Social Psychology Midterm #1

ABC's of attitudes


Most important theory of prejudice reduction is...

Contact Hypothesis

Dominik, Brown

Focus on contact hypothesis, British

Kelley: Experiment, Theories,

AttributionExperiment: Information given to students influenced their opinions about instructor as well as behavior (Warm cold variable)Theory of Covariation: People try to see if a particular effect and a particular cause go together across different situations.Information Processing

Attribution Theory

On limited info we make up something a lot bigger and draw conclusions that influence our behaviorDrawing conclusions on little evidence, falsifies reality

Social Cognition

The way people think, feel, relate to others and how it influences their behavior


A shortcut for problem solving that reduces complex or ambiguous information to more simple judgmental operations

Kahneman & Tversky

Won Nobel Prize for Heuristics and its application to economicsImplications: HEURISTICS Cognition is influenced by culture, values, and beliefs that can influence a person's decisions, areas of diversity makes it harder to predict a person's actions


Realistic Empathy, cold war


Locus & control, 1st scale


Locus of control DOES NOT EQUAL locus & controlPerception of reason for attribution is importantPeople attribute reinforcement differently which can affect interpersonal relationships


Vicarious reinforcement and learning

Heider --> Kelley --> Rotter

Balance Theory (Locus & control) --> Attribution Theory --> Reinforcement


ATTRIBUTIONSituational v. Dispositional Factors that influence behaviorIntentionality --> Conflict Resolution

Fundamental Attribution Error

Happens when you judge behavior of someone else, actor-observerTend to attribute things dispositionally with other, and situationally with ourselves

Ultimate Attribution Error

Houston & PettigrewActor-observer discrepancy, except make the error when judge people in conflict or when there is an in-group or outgroup


Motivational TheoristThen began focusing on the consequences of internal v. external, controllable v. uncontrollable, dispositional v. situational.ATTRIBUTION THEORY: Stability of attribution springs the expectancy of change

Expectancy-Value Theory

Behavior is motivated by value (how important is goal to you) and expectancy (if you expect to fail, you will and it will affect your drive)


Realized the only way to explain behavior of depressed people was to realize that attribute things to uncontrollable, stable, and internal causesGlobality --> Attribution theory


Helping Behaviors:Adopting perspective of another person induces experience of empathic feeling --> responsible for making people helpThose who experienced distress with empathic feeling only help if there's no way for them to get away

What influences when attitudes predict behavior?

Glasman & AlberacinAmount of informationRehearsing and practicing strengthens attitudesHaving direct personal experiencesVested InterestRelevanceSalienceStabilityAccessibility


Attribution Theory: The principles that determine how causal attributions are made and what effects they have. HeuristicsBalance Theory: earliest consistency theory. Imbalanced configurations tend to change toward balanced ones.Imbalanced systems produce pressures toward attitude change until there is balanceBalance Theory uses a least effort principle to predict direction of change


Learning TheoryApproach that assumes that a person's attitudes are based on principles of reinforcement, association, imitation, and punishment


Theory of Recent Action


Cognitive Dissonance TheoryInconsistency between two cognitive elements proudces pressure to make elements consistentThree ways of reducing dissonance: change our behavior in some way, rationalize the dissonance, changing the attitude

Things that contribute to dissonance

Insufficient JustificationThreatsChoiceIrrevocable CommitmentForseeable ConsequencesResponsibility for ConsequencesEffortSelf-Relevance

Fundamental Attribution Error

People overestimate how much a person's action are due to dispositions such as personality


Fundamental Attribution Error


Power of the situationZimbardo

When stereotypes are problematic

Tend to emphasize homogeneity of outgroupMinimize intergroup differences (Outgroup homogeneity effect)Intergroup favoritism reinforcementCan lead to prejudice and discrimination


Asche: Are the lines the same lengthSherif: Robber's Cave


Moorehead, Janice


Look at attitudes towards women1st female scientist

Types of Heuristics

AvailabilityBiases based on retrievabilityBiases due to effectiveness of a search setBiases of imaginabilityRepresentativeness Misconceptions of Chance and probabilityInsensitivity to sample size, regression, previous probability outcomes