New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Social Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Christina Hancock

Social Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide PSYC 2606

Marketplace > University of Colorado at Boulder > Psychlogy > PSYC 2606 > Social Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide
Christina Hancock

GPA 3.0

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

These notes are for the first exam. This study guide covers all the topics covered in weeks 1-4. The topics include: What is Social Psychology, Ethics, Self Concept, Self Esteem, Motive for Self En...
Social Psychology
Irene Blair
Study Guide
Social Psychology Exam Study Guide 1
50 ?




Popular in Social Psychology

Popular in Psychlogy

This 14 page Study Guide was uploaded by Christina Hancock on Monday February 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC 2606 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Irene Blair in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Colorado at Boulder.


Reviews for Social Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 02/08/16
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Social Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide Terms, Concepts, and Studies to Know for Exam 1 The scientific study of the way individuals think, feel, and behave in a social context. Topics this class will cover: • How do we know who we are? • What are common ways that we misjudge others? • How do we change other peoples attitude? • How do other people affect us? • Is group or individual work more productive? • What is love? • What increases aggression? • What prevents people from helping others? What is Social Psychology? Scientific Study: Personal experience or intuition can be a starting point, but answers come from scientific evidence. Follow Scientific Goals and Methods • Objectivity • Generality • Validity and Reliability • Explanation is the Goal Theory-based and ruled by evidence Individuals: We focus on individuals rather than groups - Distinct from Sociology But not a specific individual! - Distinct from Clinical Psychology We want to know about the typical (average) - Distinct from psychopathology, we want to understand “normal behavior” Think, Feel, and Behave: Social Context: Basic Premise: Humans are social animals and cannot be understood without considering the social context. 1 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 •Presence of other people •Thought of other people •Social rules and norms (Distinct from other subfields of psychology; Biological or cognitive) Over Arching Themes: Power of the situation- how social interactions change behavior Small things matter (“channel factors”) - the way someone says something or a chance encounter, the way someone looks. Construal: How people interpret a situation is often more important for understanding behavior than how things actually are. Minuet Maid Commercial Example Shames, expectations and top-down processing: Prior knowledge or expectations about the world (e.g. stereotypes) often drive our thoughts, feelings and behaviors Automatic (unconscious, unintended, spontaneous) vs. Controlled (conscious, intended, deliberate) —————————————————————————————————————————— Science Begins with a Question: - Why do people…? Scientific Theory: An explanation Question: “Why do people cheat on taxes?” Explanation = Theory : “People cheat because they think everyone else does.” Scientific Theory General Terns Casual Relations Disconfirmation with data must be possible. If the data show the theory is wrong, it must be abandoned. Hypothesis is a specific prediction about the results of a study bas on one’s theory. Science = Empirical Tests of Theories Descriptive/ Correlational Research Goal is to describe reality at a particular time, place, using objective measures Social psychologists are typically interested in describing how two or more variables are associated with one another: correlational research 2 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 “Is there an association between how much one thinks other people cheat on taxes and how much one cheats on one’s own taxes?” Methods of Descriptive/ Correlational Research • Analyze existing data (archives) -Tax records, police reports, Hospital records, etc. • Collect new data by observation or asking questions (in person, telephone, mail, internet) Potential Research problems: • Correct interpretation of behavior Correct recording of behavior • • Problems with participant sampling and response • Sample is too small to represent the population • Sample is obtained in a biased manner Obtaining an Unbiased Study Sample • Choose participants to represent the population accurately What dimensions must be considered? • Randomly select people from a population; a large enough sample will be unbiased. Random selection: every person has an equal chance of being studied. Primary Limitation of Correlational Research • An association between two variables tells us little about casual direction Correlation DOES NOT = Causation • Problem of third variables: Correlations may be caused by something we haven’t measured Problems of reverse causation: Causality may be in either direction • A better understanding of correlations is obtained if… Obvious third variables are eliminated Longitudinal research reduced the possibility that something measured later caused what was measured earlier (time travel?) An Experiment: (random controlled trial) • The goal of an experiment is to isolate the effect of one or more variables on a specific outcome -Everything except for the variables under study should be controlled (kept constant) - Same for Lab or field • Valid experiments allow for claims of causality. Experiments are thus the gold standard in testing scientific theories. IV: The variable that is manipulated by the researcher DV: The outcome that is expected to be influenced by the IV; a measure of behavior, feelings or judgment. 3 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Ethics Scientific Openness and Replication • Researchers have an ethical obligation to conduct valid studies and faithfully report results without hiding “inconvenient” findings. • Researchers have an ethics obligation to provide other researchers with enough detail to allow for replication. • Researchers are increasingly being asked to provide their raw data for verification of results Ethical Treatment of Human Subjects/ Participants: History • Revelations of Nazi medical experiments on prisoners during WWII • Concerns about social psychology studies that may have caused sever psychological distress. Belmont Report; Modern Principles in protecting human subjects: • Respect for persons: informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, careful consideration of deception, and debriefing. • Beneficence: max benefit and minimize risk • Justice: the benefits and burners of research should be equitable across the population. Research subjects can not be exploited because of their circumstances. Self Concept • Subjective rather than objective (does NOT = personality) • Controlled and Automatic components • What you think of your-self. There are many components to the self-concept; those active at a particular time an place = “working self-concept” - Physical - Social - Psychological Types of Self: • Individual Self- beliefs about person characteristics, especially that differentiate one from other individuals • Relations Self- Beliefs about the self in specific relationships. • Collective Self- Beliefs about the self as a member of various social groups. 4 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 The Self is both Malleable and Stable: Malleable (working self-concept) •Schools vs. work vs. home •Family vs. friends vs. strangers Stable •Core aspects of self are stable (personality) Overall “pool” of knowledge is stable • •Shifts in self-concepts are predictable Influences on the Self- Concept: • Individualistic/independent: Self is separate from other , stable (abstract) and directive of others. • Collectivistic/interdependence: Other people are part of the self; it is fluid, responding to situational and relational demand. Reflected Self- Appraisal- What i think that others think about me. - One of the ways that stereotypes about social groups become part of the self-concept (eg. gender, race, age) Social Comparison Theory: (Festinger, 1954) People compare themselves to other people in order to obtain information on their abilities and internal states. Social Comparison: Upward Comparison: comparing to people who are better. Downward Comparison: Comparing to people who are worse. ***Process can be deliberate or automatic. Ex. In a race; looking back on the people that are slower is a downward comparison vs. looking forward to people who are faster is an upward comparison. —————————————————————————————————————————— Self- Esteem: Positive or Negative Evaluation of Oneself Self- Enhancement Motive: • We have a basic need to perceive ourselves positively (just like we need to eat, sleep to live life to the fullest we need to stay positive) • This leads us to view the world in a manner that reinforces a positive self-concept (high self-esteem) Self- Enhancement Motive = Self - Presentation 5 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 How we show ourselves to the world is linked to the way we want to look “our best.” Motive to Self-enhance = Self- Serving Cognitions Unrealistic Optimism- The thought that good things will happen to us and bad things will not ex. When asked what kind of driver you are, most people will say yes to being above average. Illusion of Control: The belief that we have more control than is actually the case. ex. Some people try to pick their own lottery numbers thinking that will lead to more success…..Let the machine pick them for you, your chances of winning are better. Self- Serving Attributions: Believing that good outcomes are due to one’s own effort or ability, but bad outcomes are due to external factors. ex. When you get a good grade on an exam you tell yourself its because of your hard work but when you get a bad grade on an exam, you tell yourself the exam was “unfair” Self- Serving Memory: Having “better” memory for information that reflects yourself as positive. ex. People tend to hype up events that happened in the past to make themselves look better. Downward Social Comparison: Comparing oneself with others who are worse off. This give you motivation and make things seem not too bad. ex. In a race, looking back on the people behind you would be making a downward comparison. You are faster than all those people. Upward Social Comparison: Comparison oneself with other who are better than you. This can give you motivation to be better or make things harder to continue due to feeling worse than everyone ahead of you. ex. In a race, looking ahead at all the people in front of you and feeling slower would be making an upward comparison. Motive for Self- Enhancement and Self -Handicapping - Self- Handicapping: Pre- emptive behavior that provides an excuse for failure and thus protects self- esteem if failure occurs… but a lot sabotages one’s chance of success. 6 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 ex. Classic Research…Berglas and Jones (1978) and Self- Handicapping in Sport Practicing: (Stone, 2002) Participants given an opportunity to practice before a “mini golf” test. IV: Threat (test will reflect on ability) vs. no- treat (test is for fun) DV: Amount of practice before saying one is ready to complete the test. Conclusion: People with no-threat work harder than people with high threat and lack of practice - How Self - Handicapping can be done: • Making one’s physical/mental state worse (e.g. lack of sleep or food, alcohol or other drugs) • Failing to study or practice • Trying to accomplish tasks in sub-optimal environment (e.g. noise or distraction) • Procrastination • Schedule events impossibly close together • Taking on challenges that are too hard. - Defining Characteristics of Self- Handicapping: • Behavior must occur before the evaluative event • Conscious behavior (e.g. procrastination vs. forgetting) • Motivated by the desire for positive impressions of one’s abilities, in the eyes of others or oneself. NOTE: People who chronically engage in self-handicapping don't feel positively about themselves in the long term, other people ask don't view them positively. - Factors that Increase Self- Handicapping: • Belief that abilities are fixed • Belief that one is likely to fail 7 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Belief performance reflects ability • • Public performance and explicit social comparison (e.g. competition) • People with low self-esteem fear failure; People with high self- esteem see opportunity to stand out as exceptional. - Motive for Self- Enhancement (High Self- Esteem Produces) • Self- Presentation Self Enhancing cognitions • • Self -Handicapping Positive Outcomes: Engaging in Moderate Self- Enhancement Positive Health Outcomes Motivate Achievement Helps to overcome challenges People like Confidence in Others Engaging in High Self - Enhancement Negative Health Behavior Prevent Improvement Difficulty dealing with threats, potential danger to others People dislike arrogance Self - Verification - Self Verification Theory: People desire stability and predictability in the world, and this is enhanced if others see things the same way. Views of the self are no exception; people want stability and predictability in how they see themselves 8 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Stability of the self is enhanced when others see us as we ourselves = motive for self verification. -Self - Verification: When people attempt to elicit, recall, and accept feedback that is consistent with the self- concept. • Choice of identity cues (e.g. clothing and other possessions) • Selections of close friends and romantic partners ex. Self - Verification and Marital Commitment (Swann et. el., 1992) - Self - Enhancement and Self - Verification - If there are needs for both self - enhancement and self - verification, can one predict when one will more likely to influence the outcome? - The operation of both motives maintains balance, but each one may dominate in different situations Relationship Status: Self - Enhancement when rejection is a real possibility (e.g. dating); self -verification when rejection is low Dimensions of Judgement- Self - Enhancement when feeling are at stake’ self- verification when accuracy is important. ——————————————————————————————————————— Social Perception — Selective Attention - It is impossible to see everything in the world around us. Instead we use prior knowledge and expectations to focus on what we believe is important and filter out what we believe is unimportant. Schemas and Information Processing Schema: A hypothetical knowledge structure that contains what a person knows about a particular concept, including the relations among objects, relevant events, actions and sequences of actions. Priming and Information Processing: Due to schemas, the activation of one concept affects the processing of other concepts - a process known as priming. 9 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Heuristics and Information Processing Heuristics: Mental shortcut that provides a quick and easy answer. - Availability Heuristic: - Judgements of frequency or probability based on how easily examples come to mind. - Representativeness Heuristic: - People use similarity to the prototype (stereotype) to make a judgment Confirmation Bias - The tendency to seek, interpret, and even create information that verifies existing beliefs. Belief Perseverance - The tendency to maintain beliefs even after they have been discredited. - One cause of belief perseverance is that the explanation generates for the behavior remains, even when the behavior itself has been discredited. - Belief perseverance can be greatly reduced when people think about alternative explanations for behavior. Causal Attributions — The explanation for a persons behavior; what is determined to be the cause of the behavior. — Causal attributions are most likely o be elicited when behavior is… • Negative • Unexpected • Personally relevant Two types of Attributions Internal/ Personal Attributions: Behavior is explained by aspects of the person. External/Situations Attribution: Behaviors is explained by aspects of the situation. Consequences for Response: 10 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 internal Attribution External Attribution Emotion Anger Sympathy Judgment Blame Not Responsible Behavior Punishment Help How are Attributions Made? Covariation Principle - We consider potential causes of the behavior and “weigh” them based on our perception of what other people would do (consensus) and, if known what this same person has done in other situations (distinctiveness) Covariation Information = Internal Attribution Low Consensus - Most people would have behaved differently Low Distinctiveness - this person often does similar things *** Internal Causes *** ‘ Covariation Information = External Attribution High Consensus - Most people would behave the same way. High Distinctiveness - This person does not usually do this. *** External Causes *** Discounting Principle Less weight is given to a particular cause if there are obvious other causes for the behavior Augmentation Principle More weight is given to a particular cause if other potential causes would have produced an opposite result. ————————————————————————————————— Biases in Causal Attributions (The Fundamental Attribution Error) 11 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Making Casual Attributions: - Principles of covariation, discounting and augmentation assume that people think carefully and deliberately about the best canal attribution BUT… - People often make attributions very quickly, without thinking. We don't usually have the motivation, time or ability to consider every piece of information and weigh it appropriately. Fundamental Attribution Error: The tendency to focus on personal (internal) causes and underestimate the influence of the situation on behavior Jones and Harris (1967) IV1: Participants read an essay that supported or opposed Fidel Castro’s communist regime. IV2: They were told that the essay position was freely chosen or assigned to the writer. DV: Judgment of the writer’s true attitude toward Castro. Logically, does a pro- Castro essay indicate a more favorable attitude toward Castro than an anti-Castro? - When it was freely chosen Why Fundamental Attribution Error: Perceptual Salience People make attributions to causes that are most obvious ( salient) - In explaining a person behavior, we are typically focused on the person rather than the surrounding context “Why did Jane crash her car?” Not: “Why did the road cause Jane’s car to crash?” Why are Fundamental Attribution Error: Personal Attributions are automatic - situational attributions take more time. ——————————————————————————————————————— 12 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Factors that Reduce Fundamental Attribution Error Self - Enhancing Attributions: Bad outcomes are not my fault; good outcomes are all me. Actor-Observer Differences: The actor tends to explain their own behavior as due to the situation. The observer tends to explain the actor behavior as due to personal qualities of the actor. Cultural Differences: - The fundamental attribution error is less prevalent in collectivistic cultures • Individualists are more likely to attribute behaviors to dispositions • Collectivists are more likely to attribute behaviors to the situation. - For people who are connected to both independent and interdependent cultures, attribution styles may change depending on the cultural context. Debasing Efforts: (Morewedge et al., 2015) - Teach people about each bias and how it affects them - Teach mitigating strategies: Consider alternative explanations, possible outcomes, anchors, perspective 13 Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - Teach formal rules of logic, Methods of hypothesis, and relevant statistical rules as well as encouraging participants to carefully reconsider their initial answers. -Provide feedback and coaching Conclusion on Causal Attribution: The fundamental attribution error can be overcome if we are aware of this bias, we are motivated to be accurate, we have corrective strategies and we take the time to consider information more carefully. 14


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

50 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Jennifer McGill UCSF Med School

"Selling my MCAT study guides and notes has been a great source of side revenue while I'm in school. Some months I'm making over $500! Plus, it makes me happy knowing that I'm helping future med students with their MCAT."

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.