Front Back
- factors that influence the initiation, direction, intensity, and persistence of behavior; an intervening variable
- a reason or purpose that may provide a single explanation for the occurrence of many different behaviors
Intervening Variable
- something that is used to explain the relationships between environmental stimuli and behavioral responses
Optimal Arousal Theory
- in general, people perform and feel best when arousal is moderate; optimal arousal levels vary from person to person
Yerkes-Dodson Law
- performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point; when levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases
Zajonc's Arousal Theory
- arousal is increased by presence of others; arousal increases tendency to perform dominant behaviors
Incentive Theory
- we behave in ways that allow us to get desirable incentives and avoid negative incentives
- the process of being attracted to incentives; extreme being addiction
- the immediate evaluation of how pleasurable a stimulus is experienced
Hedonistic Motivation
- people are motivated to approach pleasure and avoid pain; PLEASURE-PRINCIPLE
Extrinsic Motivation
- a desire for external rewards, such as money
Intrinsic Motivation
- a desire to attain internal satisfaction
Need For Achievement
- a desire for mastery or effectance is the motivation to behave competently
Individual Differences
- people with a high need to achieve set challenging but realistic goals; people with low achievement needs seem to enjoy success because they have avoided failure
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- people tell a story about an ambiguous picture that allows them to project their motives on to it
Learning Goals
- people with learning goals are concerned with getting better at something; they tend to be more persistent and less upset when they do not immediately perform well
Performance Goals
- people with performance goals are usually more concerned with how well they perform compared with others than they are about how to improve their performance; they tend to avoid challenges and quit in response to failure
Development of Achievement Motivation
- tends to be learned in early childhood, largely from parents; children with high motivation has parents who: encouraged children to try difficult tasks, offered praise and other rewards for success, encouraged children to find ways to succeed, prompted children to go on to the next ch...
Subjective Well-Being
- a combination of a cognitive judgment of satisfaction with life, the frequent experiencing of positive moods and emotions, and the relatively infrequent experiencing of unpleasant moods and emotions; most people’s subjective well-being tends to be remarkable stable throughout their li...
Important Factors in Generating Happiness
- close social ties, religious faith, having adequate resources to allow progress toward one’s goals
Deficiency Orientation
- those who try to seek happiness by trying to acquire goods or status that they think they need, rather than appreciating life itself and what they do have
Maslow's Hierarchy of Motives
- human behavior reflects a hierarchy of needs or motives; needs at the lower levels must be at least partially satisfied before people can be motivated by higher-level goals; five motives are: biological, safety, belongingness and love, esteem, self-actualization
Existence, Relatedness, Growth (ERG) Theory
- proposed by Alderfer (1969) to address some of the problems in Maslow’s Theory; places needs into three categories: existence needs, relatedness needs, and growth needs; does not assume that needs must be satisfied in a particular order
Conflicting Motives & Stress
- motives that act at the same time complicate life and can create significant emotional arousal and other signs of stress
Four Basic Types of Motivational Conflict
- approach-approach conflicts, avoidance-avoidance, approach-avoidance conflicts; multiple approach-avoidance conflicts
- organized psychological and physiological reactions to changes in one’s relationship to the world
Subjective Experience of Emotions
- usually temporary, can vary in intensity and can be positive or negative or a mixture of both, alters thought processes, triggers an action tendency, are passions that you feel whether you want to or not; you cannot decide to experience a particular emotion
Syndrome of Inter-related Components
- each emotion has some degree of each of these five things: physiological activation, subjective experience, motor expression, behavioral readiness, cognitive appraisal
James’ Peripheral Theory of Emotion
- also called the James-Lange Theory of Emotion; people experience emotion based on observations of their own physical behavior and peripheral responses; each particular emotion is created by a particular pattern of physiological responses
Facial-Feedback Hypothesis
- involuntary facial movements provide enough peripheral information to create emotional experience
Control Question Test
- compares responses to relevant questions with those to control questions
Directed Lie Test
- compares physiological responses when lying to those when telling the truth
Guilty Knowledge Test
- tries to determine if a person reacts differently to information that only the criminal would know
- not 100 percent accurate; psychologists and other scientists have expressed serious reservations about the use of such tests as evidence
Cannon’s Central Theory
- also called the Cannon-Bard Theory; emotion starts in the thalamus which then sends signals simultaneously to the autonomic nervous system and to the cerebral cortex, where it becomes conscious
Schachter-Singer Theory
- emotions are produced both by feedback from peripheral responses and by a cognitive appraisal of the nature and cause of those bodily responses; when physiological arousal from one experience carries over to affect emotion in an independent emotional situation, it is transferred excit...
Schachter-Singer Study (1962)
- cognitions are necessary for emotion: interpreting one's physiological arousal in terms of the social situation (angry, euphoric)
Appraisal Theories of Emotion
- our appraisals of the meaning of events are the psychological basis of emotion
The Process of Appraisal
- primary (is anything at stake?): goal relevance (is a goal “at stake”?), goal congruence (harm or benefit?), goal content/ type of ego-involvement (identity, competence, morality); secondary (how can I cope?): responsibility, coping potential, future expectancy
Averill Studies (1983)
- asked people to remember a recent episode of anger, he then asked a lot of specific questions about how they experienced this anger; found that people saw their anger as resulting from the unfair or unjustified actions of another person; aggressing against those we believe have done u...
Association Between Adult Attachment & Anger
- Study 1: examined attachment-style differences in self-reports of anger-proneness, anger expression, anger goals, and responses to anger; Study 2: assessed attachment style, physiological signs of anger, and attribution of hostile intent; Study 3: used a lexical-decision task for stud...
- when a person lacks what another person has and either desires it or wishes that the other did not have it
- when a person fears losing or has already lost an important relationship with another person to a rival
Suspicious Jealousy (prototypical jealousy)
- threat is suspected; experience marked by fears and uncertainties
Fait Accompli Jealousy
- threat is certain and damaging; loss, sadness; wrongdoing by partner: anger, hurt; one’s inadequacy: anxious; superiority of rival: envy
- self-conscious, self-critical, negative emotion; closer to regret, “If only I hadn’t done that…”
- self-conscious, self-critical, negative emotion; closer to embarrassment more intense, self-defect? “If only I weren’t that…”
Innate Expressions of Emotion
- newborns display some unlearned facial expressions; people in all cultures show similar facial responses to similar emotional stimuli
"Social and Cultural Influences on Emotional Expression"
- there is a degree of cultural variation is recognizing some emotions and people learn to express certain emotions in particular ways as specified by cultural rules; social situations also influence emotional expressions
Emotion Culture
- rules that govern what emotions are appropriate in what circumstances and what emotional expressions are allowed; these rules can vary between genders and from culture to culture
Social Referencing
- the process of letting another person’s emotional state guide our own behavior is called social referencing; ex: a movie...people think something is funny, and you don’t, but when people start laughing so do you like “Oh ya, this is funny”
Operant Conditioning
- the use of a behavior's antecedent and/or its consequence to influence the occurrence and form of behavior; helps to shape the range of one's emotional expressions
Social Psychology
- the scientific study of how people’s thoughts and feelings influence their behavior toward others and how the behavior of others influences people’s own thoughts, feelings, and behavior
Social Cognition
- the mental processes associated with the ways in which people perceive and react to individuals and groups (both self and others)
- the beliefs we hold about who we are and what characteristics we have
- the evaluations we make about how worthy we are as human beings
20 Statements Test
-"in the twenty blanks below please make twenty different statements in response to the simple question (addressed to yourself), "Who am I?" answer as if you are giving answers to yourself, not to somebody else"; in more individualistic societies, people tend to describe themselves with...
- people’s beliefs and views about themselves and the attributes they possess; contain information about the future self or possible self
The Role of Schemas
- schemas: influence what we pay attention to and what we ignore, what we remember about others, affect our judgment about the behavior of others through “top-down” processing, which allows us to “fill-in the gaps”
The Muhammad Ali Effect
- "i am the greatest"
The Rosenberg Scale
- scale to assess self-esteem; it asks 10 questions about positive or negative self-regard and has people respond using a 5-point scale that runs from the number 1 (“strongly disagree”) to the number 5 (“strongly agree”)
Terror Management Theory
- proposes that humans cope with the anxiety of realizing that we will all eventually die by developing a variety of self-protective psychological strategies, including efforts to establish and maintain high self-esteem
Levels of Self
- individual level: intra-personal (or “temporal”), inter-personal, intra-group; group level: intra-group, inter-group
- seeing oneself as a member of a social group rather than as a unique individual
Social/Group Identity
- the way we feel about the important group memberships that we share with others
Social Identity Theory
- people derive self-esteem from positively valued group memberships
Group Level of Self
- group membership influences self-esteem; when our group succeeds “we” succeed
Assimilation-Contrast Model
- assimilation = minimize difference between entities; contrast = maximize difference between entities;
Reference Groups
- individuals use the in-group as a “frame of reference"; members of a reference group provide relevant and meaningful comparisons for us, especially when: we are uncertain of ourselves, we are engulfed in the group, we strongly identify with and value the group
- mental representations of our beliefs and views about other people
Social Perception
- the processes through which people interpret information about others, form impressions of them, and draw conclusions about the reasons for their behavior
Self-Fulling Prophecies
- occur when, without our awareness, schemas cause us to subtly lead people to behave in line with our expectations.; four basic steps in a self‑fulfilling prophecy: adopting an attitude or making a decision concerning a person or group, behaving as though the decision or attitude is co...
- the process people go through to explain the causes of behavior; in explanation; people tend to attribute behavior in a particular situation either to internal causes (characteristics of the person) or external causes (characteristics of the situation)
- the degree to which other people’s behavior is similar to that of the actor
- the degree to which the behavior is the same across time and/or situations
- the extent to which the actor’s response to one situation stands out from responses to similar situations
Kelly’s “Covariation Model”
- we pay attention to three types of information when deciding if attributions are internal or external: consistency, consensus, and distinctiveness
Fundamental Attribution Error/ Correspondence Bias
- people in Western Europe and North America seem to prefer internal attributions; appear to disregard the contextual explanations of behavior and attitudes and infer that other's act as they will; fundamental attribution error is a tendency to over-attribute others’ behaviors to intern...
Ultimate Attribution Error
- a similar cognitive bias in which positive actions by members of an outgroup and negative actions by members of an ingroup are given external attributions; this helps maintain negative views of outgroups and positive views of one’s own ingroup
Actor-Observer Bias
- the tendency to attribute others’ behavior to internal causes but attribute your own behavior to external causes, especially when the behavior is inappropriate or inadequate
Self-Serving Bias in Attribution
- the tendency to take credit for success (attributing it to internal characteristics) but to blame external causes for failure
Unrealistic Optimism
- the tendency to believe that positive events are more likely to happen to you than to others, whereas negative events are less likely to happen to you than to others
Unique Invulnerability
- the feeling that tragedy is less likely to strike you than it is others
Culture and Attribution
- Joan Miller compared adults and children from U.S. (independent) and India (interdependent) in their attributions for a series of pro-social behaviors performed by other people (i.e., helping someone in need); adults from U.S. attributed causality to person’s traits; other three group...
- the tendency to think, feel, or act positively or negatively toward objects in our environment; has three components: the cognitive component is a set of beliefs about the attitude object, the emotional, or affective, component includes feelings about the object, the behavioral compon...
Attitude-Consistent Behavior
- most likely to occur when: the attitude is perceived to be important, behavior is consistent with a subjective norm, one has perceived control, one has direct experience with the attitude object
Bem’s Self-Perception Theory
- situations often arise in which people are not quite sure about their attitudes so they look back to their behavior under particular circumstances and then infer what their attitudes must be
Problems with Self-Perception Theory
- people adjust their attitudes to match their behavior even when they are unable to reflect on that behavior
Changing Attitudes
- usually requires more active efforts through mainly the form of persuasive messages; success depends primarily on three important factors: the person communicating the message, the content of the message, and the audience who receives it
Elaboration Likelihood Model
- two main routes by which persuasive messages can change attitudes, the peripheral route and the central route
Peripheral Route
- in this route we pay little attention to the central content of the persuasive message, instead we are affected by the persuasion cues that surround it, such as the speaker’s appearance, and confidence; people with a need for closure are uncomfortable with uncertainty and are more lik...
Central Route
- the content of the message becomes most important; people with a strong need for cognition like to engage in thoughtful mental activities and are more likely to use the central route
Dissonance Theory
- posits that people are motivated to appear consistent to themselves and to others; people change certain attitudes to make them consistent with the other attitudes and behaviors that they care about
Cognitive Dissonance
- an unpleasant state caused by people’s awareness of inconsistency between attitudes or actions
Interpersonal Attraction
- situational factors: physical proximity, circumstances of first meeting; similarity between individuals: attitude similarity, preference for balanced relationship; physical attractiveness: matching hypothesis
Prototype of Love
- antecedents: another person loves the self, provides him/her of what she needs; psychological states and responses: wanting to give and be with the loved one / expressing positive feelings to the other person / seeking physical closeness with other one / eye contact, mutual gaze / fee...
Passionate Love
- passionate feelings often intense, intrusive, changing sharply over time; men more “romantic” than women; romantic love more valued in independent cultures
Companionate Love
- less arousing but psychologically more intimate; it is marked by mutual concern for the welfare of the other
"Components of Intimate Relationships"
- interdependence: the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of the one person affect the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of the other; commitment: the extent to which each party is psychologically attached to one another and wants to remain in the relationship
- “each partner’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence the other”; cognitive: partner becomes part of the self; behavioral: outcomes depend on partner’s behavioral decisions as well as one’s own; affective: positive emotional bond of understanding and support
Factors Influencing Marital Satisfaction
- women, but not men, tend to be more satisfied when the partners talk a lot about the relationship itself; share one another’s view of themselves and each other; the perception that a relationship is fair and equitable
Factors Leading to Divorce
- occur shortly after marriage: couples expressed both positive and negative feelings, but were unable to control the way they expressed those feelings, especially the negative ones; those that occur after many years of marriage: couples simply did not communicate any feelings creating ...
- the perceptions, beliefs, and expectations a person has about members of some group; they are schemas about entire groups of people; focus on observable person attributes, particularly ethnicity, gender, and age
- a positive or negative attitude toward an individual based simply on membership in some group
- the differential treatment of individuals who belong to different groups, is the behavioral component
Motivational Theories
- suggest that prejudice against certain groups might enhance their sense of security and help them meet certain personal needs; prejudice may result when people’s motivation to enhance their own self-esteem causes them to identify with their in-group and to see it as better than other ...
- composed of three elements: an acceptance of conventional or traditional values, a willingness to unquestioningly follow the orders of authority figures, an inclination to act aggressively toward individuals or groups identified by these authority figures as threatening the values hel...
Cognitive Theories
- we use schemas and cognitive shortcuts to organize and make sense out of our social world
Learning Theories
- prejudices, like other attitudes, are learned from personal experience and from others
Contact Hypothesis
- stereotypes and prejudices about a group will diminish as contact with the group increases
Social Conditions Needed to Reduce Prejudice
- members of the two groups must be roughly equal in social and economic status, the situations must foster cooperation and interdependence, there must be reliance on one another to reach success on projects,contact between group members must be one-on-one, each group’s members must be ...
- two or more individuals that perceive themselves to be part of an entity
- an explanation for group violence and other forms of anti-social behavior; when we are “lost in a crowd,” ex: KKK
Social Facilitation
- describes circumstances in which the mere presence of other people can improve performance
Social Impairment
- occurs when the presence of other people impairs performance
- learned, socially based rules that prescribe what people should or should not do in various situations; make social situations less uncertain and more comfortable
Descriptive Norms
- indicate how most other people actually behave in a given situation, thereby implicitly giving permission to act in the same way
Injunctive Norms
- give more specific information about the actions that others find acceptable and those that they find unacceptable, applying subtle pressure to behave accordingly
Reciprocity Norm
- an example of an injunctive norm; this norm is the tendency to respond to others as they have acted toward you
- changing behavior or beliefs to match those of other members of a group, occurs as a result of real or imagined, though unspoken, group pressure
- occurs when people adjust their behavior because of a request
Explicit Requests
- occur when someone asks you directly for something
Implicit Requests
- occurs when someone “looks at you” in a certain way to cue your behavior
Public Conformity
- behavior is altered to fit the socially desirable thing to do, but beliefs or attitudes do not change
Private Acceptance
- people are convinced that their own perceptions were wrong and so they alter their beliefs and attitudes
Group Norms
- powerful because: people desire to be correct and norms provide information about what is right and wrong, people want to be liked by others and they may seek favor by conforming to the norms that those others have established, conforming to norms may increase a sense of self-worth, e...
Why Do People Conform?
- ambiguity of the situation: as the physical reality of a situation becomes less clear, people rely more and more on others’ opinions, and conformity to a group norm becomes more likely; unanimity and size of the majority: the amount of conformity to incorrect norms grows as the number...
Social Impact Theory
- states that a group’s impact on an individual depends not only on group size but also on how important and close the group is to the person; the impact of increasing the size of a majority depends on how big the majority was originally.
- group members fail to realistically evaluate their decision because of narrow focus on agreeing; more likely to occur when: consensus is not based on all facts at hand, group members share certain biases, dissenting members are punished or banned, leader pressures members to reach con...
- behavior change in response to a demand from an authority; factors influencing obedience: experimenter status and prestige, behavior of others, personality characteristics
- an act intended to harm another person; instrumental aggression: to gain resources, ex: bullying to get lunch money; hostile aggression
Instinct and Evolutionary Theories
- Freud proposed that aggression is partly due to Thanatos, the death instinct, and it is an instinctive biological urge that gradually builds and at some point must be released
Testosterone and Aggression
- testosterone may have its greatest and most durable influence not through day-to-day effects, but through its impact on early brain development; one study showed that the children of women who took testosterone during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage were more aggressive
The Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis
- frustration, being blocked from achieving one’s goal, leads to aggression; aggression against others is one efficient way to redirect frustrated energy
Social Learning
- people become more aggressive when rewarded for aggressiveness and less aggressive when punished for aggression; many aggressive responses are also learned by watching others
- viewers who believe media portrayals are realistic see world as hostile and dangerous; action shows portray and local news report greater violence than actually happens, giving people and exaggerated sense of danger
Scripts of Aggressive Behavior
- media provide detailed scripts, ways of behaving, in response to perceived threat and hostility from others
- media show aggressive behavior (scripts) is rewarded
Learning and Cultural Mechanisms
- aggressive behavior is more common in individualistic than in collective cultures. Cultural differences in the expression of aggression stem in part from differing cultural values; aggression can differ from one part of a country to another
- describes pro-social behaviour that is motivated by concern for another’s welfare, rather than one’s own welfare; the most clear instance of altruism occurs when people sacrifice themselves in some way to help another
- little self-sacrifice; motivated by concern for own welfare
Clarity of Need
- the first necessary step in making a decision to help is noticing another’s need and interpreting the situation as a potential helping situation; people are more likely to help if they are sure that the person really needs help
Arousal Cost-Reward Model
- if we do notice another person and interpret them as in need of help, then our thoughts may focus on things relevant to ourselves: cost or benefit of helping, our personal responsibility to help, or our actual ability to be helpful; although perceived need (and felt responsibility) of...
Empathy-Altruism Theory
- holds that people are more likely to engage in altruistic or unselfish helping, even when the cost of helping is high, if they feel empathy toward the person in need; the self- or other- focus of the emotions that can follow from empathy are another indicator of whether our motivation...
The Bystander Effect
- as the number of people who witness an emergency increases, the likelihood that one of them will help decreases; each person thinks that someone else will help the victim; bystanders’ tendency to help increases when they know each other in some way
Ambiguity/Pluralistic Ignorance
- the more time that goes by without help the less likely help will be; observers of a help situation take others’ inaction as a sign that there is no need for help; everyone’s attempt to look at others to see if the situation is one that requires help means that no one is sure help is ...

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