Glossary of General Psychology Exam

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Four Dimensions of Emotions
Physiology, Cognition, Phenomenology, and Actions
very brief, involuntary expressions of fear, anger, or other emotions
autonomic nervous system
the section of the nervous system that controls the functioning of the internal organs
sympathetic nervous system
two chains of neuron clusters just to the left and right of the spinal cord which arouse the body for vigorous action; "fight-or-flight" system; increases heart rate, breathing rate, production of sweat, and flow of epinephrine
parasympathetic nervous system
neurons whose axons extending from the medulla and the lower part of the spinal cord to neuron clusters near the internal organs; decreases heart rate, promotes digestion, and in general supports nonemergency situations
James-Lange theory (1884)
your interpretation of a stimulus directly evokes autonomic changes and sometimes muscle actions; your perception of those changes is the feeling aspect of the emotion
pure autonomic failure
an uncommon condition with unknown cause in which the autonomic nervous system stops regulating the organs
Schacthter and Singer's theory of emotions (1962)
a physiological state is not the same as an emotion; the intensity of the physiological state - that is, the degree of sympathetic nervous system arousal - determines the intensity of the emotion, but a cognitive appraisal of the situation identified the type of emotion
Characteristics of Basic Emotions
1) Emerge early in life without requiring much experience.
2) Similar across cultures.
3) Have own biological basis and perhaps its own facial expression.
Duchenne smile
the expression of happiness including the muscles around the eyes and mouth
Reasons Why Facial Expressions Do Not Indicate Basic Emotions
1) Identification of several other facial expressions; Longer list of basic emotions.
2) Identification of non-emotions such as sleepiness, confusion, surprise, and disgust.
3) Disagreement over emotions being psychological "elements".
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, imagine, and understand emotions and to use that information in making decisions
Qualities of Emotional Intelligence
1) Increase from childhood to adulthood.
2) Measurable with reasonable reliability and validity.
3) No overlaps with other forms of intelligence such as academic intelligence.
Two Modes of Measuring Emotional Intelligence
1) Consensus on Answers; Finds "emotional stupidity", or individuals affected with brain damage or psychiatric disorders.
2) Asking experts; Biased and lack of diversity (mostly male-dominated)
positive psychology
the study of the features that enrich life, such as hope, creativity, courage, spirituality, and responsibility
subjective well-being
a self-evaluation of one's life as pleasant, interesting, and satisfying
What would make you happier than you are now? (American college students)
Money, good job, more time to relax, or boyfriend/girlfriend
What make you happy? (American college students)
Relationships with friends and family, exercise, music, a sense of accomplishing something well, religious faith, and enjoyment of nature
Two Reasons for Low Correlation between Wealth and Happiness
1) Weak correlation.
2) Poor measurements of each variable.
Depressed Lottery Winners
1) Money does not buy happiness.
2) Getting used to new level of happiness.
3) People are greedy.
4) Spending more money than won; leading to depression.
Other Influences on Happiness
1) Temperament/Personality
2) Marriage and Friendships.
3) Goal Orientation.
4) Health Status.
5) Religious Faith.
6) Trust, Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Situational Control.
"depressive realism"
the ability of sad individuals to provide a well-balanced, accurate evaluations of situations and well-informed decisions and explanations
the response to an immediate danger
anxiety (Concentration on the amygdala)
a vague, long-lasting sense that "something bad might happen"; an increase in the start reflex (operational definition)
startle reflex
an immediate reaction approximately a fifth of a second after a danger stimulus
an instrument that simultaneously records several indications of sympathetic nervous system arousal, such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and electrical conduction of the skin; works under assumption that nervousness stimulates sympathetic nervous system; unreliable and unsatisfactory results
Altenative Methods of Detecting Lies
1) Thermal Camera.
2) Guilty-Knowledge Test.
3) Microexpressions.
guilty-knowledge test
a modified version of the polygraph test that produces more accurate results by asking questions that should be threatening only to someone who knows the facts of a crime that have not been publicized
an emotion associated with the desire to harm someone or to drive that person away
frustration-aggression hypothesis
the main cause of anger (and therefore aggression) is frustration - an obstacle that stands in the way of doing something or obtaining some expected reinforcer; only when you believe the other person acted intentionally
Leonard Berkowitz's Theory (1983, 1989)
Any unpleasant event - frustration, pain, heat, foul odors, bad news, whatever - excites both the impulse to fight and the impulse to flee. Your choice between fight and flight depends on the circumstances, especially the expected result of attacking.
Individual Differences in Aggression
1) Low self-esteem.
2) Mental illness.
3) Genetic factors. (40%)
4) Childhood abuse.
5) List on Page 472.
6) Smoking during Pregnancy.
7) Past Aggression History.
a sexual activity without the consent of the partner; alchol-related and not
Characteristics of Rapist
1) Past violence.
2) Appealing forcible sex.
3) Enjoyment of violent pornography.
4) Male domination.
anger management training
techniques for decreasing or restraining displays of anger
Types of Anger Management Methods
1) Relaxation
2) Distraction
3) Improved communication
4) Reinterpretation of others' actions
an emotion that arises when events do not match expectations
a reaction to something that would make you feel contiminated if it got in your mouth
a reaction to a violation og community standards, such as our reaction whe nsomeone fails to do a fair share of the work or claims credit for something that another person did
one of the four self-conscious emotions (shame, guilt, pride)
Three Categories of Embarassment Causes
1) Mistakes
2) Center of Attention
3) Sticky Situations
health psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with how people's behavior can enhance health and prevent illness and how behavior contributes to recovery from illness
the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it
Hans Seyle's Definition of Stress
any life-changing event, but not a consistent event
the first stage of stress; a brief period of high arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, readying the body for vigorous activity
a stage of prolonged but moderate arousal; no longer feel ready for vigorous activity; withdrawn and inactive; performance deterioration; decreased quality of life
As cortisol and other hormones shift energy toward increasing blood sugar and metabolism, they shift it away from synthesis of proteins including the proteins necessary for the immune system.
posstraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
a type of severe stress arising in people who have endured extreme stress including prolonged anxiety and depression; frequent nightmares, outbursts of anger, unhappiness, and guilt; dependent on individual's vulnerability (hippocampus size - not initial reaction to stress or therapy sessions)
Disadvantages of Checklist Approach to Stress Measurement
1) Ambiguity
2) Implausible implications
3) Different individual perceptions
the process of developing ways to decrease stress's effects and getting through difficult tasks despite the stress
problem-based coping (monitoring)
a category of coping methods in which people attend carefully to the stressful event and try to take effective actions
Forms of Problem-Based Coping (Monitoring)
1) Situational control
2) "Visualize yourself succeeding"
3) Innoculations (i.e. Roleplaying)
emotion-based coping (blunting)
a category of coping methods in which people try to weaken their emotional reaction
Forms of Emotion-Based Coping (Blunting)
1) Reinterpretation
2) Relaxation
3) Exercise
4) Distraction
to expose yourself to small amount of stressful events beforehand
psychosomatic illness
an illness that is influenced by someone's experiences - particularly stressful experiences - and by his or her reactions to those experiences
Type A personality
highly competitive; believe that they must always win; impatient, always in a hurry, and often angry and hostile
Thomas Hobbes
17th-century philosopher who viewed humans as self and government as necessary for protection
Jean-Jacques Rosseau
18th-century political philosopher who believed humans to be naturally good and governments as a corruptive influence
Sigmund Freud
an Austrian philosopher who believed that humans were born with sexual and destructive impulsives detrimental to society; developer of the psychodynamic theory
Carl Rogers
philosopher who believd that humans' natural impulses were good and noble once freed from unnecessary restraints
all the consistent ways in which the behavior of one person differs from that of others, especially in social situations
psychodynamic theory
a theory that relates personality to the interplay of conflicting forces within the individual, including some that the individual may not consciously recognize
a release of pent-up emotions associated with unconscious thoughts and memories
the first of the "talk" therapies; a method based on identifying unconscious thoughts and emotions and bringing them to consciousness to help people understand their thoughts and actions; "insight-oriented therapy" as opposed to changing thoughts and behaviors
the respository of memories, emotions, and thoughts, many of them illogical, that affect our behavior even though we cannot talk about them
Evolution of Freud's Interpretations
1) Sexual difficulties
2) Nervous exhaustion resulting from masturbation
3) Traumatic childhood sexual experiences
4) Childhood sexual wishes and fantasies
Oedipus complex
a stage in which a boy during his early childhood years develops a sexual interest in is mother and competetive aggression toward his father; phallic stage of psychosexual development
psychosexual pleasure
all strong, pleasant excitment arising from body stimulation
psychosexual energy that "flows" from an infant's mouth to other parts of the body as the child grows older
when normal sexual development is blocked or frustrated at any stage; the individual continues to be preoccupied with the pleasure area associated with that stage
oral stage (Birth to 1 year)
the infant derives intense psychosexual pleasure from stimulation of the mouth, particularly while sucking at the mother's breast; fixation results in pleasurable oral activities and concerns with independence and dependence
anal stage (Age 2: 1 to 3 years)
the stage in which one gets psychosexual pleasure from stimulation of the sensations of bowel movements; fixation results in orderliness, stinginess, stubbornness OR wastefulness and messiness
phallic stage (Age 3: 3 to 5 or 6 years)
child behins playing with their genitals and become sexually attracted to the opposite sex parent; boys develop Oedipus complex while girls experience "penis envy"; boys become fearful of castration
latent period (Age 5 or 6 to Adolecence)
children suppress their psychosexual interest and play mostly with peers of their own sex
genital stage (Puberty onward)
young people taking a strong sexual interest in other people; fixation in other stages leaves little interest for genital stage
one of Freud's three personality aspects; all our biological drives, such as sex and hunger, that demand immediate gratification
one of Freud's three personality aspects; the rational, decision-making aspect of the personality
one of Freud's three personality aspects; the memory of rules and prohibitions we learned from our parents and the rest of society
defense mechanisms
methods in which the ego defends itself against conflicts and anxieties by relegating unpleasant thoughts and impulses to the unconscious
motivated forgetting; rejecting unacceptable thoughts, desires, and memories and banishing them to the unconscious
the refusal to believe information that provokes anxiety; an assertion that the information is incorrect
the attempt to prove that one's actions are rational and justifiable and thus worthy of approval
the act of diverting a behavior or thought away from its natural target toward a less threatening target in order to engage in behavior more safely or with less anxiety
a return to a more immatuture level of functioning in order to avoid the anxiety of facing one's current role in life
the attribution of one's own undesirable characteristics to other people; suggesting that other people have those faults which become more acceptable and less anxiety provoking; not an effective defense mechanism
reaction formation
the defense of presenting themselves as the opposite of what they really are to hide the unpleasant truth either from themselves or others
the transformation of sexual or aggressive energies into culturally acceptable, even admirable, behaviors; most socially constructive behavior
psychologists who remained faithful to parts of Freud's theory while modifying other parts
Karen Horney
a neo-Freudian who believed Freud exaggerated the role of the sex drive in human behavior and misunderstood women's sexual motivations; believed conflict between child and parents was a reaction to parental hostility and intimidation; emphasized social and cultural influences on personality that give rise to anxiety
collective unconscious (Carl G. Jung)
the cumulative experience of preceding generations present at birth
vague images that we inherited from the experiences of our ancestors; explains recurring images and themes in religions, myths, and folklore
individual psychology (Alfred Adler)
"indivisible psychology"; a psychology of the person as a whole rather than a psychology of parts, such as id, ego, and superego; emphasized importance of conscious, goal-directed behavior and deemphasized unconscious influences
inferiority complex
an exaggerated feeling of weakness, inadequacy, and helplessness
striving for superiority
a desire to seek personal excellence and fulfillment
style of life
a master plan for achieving a sense of superiority
social interest
a sense of solidarity and identification with other people; an interest in the welfare of society
gender role
the pattern of behavior that each person is expected to follow because of being male or female
humanistic psychology
a branch of psychology deals with consciousness, values, and abstract beliefs that people live by and die for; protest against behaviorism and psychoanalysis
behaviorism and psychoanalysis
rooted in determinism (the belief that every behavior has a cause) and reductionism (the attempt to explain behavior in terms of its component elements)
the achievement of one's full potential; developed by Carl Rogers
an image of what they really are
ideal self
an image of what they would like to be
method of measuring self-concept and ideal self through stacks of cards; major difference between stacks demonstrates work needed to improve self-concept or ideal self images
unconditional positive regard
the complete, unqualified acceptance of another person as he or she is, much like the love of a parent for a child
conditional positive regard
a type of relationship in which one may feel restrained about opening themselve to new ideas or activities for fear of losing someone else's support
Alfred Maslow's Characteristics of Self-Actualized Individuals
1) An accurate perception of reality
2) Independence, creativity, and spontaneity
3) Acceptance of themselves and others
4) A problem-centered outlook rather than self-centered outlook
5) Enjoyment of life
6) A good sense of humor
nomothetic approach
the approach of studying personality by seeking general laws about various aspects of personality, based on large groups of people
idiographic approach
an approach to studying personality by concentrating on intensive studies of individuals
a consistent, long-lasting tendency in behavior, such as shyness, hostility, or talkativeness
a temporary activation of a particular behavior
trait approach to personality
the idea that people have consistent personality characteristics that can be measured and studied
internal locus of control
the belief in which an individual upholds that he or she is largely in control of their lives
external locus of control
the belief in which an individual upholds that he or she is controlled mostly by external forces
Correlations between Personality Questionaires and Behavior
0.4 - Aggressiveness
< 0.4 - Spontaneity
-4.2 - Conscientiousness / Risky Sexual Behavior
Measurement Problems: Self-Esteem
1) Actually measuring self-esteem.
2) Self-evaluations.
3) Relativity to the "normal" responses.
factor analysis
the process by which Cattel and fellow psychologists determine whether or not particular traits correlate with another set of traits; paved the way to the big five personality traits
big five personality traits
Five Major Clusters of Personality Traits:
1) Neuorticism*
2) Extraversion*
3) Agreeableness
4) Conscientiousness
5) Openness to New Experiences
each trait correlates with many personality dimensions, but do not correlate highly with any of the other five traits
a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions relatively easily; stressful situations with others and ineffective dealings
a tendency to seek stimulation and to enjoy the company of other people; active, outgoing behavior leads to happy feelings, and vice versa
a tendency to be compassionate toward others; concern for the welfare of other people
a tendency to show self-discipline, to be dutiful, and to strive for achievement and competence
openness to experience
the least variable and hardest to observe of the big five personality traits; a tendency to enjoy new intellectual experiences and new ideas
Criticisms and Problems with Big Five Personality Traits
1) Studies based on language, not behavioral observations.
2) Overlooked personality traits (i.e. religiousness, conservativeness, etc.)
3) More than enough traits within big five -- Narrowed down to neuroticism, extraversion, and agreeableness
3) Partial cross-cultural support (i.e. China's lack of openness to experience)
Heredity and Personality
1) Twin Studies: Identical twins in separate locations resemble more personality-wise than fraternal twins.
2) Genetics: Harm avoidance or anxiety-proneness gene minimally contributes to hereditary concept of personality
Environment and Personality
1) Adopted Children vs. Biological Children: Adopted children show less personality similarities than that between children and their biological parents; Not learned by imitation rather by unshared environments
unshared envionrnment
the aspects of environment that differ from one individual to another, even within a family
Age and Personality
1) Studies show consistency between personality at young age to older age.
2) Correlations of personality traits progressively increase with age.
3) Increase in conscientiousness.
4) Decrease in extraversion.
5) Decrease in neuroticism.
6) Slight increase in agreeableness.
7) Uncertainity with openness to experience.
Generations and Personality
1) Steady increase in anxiety levels across generations since 1950s.
Barnum effect
the tendency to accept and praise vague statements about our personality
standardized test
a test that is administered according to exact rules that specify how to interpret the results; distribution of scores is highly critical to interpretations
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
the most widely used of all personality tests; a series of true-false questions intended to measure certain personality dimensions and clinical conditions such as depression; originally developed in the 1940s with 550 items; developed on an empirical basis (normal vs. disordered population)
the second edition of the MMPI published in 1990 with 567 items
the new form of the MMPI targetted toward adolescents
Detection of Deception in MMPI and Other Tests
1) MMPI: Subject to common questions; Tallying of separate Lying column which decreases other responses' reliability
2) Employee Interviews: Asking questions of non-existent concepts or tasks
projective techniques
techniques designed to encourage people to project their personality characteristics onto ambiguous stimuli; Rorschach Inkblots and Thematic Apperception Test
Rorscharch Inkblots
a projective technique on people's interpretations of 10 ambiguous inkblots; the most famous and most widely used projective personality technique
Administering and Evaluating Rorscharach Inkblots
1) Administering: Presenting clients to ill-defined, ambiguous situations in order to observe immediate or delayed response.
2) Evaluation: Reliance upon theoretical expectations; Exner's objective approach of tallying mentioned themes
Problems with Rorscharch Test
1) Stange standardized sample group; Most people are idenitified as psychologically disturbed.
2) Different ethnic groups = Different ways of responding
3) Interrater Reliability = 0.85 (Enough for research, but not for individual decisions)
4) Questionable validity
5) Rarely provides information not given though different means of research and testing.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
a projective technique consisting of a client being asked to make up a story for each picture, describing what is happening, what events led up to the scene, and what will happen in the future; uses a total of 31 pictures including a blank picture; interrater reliability = 0.85 also; used to measure achievement, power, and affiliation needs
Handwriting and Personality
1) Dashed dots = Energetic
2) Elongated loops = Idealistic
* Low overall correlations
implicit personality tests
personality tests tha measures some aspect of personality without the individual's awareness: Emotional / Personal Stroop Test and Implicit Association Test
Emotional Stroop Test (or Personal Stroop Test)
an implicit personality test in which someone examines a list of words, some of which relate to a possible source of worry or concern to the person, and tries to say the color of the ink of each word; the more a word attracts your attention or evokes fear/worry, the longer it takes for you to respond to the ink color
Implicit Association Test
an implicit personality test that measures whether you respond faster to a category that combines some topic with pleasant words or with unpleasant words
Criminal Profiling
- 13.8 / 30 questions correct
- Random Error: 8.1 (slightly above chance)
social perception and cognition
the processes we use to gether and remember information about others and to make inference from that information
primacy effect
the first information we learn about someone influences us more than later information does
self-fulfilling prophecies
expectations that change one's own behavior in such a way as to increase the probability of the predicted event
a generalized belief or expectation about a group of people
Origins of Stereotypes
1) Memory of doubly unusual experiences (Left-handed redheads)
2) Exaggerations of correct observations (Politicians)
3) Research-support stereotypes (Male fistfights)
4) Same cultural stereotypes described differently (Mexicans/Americans)
5) Correct on average does not meet it meets all individuals
6) Importance of individuals behind stereotypes
an unfavorable attitude toward a group of people, usually associated with discrimination
the unequal treatment of different groups, such as minority groups, women, the physically disabled, obese people, or gays and lesbians
aversive racism (subtle prejudice, modern racism, symbolic racism, racial abivalence)
the condition under which people consciously express the idea that all people are equal, but nevertheless harbor negative feelings or unintentionally discriminate
ambivalent sexism
an overt belief in equal treatment of the sexes joined with a lingering, often unstated belief that women should be treated differently
Implicit Measures of Stereotypes and Prejudice
1) Implicit Association Test - Racial faces, Pleasant/Unpleasant words
a) Stronger in whites and political conservatives
b) Blacks: More commonly associate white faces with pleasant words, and vice versa
2)Bona fide pipeline
* Both require participants' concentration on racial aspect
bona fide pipeline
a task in which people alternate between looking at different kinds of faces, such as Black and White, and reading words that thy need to classify as pleasant or unpleasant
Overcoming Prejudice
Two groups working together to form a larger, combined group and completing a common task
the set of thought processes we use to assign causes to our own behavior and to the behavior of others
internal attributions
explanations based on someone's individual characteristics, such as attitudes, personality traits, or abilities; dispositional attributions
external attributions
explanations based on the situation, including events that presumably would influence almost anyone; situational attributions
Information Necessary in Making External or Internal Attributions
1) Consensus information
2) Consistency information
3) Distinctiveness
consensus information
how the person's behavior compares with other people's behavior
consistency information
how the person's behavior varies from one time to the next
how the person's behavior varies from one situation to another
fundamental attribution error / correspondence bias
a common error in which people make internal attributions for people's behavior even when we see evidence for external influence on behavior; assuming a strong similarity between someone's current actions and his or her dispositions
Cultural Differences in Attribution
1) Chinese and Other Asian Cultures: External attributions; More changes; Compromises and acceptance of contradictions
2) American Culture: Internal attributions
actor-observer effect
people are more likely to make internal attributions for other people's behavior and more likely to make external attributions for their own
Explanations for Actor-Observer Effect
1) Self-awareness of behavioral variations in different situations
2) Attribute unexpected, surprising behavior to internal causes
3) Perceptual Explanation: Others are within visual field and viewed as causes of particular actions
- Videotape Examples (Dominance if concentrated on tape)
self-serving biases
attributions that we adopt to maximize our credit for success and minimize our blame for our failure
self-handicapping strategies
strategies in which people intentionally put themselves at a disadvantage to provide an excuse for a possible failure (i.e. Lack of sleep after a post-party failure, Taking performance-deteriorating drugs prior to solving unsolvable problems)
a like or dislike that influences our behavior toward someone or something
Components of an Attitude
1) Evalative / Emotional - How you feel
2) Cognitive - What you know or believe
3) Behavioral - What you are likely to do
Likert scale
one of the most common ways to measure attitudes and the effectiveness of persuasion; uses the 1-7 range between "strongly agree" and "strongly disagree"
Mismatch between Attitude and Behavior
1) Impulsive answers to unimportant questions
2) Momentary influences (i.e. Reminder of positive / negative examples of concept)
3) Maintaining mixed or contradictory attitudes toward something
central route to persuasion
when people take a decision seriously, they invest the necessary time and effort to evaluate the evidence and logic behind each message
peripheral route to persuasion
when people listen to a message on a topic they consider unimportant, they attend to such factors as the speaker's appearance and reputation or the sheer number of arguments presented, regardless of their quality
Two Example of Delayed Influence
1) The Sleeper Effect
2) Minority Influence
sleeper effect
a delayed persuasion by an initially rejected message; when an individual experiences source amnesia and proceedingly evaluates a message solely on the basis of its merits
minority influence
the uniting, uncompromising nature of a minority group paving way for impact upon the majority; usually allows majority group members to voice new ideas and suggestions to circumvent disagreement (i.e. Socialist Party)
Ways of Presenting Persuasive Messages
1) Role of Fear
a) St. Jude's Letter
b) Only effective when danger is real and ability to reduce danger is real
c) Ineffective when presenting negative aspects as "widespread" or "common"; Others view them as pointless in fighting
2) Influence of Similarity
a) Example: Age-Influenced Story of Grigory Rasputin
3) Influence of Group Endorsement
a) Example: Democrat / Republican-Endorsed Plan
Audience Variables
1) Intelligence
a) High Intelligence influenced by Central Route to Persuasion
b) Low Intelligence influenced by Peripheral Route to Intelligence
2) Interest
a) Example: Tailored Internet Ads
3) Heightened Resistance
a) Forewarning Effect
b) Innoculation Effect
forewarning effect
simply informing people that they are about to hear a persuasive speech activates their resistance and weakens the effect of the talk on their attitudes; less fluctuation in attitude than no forewarning
innoculation effect
people first hear a weak argument and then a stronger argument supporting the same conclusion; weaker arguments followed by stonger arguments result in higher opposition level
Strategies of Persuasion
1) Foot-in-the-Door Technique
2) Door-in-the-Face Technique
3) Bait-and-Switch Technique
4) That's-Not-All Technique
foot-in-the-door technique
a technique that starts with a modest request, which the person accepts, and then follows with a larger request (i.e. Sign size)
door-in-the-face technique
a technique in which one follows an outrageous initial request with a more reasonable second one, implying that if you refused the first request, you should agree to the second (i.e. Telephonic contributions, Juvenile Dilenquents/Zoo)
bait-and-switch technique
a technique in which one is first offered an extremely favorable deal, gets the other person to commit to the deal, and then makes additional demands (i.e. Car Saleman with Used Car Specialist)
that's-not-all technique
a technique in which someone makes an offer and then improves the offer before you have a chance to reply (i.e. Informercials)
cognitive dissonance
a state of unpleasant tension that people experience when they hold contradictory attitudes or when their behavior is inconsistent with their attitudes, especially if they are distressed about the inconsistency (i.e. $1/$20 Lie, Child and Toy, Voluntary Essay Writing)
Characteristics of Long-Lasting Relationships
1) Proximity
2) Similarity
3) Confirmation of Self-Concept
4) The Equity Principle
closeness; we are most likely to become friends with people who live or work in close proximity and become familiar to us
Reasons for Proximity
1) Opportunity to uncover shared qualities and interests
2) Mere Exposure Effect: More likely to like the individual
mere exposure effect
the principle that the more often we come in contact with someone or something, the more we tend to like that person or object
resemblence in age, physical attractiveness, political and religious beliefs, intelligence, academic interests, religion, and attitudes; tougher for minority groups; greater decrease than increase magnitude when disagreements arise
Confirmation of Self-Concept
high/low-self esteem individuals seek friendships with those who perceive them under such a light
exchange or equity theories
theories which state that social relationships are transactions in which partners exchange goods and services; women's attractiveness and men's available resources induce higher demands; theories generally hold true earlier in relationships
Why is normal attractive?
1) Normal indicates genes widely spread out in a given population
2) Familiarity to certain physical appearances indicate attraction (even distortions)
Attractive People: Healthier and More Fertile?
1) Low correlation between attractive nature and health
2) Attractive and unattractive individuals have an equal opportunity of marrying and bearing children
Female Physical Attractiveness
1) Americans and Western Cultures: Thinner women; Waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7
2) Nonwestern Cultures: Heavier women
Men's and Women's Preferences
Women: Physical attraction; Financial security and good provider; Long-term commitments (no short-term sexual interests); Less insistent upon marital fidelity
2) Men: Physical attraction; Short-term sexual relationships and sexual variability; More insistent upon marital fidelity from females
Explanations for Male-Female Jealousy Rates
1) Evolution
a) Males have a greater chance of spreading genes supporting short-term relationships through generations
2) Males devoting energies to bringing up family; Sexual affairs with young, attractive women (Higher rate of fertility)
3) Nature of Human Reproduction: Males must ensure that females remain sexually faithful (Spreading other male's genes); Females must remain concerned only upon male's commitment as the provider
Benefits of Female's Multiple Partners
Page 557
Early Predictions of Marriage Troubles
1) Divorce within 7 years: Mixed feelings prior to marriage; Frequent negative comments; Hoped marriage would work out
2) Divorce after 7 Years: Stronger initial stages; Became disillusioned and less affectionate
3) Best Predictors of Future Marriage Troubles: Raters of own marriages as highly- or non-satisfying (Not marriage counselors and researchers / Unmarried people)
Characteristics of Lasting Marriages
Page 558
Trying to Save a Marriage
1) Only 15 to 20% of counseling-seeking couples have improved marriages
a) It takes two to save a marriage, and someone might have already given up.
b) Open communication becomes a double-edged sword leading to hostility.
2) Most successful couples rarely express any negative emotions or fail to detect such negativity within their relationship.
Two Forms of Interpresonal Influences
1) Informational
2) Normative - Setting the norms that define a situation's expectations
maintaining or changing one's behavior to match the behavior or expectations of others (i.e. Normative: Nudist colonies, Informational: Autokinetic Effect)
autokinetic effect
if you sit in a darkened room and stare at a small, stationary point of light, the point will eventually seem to move; if someone states they see the light moving in a certain manner, you are likely to perceive such movement
Conforming to an Obviously Wrong Majority
- 37/50 participants conformed at least once
- 14 conform on most of the trials
- Believed the rest of the group was correct
- Possible optical illusion
- Nortmative influence; fear of ridicule
- Duty-bound individuals
- Socially-withdrawn
- Self-confidence
* No correlation between group size and conformity rate; Existence of supportive "ally" decrease conformist motives
Cultural Differences in Conformity
- United States / Western Countries: Individualist Cultures
a) Originality, competition, individual freedom
- Southern Asia: Collectivism
a) Subordination of individual to welfare of family or society
- Results
a) Mixture of cooperative, competitive, and conformist individuals in all cultures
b) Multiple subcultures in different countries; no generalizations can fit all individuals witin country
diffusion of responsibility
we tend to feel less responsibility to act when other people nearby are equally able to act (i.e. Murder of Kitty Genovese and her 38 community on-lookers)
Reasons Behind Lack of Action
13% Offer Help When Alone
a) Diffusion of Responsibility
b) Other individuals provide informative and normative information
pluralistic ignorance
a situation in which people say nothing and each person falsely assumes that everyone else has a different, perhaps better informed, opinion
social loafing
the tendency to "loaf" (or work less hard) when sharing work with other people (i.e. screaming students, filling out use of brick); not held true for competitive sports teams when observed by onlookers and benefits are higher than costs
group polarization
if nearly all the people who compose a group lean in the same direction on a particular issue, then a group discussion will move the group as a whole even further in that direction; less effective when group is initially divided into opposing factions; both informative and normative influences
an extreme form of group polarizaion occurring when members of a group suppress their doubts about a group's poorly thought-out decision for fear of making a bad impression or disrupting group harmony; resulting from overconfidence by leadership, underestimated competition, and pressured conformity (i.e 1962's Bay of Pigs fiasco)
Making the World a Better Place
1) Moral leadership
2) Technological advances
Situations influence human behavior.
behavior trap
a situation that coerces us into self-defeating behaviors (i.e. Fires in crowded theatres)
escalation of conflict
Auctioning off $1 with second highest bidder paying his action
prisoner's dilemma
a situation where people must choose between a cooperative act and a competitive act that could benefit themselves but hurt others (i.e. Confession / Remaining Quiet, Cooperate vs. Compete)
reciprocity / "tit for tat"
a useful strategy when faced with the prisoner's dilemma; utilizes the concept of retaliations in repetitive games
reciprocal altruism
you cooperate with someone who cooperates with you, or you help someone who may repay the favor later; useful with individual recognition
commons dilemma
a dilemma in which people who share a common resource tend to overuse it and therefore make it unavailable in the long run (i.e. shephards' common ground, bowl of 10 nuts)
obedience to authority
1) Zimbardo's Prison Study
2) Migram's Shock Study
"medical students' disease"
a sign of individuals' confusion when merging normal conditions with perceived abnormalities; a diagnosis of a psychological disorder should be reserved for people whose problems interfere with their lives
Definition of Abnormal Behavior
1) Significantly different from the average (Undesirability)
2) Self-evaluation of possible troubles
3) American Psychiatric Association (1994):
a) Behavior that leads to distress, disability (impaired functioning), or an increased risk of pain, death, and loss of freedom
Cultural Influences on Abnormality
1) Sudan: Common Demon Possessions in Wives
2) Brain fag syndrome (Saharan Africa)
3) Running amok (Southeast Asia)
- Modeled on suggestions from others (i.e. Cutting off ears in mental hospitals, Dissociative Identity Disorder)
dissociative identity disorder (DID) / multiple personality disorder
a condition under which a person alternates among two or more distinct personalities, each with its own behavioral patterns, memories, and even name, almost as if each personality were really a different person; rare before the 1950s
Reasons for Increased Diagnosis of DID / MPD
1) Overeager therapists diagnosing minor symptoms
2) Conformity to others' expectations producing abnormalities
biopsychosocial model
a model that emphasizes abnormal behavior having three major aspects: biological, psychological, and social
Three Aspects of Abnormal Behavior
1) Biological: Genetics, Hormones/Neurotransmitter Activity, Brain Damage, Risky Behaviors with Drugs, etc.
2)Psychological: Childhood experiences leading to vulnerabilities
3) Social / Cultural: Influence of others' actions and expectations
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) / DSM IV
a reference book with four editions that lists the acceptable labels for all psychological disorders; establishing uniform definitions and standards for diagnosis
DSM-IV Classifications
1) Axis I: Clinical Disorders
2) Axis II: Personality Disorders / Mental Retardations
3) Axis III: General Medical Conditions (i.e. diabetes, head trauma, alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver)
4) Axis IV: Psychosocial / Environmental Problems: Dealing with stress
5) Axis V: Global Assessment of Functions (1-100 Scale)
Description of Axis I Disorders
1) Onset after infancy
2) Deterioration of functioning
3) Most common disorders: anxiety, substance-abuse, depression, schyzophrenia
attention-deficit disorder (ADD)
a disorder characterized by easy distration from important tasks, impulsiveness, moodiness, and failure to follow through on plans
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
a similar disorder as ADD with excessive activity and "fidgetiness"
1) Distinguished on basis of levels of energy
2) Not based on brain scans (i.e. Normal childen show same abnormalities)
3) 3 to 10% of all children (mostly boys); tend to outgrow condition or not
4) Unknown causes; no known gene, but environmental factors such as FAS, lead poisoning, and epilepsies lead to development
4) Treatment: methylphenidate (Ritalin) - worrisome widespread stimulant for children
5) Behavioral Treatment: Controlled stress and impulses
6) Not short attention span; Trouble controlling attention more than others
Behavioral Tests of ADD and Impulsiveness
1) Choice-Delay Test: small reward now / big reward later; ADD need huge incentives
2) Stop Signal Task: ADD show impulsive responses even during short delays
Descriptions of Axis II Disorders
1) Lifelong disorders
2) Necessary for adequate diagnoses
personality disorder
a maladaptive, inflexible way of dealing with the environment and other people, such as being unusually self-centered; usually seek help after being insisted by others
differential diagnosis
a determination of what problem a person has in contrast to all the other possible problems that might produce similar symptoms
Criticisms of DSM-IV
1) Distinguishing Normal from Abnormal
2) Treating Situations or Behavior?
Distinguishing Normal from Abnormal
1) Arbitrary description of abnormal behaviors (only lasting 6 months or longer)
2) Disapproving something does not necessarily indicate abnormal behavior (i.e. murders)
3) Different Evaluations from Researchers: Different yearly statistics of abnormal disorders
Most Common Abnormal Disorders
1) Anxiety
2) Substance-Abuse
3) Mood
Is Abnormal Behavior in the Person or Situation?
Insurnace companies will cover procedures following diagnosis (i.e. Child and Bully at School, Post-Bad Marriage for Females); Stigmas
a treatment of psychological disorders by methods that include a personal relationship between a trained therapist and a client; used for many well-defined disorders and adjustment or coping problems
Results of Health Insurance Coverage & Psyuchotherapy
Page 590
psychodynamic therapies
therapies that attempt to relate personality to the interplay of conflicting impulses within the individual, including some that the individual may not consciously recognize; Freud and Adler's approaches

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