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Aronson/Wilson/Akert Social Psychology Chapters 1-4

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Social Psychology
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The scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people
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Social Influence
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The effect that the words, actions, or mere presence of other people have on our thoughts, feelings, or behavior
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Personality Psychology
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The study of the characteristics that make individuals unique and different from one another
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Sociology
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The study of groups, organizations, or societies rather than individuals
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Empirical Research
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Searching for answers that can be derived from experimentation or measurement, rather than by personal opinion
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Social Cognition
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How people think about themselves and the social world; more specifically, how people select, interpet, remember, and use social information to make judgements and decisions
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Hypothesis
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A testable prediction, often implied by a theory
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Observational Research
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The technique whereby a researcher observes people and systematically records measurements or impressions of their behavior
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Archival Research
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A form of the observational research method in which the researcher examines the accumulated documents, or archives, of a culture (eg. magazines, diaries, novels, newspapers)
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Experimental Research
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The method in which the researcher systematically orchestrates an event by randomly assigning participants to different conditions and ensuring that these conditions are identical except for the independent variable
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Correlational Research
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The technique whereby two or more variables are systematically measured and the relationship between them (i.e. how much one can be predicted from the other) is assessed
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Correlation Coefficient
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a statistical technique that assesses how well you can predict one variable from another- for example, how well you can predict a person’s height form their weight
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Cross-cultural Research
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Research conducted with members of different cultures, to see whether the psychological processes of interest are present in both cultures or whether they are specific to the culture in which people were raised
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Causation
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The ability to say that one social behavior or situation causes another
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Independent Variable
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The variable a researcher changes or varies to see if it has an effect on some other variable
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Dependent Variable
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The variable a researcher measures to see if it is influenced by the independent variable; the researcher hypothesizes the the dependent variable will depend on the level of the independent variable
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Reliability
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The extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting
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Internal Validity
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Making sure that nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable; this is accomplished by controlling all extraneous variables and by randomly assigning people to different experimental conditions
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External Validity
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The extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to other situations and to other people
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Schemas
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Mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects and that influence the information people notice, think about, and remember
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Fundamental Attribution Error
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The tendency to explain our own and other people’s behavior entirely in terms of personality traits and to underestimate the power of social influence
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Bystander Effect
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The tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present
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Diffusion of Responsibility
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The tendency of one individual to assume that another individual (or bystander) will take necessary action in a situation
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Nonconscious/Automatic Cognition
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Thinking that in unconscious, unintentional, involuntary, and effortless
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Conscious/Controlled Cognition
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Thinking that is conscious, intentional, voluntary, and effortful
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Availability Heuristic
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A mental rule of thumb thereby people base a judgement on the ease at which they can bring something to mind
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Representativeness Heuristic
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A mental shortcut whereby people classify something according to how similar it is to a typical case
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Judgmental Heuristic
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Mental shortcuts people use to make judgements quickly and efficiently
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Counterfactuals
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Mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what might have been
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Priming
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The process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait, or concept
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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
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The case wherein people have an expectation about what another person is like, which influences how they act toward that person, which causes that person to behave consistently with people’s original expectations, making the expectations come true
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Rumination
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Repeatedly thinking and talking about past experiences; can contribute to depression and is more common in girls.
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Thought Suppression
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The conscious and purposeful attempt to avoid thinking about something Monitoring process- searches the consciousness for evidence of the unwanted thought Operating process- keeps the unwanted thought from entering consciousness
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Social Perception
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The processes through which people interpret information about others, draw inferences about them, and develop mental representations of them
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Nonverbal Behavior
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Facial expressions, voice tone, gestures, body postion and movement, touch, gaze, etc. Can be intentional or unintentional and is used to express emotions, attitudes, and personality traits
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Display Rules
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Culturally determined rules about which nonverbal behaviors are appropriate to display
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Emblems
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Nonverbal gestures that have well-understood definitions within a given culture; they usually have direct verbal translations-such as the OK sign
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Implicit Personality Theory
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A type of schema people use to group various kinds of personality traits together; for example, many people believe that someone who is kind is generous as well
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Ethnography
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The method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or culture by observing it from the inside, without imposing any preconceived notions they might have
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Hindsight Bias
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The tendency for people to exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occured
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Construal
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The way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world
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Gestalt Psychology
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A school of psychology that emphasizes the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people’s minds rather than the objective, physical attributes of the object
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Interjudge Reliability
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The level of agreement between two or more people who independently observe and code a set of data; by showing that two or more judges independently come up with the same observations, researchers ensure that the observations are not subjective, distorted impressions of one individual
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Surveys
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Research in which a representative sample of people are asked (often anonymously) questions about their attitudes or behavior
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Random Selection
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A way on ensuring that a sample of people is representative of a population by giving everyone in a population an equal chance of being selected for the sample
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Random Assignment
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A process ensuring that all participants have an equal chance of taking part in any condition of an experiment; researchers can be relatively certain that differences in participants’ personalities or backgrounds are distributed evenly across conditions
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Probability Level (p-value)
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A number calculated with statistical techniques the tells researchers how likely is it that the results of their experiment occurred by chance and not because of the independent or dependent variable; the convention in science is to consider the results significant (trustworthy) if it is less than 5 in 100 that the results might be due to chance
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Psychological Realism
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The extent to which psychological processes triggered in an experiment are similar to psychological processes that occur in everyday life
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Accessibility
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The extent to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of people’s minds and are therefore likely to be used when making judgements about the social world
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Cover Story
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A description of the purpose of a study, given to participants, that is different from its true purpose and is used to maintain psychological realism
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Field Experiments
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Experiments conducted in natural settings rather than in the laboratory- majorly increasing external validity
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Base Rate Information
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Information about the frequency of members of different categories in the population
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Overconfidence Barrier
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The fact that people usually have too much confidence in the accuracy of their judgements
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Encode
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To express or emit nonverbal behavior, such as smiling or patting someone on the back
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Decode
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The interpret the meaning of the nonverbal behavior other people express, such as deciding that a pat on the back was an expression of condescension rather than of kindness
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Affect Blend
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A facial expression in which one part of the face registers one emotion while another part of the face registers a different emotion
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Internal Attribution
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The inference that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about the person, such as an attitude, character, or personality
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External Attribution
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The inference that a person is behaving in a certain was because of something about the situation they are in; the assumption that most people would respond the same way in that situation
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Covariation Model
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A theory that states that to form an attribution about what caused a person’s behavior, we systematically note the pattern between the presence or absence of possible causal factors and whether or not the behavior occurs
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Consensus Information
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Information about the extent to which other people behave the same way toward the same stimulus as the actor does
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Distinctiveness Information
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Information about the extent to which one particular actor behaves in the same way to a different stimuli
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Consistency Information
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Information about the extent to which the behavior between one actor and one stimulus is the same across time and across circumstances
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Perceptual Salience
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The seeming importance of information that is the focus of people’s attention
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Two-Step Process of Attribution
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Analyzing another person’s behavior first by making an automatic internal attribution and only then thinking about possible situational reasons for the behavior, after which one may adjust the original internal attribution
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Self-Serving Attributions
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Explanations for one’s successes that credit internal, dispositional factors and explanations for one’s failures that credit external, dispositional factors
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Defensive Attributions
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Explanations for behavior that avoid feelings of vulnerability and mortality
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Bias Blind Spot
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The tendency to think that other people are more susceptible to attributional biases in their thinking than we are
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Just World Phenomenon
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A form of defensive attribution wherein people assume that bad things happen to bad people and that good things happen to good people