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PSYC 100 Chapter Notes -Fundamental Attribution Error, Elaboration Likelihood Model, Social Identity Theory

Course Code
PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

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Social Psychology
Scientific study of how individuals thoughts, feelings and
behaviours are influenced by social context
o Social perception
Perceptions of the self
Perceptions of other individuals
Perceptions of social groups
The Self Concept
Refers to the sum of total beliefs that people have about
o Composed of several self-schemas
Beliefs that people hold about themselves that
guide processing of self relevant information
Eg. Believing you are shy
o Shematicity
Certain attributes are more important to a
persons self concept than others
Schematic when a self schema is central to a
persons self concept
Influences how we behave in certain situations
How we remember past events
Attribute that is not important to a person
Eg. Two people who are thin.
when they are getting food, one will
care, and one will not care about their
body weight.
o The one who does not care is
Developing Self Concept
Self Awareness
o Ability to recognize oneself as a distinct entity and
develops self concept
Recognizing oneself in the mirror is used to test
the existence of self awareness
Rouge test, recognizing a red mark placed on the
Self Perception Theory
o People learn about themselves by observing their own
behaviour and making inferences regarding their
internal state from these actions (like we do with other

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Looking inward to ones thoughts and
Not accurate at explaining why they do the
things they do
Affective Forecasting
Demonstrates peoples lack of self
Predicting how they would feel about a
future emotional event
People predict they will be much more
upset over emotional events than
they actually are
Overestimate the strength and
duration of their emotional reactions
Influences of Other People
Looking glass self
o Refers to the notion that other people serve as mirrors
in which we see ourselves
We imagine what other people think of us from
their reactions and integrate perceptions into self
Social comparison theory
o People evaluate their own abilities and opinions by
comparing themselves to others
o Self concept is shaped by culture
Inner psychological characteristics
Attitudes, personality, abilities, traits
Independent self concept
View self as distinct, autonomous, self
Relational roles and group memberships
Interdependent self concept
View self as part of a larger social
Relationships are more important than
self expression
Self Esteem
o Reflects feelings of approval and acceptance of

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o Life experiences, successes and failures can alter state
of mine, resulting in shifts of self esteem
o 2 functions of self esteem
Sociometer Theory
People are inherently social and use self
esteem as a means to determine the degree
to which they are liked and accepted, or
disliked and rejected by others
Self esteem reflects how we think others
view us
Low self esteem can make us change
our behaviour to be accepted
Terror Management Theory
People are biologically programmed for self
preservation but are also aware of mortality
Reminders of mortality increases self
esteem striving
Methods of Self Enhancement
People engage in a variety of techniques to enhance or
maintain their self esteem
o Self handicapping
Engaging in behaviours desgined to sabotage
ones own performance in order to provide an
excuse for failure
o Basking in Reflected Glory (BIRGing)
People increase self esteem by associating with
others who are successful
Cut off reflected failutre (CORFing)
People protect self esteem by
psychologically distancing themselves from
others who have failed
Eg. “we won” to “they lost”
o Downward Social Comparisons
Defensive tendencies to compare ourselves with
others who are worse than we are
Can make social comparisons between our
past and present
o Self Serving Cognitions
General beliefs about self that serve to enhance
self esteem
Better than average effect
Rate themselves as better than
average person
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