Psychology Final Exam Study Guide 04/21/2014
• required readings from March 24 through April 21
o social psychology
o psychological disorders
o treatment of psychological disorders
• topics covered in the top 10 most missed questions from Exams 1 and 2 Social Psychology 04/21/2014
I. Social Psychology – the study of the causes and consequences of sociality
a. Social behavior – how people interact with each other
b. Social influence – how people change each other
c. Social cognition – how people understand each other
d. Only 4 social species on Earth have become ultrasocial
i. Hymenoptera – i.e. aunts, bees, and wasps
iii. Naked mole rats
I. Human beings are the only animal that builds largescale social networks of unrelated individuals
e. Aggression – behavior whose purpose is to harm another
i. Frustrationaggression hypothesis
I. Animals aggress when and only when their goals are frustrated
ii. The best prediction of aggression is gender.
I. Aggression is correlated with the presence of testosterone, which is typically higher in men than in
women, in younger men than older men, and in violent criminals than in nonviolent criminals
II. Testosterone lowers one’s sensitivity to signs of threat
III. ¾ of all murders are classified as “class competitions” or “contests to save face”
a. it’s not men with low selfesteem, but men with unrealistically high
selfesteem who are more prone to aggression
IV. female aggression tends to be more premeditated than impulsive and more likely to be focused on
attaining or protecting their status
a. more likely to cause social harm
iii. aggression varies with time and geography Social Psychology 04/21/2014
I. violent crime in the US is more prevalent in the south where men are taught to act aggressively when
they feel their status has been threatened
II. people learn by example
a. violent video games can lead to violent and uncooperative behavior
f. Cooperation – behavior by two or more individuals that leads to mutual benefit
i. Cooperation is risky
I. Ways to lower the risk:
a. Be able to spot cheaters
b. React strongly when you detect someone cheating
II. Group – a collection of people who have something in common that distinguishes them from others
a. One thing in common between all groups – the people in them tend to
be especially nice to each other
b. Prejudice – a positive or negative evaluation of another person based
on their group membership
c. Discrimination – a positive or negative behavior toward another
person based on their group membership
d. A defining characteristic of groups is hat their members are positively
prejudiced toward other members and tend to discriminate in their
e. Groups don’t fully capitalize on the expertise of their members.
i. Give too little weight to the opinions of members who are
experts and too much to those in high status or who are
ii. Also spend too much time discussing info that is unimportant
and known to everyone and little time discussing info that is
important but known to just a few.
iii. Members like to maintain harmony and are reluctant to rock the
boat even if needed.
iv. In conclusion, groups underperform individuals in a wide variety
f. Deindividuation – occurs when immersion in a group causes people to
become less concerned with their personal values.
i. We are less likely to pay attention to our personal values and
instead adopt the groups values. Social Psychology 04/21/2014
g. Diffusion of responsibility – occurs when individuals feel diminished
responsibility for their actions because they are surrounded by others
who are acting the same way.
h. People who are excluded from groups are typically anxious, lonely,
depressed, and at risk for illness and premature death.
ii. Altruism – behavior that benefits another without benefitting oneself
I. Kin selection – the process by which evolution selects for individuals who cooperate with their relatives
a. Cooperating with relatives is not really altruistic
II. Reciprocal altruism – behavior that benefits another with the exception that those benefits will be
returned in the future
a. Cooperation extended over long periods of time
g. Animals have two goals – survive and reproduce
I. Women tend to be more selective than men.
a. Sex is potentially more costly for them.
b. The reputational costs of sex are much higher.
II. The higher the risk, the more selective people tend to be.
h. Social influence – the ability to control another person’s behavior.
i. 3 basic motivations to make people susceptible to social influence:
I. to experience pleasure and avoid pain
a. hedonic motive
i. can backfire
1. when an individual feels they’re being rewarded to do
a particular task – if there’s no reward, why do it
2. People don’t like to feel manipulated.
II. to be accepted and avoid rejection Social Psychology 04/21/2014
a. approval motive
i. norms – customary standards for behavior that are widely
shared by members of a culture.
ii. Normative influence – occurs when another person’s behavior
provides information about what is appropriate.
1. Norm of reciprocity – the unwritten rule that people
should benefit those who have benefitted them.
iii. Doorintheface technique – a strategy that uses reciprocating
concessions to influence behavior.
1. Ask for a large favor and expect a negative response,
then ask for a smaller favor and the chances of a
positive response rise exponentially.
2. Seems as if you are negotiating and they feel that
they must at least consider negotiations as well.
iv. Conformity – the tendency to do what others do simply because
others are doing it
1. Results in part from normative influence
2. The behavior of others can tell us what is proper,
appropriate, expected, and accepted – it can define a
norm which we feel obliged to honor.
v. Obedience – the tendency to do what powerful people tell us to
III. to believe what is right and avoid believing what is wrong
a. accuracy motive
b. attitude – an enduring positive or negative evaluation of an object or
c. belief – an enduring piece of knowledge about an object or event
d. informational influence – occurs when another person provides
information about what is good and right
e. persuasion – occurs when a person’s attitudes or beliefs are
influenced by a communication from another person
i. systematic persuasion – the process by which attitudes or
beliefs are changed by appeals to reason
1. appeals to logic and reason Social Psychology 04/21/2014
2. assumes people will be more persuaded when
evidence and arguments are stronger rather than
ii. heuristic persuasion – the process by which attitudes or beliefs
are changed by appeals to habit or emotion
1. appeals to habit and emotion
2. assumes that rather than weighing the evidence and
analyzing arguments, people will often use heuristics
– simple shortcuts or “rules of thumb” – to help them
decide whether to believe a communication
i. footinthedoor technique – a technique that involves a small
request followed by a larger request.
ii. Cognitive dissonance – an unpleasant state that arises when a
person recognizes the inconsistency of his or her actions,
attitudes, or beliefs.
1. People naturally try to relieve cognitive dissonance by
changing their actions, attitudes, or beliefs in order to
restore consistency among them.
i. Social cognition – the process by which people come to understand others.
i. Stereotyping – the process by which we draw inferences about others based on
knowledge of the categories by which they belong
I. Stereotypes can be inaccurate.
a. Most of what we know about the members of human categories is
hearsay – stuff we picked up from other sources.
II. Stereotypes can be overused.
III. Stereotypes can be selfperpetuating.
a. Perceptual confirmation – the tendency for people to see what they
expect to see
b. Selffulfilling prophecy – the tendency for people to cause what they
expect to see
i. Stereotype threat – fear of confirming an observer’s stereotype
c. Subtyping – the tendency for people who are faced with disconfirming
evidence to modify their stereotypes rather than abandon them
IV. Stereotyping can be automatic.
a. Stereotyping happens unconsciously and automatically. Social Psychology 04/21/2014
i. We don’t always know we are using them
ii. We often cannot avoid using them even when we try
V. Attributions – inferences about the causes of people’s behaviors
a. Situational attributions – occur when we decide a person’s behavior
was caused by some temporary aspect of the situation in which it
i. Ex: a politician just wants a certain groups votes so sides with
them on issues
b. Dispositional attributions – occur when we decide that a person’s
behavior was caused by his or her relatively enduring tendency to
think, feel, or act in a particular way
i. Ex: a politician actually feels the way he or she sides on
important issues and isn’t just choosing the side to acquire
c. The covariation model helps determine how or why attributions are
made, or how we determine the cause of someone else’s behavior.
i. Consistency – the regularity of the action
ii. Distinctiveness – the generality of the action
iii. Consensus – the typicality of the action
d. Correspondence bias – the tendency to make a dispositional
attribution even when a person’s behavior was caused by the situation
i. Also called “fundamental attribution error”
ii. Causes of correspondence bias:
1. The causes of behavior are often invisible.
2. Situational attributions tend to be more complex than
dispositional attributions and require more time and
iii. Actorobserver effect – the tendency to make situational
attributions for our own behaviors while making dispositional
attributions for the identical behavior of others
1. People typically have more information about the
situations that caused their own behavior.
j. Some decisions are based on sound judgments, others are not.
i. Rational choice theory – we make decisions by determining how likely something is to
happen, judging the value of the outcome, and then multiplying the two
I. Our judgments will vary depending on the value we assign to the possible outcomes. Social Psychology 04/21/2014
ii. Frequencies – the number of times something will happen
iii. Probabilities – the likelihood that something will happen
iv. Availability bias – items that are more readily available in memory are judged as having
occurred more frequently
I. Frequently occurring items are remembered more easily than infrequently occurring items.
a. Often incorrectly conclude that items for which you have better
memory must also have been more frequent.
II. Heuristics – fast and efficient strategies that may facilitate decision making but do not guarantee that a
solution will be reached
a. “rules of thumb”
III. algorithm – a welldefined sequence of procedures or rules that guarantees a solution to a problem
v. conjunction fallacy – people think that two events are more likely to occur together than
either individual event
I. representativeness heuristic – making a probability judgment by comparing an object to a prototype of
the object or event
vi. framing effect – occurs when people give different answers to the same question
depending on how the problem is phrased (or framed)
I. sunkcost fallacy – occurs when people make decisions about a current situation based on what they
have previously invested in the situation
vii. prospect theory – argues that people choose to take on risks when evaluating potential
losses and avoid risks when evaluating potential gains
I. 2 phases:
a. people simplify available information
b. people choose the prospect tat they believe offers the “best value”
II. certainty effect – suggests that when making decisions, people give greater weight to outcomes that
are a sure thing
III. when evaluating choices, people compare them to a reference point
IV. people are more willing to take risks to avoid losses tan to achieve gains
viii. frequency format hypothesis – our minds evolved to notice how frequently things occur,
not how likely they are to occur
I. we interpret, process, and manipulate information about frequency with comparative ease because
that’s the way quantitative information usually occurs in natural circumstances
II. people can track frequencies effortlessly and flawlessly
ix. individuals with prefrontal brain damage make riskier decisions because they cannot
initially see the longterm affect.
I. Substancedependent individuals respond the same way. Social Psychology 04/21/2014
Aspects of risky decisionmaking depend critically on the contributions of the prefrontal cortex. Intelligence 04/21/2014
I. Intelligence – the ability to direct one’s thinking, adapt to one’s circumstances, and learn from one’s
I. Williams syndrome
i. Caused by the absence of 20 genes on chromosome 7
ii. Profoundly impairs general cognitive abilities, but leaves individuals with talent for music
iii. Commonly can’t count or distinguish right from left
II. Henry Goddard
i. Psychologist in the 1920s who distributed intelligence tests to new immigrants on Ellis
Island and American families to determine the feebleminded.
1. Goddard wanted to separate those who scored poorly from the general
population and keep them from procreating.
ii. His determinations caused a restriction to be placed on immigrants from Southern and
Eastern Europe, and 27 states passed laws requiring the sterilization of “mental
III. Alfred Binet (Psychologist) & Theodore Simon (Physician)
i. French government called on them to develop a test to allow educators to develop
remedial programs for children who were behind.
1. Test covered what the best students could do and the worst could not to
determine the future success of the children in between.
2. Designed to measure aptitude for learning independent of prior academic
a. Called it a test of “natural intelligence”
3. The suggested teachers use the test to determine a students’ “mental age”
a. How they compare to the others in their peer/age group(s) to
determine which children require remedial education
IV. Lewis Terman (American Psychologist)
ii. ratio IQ – a statistic obtained by dividing a person’s mental age by the person’s physical
age and then dividing the quotient by 100
1. this was an imperfect formula with many longterm flaws
2. researchers devised a new measure Intelligence 04/21/2014
a. deviation IQ – a statistic obtained by dividing a person’s test score by
the average test score of people in the same age group and then
multiplying the quotient by 100
i. doesn’t allow comparisons between people of different ages
1. modern researcher use ratio IQ for children and
deviation IQ for adults
V. intelligence tests do not “measure” intelligence.
i. They measure the ability to answer questions and perform tasks that are highly
correlated with the ability to get good grades, solve realworld problems, and so on.
VI. Most widely used intelligence tests
1. Based on Binet and Simon’s research but updated by Terman and his
colleagues at Stanford University
1. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
2. 13 subtests which involve (more than what’s listed below):
a. seeing similarities and differences
b. drawing inferences
c. working out and applying rules
d. remembering and manipulating material
e. constructing shapes
f. articulating the meaning of words
g. recalling general knowledge
h. explaining practical actions in everyday life
i. working with numbers
j. attending to details Intelligence 04/21/2014
3. 3 subtests require writing things down
4. none require writing words
VII. Intelligence test scores are highly correlated with just about every outcome that human being care
i. Best predictor of how many years of education an individual will receive
1. Thus occupational status and income as well
ii. Strong correlation between the average intelligence score of a nation and its overall
iii. Best predictor of how well employees will perform at their job
iv. Can predict how likely people are commit crimes and how long people are likely to live
v. Predict performance on basic cognitive tasks
vi. The more an intelligent an individual the more likely they are to be liberal and atheistic
VIII.Factor analysis – a statistical technique that explains a large number of correlations in terms of a small
number of underlying factors
i. If intelligence is a single, general ability, then there should be a very strong positive
correlation between people’s performances on all kinds of tests.
IX. Twofactor theory of intelligence (Spearman)
i. Every task requires a combination of a general ability and skills that are specific to the
X. Thurstone’s primary mental abilities:
i. Perceptual ability
ii. Verbal ability
iii. Numerical ability
iv. We have different abilities, and not necessarily all of them
1. Meaning intelligence is to ability as athletics is to basketball
XI. Confirmatory factor analysis – the correlations between scores on different mental ability tests are best
described by a 3 level hierarchy Intelligence 04/21/2014
i. General factor at the top
ii. Specific factors at the bottom
iii. Group factors in the middle
iv. This theory suggests that people have a very general ability called intelligence, which is
made up of a small set of middlelevel abilities, which are made up of a large set of
specific abilities that are unique to particular tasks
XII. John Carroll (Psychologist)
i. Found the existence of 8 middlelevel abilities:
1. Memory and learning
2. Visual perception
3. Auditory perception
4. Retrieval ability
5. Cognitive speediness
6. Processing speed
7. Crystalized intelligence – the ability to retain and use knowledge that was
acquired through experience
b. generally assessed by tests of vocabulary, factual information, etc.
8. Fluid intelligence – the ability to see abstract relationships and draw logical
b. assessed by tests that pose novel, abstract problems that must be
solved under time pressure
i. Conclusions are based on hard evidence
ii. Incapable of discovering any middlelevel ability that intelligence tests didn’t already
measure Intelligence 04/21/2014
1. May be incapable of revealing the middlelevel abilities such as imagination
iii. Robert Sternberg (Psychologist)
1. Suggests there are 3 kinds of intelligence
a. Analytic intelligence – the ability to identify and define problems and to
find strategies to solve them
b. Creative intelligence – the ability to generate solutions that other
people do not
c. Practical intelligence – the ability to apply and implement these
solutions in everyday settings
iv. Howard Gardner (Psychologist)
1. Believes standard intelligence tests fail to measure some important human
a. Prodigies – people of normal intelligence who have an extraordinary
b. Savants – people of low intelligence who have an extraordinary ability
2. 8 kinds of intelligence
3. argues standard intelligence tests only measure the first 3 of the 8 because
they are most valued by Western culture
a. but other cultures may see intelligence differently Intelligence 04/21/2014
v. John Mayer & Peter Salovey (Psychologists)
1. Emotional intelligence – the ability to reason about emotions and to use
emotions to enhance reasoning
a. Know what emotions certain events will trigger
b. Can identify, describe and manage their emotions
c. Know how to use their emotions to improve their decisions
d. Can identify other people’s emotions and from facial expressions and
tone of voice
e. They do all this very easily
i. Show less neural activity when solving emotional problems than
emotionally unintelligent people
f. Tend to be happier and more satisfied with life
i. Better relationships, more friends, better social skills in general
XIV.Both nature and nurture influence intelligence
i. Is intelligence based on genetics?
1. Members of a family have similar levels of intelligence because they share
genes, environment, or sometimes both.
2. Siblings with the same parents but different birthdays share 50% of their
3. Fraternal twins (dizygotic) – twins who develop from two different eggs that
were fertilized by two different sperm who happen to have the same birthday
share 50% of their genes
4. Identical twins (monozygotic) – twins who develop from the splitting of a single
egg that was fertilized by a single sperm – share 100% of their genes
a. Similar intelligence scores regardless of environment
b. Thus genes do quite a bit in determining intelligence
ii. Heritability coefficient (h^2) – a statistic that describes the proportion of the difference
between people’s scores that can be explained by differences in their genes
1. The intelligence of a single person is a product of both genes and experience
and cannot be “due” to one of these things more than another
2. Tells us why people in a particular group differ from one another Intelligence 04/21/2014
a. Value can change depending on the particular group of people
3. Shared environment – those environmental factors that are experienced by all
relevant members of a household
4. Nonshared environment – those environmental factors that are not
experienced by all relevant members of a household
iii. Alfred Binet (1909)
1. Believed intelligence could grow over time with the appropriate training,
iv. Relative intelligence is generally stable over time.
v. Absolute intelligence can change considerably over time.
1. As Binet suspected.
2. Tends to decrease across the lifespan, but increase across generations
a. The Flynn Effect
i. James Flynn (Philosopher)
ii. Accidental discovery
iii. The average intelligence score has been rising by about 0.3%
1. Average person today scores 15 IQ points higher
than average person 50 years ago.
vi. Environmental influence
1. Higher socioeconomic status (SES) correlates with higher IQ
a. 1218 IQ points separate the average lowSES individual from a high
b. lowSES children have poorer nutrition and medical care, greater
stress and greater exposure to environmental toxins
i. all can impair brain development
c. highSES parents are more likely to ask stimulating questions
i. by age 3, highSES c