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FSU PSY 2012 - Psychology Study Guide- Final Exam

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Psychology Study Guide- Final Exam Chapter 16- Social Psychology 1. What is psychology? What are the three main focuses of social psychology?Social psychology is the scientific study of how we think about (social cognition), influence (social influence), and relate to one another (social relations). 2. What is an attribution? Describe the fundamental attribution error.Attributions explain someone’s behavior by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition. People usually attribute others’ behavior either to their internal dispositions or their external situations. The fundamental attribution error is defined as overestimating the influence of personality and underestimating the influence of situations. 3. Define attitude, and explain how attitudes and actions affect each other. Attitudes are feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events. If we believe someone is mean, we may feel dislike for the person and act unfriendly. Attitudes often predict our behavior, and attitudes follow behavior. Belieffeelingaction. 4. Explain the foot-in-the-door phenomenon. A tendency for people who agree to a small action to comply later with a larger one. A trivial act makes the next act easier. To get people to agree to something big, “start small and build”.5. Explain the central claim of cognitive dissonance theory. We often bring our attitudes in line with our actions. It is the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent. The less coerced and more responsible we feel for a troubling act, the more dissonance we feel. The more dissonance we feel, the more motivated we are to find consistency,such as changing our attitudes to help justify the act. 6. What is conformity?Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard. 7. Describe Asch’s experiments on conformity, and differentiate between normative and informational social influence. Note factors influencing conformity. Asch devised and experiment where he had 5 people sitting down and had one person come in and the experimenter performed a vision test. On the second round, one of the students has trouble stating the obviouscorrect answer, after the 5 confederates had answered incorrectly. The study showed that people have a hard time going against the norm. Normative social influence explains that people conform because they fear social rejection or to gain social approval, where as informational 1social influence explains that people conform because they accept the opinions of others. 8. List Factors that increase conformity.Feeling incompetent, the group has at lest three people, the group is unanimous, you admire the groups’ status or attractiveness, one has made no prior commitment to any response, others in the group observe one’s behavior, you are a collectivist culture. 9. What is obedience? Describe Milgram’s experiment on obedience and explain what this experiment teaches us. Obedience is behavior following the rules or commands of one in authority. Milgram conducted a study (“learner” and “teacher”) where the teacher gives tests on word pairs, and the learner receives shocks for wrong answers. However, the learner doesn’t actually get shocked, the teacher is forced to “shock” the learner by the experimenter. The teachercontinued to shock the learner for wrong answers, just because he was being forced to. The study showed that good people can do bad things. And that situation plays important roles in behavior 10. Describe conditions in which the presence of others in likely to result in social facilitation, social loafing, and de-individualization. Social facilitation is the tendency for people, in the presence of others to enhance performance on simple tasks and impair performance on complex tasks. Social loafing is the tendency of people to exert less effort in group tasks (tug-of-war). People think their contribution is unimportant, therefore causing less individual participation. De-individualization causes us to be less self-conscious and less restrained in a group situation. The presence of others can arouse us, and can diminishthe feelings of responsibility, resulting in uninhibited behavior. (food fights). 11. What is group polarization? Explain how group interaction can facilitate group polarization. Strengthening of attitudes through discussion with like-minded people. Group polarization can have beneficial results, is amplifies and reinforces feelings and beliefs. But, can also enhance people’s feelings of prejudice or other negative feelings. 12. What is prejudice and identify the three components of prejudice. Prejudice is an unjustifiable attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and predisposition to discriminatory action. 13. What are the social roots of prejudice?Inequalities, social divisions, and emotional scapegoating. People who have money, power, and prestige tend to develop attitudes towards people who don’t have these things. We tend to identify ourselves in groups, and dislike people who our out-group. This develops an “in groupbias”. Prejudice springs from cultures divisions, heart’s passions, and also 2from the mind’s natural workings. Stereotyped beliefs are a by-product ofhow we cognitively simplify the world. We categorize people and groups biased on stereotypes and biased opinions. 14. Describe four ways that cognitive processes may help create and maintain prejudice. Categorization- In categorizing groups, we often stereotype them, biasingour perceptions of their diversity. We recognize how greatly people differfrom oth.er individuals in our groups, but we overestimate the similarity of those within our groups. Other-race effect- The tendency to recall faces of one’s own race more accurately than faces of other races. Vivid cases-We often judge the frequency of events by instances that readily come to mind. Vivid cases are readily available to our memory and therefore influence our judgments of a group. Just-world phenomenon- People justify their prejudice by blaming its victims. “People get what they deserve”. The just-world phenomenon reflects an idea we commonly teach our children that good is rewarded and evil is punished. 15. What are the two types of prejudice?Overt-open which is


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