What is social psychology?
The study of relations between people and groups. Social cognition is the area of social psychology that explores how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information.

I. Stereotype

a. A widely held but fixed in over simplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

II. Attribution theory

a. How individuals explain causes of events, other's behavior, and their own behavior.

III. Fundamental attribution error

a. Describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors.

b. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior of others.

IV. False consensus effect

a. A cognitive bias whereby a person tends to overestimate the degree of agreement that others have with them.

V. Positive illusions

a. Unrealistically favorable attitudes that people have towards themselves.

VI. Self serving bias

a. Occurs when people attribute their successes to internal or personal factors but attribute their failures to situational factors beyond their control.

b. Can be seen in the common human tendency to take credit for success but to deny responsibility for failure.

VII. Self objectification

a. refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument (object) towards one's sexual pleasure, and a sex object is a person who is regarded simply as an object of sexual gratification or who is sexually attractive.

VIII. Stereotype threat

a. The experience of anxiety or concern in a situation where a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about their social group.

IX. Social comparison

a. A theory that explains how individuals evaluate their own opinions and desires by comparing themselves to others.

X. Attitude

a. a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's degree of like or dislike for something.

b. Attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person, place, thing, or event— this is often referred to as the attitude object.

Obedience- Behavior that complies with the explicit demands of the individual in authority.
- Milgram Obidence Study
Q: why do you pull over for cops?
Deindividuation- The reduction in personal identity and erosion of the sense of personal responsibility when one is part of a group.
Social contagion- Imitative behavior involving the spread of actions, emotions, and ideas.
Social facilitation- improvement in an individuals performance because of the presence of others.
Social loafing- Each persons tendency to exert less effort in a group because of reduced acceptability for individual effort.
Risky shift- the tendency for s group decision to be riskier than the average decision made by the individual group members.
Group polarization effect- the solidification and further strengthening of an individuals position as a consequence of a group discussion or interaction.
Groupthink- The impaired group decision making that occurs when making the right decision is less important than maintaining group harmony.
Social identity-the way we define ourselves in terms of our group membership.
Social identity theory- Tajfel's theory that our social identities are a crucial part of our self-image and a valuable source of positive feelings about ourselves.
Ethnocentrism- The tendency to favor ones own ethnic group over other groups.
Prejudice- an unjustified negative attitude toward an individual based on the individuals membership in a particular group.
-ALL TALK!!
Discrimination- An unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group simply because the person belongs to that group.
- ACTION!!!!
Mere exposure effect- The phenomenon at the more we encounter someone or something the more probable it is that we will start liking the person or thing even if we do not realize we have seen it before.
"We like those who like us"
Romantic love- Also called passionate love; love with strong components of sexuality and infatuation, often dominant in the early part of a love relationship.
-Used when we say that we are "in love"
Affectionate love- Also called companionate love; love that occurs when individuals desire to have another person near and have a deep, caring affection for the person.
There is very little of this in the early stages of love but as it matures, passion tends to give way to affection.
Social exchange theory- the view of social relationships as involving an exchange of goods, the objective of which is to minimize costs and maximize benefits.
To have a successful relationship you must have equality, it is the most important that the individual feels that he or she is getting their "fair share."
Investment model- A model of long-term relationships that examines the ways that commitment, investment, and e availability of attractive alternative partners predict satisfaction and stability in relationships.





Section 1
Social Cognition
Face survey conveys information to social perceivers which includes attractiveness.
Attributions are our thoughts about why people behave as they do and about who or what is responsible for the outcome of events
Attribution theory views people as motivated to discover the causes of behavior as part of their effort to make sense of it.
To understand the causes of human behavior we use internal/external, stable/unstable, and controllable/uncontrollable.
Fundamental attribution error is observers’ tendency to overestimate traits and to underestimate situations when they explain an actor/actresses behavior
Self-serving bias means attributing our successes to internal causes and blaming our failures on external causes
Heuristics are used as shortcuts in social information processing
ie; stereotype is an example of a heuristic
The self is a mental representation of our own characteristics
Self-esteem is important and is related to holding unrealistically positive views of ourselves
To understand ourselves better, we might engage in social comparison, evaluating ourselves by comparison with others
Attitudes are our feelings about people, objects, and ideas
Cognitive dissonance theory, our strong need for cognitive consistency causes us to change our behavior to fit our attitudes or to change our attitudes to fit our behaviors
Self-perception theory stresses the importance of making inferences about attitudes by observing our own behavior, especially when our attitudes are not clear
Section 2
Social Behavior
Altruism is an unselfish interest in helping someone else, reciprocity is often involved in altruism
Empathy is also linked to helping someone else
The bystander effect means that individuals who observe an emergency help less when someone else is present than when they are alone
Women are more likely to help in situations that are not dangerous and involve caregiving
Men are more likely to help in situations that involve danger or in which they feel competent
One view of biological basis of aggression is that early in human evolution, the most aggressive individuals were likely to be the survivors.
Neurobiological factors involved in aggressive behavior include the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone testosterone
Psychological factors in aggression include frustrating and aversive circumstances
Sociocultural factors include cross-cultural variations, the culture of honor, and violence in the media
Males are consistently more physically aggressive than females
Section 3
Social Influences
Conformity involves a change in behavior to coincide with a group standard
Factors that influence conformity include informational social influence (going along to be right) and normative social influence (going along to be liked)
Obedience is behavior that complies with the explicit demands of an authority
Milgram’s classic experiment demonstrated the power of obedience
People often change their behaviors when they are in a group
Deindividuation refers to the lack of inhibition and diffusion of responsibility that can occur in groups
Our performance in groups can be improved through social facilitation and lowered because of social loafing
Group polarization effect is the solidification and further strengthening of a position as a consequence of group discussion
Groupthink involves impaired decision making and avoidance of realistic appraisal to maintain harmony in the group
Section 4
Intergroup relations
Social identity is our definition of ourselves in terms of our group membership
Social identity theory states that when individuals are assigned to a group, they invariably think of it as the “in group”.
Ethnocentrism is the tendency to favor one’s own ethnic group over others
Prejudice is an unjustified negative attitude toward an individual based on membership in a group
The underlying reason for prejudice is competition between groups over scarce resources, a person’s motivation to enhance his or her self esteem, cognitive processes that tend to categorize and stereotype others, and cultural learning
The cognitive process of stereotyping can lead to discrimination, an unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group simply because he or she belongs to that group
Discrimination results when negative emotional reactions with prejudicial beliefs and are translated into behavior
An effective strategy for enhancing the effects of intergroup contact is to set up task-oriented cooperation among individuals from different groups
Section 5
Close relationships
We are most attracted to people whom we see often, whom we are likely to meet, and who are similar to us
Romantic love include feelings of infactuation and sexual attraction
Affectionate love is more akin to friendship and includes deep, caring feelings for another
Social exchange theory states that a relationship is likely to be successful if individuals feel that they get out of the relationship what they put in
The investment model focuses on commitment, investment, and the availability of attractive alternatives in predicting relationship success
Section 6
Social psychology and health and wellness
Social isolation is a strong risk factor for a range of physical illnesses and even death
Loneliness relates to a number of negative health outcomes including impaired physical health and early death
Individuals that participate in more diverse social networks live longer than those with a narrower range of social relationships
Loneliness often occurs when people make life transitions, so it is not surprising that loneliness is common among college freshmen
Strategies that can help to reduce loneliness include participating in activities with others and taking the initiative to meet new people


Cognitive dissonance- an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Self-perception theory- an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem. It asserts that people develop their attitudes by observing their behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused them. The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes come prior to behaviors.
Elaboration likelihood model- a model of how attitudes are formed and changed that was developed by R. E. Petty and J. T. Cacioppo in the early 1980s. Central to this model is the "elaboration continuum", which ranges from low elaboration (low thought) to high elaboration (high thought). The ELM distinguishes between two routes to persuexternal image clip_image002.jpgexternal image clip_image004.jpgasion: the "central route," where a subject considers an idea logically, and the "peripheral route," in which the audience uses preexisting ideas and superficial qualities to be persuaded.
Altruism- is a helping behavior (without expectation of extrinsic rewards and sometimes involving personal risk or sacrifice) that benefits individuals or society. Altruism originates, as does aggression, from biological components such as instincts, from learning through such methods as reinforcement, and through modeling of significant others.
Egoism- the view that humans are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism. It claims that, when people choose to help others, they do so ultimately because of the personal benefits that they themselves expect to obtain, directly or indirectly, from doing so. It is a non-normative view, since it only makes claims about how things are, not how they ought to be. It is, however, related to several other normative forms of egoism, such as ethical egoism and rational egoism. Think about yourself, your ego.
Empathy- The capacity to vicariously experience and understand the thoughts and feelings of another person by putting oneself in that person's place.
Bystander effect- The effect of the presence of others on an individual's perception of and response to a situation.
Aggression- Any act that is intended to cause pain, suffering, or damage to another person. Beat the Bobo Doll!
Conformity- describes the __adaptation__ of behavior that occurs in response to unspoken group pressure. It differs from compliance, which is adaptation of behavior resulting from overt pressure. Individuals conform to or comply with group behavior in an attempt to "fit in" or to follow the norms of the social group. Monkey see monkey do!
Informational social influence- is a type of conformity. Whexternal image clip_image006.jpgexternal image clip_image008.jpgen a person is in a situation where s/he is unsure of the correct way to behave, s/he will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behavior. When "we conform because we believe that other's interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action," it is informational social influence. Informational social influence is more powerful when being accurate is more important and when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.
Normative social influence- another type of conformity. It is "the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them." This often leads to public compliance—but not necessarily private acceptance—of the group's social norms.