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Psych 102 Midterm 1 Review.docx

Course Code
PSYC 102
David Klonsky
Study Guide

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Chapter 14- Social Psychology
Social Thinking
Social psychology- the scientific study of how we think about, influence and relate
to one another (why do people act differently in different situations)
Attribution theory- we explain someone’s behavior by crediting either the
situation or the person’s disposition
Fundamental attribution error- tendency for observers, when analyzing one’s
behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the impact
of personal disposition
Ex. In classroom, Juliette seldom talks; therefore she’s shy (at a party, ‘shy’
Juliette is unrecognizable)
Westerners more often attribute behavior to individualistic traits
We are more likely to commit the fundamental attribution error when a
stranger acts badly
**Our attributions, to a person’s disposition or situation, have real consequences
Attitudes and Actions
Attitudes- feelings, often influenced by our beliefs that predispose us to respond in
a particular way to objects, people, and events
Our attitudes affect our actions; our actions affect our attitudes
Attitudes affect our actions
Peripheral route persuasion- occurs when people are influenced by
incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness
Ex. A perfume may lure us with images of beauty
Central route persuasion-occurs when interested people focus on
arguments and respond with favorable thoughts
Ex. Evidence
Actions affect Attitudes
Attitudes follow behavior
Foot-in-the-door phenomenon- the tendency for people who have first
agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request
Doing becomes believing
Role- a set of expectations about a social position, defining how those in the
position ought to behave (acting becomes reality)
Ex. Stanford Prison simulation

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Cognitive dissonance theory- we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance)
we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent; when we become aware
that our attitudes and actions clash, we change our attitudes
Social Influence
Automatic mimicry- We are natural mimics, unconsciously imitating others’
expressions, postures, and voice tones
Conformity and Social Norms
Conformity- adjusting our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group
Asch Line Study (line test): We are more likely to conform if we
o Are made to feel insecure
o Are in a group
o Are in a group in which everyone agrees
o Admire the group’s status
o Etc.
Normative social influence- influence resulting from a person’s desire to
gain approval or avoid disapproval (to belong)
Informational social influence- influence resulting from one’s willingness
to accept others’ opinions about reality
Ex. I choose ubc b/c my family and friends say it’s better than sfu
Obedience Studies
Milgram’s ‘shock’ experiments; obedience is highest when
o The person giving orders was a legitimate authority figure
o The authority figure was supported by a prestigious institution
o The victim was depersonalized/at a distance
o No role models for defiance
Strong social influences can make people conform to falsehoods or capitulate to
cruelty, and vice versa
Group Behavior
Social facilitation- stronger responses on simple or well-learned tasks in the
presence of othersstrengthens our likeliest response (experts do better,
amateurs do worse)
Social Loafing- tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when
pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually
accountable (ex. Tug of war)
Deindividuation- the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group
situations that foster arousal and anonymity
Ex. Internet bullies hide behind anonymity

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Group Polarization- the enhancement of a group’s prevailing inclinations through
discussion within the group
Ex. When high-prejudice students discussed racial issues, they became more
prejudiced; when low-prejudice students discussed racial issues, they became more
terrorism= “us” vs “them” mentality
Groupthink- the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in
a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives
Ex. Bay of Pigs fiasco (JFK implements a U.S invasion of Cuba which fails,
upon rumination of ‘why’ the decision was made, to preserve the good feeling of
being elected, JFK and his team suppressed/self-censored dissenting views
**despite the dangers or groupthink, two heads are still better than one
In affirming the power of social influence, we need not overlook the power of
individuals Social control (situation) and Personal control (individual) interact
Minority Influence= the power of individuals to sway majorities
Ex. Gandhi
Social Relations
Prejudice- an unjustifiable (usually negative) attitude toward a group and its
members, generally involves
1. stereotyped beliefs
2. emotions (negative feelings)
3. 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 and its members
Social roots of prejudice
Just-world phenomenon- the tendency for people to believe the world is
just and that people therefore get what they deserve
Ex. The rich’s wealth and poor’s misfortunate are rightfully deserved
Ingroup- ‘Us’- people with whom we share a common identity
Outgroup- ‘Them’- those perceived as different or apart from our ingroup
Ingroup bias- the tendency to favor our own group
Ex. Most republicans believed taxes had increased under Obama (in reality,
they didn’t)
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