Psychology – Social Psychology

Social Psychology
the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.

Attribution Theory
suggests how we explain someone’s behavior by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition.

Fundamental Attribution Error
the tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the impact of personal disposition.

feelings, often based on our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events.

Foot-in-the-door Phenomenon
the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a large request.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory
the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and of our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes.

adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.

Normative Social Influence
influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval.

Informational Social Influence
influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept other’ opinions about reality.

Social Facilitation
stronger responses on simple or well-learned tasks in the presence of others.

Social Loafing
the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable.

the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.

Group Polarization
the enchantment of a group’s prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group.

the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.

an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude towards a group and its members. Prejudice generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings and a predisposition to discriminatory action.

a generalized (sometimes accurate but often overgeneralized) belief about a group of people.

unjustifiable negative behavior towards a group and its members.

“Us”- people with whom one shares a common identity.

“Them”- those perceived as different or apart from one’s ingroup.

Ingroup Bias
the tendency to favor one’s own ingroup.

Scapegoat Theory
the theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame.

Just-world Phenomenon
the tendency of people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.

any physical or verbal behavior for intended to hurt or destroy.

Frustration-aggression Principle
the principle that frustration–the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal–creates anger, which can generate aggression.

a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.

Social Trap
a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior.

Mere Exposure Effect
the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them.

Passionate Love
an aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship.

Companionate Love
the deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom with whom our lives are intertwined.

a condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give to it.

revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others.

unselfish regard for the welfare of others.

Bystander Effect
the tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present.

Social Exchange Theory
the theory that our social behavior is an exchange process, the aim of which is to maximize benefits and minimize costs.

Reciprocity Norm
an expectation that people will help, not hurt, those who have helped them.

Social-responsibility Norm
an expectation that people will help those dependent upon them.

Superordinate goals
shared goals that override differences among people and require their cooperation.

Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction– a strategy designed to decrease international tensions.

Central Route to Persuasion
occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts.

Peripheral Route to Persuasion
occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as speaker’s attractiveness.

A set of explanations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.

Other-Race Effect
the tendency to recall faces of one’s own race more accurately than faces of other races. Also called the cross-race effect and the own-race bias.

A perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.

Social Trap
A situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior.

Mirror-Image Perceptions
mutual views often held by conflicting people, as when each side sees itself as ethical and peaceful and views the other side as evil and aggressive.

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