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Intro to Social Psychology Midterm #1 (Chapters, 1-7) PSYB10

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Social Psychology
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The scientific study of the feelings, thoughts and behaviours of individuals in social situations.
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Dispositions
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Internal factors such as beliefs, values, personality traits, or abilities that guide a person’s behaviour.
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Fundamental Attribution Error
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The failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behaviour, and the corresponding tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions or traits on behaviour. Ex: people who read Milgram’s study may assume participants are cruel or weak-minded by nature instead of being influenced to act in these ways by the unfamiliar situation.
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Channel Factors
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Certain situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface but that can have great consequences for behaviour, either facilitating it or blocking it or guiding behaviour in a particular direction.
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Construal
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People’s interpretation and inference about the stimuli or situations they encounter.
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Gestalt Psychology
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This approach stresses the fact that people perceive objects not by means of some automatic registering device, but by active, usually unconscious interpretation of what the object represents as a whole.
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Schema
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A knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information.
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Natural Selection
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An evolutionary process that molds animal and plants so that traits that enhance the probability of survival and reproduction are passed on to subsequent generations.
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Theory of Mind
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The understanding that other people have beliefs and desires.
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Parental Investment
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The evolutionary principle that costs and benefits are associated with reproduction and nurturing of offspring. Because these costs and benefits are different for males and females, one sex will normally value and invest more in each child than the other sex.
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Naturalistic Fallacy
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The claim that the way things are is the way things should be.
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Independent (Individualistic) Cultures
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Cultures in which people tend to think of themselves as distinct social entities, tied to each other by voluntary bonds of affection and organizational memberships but essentially separate from other people and having attributes that exist in the absence of any connections to others.
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Interdependent (Collectivistic) Cultures
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Cultures in which people tend to define themselves as part of a whole, inextricably tied to others in their group and placing less importance on individual freedom or personal control over their lives.
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Hindsight Bias
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People’s tendency to be overconfident about whether they could have predicted the outcome of a given situation.
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Hypothesis
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A prediction about what will happen under particular circumstances.
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Theory
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A body of related propositions intended to describe some aspect of the world.
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Correlational Research
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Research that does not involve random assignment to different situations, or conditions, and that psychologists conduct just to see whether there is a relationship between the variables.
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Experimental Research
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In social psych, research that randomly assigns people to different conditions or situations and that enables researchers to make strong inferences about how these different conditions affect people’s behaviour.
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Reverse Causation
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When variable 1 is assumed to cause variable 2, yet the opposite direction of causation might be the case.
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Third Variable
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When variable 1 does not cause variable 2 and variable 2 does not cause variable 1, but rather some other variable exerts a causal influence on both.
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Self-Selection
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A problem that arises when the participant, rather than the investigator, selects his or her level on each variable, bringing with this value unknown other properties that make causal interpretation of a relationship difficult.
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Longitudinal Study
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A study conducted over a long period of time with the same population, which is periodically assessed regarding a particular behaviour.
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Independent Variable
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The variable that is manipulated.
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Dependent Variable
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The variable that is measured.
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Random Assignment
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Assigning participants in experimental research to different groups randomly, such that they are as likely to be assigned to one condition as to another.
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Control Condition
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A condition comparable to the experimental condition in every way except that it lacks the one ingredient hypothesized to produce the expected effect on the dependent variable.
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Natural Experiments
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Naturally occurring events or phenomena having somewhat different conditions that can be compared with almost as much rigor as in experiments where the investigator manipulates the conditions.
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External Validity
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An experimental set-up that closely resembles real life situation so that the results can be safely generalized to such situations.
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Field Experiment
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An experiment set up in the real world, usually with participants who are not aware that they are in a study of any kind.
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Internal Validity
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When an investigator knows that only the manipulated variable and NOT an external influence could have produced the results.
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Debriefing
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In preliminary versions of an experiment, asking participants straightforwardly if they understand the instructions, found the set up to be reasonable, and so forth.
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Reliability
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The degree to which the particular way that researchers measure a given variable is likely to yield consistent results.
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Measurement Validity
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Refers to the correlation between some measure and some outcome that the measure is supposed to predict.
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Statistical Significance
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A measure of the probability that a given result could have occurred by chance.
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Basic Science
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Concerned with trying to understand some phenomenon in its own right and then using this understanding to build valid theories about the nature of some aspects of the world.
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Applied Science
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Science concerned with solving a real-world problem of importance.
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Intervention
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An effort to change people’s behaviour.
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Informed Consent
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A participants willingness to participate in light of their knowledge about all relevant aspects of the procedure.
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Deception Research
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Participants are misled about the purpose of the research or the meaning of something that is done to them.
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Individual Self
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Our beliefs about our own unique personal traits, abilities, preferences, tastes, talents, etc.
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Relational Self
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Beliefs about our identities in specific relationships.
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Collective Self
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Beliefs about our identities as members of social groups to which we belong.
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Reflected Self-Appraisals
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Our beliefs about what others think of our social selves.
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Working Self-Concept
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Subset of self-knowledge that is brought to mind in a particular context.
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Social Comparison Theory
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The hypothesis that people compare themselves to other people in order to obtain an accurate assessment of their own opinions, abilities and internal states. Ex: to be very intelligent you have to be comparably smarter than other people.
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Self-Schema
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Cognitive structures, derived from past experience, that represent a person’s beliefs and feelings about the self in particular domains.
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Self-Reference Effect
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The tendency for information that is related to the self to be more thoroughly processed and integrated with existing self-knowledge, thereby making it more memorable.
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Self-Complexity
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The tendency to define the self in terms of multiple domains that are relatively distinct from one another in context.
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Self-Esteem
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The positive or negative overall evaluation people have of themselves.
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Contingencies of Self-Worth
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An account of self-esteem that maintains that self-esteem rises and falls due to failures and successes in domains in which a person has based their self-worth (Ex: people who value an academic domain have higher self esteem when they ace an exam.)
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Better-Than-Average Effect
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The finding that most people think they are above average on various trait and ability dimensions.
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Self-Verification Theory
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A theory that holds that people strive for stable, subjectively accurate beliefs about the self because it gives them a sense of coherence.
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Self-Regulation
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Processes that people use to initiate, alter and control their behaviour in the pursuit of goals, including the ability to resist short-term awards that thwart the attainment of long-term goals.
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Possible Selves
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Hypothetical selves that a person aspires to be in the future.
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Self-Discrepancy Theory
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A theory that behaviour is motivated by standards reflecting ideal and ought selves. Falling short of these standards produces specific emotions–dejection for actual/idea discrepancies and agitation for actual/ought discrepancies.
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Actual Self
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The self that people believe they are.
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Ideal Self
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The self that embodies people’s wishes and aspirations as held by themselves and by other people for them.
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Ought Self
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The self that is concerned with the duties, obligations, and external demands people feel they are compelled to honour.
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Promotion Focus
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Regulating behaviour with respect to ideal self standards, entailing a focus on obtaining positive outcomes.
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Prevention Focus
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Regulating behaviour based on ought standards, entailing a focus on avoiding negative outcomes.
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Ego-Depletion
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A state produced by acts of self-control, in which people lack the energy or resources to engage in further acts of self-control.
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Self-Presentation
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Presenting the person that we would like others to believe we are.
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Face
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The public image of ourselves we want others to believe.
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Self-Monitoring
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The tendency for people to monitor their behaviour in such a way that it fits situational demands (the current situation.)
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Self-Handicapping
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People’s tendency to engage in self-defeating behaviours in order to have a ready excuse should they perform poorly or fail.
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Pluralistic Ignorance
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Misperception of a group norm that results from observing people who are acting at variance with their private beliefs out of a concern for the social consequences–actions that reinforce the erroneous group norm.
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Primacy Effect
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Disproportionate influence on judgement by information presented first in a body of evidence.
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Recency Effect
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Disproportionate influence on judgement by information presented last in a body of evidence.
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Framing Effect
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The influence on judgement resulting from the way information is presented, such as the order of presentation or how it is worded.
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Construal Level Theory
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Outlines a relationship between psychological distance and the concreteness versus abstraction of thought. Psychologically distant events/actions are thought about in abstract terms versus close at hand actions/events being thought about in concrete terms. (Ex: helping a friend move scenario.)
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Confirmation Bias
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The tendency to test a proposition by searching for evidence that would support it rather than refute it.
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Bottom-Up Processes
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“Data driven” mental processing, in which an individual forms conclusions based on the stimuli encountered through experience.
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Top-Down Processes
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“Theory driven” mental processing, in which an individual filters and interprets new information in light of preexisting knowledge and expectations.
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Encoding
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Filing information away in memory is based on what information is attended to and the initial interpretation of the information.
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Retrieval
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The extraction of information from memory.
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Priming
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The term used to refer to procedures that momentarily activate a schema.
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Subliminal
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Below the threshold of conscious awareness.
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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
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The tendency for people to act in ways that bring about the very thing they expect to happen.
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Heuristic
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Intuitive mental operations that allow us to make a variety of judgements quickly and efficiently. “Mental shortcuts” for judgement calls.
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Availability Heuristic
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Process whereby judgements of frequency or probability are based on how readily pertinent instances come to mind. Ex: the Wizard of Oz/Kansas and Nebraska tornado scenario.
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Representativeness Heuristic
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Process whereby judgements of likelihood are based on an assessment of similarity between an individual and group prototypes or between cause and effect.
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Base-Rate Information
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Information about the relative frequency of events or of members of different categories in the population.
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The Planning Fallacy
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The tendency for people to be unrealistically optimistic about how quickly they can complete a project.
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Illusory Correlation
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The belief that two variables are correlated when in fact they are not.
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Attribution Theory
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Umbrella term used to describe the set of theoretical accounts of how people assign causes to the events around them and the effects that people’s causal assessments have.
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Causal Attribution
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Linking an event to a cause, such as inferring that a personality trait was responsible for a behaviour.
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Explanatory Style
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A person’s habitual way of explaining events. Assessed along three dimensions: internal/external, stable/unstable, and global/specific.
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Covariation Principle
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The idea that behaviour should be attributed to potential causes that co-occur with the behaviour.
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Consensus
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What most people would do in a situation–that is, whether most people would behave the same way or not.
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Distinctiveness
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What an individual does in different situations–that is, whether the behaviour is unique to a particular situation or occurs in all situations.
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Consistency
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What an individual does in a given situation on different occasions–that is, whether next time under the same circumstances the person would behave the same way or differently.
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Discounting Principle
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Idea that people should assign reduced weight to a particular cause of behaviour if other plausible causes might have produced it.
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Augmentation Principle
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The idea that people should assign reduced greater weight to a particular cause of behaviour if other causes were present that normally would produce the opposite outcome. (Ex: remaining firm on a stance even when being tortured.)
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Counterfactual Thoughts
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Thoughts of what might have, could have, or should have happened “if only” some thing had been done differently (ex: if only I studied harder I would have aced the exam.)
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Emotional Amplification
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When something feels more emotional than it would have initially due to an event that is proportional to how easy it is to imagine the event not happening (ex: grandma switches her assigned flight last minute and that plane crashes, killing her. If only she didn’t switch assigned flights!)
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Self-Serving Attributional Bias
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Tendency to attribute failure and bad events to external circumstances and attribute success and good events to oneself. Ex: the Bruins lose a game and blame it on poor calls by the ref, but when they win it’s because they’re the best NHL team ever.
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Just World Hypothesis
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The belief that people get what they deserve in life and deserve what they get.
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Actor-Observer Difference
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A difference in attribution based on who is making the causal assessment. The actor is disposed to making situational attributions, the observer, dispositional attributions.
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Emotions
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Brief, specific psychological and physiological responses that help humans meet goals, many of which are social.
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Appraisal Processes
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The ways people evaluate events and objects in their environment based on their relation to current goals.
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Core-Relational Themes
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Distinct themes, like danger or fairness, that define the core of each emotion. Ex: appraisals of loss trigger sadness.
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Primary Appraisal Stage
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An initial, automatic positive or negative evaluation of an ongoing event based on whether they are congruent or in-congruent with a person’s goals.
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Secondary Appraisal Stage
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A subsequent evaluation in which people determine why they feel the way they do about an event, consider possible ways of responding to the event, and weigh future consequences of different courses of action.
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Emotion Accents
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Culturally specific ways that individuals from different cultures express particular emotions, such as the tongue bite as an expression of embarrassment in India.
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Focal Emotions
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Emotions that are especially common within a particular culture.
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Display Rules
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Culturally specific rules that govern how, when and to whom people express emotion.
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Infra-humanization
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The tendency to be reluctant to attribute more complex emotions, such as pride or compassion, to out-group members.
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Feelings-As-Information Perspective
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Since many judgements are too complex for people to thoroughly review all the evidence, they rely on their emotions for rapid, reliable information about events and conditions within their social environment. (Ex: Are you satisfied with your life? You may simplify it to simply asking yourself if you feel happy currently. Rely on your gut feeling.)
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Duration Neglect
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The relative un-importance of the length of an emotional experience, be it pleasurable or unpleasant, in judgements of the overall experience. (Ex: it doesn’t matter if a date is 1 hour or 10 hours, as long as the peak and ending of the date are pleasurable a person will remember it as an enjoyable experience.)
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Affective Forecasting
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Predicting future emotions–for example, whether an event will cause happiness or sadness and for how long. (Study of how people predict they will feel if they broke up with their partner.)
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Immune Neglect
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Tendency to underestimate our capacity to be resilient in responding to difficult life events, thus leading to overestimation of the extent to which life’s hardships will reduce our well-being.
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Focalism
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Tendency to focus too much on a central aspect of an event while neglecting to consider the impact of other aspects of the event or the impact of other events. (Ex: focusing too much on the initial despair having your promposal rejected and failing to consider how other parts of life also shape satisfaction.)
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Attitude
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An evaluation of an object in a positive or negative fashion that includes the three elements of affect, cognition, and behaviour.
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Response Latency
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The time it takes an individual to respond to a stimulus, like an attitude question.
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Implicit Attitude Measures
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Indirect measures of attitudes that do not involve self-report (usually used when people are unable or unwilling to report their attitudes on something.)
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Balance Theory
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Theory holding that people try to maintain balance among their beliefs, cognitions, and sentiments. Ex: a Beyonce fan may like–or even buy!–products Beyonce endorses.
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Cognitive Dissonance Theory
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Theory that maintains that inconsistencies among a person’s thoughts, sentiments and actions creates discomfort (dissonance) that leads to efforts to restore consistency. (Ex: saying you hate Canada and then being forced to move there for work, and justifying it by saying Canada is amazing and the US has a higher crime rate and such.)
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Effort Justification
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People’s tendency to reduce dissonance by justifying the time, effort, or money they have devoted to something that has turned out to be unpleasant or disappointing. (Ex: buying a pair of shoes for $1000 and realizing they’re just normal shoes, so you justify this purchase by wearing them all the time and claiming they’re soooo comfy and amazing and stylish and you love them so much.)
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Self-Affirmation
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Bolstering our identity and self-esteem by taking note of important elements of our identity, such as our values. Ex: “I know I drive an SUV and am ruining the ozone layer, but nobody goes to church more than I do!”
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Self-Perception Theory
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Theory that people come to know their own attitudes by looking at their behaviour and inferring what their attitudes must be. (Ex: eating a lot and then inferring “I must have been hungrier than I thought!”)
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System Justification Theory
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People are motivated to see the existing political and social status quo as desirable, fair and legitimate.
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Terror Management Theory
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People deal with the anxiety that comes with the knowledge of the inevitability of death by striving for symbolic immortality through adhering very closely to their worldviews or institutions that will live on long after their death.