Psych 350 - Social Psychology
Exam 2 – Lecture Study Guide
This study guide is intended to help you focus your studying and is not meant to reveal
any secrets of the exam. Some topics on this study guide will not be included on the
exam and some topics will be on the exam but not appear on the study guide.
Note that I’ll often write “what is X” on the study guide. When studying, make sure not to
simply memorize a single definition of X. Instead, make sure that you understand what
that concept is at a deep level and make sure that you are able to recognize examples
of that psychological principle.
1. What is the classical view of how we came to know ourselves? Does that
produce accurate self-views? For what types of information?
2. What is the accuracy motive? Self-verification? Self-enhancement?
a. Accuracy motive- motivated to believe what is right and avoid believing
what is wrong. Relies on both attitude and belief.
3. What are the three positive illusions? Know and understand how they contribute
to overly positive self-views.
a. We think we are better than average.
i. We (sometimes mistakenly) think we have more good traits and
success and fewer flaws and failures than other people.
b. Overestimate our amount of control.
i. We think we have more control over events than we actually do
c. We’re unrealistically optimistic.
i. Overconfidence that good things will happen to us and bad things
4. Know about self-affirmation and how it relates to self-enhancement. What is the
self-evaluation model? Comparison? Reflection? Know details about each.
a. Self-affirmation theory- focuses on efforts to maintain an overall sense of
self-worth when we are confronted with feedback or events that threaten a
valued self-image, such as a getting a poor test grade or health
information indicating we are at risk for a specific illness.
b. Self enhancement-the desire to maintain, increase, or protect positive
views of self.
i. When we make downward social comparisons, this is self-
enhancement at work.
5. What is the working self concept? How does culture shape perceptions of the
self? What are two ways of thinking about the self that differ across cultures?
a. Refers to the dynamic, changeable self-evaluations a person experiences
as momentary feelings about the self. Much as your working self-concept
changes from one context to the next, so does your state self-esteem.
6. Understand self esteem and contingent self-esteem, including relations to gender and culture and the differences between trait and state.
a. Contingent self-esteem- the domains in life that affect self-esteem differ
from person to person. Self-esteem is contingent on-rises and falls with
successes and failures in domains on which a person has based his or her
b. Self-esteem: refers to the overall positive or negative evaluation people
have of themselves.
7. Understand the sociometer model of self-esteem. How does your family relate to
how you think about yourself?
a. An idea that maintains that self-esteem is an internal, subjective index or
marker of the extent to which a person is included or looked on favorably
8. Know the difference between the looking glass self and reflected self appraisals,
including when you expect one to occur more than the other.
a. Looking glass self- we define ourselves in terms of how others see us.
i. True in some relationships, e.g., parent/child.
b. Reflected self-appraisal- much more influential.
i. We define ourselves in terms of how we think others see us.
ii. Differs from looking glass in that our perceptions of what others
think, might not be accurate.
9. What is “can I/must I” reasoning?
a. Bias in information processing.
b. Can I believe this study or poll that I want to believe?
i. People use the Can I reasoning in order to deal with positive ideas.
c. Must I believe this study or poll that I don’t want to believe?
i. People use the Must I reasoning in order to deal with negative
10.What are self-schemas?
a. Cognitive structures made up of beliefs, memories, and feelings related to
a specific aspect of ourselves.
i. Self schemas a bouts: how good of a relationship