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Psych 288 Exam 2 Study Guide

by: mkennedy24

Psych 288 Exam 2 Study Guide Psych 288

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These are notes for Exam 2 in Psychology of Social Behavior
Psychology of Social Behavior
Dr. S. Gervais
Study Guide
Psych 288, psych, Psychology of Social Behavior, Psychology, Social Behavior, social psychology
50 ?




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This 18 page Study Guide was uploaded by mkennedy24 on Tuesday March 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Psych 288 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. S. Gervais in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 49 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Social Behavior in Psychlogy at University of Nebraska Lincoln.


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Date Created: 03/08/16
 Chapter 5: The Self o Section 5.1: The Origins and Nature of the Self-Concept  Objective: What is the self-concept and how does it develop?  Self-Concept: The overall set of beliefs that people have about their personal attributes; Knowledge of who we are long-term (the “me”) o Strohminger and Nichols (2014)  Graph of Results: (Figure 5.1 Page 122)  Results: People think that changes in morality (e.g. how cruel he/she was) would alter the true self more than other changes in perceptual abilities (e.g. change in vision)  Morality is viewed as central to the self- concept, more so than cognitive processes or desires  Culture influences the self  Self-Awareness: The “I”; Thinking about ourselves short-term; How am I right now? o Independent View of the Self: A way of defining oneself in terms of one’s relationship to other people and recognizing that ones behavior is of ten determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others (“I am shy”; “I like good music”)  Western Cultures  Real life example: Masako Owada ( Harvard and Oxford educated woman) gave up career as a diplomat to marry a prince. Westerners were shocked to discover this and assumed Masako was coerced into marriage by a backward sexist society. o Interdependent View of the Self: A way of defining oneself in terms of one’s relationship to other people and recognizing that one’s behavior is often determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others  Relational: “I am a brother/sister.”  Collective: “I am a Husker” “I am an American”  Asian and non-western cultures  Real life example: Masako Owada (Harvard and Oxford educated woman) gave up career as a diplomat to marry a prince. Asian and non-western cultures Masako’s decision to give up her career was not surprising and was a natural consequence of her view of herself as connected and obligated to others. o Sense of self is socially constructed and varies from culture to culture o Gender Differences  Women Relational interdependent Close relationships “I am the youngest daughter of my family”  Men Collective interdependent Larger groups “I am in a fraternity” Functions of the Self o Self-Knowledge: Way we understand who we are and formulate and organize this information o Self-Control : Way we make plans and execute decisions  Example: Decision to read your textbook instead of going out for ice-cream  Example: Deciding to not make a scene with your ex-boyfriend because it will just embarrass you. o Impression Management: The way we present ourselves to other people and get them to see us the way we want to be seen o Self-Esteem: The way in which we try to maintain positives views about ourselves. o Section 5.2: Knowing Ourselves Through Introspection  Objective: To what extent do people know themselves through introspection and what are the consequences of introspection?  Introspection: Looking inward to examine the “inside information” and we – and we alone—have about our thoughts, feelings and motives. Example: Sat and wondered what major you want to study Example: You binge watch Netflix instead of studying for your psychology of social behavior exam One of the most amazing things about the human mind is that we can use it to examine ourselves. Consequences and Limits of Introspection o Focusing on the Self: Self Awareness theory  Self-Awareness Theory: The idea that when people focus their attention on themselves, they evaluate and compare their behavior to their internal standards and values  Seeing ourselves on video, or in the mirror can cause our thought to turn inward  When this happens, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values  Wilson, Laser, and Stone (1982) Students rate mood each day for 5 weeks Also rate factors that might relate to their mood: o Day of the week o Amount of sleep o How relationships are going At end of study, rate how much they thought each factor related to mood o -3(not at all) to +3(very much) Result 1: o Modest accuracy when estimating predictors of mood Actual People Correlati ’s on Rating s Relationship .51 1.52 s Sleep .04 1.00 Friday .05 1.80 Result 2: o People relied on causal theories about mood o Other people were as accurate as participant’s own ratings o Judging Why we Feel the Way we Do: Telling More Than we Can Know  Trying to figure out why we do what we do (another form of introspection)  Causal Theories: Theories about the causes of one’s own feelings and behavior; often we learn such theories from our culture (e.g. “absence makes the heart grow fonder”) o Consequences of Introspecting About Reasons  Reasons generated attitude change: Attitude change resulting from thinking about the reasons for ones attitude; people assume their attitudes math the reasons that are plausible and easy to verbalize  Real life example: You broke up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. The next day they come in and profess their love for you. In order to make your decision about whether or not to take him/her back, you make a pro/cons list. During the time of making the list, your boss talks about how much he likes him/her. So you write on the pro side “ boss likes significant other”. Then your ex-significant other accidently breaks your TV prompting you to write on the cons side “Clumsy”. By waiting to view someone’s actions and attitudes does not help in decision making nor does putting it on a piece of paper. It only makes you assume their attitudes and actions match your feelings that are plausible and easy to verbalize. o Section 5.3: Knowing Ourselves by Observing Our Own Behavior  Objective: In what ways do people come to know themselves by observing their behavior?  Self-Perception Theory: The theory that when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain or ambiguous, we infer these states by observing our behavior and the situation which it occurs  Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivation Intrinsic Motivation: The desire to engage in an activity because we enjoy it or find it interesting, not because of external rewards and pressures Extrinsic Motivation: The desire to engage in an activity because of external rewards and pressures, not because we enjoy the task of find it interesting Over-justification Effect: The tendency for people to view their behavior as caused by compelling extrinsic reasons, making them underestimate the extent to which it was caused by intrinsic reasons Task Contingent Rewards: Rewards that are given for performing a task, regardless of how well the task is done Performance Contingent Rewards: Rewards that are based on how well we preform a task  Mindsets and Motivation Fixed Mindset: The idea that we have a set amount of ability that cannot change; Set amount of ability (e.g. morals, intelligence) Growth Mindset: The idea that our ideas are malleable qualities that we can cultivate and grow (malleable amount of qualities) GROWTH MINDSET WINS OVERALL!  Understanding Our Emotions: The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion Two-Factor Theory of Emotion: The idea that emotional experience is the result of a two-step self-perception process in which people first experience psychological arousal and then seek an appropriate explanation for it o A person experiences arousal (fear, excitement, attraction, etc.) o The person then looks for a reason for the arousal o Arousal + Reason = Emotional Label Finding the Wrong Cause: Misattribution of Arousal o Misattribution of Arousal: The process whereby people make mistaken inferences about what is causing them to feel the way they do o Dutton and Aron (1974)  Men meet an attractive woman On scary bridge After crossing scary bridge, resting on bench  In which condition were the men most attracted to the woman? When the men met the woman on the scary bridge because the fear was the misattribution of arousal. The men figured the heart beating fast, etc. was due to the woman there fore they were more likely to call the woman after. Social Identity Theory: Henri Tajfel and John Turner (Europe) o Self Esteem from identifying with groups we belong too  African American  American  Women o Section 5.4: Using Other People to Know Ourselves  Objective: In what ways do people use others to know themselves?  Knowing Ourselves by Comparing Ourselves Social Comparison: o Evaluating one’s opinions and abilities by comparing oneself to others o When do we compare?  No objective standard  Uncertainty Social Comparison Theory: The idea that we learn about our own abilities and attitudes by comparing ourselves to others o Two questions:  When do people engage in social comparison?  With whom do they choose to compare themselves? o Answers:  Given time, look for appropriate comparison  Initially anyone around. Upward Social Comparison: Comparing ourselves to people who are better than we are with regard to a particular trait or ability (motivational function) Downward Social Comparison: Comparing ourselves to people who are worse than we are with regard to a particular trait or ability (self- esteem maintenance function) The nature of our goals determines whom we compare ourselves too.  Knowing Ourselves by Adopting Other Peoples View Charles Cooley: “The Looking Glass Self” o Person views self through eyes of others and gains self concept o “We see ourselves and the social world through the eyes of other people and often adopt those views o Especially true when two people want to get along o Three parts:  Imagine how we appear to others  Imagine judgment of that appearance  Develop self through judgment of others Social Tuning: The process whereby people adopt another person’s attitudes o Sinclair, Lowery, Hardin, and Colangelo (2005)  Social tuning to a likeable experimenter  Participants took test of automatic prejudice toward black people, after interacting with an experimenter wearing either an antiracism T-Shirt or a blank T- Shirt.  Results:  a Affective Forecasts: Peoples predictions about how they will feel in response to a future emotional event. o Section 5.5: Self-Control: The Executive Function of the Self  Objective: When are people likely to succeed at self- control, and when are they likely to fail?  Thought-Suppression: Doesn’t work very well; whereby we try to push thoughts out of our minds  Engaging in self-control is necessary for most goals  Self-Control is a muscle: Fatigue o Exert more self-control in morning than afternoon o Exert less self-control after self-regulation Strengthen o Glucose o Growth Mindset o Practice until habit o Section 5.6: Impression Management: All the World’s a Stage  Objective: How do people portray themselves so that others will see them as they want to be seen?  Impression Management: The attempt by people to get others to see them as they want to be seen; self- enhancement: similar to self-esteem; self- verification: similar to social cognition)  Ingratiation and Self-Handicapping Ingratiation: The process whereby people flatter, praise, and generally try to make themselves likable to another people, often of higher status Self-Promotion: Competent Exemplification: Moral Intimidation: Threatening Supplication: Helpless Self-Handicapping: The strategy whereby people create obstacles and excuses for themselves so that if they do poorly on a task they can avoid blaming themselves o Behavioral: People act in a way that reduce the likelihood that they will succeed on a task so that if they fail, they can blame it on the obstacles they created rather than lack of ability  Going out and partying the night before an exam. Failing: I only got a couple hours of sleep Passing: I must be very smart if I can pass an exam on a couple hours of sleep o Reported: People devise ready made excuses in case they fail  I will say “blah, blah, blah” if I fail this test o Section 5.7: Self Esteem: How we Feel About Ourselves  Objective: What are the pros and cons of having high self-esteem? Self-Esteem: Peoples evaluations of their own self worth, that is the extent to which they view themselves as good, competent, and decent Terror Management Theory: The theory that holds that self-esteem serves as a buffer, protecting people from terrifying thought about their own morality  Narcissism: The combo of excessive self-love and lack of empathy toward others Chapter 6: The Need to Justify Our Actions  The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance o Section 6.1 Objective: What is cognitive dissonance, and how do people avoid dissonance to maintain a positive self image? o Cognitive dissonance: The discomfort that people feel when two cognitions (beliefs, attitudes) conflict or when they behave in ways that are inconsistent with their conception of themselves  Festinger: Dissonance results from preforming an action that is discrepant from one’s self-concept  Threat to self-esteem  How can cognitive dissonance be reduced?  By changing our behavior to being it in line with the dissonant cognition  start exercising  By attempting to justify our behavior through changing gone of the dissonant cognitions  exercise is not that important  By attempting to justify our behavior by adding new cognitions  who wants to be healthy anyways?  Example: Smoking cigarettes  Smokers know smoking increases deadly diseases o Most direct way to reduce this dissonance is to stop smoking o Those who quit but end up relapsing actually end up changing perceptions about smoking; lowered perceptions of the dangers of smoking o Self-Affirmation: In context of dissonance, a way or reducing dissonance by reminding oneself of one or more of one’s positive attributes  Focusing on good things rather than bad to reduce dissonance  “Yeah I feel stupid for smoking, but man, am I a good cook! Let me show you. . . You can change one of your cognitions Or you could add consonant cognitions Cigs don’t cause cancer Cigs are so relaxing! But How?? You experience DISSONANCE! An unpleasant arousal state that you are motivated to reduce Here you are, a reasonably happy, content person with a good amount of self-esteem Then you do something that goes against your image of yourself. . .something stupid, immoral, or selfish o o o Modern Approaches to Self-Esteem Maintenance:  Self-Affirmation Theory (Steele, 1988)  People view self as good, competent, and moral  When this view is threatened:  Deal directly with threat  Affirm self in unrelated domain o Self-Evaluation Maintenance Theory (Tesser, 1988)  Focus on interpersonal relationships  People act in ways to maintain self-esteem  Three variables of interest:  Closeness to other people  Relevance of activity to self-esteem  Performance level on the activity o Human thinking is not all rational but rationalizing o Why do we overestimate the pain of disappointment?  Impact Bias: The tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of one’s emotional reactions to future negative thoughts  Example: People overestimate how dreadful they will feel after a romantic breakup. But people end up reducing dissonance by realizing how much better off they are without them o Decisions  Distorting our likes and dislikes  Post-Decision Dissonance: Dissonance aroused after making a decision typically reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and devaluing the rejected alternative  In a study, women we given a chance to rate appliances and told after the study, they would be able to take the most favored appliance with them. After the women had rated the appliances, it had turned out that two appliances were rated very similar, so the experimenters told the women to rate between the two highly favored appliances as to which one they wanted. As it turned out, the women ended up rating one of the appliances higher than before and the other (which was rated the same before) was now rated as lower than the other.  The Permanence of the Decision  Finality of decisions makes people happier with their decisions  Creating the Illusion of Irrevocability  Irrevocability of a decision always increases dissonance and the motivation to reduce it  Lowballing: An unscrupulous strategy whereby a salesperson induces a customer to agree to purchase a product at a low cost, subsequently claims it was an error, and then raises the price, frequently the customer will agree to make the purchase at the inflated price o 3 Reasons This Works:  Even though the decision is reversible, a sort of commitment exists  Not getting the car and not driving away with a new care is a let down  “Price isn’t that much higher, what the heck, Ill just get the car”  The Decision to Behave Immorally  Dissonance across cultures o Collectivist Societies: Where needs of group matter more than needs of a particular person  Dissonance reducing behavior might be less prevalent at least on the surface o Individualist Societies: Where needs of a particular person matter more than the needs of a group  Self Justification in Everyday Life o Section 6.2 Objective: How does cognitive dissonance operate in everyday life, and what are some constructive ways of reducing? o The Justification of Effort  How do you reduce the dissonance form finding out the club you put so much effort into joining, turns out to be full of boring pompous people?  You may try to convince yourself the people in the group are nice than first glance.  Effort Justification: Effort + Choice = Dissonance  Fraternities initiations  Festinger: “We come to love the things we suffer for”  Justification of Effort: The tendency for individuals to increase their liking for something they have worked hard to attain  Joining a frat or sorority and going through hazing  Internal versus External Justification  Internal Justification: The reduction of dissonance by changing something about oneself (e.g. one’s attitudes or behaviors) o If your friend is wanting to know what you think of her new dress and you think it is ugly what do you say? She also mentioned she just took the dress in and couldn’t return it. If your friend is wealthy and buying another dress that isn’t ugly wouldn’t bother her and you know this lying to her may cause dissonance, so, you find something non-external to reduce dissonance like by changing your attitude or behavior about the dress by finding specific parts that you like  External Justification: A reason or explanation for dissonant personal behavior that resides outside that individual (e.g. to receive a large reward or avoid severe punishment o Lying to your friend about her dress because she already got it altered and cannot return it. o Counterattitudinal Advocacy: Stating an opinion or attitude that runs counter to one’s private belief or attitude  Saying or fining things about the dress that you like might end up changing your overall opinion about the dress. “Saying becomes believing”  You know you have this new jacket that your mom bought you but in order to save her forming having to return it and hurting her feelings, you point out small things about the jacket that counter what you actually feel about the jacket. o The Lasting Effects of Self Persuasion  Insufficient punishment: The dissonance around when individuals lack sufficient external justification for having resisted a desired activity or object. Usually resulting in individuals devaluing the forbidden activity or object  Self-Persuasion: A long-lasting form of attitude change that results from attempts at self-justification  Experimenters told preschoolers to rate some toys. Whatever toy was more favorable, the experimenters ended up telling the children that the toy was forbidden. Some of the children were told a more severe punishment if they were to play with the toy while others were told a more mild punishment if they were to play with the toy. Then the experimenter left the room o Children with mild-threat conditions ended up convincing themselves that the forbidden toy isn’t as great as it once seemed o Children with severe-threat conditions ended up playing with the toy that was forbidden in the beginning the first chance they had  Self-persuasion is more permanent because it happened internally and not due to external coaxing, threats, or pressure o After months later, the experimenters came back to test the kids again and the same kids who were given the mild- threat conditions still had kept to their persuasion about the toy while the severe threat conditioned children played with the toy.  Not just tangible rewards or punishments  You want a person to do something or not do something only once Mild Threat = High o Promise a large reward Dissonance o Threaten a severe punishment  You want a person to become committed to an Severe Threat = Low attitude or behavior dissonance o The smaller the reward or punishment that will lead to momentary compliance, the greater the eventual change in attitude and therefore the more permanent the effect Large reward or severe punishmentternal justification (I do or think this because I have tTemporary Change Small reward or mild punishment Internal Justification (I do or think this because I have convinced myself that it’s right)e  The Hypocrisy Paradigm o Hypocrisy Induction  Sexually active college students make speech favoring safe sex  Dissonance  Think about time when they didn’t have safe sex  No Dissonance  Not asked to think  Reduce dissonance indirectly: donate money to homeless  Reduce dissonance directly: purchase condoms


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