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Social psychology outline


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Five major areas I am studying right now
1. Field of social psychology in general
2. Social perception
3. Social cognition
4. Attitudes
5. Social identity
6. Prejudice
Social perception

Four main aspects of social perception
Social perception - How we try to know and understand other people.

1. nonverbal communication,
2. attribution,
3. impression formation,
4. impression management (self presentation)
Basics of nonverbal communication
1. Facial expressions
2. Eye contact
3. Body language
4. Touching
What are five nonverbal cues to deception
1. Microexpressions
2. Interchannel discrepancies - Inconsistencies between nonverbal cues from different basic channels. May manage facial expressions well, but not be able to look you in the eye.
3. Nonverbal aspects of speech - Pitch may change or be more hesitant or make speech errors.
4. Eye contact - May have higher or lower level of eye contact, may blink more, or have more dilated pupils.
5. Exaggerated facial expressions.
Describe cognitive factors in detection of deception.
Since we have limited cognitive capacity, we tend to concentrate either on words or nonverbal cues, one or the other. When we are strongly motived to detect deception, we tend to pay closer attention to words. But the most revealing cues are nonverbal. So the more motivated we are, the less effective we may be.
How we seek to identify the causes of other people's behavior so that we can understand their traits and dispositions.
Actor-observer effect

Attribution error
The tendency to attribute our own behavior mainly to situational causes but the behavior of others mainly to internal (dispositional) causes. You fell, I was pushed.
Theory of correspondent inference
(attribution theory)
1. we attempt to infer others' traits and dispositions (attribution) from observing certain aspects of their behavior.

2. We are most likely to conclude that others' behavior reflects their stable traits (that is, we are likely to reach correspondent inferences about them) when that behavior

a. is freely chosen, ignorning actions that were somehow forced on the person in question.
b. yields distinctive, noncommon effects (infrequent) - effects produced by a particular cause that could not be produced by any other apparent cause.
c. is low in social desirability.
Theory of causal attribution

Attribution theory
We are interested in the questions of whether others' behavior stemmed from internal or external causes.

To answer this question, we focus on information relating to consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness.

Consensus - The extent to which other persons react to some stimulus or event in the same manner as the person under consideration. The higher the proportion of other people who react in the same way, the higher the consensus.

Consistency - The extent to which an individual responds to a given sitmulus or situation in the same way on different occasions (ie., across time).

Distinctiveness - The extent to which an individual responds in a different manner to different stimuli or events.

Intenal causes - consensus and distinctiveness low, consistency high.

External causes - consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness high.

Combination of internal and external causes - consensus low, consistency and distinctiveness high.
Augmenting and discounting

Attribution theory
When two or more potential causes of another person's behavior exist, we tend to either

Discounting principle - The tendency to attach less importance to one potential cause of some behavior when other potential causes are also present.

Augmenting principle - The tendency to attach greater importance to a potential cause of behavior if the behavior occurs despite the presence of other, inhibitory causes.
Regulatory focus theory

Attribution theory
Regulatory focus theory - A theory suggesting that in regulating their own behavior in order to attain desired goals, individuals adopt one of two different perspectives: a promotion focus, in which they emphasize the presence or absence of positive outcomes; or a prevention focus, in which they emphasize negative outcomes.

When people have a promotion focus, they are less likely to discount potential causal factors just because another is present.

When people have a prevention focus, they are quite willing to eliminate (discount) potential causes of others' behavior.
Correspondence bias (fundamental attribution error)

Attribution error
The tendency to explain others' actions as stemming from (corresonding to) internal dispositions even in the presence of clear situational causes. Attributing causes to internal traits rather than clear external factors.

Fundamental attribution error (correspondence bias) - The tendency to overestimate the impact of dispositional cues on others' behavior. We tend to perceive others acting as they do because they are "that kind of person," rather than because of the many external factors that may influence their behavior.
Self-serving bias

Attribution error
The tendency to attribute one's own positive outcomes to internal causes (one's own traits or characteristics) but negative outcomes or events to external causes (chance or task difficulty). I'm good. You're lucky.
What are the characteristics of impression formation
1. Social perceptions, such as attribution, require a lot of mental work.
2. In contrast, forming first impressions seems to be relatively effortless.
3. Research on impression formation suggests that first impressions are important.
Describe Asch's research on impression formation
Asch's research on impression formation indicates that our impressions of others involve more than simple summaries of their traits.

Suggested that we do not form impressions simply by adding together all the traits we observe in other persons. Rather, we perceive these traits in relation to one another so that the traits cease to exist individually, and therefore become part of an integrated whole.

Central traits - those core traits which strongly shape the overall impression of someone. If a central trait is perceived, it colors the overall impression of that person.

Peripheral traits - those traits which do not necessarily paint an overall impression of someone.
Modern cognitive approach to impression formation
We combine diverse information about others into unified impressions. We combine this information into a weighted average, in which each piece of information about another person is weighted in terms of its relative importance.

The factors which influence this relative weighing are:

1. Source of input - trusted sources are given more weight.
2. Whether information is positive or negative - negative information is weighted more heavily.
3. The extent to which information describes behavior that is unusal or extreme - the more unusual, the more heavily weighted.
4. The sequence of input - earlier received information is weighted more heavily.

Impressions of others involve two major components:

1. Exemplars - concrete examples of behaviors that have been performed that are consistent with a given trait.

2. Abstractions - mental summaries that are abstracted from repeated observations of others' behavior.

One model of impression formation suggests that initially our impressions of others consist mainly of examples of behaviors that are indicative of specific traits (exemplars). After we have more experience with another person, however, our impressions shift toward consisting mainly of abstractions - mental summaries of the person's behavior on many occasions.
Impression management
Many techniques are used to manage impressions, but most fall under two major headings: self-enhancement and other-enhancement.

Self-enhancement - efforts to increase one's own appeal to others.

Other enhancement - efforts to make the target person feel good in various ways. Flattery is the most commonly used tactic of other-enhancement. Showing a high level of agreement or interest in another person is other-enhancement.
Slime effect

Impression management
A tendency to form negative impressions of persons who lick upward and kick downward in the work setting. From most negative to least:

1. Slimy behavior - likeable toward superiors, unlikeable to others
2. Negative - negative towards everyone
3. Mixed - a mixed pattern of negative and positive behaviors towards both superiors and subordinates.
4. Nonslimy - unlikeable toward superiors, likeable toward others
5. Positive - positive toward everyone
Is impression management always done consciously
Impression management is not always a conscious effort. While individuals use tactics of impression management consciously, impressions are also influenced by factors that are not under conscious control, such as aspects of physical appearance and even certain subtle aspects of speech.
Social cognition and four major issues I'm studying
The way we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about the social world.

1. Schemas
2. Heuristics
3. Errors
4. Affect and cognition
Our current feelings and moods

Types of schemas
Mental frameworks centering around a specific theme that help us to organize social information.

Once established, scripts and schemas save us a great doeal of mental effort, because they tell us what to expect in a given situation, how other people are likely to behave, and what will happen, and in what order.

PERSON SCHEMA - Mental frameworks suggesting that certain traits and behaviors go together and that individuals having them represent certain types.

ROLE SCHEMA - Contain information about how persons playing specific roles generally act, and what they are like.

EVENT SCHEMA - Also known as scripts. Such schemas indicate what is expected to happen in a given setting.
How do schemas influence and impact social thought
Once formed, schemas exert powerful effects on what we notice (attention), enter into memory (encoding), and later remember (retrieval).

Schemas influence social thought in three basic ways:

ATTENTION - What information we notice. Schemas act as filters. Only information consistent with the schema registers and enters our consciousness. Information that does not fit a schema is ignored, unless it is so extreme that it can't help but be noticed.

ENCODING - Refers to the processes through which information we notice gets stored in memory. Information consistent with schemas is easier to remember than inconsistent information. Before schemas are formed, however, inconsistent information is more readily encoded.

RETRIEVAL - Refers to the processes through which we recover information from memory. Schemas determine precisely what information is actually brought to mind.
Perserverance effect
Self-fulfulling prophecies

PERSEVERANCE EFFECT - The tendency for beliefs and schemas to remain unchanged even in the face of contradictory information.

SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES - Predictions that, in a sense, make themselves come true. Having a given belief can shape behavior so that the belief occurs.
Because of information overload, we try to adopt strategies to stretch our cognitive resources. Such strategies must meet two requirements: They must provide a quick and simple way of dealing with large amounts of information, and they must work - they must be reasonably accurate much of the time.

HEURISTICS - Simple rules for making complex decisions or drawing inferences in a rapid and seemingly effortless manner.
Representativeness heuristic
A strategy for making judgments based on the extend to which current stimuli or events resemble other stimuli or categories. The more similar an individual is to typical members of a given group, the more likely she or he is to belong to that group.
Availability heuristic
The easier it is to bring something to mind, the greater its importance or relevance to our judgments or decisions.

The availability heuristic includes two different rules for judging the importance of information: How easily it comes to mind, and how much we remember. Which of these rules we follow depends strongly on the kind of judgment we are making.

Judgments concerning emotions or feelings rely more on the ease with which the information comes to mind.

Judgments concerning facts or information rely more on the amount of information we can bring to mind.

Availability heuristic
Increased availabilty of information in memory or consciousness resulting from exposure to specific stimuli or events.
Automatic processing

Occurs when after extensive with a task or type of information we reach the state where we can perform the task or process the information in a seemingly effortless, automatic, and unconscious manner.
Optimistic bias
Our predisposition to expect things to turn out well overall.

The optimistic bias also includes a tendency on the part of most persons to believe that they are more likely than others to experience positive events, and less likely to experience negative events. One major exception to this is when individuals expect to receive negative feedback that has important consequences, they tend to believe that they are more likely than others to experience negative outcomes.
Planning fallacy

Optimistic bias
The tendency to make optimistic predictions concerning how long a given task will take for completion. This is also known as the optimistic bias.

The planning fallacy seems to stem from the tendency to focus on the future while ignoring related past events, and also from motivations to have tasks completed quickly.
Thinking too much

Social cognition error
When individuals think too deeply about some topic, they may become confused about the factors that actually play a role in their behavior, with the result that they make less accurate judgments or decisions.
Counterfactual thinking

Upward counterfactual thinking

Inaction inertia

Social cognition error
In many situations, individuals imagine what might have been - they engage in counterfactual thinking. Such thinking can affect our sympathy for persons who have experienced negative outcomes and can cause us to experience strong regret over missed opportunities.

COUNTERFACTUAL THINKING - The tendency to imagine outcomes in a situation other than those that actually occurred, to think about what might have been.

We tend to feel more sympathy for people who experience harm as a result of unusual actions on their part than as a result of more typical behavior.

We tend to regret missed opportunities, things we did not do, more than things we did do.

UPWARD COUNTERFACTUAL THINKING - Comparing their current outcomes with more favorable ones they can imagine, the result may be strong feelings of dissatisfaction or envy, especially if they do not feel capable of obtaining better outcomes in the future.

INACTION INERTIA - This occurs when an individual has decided not to take some action and so loses the opportunity to gain a positive outcome. As a result, he or she becomes less likely to take similar actions in the future, especially if these actions will yield smaller gains.
Magical thinking

Law of contagion
Law of similarity

Social cognition error
MAGICAL THINKING - Thinking involving assumptions that don't hold up to rational scrutiny. For example, the notion that things that resemble one another share fundamental properties.

LAW OF CONTAGION - When two objects touch, they pass properties to one another, and that the effects of contact may last well beyond the end of the contact between them.

LAW OF SIMILARITY - Things that resemble one another share basic properties.

Another idea is that one's own thoughts can influence the physical world in ways not governed by the laws of physics.
Thought suppression
2 steps

Social cognition error
THOUGHT SUPPRESSION - Efforts to prevent certain thoughts from entering consciousness.

The steps of thought suppression include:

Monitoring process - An autonomic process which searches for evidence that unwanted throughts are about to intrude. This is an early warning system.

Operating process - effortful, conscious attempts to distract oneself by finding something else to think about. This is an active prevention system.

Although effots at thought suppression are often successful, sometimes they result in a rebound effect, in which such thoughts actually increase in frequency. Persons high in reactance are more likely than those low in reactance to experience such effects.
The affect-cognition connection

Mood-dependent memory
Mood congruence effects
Mental contamination
Our current moods can strongly affect our reactions to new stimuli we encounter for the first time, whether these are people, foods, or even geographic locations where we've never been before.

Positive affect encourages us to adopt a flexible, creative stype of thinking. Negative affect leads us to engage in more systematic and careful processing.

MOOD-DEPENDENT MEMORY - The fact that what we remember while in a given mood may be determined in part by what we learned when previously in that mood.

MOOD-CONGRUENCE EFFECT - Our tendency to store or remember positive information when in a positive mood and negative information when in a negative mood.

MENTAL CONTAMINATION - A process in which our judgments, emotions, or behaviors are influenced by mental processing that is unconscious and uncontrollable. Once we are exposed to emotion-generating information, we cannot ignore it, no matter how hard we try.

Cognition influences affect through the activation of schemas containing a strong affective component, and by shaping our reactions to emotion-provoking events.
Five main areas I am studying about Attitudes
1. Attitude formation
2. Attitude-behavior link
3. Persuasion
4. Resistance to persuasion
5. Cognitive dissonance
Evaluations of various aspects of the social world
Attitude ambivalence
Refers to the fact that we often have positive and negative evaluations of the same attitude object; thus, out attitude twoard it is ambivalent.
Social learning

Three types

Attitude formation
Attitudes are often acquired from other persons through social learning. Such learning can involve classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, or observational learning.

SOCIAL LEARNING - The process through which we acquire new information, forms of behavior, or attitudes from other persons.
Classical conditioning

Social learning
A basic form of learning in which one stimulus, initially neutral, acquires the capacity ot evoke reactions through repeated pairing with another stimulus. In a sense, one stimulus becomes a signal for the presentation or occurrence of the other.
Instrumental conditioning

Social learning
Basic form of learning in which responses that lead to positive outcomes or that permit avoidance of negative outcomes are strengthened or reinforced. This is also known as operant conditioning.
Observational learning
Basic form of learning in which individuals acquire new forms of behavior or thought through observing others.
Social comparison

Attitude formation
Attitudes are also formed on the basis of social comparison - our tendency to compare ourselves with others to determine whether our view of social reality is or is not correct. In order to be similar to others we like or admire, we often accept the attitudes they hold.

SOCIAL COMPARISON - The process through which we compare ourselves to others in order to determine whether our view of social reality is or is not correct.
When do attitudes influence behavior

Attitude origin, strength, specificity.

Attitude-behavior link
Several aspects of attitudes themselves also moderate the attitude-behavior link. These include attitude origins, attitude strength, and attitude specificity.

ATTITUDE ORIGINS - How attitudes are formed. Attitudes formed on the basis of direct experience are easier to bring to mind, which increases their impact on behavior.

ATTITUDE STRENGTH - The stronger attitudes are, the greater their impact on behavior. Strength of an attitude depends on such factors as: intensity, importance, knowledge and accessibility of the attitude.

In terms of the importance of an attitude, the extent to which an individual cares about a given attitude, a key element is vested interest, the extent to which the attitude is personally relevant to the individual who holds it, in that the object or issue to which ir refers has important consequences for this person.

ATTITUDE SPECIFICITY - The extent to which attitudes are focused on specific objects or situations rather than on general ones.
Three theories on how attitudes influence behavior
1. Theory of reasoned action
2. Theory of planned behavior
3. Attitude-to-behavior process model
Theory of reasoned action

How attitudes influence behavior
Suggests that the decision to engage in a particular behavior is the result of a rational process in which behavioral options are considered, consequences are evaluated, and a decision is reached to act or not to act. That decision is then reflected in behavioral intentions, which strongly influence overt behavior.
Theory of planned behavior

How attitude influences behavior
An extension of the theory of reasoned action, suggesting that in addition to attitudes toward a given behavior and subjective norms about it, individuals also consider perceived behavior control - their ability to perform the behavior.

The decision to engage in a particular behavior is the result of a process that is goal oriented and that follows a logical sequence. We consider our behavior options, evaluate the consequences or outcomes of each, and reach a decision to act or not to act. That decision is reflected in our BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS.

Behavioral intentions are influenced by three key factors: the person's attitudes toward the behavior in question, the person's belief about how others will evaluate this action, intentions are influenced by PERCEIVED BEHAVIORAL CONTROL - the extent to which a person perceives a behavior as hard or easy to accomplish.

This model is quite accurate in situations where we have time and opportunity to reflect carefully.
Attitude-to-behavior process model
A model of how attitudes guide behavior that emphasizes the influence of both attitudes and stored knowledge of what is appropriate in a given situation on an individual's definition of the present situation. This definition, in turn, influences overt behavior.

This model is for situations where we have to act quickly.

Some event activates an attitude. The attitude influences our perceptions of the attitude object. At the same time, our knowledge about what's appropriate in a given situation, social norms, is also activated. Together, the attitude and this previously stored information about what's appropriate or expected shape our definition of the event. This definition, in turn, influences our behavior
Efforts to change others' attitudes through the use of various kinds of messages.
What did early research on persuasion conclude
Early research on persuasion focused primarily on characteristics of the communicator (expertise, attractiveness), the message (one-sided vs two-sided) and the audience.

Persuation invovles the following elements: Some source directs some type of message to some person or group of persons, the audience.

Communicators who are attractive or seem to have expertise are more persuasive.

People are sometimes more susceptible to persuation when they are distracted by some extraneous event than when they are paying full attention to what is being said.

When an audience holds attitudes contrary to those of a would-by persuader, it is more effective to adopt a two-sided approach, in which both sides of the argument are presented.

People who speak rapidly are more persuasive than those who speak more slowly.

Persuation can be enhanced by messages that arouse strong emotions in the audience.
Systematic processing

Cognitive approach to persuasion
SYSTEMATIC PROCESSING - Processing of information in a persuasive message that involves careful consideration of message content and ideas.

CENTRAL ROUTE TO PERSUATION - Attitude change resulting from systematic processing of information pres/ented in persuasive messages.
Heuristic processing

Cognitive approach to persuasion
HEURISTIC PROCESSING - Processing of information in a persuasive message that involves the use of simple rules of thumb or mental shortcuts.

PERIPHERAL ROUTE TO PERSUATION - Attitude change that occurs in response to persuation cues - information concerning the expertise or status of would-be persuaders.
Elaboration likelihood model (of persuasion)
A theory suggesting that persuasion can occur in either of two distinct ways, which differ in the amount of cognitive effort or elaboration they require.

We engage in the effortful type of processing (systemic processing) when our capacity to process information relating to the persuasive message is high or when we are motivated to do so, when the issue is important to us.

We engage in the less effortful type of processing (heuristic processing) when we lack the ability or capacity to process more carefully ( we must make up our minds quickly, we have little knowledge about the issue) or when our motivation to perform such cognitive work is low (the issue is unimportant or has little effect on us).
Five forms of resistance to persuasion
1. Reactance - protecting personal freedom
2. Forewarning - prior knowledge of persuasive intent
3. Selective avoidance
4. Active defense of existing attitudes
5. Biased assimilation and attitude polarization

Resistance to persuasion
Advance knowledge that one is about to become the target of an attempt at persuasion; often increases resistance to the persuasion that follows.

Forewarning provides an opportunity to formulate counterarguments and provides more time to recall relevant facts that may prove useful in refuting a persuasive message

Negative attitude change

Resistance to presuasion
REACTANCE - Negative reaction to threats to one's personal freedom; often increases resistance to persuasion. Often results in the adoption of views opposite to those the would-be persuader wants you to adopt.

NEGATIVE ATTITUDE CHANGE - A change in attitude or behavior in a direction exactly opposite to that being urged on us.
Biased assimilation

Attitude polarization

Resistance to persuasion
BIASED ASSIMILATION - The tendency to evaluate information thaat disconfirms our existing views as less convincing or reliable than information that confirms these views.

ATTITUDE POLARIZATION - The tendency to evaluate mixed evidence or information in such a way that it strengthens our initial views and makes them more extreme.

As a result of these two tendencies, our attitudes really do seem to be beyond the reach of many efforts to change them. We tend to persist even when we are confronted with new information that strongly challenges them.
Active defense of existing attitudes

Resistance to persuasion
Actively counterarguing against views contrary to our own may make opposing views more memorable, but also reduced their impact on our attitudes.
How does behavior influence attitude
Cognitive dissonance
Cogntitive dissonance
An unpleasant internal state that results when individuals notice inconsistency between two or more of their attitudes or between their attitudes and their behavior.
Direct tactics to reduce cognitive dissonance
DIRECT TACTICS TO REDUCE DISSONANCE focus on the attitudes-behavior discrepancies that are causing the dissonance.

We can change our attitude or our behavior so that these are more consistent with each other.

We may acquire new information that supports our attitude or behavior.

We can decide that the inconsistencies actually don't matter.

TRIVIALIZATION - A technique for reducing dissonance by mentally minimizing the importance of attitudes or behavior that are inconsistent with each other
Indirect tactics to reduce cognitive dissonance
INDIRECT TACTICS TO REDUCE DISSONANCE leave the basic discrepancy between attitudes and behavior intact but reduce the unpleasant negative feelings generated by dissonance. Most likely to occur when an attitude-behavior discrepancy involves important attitudes or self-beliefs.

SELF-AFFIRMATION - restoring positive self-evaluations that are threatened by the dissonance.

Other ways to indirectly reduce dissonance may include alcohol consumption or engaging in distracting activities.
Induced compliance

Cognitive dissonance
INDUCED COMPLIANCE - Situations in which individuals are somehow induced to say or do things inconsistent with their true attitudes. This is also known as forced compliance.

In such situations, attitude change is maximum when we have reasons that are bearely sufficient to get us to engage in attitude-discrepant behavior. Stronger reasons (or larger rewards) produce less attitude change - the less-leads-to-more effect.

Dissonance will be stronger when we have few reasons for engaging in attitude-discrepant behavior. This is so because under these conditions, we can't explain away our behavior to ourselves; we performed our actions even though there was no strong reason for doing so. So dissonance is quite intense.
Less-leads-to-more effect

Induced compliance
Cognitive dissonance
LESS-LEADS-TO-MORE EFFECT - The fact that offering individuals small rewards for engaging in counterattitudinal behavior often produces more dissonance, and so more attitude change, than offering them larger rewards.

This effect occurs only when several conditions are met.

Occurs only in situations in which people believe that they have a choice as to whether or not to perform the attitude-discrepant behavior.

Small rewards lead to greater attitude change only when people believe that they were personally responsible for both the chosen course of action and any negative effects it produced.

The effect occurs only when people view the reward they receive as a well-deserved payment for services rendered, not as a bribe.
Social identity
A person's definition of who he or she is, including personal attributes (self-concept) and attributes shared with others, such as gender and race.
Self-concept and elements of it
SELF-CONCEPT - One's self-identity, a schema consisting of an organized collection of believes and feelings about oneself.

Each person possesses a unique self-concept with specific content, but the overall structure of the self-concept is the same for all individuals.

People describe themselves on the basis of eight categories or factors. They are:
1. Interpersonal attributes - I'm a student
2.Ascribed characteristics - I'm a man
3. Interests and activities - I play bridge
4. Existential aspects - I'm intelligent
5. Self-determination - I can attain my educational goals
6. Internalized beliefs - I'm in favor of less government
7. Self-awareness - I'm a good person
8. Social differentiation - I'm a Californian

A self schema is the sum of everything a person remembers, knows, and can imagine about himself.

Because the self is the center of each person's social world and because self-schemas are well developed, we can process information about ourselves more efficiently than other types of information - the self-reference effect. This processing is both elaborative and categorical.
Self-reference effect

Elaborative processing
Categorical processing
SELF-REFERENCE EFFECT - The fact that cognitive processing of information relevant to the self is more efficient that the processing of other types of information.

Self-relevant information is processed more efficiently in two ways:

ELABORATIVE PROCESSING - You are likely to spend more time thinking about words or events that are relevant to yourself than about any other words or events. This elaborative processing connects new material to existing information that is already stored in memory. It is easier to process anything associated with something you know well than anything associated with something about which you are relatively uninformed.

CATEGORICAL PROCESSING - relevant information can easily be placed in categories that are already present.
Social self
A collective identity that includes interpersonal relationships plus aspects of identity derived from membership in larger, less personal groups based on race, ethnicity, and culture.
Possible selves
POSSIBLE SELVES - Mental representations of what we might become, or should become, in the future.

One's self-concept at any given time is actually just a working self-concept, something open to change in response to new experiences and feedback.

The existence of alternate possible selves affects in several ways: It may influence motivation. Optimistic individuals are more confident than pessimistic individuals that they will be able to achieve a positive possible self.

Those who can envision only a relatively limited number of alternatives tend to be espeically vulnerable to discouraging feedback. Those who can envision many different selves adjust better to many kinds of setbacks.
SELF-ESTEEM - Self-esteem consists of self-evaluation or the attitudes we hold about ourselves in general and in specific domains. It is based in part on social comparison processes.

Depending on your comparison group, specific successes and failures may contribute to high or low self-evaluations - or may be completely irrelevant.

The general underlying principle concerning social comparisons is that any experience that creates a positive mood raises self-esteem.
Downward social comparison
Upward social comparison

With strangers - makes you feel good
With peers - makes you feel good
With those close - makes you feel bad

With strangers - usually makes you feel indifferent
With peers - makes you feel bad
With those close - makes you feel good
Variable self-esteem
When self-evaluation fluctuates up and down in response to changes in the situation. This situation is most likely to cause depression. This is because people whose self-esteem is strongly affected by minor occurrences have a less stable base of self-worth than people whose self-esteem remains relatively constant.
SELF-MONITORING - Self-monitoring refers to a dispositional tendency to regulate behavior on the basis of external factors (high self-monitoring) or on the basis of internal beliefs and values (low self-monitoring).

Low self-monitors are consistent across situations, whereas high self-monitors change in response to situational changes.

A high self-monitor analyzes a social situation by assessing the relationship between his or her public self and what is socially appropriate in the setting, then strives to alter the public self to match the situation. A low self-monitor analyzes a social situation by assessing the relationship between his or her private self and personal standards of behavior, then strives to alter the situation to match the private self.
SELF-EFFICACY - Refers to an individual's evaluation of his or her ability to perform a task, reach a goal, or overcome an obstacle.

Individuals have general patterns of high or low self-efficacy that are evident across sets of quite different specific situations.

High self-efficacy is associated with better performance (physical and intellectual), more socially skilled behavior, the ability to overcome phobias, and skill in coping with fearful events.

Low social self-efficacy is often based on the lack of social skills, and a common resonse is anxiety and the desire to avoid interpersonal interactions.
SEX - Maleness or femaleness as determined by genetic factors present at conception that result in anatomical and physiological differences.

GENDER - The attributes, behaviors, personality characteristics, and expectancies associated with a person's biological sex in a given culture. Gender differences can be based on biology, learning, or a combination of the two.

Sex is a combination of physical phenomena, whereas gender is a combination of culturally-based categories that arbitrarily divide sex into designated groups.
Gender identity
GENDER IDENTITY - That part of the self-concept involving a person's identification as a male or a female. Consiousness of gender identity usually develops at about the age of two.
Gender consistency
GENDER CONSISTENCY - The concept that gender is a basic, enduring attribute of each individual. A grasp of gender consistency usually develops between the ages of four and seven.
Gender schema theory
Sex typing
GENDER SCHEMA THEORY - Proposes that childfren have a generalized readiness to organize information about the self on the basis of cultural definitions of appropriate male and female attributes.

As childhood progresses, children learn the stereotypes associates with being a male or a female in their culture, and gender-appropriate behavior is strongly encouraged.

As childhood progresses, sex typing occurs when children learn the stereotypes associated with maleness and femaleness in their culture.

SEX TYPING - Comprehension of the stereotypes associated with being a male or a female in one's culture.

Children are generally rewarded for engaging in gender-appropriate behavior and discouraged (often ridiculed) when their behavior is gender-inappropriate.

After observing parents, peers, advertising, and all other role models, a child gradually acquires the gender stereotypes of his or her culture. By the time chidren reach the sixth grade, they understand the prevailing stereotyps.
Sandra Bem's research

Sandra Bem refected the idea of a single dimension to gender identity and suggested that various personal characteristics associated with masculinity and femininity lie on two separate dimensions: one ranging from low to high masculinity and the other ranging from low to high femininity. In this conceptualization, many individuals may actually be high on characteristics associated with both genders. A person who combines traditional masculine characteristics with traditional feminine ones is considered to be androgynous.

Bem's conception of masculinity and femininity as two separate dimensions led to her formulation indicating that each individual's gender-role identification can be masculine, feminine, both (androgynous), or neither (undifferentiated).

ANDROGYNOUS - Characterized by possessing both traditional masculine and feminine characteristics
Gender role identification
GENDER-ROLE IDENTIFICATION - The extent to which an individual identifies with the gender stereotypes of his or her culture.

Sex refers to biological maleness or femaleness.

Gender refers to one's social categorization as a female or male.

Gender identity refers to a person's self-perception as a male or female.

Gender-role identification refers to an individual's self-reported androgyny, femininity, or masculinity.
PREJUDICE - An attitude (usually negative) toward members of some social group based solely on their membership in that group.

When prejudice is defined as a special type of attitude, two important implications follow. Attitudes often function as schemas - cognitive frameworks for organizing, interpreting,a nd recalling information. Individuals who are prejudiced toward a particular group tend to process information about these groups differently from the way they process information about other groups. Information that is consistent with an individual's prejudiced views often receives closer attention and so is remembered more accurately than information that is not consistent.

Also, if prejudice is an attitude, it may also include negative feelings or emotions on the part of prejudiced persons when they are in the presence of, or merely thinking about, members of the group they dislike.

Prejudice, like other attitudes, influences our processing of social information. In addition, prejudice influences our beliefs about persons belonging to various groups, and our feelings about them.
Two reason prejudice persists
Prejudice persists because
1. disparaging groups we dislike can boost our self-esteem, and
2. because stereotypes save us cognitive effort.

Stereotypes, in particular, seem to serve the function of saving us mental effort. Once stereotypes are formed, we don't have to bother engaging in careful, systematic processing. We know what members of a given group are like. We can rely on quicker, heuristic-driven processing and preconceived beliefs.
Modern racism - 3 components
Tokenism - 2 negative effects
Reverse discimination
DISCRIMINATION - Discrimination involves negative actions, based on perjudice, toward members of various social groups.

While blatant discrimination has clearly decreased in Western societies, more subtle forms such as modern racism, tokenism, and reverse discrimination persist.

The move from blatant racism has been replaced with what some call MODERN RACISM, which is more subtle and seems to have three major components:

1. Denial that there is continuing discrimination against minorities.
2. Antagonism ot the demands of minorities for equal treatment.
3. Resentment about special favors for minority groups.

TOKENISM - The performance of trivial or small-scale positive actions for people who are the targets of prejudice. Prejudiced groups often use tokenistic behaviors as an excuse for refusing more meaningful beneficial actions.

Tokenism is often found in the workplace. Tokenism can lead both persons who the object of tokenism and coworkers to resentment.

Tokenism can lead to two negative effects:

1. It lets prejudiced people off the hook; they can point to tokenistic actions as public proof that they aren't really bigoted.
2. It can be damaging to the self-esteem and confidence of the targets of prejudice, including those few persons who are selected as tokens or who receive minimal aid.

REVERSE DISCRIMINATION - The tendency to evaluate or treat persons belonging to groups that are the object of prejudice more favorably than members of the dominant group.

Recent findings indicate that white persons in the United States often lean over backward to provide positive feedback to members of minority groups

Critics of affirmative action programs contend that they are a form of reverse discrimination that actually harms other groups.
Social learning view

Origins of prejudice
A basis for prejudice is early experience, which often trains children to hate various groups.

According to this social learning view, children acquire negative attitudes toward various social groups because they hear such views expressed by parents, friends, teachers, and others, and because they are directly rewarded for adopting these views.
Direct intergroup conflict
Realistic conflict theory

Origins of prejudice
Prejudice stems from several different sources. One of these is direct intergroup conflict - situations in which social groups compete for the same scarce resources.

REALISTIC CONFLICT THEORY - The things that people want most are in short supply. According to this view, prejudice stems from competition from social groups over valued commodities or opportunities. Prejudice develops out of the struggle over jobs, housing, and other desirable outcomes.

What starts out as simple competition relatively free from hatred gradually develops into full scale, emotion-laden prejudice.

SUBORDINATE GOALS - When groups find it necessary to work together to achieve subordinate goals - those both groups desire - prejudice among the groups diminishes.
Social categorization

Origins of prejudice
Prejudice also stems from our tendencies to divide the world into "us" and "them" and to view our own group much more favorably than various other groups.

IN-GROUP - The social group to which an individual perceives himself or herself as belonging (us).

OUT-GROUP - Any group other than the one to which individuals perceive themselves as belonging.

SOCIAL CATEGORIZATION - The tendency to divide the social world into two separate categories: one's in-group and various out-groups. Social categorization takes place on many dimensions, including race, religion, sex, age, occupation, income, and others.

Out-group members are perceived to possess more undesirable traits, are perceived as being more alike than members of the in-group, and are often disliked.
Ultimate attribution error

Origins of prejudice
ULTIMATE ATTRIBUTION ERROR - The tendency to make more favorable and flattering attributions about members of one's own group than about members of other groups.

Each group seeks to view itself as not only different from but better than it's rivals, and prejudice arises out of this clash of social perception. This stems from our strong need to enhance our self-esteem

Recent findings indicate that perceived similarity to an out-group can reduce prejudice toward its members unless the group is viewed as a threat.
Social identity theory
A theory suggesting that individuals seek to enhance their own self-esteem by identifying with specific social groups.

Cognitive source of prejudice
STEREOTYPES - Beliefs to the effect that all members of specific social groups share certain traits or characteristics. Stereotypes are cognitive frameworks that strongly influence the processing of incoming social information.

Stereotypes are cognitive frameworks suggesting that all persons belonging to a social group show similar characteristics. Stereotypes strongly influence social group thought. For instance, when activated, they lead us to draw tacit inferences about others that then make information consistent with them.

Information relevant to an activated stereotype is often processed more quickly than information unrelated to it. Stereotypes lead persons holding them to pay attention to specific types of information - usually, information consistent with the stereotypes. When information which is inconsistent enters consciousness, it may be actively refuted or changed in subtle ways to make it seem consistent. We draw TACIT INFERENCES (conclusions and ideas not contained in the information) that change the meaning of this information to make it consistent with the stereotype.
Illusory correlations

Cognitive source of prejudice
ILLUSORY CORRELATIONS - Perceived associations between variables that are stronger than actually exist; occur when each variable is distinctive so that the occurrence of the variables is readily entered into and retrieved from memory.
Illusion of out-group homogeneity

cognitive source of prejudice
The tendency to perceive members of out-groups as more similar to one another (less variable) than the members of one's own in-group.

"You know what they're like; they're all the same."
In-Group differentiation

Cognitive origin of prejudice
The mirror image of the illusion of out-group homogeneity. This is the tendency to perceive members of one's own group as showing much larger differences from one another (as being more heterogeneous) than those of other groups.

One example of this is cross-racial facial identification - the tendency for persons belonging to one racial group to be more accurate in recognizing the faces of strangers from their own group than those of strangers from another racial group.
Contact hypothesis

Technique for counteracting prejudice
CONTACT HYPOTHESIS - The view that increased contact between members of various social groups can be effective in reducing prejudice between them; seems to be valid only when contact takes place under certain favorable conditions.

Increased contact between groups can lead to a growing recognition of similarities. While sterotypes are resistant to change, they can be altered when sufficient information inconsistent with them is encountered, or when individuals meet a sufficient number of exceptions to their stereotypes. Increased contact may help counter the illusion of out-group homogeneity.

Conditions which much exist are: the groups must be roughly equal in social status; the contact must involve cooperation and interdependence; the contact must permit them to get to know one another as individuals; norms favoring group must exist; and the persons involved must view one another as typical of their respective groups.

Such conditions are rare, and when there is strong prejudice between groups negative emotions such as anxiety and fear can surface which can work against the potential benefit of contact. Social psychologists voice pessimism about the efficacy of intergroup contact as a means of reducing prejudice.
Extended contact hypothesis

Technique for counteracting prejudice
EXTENDED CONTACT HYPOTHESIS - A view suggesting that simply knowing that members of one's own group have formed close friendships with members of an out-group can reduce prejudice against this group.

It appears that contact between person belonging to different groups can be a highly effective means for reducing prejudice between them, especially if these contact develop into friendships. Moreover, the beneficial effects of such friendships can readily spread to other persons who have not themselves experienced such contacts: simply knowing about them can be enough.
Common in-group identity model

Technique to counteract prejudice
RECATEGORIZATION - Prejudice can sometimes be reduced through recategorization - shifting the boundary between us and them so as to include former out-groups in the us category.

COMMON IN-GROUP IDENTITY MODEL - A theory suggesting that to the extent that individuals in different groups view themselves as members of a single social entity, positive contacts between them will increase and intergroup bias will be reduced.

One crucial factor in inducing this model the experience of working together cooperatively. When people belonging to intially distinct groups work together toward shared goals, they come to perceive themselves as a single social entity.
Category-driven processing

Cognitive technique to counteract prejudice
The tendency known as CATEGORY-DRIVEN PROCESSING appears to be a key factor in the occurrence and persistence of prejudice. Cognitive interventions would include:

1. If individuals are encouraged to think carefully about others - to pay attention to their unique characteristics rather than to their membership in various groups.
2. We can think about outcomes in performance. If outcomes are positive, then these can lead us to conclusions about a group that is counterstereotypic.
Prejudice based on gender. Prejudice based on gender affects more individuals than any other single kind and produces negative outcomes for males as well as females.
Gender stereotypes
At the core of sexism are gender stereotypes - cognitive frameworks suggesting that males and females possess sharply different patterns of traits and behavior.

Existing evidence suggests that while males and females do differ in some respects, gender stereotypes greatly exaggerate these differences.

GENDER STEREOTYPES - Stereotypes concerning the traits supposedly possessed by females and males, which distinguish the two genders from each other.
Glass ceiling
GLASS CEILING - Barriers based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified females from advancing to top-level positions.

The glass ceiling does not seem to exist because of conscious efforts on the part of male executives to keep women out of their domain. More subtle factors seem to produce this effect.
For instance, females report fewer opportunities to develop their skills and competency than males.
Hostile sexism
The view that women, if not inferior to men, have many negative traits (ie, they seek special favors, are overly sensitive, or seek to seize power that they don't deserve to have).
Benevolent sexism
Views suggesting that women deserve protection, are superior to men in various ways (they are more pure, have better taste) and are truly necessary for men's happiness.
How is social psychology scientific in nature
It is scientific in nature because it adopts the values and methods used in other fields of science which include:

Open-mindedness - commitment to changing one's views if existing evidence suggests that these views are inaccurate.
How does social psychology differ from sociology
Social psychology focuses on the behavior of individuals, and seeks to understand the causes of social behavior and thought. This contrasts with the study of sociology in that sociology studies the behavior of groups of people.

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