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Psyc vocab for 13


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Social Psychology
The discipline that studies how people think about, influence, and relate to other people
Social Cognition
The study of how people use cognitive processes-such as perception, memory, thought, and emotion- to help make sense of other people as well as themselves.
What is the most important feature of a first impression?
Physical appearance is the first thing that is available to us, so appearance plays an especially important role in how we first come to percieve others
Social Schemas
A general knowledge structure, stored in long-term memory, that relates to social experiences or people
The collection of beliefs and impressions help about a group and its members
Self-fulfilling prophecy
A condition in which our expectations about the actions of another person actually lead that person to behave in the expected way
The inference process people use to assign cause and effect to behavior
Internal Attribution
Things in a person (ie personality)cause a person to behave or feel a certain way
External Attributions
Things outside a person (ie family, accidents, work, social roles) "cause" a person to behave or feel in certain ways
Actor-Observer effect
The overall tendency to attribute our own behavior to external sources, but the behavior of others to internal forces
Self-serving bias
The tendency to make internal attributions about one's own behavior when the outcome is positive and to blame the situation when one's behavior leads to something negative
Fundamental Attribution Error
When people seek to interpret someone else's behavior, they tend to overestimate the influence of internal personal factors and underestimate teh role of situational factors.
A positive or negative evaluation or belief held about something, which in turn may affect one's behavior; they are typically broken down into cognitive (thinking or knowledge aspect), Affective (feeling or emotional), and behavioral (action) components
Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
Developed by Richard Petty and John Capioppo. Theory suggests that persuassion depends upon the likelihood that receivers will engage in elaboration of information related to teh persuasive issue.
Central Route
Operates when we are motivated and focusing our attention on the message
Peripheral Route
Operates when we are either unmotivated to process the message or are unable to do so
High Elaborators
A person highly engaged in issue related thinking, attends closely to message, analyze arguements, and reflect on teh message
Low Elaborators
DOn't engage in critical thought about a persuasive message
Cognitive Dissonance
The tension produced when people act in a way that is inconsistent with their attitudes.
Latitude of Acceptance
Range of statements that falls within an area that we generally find acceptable. Perceive a statement as being much closer to our own opinion than it truly is.
Latitude of Rejection
Range of statements that fall within an area that we generally find unacceptable. Perceive a statement as being much further from our beliefs than it really is
Post Decisional Spreading
Once we have made a decision, we tend to reinforce that decision by seeking out only positive support for it. We will ignore and avoid information that brings our decision into question.
Social Loafing
People work less and put forth less effort when they are in a group than when they are working alone.
Self Perception Theory
The idea that people use observations of their own behavior as a basis for inferring their internal beliefs
The lack of critical thinking about solutions caused by cohesiveness, or togetherness, in the group.

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