Unit 9 Vocab Quiz 1

Social Psychology

the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another

attribution theory

the theory that we explain someone's behavior by crediting either the situation or the person's disposition.

fundamental attribution error

the tendency for observers, when analyzing others' behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.


feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events

peripheral route persuasion

occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker's attractiveness.

central route persuasion

occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts.

foot-in-the-door phenomenon

the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.


a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave

cognitive dissonance theory

the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent. For example, when we become aware that our attitudes and our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes


rules for expected and acceptable behavior


adjusting our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.

normative social influence

influence resulting from a person's desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval.

informational social influence

influence resulting from one's willingness to accept others' opinions about reality.

social facilitation

improved performance on simple or well-learned tasks in the presence of others


the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.

social loafing

the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable

group polarization

the enhancement of a group's prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group


the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.


the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next


preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience


A generalized belief about a group of people


to act in negative and unjustifiable ways toward members of a group

just-world phenomenon

the tendency for people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.


us"—people with whom we share a common identity.


them"—those perceived as different or apart from our ingroup.

ingroup bias

the tendency to favor our own group

scapegoat theory

the theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame

own-race bias

the tendency to recall faces of one's own race more accurately than faces of other races. Also called the cross-race effect and the own-race bias.


any physical or verbal behavior intended to harm someone, whether done out of hostility or as a calculated means to an end.

frustration-aggression principle

the principle that frustration—the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal—creates anger, which can generate aggression.

social script

a culturally modeled guide for how to act in various situations

mere exposure effect

the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them

Phillip Zimbardo

Social Psychologist, Did the "Stanford Prison Study":

Leon Festinger

social cognition, cognitive dissonance; Study Basics: Studied and demonstrated cognitive dissonance

Solomon Asch

Conducted famous conformity experiment that required subjects to match lines.

Stanley Milgram

obedience to authority; had participants administer what they believed were dangerous electrical shocks to other participants; wanted to see if Germans were an aberration or if all people were capable of committing evil actions

John Darley

Worked with Bibb Latane to decipher why people performed better when being watched by others

bibb lantane

social loafing