helping others without concern for personal benefits


way of thinking about a person, idea, or object that is based on personal evaluations and beliefs


causal explanation for events or behaviors

bystander effect

phenomenon in which a person is unlikely to give aid if other people are present but not intervening

central route to persuasion

direct route to attitude or behavior change based on logic, data, and facts

cognitive dissonance

psychological discomfort arising from having two or more inconsistent attitudes or behaviors


type of social influence involving a change in thoughts, feelings, or behaviors in an effort to fit in with a group


loss of self-awareness in groups

diffusion of responsibility

tendency for people to take less responsibility for their individual behavior when others are present


unfair treatment of people based solely on their social group


idea that people's behavior is motivated by self-serving interests

frustration-aggression hypothesis

idea that blocked progress toward a goal creates frustration, which then promotes aggressive behavior

fundamental attribution error

tendency to overestimate the role of personal factors in other people's behavior and to underestimate the role of situational factors

group polarization

ability of group discussion to shift individuals to positions that are more extreme than their initial opinions


decision-making process in which pressure to align with the group consensus discourages critical thinking and leads to flawed reasoning


tendency for people to form friendships, romantic relationships, and business partnerships with those who are similar to themselves

Implicit Association Test (IAT)

assessment used to uncover unconscious biases about certain people or groups

implicit bias

negative attitudes, stereotypes, and behaviors toward members of a group that occur mostly outside of a person's conscious awareness

in-group bias

tendency to positively attribute behaviors to one's in-group and negatively attribute behaviors to an out-group

inoculation effect

developing resistance to persuasion through repeated exposure to arguments that challenge one's beliefs

just-world hypothesis

hypothesis stating that people deserve what they get and get what they deserve

mere exposure effect

tendency for people to develop a preference for people and things that are familiar

out-group homogeneity

belief that all members of an out-group are similar

peripheral route to persuasion

indirect route to attitude or behavior change based on a large number of superficial arguments


preconceived negative attitude or belief toward a person or group that is not based on evidence or experience

scapegoat hypothesis

describes the tendency for in-group members to blame people outside their in-group for their frustrations or disappointments

social exchange theory

theory that people are inclined to maximize rewards and minimize costs in relationships

social facilitation

phenomenon in which people perform better in front of an audience than when alone

social loafing

phenomenon in which people working in a group put forth less effort than they would if working alone

social script

expected behaviors, actions, and consequences for a specific situation