Glossary of EPPP-Social Psychology

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"Affiliation" is the desire to be with others, which underlies many forms of social behavior. Psychologists have identified several factors that increase the tendency to affiliate, including anxiety and gender.
1. ANXIETY: Schachter (1959) found that anxious subjects choose to affiliate and, when given the choice to wait alone or with non-anxious subjects, they choose to wait alone Schachter concluded that, in
anxiety-arousing conditions, social comparison is a more potent cause of affiliation than relief from discomfort and that the adage "misery loves company" is better stated as
"misery loves miserable company."
2. GENDER: Females spend more time than males engaged in conversation, are more Iikely to talk to people of the same sex and may affiliate more than males in public places. Female friendships seem to depend most on verbal communication and self-disclosure, while male friendships more often develop out of shared activities.
1. FRUSTRATION-AGGRESSION HYPOTHESIS: The theory that aggression is always
motivated by frustration.
2. DEINDIVIDUATION: A state of relative anonymity that allows group members to feel
unidentifiable. Deindividuation has been associated with increases in antisocial behaviors, apparently because the deindividuated person's behavior is no longer
controlled by guilt, fear of evaluation or other inhibitory controls.
3. SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY/T.V. VIOLENCE: The controversy about the effects of TV violence has been fueled by research on observational (social) learning. Although there is
evidence to support each side (that violence either increases or decreases violence), in general, TV violence does seem to increase viewer aggressiveness.
4. ZIMBARDO'S PRISON STUDY: A prison simulation study, which demonstrated that
assigned roles and situational forces are powerful determinants of aggression and other
antisocial behaviors. The subjects in this study altered their behaviors to fit their assigned roles.
"Androgyny" refers to having characteristics of both sexes. Androgynous people score high on both the Masculine and Feminine scales of Bem's Sex Role Inventory and, in
comparison to sex-typed people, display greater flexibility, higher self-esteem and higher
levels of achievement.
Attitudes (Components of)
"Attitudes" are relatively stable evaluative responses to an entity or situation and can be viewed as consisting of three components: (1) An affective, or evaluative, component that reflects a person's liking for the entity or situation; (2) a cognitive component that consists of the person's beliefs about the entity or situation; and (3) a behavioral, or conative, component that represents a person's behavioral tendencies toward the entity or situation. These three components are interrelated but inconsistencies among them are common.
Balance and Cognitive Dissonance Theory
1. BALANCE THEORY: Heider's theory, which focuses on the relationship between three
entities: a person (P), another person (O) and an object (X). The relationship between P, O and X can be either balanced or unbalanced depending on the pattern of negative and
positive evaluations between the three entities: A balanced state exists when all three relationships are positive or when two relationships are negative and one is positive. An
unbalanced state exists when all three relationships are negative or when two
relationships are positive and one is negative. According to Heider, an unbalanced state causes a person to experience discomfort and, to establish a more comfortable (balanced)
state, the person (P) changes his/her attitude toward O or X.
2. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY: Festinger's theory, which proposes that
inconsistencies in cognitions produce discomfort (dissonance), which motivates the
individual to reduce the dissonance by changing his/her cognitions.
Communicator Credibility, Discrepancy, Inoculation, Fear Arousal
The persuasibility of a message is affected by the communicator, recipient, context and message itself.
1. COMMUNICATOR CREDIBILITY: High-credible communicators are more likely to induce
attitude change, but, over time, the attitude change produced by a high-credible
communicator decreases and the attitude change produced by a low-credible
communicator increases. This "SLEEPER EFFECT" occurs because people often
remember the message but forget its source.
2. COMMUNICATION DISCREPANCY: The most attitude change is produced by a moderate discrepancy between the positions of the recipient and the communication.
3. INOCULATION: Helps people resist a persuasive message; inoculation involves giving
people arguments against their position and refutations against those arguments.
4. FEAR AROUSAL: McGuire proposes an inverted U-shaped relationship, with the
greatest amount of attitude being associated with moderate levels of fear. Others suggest that high fear arousal is more effective, but only when the message includes guidelines on how to avoid the feared consequence and the recipient believes he/she can take the recommended action.
Attitude-Behavior Discrepancy
Refers to the finding that, contrary to popular belief, attitudes are often not accurate predictors of behavior. Some authorities have, however, identified specific situations in which attitudes can accurately predict behavior. Fishbein, for example, argues that attitudes are good predictors when they include a measurement of the person's behavioral
Similarity, Need Similiarity and Complimentary, Physical Attractiveness,Competence,Propinquity, Reciprocity, Self-Disclosure, Reinforcement (Social Exchange)
1. SIMILARITY: Attraction increases as perceived similarity in beliefs/ attitudes/values/personality increases.
2. NEED SIMILARITY AND COMPLEMENTARITY: Some studies suggest that need similarity is most important for attraction. Others indicate that need complementarity is more important, especially in long-term romantic relationships.
3. PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS: Physically attractive people tend to be liked more than unattractive people and are attributed with more positive qualities.
4. COMPETENCE: Competent and intelligent people are generally liked more than incompetent and unintelligent people. This is especially true when the competent person occasionally makes small blunders.
5. PROPINQUITY: Attraction is increased by physical proximity.
6. RECIPROCITY: People generally like others who like them but dislike others who dislike them. However, our attraction to a person is maximized when his/her evaluation of us is initially negative and then changes to positive (gain-loss theory).
7. SELF-DISCLOSURE: Increases liking in some situations (e.g., when it is reciprocal) and for some people (e.g., it has a greater effect on females. In addition, self-disclosure is usually reciprocal.
8. REINFORCEMENT: We tend to like people who reward us and to dislike people who do not. According to SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY, people are attracted to one another when the rewards of the relationship exceed its costs.
Gain-Loss Theory, Social Exchange Theory, Consequences of attraction
1. GAIN-LOSS THEORY: Proposes that liking is related to the pattern, rather than the
amount, of rewards. According to gain-loss theory, people tend to be most attracted to
individuals who show increasing liking for them and to be least attracted to individuals
who show decreasing liking for them.
2. SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY: Predicts that people are attracted to one another when
the rewards of the relationship exceed its costs.
3. CONSEQUENCES OF ATTRACTION: Feeling attracted to someone (i.e., liking him/her)
has been associated with several beneficial effects. In terms of therapy, for instance, a
client who is attracted to his/her therapist is more likely to continue coming to therapy
sessions and a therapist who is attracted to his/her clients is more likely to evaluate the
client positively and to make empathic remarks during therapy sessions. Being around
people we're attracted to can also alleviate stress.
Approach, Communication, Influence, Helping Behavior, Stress Alleviation
1. APPROACH: The willingness to approach a person increases as attraction to the person increases.
2. COMMUNICATION: In an experiment, subjects who were asked to role-play meeting a person to whom they were attracted or unattracted talked more, smiled more and were
more attentive in the attracted condition (Rosenfeld, 1966). In addition, people disclose
more about themselves to liked partners than disliked partners.
3. INFLUENCE: People are most influenced by people they are attracted to.
4. HELPING BEHAVIOR: This is positively affected by attraction.
5. STRESS ALLEVIATION: The presence of a well-liked person can decrease
psychological arousal and stress.
Fundamental Attribution Error, Correspondence Inference Theory, Covariation Principle (Kelley)
The causal attributions we make about the behaviors of others are influenced by a
number of factors:
1. FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION BIAS: Proposes that, when making attributions about
an actor's behavior, an observer tends to overestimate dispositional causes and underestimate situational causes.
2. CORRESPONDENT INFERENCE THEORY (Jones and Davis): Proposes that observers
infer an actor's personal dispositions from the actor's behavior: An inference is "correspondent" when similar labels are assigned to the actor's behavior and his/her
disposition; e.g., an observer has made a correspondent inference when he/she concludes that an actor's kind acts (behavior) are a reflection of his/her inherent kindness (disposition). An observer is most likely to decide that an actor's behavior is due to his/her disposition when the actor's behavior is believed to be intentional, has only one or a few effects and is socially undesirable.
3. COVARIATION PRINCIPLE (Kelley): Proposes that an effect is attributed to the
condition that is present when the effect is present and absent when the effect is absent.
Authoritarian Personality
A personality type characterized by identification with and submission to authority,
cynicism, prejudice, intolerance of ambiguity and political conservatism. The F (Fascism) Scale was designed to assess authoritarianism.
Types and Definitions of Social Power
In order to exert influence over another person, a person must have some type of power. French and Raven and their colleagues have identified six bases of social power:
1. COERCIVE POWER: The influencing agent has control over punishments.
2. REWARD POWER: The influencing agent has control over valued rewards and resources.
3. EXPERT POWER: The influencing agent is believed to have superior ability, skills or knowledge.
4. LEGITIMATE POWER: The target believes the influencing agent has legitimate authority.
5. REFERENT POWER: The target is attracted to, likes or identifies with the influencing agent.
6. INFORMATIONAL POWER: The influencing agent possesses specific information that
is needed by the target person.
Behavioral Intention
A "behavioral intention" is a predisposition to act in a particular way toward an attitude object. According to Fishbein, behavioral intentions consist of two components: a personal component (the person's attitude toward engaging in the behavior) and a social component (the person's beliefs about what other =
Bystander Apathy
"Bystander apathy" is the tendency of people to not intervene in emergency situations when others are present. Bystander apathy has been attributed to three factors: social comparison, evaluation apprehension and diffusion of responsibility.
Personal Space
"Personal space" is the distance that people (or other organisms) maintain between themselves and others. Violations of personal space can have negative consequences. Males, for example, may experience stress and are more likely to act more aggressively than usual.
Prejudice and Discrimination (Authoritarian Personality Style/Perceived Threat/Symbolic Racism/Multiple Causes)
Theories developed to explain the causes of prejudice and discrimination include:
1. AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY: Prejudice and discrimination are related to certain personality characteristics, especially authoritarianism (Adorno, et al., 1950)
2. PERCEIVED THREAT: Some attribute prejudice and discrimination to a belief that a particular group represents a direct threat to one's well-being. The notion of SYMBOLIC RACISM proposes that whites no longer perceive minorities as a direct threat to self, jobs, neighborhood, schools, etc., but instead as a threat to the "traditional American way" (Sears et al., 1973, 1981).
3. MULTIPLE CAUSES: Allport argues that intergroup prejudice arises from a combination of historical, personality, cultural, economic, cognitive and factors and proposes that, since prejudice has multiple determinants, focusing on only one cause will not lead to a full understanding or resolution of the problem. He notes, however, that the causes of prejudice are internalized by the person who engages in discriminatory practices and who can, alternatively, learn to act in nondiscriminatory ways. He also proposes that laws forbidding discrimination can be effective even when they do not reflect public consensus ("folkways" do not have to precede "stateways").
In Schachter's "epinephrine studies," subjects injected with epinephrine reported feeling the same as a confederate (euphoric or angry) when they had not been informed about the true effects of the drug. The results supported Schachter's hypothesis that there are no physiological differences between emotions, but that emotional states are determined by a combination of physiological arousal and a cognitive label for that arousal, which is derived from external cues.
Self-Attributions (Actor-Observer Bias/Self-perception theory/Overjustification Hypothesis/Social Comparison theory)
Several processes underlie the attributions we make about our own behaviors:
1. ACTOR-OBSERVER BIAS: The tendency for an observer to overestimate the effects of
dispositional factors when making attributions about an actor's behavior, but to
overestimate the effects of situational factors when making self-attributions.
2. SELF-SERVING BIAS: The tendency to attribute one's successes to internal factors
and one's failures to external factors.
3. SELF-PERCEPTION THEORY: The theory that individuals make attributions about their
own attitudes and behaviors on the basis of observations of their own behaviors and other external cues. Evidence for self-perception theory is provided by studies on the
OVERJUSTIFICATION HYPOTHESIS, which predicts that when an individual is externally rewarded for a task he/she previously found intrinsically interesting, his/her interest in the
task will decrease.
4. SOCIAL COMPARISON THEORY: The theory that individuals use other people as sources of comparison in order to evaluate their own attitudes and behaviors.
Self-report scales used to measure attitudes (Likert/Semantic Differential Scale/Thurstone Scale/Guttman Scale/Social Distance Scale)
These scales are not always accurate because people are sometimes unwilling to reveal their true attitudes (e.g., they may believe their attitudes are socially undesirable). Methods such as the BOGUS PIPELINE have been developed to overcome the shortcomings of self-report measurement scales. Self-report measurement scales used to measure attitudes include:
1. LIKERT SCALE: Contains a series of statements about an object. Respondents indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with each statement, often in terms of a five-point scale.
2. SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALE: Respondents rate an object in terms of several bipolar items designed to assess three dimensions -- favorableness, power and activity.
3. THURSTONE SCALE: Contains a series of statements that have been previously rated in terms of their level of favorableness; respondents check those statements with which they agree.
4. GUTTMAN SCALE: Statements are arranged in a hierarchy so that a respondent's agreement with one statement indicates that he/she also agrees with the statement(s) lower in the hierarchy.
5. SOCIAL DISTANCE SCALE: Used to measure attitudes toward different national, racial and ethnic groups; respondents indicate their willingness to have varying levels of contact with the target groups.
Sex-role Stereotypes
These are stereotypes related to gender differences. Some of the differences identified in
the literature (e.g., differences related to need for achievement and conformity) have been attributed to research methodology rather than true gender differences. Others --in particular, aggression -- seem to be true differences that may have a biological basis.
Social Ecology (Crowding/Noise/Architecture)
Concerned with the impact of the physical environment on behavior.
1. CROWDING: (a) According to the "density intensity hypothesis," a crowd enhances
positive situations, but makes unpleasant situations even more unpleasant (Deaux and Wrightsman, 1988). (b) Crowding has little or no impact on simple tasks, but can adversely affect performance on complex tasks. (c) The perception of control helps people cope better in crowded situations. (d) A person's need for PERSONAL SPACE contributes to the effects of crowding. Americans, people with low self-esteem or high in authoritarianism, violent individuals and men tend to require more personal space. Violations of personal space can cause anxiety, irritability and increased aggression.
2. NOISE: Irritating noise does not affect performance on simple tasks, but usually has adverse effects on complex tasks, especially when the noise is intermittent and uncontrollable and involves conversation.
3. ARCHITECTURE: (a) High-rise living is associated with several negative effects; e.g., increased psychological problems, less satisfactory social interactions, higher crime rates. (b) Group members seated at the ends of tables tend to be more dominant. (c) Students sitting in front desks or in the middle row tend to participate more in class discussions and receive higher grades.
Culture-Fair Tests and the Leiter International Performance Scale
1. CULTURE-FAIR TESTS: Tests of mental ability that are designed to eliminate cultural biases, usually by using a nonverbal format and nonacademic items. Evaluations of existing culture-fair tests suggest that no completely culture-fair test has yet been
developed. These tests are also called "culture-free" and "culture-reduced" tests.
means of evaluating "adaptability to one's environment." Because administration of the
Leiter does not require verbal instructions or responses, it is considered appropriate for cross-cultural testing and for testing the hearing-impaired and language-disabled. The
Leiter requires examinees to attach response cards to a response frame. Its tasks include matching colors, picture completion, number estimation, spatial relations and memory for
series. The Leiter is considered appropriate for individuals aged 2 through 18. The Arthur Adaptation, a shorter version of the test, was designed for children aged 2 through 12.
Empirical-Criterion Keying
A method of constructing tests in which items are selected for inclusion in the test on the basis of their relation to an external criterion (i.e., on the basis of their ability to differentiate between different criterion groups). The original MMPI scales and the Strong test were developed on the basis of empirical criterion keying.

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