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Unformatted text preview: Critical Concepts for Final Exam (200/500 points) Chapter 11: Social Psychology • Dissonance (490) o A state of mental discomfort experienced when one holds two or more inconsistent attitudes or beliefs o Cognitive Dissonance (CD) is intensified by performing actions that are incongruent with a person’s typical, positive self-concept. Assumptions of CD Theory • Humans are motivated to maintain a consistent, favorable self- concept. • We expect others to behave consistently. • We expect the same of ourselves. • Per the “pleasure principle,” people are motivated to seek pleasure and to avoid or eliminate discomfort. o Negative reinforcement! o A behavior that is significantly inconsistent with one’s own self-image, beliefs, et cetera. Psychological discomfort induced by the realization of this discrepancy. o Common CD-Reducing Strategies Change Your Behaviors To make them consistent with the dissonant cognition Change Your Beliefs/Attitudes To make them consistent with the dissonant behavior Use “Exception to the Rule” Thinking o Implications Human beings shun processing information in an unbiased fashion, particularly when the topic is one about which we are passionate. We selectively disregard information that would threaten our position. • Attribution (494) – process of assigning cause to behavior o Fundamental Attribution Error Tendency to rely on trait attributions (abilities, characteristics) and to discount situational explanations (environment) of behavior. o Actor/Observer Bias When we observe our own behavior, we tend to take situational factors more into account than we do for others. We make different attributions as actors then we make as observers of others. o Self-Serving Bias Our tendency to make trait attributions for our successes and situational attributions for our failures. o In-Group Bias We tend to like the people in our group a little more than we like the people who are not members. We like our family members more than strangers. We like those who attend our school more than those who don’t. we have a bias toward liking our country’s citizens more than foreigners. o Out-Group Bias Our tendency to see out-group members as being pretty much all alike. “They all look alike” o Addresses how we explain outcomes Who or what is the “agent of causation?” Who or what is responsible for your successes or your failures? o External Attributions Occur when a person appeals to external factors or forces to explain an outcome Most commonly used to rationalize/justify immoral behavior or poor performance. Immoral Behavior: • Victim of circumstances reasoning • “I was seduced.” • Poor Performance • Unusual or unfair conditions o The test was unfair, the book sucks, the professor can’t teach, et cetera o Internal Attributions Occur when a person appeals to internal factors or characteristics to explain an outcome...
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