Social Psychology Exam 2

Basking in reflected glory
a self-serving cognition whereby an individual associates themself with successful others such that another’s success becomes their own.

Cialdini et al (1976): Those who failed were more likely to share team’s victory by sayings like “we won”

Beaman et al. (1979)
Participants: Halloween Trick or treaters. Greeted at a researcher’s door and left alone to help themselves to candy. Asked to take only one piece.
Independent Variable: Full length mirror behind bowl or no mirror.
Dependent Variable: How much candy the child took.
Results: 34% broke the rule when no mirror vs 12% broke the rule when there was a mirror.

Berglas and Jones (1978)
Example of Self-handicapping: self-handicaps are obstacles created, or claimed, by the individual in anticipation of failing performance.
Cover Story for experiment “Drugs and intellectual performance”
Independent Variable: Solvable and insolvable problems on “aptitude tests”.
Dependent Variable: Choice of drug before next round – Drug A: Helps intellect – Drug B: inhibits intellect.
Results: Drug A Drug B
Solvable Prob 87% 13%
Insolvable Prob 30% 70%

Cognitive dissonance theory
a theory that maintains that inconsistencies among a persons thoughts, sentiments, and actions create an aversive emotional state (dissonance) that leads to efforts to restore consistency

Cultural differences in self-construals
Individualistic vs Collectivistic people and cultures.

Defensive pessimism – Norman&Cantor
a strategy in which a person expects the worst, and works harder because of this expectation. Among honor students, defensive pessimists performed better if they were allowed to have negative expectations.

Downside to high self-esteem
When they later fail in some way to meet their goals, they often show themselves no mercy. Their self-esteem dips and they feel pressure to increase it. To do this, they might downplay problems with their behavior, as when a dieter discounts those extra little snacks. Or, they might hyper focus on improving, leaving them victim to intense, destructive self-criticism–like the dieter who eats one candy bar, barrages herself with messages of being a failure, and then gives up her diet.

Downward social comparison
comparing ourselves to people who are worse off than we are on a particular trait or ability. Ex: “I got a C on my exam but my roommate got a D, I feel better now!”

Effort justification
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

Elaboration likelihood model
a model of persuasion that maintains that there are two different routes of persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route

Fear appeals
a persuasive message that attempts to arouse fear in order to divert behavior through the threat of impending danger or harm.” A fear appeal presents a risk, presents the vulnerability to the risk, and then describes a suggested form of protective action. It is assumed that through a fear appeal the perception of threatening stimuli creates fear arousal. The state of fear is believed to be an unpleasant emotional state that involves physiological arousal that motivates cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses directed towards alleviating the threat or reducing fear.

Festinger and Carlsmith (1959)
In Festinger and Carlsmith’s classic 1959 experiment, students were asked to spend an hour on boring and tedious tasks (e.g., turning pegs a quarter turn, over and over again). The tasks were designed to generate a strong, negative attitude. Once the subjects had done this, the experimenters asked some of them to do a simple favour. They were asked to talk to another subject (actually an actor) and persuade the impostor that the tasks were interesting and engaging. Some participants were paid $20 (equivalent to $160 in present day terms) for this favour, another group was paid $1 (equivalent to $8 in present day terms), and a control group was not asked to perform the favour. When asked to rate the boring tasks at the conclusion of the study (not in the presence of the other “subject”), those in the $1 group rated them more positively than those in the $20 and control groups. This was explained by Festinger and Carlsmith as evidence for cognitive dissonance. The researchers theorized that people experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions, “I told someone that the task was interesting”, and “I actually found it boring.” When paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the attitude they were induced to express, because they had no other justification. Those in the $20 condition, however, had an obvious external justification for their behavior, and thus experienced less dissonance.

Functions of attitudes
1) Knowledge function: helps organize and structure knowledge about the world. Attitudes aid in the interpretation of new stimuli. Enables rapid responding to attitude-relevent information. Rapid evaluate judgments (good or bad; approach or avoid).
2) Instrumental function: Maximize rewards and minimize punishments
3) Identity expressive function: attitudes facilitate expression of central values or beliefs (See Flemming & Petty,2000)

Gender and self-concept
Includes core self-conceptions along with less central self-conceptions that may vary depending on the situational context.

Hostile media phenomenon
a perceptual theory of mass communication that refers to the finding that people with strong biases toward an issue (partisans) perceive media coverage as biased against their opinions, regardless of the reality. Proponents of the hostile media effect argue that this finding cannot be attributed to the presence of bias in the news reports, since partisans from opposing sides of an issue perceive the same coverage differently. The hostile media effect illustrates notions of the active media audience, in demonstrating that audiences do not passively receive media content but instead selectively interpret it in light of their own values and predispositions. Despite journalists’ best intentions to report news in a fair and objective way, partisans are motivated to see neutral content as harboring a hostile bias.

Kitayama, Snibbe, Markus, and Suzuki (2004)
Cultural Context
Independent (individualistic) cultures: Identity is personal, defined by individual traits and goals; distinctiveness emphasized “What Matters is Me”. Disapproves of conformity.
Interdependent (collectivist) cultures: Identity is social; defined by connections with others; fitting in emphasized “What Matters is We” Disapproves of egotism.

LaPiere (1934)
Do attitudes predict behavior well? Traveled through US with Chinese couple (prejudice high at this time). Results: 183/184 restaurants served them. Later asked if they provide service to Chinese people. 91% (of the 128 who replied said “No”)

Overjustification effect
overjustification effectoccurs when an expected external incentive such as money or prizes decreases a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform a task. According to self-perception theory, people pay more attention to the external reward for an activity than to the inherent enjoyment and satisfaction received from the activity itself. The overall effect of offering a reward for a previously unrewarded activity is a shift to extrinsic motivation and the undermining of pre-existing intrinsic motivation. Once rewards are no longer offered, interest in the activity is lost; prior intrinsic motivation does not return, and extrinsic rewards must be continuously offered as motivation to sustain the activity.

bolstering our identity and self-esteem by taking note of important elements of our identity, such as our important values

Self-awareness theory
the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.

Self-discrepancy theory
a theory that behavior is motivated by standards reflecting ideal and ought selves. falling short of these standards produces specific emotions-dejection-related emotions for actual-ideal discrepancies, and agitation-related emotions for actual-ought discrepancies

self-handicaps are obstacles created, or claimed, by the individual in anticipation of failing performance. Self-handicapping can be seen as a method of preserving self-esteem but it can also be used for self-enhancement and to manage the impressions of others.

Self-perception theory – D.Bem 1967
examining your own behavior to infer your attitude. a theory that people came to know their own attitudes by looking at their behavior and the context in which it occurred and inferring what their attitudes must be

Sleeper effect
an effect that occurs when messages from unreliable sources initially exert little influence but later cause individuals attitudes to shift

Spontaneous self-concept (McGuire)
Specific aspects of self that are triggered by the features of the current situation. Ex: “I am young” when in a room full of elderly people

Spotlight effect
People’s conviction that other people are attending to them – to their appearance and behavior – more than they actually are

Symbolic interactionism
Symbolic interaction theory analyzes society by addressing the subjective meanings that people impose on objects, events, and behaviors. Subjective meanings are given primacy because it is believe that people behave based on what they believe and not just on what is objectively true. Thus, society is thought to be socially constructed through human interpretation.

Theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1980)
Adds perceived behavioral control. TpB predicts behavior well in many domains, voting, charitable work, drug use, political activism, consumer behavior. Acknowledges that there are other influences on behavior besides attitudes.

Flemming and Petty (2000)
Students high or low in gender-group identification. Presented new snack product.
Independent Variable: described as “men’s favorite snack food” or “women’s favorite snack food”
Dependent Variable: Liking for product
Result: For people low in gender-group identification, description made no difference. For people high in gender-group identification, liking was higher when product described as favored by own gender group.

self-verification theory
a theory that holds that people strive for stable, subjectively accurate beliefs about the self because such beliefs give them a sense of coherence

cognitive structures, derived from past experience, that represent a persons beliefs and feelings about the self in particular domains

Pluralistic Ignorance
Misjudging the attitudes others hold, believing erroneously that they are different from our own.

Theory of reasoned action (Ajzen&Fishbein,1975)
Evaluate consequences of given behavior as positive or negative->attitude towards the behavior
Evaluate beliefs that others want you to engage in that behavior (plus the strength of your motivation to comply with those people’s wishes)->subjective norm concerning the behavior

Attitude + subjective norm -> behavioral intention

Central Route
Relies on analysis of the strength of the arguments, people not always motivated to process carefully (or unable to do so)

Peripheral Route
using information other than the relative strength of the arguments (superficial cues)

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