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1400 Social Psych

Social Psychology

TermDefinition
Social psychology The scientific study of how we think about, influence and relate to one another.
Attribution theory Suggests how we explain someone’s behavior—by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition.
Fundamental attribution error The tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.
Attitude Feelings, often based on our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events.
Foot-in-the-door phenomenon The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.
Cognitive dissonance theory The theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognition) are inconsistent.
Conformity Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
Normative social influence Influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval.
Informational social influence Influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality.
Social facilitation Stronger responses on simple or well-learned tasks in the presence of others.
Social loafing The tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable.
Deindividuation The loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.
Group polarization The enhancement of a group’s prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group.
Groupthink The mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.
Prejudice An unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and a predisposition to discriminatory action.
Stereotype A generalized (sometimes accurate but often overgeneralized) belief about a group of people.
Discrimination Unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members.
Ingroup “Us”—people with whom one shares a common identity.
Outgroup “Them”—those perceived as different or apart from one’s ingroup.
Ingroup bias The tendency to favor one’s own group.
Scapegoat theory The theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame.
Just-world phenomenon The tendency of people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.
Aggression Any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy.
Frustration-aggression principle The principle that frustration—the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal—creates anger, which can generate aggression.
Conflict A perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.
Social trap A situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior.
Mere exposure effect The phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them.
Passionate love An aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship.
Companionate love The deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined.
Equity A condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give to it.
Self-disclosure Revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others.
Altruism Unselfish regard for the welfare of others.
Bystander effect The tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present.
Social exchange theory The theory that our social behavior is an exchange process, the aim of which is to maximize benefits and minimize costs.
Reciprocity norm An expectation that people will help, not hurt, those who have helped them.
Social-responsibility norm An expectation that people will help those dependent upon them.
Superordinate goals Shared goals that override differences among people and require their cooperation.
GRIT Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction—a strategy designed to decrease international tensions.
Social context The combination of (a) people, (b) the activities and interactions among people, (c) the setting in which behavior occurs, and (d) the expectations and social norms governing behavior in that setting.
Situationism The view that environmental conditions influence people’s behavior as much as or more than their personal dispositions do.
Social role One of several socially defined patterns of behavior that are expected of persons in a given setting or group.
Script A cluster of knowledge about the sequences of events and actions expected to occur in a particular setting.
Social norms A group’s expectations regarding what is appropriate and acceptable for its members’ attitudes and behaviors.
Asch effect A form of conformity in which a group majority influences individual judgments.
Diffusion of responsibility Dilution or weakening of each group member’s obligation to act when responsibility is perceived to be shared with all group members.
Social reality An individual’s subjective interpretation of other people and of relationships with them.
Reward theory of attraction A social-learning view that says we like best those who give us maximum rewards at minimum cost.
Principle of proximity The notion that people at work will make more friends among those who are nearby—with whom they have the most contact. Proximity means “nearness.”
Similarity principle The notion that people are attracted to those who are most similar to themselves.
Matching hypothesis The prediction that most people will find friends and mates that are perceived to be of about their same level of attractiveness.
Expectancy-value theory A theory in social psychology that people decide whether to pursue a relationship by weighing the potential value of the relationship against their expectation of success in establishing the relationship.
Self-serving bias An attributional pattern in which one takes credit for success but denies responsibility for failure. (Compare with fundamental attribution error.)
Social distance The perceived difference or similarity between oneself and another person.
Deindividuation Occurs when group members lose their sense of personal identity and responsibility and the group “assumes” responsibility for their behavior.
Romantic love A temporary and highly emotional condition based on infatuation and sexual desire.
Triangular theory of love A theory that describes various kinds of love in terms of three components; passion (erotic attraction), intimacy (shared feelings and confidences), and commitment (dedication to putting this relationship first in one’s life).
Violence and aggression Terms that refer to behavior that is intended to cause harm.
Cohesiveness Solidarity, loyalty, and a sense of group membership.
Mutual interdependence A shared sense that individuals or groups need each other in order to achieve common goals.
Terrorism The use of violent, unpredictable acts by a small group against a larger group for political, economic, or religious goals.
Central route to persuasion One of the ways persuasive messages can be processed. Involves deeply processing the content of the message.
Peripheral route to persuasion One of the ways persuasive messages can be processed. Involves other aspects of the message including the characteristics of the person imparting the message (the communicator).
Festinger and Carlsmith Conducted the classic experiment about cognitive dissonance in the late 1950s.
Compliance Strategies Strategies used to get others to comply. The foot-in-the-door phenomenon suggests that if you can get people to agree to a small request, they will become more likely to agree to a follow-up request that is larger.
Door-in-the-face compliance strategy One of the compliance strategies used to get others to comply. Suggests that after people refuse a large request, they will look more favorably upon a follow-up request that seems, in comparison, mush more reasonable.
Self-fulfilling prophecy Expectations we have about others can influence the way those others behave. Rosenthal and Jacobson’s 1968 “Pygmalion in the Classroom” experiment explored self-fulfilling prophecies.
Collectivist Cultures A person’s link to various groups such as family or company is stressed, as in Japanese culture. Some cultures are individualistic cultures where the importance and uniqueness of the individual is stressed.
Individualistic Cultures Importance and uniqueness of the individual is stressed. Some cultures are collectivist cultures where a person’s link to various groups such as family or company is stressed.
False-consensus effect Tendency for people to overestimate the number of people who agree with them.
Ethnocentrism Belief that one’s culture (ethnic group, racial group, etc.) is superior to others. A specific kind of prejudice.
Superordinate Goal Contact between hostile groups will reduce animosity if the groups are made to work toward a goal that benefits all and necessitates the participation of all (a superordinate goal).
Attraction research Social psychologists study what factors increase the chance that people will like one another: Similarity, Proximity, Reciprocal liking.
Social impairment Being watched by others hurts performance when the task being observed is a difficult one rather than a simple, well-practiced skill. The opposite effect is social facilitation.
Obedience studies Studies that focus on participants’ willingness to do what another asks them to do.
Group norms Rules about how group members should act. For example, businesses may have rules governing appropriate work dress.
Zimbardo’s prison experiment A group of Stanford students were assigned to either play the role of prison guard or prisoner.
Created by: mrcronk