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Social Psychology chapters 1-4

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social psychology
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attempt to understand thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals and how they are influences by others -can be a direct or indirect influence
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major themes of social psychology
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1. people construct their social worlds/ social reality 2. people tend to underestimate the impact of the social situation and emphasize a person’s quality 3. people need to view themselves in a positive light (high esteem)- depressive realism couple’s survey study 4. people need to feel connected to other people 5. people are cognitive misers 6. social psychology is practical- it can be applied to the real world
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construals
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understanding of a situation (interpretation)
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naïve realism
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acknowledgment that people see things differently but we still believe our opinion/ view is correct
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fundamental attribution error
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underestimating situational factors and over estimating personal characteristics/ attributes
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social cognition approach
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we need to perceive the world accurately, but have only so much energy and ability to do so – photocopy experiment (good excuse, bad excuse, no excuse)
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social influence
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the effect that words, actions, and people’s presence have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes or behaviors
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Personality psychology vs. social psychology
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-personality psychology mainly focuses on individual differences and doesn’t take influences into account -personality psych studies how people are different from one another and social psych studies how people react to eachother
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Sociology vs social psychology
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sociology studies societal forces and social psych studies the average individual and how social situations influence an individual
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behaviorism
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a school of psychology maintaining that to understand human behavior, one needs to only consider the reinforcing properties of the environment
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gestalt psychology
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stresses 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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2 major motives of humanity
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1. the need to feel good about ourselves 2. the need to be accurate -Leon Festinger realized that the two motives pull in different directions and with that we can gain the most about the workings of the human heart and mind
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self fulfilling prophecy
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people have an expectation about how someone is, which influences the way they act towards that person, which causes that person to behave consistently with the original person’s expectations, making them come true
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hindsight bias
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the tendency to exaggerate our ability to know something after we learned it “duh, I knew that”
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operational definition
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defining variables in terms of measurement
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random assignment
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make sure everyone in the study is randomly put into a controlled or experimental group
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random selection
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random picking of a population
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Dissonance Theory
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-Leon Festinger -holding your beliefs to avoid conflict ex: continue to smoke even when you know it is bad
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observational method
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observe people and record measurements of impressions of their behavior
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ethnography
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method by which researchers try to observe from the inside
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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
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archival analysis
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research that uses accumulated documents to collect data
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limits of the observational method
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-can be hard to observe a certain behavior -with archival analysis, you rely on past observations
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correlational method
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two variables are systematically measured and the relationship between them and how much you can predict one from another
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correlational coefficient
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statistic that assesses how well you can predict one variable from another
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surveys
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research in which a representative sample of people are asked about attitudes or behavior
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limits with correlational method
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-tells a relationship between only two variables -correlation doesn’t prove causation -may disregard a third factor
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experimental method
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researchers randomly assign participants to different groups and manipulates only one variable
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independent variable
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variable that a researcher changes
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dependent variable
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variable that is measured to see if it is changed by the independent
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internal validity
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keeping everything but the variable the same
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probability level (p-level)
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number calculated with statistical techniques that tells researchers how likely it is that the results of the study occurred by chance
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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 other people
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psychological realism
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extent to which psychological processed triggered in an experiment are similar to everyday life processes
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cover stories
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purposes of the study told to cover up the real reason to maintain psychological realism
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field experiment
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best way to increase external validity
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replicants
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repeating a study often with a different subject population or in a different setting
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meta analysis
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statistical technique that averages the results of 2+ studies to see if the effect of the independent variable is reliable
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basic research
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goal is to find the answer to the question of why people behave as they do
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applied research
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designed to solve a particular social problem
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cross cultural research
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conducted with members of different cultures to see similarities and differences of cultures
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evolutionary psychology
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attempts to explain social behavior in terms of genetic material that has evolved over time
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Ethics
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-informed consent -deception -debriefing -Institutional review baord
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Institutional Review Board
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a group made up of at least one scientist, one non scientist and one member not affiliated with the institution. They look over the study to decide if the study is ethical
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automatic thinking
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nonconscious, unintentional, involuntarily and effortless -helps us understand new situations by relating them to our prior experiences
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schemas
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mental structures that organize knowledge about the social world -the more ambiguous a situations is the more we use our schemas to fill in the gap
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Korsakov’s syndrome
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unable to form new memories
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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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3 reasons things can be accessible
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1. a recent occurrence 2. related to a current goal 3. past experiences
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priming
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process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait, or concept ex: seeing the word yellow will help people find the word banana
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judgmental heuristics
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mental shortcuts people use to make judgments quickly and efficiently
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availability heuristic
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people judge with which most easily comes to mindex: terrorism is more feared even though car crashes are more common
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representative heuristic
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mental shortcut we use to classify something according to how similar it is to a typical case ex: blonde dude that likes surfing must be a surfer
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base rate information
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information about the frequency of members of different categories in the population Ex: most likely the majority of university students in New York are from New York
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social cognition
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the study of how people think about themselves and the social world, or how people select, interpreted, remember and use social information to make judgements and decisions
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controlled thinking
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thinking more and making construlas- takes more effort
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shooter bias study
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prone to “shoot” a black man
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analytic thinking
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people focus on properties of objects without considering their surrounding context -westernized thinking
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holistic thinking
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people focus on properties of their surroundings, not just one thing -eastern thinking
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counterfactual thinking
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mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what might have been ex: happier with an 87 than an 89
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thought supression
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attempt to avoid thinking about something -both automatic and controlled thinking
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overconfidence barrier
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fact that people usually have too much confidence in the accuracy of their judgements
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attribution
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explanation of cause
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construal
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interpretation
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2 kinds of accessibility
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chronic- due to effects of past experiences temporary- effects to temporary/ arbitrary experiences
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perseverance effect
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tendency to believe things even after they are discredited
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heuristic
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a way to come up with an answer. may not always be correct, but it is a shortcut
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anchoring and adjustment heuristic
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mental shortcuts that involve using a number or values as a starting point and then adjusting ones answer away from the anchor. people often don’t adjust efficiently
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eyewitness testimonies
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not accurate -too much credibility is given to eyewitnesses -theft of calculator experiment- all different responses
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acquisition
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notice and remember information during an event -monkey business illusion
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source monitoring error
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remember the information but no the source – car accident study: what you were asked altered the answer and you remembered those words used a week later
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retrieval
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recall -gary wells line up study: the perpetrator wasn’t in the line up
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to avoid misleading people to the wrong answer
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-don’t have witnesses write down what they saw -delay between what they saw and questioning -sequentially, not simultaneously -word questions carefully -don’t always include suspects in lineup
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non verbal communication
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communication intentionally or untentionally without words
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social perception
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defined as the study of how we form impressions of and make inferences about other people
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Charles Darwin and facial expressions
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says you need to be able to decode (read) and encode (express) facial expressions for survival
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6 major emotions
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sadness, anger, happiness, shock, fear and disgust
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affect blends
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showing multiple facial expressions on the face
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display rules
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determines when it is appropriate to display a certain emotions
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emblems
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culturally accepted gestures to signify a meaning
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social role theory
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claims that sex differences in social behavior are due to society’s division of labor between the sexes
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implicit personality theory
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type of schema people use to put personality traits together
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casual attribution
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describes the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other peoples behavior
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fritz heider
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father of the attribution theory -internal and external -ex: marriage study: attributes and internal/ external
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gilberts two step process
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we are capable of thinking in high effort or logic but usually don’t want to -step 1: automatic internal attribution -step 2: consider situation
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correspondence bias
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same as fundamental attribution error
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actor observer bias
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we tend to attribute our own behavior to external causes but observes attribute it to internal
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self serving bias
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negative sttributes= external causes and vice versa
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false consensus bias
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believe our feelings/ beliefs are shared by everyone else
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defensive attribution
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tend to ecplain behavior and events in a way that makes us feel better/ less vulnerable
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mirror neurons
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respond when we perform an action and when we see someone else perform the same action -empathy
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perceptual salience
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seeming importance of information that is the focus of people’s attention
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belief in a just world
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basically karma