Social Psychology Study Guide Exam 1

Definition of Social Psychology
Scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. I.e.: social thinking, social influence, and social relations

Field Research
People are observed in real-world settings, i.e. children in a school yard

Experimental Research
Searching for cause and effect.

Correlational Research
Detects natural association. Allows us to predict but not tell whether changing one variable will cause changes in another.

Spotlight Effect
A tendency to believe that the social spotlight shines more brightly on them than it really does.

Self-Concept vs. Self-Esteem
Self Concept: The sum total of an individual’s beliefs about his or her own personal attributes
Self Esteem: An affective component of the self, consisting of a person’s positive and negative self-evaluations.

Self-Serving Bias
A person’s tendency to attribute positive events to their own character, but negative events to other people’s character or external factors.

Implicit Racism and Sexism
Sexism or racism that operates unconsciously and unintentionally

Locus of Control
The extent to which individuals believe they can control events affecting them

Priming
The tendency for recently used or perceived words or ideas to come to mind easily and influence the interpretation of new information

Overconfidence
Where a person’s subjective confidence in his or her judgments is reliably greater than the objective accuracy of those judgments, especially when confidence is relatively high.

Attribution Theory
A group of theories that describe how people explain the causes of behavior

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
The process by which one’s expectations about a person eventually lead that person to behave in ways that confirm those expectations

Confirmation Bias
The tendency to seek, interpret, and create information that verifies existing beliefs

Attitude Definition
A positive, negative, or mixed reaction to a person, object, or idea

Persuasion Definition and differences between the central and peripheral routes to persuasion
Persuasion: The process by which attitudes are changed
Central route to persuasion: The process by which a person thinks carefully about a communication and is influenced by the strength of its arguments
Peripheral route to persuasion: The process by which a person does not think carefully about a communication and is influenced instead by superficial cues

Self-presentation: Impression Management
Strategies people use to shape what others think of them

Implicit Association Test (IAT)
Ameasure within social psychology designed to detect the strength of a person’s automatic association between mental representations of objects (concepts) in memory

Hindsight Bias
The inclination, after an event has occurred, to see the event as having been predictable, despite there having been little or no objective basis for predicting it.

Independent vs. Dependent Variables
Independent: Experimental factor that a researcher manipulates
Dependent variable: Variable being measured; depends on manipulations of the independent variable

Advantages and Disadvantages of Survey Research
Advantages: easily accessible, time and cost effective, can collect a broad range of data
Disadvantages: May not get accurate or honest answers, questions can be interpreted differently by different participants, leading to unclear results

Social Comparison Theory
The theory that people evaluate their own abilities and opinions by comparing themselves to others.

Self-Schema
A belief people hold about themselves that guides the processing of self-relevant information.

Planning Fallacy
A phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias

Self-Efficacy Research
A person’s belief that he or she is capable of the specific behavior required to produce a desired outcome in a given situation. The more of it you have at a particular task, the more likely you are to take on that task

Self-Handicapping
Behaviors designed to sabotage one’s own performance in order to provide a subsequent excuse for failure

Belief Perseverance
The tendency to maintain beliefs even after they have been discredited

Heuristics
Encouraging a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error

Fundamental Attribution Error
The tendency for people to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics (personality) to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation rather than considering the situation’s external factors.

Stereotype Threat
A situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of confirming negative stereotypes about their social group.

Super-ordinate Goal
Goals that require the cooperation of two or more people or groups to achieve, which usually results in rewards to the groups.

Sleeper Effect
A delayed increase of the effect of a message that is accompanied by a discounting cue

Cognitive Dissonance Theory
People will change their beliefs to fit their actions

Self-Perception Theory
People determine their attitudes and preferences by interpreting the meaning of their own behavior.

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