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Please find below some of the key topic areas for the first exam and questions to consider from
the articles.
Chapter 1&2
What is social psychology, difference from other fields
o Social psychology- scientific study of the way in which peoples thoughts,
feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of others
o Personality psychologist- individual differences of peoples personalities
o Level of analysis- individual in the context of a social situation
o Sociology- concerned with topics such as social class, structure, and institutions
Folk psychological theories [functions sources]
o Functions: to explain things
o Sources: observations
o Disadvantages/limitations
Not scientific
Confirmation Bias- confirm own beliefs
Different values = different folk tales
Scientific Theories
o Reliability and Validity
o Replicable
o Start with observations/ past theories
Measurements influence responses
o Response format
o question order + effect on subsequent questions (how questions make you think)
Methods of study
o Observational- ex. Ethnography and archival analysis
o Correlational
Coefficients (R2)
Correlation does not imply causation
o Experimental Methods
Operationalizing constructs (operational definition)
Internal validity- no confounding variables
External validity- results of a study can be generalized to other situations
Testing hypotheses
Statistical Significance- P-value
Effect size- strength of a phenomenon
Clinical significance-importance of treatment effect
Psychological realism- extent to which psychological processes
triggered in an experiment are similar to those in real life
o Meta-analysis- lots of data
o History- questionable studies on disadvantages populations, ex: Tuskegee,

Protection of human subjects
o National Research Act/IRB
o Elements of informed consent
Agreement to participate in an experiment, granted in full awareness of the
nature of the experiment, which has been explained in advance
Deception in research- ok but provide debriefing afterwards
What is coercion in research- money/ extra credit if you participate in research

Chapter 3

Human vs. computer processing

o Goals-cognitive reporesations of future states that an organism desires to
o Motives
Fundamental motives- evolutionarily all developed to increase
reproductive fitness
The need to feel good about ourselves
The need to be accurate
o Capacity-limited
o Construal- how we perceive the world around us
Conscious Control Processing
o Novel use of information
o Language to symbolize future experiences
o Self-regulation
o Limitation- capacity
Automatic Processing
o Schema- mental representations in memory that people use to organize
information about different topics (events, peoples, actions)
Functions- fill gaps in our knowledge
o Chronic and temporary factors that influence schema accessibility
Accessibility- the extent to which schemas and concepts are at the
forefront of the mind
Past experience- chronic
Current goal- temporary
Recent experiences- temporary (Priming)
o Self-fulfilling prophecy- acting to make your schema come true
Rosenthal + bloomers
Personal Goals/ Pro
o Impact of Processing Restrictions
Primacy effect- remember what you learned first
Preconscious- not aware of stimulus
Post conscious- not aware of previous events when making a


Perseverance effect- continue to believe something even when proven

Halo effect- observers overall impression of something influences
thoughts/feelings about it
Judgmental heuristics- mental shortcuts people use to make judgments quickly
and efficiently
Availability- what comes to mind
Representativeness- how similar
Base-rate information- relative frequency of members of different
categories in the population
Holistic versus analytic thinking, east versus west
Counterfactual reasoning
Mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what
might have been
Improving human thinking: barriers & strategies
Overconfidence- too much confidence in accuracy of judgments

Bargh & Wiliams: automaticity

#1 According to Bargh & Williams, features in the environment can automatically influence
social behavior? What types of social-environmental cues operate in this way and how (through
what mechanisms) do they operate to influence subsequent thought, feeling, and behavior?
Automaticity- control over ones internal psychological processes
Priming- more likely to act like the thing you are primed with
Situational features- seeing picture of library then going = quieter
Social Structure- when communally oriented people were primed with power-related
stimuli- less selfish
Motivated cognition- threaten self esteem = more likely to stereotype/ make error in
#2 Previous research has found that the presentation of trait words can influence subsequent
person perception. The work of Bargh & Williams has suggested that these priming effects can
influence other aspects of social behavior beyond social perception. What are these other aspects
of social behavior?
if primed with rude- interrupt a converstaion
Kenrick et al: Goal driven cognition
#1 What are fundamental motives? Give an example of one motive that is fundamental
Self perfection, status, mate acquisition/retention, and child rearing
#2 What is distinct about the fundamental-motives framework as an approach to human
motivation [compared to traditional viewpoints]?
Successful attainment of each goal requires different, and sometimes opposing cognitive
and behavioral responses
Distinct motivational systems
#3 According to Kenrick et al., how do the fundamental motives operate to influence cognition,
feeling and behavior? How is this shown experimentally? How do motives also influence
downstream behavior
Self-protection- outgroup homogeneity effect

o Stereotype activation
Mate Acquisition + Social Cognition
o Women likely to be attentive to qualities of men that cannot easily be assessed
from physical appearance
Downstream Social Behaviors
o Mating motives = women more conforming and men less conforming

Schwarz et al (2005): meta-cognitive experiences

#1 What are meta-cognitive experiences? What is the primary meta-cognitive experience that is
examined in the Schwarz article? How does it influence different types of judgment and
decision making?
Easy/difficulty which we can recall relevant information, generate arguments, or process
novel material
#2 How does Schwarz test the idea that it is subjective experience rather than content of
information brought to mind that influences judgments [link to lecture on judgmental heuristics].
Recall 10 things you do to reduce heart disease v. 3 things then ask if you are healthy

Guegen et al: self-fulfilling nature of stereotypes

#1 How are self-fulfilling prophecies reflected in text communication?
Time/ effort put into writing
#2 According to the authors, how does attractiveness of the target influence evaluations over email compared to telephone or in-person interactions? Why?
Similar, writing better = talking better, want to make a good impression
Chapter 4
Schema about people
o Implicit personality theory- ideas of what kinds of personality traits go together,
Americans say artistic personality implies person is creative, intense etc
but Chinese dont have a word for that, dont have a schema
o Self image- maintain postive self image/esteem
Individual and group/cultural difference in non-verbal cues
When more/less likely to make judgments about another based on pre-existing schema
o Short on time, high degree of emotional processing, motivational levels
Non-verbal cues
o Primary emotions-Darwin
Anger, happiness, surprise, fear, disgust, sadness
Display rules- culturally determined rules about nonverbal behaviors are
appropriate to display
Emblem- nonverbal gestures that have direct verbal translations (middle
finger) [
o Encoding/decoding
Encoding- express emotions (same for all humans)
Decoding- interpretation

*How does non-verbal mimicry influence liking?

o Internal- personality
o External- situation
o Covariation model
Kelley- we will note patterns with other occurrences
o Consensus info- extent to which others behave the same
o Distinctiveness- extent to which person behaves similarly to other stimuli
o Consistency- behavior between one actor and stimulus is the same across time
o Fundamental Attribution Error- people have preference to attribute to personality
Automatic dispositionism
Self-serving attributions- when peoples self-esteem is threatened
o Cultural differences in self-serving attributions
Eastern cultures attribute success to others/environment
o Defensive attributions-explanations for behaviors that defend us from feelings of
vulnerability and mortality
o Unrealistic optimism-Belief in a just world- assumption that people get what they
deserve and deserve what they get

Funder et al: accurate personality judgment

#1 What are the four key factors that lead to greater accuracy in personality judgment? For each
of these factors think of when personality judgments are likely to be more accurate and when
personality judgments are likely to be less accurate.
Good Target- easier to figure out than others
Good Trait- extraversion, expressiveness easier than moodiness
Good Information- more is better
Good Judge- agreeable, consistent, and content with life
Feldman-Barrett: Context in emotion perception
#1 In what ways does this article challenge the common view of how individuals perceive
emotion in others? What experimental evidence is provided?
Common view: emotions on face
Stimulus, perceiver, and culture
#2 What are the implications of this article for the view that all cultures view primary emotions
the same way? In what ways do people in different cultures use information differently to
perceive emotions?
Differ in precise facial actions not due to linguistics
Western- look at whole face
Eastern- primarily on eyes
Gilovitch & Savitsky: spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency
#1 What is the spotlight effect? Why does it occur?
We think people notice us more than they do
#2 What is the illusion of transparency? Why does it occur?

We think that people can see our internal states and emotional sensations more than they

Chapter 5

Functions of self
o Self-knowledge- organization
o Self-control- execute decisions
o Impression management- presentation
o Self-esteem- feel about outselves
Cultural Differences
o Independence- western
o Interdependence- eastern
Gender Differences
o Relational interdependence- women
o Collective interdependence- men
o Distortions of the self [e.g., clinical disorders]
Knowing the self
o Introspection
Self-awareness theory- when people focus attention on themselves,
evaluate and compare behavior to internal standards and values
o Self-perception theory- when our attitudes and feelings are uncertain or
ambiguous, we infer these states by observing our behavior and the situation in
which it occurs
o Intrinsic motivation- enjoy activity
o Extrinsic motivation- external rewards or pressures
o Overjustification effect- forget intrinsic motivations
o Two-factor theory of emotion
First physiological arusal then seek an appropriate explanation for it
o Misattribution of arousal- people make mistaken inferences about what is causing
them to feel what they do
o Fixed mindset- we have a set amount of an ability that cannot change
o Growth mindset- abilities are malleable
o Social sources of knowledge [multiple ways others influence self concept]
Social comparison- we learn about our own abilities and attitudes by
comparing ourselves to others
How is self-concept influenced by context- depends on what youre
comparing yourself to
o mental contamination- emotion playing a role in your attribution process that you
dont account for
o reason generated attitude change-attitude change resulting from thinking about the
reasons for ones attitudes
o empathy gaps- when youre hungry and go grocery shopping
o Hot/cool systems

Sign up for 6 AM workout class- hot, motivated

Waking up at 6 like wtf- cold
o Thought suppression
Ironic process- think about it more
o strength model- see article
Impression management- get people to see you the way you want them to see you
o Self-handicapping- people create obstacles and excuses so that If they do poorly
on a task, they dont have to blame themselves
o Ingratiation- kissing ass
o Terror management- self- esteem serves as a buffer protective people from
terrifying thoughts about death

Markus & Kitayama: culture and selves

#1 What is culture and how does it influence the development of the self?
Similarly untidy and expansive set of material and symbolic concepts
As cultural content changes, the mediating self and psychological functioning change
#2 How are the interdependent and independent selves different? What are the psychological
consequences of these differences in terms of thought, feeling and behavior?
Independent- referent to own thoughts feeling actions
Inderdependent- referent to those of people he has relationship with
#3 The authors refer to the mutual constitution of cultures and selves What do they mean by
#4 What does cultural priming mean? How might it influence social cognition of someone who
has roots in more than one culture?
Cultures carry icons that are associated with commonly available meanings and practices
schemas of independence and interdependence are shared across cultures
cognitive dissonance
Wilson & Gilbert: affective forecasting
#1 What is the impact bias and why does it occur?
People overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional reactions to future
People are unable to think ahead of time
Baumeister et al., 2007: strength model
#1 What is the strength model of self-control? What factors increase self-control strength and
what factors decrease it?
Self control is dependent on a limited energy resource
Ego depletion- refer to the state of diminished resources following exertion of selfcontrol
Not due to diminished sense of self-efficacy
Good adjustment, secure attachment = increase

Alcoholism, disorders, substance-abuse = decrease

#2 What do the authors mean when they compare self-control to a muscle? What are the
implications for understanding self-control success, failure, and strategies for improvement?
Can get tired from exertion
Chapter 6

Cognitive dissonance theory- a drive or feeling of discomfort, inconsistent cognitions,

performing an action that is discrepant from ones customary, typically positive selfconception
*Ways of reducing dissonance
o Changing behavior to bring it in line with dissonant cognition
o Attempting to justify behavior by changing one of the dissonant cognitions
o Attempting to justify behavior by adding new cognitions
o Self- affirmation- reminding oneself of positive attributes
o Impact Bias- overestimate the intensity and duration of emotional reactions to
future negative events
Self-esteem and dissonance- High esteem = more dissonance
Ben franklin effect- Person who has done or completed a favor for someone is more
likely to do another favor for that person than they would if they had received a favor
from that person
why derogate victim- just world hypothesis
Lowballing- salesperson induces a customer to agree buy something at low price then
saying error and raise price
Post-decision dissonance- after making a decision
Hypocrisy Induction- arousal of dissonance by having individuals make statements that
run counter to their behaviors, so they act in the right way
Counterattitudinal advocacy- stating an opinion that isnt what you think
Insufficient reward/punishment
o The dissonance aroused when individuals lack sufficient external justification
Challenge of self- perception theory
Justification of effort- tendency for individuals to increase liking for something they have
worked hard to attain
interchangeable self-defense mechanisms how?

Tesser: plasticity of self-defense

#1 What are the different self-defense mechanisms that are considered by Tesser? Define and
think of an example of each.
Cognitive dissonance
Social comparison
#2 According to Tesser how and why are the self-defense mechanisms interchangeable or
plastic? What are the implications for how the operation of each of these self-defense

mechanisms may influence the use of one another?

All three effected each other, if you threaten/simulate one, the other two will also be
#3 Think of your own examples for how these self-defenses may be substituted for one another.
Greenberg: terror management and self-esteem
# 1 According to Greenberg, why do we strive for self-esteem in the first place?
#2 What is terror management theory (TMT)? What is the role of self- esteem in TMT?
#3 How have Greenberg and colleagues tested the principle that self-esteem is related fear of
mortality in their experiments?