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Social Psychology – Exam #1

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What is social psychology?
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The scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another
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What are some re-occurring themes in social psychology?
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The need to belong, power of the situation, role of construal, and dual mind (system 1 vs. system 2)
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What is the hindsight bias and what is another name for it?
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The tendency people have to view events as more predictable than they really are; I knew-it-all-along phenomenon
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How does the hindsight bias relate to social psychology research?
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Social psychology often reveals how the hindsight bias works; social psychology is often criticized for being trivial because it documents things that seem obvious, however, experiments reveal outcomes that are more “obvious” after the facts are known
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What are the key elements of correlational research and what can be learned from this kind of research?
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Measures predictor variables in order to forecast one or more dependent variables of interest, determines if two variables have a relationship, provides a correlation which determines the extent to which the variables are related
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What are the key elements of experimental research and what can be learned from this kind of research?
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Uncovers causal relationships between two variables, there is a control and experimental group, independent variables are manipulated and dependent variables are the result
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Why would you choose to conduct correlational research rather than experimental research?
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If it would be unethical to perform experimental research, if you only want to find the relationship between two variables, if you have a limited amount of time
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Why would you choose to conduct experimental research rather than correlational research?
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If you want to establish a causal relationship, can rule out 3rd variables
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What is a predictor variable?
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Used in correlational research; A variable that tries to predict a dependent variable
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What is a correlation coefficient and what information does it provide?
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Denoted by Pearson’s r is a measure of correlational strength that can range from -1 to +1
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What are three possible reasons why two variables might be correlated?
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Positive correlation, negative correlation, no correlation
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What is a main effect?
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The effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable, ignoring the effects of all other independent variables
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What is an interaction?
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The effect of one independent variable on the dependent variable changes depending on the level of another independent variable
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What is meant by a moderator(contingency) variable?
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When one variable relies on the other variable
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What does external validity concern?
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If we can generalize findings (other people and other settings)
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What is the best way to achieve external validity?
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Test experiments with multiple people in multiple settings
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What is mundane realism?
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The extent to which an activity or the entire study itself is similar to an activity or process one would complete in day to day life
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What is experimental realism?
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To what extent do the findings in the lab carry over to the real world?
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What is meant by the fact that participants of psychology research are WEIRD?
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Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic
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What is the potential consequence of this fact for social psychological research findings? (that psychology participants are WEIRD)
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Low external validity, these people are more “average”, don’t get a lot of diversity
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What is self-concept?
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How we come to know ourselves
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What factors influence the development of a person’s self-concept?
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The roles we play, social comparisons, and other people’s judgements
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What is the self-reference effect?
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The tendency for individuals to have better memory for information that relates to oneself in comparison to material that has less personal revelance
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What is the spotlight effect?
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The belief that others are paying more attention to one’s appearance and behavior than they really are
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What are some differences between independent and interdependent cultures?
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The in-groups of interdependent cultures are further away from the out-groups in comparison to independent cultures; people are more self-critical and have less need for positive self-regard in interdependent cultures; independent cultures focus on believing in your power of personal control
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What are the implications for social interactions of independent and interdependent cultures?
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Independent cultures tend to be republican and interdependent cultures seem to be democratic; people in interdependent cultures usually give more reasoning for their actions
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What is a common finding when people are asked to recall the past?
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The recall is based on priming; sometimes we make up things or fluff things up
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What are some common findings when people are asked to explain their behavior?
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People usually try to back up their behavior; people make excuses for themselves; for past behavior, people seem to think they have improved
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What is the impact bias?
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The tendency to overestimate the impact of future events
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What are three reasons why the impact bias occurs?
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Underestimate our resilience, forget all the other things that relate to our happiness, and use currently held feelings to fill in the gaps
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What is self-esteem?
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Reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth
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What are the five self-serving biases?
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Explanation of negative events, better than average, unrealistic optimism, false uniqueness, and false consensus
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What is an example of fake consensus?
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Saying you cheat on income taxes just because everyone else does
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List the strategies that are used by people to enhance or maintain self-esteem
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Self-handicapping, downward social comparison, and BIRGing (basking in reflective glory)
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What is self-handicapping?
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Putting obstacles in the way of succeeding so you have an excuse for failure
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What is CORFing?
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Cutting off reflective failure
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What is self-awareness?
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A self conscious state in which attention focuses on oneself; it makes people more sensitive to their own attitudes and dispositions
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What leads to self-awareness?
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Looking in the mirror, having a picture taken, or being on-stage
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How does self-awareness influence behavior?
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Increases self-control and actions more clearly reflect attitudes
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What is meant by self-regulation?
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The process by which we seek to control or alter our thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and urges
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How can self-regulation be increased?
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Eating or drinking (glucose), rest
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External locus of control
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The extent to which people perceive outcomes as externally controlled by chance or outside forces
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Internal locus of control
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The extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable by their own efforts
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What is bounded rationality?
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More realistic way of making decisions; incomplete information (limited list) and flawed processing
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What is rational decision making?
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This is a non-realistic, although ideal, way of making decisions; When you have complete information (all alternatives), you are unbiased, and pick the optimal choice
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What concept does the copy machine study represent?
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Irrational decisions shaped by factors outside of conscious awareness
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What concept does the Dartmouth-Princeton game represent?
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Motivated Decision-Making
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What is a heuristic?
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A cognitive shortcut or mental “rule of thumb”
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What are two kinds of heuristics?
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Framing heuristic and availability heuristic
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What are availability heuristics?
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Ease of recall used as cue for likelihood or value; things that come to mind seem to be commonplace
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How can the availability heuristic be overcome?
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Make judgements based on facts and figures, make sure to think about all the possibilities and not what automatically comes to your mind
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What are two examples of framing heuristic?
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Gain or loss frame
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What is a gain frame and are we risk averse or risk seeking?
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Talks about what will be gained; risk averse
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What is a loss frame and are we risk averse or risk seeking?
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Talks about things that will be lost; risk seeking
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What are two solutions to the framing heuristic?
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Be mindful that decisions can be framed, bring in a third party
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Describe the decoy effect
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Middle option that tries to make you pick one option instead of the other
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What is the representativeness heuristic?
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Used when making judgements about the probability of something under uncertainty
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What is meant by the anchoring bias?
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People anchor their judgement on the first number that is put out
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What is another example of anchoring besides salaries?
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Sentences that lawyers and judges give
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What is the overconfidence phenomenon? Who is the most susceptible to this?
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When a person’s subjective confidence in his or her judgements is reliably greater than the objective accuracy of those judgements; People who are the more confident and educated
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What is confirmation bias? Example?
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We seek out information that confirms what we already believe, we ignore information that might disconfirm what we believe; Person that is researching for a paper may only use articles that agree with his/her stance
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What is belief perseverance and how can it be overcome?
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Persistence of one’s initial conceptions, such as when the basis for one’s belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true still survives; It can be overcome by explaining the opposite
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What is an illusory correlation?
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Perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists
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Explain illusion of control
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Perception of uncontrollable events as subject to one’s control or as more controllable than they are
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What is counterfactual thinking?
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Imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn’t (what might have been, if I only had…)
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What is the self-fulfilling prophecy? Give an example.
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A belief that leads to its own fulfillment; Teacher thinking a kid is better at school and they end up doing better
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What is the halo effect?
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When we learn that one person has a good quality, we assume that they have many other good qualities
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What is the negativity bias? In what area is this very popular?
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Negative ads influence our thoughts and perceptions more than positive ads
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What conclusion can be drawn from research using “thin slices” of people’s behaviors
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Only a short amount of time is enough to form a decent judgement about other people’s behaviors
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What is an attribution?
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Explanation of why someone behaved as they did
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What is a dispositional/internal attribution?
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Something going on within the person
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What is a situational/external attribution?
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Something happening outwardly or in the environment
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Explain the covariation principle
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It is used to figure out whether something is internal or external; behavior is present when cause is present and behavior is absent when cause is absent
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What 3 things are needed to have to make an internal attribution?
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High consistency, low consensus and distinctiveness
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What 3 things are needed when making an external attribution?
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High consistency, consensus, and distinctiveness
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What is the fundamental attribution error? What are the differences in culture with this error?
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The tendency for observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others’ behavior; People in Eastern Asian cultures are less susceptible to the fundamental attribution error than people in Western cultures
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What is an attitude?
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A positive, negative, or mixed emotion of a person, object, or idea expressed at some level of intensity
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What is an attitude object?
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A person, object, or an idea that a positive, negative, or mixed emotion is being projected on
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According to the self-perception theory, how does behavior influence attitudes?
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When we are unsure of our attitudes, we look at our behavior and the circumstances under which it occurs
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How does role playing relate to attitudes and behavior?
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Your behavior changes to fit the role you play, and thus, your attitude changes to justify your behavior
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What is cognitive dissonance? How can it shape attitudes?
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Psychological tension experienced by an individual who holds contradictory thoughts, beliefs, and actions; It causes a change in attitude because humans like internal consistency
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What situations can induce cognitive dissonance?
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When we realize we have, with little justification, acted contrary to our attitudes, making a decision favoring one alternative despite reasons favoring another
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How are self-perception theory and cognitive dissonance theory similar?
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They both involve a change in attitude
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How are self-perception theory and cognitive dissonance theory different?
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The attitudes that they start at (indifference vs. pos or neg), and only cognitive dissonance involves psychological tension
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What factors increase the relationship between attitude and behaviors?
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Justifying effort and difficult decisions
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When do attitudes predict behaviors?
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When other influences are minimized, when the specificity of attitude/behavior match, and when the attitude is strong/important
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When is an attitude strong/important?
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When someone has knowledge and direct experience
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What are the basics of the theory of planned behavior?
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It starts with attitude toward a behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control; it moves from intention to behavior
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How does the theory of planned behavior contribute to our knowledge of attitudes and behavior?
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Attitudes are not the only thing that contribute to behavior, sometimes we have intentions but do not act on them
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What is the principle of aggregation?
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The effects of an attitude become more apparent when we look at a person’s aggregate or average behavior than when we consider isolated acts