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Social Psychology Key Terms Unit 14

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social psychology
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the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.
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attribution theory
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the theory that we explain someone’s behavior by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition.
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fundamental attribution error
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the tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.
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attitude
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feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events.
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central route persuasion
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attitude change path in which interest people focus in which interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts.
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peripheral route persuasion
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attitude change path in which people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker’s attractiveness.
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foot-in-the-door phenomenon
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the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a large request.
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role
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a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.
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cognitive dissonance theory
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the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts 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.
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conformity
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adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
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normative social influence
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influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval.
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informational social influence
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influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept other’s opinions about reality.
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social facilitation
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the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable.
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deindividuation
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the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.
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group polarization
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the enhancement of a group’s prevailing inclinations through discussion with the groups.
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groupthink
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the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-maing group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.
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culture
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the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
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norm
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an understood rule for accepted and expected behavior. prescribe “proper” behavior.
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personal space
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the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.
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prejudice
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an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and a predisposition to discriminatory action.
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stereotype
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a generalized (sometimes accurate but often overgeneralized) belief about a group of people.
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discrimination
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unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group and its members.
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ingroup
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“us” – people with whom we share a common identity
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outgroup
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“them” – those perceived as different or apart from our ingroup
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ingroup bias
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the tendency to favor our own group
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scapegoat theory
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the theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame.
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other-race effect
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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.
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just-world phenomenon
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the tendency for people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.
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aggression
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any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy.
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frustration-aggression principle
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the principle that frustration – the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal – creates anger, which can generate aggression.
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mere exposure effect
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the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them.
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passionate love
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an aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship.
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companionate love
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the deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined.
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equity
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a condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give to it.
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self-disclosure
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revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others.
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altruism
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unselfish regard for the welfare of others.
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bystander effect
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the tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present.
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social exchange theory
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the theory that our social behavior is an exchange process, the aim of which is to maximize benefits and minimize costs.
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reciprocity norm
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an expectation that people will help, not hurt those who have helped them.
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social-responsibility norm
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an expectation that people will help those dependent upon them
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conflict
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a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.
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social trap
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a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior.
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mirror-image perceptions
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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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self-fufilling prophecy
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a belief that leads to its own fulfillment
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superordinate goals
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shared goals that override differences among people and require their cooperation.
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GRIT
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graduated and reciprocated initiatives in tension-reduction – a strategy designed to decrease international tensions