Copy of `A Social Psychology Glossary`

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A Social Psychology Glossary
Category: Sciences > Psychology
Date & country: 14/01/2009, US
Words: 240


Actor-observer effect
The tendency for people to attribute their own behavior to external causes but that of others to internal factors.

Aggression
Any form of behavior that is intended to harm or injure some person, oneself, or an object.

Aggressive script
A guide for behavior and problem solving that is developed and stored in memory, and is characterized by aggression.

Altruistic helping
A form of helping in which the ultimate goal of the helper is to increase another's welfare without expecting anything in return.

Androgyny
Possessing many traditionally masculine and feminine personality traits.

Anticonformity
Opposition to social influence on all occasions, often caused by psychological reactance.

Anxious/ambivalent attachment style
An expectation about social relationships characterized by a concern that others will not return affection.

Applied research
Research designed to increase the understanding of and solutions to real-world problems by using current social psychological knowledge.

Arousal: Cost-reward model
A theory that helping or not helping is a function of emotional arousal and analysis of the costs and rewards of helping.

Attachment
A strong emotional relationship between an infant and a caregiver.

Attitude
A positive or negative evaluation of an object.

Attribution
The process by which people use information to make inferences about the causes of behavior or events.

Audience inhibition effect
People are inhibited from helping for fear that other bystanders will evaluate them negatively if they intervene and the situation is not an emergency.

Authoritarian personality
A personality trait characterized by submissiveness to authority, rigid adherence to conventional values, and prejudice toward outgroups.

Autokinetic effect
An optical illusion that occurs when someone stares at a stationary point of light in a darkened room where there is no frame of reference. The light appears to move in various directions.

Availability heuristic
The tendency to judge the frequency or probability of an even in terms of how easy it is to think of examples of that event.

Aversive racism
Attitudes toward members of a racial group that incorporate both egalitarian social values and negative emotions, causing one to avoid interaction with members of the group.

Avoidant attachment style
An expectation about social relationships characterized by a lack of trust and a suppression of attachment needs.

Balance theory
A theory that people desire cognitive consistency or balance in their thoughts, feelings, and social relationships.

Basic research
Research designed to increase knowledge about social behavior.

Basking in reflected glory
(BIRGing) Actively identifying with and embracing the success and positive evaluations of others as is they were one's own.

Behaviorism
A school of psychological thought that advocates the study of observable behavior rather than unobservable mental processes.

Belief
An estimate of the probability that something is true.

Body esteem
A person's attitudes toward his or her body.

Bystander intervention model
A theory that whether bystanders intervene in an emergency is a function of a 5-step decision making process.

Catharsis
The reduction in the aggressive drive following an aggressive act.

Central route to persuasion
Persuasion that occurs when people think carefully about a communication and are influenced by the strength of its arguments.

Central traits
Traits that exert a disproportionate influence on people's overall impressions, causing them to assume the presence of other traits.

Classical conditioning
Learning through association, when a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus) is paired with a stimulus (unconditioned stimulus) that naturally produces an emotional response.

Cognitive consistency
The tendency to seek consistency in one's cognitions.

Collectivism
A philosophy of life stressing the priority of group needs over individual needs, a preference for tightly knit social relationships, and a willingness to submit to the influence of one's group.

Companionate love
The affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply entwined.

Compliance
Publicly acting in accord with a direct request.

Confederate
An accomplice of an experimenter whom research participants assume is a fellow participant or bystander.

Conformity
A yielding to perceived group pressure.

Contact hypothesis
The theory that under certain conditions, direct contact between antagonistic groups will reduce prejudice.

Contingency model of leadership
The theory that leadership effectiveness depends both on whether leaders are task oriented or relationship oriented, and on the degree to which they have situational control.

Control group
Experimental participants who are not exposed to the independent variable.

Correlation coefficient
A statistical measure of the direction and strength of the linear relationship between two variables, which can range from -1.00 to +1.00.

Correlational studies
Research designed to examine the nature of the relationship between two or more naturally occurring variables.

Correspondent inference
An inference that the action of an actor corresponds to, or is indicative of, a stable personal characteristic.

Covariation principle
A principle of attribution theory stating that for something to be the cause of a particular behavior, it must be present when the behavior occurs and absent when it does not occur.

Culture
The total lifestyle of a people from a particular social grouping, including all the ideas, symbols, preferences, and material objects that they share.

Cutting off reflected failure
(CORFing) Actively disidentifying with and distancing oneself from the failures or negative evaluations of others.

Debriefing
A procedure at the conclusion of a research session in which participants are given full information about the nature and hypotheses of the study.

Deception
A research technique that provides false information to persons participating in a study.

Deindividuation
The loss of a sense of individual identity and a loosening of normal inhibitions against engaging in behavior that is inconsistent with internal standards.

Dependent variable
The experimental variable that is measured because it is believed to depend on the manipulated changes in the independent variable.

Depressive explanatory style
A habitual tendency to attribute negative events to internal, stable, and global causes, and positive events to external, unstable, and specific causes.

Descriptive statistics
Numbers that summarize and describe the behavior or characteristics of a particular sample of participants in a study.

Diffusion of responsibility
The belief that the presence of other people in a situation makes one less personally responsible for the events that occur in that situation.

Discounting principle
A principle of attribution theory stating that whenever there are several possible causal explanations for a particular event, people tend to be much less likely to attribute the effect to any particular cause.

Discrimination
A negative action toward members of a specific social group.

Door-in-the-face technique
A two-step compliance technique in which, after having a large request refused, the influencer counteroffers with a much smaller request.

Egoistic helping
A form of helping in which the ultimate goal of the helper is to increase his or her own welfare.

Elaboration likelihood model
A theory that there are two ways in which persuasive messages can cause attitude change, each differing in the amount of cognitive effort or elaboration they require.

Embarrassment
An unpleasant emotion experienced when we believe that we cannot perform coherently in a social situation.

Empathy
A feeling of compassion and tenderness upon viewing a victim's plight.

Empathy-altruism hypothesis
A theory proposing that experiencing empathy for someone in need produces an altruistic motive for helping.

Equity theory
The theory that people are most satisfied in a relationship when the ratio between rewards and costs is similar for both partners.

Ethnic identity
An individual's sense of personal identification with a particular ethnic group.

Ethnocentrism
A pattern of increased hostility toward outgroups accompanied by increased loyalty to one's ingroup.

Excitation transfer
A psychological process in which arousal caused by one stimulus is transferred and added to arousal elicited by a second stimulus.

Exemplification
Eliciting perceptions of integrity and moral worthiness.

Experimental methods
Research designed to test cause-effect relationships between variables.

Experimental realism
The degree to which an experiment absorbs and involves those who participate in it.

External attribution
An attribution that locates the cause of an event to factors external to the person, such as luck, or other people, or the situation.

External validity
The extent to which a study's findings can be generalized to people beyond those in the study itself.

False consensus bias
The tendency to exaggerate how common one's own characteristics and opinions are in the general population.

Femininity
Possession of expressive personality traits.

Field experiment
An experiment conducted in natural, real-life settings, outside the laboratory.

Foot-in-the-door technique
A two-step compliance technique in which the influencer secures compliance to a small request, and then later follows this with a larger, less desirable request.

Frustration-aggression hypothesis
The theory that frustration causes aggression.

Functional approach
Attitude theories that emphasize that people develop and change their attitudes based on the degree to which they satisfy different psychological needs. To change an attitude, one must understand the underlying function that attitude serves.

Fundamental attribution error
The tendency to make internal attributions over external attributions in explaining the behavior of others.

Gender
The meanings that societies and individuals attach to being female and male.

Gender differences
Culturally based differences between males and females.

Gender identity
The knowledge that one is a male or a female and the internalization of this fact into one's self-concept.

Gender schema
A mental framework for processing information based on its perceived male or female qualities.

Gender schema theory
Bem's theory that children develop schemas containing culturally based gender information which they use to understand themselves and the world.

Gender stereotypes
A society's expectations about the characteristics of females as a group and males as a group.

Group
Two or more people who interact with and influence one another over a period of time, and who depend upon one another and share common goals and a collective identity.

Group cohesiveness
The attractiveness that group members have for one another.

Group polarization
Group-produced enhancement or exaggeration of members' initial attitudes through discussion.

Groupthink
A deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment in a group that results from an excessive desire to reach consensus.

Heterosexism
A system of cultural beliefs, values, and customs that exalts heterosexuality and denies, denigrates, and stigmatizes any nonheterosexual form of behavior or identity.

Heterosexuality
A primary or exclusive attraction to individuals of the other sex.

Heuristics
Timesaving mental shortcuts that reduce complex judgments to simple rules of thumb.

Homosexuality
A primary or exclusive attraction to individuals of one's own sex.

Homunculus
A little person residing within the brain, from where he/she governs human behavior (based on ancient Egyptian beliefs).

Hostile aggression
The intentional use of harmful behavior in which the goal is simply to cause injury or death to the victim.

Hypotheses
Specific propositions or expectations about the nature of thins derived from a theory.

Ideology
A set of beliefs and values held by the members of a social group, which explains its culture both to itself and to other groups.

Idiosyncrasy credits
Interpersonal influence that a leader earns by helping the group achieve task goals and by conforming to group norms.

Illusory correlation
The belief that two variables are associated with one another when in fact there is little or no actual association.

Implicit personality theory
Assumptions or naive belief systems people make about which personality traits go together.

Impression formation
The process by which one integrates various sources of information about another into an overall judgment.

Independence
Not being subject to control by others.

Independent variable
The experimental variable that the researcher manipulates.

Individualism
A philosophy of life stressing the priority of individual needs over group needs, a preference for loosely knit social relationships, and a desire to be relatively autonomous of others' influence.