· Independent variable
· In experimental research, the variable that is manipulated; it is hypothesized to be the cause of a particular outcome.
· Dependent variable
· In experimental research, the variable that is measured (as opposed to manipulated); it is hypothesized to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable.
· Hindsight bias
· People’s tendency to be overconfident about whether they could have predicted a given outcome
· Random sampling
· Essential for accurately describing the attitudes or behavior of a particular population
· Such as students at a certain university, residents of a town, or the population of a country as a whole
· Naturalistic fallacy
· Claim that the way things are is the way they should be
· Convenience sampling
· Is a non-probability sample in which the researcher uses the subjects that are nearest and available to participate in the research study.
· Correlational research: situation where the participant (instead of the researcher) determines the participant’s level of each variable- creates the problem that it could be these unknown properties that are responsible for the observed relationship
· Automatic processing
· Give rise to implicit attitudes and beliefs that can’t be readily controlled by a the conscious mind; and controlled, conscious processing results in explicit attitudes and beliefs that we’re aware of even though these may become implicit or nonconscious over time
· Reverse causation
· When variable 2 causally influences variable 1
· Correlation does not establish causation
· Gestalt Psychology
· An approach that stresses the fact that people perceive objects by active, nonconscious interpretation of what the object represents as a whole
· Internal Validity
· Experimental research: confidence that only the manipulated variable could have produced the results
· Experiments lack internal validity when there is a 3rd variable that could account for the difference between the different conditions
· Random assignment
· Assigning participants in experimental research to different conditions randomly, so they are as likely to be assigned to one condition as to another, with the effect of making the types of people in the different conditions roughly equal.
· Controlled processing
· Certain amount of thinking that you are aware of in the moment; consciously on your mind (controlled)
· If something is important to us…
· 3rd Variable problem
· A variable that can be the true explanation for the relationship between two other variables in correlational research
· External validity
· How well the results of a study generalize to contexts outside the conditions of the lab
· When researchers can’t generalize the results to real-life situations this = poor external validity
· Knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information that is used to help in understanding events
· The degree to which the particular way researchers measure a given variable is likely to yield consistent results
Other issues to consider:
· Describe the difference between automatic/intuitive (System 1) and controlled/deliberate processing (system 2), and provide examples
· The mind processes information in two different ways
· Automatic/nonconscious-based on emotional factors
· Systematic/conscious-more likely to be controlled by deliberate thought
· Ex: seeing someone with a backpack looking agitated and sweating profusely
· Automatic thought: you might see that person and have a fearful reaction, thinking the backpack has a bomb in it without any special thought about it
· Systematic thought: you might realize the person might have just come inside from the heat and might look agitated because they’re late for their flight
· Describe and be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of experiments and correlational studies
· Experiments: It is easy to replicate because of a standardized procedure. Experiments allow prices control of independent variable.
· Subject to human error
· Personal bias of researcher may intrude
· Sample may not be representative.
· Correlational Studies: Allows researchers to collect much more data than experiments. Allows the researcher to draw conclusion in the causal relationship among variables.
· Only uncovers a relationship
· It cannot provide a reason why there is a relationship.
· Explain the difference between hypotheses and theories
· Hypotheses- A prediction of a particular situation under certain circumstances
· Theories- A set of tested hypothesis intended to describe a phenomenon
· Review the Stanovich article for its main topics and conclusions regarding correlational and experimental research. What was his purpose in discussing the Goldberger/pellagra study in depth?
· Birth control & household appliances
· Related w/ out causal relationship
· Pellagra was seemed to be caused by unsanitary, bad sewage (spurious correlation)
· In reality, after experimenting by eating the feces of infected people, conclusions showed it was actually a result of a poor diet, most likely from low SES
· 3rd variable problem
· Surface level correlations do not account for causation
· What is the use of “getting artificial” in experiments? That is, why is it not always advisable to conduct a study that tries to be “natural”? The Stanovich reading is very relevant on this issue.
· Explain the phrase, “correlation does not equal causation.” Be able to recognize when a study can provide evidence for causation, and when it cannot
· Scheme: (I have this on my notes but I am not 100% sure)
· Expectations. Way to simplify the ways of the world around us. An scheme is the expectations that you have about what is going to be the outcome of certain situation. It can also narrow the attention of a person in a social situation.
· Confirmation bias
· the tendency to test a proposition by searching for evidence that would support it.
· You tend to pay attention to things that are parallel to your beliefs
· Regression toward the mean
· You will return to your average. Fluctuation is normal, and may look like you are improving or getting worse but you will always go back your “mean”
· Pluralistic ignorance
· When people act in ways that conflict with their personal beliefs due to a certain social situation
· Acting like you understand course material because it seems like everybody else does
· the presentation of information designed to activate a concept and hence make it accessible. A prime is the stimulus presented to activate the concept in question.
· Can be self-focused: a relationship someone treasures, the relationship falls apart- the people start blaming themselves (“what could I have done differently?”)
· 9/11: “if only airport security had done a better job” “if only the CIA had investigated this matter better”
· “Cherrypicking” factors
· Not picking out a cause, but picking out one factor that could have prevented something from happening- lots of emotional significance for people but are not always fair
· Rape- people focus on the victim- “if she hadn’t been wearing that she wouldn’t have been raped”
· Construal level theory
· A theory about the relationship between temporal distance (and other kinds of distance) and abstract or concrete thinking; psychologically distance actions and events are thought about in abstract terms; actions or events that are close at hand are thought about in concrete terms
· Top-down vs. bottom-up processing
· Top-Down Processing: “Theory driven” mental processing, in which an individual filters and interprets new information in light of preexisting knowledge and expectations.
· Bottom-Up Processing: “Data driven” mental processing, in which an individual forms conclusions based on the stimuli encountered in the environment.
· Illusory correlation:
· The belief that two variables are correlated when in fact they are not.
· Behavioral confirmation
· Parallel to self-fulfilling prophecy
· Base-rate information:
· Information about the relative frequency of events or of members of different categories in a population.
· Planning fallacy
· one’s tendency to underestimate the time, cost, and risk it will take them to do something, even if they already have the past knowledge of exactly what the task entails. It represents overly optimistic plans that are unreasonably close to the best-case scenario.
· Self-fulfilling prophecy:
· The tendency for people to act in ways that bring about the very thing they expect to happen.
Other issues to consider:
· What are the different ways in which schemes or preconceptions can affect our memories and judgments of people? Be able to provide relevant research examples.
· Understand and be able to give examples of the representativeness and availability heuristics
· Explain several different ways (and provide specific examples) in which schemas can guide or distort our judgements
· Contrast controlled processing with automatic processing. What are examples/contexts of each in social cognition?
· Provide specific examples of “framing effects”
· Under what conditions does it appear that people are more likely to rely on heuristics for making social judgments? How does the use of heuristics relate to the distinction between System 1 and System 2 processing?
· Know the design and main findings/conclusions of Snyder, Tanke, and Berscheid.
· Belief in a Just World
· People get what they deserve in life and deserve what they get.
· People who score high on this belief are more likely to blame victims of a crime
· Specific attributions would be more internal
· Attribution Theory
· Concepts explaining how people assign causes to the events around them and the effects of their assessments
· How people understand the causes of events
· Causal Attribution
· How people explain both their own and others behavior
· Augmentation principle
· The idea that people will assign reduced weight to a particular cause of behavior if other plausible causes might have produced it.
· Emotional Amplification:
· An increase in an emotional reaction to an event that is proportional to how easy it is to imagine the event not happening.
· Fundamental Attribution Error
· The failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behavior, along with the corresponding tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions on behavior.
· Explanatory Style
· A person’s habitual way of explaining events, typically assessed along three dimension: internal/external, stable/unstable, and global/specific.
· causes one can control such as skills vs. causes one cannot control such as luck, others’ actions, etc.
· Thoughts of what could have, might have, or should have happened “if only” something had occurred differently.
· Behavioral confirmation:
· Covariation principle:
· The idea that behavior should be attributed to potential causes that occur along with the observed behavior.
· Self-serving Attributional bias:
· The tendency to attribute failure and other bad events to external circumstances and to attribute success and other good events to oneself.
· Perceptual salience
· Discounting principle
Other issues to consider:
· What factors or conditions help explain why people are prone to the FAE?j
· What are some factors that facilitate the generation of counterfactual thoughts?
· Be familiar with some research examples that illustrate the FAE and the actor-observer difference
· How do attributions play a role in our judgements about other people’s successes and failures? What role do they play in our judgments about our own successes and failures?
· Describe how cultures may differ in their attribution patterns
Social Psychology Exam 2 Study Guide
Broad questions to consider:
What specific psychological theories, concepts or processes from ch 7-9 help us understand the behavior demonstrated by:
a) The prisoners and guards in the Zimbardo prison study?
b) The members of Jonestown/Peoples Temple?
c) The research participants in the Milgram obedience study?
Chapter 7: Attitudes, Behaviors, Rationalization
· an evaluation of an object in a positive or negative fashion that includes three components: affect (emotion), cognition, and behavior.
· Measured most often on a likert scale
· Measuring attitudes:
· Accessibility- how readily it comes to mind
· Centrality- how prevalent in one’s belief system a topic is
· Response latency- how much time it takes to respond to a stimulus reflects how strongly one feels about that particular idea
· Implicit attitudes:
· Measures non-conscious attitudes
· Nonverbal measures
· Physiological responses
· hard decisions cause feelings of dissonance because the rejected alternative must have some desirable features, the chosen alternative must have some undesirable features or both
· occurs when an expected external incentive such as money or prizes decreases a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform a task .
· when an individual utilizes internal motivation to justify a behavior
· the urge to get a response that verifies what someone currently thinks of their self
· the theory that people that come to know their own attitudes by looking at their behavior and the context in which it occurred and inferring what their attitudes must be.
Systems justification theory
· the theory that people are motivated to see the existing sociopolitical system as desirable, fair, and legitimate.
· the theory that inconsistency between a person’s thoughts, sentiments, and actions creates an aversive emotional state (dissonance) that leads to efforts to restore consistency.
· a conscious or subconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object, or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction
· the idea that people can maintain an overall sense of self-worth following psychologically threatening information by affirming a valued aspect of themselves unrelated to the threat
· the tendency to reduce dissonance by justifying the time, effort, or money devoted to something that turned out to be unpleasant or disappointing.
Terror management theory(TMT)
· the theory that people deal with the potentially crippling anxiety associated with the knowledge of the inevitability of death by striving for symbolic immortality through preserving valued cultural worldviews and believing they have lived up to the culture’s standards
Implicit attitude measures
· an indirect measure of attitudes that does not involve a self-report
How can consciously introspecting about the reasons for our attitudes actually undermine the quality of our decisions, at least in some contexts?
· Our behavior can change what is in our heads
· If we let this happen over and over – it can change how we behave
· We become that way
· Attitude does not always influence someone’s behavior
· One attitude doesn’t always count for everything that comes into play with behaviors
· Attitudes are also very inconsistent
· Really good at their job but do some pretty awful things
· Easily articulated things don’t really drive our attitude
· Having to deeper think about it and give reasons may change attitude or behavior
· Regular people vs. food critics
Describe how a “mismatch” in the specificity of a measured attitude and the behavior it is supposed to predict can undermine the ability of that attitude to predict behavior.
· LaPiere – 1934
· Traveled first with Orientals and only got denied by one place
· Then sent letters asking if they would let people in and many people said no
· This shows us that we can’t always trust attitudes predicting behavior
Be familiar with research studies discussed at length in the text regarding cognitive dissonance (as well as those discussed in class).
· Stanford Prison Experiment
· Aronson & Mills pg 215
· Page 217 the ikea effect/lego study
· Page 219 induced compliance and attitude change
· Bettors at a racetrack pg 214
· After bidding on certain horse, dismiss negative qualities about horse and relate failures to muddy track, looks highly upon positive qualities.
Be able to describe the major methods, results, and conclusions/findings of Aronson/Mills (1959).
· Volunteers were obtained to participate in group discussions
· They were randomly assigned to one of three mental conditions: severe, mild, and control
· Severe conditions were required to read embarrassing material before joining the group; mild condition the material they read was not very embarrassing, and the control condition were not required to read any material before joining
· Each S (participant) listened to the same tape recording which was an ongoing discussion by the members of the group that had just joined
· 33 women volunteered to participate in a series of group discussions on the psychology of sex
· The other 30 were tested at a later date and were captive volunteers from a psychology course who elected to participate in the group discussions on the psychology of sex in preference to several other experiments
· Each S was told that they were joining a group that had been meeting for several weeks and that they were just taking the place of a girl who had to leave because of scheduling difficulties
· The experimenter “explained” that the purpose of the experiment was to investigate the “dynamics of the group discussion process” – sex was chosen as the topic to discuss
· Each participant was placed in an individual room as sex is embarrassing to talk about and this way they can freely talk about sex without people staring at them – this is what they were told in order for them to hear the tape recording
· They then had to read aloud some sexually oriented material in order to be put into the group – controls were just told that they were being put into the group – the S’s were told that the embarrassment test was a recent innovation and that the other members had joined the group before it was required for admission
· Severe condition – test consisted of very obscene words
· Mild condition – words related to sex but not obscene
· After each condition they were told they had performed satisfactorily and were a member of the group now
· They had to get S to not participate in the discussion because she would realize that the discussion was recorded
· Results and discussion
· S’s in the severe condition rated both the discussion and the participants higher than did those in the control and mild conditions
· The results clearly substantiate the hypothesis – persons who undergo a severe initiation to attain membership in a group increase their liking for the group
· According to the cognitive dissonance theory, Ss in the severe initiation condition held the cognition that they had undergone a painful experience to become members of the discussion group
· The initiation must be severe enough to constitute a genuine investment and to render it difficult to reduce dissonance by playing down the extent of the pain/uncomfortability involved.
· If Ss in the severe condition had less need to distort their perceptions of the participants than their perception of the discussion, their evaluations of the participants could be expected to be closer to the evaluations of the participants made by Ss in the control and mild conditions
· Subjects who underwent a severe initiation perceived the group as being significantly more attractive than did those who underwent a mild initiation or no initiation
Describe different contexts in which cognitive dissonance can occur, and the different factors that can produce high levels of dissonance. (Alternatively, when does an inconsistency between cognitions and behaviors not necessarily result in dissonance?)-
· Different cultures may see things differently – where one culture is completely against doing something and another is completely for it
Compare and Contrast self-perception theory with cognitive dissonance.
· Cognitive dissonance theory – inconsistencies among a person’s thoughts, sentiments, and actions cause an aversive emotional state (dissonance) that leads to efforts to restore consistency. (The result of measuring our behaviors with previous attitudes).
· Self-perception theory – people come to know their own attitudes by looking at their behavior and the context in which it occurred, and inferring what their attitudes must be. (Understanding identity based on previous behaviors).
Describe some contexts in which the overjustification effect can undermine motivation.
· Stereotypes give ideological support to the status quo, making people more accepting of current gender roles and more accepting of the broader sociocultural status quo
· EX- Sometimes if you over justify a given award for a behavior you make take away the given baseline, overlooked motivation. If there was an initial liking for working out and you always receive an award, for an athlete where there may be a given inclination to workout, so you may award you for when you worked out, your natural
Chapter 8: Persuasion
Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
· a model of persuasion maintaining that there are 2 different routes to persuasion: the central route and the peripheral route
· characteristics of the person who delivers a persuasive message, such as attractiveness, credibility, and certainty
Identifiable victim effect
· the tendency to be more moved by the vivid plight of a single individual than by a more abstract number of people
Need for cognition
· an individual’s tendency to engage in and enjoy activities that require thinking
· small attacks on people’s beliefs that engage their preexisting attitudes, prior commitments, and background knowledge, enabling them to counteract a subsequent larger attack and thus resist persuasion
Central processing route
· a route to persuasion wherein people think carefully and deliberately about the content of a persuasive message, attending to its logic and the strength of its arguments, as well as to related evidence and principles
· aspects, or content, of a persuasive message, including the quality of the evidence and the explicitness of its conclusions
· secondary thoughts that are reflections on primary thoughts (cognitions)
· efforts of the media to select certain events and topics to emphasize, thereby shaping which issues and events people think are important
Peripheral processing route
· a route to persuasion wherein people attend to relatively easy-to-process, superficial cues related to a persuasive message, such as its length or the expertise or attractiveness of the source of the message
· characteristics of those who receive a persuasive message, including need for cognition, mood, and age
· the idea that feeling confident about our thoughts validates those thoughts, making it more likely that we’ll be swayed in their direction
According to ELM, under what circumstances are individuals likely to attend to a message through the central route? The peripheral route?
· System 2
· Quality of arguments, points, and facts (strong)
· Motivation and ability must be present
Be able to analyze a persuasion attempt in such a way that you can identify which elements of it are intended for the central route or peripheral route of processing.
· Credibility of actually seeing it
· “whatever you need me to be, I’ll be it”
· Other churches provided good things in the afterlife whereas he promised and provided good things now
· Pastor (Jim) speaking with anyone who walks through the door
· Claimed to heal people – see the woman walk – the healing and people crying
· Seeing all the energy
What does research suggest about the effectiveness of fear-based persuasion attempts?
· In general, fear-eliciting persuasive messages that provide clear, concrete information that can be acted on can be highly effective
· Shouldn’t go overboard
· Sometimes people are so unnerved by scary messages that they will choose to deny the danger rather than act to combat it, especially if there is no clear recommendation about how to respond to the threat
Be familiar with the notion of “the hostile media phenomenon.”
· Page 259 talks about the whole phenomenon
Be familiar with general factors that enable people to resist persuasion attempts.
· People are inclined to attend selectively to information that confirms their original attitudes
· We look favorably on material that agrees with our point of view and critically on information that contradicts it
· Many persuasive messages fail because they can’t overcome the target audience’s previous commitments
· Prior knowledge makes people engage with persuasive messages through the central route, thereby leading them to scrutinize those messages carefully
Chapter 9: Social Influence
· changing one’s behavior or beliefs in response to explicit or implicit pressure (real or imagined) from others.
· the sense that a stationary point of light in a completely dark environment is moving
· an actor who participates in a psychology experiment pretending to be a subject but in actuality working for the researcher
· the influence of other people that comes from the desire to avoid their disapproval and other social sanctions (ridicule, barbs, ostracism)
· starting with a big request where your intended person or audience is going to say no, then asking/coming back with a smaller, more capable/graspable request- they will or are more likely to comply after that 2nd request.
· responding favorably to an explicit request by another person
Tight vs. Loose cultures-
· in an unequal power relationship, submitting to the demands of the person in authority
· the influence of the other people that results from taking their comments or actions as a source of information about what is correct, proper, or effective
· the behavior exhibited by most people in a given context
· the idea that people reassert their prerogatives in response to the unpleasant state of arousal they experience when they believe their freedoms are threatened
Norm of reciprocity
· a norm dictating that people should provide benefits to those who benefit them
· the legitimate power with one person or a group holds and exercises over another
· a compliance approach that involves making an initial small request with which nearly everyone complies, followed by a larger request involving the real behavior of interest
· the way a person is supposed to behave in a given context; also called injunctive norm
· private acceptance of a proposition, orientation, or ideology
Describe the main findings and conclusions of the Asch “line” and Sherif “autokinetic effect” studies. How are these studies similar and different (psychologically) in their examinations of conformity? How does normative and/or informational influence help us understand them?
· Asch “line” study
· See 3 lines and a compare line
· Individually – people got about 99% correct
· Asch wanted to see if there was conformity
· Had more people come in room
· Confederates get it right for a while but then start saying the wrong answer
· Sometimes participants would conform
· ¾ conformed at least once
· Overall – 1/3 of the time participants conformed
· Sherif’s autokinetic effect study
· Sheriff put individual participants in a darkened room, presented them with a stationary point of light on trial after trial, and had them estimate how far it “moved” each time
· He brought the participants into a room together and had them call out their estimates
· Estimates seemed to converge over time
· The uncertainty of the light’s movement left the participants open to the influence of others – informational social influence
· Wanted to see how people changed their opinions/judgments based on other people’s
· What extent do people conform?
· Asch predicted that in a case of clear conflict between a person’s own position and the viewpoint of the group, there will be far less conformity than that observed by Sherif
· Asch’s study is so well known because of how often participants actually did conform, even when they thought the group was out of its collective mind
Describe the conditions mentioned in the textbook that can maximize/minimize conformity pressures.
· Group size
· Larger groups exert both more normative social influence and more informational social influence than smaller groups
· The larger the number of people who express a particular opinion, the more likely it has merit – but only to a certain point
· Group unanimity
· Have an ally if you want to state your own opinion
· The person who breaks the group’s unanimity doesn’t need to offer the correct answer – just one that departs from the group’s answer
· Eliminates normative social influence and therefore should substantially reduce conformity
· Expertise and status –
· Because we grant greater status to those with expertise, and we often assume (not always correctly) that those with high status are experts
· The disapproval of high-status individuals can hurt more than the disapproval of people we care less about
· People reared in interdependent cultures are therefore likely to be more susceptible to both informational social influence (they consider the actions and opinions of others more telling) and normative social influence (they consider the high regard of others more important)
· Tight and loose cultures
· “tight” – have strong norms regarding how people should behave and do not tolerate departure from those norms
· “loose” their norms are not as strong, and their members tolerate more deviance
· Women are raised to value interdependence and to nurture important social relationships more than men are, whereas men are raised to value and strive for autonomy and independence more than women are
· Women tend to conform more than men
Be generally familiar with the effects of a positive and negative mood on people’s likelihood to comply with a request.
· Positive mood
· Feeling good clearly makes people more likely to agree to requests and, more generally, to help others
· Tends to increase compliance for two main reasons
· Our mood colors how we interpret events – we are more likely to view requests for favors as less intrusive and less threatening when we’re in a good mood
· Mood maintenance – it feels good to feel good, and we typically want the feeling to last as long as possible
· Negative mood
· Even the slightest introspection reveals that certain types of bad moods are likely to increase compliance
· Participants have been led to feel guilty by being induced to lie, tricked into thinking they’ve broken a camera, maneuvered into knocking over stacks of carefully arranged index cards, or convinced they’ve injured an adorable laboratory rat
· Other types of bad moods, not just those produced by guilt, can also increase compliance
Describe the procedures and major findings of the Milgram obedience studies.
· One man is a teacher – delivering the shock
· One man is a learner – he will try to say the words back and get shocked if he gets them wrong
· The learner (confederate) tells the teacher and experiment that he has heart trouble
· Each different teacher gets a shock so that they can feel what the shocks are like
· If learner gets it wrong
· Teacher says “wrong”
· Tells how many volts
· Delivers shock
· Tells actual answer
· One man refused to continue until they figured out if learner was okay
· Another guy refused to hurt another guy if he said to stop – said he wouldn’t listen to Mr. Williams or anyone
· Major findings
· 50% went all the way on shocks while most people predicted that very few would go through with it
· One guy kept going all the way to 450 volts because he was told to keep going
· He said there’s nothing the learner could have said to make him stop
· Said he was about to walk out (he probably wasn’t)
· Even with a lot of reluctance – this guy still went on
· People said those who went all the way are sadistic
· People aren’t
· They are just obedient
· Which the victim was made more personal to the teacher obedience went way down
· Can human nature be counted on to help those who are victims of brutality?
· Government might be able to take control this way
What psychological factors/mechanisms increased or decreased rates of obedience in the Milgram studies, as discussed in class and in the textbook?
· If the learner was in the same room the obedience went way down – especially if the teacher had to move the learners hand onto the plate to shock him
· The more removed we are from others, the easier it is to hurt them
· Also when the experimenter removes himself from the room – it is much easier for the teacher to say no and to stop the experiment
How is “obedience” different from other types of social influence such as persuasion and conformity?
· People feel as if there is a legitimate authority that they have to listen to
· Most people don’t have to be persuaded to or conform to anything while being obedient