules or expectations for appropriate behavior in specific social situations


Fundamental Attribution Error

attribute the behavior of others to internal, personal characteristics- while ignoring the role of external, situational factors
(overemphasizing someone's personality for their negative behaviors without knowing their situation)
ex: "that person is driving like a lunatic. she must be a real jerk!" VERSUS "I am driving like a lunatic because I need to get my mom to the hospital!"


Foot-in-the-door technique

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


Sense of self

Unique sense of identity influenced by social, cultural, and psychological experiences


Conformity (Define + Which culture is it highest in?)

adjusting your opinions, judgement, or behavior so that it matches that of other people, or the norms of a social group or situation
-collectivistic cultures


Normative Social Influence

influence resulting from a person's desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval


Informational Social Influence

behavior that is motivated by the desire to be correct


Social Loafing

the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling efforts toward a common goal than if they were individually accountable
(one character takes on the work)
-individual behavior can be strongly influenced by the presence of others



-when the group members feel anonymous
-reduction of self-awareness and inhibitions when person is part of a group in which members feel ..anonymous
ex: wearing hoods in the Ku Klux Klan, large riots
-one way to counteract de-individualization is to heighten self-awareness


Attitude and 3 components

learned tendency to evaluate objects, people or issues in a particular way
3 components:
1. Affective- feelings or emotion about topics
2. Behavioral- your actions regarding the topic or situation
3. Cognitive- thoughts + conclusions about given topic or situation



negative attitude toward people who belong to a specific social group



a cluster of characteristics associated with all members of a specific group
-a belief held by members of one group about members of another group



belief that one's culture or ethnic group is superior to others
(form of in-group bias)


Implicit Attitude

evaluations that are automatic, unintentional, and difficult to control (unconsciously aware)
-measures the degree to which you associate particular groups of people with specific characteristics or attributes


Explicit Attitude

consciously aware (attitude you are aware of)


In Group vs Out Group

In-Group- social group in which you belong
-tendency to make favorable attributions to members of your in-group (ex: ethnocentrism)

Out-group- social group to which you do not belong
-homogeneity effect- tendency to see members of the out-group as more similar to one another


Just-World Hypothesis

The assumption that life is fair
ex: it seems horrible to think that you can be a good person and bad things could happen to you anyway



an expectation that people will help, not hurt, those who have helped them


Understand: Implicit Personality Theory

assumption that people share traits and behaviors
-network of assumptions or beliefs about the relationship among various types of people, traits, and behaviors; leads to use of cognitive schemas
ex: I may assume intelligent people are arrogant, quiet people are timid and aggressive people are stupid
This is the general expectations that we build about a person after we know something of their central traits


Understand: Social Categorization

mental process of categorizing people into groups (or social categories) on the basis of their shared characteristics
-explicit cognition- deliberate, conscious mental processes involved in perceptions, judgements, decisions, and reasoning
("Asian female, 20- something , sorority sweatshirt, probably a college student")
-implicit cognition- automatic, non-conscious, mental processes that influence perceptions, judgements, decisions, and reasoning
(prior experiences and beliefs about different social categories can trigger this reaction- from positive to negative


Understand: Stanford Prison Experiment

(demonstrated the powerful influence of situational roles and conformity to implied social rules and norms)
-Power of roles and conformity to implied social norms
-illustration of how good people can be transformed into perpetrators of evil, and healthy people can begin to experience pathological reactions-traceable to situational forces
-(6 days - the guards became evil and by the end everyone thought it was a real prison)


Understand: Internal Attributions (Dispositional)

people tend to credit themselves for their successes
(self-serving bias)


Understand: Cognitive Dissonance Theory

(explains why our actions can lead us to change our attitudes)
-the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent
-cognitive dissonance- unpleasant state of psychological tension or arousal (dissonance) that occurs when two thoughts or perceptions are inconsistent


Understand: Rationalization (closely related to cognitive dissonance)

-people want to have consistent attitudes and behaviors.. when they are not they experience dissonance (unpleasant tension)
-usually they will change their attitude
-if you can rationalize or explain your behavior, the conflict (and the tension) is eliminated or avoided
-when you are torn between two choices, then pick one and not the other:
*you emphasize the negative features of the choice you rejected = called "sour grapes" rationalization
*you emphasize the positive features of the choice you made = called "sweet lemons" rationalization


Understand: Asch- what did he find in his study regarding conformity and judgement?

-76% of participants conformed to at least one wrong choice
-subjects gave the wrong answer (conformed) on 37% of the critical trials
-about two-thirds of trials, participants stuck to their guns
Factors that promote conformity:
-you are facing a unanimous group of at least four or five people
-you must give your response in front of the group
-you have not already expressed commitment to a different idea or opinion
-you find the task to be ambiguous or difficult
-you doubt your abilities or knowledge of the situation
-you are strongly attracted to a group and want to be a member of it


Understand: Milgram's experiment

-obedience experiment- performance of a experiment in response to a direct command (usually of higher status or authority gives command)
majority of participants who were ordered to shock another person
..-experiments where "teachers" were made to shock "learners" under direction from an authority figure
-"could a person be pressured by others into committing an immoral act, some action that violated his or her own conscience, such as hurting a stranger?


Understand: The elements of Milgram's experiment

-the physical and psychological separation from the learner
-learner was in a separate room, punishment was depersonalized
-subjects arrived at the lab with the mental expectation that they would obediently follow
-research setting predisposed subjects to trust experimenter


Understand: Social Facilitation

The tendency for the presence of other people to enhance individual performance


Understand: Discrimination

unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice