Exam Two Study Guide

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Psychology & Brain Sciences
John Bickford

Social Psychology: Exam Two Basking in Reflected Glory  Increasing self-esteem by associating with others who are successful. Beaman et al. (1979)  Halloween trick or treaters.  Greeted at research door and left alone to help themselves to candy, asked to only take one piece  Independent variable: full length mirror behind bowl or no mirror  Dependent variable: how much candy taken  Results: 34% broke the rule when there was no mirror, 12% broke the rule with a mirror present Berglas & Jones (1978)  Cover story: "drugs and intellectual performance"  Independent variable: soluble or insoluble problems on "aptitude text"  Dependent variable: choice of drug before next round  Drug a: helps intellectual performance  Drug b: inhibits intellectual performance  Results:  Soluble problem: helps 87% and inhibits 13%  Insoluble problem: helps 30% and inhibits 70% Cognitive Dissonance Theory  (Leon Festinger, 1957):  assumed we feel tension (dissonance) when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are psychologically inconsistent. We change our thinking to reduce this tension. Defensive Pessimism  (Norem and Cantor)  A strategy in which a person expects the worst, and works harder because of this expectation  Among honor students, defensive pessimists performed better if they were allowed to have evasive expectations Downsides to High Self-Esteem  Some think that having a high self-esteem is beneficial but then there are different levels of self-esteem (narcissistic vs. depressed). Baumeister even says that genocide, slavery and terrorism can all be the likes of high self-esteem. Also, they tend to be less liked and aggressive. Downward Social Comparison  Comparing ourselves to people who are worse off than we are on a particular trait or ability.  I got a C on my exam, but my roommate got a D. I feel better now!  Shelly Taylor: research on breast cancer patients Ego Defensive Function  protects us from unpleasant facts or emotions.  We do this in order to maintain cherished beliefs about ourselves and our world  protecting the self from unwelcome or upsetting information Effort Justification  (Festinger)  people's tendency to attribute a greater value (greater than the objective value) to an outcome they had to put effort into acquiring or achieving. Elaboration Likelihood Model  maintains that there are two different routes of persuasion; the central route and the peripheral route  Central (systematic) route, people think carefully and deliberately about the content of a message, attending to its logic, cogency and arguments as well as to related evidence and principles  Peripheral (heuristic) route, people attend to relatively simple, superficial cue related to the message, such as the length of the message or the expertise or attractiveness of the communicator  little thought is given to the message Fear Appeals  message designed to elicit fear in an attempt to persuade an individual to pursue some pre-defined course of action. Festinger and Carlsmith (1959)  Insufficient justification  participants perform very dull task, asked to lie to incoming participant and sat that it was actually very interesting.  independent variable: $1.00 (dissonance) or $20.00 (no dissonance) reward for lying, or control group (no reward, no lying).  dependent variable: reported enjoyment of task.  result: participants in the control group and $20 group rated the task as boring. Participants paid $1, who had insufficient justification for lying, thought the task was somewhat enjoyable. Gender and Self-Concept  The self is social in at least two ways:  The way we develop our self-conceptions in part on our interactions with others (formation)  The situational context (which often involves other people) can affect how we see ourselves at any given point in tie (activation)  Working self-concept, is the idea that only a subset of a person’s vast pool of self-knowledge is brought to mind in any given context  Includes core self-conceptions along with less central self-conceptions that may vary deepening on the situation. Hostile Media Phenomenon  refers to the finding that people
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