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
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.
(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
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
message designed to elicit fear in an attempt to persuade an individual
to pursue some pre-defined course of action.
Festinger and Carlsmith (1959)
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