Chapter 1 Learning Objectives
1. What is social psychology? How is it different from other sciences?
Other psychological fields?
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence
and relate to one another. Social psychology focuses more on how individual
in general, view and affect one another and less on individual’s differences.
2. What does social psychology focus on?
This branch of study focuses more on the individual rather than
3. Be able to (briefly) explain the history of social psychology.
Social psychology only recently came out as a form a specific area of
scientific study. After WWII, psychologists wanted to study why people were
so easily and readily willing to comply with the authority figure of Nazi
4. What are the most important common themes of social psychology,
what do they mean, and why are they important?
o We construct our reality: people intentionally dismiss facts that do not
work in their favor and acknowledge the facts that do.
o The duplex mind: automatic and unconscious mind are continuously
working even though a person’s controlled and conscious mind is not
aware of the switch. (Ex. Cocktail party complex)
o Power of the situation: people in different situations seize opportunities
that are presented to them (ex. Bill Gates)
o Biological roots: actions we do now have a purpose—the environment
we evolved to thrive in is different than the one we live in now
5. In what ways do values influence social psychology? (from the book)
Our inner attitudes affect out behavior. Value influence the types of people
who are attracted to various disciplines. Psychologists investigate how values
form, why they change, and how they influence attitudes and actions.
6. Why can’t we just use common sense to tell us about social
We cannot just use common sense because it does not allow us to
understand the underlying reasons for why we do what we do.
7. What is the hindsight bias?
The tendency to exaggerate how a person knew the out coming of an event
only after the seeing how something was going to turn out –also know as the
8. What is the scientific method? How does it apply to psychology? Purpose, research, hypothesis, experiment, analysis, and conclusion.
Psychologists propose theories that organize their observations and imply
testable hypothesis and practical predictions.
9. What is the difference between a theory and a hypothesis?
Theory: integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events.
Hypothesis: a testable proposition that describes a relationship that may
exist between events—becomes practical when it is predictable
10. What is the difference between an experiment and
Experiments will show cause and effect relationships, whereas correlation
research only shows that relationships exist, yet it doesn’t explain why.
11. What can and can’t correlational research tell us about human
behavior, thoughts, and feelings?
It does not show those factors because it does not explain why or how, it just
tells us that a relationship exists.
12. What is the 3 rdvariable problem with correlational research?
What is the directionality problem?
3rd variable problem: type of confounding in which a third variable leads to a
mistaken causal relationship between two others
directionality problem: A difficulty in the correlational method of research
whereby it is known that two variables are related, but it is unclear which is
causing the other.
13. What is the goal and what are the features of experimental
research? Why are these features important for achieving the goal of
The goal of experimental research is to find a cause and effect relationship in
hopes of explaining behavior.
14. What are independent and dependent variables?
Independent variable: the experimental variable that a researcher
Dependent variable: the variable who reaction is dependent to the
15. What is an operational definition and why is it important?
Operational definition: An operational definition describes exactly what the
variables are and how they are measured within the context of your study. It
is important because it specifically outlines what is being controlled so the
experiment accurately reflects the hypothesis and data. 16. What are the ways in which we evaluate a measure that we are
using to assess a certain construct?
17. What are demand characteristics? (from book)
A demand characteristic is a subtle cue that makes participants aware of
what the experimenter expects to find or how participants are expected to
behave. Demand characteristics can change the outcome of an experiment
because participants will often alter their behavior to conform to the
experimenters expectations. It is important to note that the participant may
or may not be right in their guess. Even if the individual is wrong about the
experimenter's intentions-- can have an influence on how the participant
Chapter 2 Learning Objectives
1. What is the spotlight effect? What is the illusion of transparency and
what does your book say about this and feeling nervous in front of
others? (part from class, part from book)
The spotlight effect refers to the idea that people believe that others are
paying more attention to their appearances and their behavior than they
really are. The illusion of transparency is the illusion that others can read our
concealed emotions and are easily read. The book says that less people are
noticing that we are nervous than what we suppose.
2. What is self-awareness? What is the different between public and
Self-awareness: attention directed at the self—helps motivate us if our goals
are possible. If there is a large discrepancy between who we are and who we
want to be, it feels bad and we try to escape it.
3. What are failings of our self-awareness? Know the 2 examples from
Socks: there were seven identical socks lined up next to one another, and the
participants were told to pick two. When they were asked why, they would
make up reasons. They were unaware that they just picked the socks
because they were the last ones on the end of the line.
Women on cars: men were show two different pictures of two different cars
with the same hot woman on the car. When asked which had better gas
mileage, etc. They responded that they were both about the same, even
though they were completely different cars. 4. What are the different types of self? What happens when there are
discrepancies between them?
Ideal self: the person that you want to be
Ought self: the duty you have as a person
Feared self: the person you dread becoming
When there are discrepancies between the actual self and the other selves,
we may feel sad, anxious, or relieved.
5. What are the 5 ways that we learn about ourselves that we talked
about in class (know their real names) and what are some problems
associated with them?
Looking-glass self: doesn’t explain why we truly hold specific beliefs, values
Introspection: often act a certain way and then base opinions, feelings, and
attitudes off of those actions
Social Comparison: looking at others to determine differences
Self-perception: most people will not tell you the bad things about yourself—
projection of their flaws onto you
Self-Evaluation Maintenance theory: we try to distance ourselves from people
who will make us look bad
6. What are upward and downward social comparisons? When