PSYC 201 Midterm Review Sheet
What is a construal?
• a personal interpretation about situations and other people’s behaviors.
How do construals impact our thoughts & behavior?
• People’s Behavior is determined by their own interpretation of the
environment/people, not what the experimenter thinks it is.
What is the definition of social psychology?
• The scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in
How is social psychology different from other disciplines? Personality? Sociology?
• Personality Psychology – stresses personality traits, dispositions, individual
differences rather than the social situation. Social psychologists examine how
individuals react “on average” in social situations.
• Cognitive Psychology – the study of how people perceive, think about, and
remember aspects of the world (e.g., language processing, memory, visual
• Sociology – the study of people in the aggregate (group level rather than
individual level). – the society/group is the unit of analysis
How are social psychological theories different from folk/lay theories?
• Understand the validity behind “folk-theory”
• Social Psychology tends to use more experiments than related social sciences.
• Social psych theories are tested
What is the difference between independent and interdependent
• In the West (Northwestern Europe & NorthAmerica), independence is
• In the East (Asian, Mediterranean,African, SouthAmerican),
interdependence is emphasized
• B = f(P,E)
• Behavior is a function of a Person and his or her Environment
What are the differences between observational, archival, survey, and experimental
• Observational – observing and taking notes
• Archival – looking at the past and making inferences • Correlational - Research that examines the (linear) relationship between
variables without assigning participants to different situations or conditions.
• Experimental – making a hypothesis and testing it
What are the different components of an experiment?
What are reliability and validity?
• Reliability - How consistently a test will measure the variable of interest. If
you took the same test twice, would it give you the same score?
• •Validity (Measurement Validity)- The degree that a test accurately measures
the variable of interest. For instance, are IQ tests true measures of what
people think of as intelligence?
What is hindsight bias?
What is important about experiments? Why do we like using experiments in social
What is the difference between a correlational and experimental study?
What is random assignment? Why is random assignment important?
• Randomly assigning who receives the independent variable
What are the individual, relational, and collective selves?
What did we learn about birth-order effects? How are younger and older siblings
• OLDER siblings are more dominant, achievement oriented, and
conscientious; invest in the status quo
• YOUNGER siblings are more agreeable, open to new experiences/ideas, and
rebellious; challenge the family status quo.
What is the principle of diversification?
• Diversification: Siblings may take on different niches in the family to
What is self-complexity theory? What does it say about how people handle negative
• People who have many contingencies of self-worth may have smaller
decreases in self-esteem after failure in any one domain
What is social comparison theory?
• Social comparisons: People often form judgments about their traits and
abilities by comparing themselves to others.
• Downwards = self-esteem motivation
• Upwards = decrease self-esteem, but lead to an improvement motivation
When is it most likely to occur?
• This comparison is done when people have no objective standard by which to
What is the better-than-average effect? When is it likely to emerge?
• Tend to report the self as better than average on most traits – (popularity,
kindness, driving abilities) What is the self-image bias?
• Tendency to weigh our evaluations of other people by how we view our self
• Ex. If you value your intelligence, judge others based on intelligence
What is self-discrepancy theory?
• Individuals want to resolve discrepancies of who they are with who they want
to be or ought to be
• Actual self: the self we truly believe ourselves to be
• Ideal self: the person we aspire/want to be
• Ought self: the person we feel we should be, the person others want us to be
What are the emotional outcomes when we fail to live up to our ideal and ought
How do these different possible selves relate to promotion and prevention focuses?
• Promotion focus
Focus on positive outcomes and moving toward becoming our ideal self
Thinking about “ideal” leads to promotion/sensitivity to positive experiences.
• Prevention focus
Focus on negative outcomes and attempt to avoid not living up to our ought
Thinking about “ought” leads to prevention/sensitivity to negative
What is self-verification theory? What are the important research findings on self-
• People want to be known and understood by others according to their
attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about themselves. Sometimes people don’t do
things that will boost their self esteem, people desire others to have an
accurate view of who they are
What is the self-evaluation maintenance model?
• SEM-People are motivated to elevate our self-esteem
How do people use social comparisons to help maintain high self-esteem?
• Make downwards comparison to raise their self esteem
What is basking in reflected glory?
• Reflection: People can boost self-esteem by associating with the positive
accomplishments of others
What is self-handicapping? What are the different types of self-handicapping?
• Tendency to engage in self-defeating behavior to prevent others from
assuming a poor performance was due to a lack of ability, examples: taking
cognition impairing drugs, not practicing, give a competitor an advantage
• People who handicap: high self esteem- preserve image, low self esteem- keep
image from going lower
What have we learned about self-esteem?
What are the benefits of high self-esteem?
What is the “dark side” of high self-esteem?
What is the sociometer hypothesis? • We can predict behavior using self-esteem
• Our esteem is based on social relationships
What are contingencies of self-worth?
• Domains that are important to an individual’s evaluation of the self
What is the self-reference effect? How does this relate to memory?
• Better memory for information related to the self
• Self:Aperson's particular nature or qualities that make a person unique and
distinguishable from others
• Traits: characteristic ways that you think feel, and act that mark you as
different from others
• Self-schema: cognitive structures, derived from past experience, that
represent a person’s beliefs and feelings about the self in particular domains
• We tend to define ourselves by the things that make us unique in the current
• SELF ESTEEM: Overall positive or negative evaluation we have of
ourselves; trait vs. state.
• Trait self-esteem – enduring level of regard we have for ourselves. Stable
• State self-esteem – dynamic and changing feelings about the self, felt at
different moments in time
What is the difference between bottom-up and top-down processing?
• Bottom up- data driven information processing, judgments are made by
taking info in piece by piece
• Top down – information processing guided by prior knowledge, fitted and
interpreted by expectations, goal-directed, schematic processing is example
What is pluralistic ignorance?
• Misperception of a group norm that results from observing people who are
acting against their private beliefs for fear of social consequences
What did we learn about memory?
• Memory is reconstructive
• People use cues or clues to build their memory
How does memory work?
• Memory is not a passive recorder (like a tape recorder or a video camera). It
is actively constructed and involves forming inferences (like a detective
rebuilding the scene of a crime).
How does memory differ for schema-consistent vs. schema-inconsistent information?
What are memory biases?
• Memories may be biased by inferences and show frequent errors too
• Expectations of what should have happened influence memories of what did happen
What is the negativity bias?
• More attention is paid to negative information than positive information
• Information framed in negative ways will elicit stronger responses
What are framing effects?
• The influence on judgment resulting from the way information is presented
What are primacy and recency effects? What do they both result from?
• Primacy-When information presented first in a list has disproportionate
influence on subsequent judgments
• Recency- When information presented last in a list has disproportionate
influence on subsequent judgments
What is confirmation bias?
• Tendency to test an idea by searching for confirming evidence
What is the difference between firsthand and secondhand information?
• Firsthand-Information based on personal experience or observation
• Secondhand-Information that comes from other sources, like gossip, news
accounts, books, magazines, the Internet, and so on
How can firsthand information be biased?
• Pluralistic Ignorance and Memory Biases
How can secondhand information be biased?
• Sharpening and Leveling
What are sharpening and leveling?
• Sharpening- emphasizing the most important and interesting points
• Leveling- de-emphasizing the least important/interesting points
What are heuristics?
• Intuitive mental operations that allow us to make decisions quickly and
efficiently, shortcuts, rules of thumbs
What is the availability heuristic? What did Schwarz’s assertiveness study have to say
• People make judgements of frequency based on how easily something comes
• Participants were asked to recall and describe either 6 or 12 examples of time
when they were assertive
• Conclusion: people aren’t using the number of instances that come to mind
to judge frequency, but rather, how easy those instances come to mind
What is the representativeness heuristic?
• Judgments based on how similar something is to a group prototype
What is an illusory correlation?
What is priming? How do social psychologists use priming? What are some examples of
• implicit memory effect in which exposure to a stimulus influences a response
to a later stimulus
Chapter 5 What is attribution theory?
• How people assign causes to the events around them & what effects those
What are causal attributions?
• The explanation/cause we give for a behavior
What are explanatory styles?
• Aperson’s habitual way of explaining events
What are the three dimensions?
• Internal / External – “The source”
–Degree that cause is linked to the self or to the external situation
–Is it because of you/the person or because of someone else?
• Stable / Unstable - “The persistence”
–Degree that the cause is seen as fixed or as something that is temporary
–Is the cause going to continue to be present in the future?
• Global / Specific – “The pervasiveness”
–Degree that the cause is seen as affecting other domains in life or is restricted to
affecting one specific domain
Does the cause only affect this specific situation?
What is a pessimistic explanatory style?
• Internal, stable, global attributions habitually made for negative events
“It’s my fault,” “I am no good at anything,” “I’m never going to be able to.”
What is the covariation principle?
• When people are likely to make internal/external attributions about reason
the person did a behavior
• Person Doing a Behavior to an Entity/Target
What are consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency?
–What would most people do in the given situation
–“Would another person do the same behavior to the entity?”
–How does the same person react to different entities
–“Is the behavior just to this specific entity or, is all entities?”
–Would the person act the same way again
–“Does it happen all the time or is it rare?”
What leads you to form an internal (dispositional) attribution?
• Internal: personality traits, individual differences
What leads you to form an external (situati