Final Exam Study Guide
1. What is social psychology? How is it different from other sciences? Other psychological
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 experimentation.
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 Germany.
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. What is the hindsight bias?
o 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 I-knew-
6. What is the difference between an experiment and correlational research?
o Experiments will show cause and effect relationships, whereas correlation
research only shows that relationships exist, yet it doesn’t explain why.
7. What is the 3 variable problem with correlational research? What is the directionality
o 3rd variable problem: type of confounding in which a third variable leads to a
mistaken causal relationship between two others
o 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.
8. What is the goal and what are the features of experimental research? Why are these
features important for achieving the goal of experimental research?
o The goal of experimental research is to find a cause and effect relationship in
hopes of explaining behavior.
9. What is an operational definition and why is it important? o 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.
10. 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)
o 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.
o 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.
11. What are BIRGing and CORFing? What is the function of each?
o BIRGing: basking in reflected glory—bandwagon onto someone else’s victories.
o CORFing: cutting off reflected failure: distance yourself from someone who will
make you look bad
o ―We won‖ but ―they lost‖
12. What are the basic components or ideas of evolutionary theory and how do they
contribute to evolution?
o The basic components are heritability, variation, and natural selection. Human’s
ability to learn and adapt that allows us to promote our genes because of favored
o Heritability: large percentage of genes passed on from parents.
Variation: the small percentage of genes changed randomly
Natural selection: determines which variations are passed on through heredity.
13. What are some of the major gender differences found in research?
o In gender role development, women tend to be more passive than makes. They tend
to strive to help others, and take care of people and things more. The men, however,
tend to strive for power positions. In on study it was estimated that the women
interrupted the man who was speaking five times less, than she would have
interrupted her counterpart.
14. Are there more differences between the genders or between individuals?
o There is more of a difference in the individual than in the gender. Individuals vary in
how they interpret and react to a given situation. Then people choose many of the
situations to help them-- will create their social situations. It all is about the power of
the situation: whether a man or a woman they will both react differently.
15. What are the differences between emotion, affect, and mood?
Emotion Affect Mood
A specific conscious General disposition or state Valence of evaluation
evaluation to some event Ex: I’m in a bad mood toward an event
Ex: I’m afraid of alligators Ex: I have a negative
affective reaction to spiders
16. What is misattribution of arousal and what were the methods and findings of the study
examples we discussed in class?
o White et al. (1981) o Men ran in place for 15 seconds vs. 120 seconds
o Saw a video of an attractive woman or unattractive woman they expected to meet
17. What were the methods and findings of the study on attention and love? Maner, Rouby, &
o In their research experiment, they had 113 participants who were currently in a
romantic relationship. Those who were in the experimental group were told to write
an essay about their romantic partner, while the other half was to write an essay
about a time when they were really happy.
o The scientific hypothesis was that the people thinking about their romantic partner
would pay less attention to the images of attractive people of the opposite sex than
those just thinking happy thoughts. It turned out the hypothesis was correct—in fact,
those thinking about their romantic partner were more compelled to them than to the
18. What is the mere exposure effect and what were the methods and findings of the study on
it that we discussed in class?
o Mere-exposure effect: is the theory that the more people are exposed to a
particular subject, the more they will tend to like it
The more you hear a song on the radio, you are more inclined to like it if
you continue to hear it over and over again.
19. When do attitudes affect behavior? Know the studies that demonstrate that attitudes
o Attitudes typically affect behaviors when a situation currently negatively affects the
o Housing crisis at Cornell: overflowed dorms with students, so the ones sleeping on
the floor and in the study rooms petitioned to the Dean, whereas the students who
had beds did not do anything because they were not being nearly as affected as
those who had beds and rooms to sleep in.
20. What are implicit and explicit attitudes and how do they differ? Is it possible to have
opposing implicit and explicit attitudes?
o Explicit attitudes - controlled and conscious evaluative responses
―I like Johnny Depp‖
o Implicit attitudes – automatic and non-conscious evaluative responses
21. When are implicit vs. explicit attitudes formed?
o Implicit attitudes are subconscious, whereas explicit attitudes can be arranged to
22. What is cognitive dissonance and what are the effects of it?
o Cognitive dissonance: the tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of
two inconsistent cognitions
People will change either behavior or attitude to alleviate the tension.
23. What were the methods and findings of Sherif’s ―vision‖ experiment?
o Subjects sat in a dark room in either groups of 3 or alone. Then when they were
placed in a group over a course of few days their responses to how far the light
traveled, converged to the same measurement.
o Gave answers that support the beliefs of the group.
24. What were the methods and findings of Asch’s conformity experiments? o Asch had 1 participant join 5 others in a room for a visual perception test. At first
everyone would give the same responses, but as time went on, the other 5
confederates would start giving obviously wrong answers.
o To keep dissonance out of the group, the participant would conform, knowingly
that the answer was wrong.
25. What factors decreased conformity in Asch’s experiments?
o On the third trial one of the confederates allied with the participant, and there
seemed to be a division within the group.
26. How and why do the following affect conformity?
a. Group size: the more people in a group, the more likely it is that they all conform
to do or think the same
b. Unanimity: all you need is one other person—in Asch’s study, there was one
dissenter, conformity happened ¼ times as often
27. What were the methods and findings of the ―staring at the sky‖ study?
o In 1968, the social psychologists Stanley Milgram, Leonard Bickman, and
Lawrence Berkowitz decided to cause a little trouble. First they put a single
person on a street corner and had him look up at an empty sky for sixty seconds.
A tiny fraction of the passing pedestrians stopped to see what the guy was
looking at, but most just walked past. Next time around, the psychologists put
five skyward-looking men on the corner.
o This time, four times as many people stopped to gaze at the empty sky. When the
psychologists put fifteen men on the corner, 45 percent of all passers by stopped,
and increasing the cohort of observers yet again made more than 80 per cent of
pedestrians tilt their heads and look up. This study appears at first glance, to be
another demonstration of people's willingness to conform. But in fact it illustrated
something different, namely the idea of "social proof", which is the tendency to
assume that if lots of people are doing something or believe something, there
must be a good reason why.
28. What are the two routes in the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion and what are
characteristics of each?
o Central route to persuasion
o Peripheral route to persuasion
29. What is attitude inoculation and how does it decrease the likelihood of persuasion? (from
class and book)
o Exposing people to weak attacks upon their attitudes so that when stronger
attacks come, they’ll have refutations available
o Counterarguments can prevent persuasion
30. What is the definition of a group? What are the factors of entativity that allow us to see a
group instead of the individual members?
o Group: Two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with
and influence one another
o How much the group is seen as a single unit
Similarity (looks, beliefs)
Shared fate 31. What is deindividuation and how do large crowds induce these feelings? Know the studies
about suicide baiting, trick or treating, and physical anonymity.
o The loss of self-awareness and lack of evaluation apprehension in groups
Consider the baiting of suicidal jumpers
Examined 21 instances of suicidal jumpers when crowds present
When crowd was small and exposed to daylight - baiting much less
Less anonymous and more responsible
o Trick or Treat Study (Diener et al., 1976)
o Asked children to ―take one‖
o Alone or in groups
o Children were either asked their names or left anonymous
o Who took extra candy?
32. What are the definitions of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination? How do they
o Prejudice: a preconceived negative judgment of a group and its individual
o Stereotyping: a belief about the personal attributes of a group of people