Social Psychology Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Social Psychology
the study of how others incluence our thoughts, feelings, and actions
process of explaining the cause of behaviors or events
We do attributions by:
determining whether actions resulted from internal (dispostional) factors or external (situational) factors
Two key factors in errors in mistaken attribution
fundamental attribution error and self-serving bias
fundamental attribution error (FAE)
Attributing people's behavior to internal (dispostional) causes rather than external (situational) factors
Sailency Bias
Focusing on the most noticeable (salient) factors when explaining the causes of behavior
Just-World Phenomenon
Tendency to believe that people generally get what they deserve
Self-Serving Bias
Taking credit for our successes and externalizing our failures
learned predisposition to respond cognitively, affectively, and behaviorally to a particular object
Attitudes have three components
cognitive (thinking), affective (empotional) and behaviroral (action)
Cognitive Dissonance
Unpleasant tension and anxiety caused by a discrepancy between an attitude and a behavior
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Step 1 - people are motivated to maintian consistency in their thoughts, feelings and actions; Step 2 - When inconsistencies or conflicts exist between our thoughts, feelings and actions, they can lead to... Step 3 - Strong tension and discomfort (cognitive dissonance); Step 4 - To reduce this cognitive dissonance, we are motivated to change our attitude or behavior
Cognitive Dissonance Theory Example
Smoking cigarettes is unhealthy<--unplesant tension and anxiety (cognitive dissonance)-->I smoke cigarettes, so you can -->change behavior (Smoking cigarettes is unhealthy->I can't smoke cigarettes anymore OR -->change attitude (Research on smoking is incomclusive->I can still smoke cigarettes
Prejudice (Attitude)
A learned, generally negative, attitude toward members of a group; includes thoughts (sterotypes), feelings, and behavioral tendencies (possible discrimination)
a set of beliefs about the characteristics of people in a group that is generalized to all group members; also, the cognitive componet of prejudice
Discrimination (Action)
negative behaviors directed at members of a group
Five Major sources of Prejudice and Discrimination
Learning, Personal Experience, Limited Resources, Displaced Aggression, and Mental Shortcuts
Interpersonal Attraction
positive feelings toward another
Three key factors in attraction
Physical attractiveness, proximity and similarity
Attraction based on geographic closeness
Similarity (Need Complementarity)
attraction towards those with qualities we admire but persoanlly lack
Similarity (Need Compatibility)
Attraction based on sharing similar needs
going along with others - changing behavior because of real or imagined group pressure
normative Social influence
conforming to group pressure out of a need for approval and acceptance
Cultural rule of behavior prescribing what is acceptable in a given situation
Informational social influence
Conforming because of a need for information and direction
Reference Group
people we conform to, or go along with, because we like and admire them and want to be like them
following direct commands, usually from an autority figure
Milgram's Four Factors in Obedience
Legitimacy and closeness of the authority figure, remoteness of victim, assignemnt of responsibility, and modeling or imitating others
Stanely Milgram's Obedience Study
investigating obedience to authority not punishment and learning
Zimbardo's prison study
showed how demands of roles and situraitons could produce dramatic changes in behaivor in just a few days
reduced self-consciousness, inhibition, and personal responsibility that sometimes occurs in a group, particularly when the members feel anonyous -- ex. Lost in a crowd
Group polorization
group's movement toward either riskier or more conservative behavior, demending on the members's initial dominant tendency
faulty decision making that occurs when a highly cohesive group strives for aggreement and avoids inconsistent information
Symptons of Groupthink
Illusion of invulnerability, belief in the morality of the group, collective rationalizations, sterotypes of outgroups, self-censorship of doubts and dissenting opinions, illusion of unanimity, and direct pressure of dissenters
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