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PSYC 2606: Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Sydney Lazzell

PSYC 2606: Exam 1 Study Guide PSYC 2606

Marketplace > University of Colorado at Boulder > PSYC 2606 > PSYC 2606 Exam 1 Study Guide
Sydney Lazzell


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Study guide for exam 1 (chap 1-5)
Social Psychology
Irene Blair
Study Guide
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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Sydney Lazzell on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC 2606 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Irene Blair in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 217 views.


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Date Created: 09/18/16
Underlined text = Important vocab from PSYC 2606: Social Psychology lecture/textbook Exam 1 Study Guide Social Psychology o The scientific study of the way individuals think, feel, & behave in a social context o Answers come from scientific evidence o Explanation is the goal o Basic premise = humans are social & cannot be understood w/o considering the social context o Presence & thoughts of other people o Social norms/rules o Construal = how people interpret a situation is more important for understanding behavior than how things really are o Priming = influencing w/o the person knowing about it o The activation of one concept affects the processing of other concepts o Ex: class video of priming with counting money  eating more, less helpful, feel less pain Science – Tests of Theories o Descriptive/Correlational = describe reality at a particular time & place using objective measures; describing 2 or more variables are associated w/one another is correlational research o Methods:  Analyze existing data (i.e. tax or hospital reports)  Collect new data by observation (in person, mail, phone, internet) o Potential research problems:  Correct interpretation of behavior, correct recording of behavior, problems w/participant sampling or response  Sample is too small to represent the population  Sample is obtained in a biased manner o Obtaining an unbiased study  Randomly select people from a population, large enough so that the sample will be unbiased  Random selection = every person has an equal chance of being studied o Correlation does not equal Causation  3 variables = correlations may be caused by something we haven’t measured  Better understanding of correlations is obtained if obvious 3 variables are removed o An experiment = isolate effect one or more variables on a specific outcome o Valid experiments allow for claims of causality  gold standard in testing scientific theories o Independent variable = variable that is manipulated by researcher o Dependent variable = expected to be an outcome that is influenced by the independent variable o Random assignment = each person has an equal chance of being in a condition (e.g. flip a coin)  Ensures pre-existing characteristics of people are randomly distributed (saves validity of experiment) o Openness/Replication o Researchers obligated to conduct valid studies & faithfully report results w/o holding inconvenient findings o Also obligated to provide other researchers w/enough detail to replicate that experiment – provide raw data for verification o Belmont Report = protecting human subjects 1. Respect for persons 2. Beneficence (max benefits, min risk) 3. Justice (benefits/burdens of research should be equitable across the population Self Concept o = How people think & feel about themselves o Controlled & automatic components (i.e. self presentation) o Working Self Concept = components of self concept that are active at a particular time & place o Very individualistic o Ex: American children define themselves according to how they are unique from their classmates o Individual self = beliefs about personal characteristics, especially that differentiate one from other individuals o “I have danced for 10 years” o Relational self = beliefs about self in specific relationships o “I am an uncle” o Collective self = beliefs about the self as a member of various social groups o “I am a US citizen” o The self is malleable & stable o Malleable  school vs. work vs. home o Stable  core aspects of self & overall “pool” of knowledge is stable  Shifts in self concept are predictable Influences on Self Concept o Self perception (experiences & stories) o Culture o Individualistic/Independent = self is separate from others, stable, & directive of others (North America, Australia) o Collectivistic/Interdependent = other people are part of the self; it is fluid, responding to situational & relational demands (South America, South/Central Asia) o Western cultures value self achievement & feeling good about oneself; Eastern cultures value self improvement & feeling good about ones contributions o Reflected self appraisals o What I think others think about me o How stereotypes about social groups become part of the self concept o Social comparison theory = people compare themselves to other people in order to obtain info on their abilities & internal states, especially when objective info is unavailable & when others are similar in relevant ways  People may still rely on social comparison even when objective info is available  People may still compare themselves to dissimilar others (i.e. models on TV, Olympic athletes) o Upward comparison = comparing to people who are better o Downward comparison = comparing to people who are worse Self Esteem o Has both stable (trait) & changeable (state) components across time & situation o Self Enhancement Motive = self presentation o Have a basic need to perceive ourselves positively o View the world in a reinforcing positive self concept (high self esteem) Self Serving Cognitions o Unrealistic optimism = the belief that good things are likely to happen to us & bad things typically wont o Illusion of control = the belief that we have more control than is actually the case o Ex: people prefer to pick their own lottery numbers rather than let the machine o Self serving attributions = believing that good outcomes are due to ones own effort or ability, but bad outcomes are due to external factors o Ex: the dog ate my homework o Self serving memory = having better memory for info that reflects positively on us o Ex: the lower the GPA the lower accuracy on recalling the GPA o Generally tend to see downward comparisons o People rate themselves worse in the past than objectively measured o People rate themselves as improving over time, but not acquaintances over the same period Self-Handicapping o = pre-emptive behavior that provides an excuse for failure & protects self esteems if failure occurs – but also sabotages ones chances of success o Ways to handicap: o Making ones physical/mental state worse (i.e. lack of sleep/food, alcohol) o Failing to study/practice o Procrastination o Trying to accomplish tasks in sub-optimal environments (i.e. noise or distractions) o Schedule events impossibly close together o Taking on challenges that are too advanced o Defining characteristics: o Behavior has to occur before the evaluative event o Conscious behavior o Motivated by the desire for positive impressions of ones abilities, in the eyes of others or oneself o Increased self handicapping: o Belief that ability is fixed o Belief that one might do poorly o Belief that performance reflects ability o Public performance & explicit social comparison Self-Verification Theory o = when people attempt to elicit, recall, & accept feedback that is consistent w/the self concept (i.e. choice of clothing, close friends or romantic partners) o People desire stability & predictability in the world – this is enhanced if others see things the same way o Stability of the self is enhanced when others see us as we see ourselves  motive for self verification o Self enhancement is dominant when feelings are at stake; self verification dominant when accuracy is important o Ex: relationship status: self enhancement when rejection is a real possibility, self verification when rejection is low Self-Regulation Comparison to standard Thought, feeling, behavior Adjust for discrepancy o Failures of self regulation o Low motivation o Energy runs out o Did not detect discrepancy in time o Poor strategy for correcting discrepancy o Distraction Thought Suppression o Don’t think bad thoughts  monitor for bad thoughts  increased accessibility of bad thoughts  thought intrusion  work harder! o Making resolutions stick o Implementation intention = link your specific goal w/physical cue (i.e. write it down 3-5x w/conviction) Selective Attention o We use prior knowledge & expectations to focus on what we think is important & filter out what we think is unimportant o Social perception = basic info processing principles that affect our views & judgments of other people o Bottom-up = thinking influenced by stimuli in environment o Top-down = thinking influenced by pre-existing knowledge & expectations Schemas & Heuristics o Schema = what a person knows about a concept, including relations among objects, relevant events, actions/sequences of actions o Social schemas  self, others, relationships & world o Heuristic = mental short cut that provides a quick & easy answer o Availability = judgments of frequency based on how easily examples come to mind o Representiveness = people use similarity to the prototype to make a judgment (i.e. surprised with the Britain’s Got Talent singer) Confirmation Bias o = The tendency to seek, interpret & even create info that verifies beliefs o Belief perseverance = tendency maintain beliefs even after they have be discredited Impressions o First impressions  order effects, physical appearance, overgeneralization of babyface associations o Consequences of babyface: o They are judged more suitable for jobs that require warmth o They are less likely to be found guilty of intentional crimes, but more likely to be guilty of crimes of negligence o Mature faced kids are expected to be more mature & responsible than same age peers o Attractiveness heuristic: o “What is beautiful is good” o Consequences:  People are friendlier toward attractive people  They tend to have more friends & social skills  More likely to be hired  But…they are not more intelligent or better adjusted than others o Impression formation o Fast & effortless (schema, heuristic, priming) o Sticky (confirmation bias & belief perseverance) Attributions o Causal attribution = explanation for a persons behavior; what the cause of the behavior is o Elicited when behavior is negative, unexpected, personally relative o Covariation principle = considering potential causes of the behavior & weighing them based on perception of what other people would do & what that same person has done in other situations 1. Internal/personal = behavior is explained by aspects of the person a. Low consensus: most people would act differently b. Low distinctiveness: this person often does similar things 2. External/situational = behavior is explained by aspects of the situation a. High consensus: most people would behave the same b. High distinctiveness: this person usually doesn’t do this o Discounting principle = less weight is given to a cause of behavior if there are obvious other causes o Ex: giving someone money at gunpoint would not be seen as a generous act o Augmentation principle = more weight is given to a cause if other causes would have produced on opposite result o Ex: giving help to an injured player from the opposite team o Fundamental attribution error = tendency to focus on personal causes & underestimate the influence the situation on behavior Why Fundamental Attribution Error? o Perceptual salience (i.e. why did Same do that vs. why did the situation cause Sam to do that) o Personal attributions are automatic; situational attributions take more time o Just world hypothesis = the belief that people get what they deserve & deserve what they get Reducing FAE o Self-enhancing attributions o Bad outcomes are not my fault; good outcomes are all me o Actor-Observer differences o Actor explains own behavior as due to the situation (external view of the world) o Observe explains actors behavior as due to personal qualities of the actor o Cultural differences o FAE less prevalent in collectivistic cultures o Individualists  attribute behavior to dispositions o Collectivists  attribute behaviors to situations o Debiasing efforts Conclusions on Causal Attributions o We are often biased in our attributions – we underestimate the power of the situation & focus on personal attributions o FAE can be overcome if we are aware of the bias, motivated to be accurate, have corrective strategies, & take time to consider info more carefully


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