Unit 9: Social Psychology 

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Attitudes

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32 Terms

1

Attitudes

are evaluative, meaning that our feelings toward such things are necessarily positive or negative.

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2

mere exposure effect

states that the more one is exposed to something, the more one will come to like it.

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3

Central route

to persuasion involves deeply processing the content of the message; what about this potato chip is so much better than all the others?

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4

Peripheral route

on the other hand, involves other aspects of the message including the characteristics of the person imparting the message (the communicator).

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5

Cognitive dissonance theory

is based on the idea that people are motivated to have consistent attitudes and behaviors.

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6

Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith

conducted the classic experiment about cognitive dissonance in the late 1950s.

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7

door-in-the-face strategy

argues that after people refuse a large request, they will look more favorably upon a follow-up request that seems, in comparison, much more reasonable.

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8

Norms of reciprocity

are at work when you feel compelled to send money to the charity that sent you free return address labels or when you cast your vote in the student election for the candidate that handed out those delicious chocolate chip cookies.

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9

Attribution theory

is another area of study within the field of social cognition.

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10

Harold Kelley

put forth a theory that explains the kind of attributions people make based on three kinds of information

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11

Consistency

refers to how similarly the individual acts in the same situation over time.

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12

Distinctiveness

refers to how similar this situation is to other situations in which we have watched Charley.

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13

Consensus

asks us to consider how others in the same situation have responded.

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14

False-consensus effect

The tendency for people to overestimate the number of people who agree with them.

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15

Self-serving bias

is the tendency to take more credit for good outcomes than for bad ones.

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16

Stereotypes

may be either negative or positive and can be applied to virtually any group of people (e.g., racial, ethnic, geographic).

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17

Prejudice

is an undeserved, usually negative, attitude toward a group of people.

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18

Stereotyping

can lead to prejudice when negative stereotypes (those rude New Yorkers) are applied uncritically to all members of a group (she is from New York, therefore she must be rude) and a negative attitude results.

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19

Ethnocentrism

the belief that one’s culture (e.g., ethnic, racial) is superior to others, is a specific kind of prejudice.

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20

In-group bias

is thought to stem from people’s belief that they themselves are good people.

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21

contact theory

states that contact between hostile groups will reduce animosity, but only if the groups are made to work toward a goal that benefits all and necessitates the participation of all.

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22

Muzafer Sherif’s (1966)

camp study (also known as the Robbers Cave study) illustrates both how easily out-group bias can be created and how superordinate goals can be used to unite formerly antagonistic groups.

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23

Instrumental aggression

is when the aggressive act is intended to secure a particular end.

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24

Hostile aggression

has no such clear purpose.

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25

Sociobiologists

suggest that the expression of aggression is adaptive under certain circumstances.

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26

bystander intervention

the conditions under which people nearby are more and less likely to help someone in trouble.

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27

Conformity

has been an area of much research as well.

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28

Solomon Asch (1951)

conducted one of the most interesting conformity experiments.

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29

social impairment

When the task being observed was a difficult one rather than a simple, well-practiced skill, being watched by others actually hurt performance

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30

Social loafing

is the phenomenon when individuals do not put in as much effort when acting as part of a group as they do when acting alone.

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31

Group polarization

is the tendency of a group to make more extreme decisions than the group members would make individually.

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32

Groupthink

a term coined by Irving Janis, describes the tendency for some groups to make bad decisions.

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