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Social Psychology Vocabulary Terms, Concepts, & People

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social psychology
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scientific study of how people think about, interact with, influence, and are influenced by the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of other people.
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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 personality
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fundamental attribution theory
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tendency to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation, rather than considering external factors.
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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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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 larger request
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cognitive dissonance theory
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the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent; 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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normal 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 others’ opinions about reality
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social facilitation
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The tendency to perform better when a person knows he is being watched.
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social loafing
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Decrease in effort and productivity that occurs when an individual works in a group instead of alone.
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deindividualization
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The idea that people can change and/or act very differently based on the group of people they are with ( being anonymous )
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group polarization
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Shifts or exaggeration in group members’ attitudes or behavior as a result of group discussion.
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group think
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tendency for members of a group to think alike and suppress dissent. and individual may disagree but they don’t speak out
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prejudice
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beliefs, emotions, and predisposition to act toward a group:
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stereotype
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generalized belief about a group of people
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discrimination
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behaving differently, usually unfairly, toward the members of a group.
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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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just world phenomenon
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people believe that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get
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aggression
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behavior with the intention to hurt or destroy
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frustration aggression principle
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states that the blocking of an attempt to reach some goal creates anger, which can generate aggression
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conflict
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perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, and 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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mere exposure theory
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The more we are exposed to something, the more typical it becomes ( the more similar something it is to us, the more we take a liking for it )
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equity
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proportion to 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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alturism
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unselfish regard for the welfare of others
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bystander effect
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tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present
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GRIT
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Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction – a strategy designed to decrease international tensions
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social exchange theory
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maximize benefits and lower costs
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Philip Zimbardo
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Stanford Prison Experiment; obedience
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Solomon Asch
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conformity; showed that social pressure can make a person say something that is obviously incorrect
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Leon Festinger
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cognitive dissonance
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Stanly Milgram
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did obedience experiments with teacher and learner “shock” experiments; showed people will obey commanding, authoritative, legitimate figures even though the commands being made can be odd or stressful
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self serving bias
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a readiness to perceive oneself favorably; The tendency to assign internal attributes to successes and external factors to failures.
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central route to persuasion
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this method focuses on facts and the content of the message in order to convince the listener, as opposed to relying on peripheral factors