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Psych 241 Final notes

Chapters 1-14 Chapter 1: Introduction

Characterizing Social Psychology

10-04-25 6:01 PM


Social psychology: the scientific study of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in social situations


Comparing: personality psychology stresses individual differences in behavior whereas social psych looks at how individuals react on average in social situations. Cognitive psychology more focused on categorization/memory; social psych on perceptions and beliefs about other persons. Sociology studies the behavior of people in the aggregate; social psych bring in aspects of individual behavior.


Proximal/Distal influences: Proximal: here and now or immediately preceding behavior- the situation; perception of the situation, conscious/unconscious processes of perception/reaction. Distal: removed in time from context; Evolution and Culture.

Power of the situation


Lewin’s field Theory: B= f (p x s); behavior is a function of the person and the situation


Fundamental Attribution Error: the failure to recognize the

importance of situational influences on behavior coupled with the tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions/traits on behavior.

*Ross et al. (1977) Game Show Experiment:

people attribute good basketball skill in a well lit court to the person, in poor lighting (poor scoring), the focus is still on the person.

* Seminarians as Samaritans: Seminary students more likely to stop to help if they were not in a hurry than if they were, religious beliefs were of little importance

The Role of the Construal

o People think about, perceive, or construe, the same stimulus in different ways. To predict behavior we need to understand how an individual construes the situation.


Gestalt Psychology: german for form; stresses the fact that objects are perceived by an active, usually unconscious interpretation of what that object represents as a whole


Schemas: generalized knowledge about the physical and social world and how to behave in particular situations with different kinds of people.


Stereotypes: schemas that we have for various kinds of people that can be applied and misapplied in order to facilitate or derail the course of interaction


Automatic and Controlled Processing: controlled by emotional factors, controlled by rational/careful thought

Types of unconscious: James: skill acquisition- skills learned and overlearned- carried out without awareness. Freud: production of beliefs and behaviors without awareness of the cognitive processes that generate them.

* John Bargh, Priming study: priming stimulus influences the participants behavior. Participants primed with image of race car driver move faster.

Two distal Factors


Evolution: explains commonalities in human behavior as due to adaption and natural selection: molds animals and plants

such that traits that enhance the probability of survival and reproduction are passed on to subsequent generations


Innate human ability to use languages, live in groups

Theory of Mind: The understanding that other people have beliefs and desires; the foundation of our social behavior.

Parental Investment: In almost all mammalian species, males exert less energy to raise offspring- universal tendencies related to child rearing, sex, gender

Naturalistic Fallacy: The way things are, are the way they ought to be- does not assume biology is destiny- we are predisposed to a variety of behaviors, some of which may never arise

o Culture: attempts to understand the deep cultural differences

that exist between societies and how they influence behavior.

Cultural differences in Self-Definition:

Interdependent vs. Independent

Independent Societies: self as distinct from others, constant attributes, need for individual distinctiveness, achieved status based on accomplishments, rules governing behavior should apply to everyone. Self separate from ingroup

Interdependent Societies: self as inextricably linked to others, attributes depend on the situation, desire for harmonious group relations, acceptance of hierarchy, context specific rules. Self part of ingroup

Western Philosophy: everything exists independently, all objects have their own internal characteristics

Eastern Philosophy: everything is interrelated, all actions should be interpreted as a whole.

Doing Research


Correlational research: observing whether or not there is a relationship between the variables


Experimental research: people are randomly assigned to different conditions- strong inferences can be made about how these conditions affect behavior


Longitudinal studies: conducted over a long period of time with the same population; periodic assessment regarding particular behaviors


Self-selection: Causal interpretations of a relationship difficult due to the participant selecting levels on variable bringing along unknown other properties.


Independent variable: Manipulated in experiment, predictions made about it


Dependent variable: presumed to be affected by the independent variable- measured


Control group: participants not receiving the experimental manipulation


Natural experiments: naturally occurring events having different conditions than experiments where conditions are manipulated


External validity: close resemblance to real-life situations


Reliability: degree experiment yields consistent results


Statistical significance: probability of result occurring by chance


Demonstration studies: no variables correlated, nothing manipulated


Observational studies: observation and participation in the lives of people in a group or situation; intention is to study aspects of beliefs, values, behavior.

Chapter 2: Group

Group: a collection of individuals who have relations to one another that make them interdependent to a significant degree.

Social Facilitation: positive or negative effect of the presence of others in performance


Zajonc: Arousal is the key component that leads to social

facilitation. Arosal makes a person more likely to make a dominant response: the response most likely to be made. Presence of others =>Arousal=> Increase dominant response

Increase in performance on simple well learned tasks

Decrease in performance on difficult, novel tasks


* Cockroach Maze: Less time to run simple mazes when paired with other cockroaches, more time to run complex mazes when paired with others.


Evaluation apprehension: a concern about being evaluated.

* non sense words: participants in the presence of an evaluative audience respondent dominantly more than in the presence of blindfolded audience or alone. NOT mere presence of others.

*mere presence study: own clothes put on more quickly, experimental clothes more slowly when in the presence of another person even if person unable to observe.


Distraction- conflict theory: being aware of another

person’s presence creates a conflict between attending to that person and attending to the task at hand- this attentional conflict is arousing and produces social facilitation.


Social loafing: the tendency to exert less effort when working on a group task where individual contributions cannot be monitored.

Study alone when material is complex anf unfamiliar and must be memorized. Avoid arousal and distraction of others.

Study in groups when the task is boring, repetitive, dividable workload, summarize vast amounts of knowledge, get missing info.

Deindividuation and the Psychology of Mobs Emergent properties of groups: behaviors that only surface when people are in groups

Deindividuation: the reduced sense of individual identity accompanied by diminished self regulation when in a large group.


Antecedent conditions: anonymity, diffusion of responsibility, energizing effect of others, stimulus overload =>

Interval state: less self evaluation/observation, less observing others, weakened internal controls (shame, guilt, fear, commitment) =>

Behavioral Effects: impulsivity, irrationality, emotionality, antisocial activity.

*Suicide Baiting: Increases as anonymity increases; higher when there is 300+, dark (after 6).

When soldiers deindivduated (armor, facepaint, etc) aggressiveness increases

* Halloween Mayhem: Trick or treaters transgressed more if they were anonymous and or in groups.

o Self-awareness and individuation

Individuation: focusing attention on self, leads to careful and deliberate behavior in accordance to personal values

Self-awareness theory: when people focus their attention inward, they become concerned with self- evaluation and conformity to internal standards and values.

Self-Consciousness: we are more sensitive, in general, to issues relevant to ourselves rather than others

Spotlight effect: the belief that people are attending to your appearance and behavior more so than is actually the case.

Group Decision Making


Groupthink: Faulty thinking in highly cohesive groups that results from critical scrutiny being subverted by social pressures to reach consensus.

Antecedent Conditions: High cohesiveness, insulation of the group, lack of procedures for search and appraisal, directive leadership, high stress =>

Concurrence- seeking=>

Symptoms: invulnerability illusions, collective rationalization, belief in inherent morality, stereotyping outgroup, direct pressure on dissenters, self-censorship, unanimity illusion, self-appointed mind guards=> Symptoms of Defective Decision Making:

incomplete survey of objectives, alternatives, poor information search, failure to examine risks, processing selective biases, failure to reappraise alternatives, contingency plans.

Preventing Groupthink: Blind opinion of boss, outside inputs, refresh perspective, don’t rush to decision, devil’s advocate, identify achilles heel.


Self-censorship: the decision to withhold information/opinions in group discussion


*Groups tend to recommend riskier courses of action than

individual group members, risky shift * group decisions can sometimes be more risk averse; insist on greater odds of success


group polarization: the tendency for group decisions to be more extreme than those made by individuals.

Persuasive argument account: groups expose the average person to more compelling arguments for the position, intensifying it.

Social comparison theory: when there is no objective standard of evaluation, people evaluate their opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to others

Valuing risk: americans, at least, value risk moreso than caution- less risky decisions made in African countries, for example.


Chapter 3: Attraction

Propinquity: physical proximity

Sociometric survey: attempts to measure the interpersonal relationships in a group of people

Functional distance: an architectural layout’s propensity to encourage or inhibit certain activities, eg. Contact.

Explanations of propinquity effects


Availability and propinquity; if you are to become friends, you must establish contact with that person


Anticipating interaction; people tend to interact with those whom they want to meet.

Counterbalancing: investigator makes sure that any extraneous variable that might influence the dependant measure is distributed equally across the different levels of the independent variable.


The mere exposure effect: repeated exposure to a stimulus leads to greater liking of the stimulus.

Similarity: people tend to like other people who are similar to themselves

o Studies

*Whyte study of Chicago suburb layout: Proximity a major factor in attraction; however, similarity plays an important role as well

*Newcomb: Students like each other more as they find out how similar they are

Bogus Stranger: The more similar the stranger is to the participant, the better like they are.


Opposites Attract? Studies supporting complementarities methodologically problematic; similarity the rule, complementatiry the exception in attraction


Why does similarity promote attraction?

Validation of our beliefs and orientations

Facilitates smooth interactions

We expect similar others to like us

Similar other have qualities we like

Physical Attractiveness


Halo effect: The common belief that attractive individuals posses a host of positive qualities beyond their physical appearance


Early effects of Physical Attractiveness: Attractive

children treated better across there lives. Infants display a clear preference for attractive adults.


Gender and the Impact of Physical Attractiveness:

physical attractiveness is more important in determining woman’s life outcomes



Immediacy: affects our immediate gut reactions

Prestige: substantial indirect effects of attractiveness

* Confederate rated more favorably when girlfriend was attractive.

Biology: have a preference for people who are in good health, strong reproductive fitness


Attractive: skin that looks free of imperfections, average faces

Sex differences in mate preferences and perceived attractiveness


Intrasex competition: direct competition among males or females for access to members of the opposite sex


Intersex attraction: attraction toward members of the opposite sex


Evolutionary explanation: reproductive fitness related concerns lead men to prefer young, beautiful, women who are likely to produce healthy offspring. Women prefer men with material resources and power who will be good providers.

However, women and men rated intelligence and kindness more important that physical attractiveness

Social structure forces females to behave in a certain way


Social exchange theory: based on the fact that there are costs and rewards in all relationships, how people feel about a relationship depends on their assessment of its costs and rewards and the costs/rewards available in other relationships


Equity theory: people are motivated to pursue fairness in their relationships with rewards and costs shared equally amount individuals.

Even though there are some features that are nearly universally

attractive; there is considerable individual, historical, and cultural variability in what individuals find attractive Chapter 4: Relationships

Interpersonal relationships: two or more individuals tied together through bonds of family, friendship, love, respect, or hierarchy

* Harlow’s study on attachment in Rhesus monkeys: monkey

attaches to soft surrogate then to feeding surrogate then back to soft surrogate

Importance of Relationships

o The need to belong

5 criteria: Evolutionary basis; increase likelihood of reproduction, Should be universal, Should guide social cognition, Should be satiable, negative consequences if needs unmet

Sense of self:

Relational Self Theory: examines how prior

relationships shape our current beliefs, feelings, and interactions through people who remind us of significant others from our past

* Berk & Anderson: people tend to have a positive view towards people that look like their significant other

Social Cognition:

Organizing categories: organize our categories of social information; help us to process, store, and recall pieces of information in our daily life

Construing close others as we construe ourselves

Self-expansion account of relationships: people enter into and remain close relationships in order to expand the self by including resources, perspectives, experiences, and characteristics of the other as part of their own self concept.

Sharing Social Construals with close others

Transactive memory: tendency for people in relationships to share information processing of events based on their knowledge of their partner’s encoding, storage, and retrieval of information

Affective Life: lonely people report more anxiety and depression


o Attachment Theory: how our early attachments with our

parents shape our relationships for the remainder of our lives

Strange situation test: how an infant responds to

being left alone with a stranger in terms of their reaction with the reunion of their caregiver

Attachment styles

Secure: comfortable with intimacy and desire to be close to others during times of threat and uncertainty

Avoidant: exhibit compulsive self-reliance. Prefer distance from others, dismissive and detached in conditions of threat/uncertainty

Anxious: compulsively seek closeness, worry about relationships, try to get closer in conditions of threat/uncertainty.

Cultural Variations in Attachment Styles

Many German children are avoidant, Israeli and Japanese show anxious, USA secure.

Euro decent North American infants sleep by themselves in their own bedrooms

Japanese do not leave the infant alone

Incest avoidance universal

Sacred couple and autonomy ideals for euro north americans

East Indians- protection of the vulnerable, respect for hierarchy, and female chastity anxiety.

This may be the foundation for the cultural variations

Romantic Relationships


Triangular theory of love (Sternberg): Three major

components of love which can be combined in different ways; intimacy, passion, and commitment

Liking: intimacy

Infatuated love: passion

Empty love: commitment

Romantic love: intimacy and passion

Companionate: intimacy, commitment

Fatuous love: passion, commitment

Consummate: intimacy, passion, commitment.


Marital Dissatisfaction

Demographic predictors of marital dissatisfaction and divorce

Personality: neurotic people tend to have less happy relationships and are more likely to divorce. Neurotics experience negative emotions, health problems and react to interpersonal conflicts more strongly. People highly sensitive to rejection are similar.

Lower socio economic status more likely to divorce- financial/job concerns are primary reasons for breakups.

People that marry at a young age: may not be effective at choosing partners, not effective at being partners.

Interaction Dynamics of Unhappy partners

Interaction dynamics approach:

methodological study of the behaviors and conversations of couples with a focus on negative and positive behaviors.

* 4 negative behaviors most harmful to relationships: criticism,defensiveness, stonewalling, contempt- major factor!

Investment model of interpersonal relationships:

3 factors make partners more committed: rewards, alternatives, and investments in the relationship=> commitment=> pro-social behavior=> Trust, Satisfaction

Illusions and Idealizations in Romantic Relationships: irrational construction leads to enhanced commitment. *idealization (overestimating virtues) of partner leads to more satisfying relationship.

Satisfied partners see virtue in partners faults, yes, but refutations.

Novel and Arousing Activities: Children lower marital satisfaction. Less time to devote to one another.

o Cultural Variation in Romantic Relationships

Love marriages have higher initial love levels but this drops off while arranged marriages are lower initially

but increase over time.


Chapter 6: Social Influence

Social Influence: The many ways that people impact one another. Changes in attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors that results from the comments, actions, or even the mere presence of others.

Types of Social Influence

Conformity: changing one’s behavior in response to real or imagined pressure from others

Ideomotor action: the phenomenon whereby merely thinking about a behavior makes its actual performance more likely

Chameleon effect: the unconscious mimicry of the expressions, mannerisms, movements, and other behaviors of those one is interacting with


Informational social influence: the influence of other

people that results from taking their comments or actions as a source of information about what is correct or proper.

* Muller-Lyer Frame effect: our perceptions depend on the social frame

* The AutoKinetic Effect: The group establishes a collective frame of reference. Participants responded that a green light moved when it did not. Our behaviors are highly influenced by others, this becomes more pronounced when we are not sure of the answer.


Normative Social Influence: the influence of other people

that comes from the desire to avoid their disapproval, harsh judgments, and social sanctions

*Asch: group pressure would not affect the student’s perceptions, it would affect their behavior.

* Asch’s conformity experiment: Which of the lines is the same as the sample? 76% of participants went along with the group on at least one trial where confederates made incorrect responses.


Factors Affecting Conformity Pressures

Group size: as size of group increases, so do levels of conformity; levels off after 3-4 persons due to informational social inference

Group unanimity: participants less likely to conform if there is one dissenter

Expertise and status: experts more likely to be right, disapproval of high status individuals can hurt more

Culture: people in interdependent countries are more likely to conform. * Norwegians conform more than French

Gender: males conform in female domains, vice versa; unfamiliarity= conformity

Difficulty of the Task: more conformity if the task is

difficult and they are not familiar with/cant handle the issue

Anonymity: Increase anonymity = decreased conformity. Internalization/ public compliance

Interpretive context of disagreement

When matrix biased, incentive to choose payoff with higher reward

conformity lowers if participants believe the group has a different goal

Obedience: Social influence in which the less powerful person in an unequal power relationship submits to the demands of the more powerful person Milgram Experiments

Ordinary people can commit violent acts in situations unfamiliar to them when authority is present

Tuning in the learner: conformity drops as proximity increases. Remote>voice>proximity>touch proximity

Tuning out the experimenter: conformity drops as level of authority drops. Absent>ordinary person>contradictory experimenters

Would you have obeyed?

Many tried to disobey but failed

Participants released from responsibility

Participants were involved in a step-by-step process starting off with small shocks

Compliance: responding favorably to an explicit request by another person


Reason-based Approaches

Norm of reciprocity: people should provide benefits to those who benefit them

Door-in-face: asking for a large favor that will certainly be refused, followed by a much more modest one.

That’s-not-all: adding something to an original offer; creates some pressure to reciprocate

Foot-in-door: initial small request where most people

comply, followed by a larger request involving the real behavior of interest.


Emotion-Based Approaches

People more likely to comply when placed in a good mood.

Negative state relief hypothesis: the idea that people engage in certain actions, such as agreeing to a

request, in order to relieve negative feelings and to feel better about themselves.


Resisting Social Influence

Reactance theory: reasserting prerogatives in

response to the unpleasant state of arousal experienced by people when they believe their freedoms are threatened


Practice & experience

Ally with other members

Discerning the seed of compliance and obedience

Learning from history

Chapter 7: Attitude and Persuasion

Attitude: evaluation of an object in a positive or negative fashion that includes the 3 elements of accect, cognitions, and behavior


Affect: emotional reactions to the object


Cognition: beliefs, ideas, memories, and images of the object


Behavior: actions towards the object

Measuring Attitudes: Ikert scale: used to assess people’s attitudes, a set of possible answers that have anchors on each extreme.

Functions of Attitudes


Utilitarian Function: attitudes serve to alert us to rewarding

objects and situations we should approach, and costly or punishing objects or situations we should avoid


Ego-defensive function: enable us to maintain cherished

beliefs about ourselves by protecting us from the awareness of our negative attributes and impulses or from facts that contradict our cherished beliefs


Value-Expressive function of Attitudes

Reference groups: groups whose opinions matter to us and affect our opinions and group memberships


*60% of conservatives change their view when


entering a liberal arts college- sharing the same attitudes important for survival


Knowledge Function

Our attitudes lead us to seek out and selectively attend to information that bolsters out preexisting attitudes

Terror Management Theory


To ward off the anxiety we feel when contemplating out own demise, we cling to cultural world views and conventional

values out of a belief that by doing so part of us will survive death


If morality is salient:

Become more favorable to those who uphold their cultural values, negative to those that don’t

Adhere more to cultural norms

Become more ethnocentric

More favorable to the idea that humans differ from other species

Persuasion and Attitude Change


Elaboration-likelihood model

Peripheral Process (heuristic): The person primarily attends to superficial aspects of the message

Motivations: Issue is not personally relevant


Incomplete/ hard to comprehend message

Factors promoting change: source attractiveness, fame, expertise, number and length of arguments, consensus

Central Process (systematic): the person thinks carefully and deliberately about the content of the message

Motivations: issue is personally relevant

Knowledgeable in the domain

Personally responsible

Factors promoting attitude change: quality of argument

* those that care about the issue are more likely to change their attitudes given a strong argument

*people who do not care drastically change their

attitude given an expert opinion; people interested did not.


Who, what, whom of persuasion

Source characteristics



Sleeper effect: messages from unreliable

sources initially exert little influence but later cause individuals’ attitudes to shift

Message characteristics

High-quality information


Arousing fear

*fear + instructions results in highest levels of smoking cessation

identifiable victim effect: the tendency to be

moved by a single vivid individual rather than an abstract aggregate of individuals.

Receiver characteristics

Need for cognition: the degree in which people like to think deeply about issues

mood: good mood, more susceptible

age: children, teens, young adults more susceptible than the elderly

Persuasion used by cults

Compliance breeds acceptance

Foot in door technique

Charismatic leaders, trusting message, lonely depressed youth targeted most

o Resistance to Persuasion

Attentional Biases and Resistance

People pay more attention and are more critical of things personally relevant

Previous commitments

Public commitment increases resistance to persuasion- hard to back down, more extreme opinion

Thought polarization hypothesis: more

extended thought about a particular issue tends to produce more extreme, entrenched attitudes


People with a great deal of knowledge are more resistant to persuasion

Attitude inoculation

Small attacks upon our beliefs that engage our attitudes, prior commitments, and knowledge structures, enabling us to counteract a

subsequent larger attack and be resistant to persuasion

* providing a counter attack/inoculation defense is more effective than just providing an argument supporting it.

o Media and Persuasion

*surprisingly weak impact on specific behavior

positive political campaigns average higher voter turnout than negative ones.

PSAs largely ineffective

Agenda control: efforts by the media to select certain events and topics to emphasize in order to shape the issues and events we view as important. Chapter 8: Attitudes and Behavior

Predicting Behavior from attitudes


Attitudes can sometimes conflict with other powerful determinants of behavior

Theory of reasoned action: people’s deliberate behavior can be predicted by knowing their attitudes toward specific behavior and their subjective norms this leads to behavioral intention then to behavior

Subjective norms: people’s beliefs about whether others are likely to approve of a course of action

Theory of planned behavior: the best predictors of deliberate behavior are people’s attitudes towards specific behaviors, their subjective norms and their beliefs about whether they can successfully perform the behavior in question. These lead to behavioral intention and then behavior.


Attitudes are sometimes inconsistent

Inconsistency between affective and cognitive components of attitudes (feelings vs. thoughts)

Introspecting about the reasons for our attitudes may lead us to focus on the most easy to identify reasons for liking or disliking something at the expense of the real reason.


Attitudes are sometimes based on secondhand information

Attitudes based on direct (firsthand) experience predict subsequent behavior much better than those derived from indirect (second hand) experience.


Mismatched attitudes and actual attitude targets

Typically, attitudes are about general classes of things, whereas behavior is directed towards particular instances of things. Highly specific attitudes are better at predicting specific behavior while general attitudes predict general behavior.

* general attitudes towards birth control unrelated to whether they used birth control during the period of the

study. Specific attitudes about using birth control in the near future strongly predicted their using them.

Predicting Attitudes from Behavior


Balance Theory: people try to maintain balance among their beliefs, cognitions, and sentiments


Cognitive dissonance theory: inconsistencies among a

person’s thoughts, sentiments, and actions create an aversive emotional state (dissonance). This leads to efforts that restore consistency.

Decisions and dissonance

People concentrate on the positive features and downplay any negative features resulting in greater levels of confidence. Making hard decisions triggers dissonance which triggers such processes of rationalization

Festinger, dissonance-reduction only arises after an irrevocable decision has been made.

Effort justification: the tendency to reduce dissonance by finding reasons for why a person has devoted time, effort, or money for something that

turned out to be unpleasant or disappointing to the person.

* Aronson and Mills: Female students joining on discussion group on sex. Control group read

innocuous words, mild initiation group read mildly embarrassing words. Severe intimidation group read obscene words. Exposed to boring discussion group. Dissonance, however, was only created in groups subjected to the severe intimidation condition. Those in severe condition, however, rated the group more favorably than the other two. “sweet lemons rationalization”

*Cooper: the amount of assertiveness displayed by participants did not vary much in actual vs bogus therapy conditions. This shows that the price one pays needs to be justified and is an important component of a therapies success.

Induced compliance and attitude change: subtly compelling individuals to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with their beliefs, attitudes, or values,

which leads to dissonance and often to a change in their original attitudes/values in order to reduce this dissonance.

*Festinger induced compliance paradigm:

1: boring task

2: asked to volunteer to be an experimenter and say the task was interesting

3: asked to rate how interesting the experiment actually was

Those paid 20$ found the experiment to actually be boring while those paid 1$ found it to actually be interesting

*forbidden toy: children told not to play with their second favorite toy. In the mild threat condition:

experimenter would be annoyed. In the severe threat condition: the experimenter would be very angry and take away all the toys. None of the children played with the forbidden toy. Children in the severe threat condition did not change opinion

on the toy or liked it even more. Children in the mild threat condition viewed it less favorably.

Inconsistency produces dissonance when:

Free choice: * those paid .50 to write an essay countering their beliefs saw no attitude change, those paid 2.50 saw an attitude change- this is due to standard dissonance effect, associated with large reward. In free-choice to write essay or not condition; attitudes reversed. Those paid .50 changed attitude, those that weren’t didn’t.

Insufficient justification: those paid 2.50 felt justified for writing such an essay, those paid only .50 didn’t

Negative consequences: *dissonance effect found among those that were to have essays shown to undecided individuals vs. decided

Foreseeable consequences: negative consequences that are not foreseeable may not arouse dissonance.


Self-affirmation and dissonance

Self-affirmation: taking stock of one’s good qualities

and core values- helps person cope with threats to self esteem

* science majors do not show dissonance when asked to wear a lab coat


Dissonance Universal?

Candians: dissonance effect in the control condition- found attractions to the chosen cd, flaws in unchosen one. If they were given positive personality feedback, however, they did not experience dissonance

Japanese: Not affected by either condition, showed no dissonance.

Experienced dissonance only if they thought other students were observing them

Priming Canadians by asking them to rank CDs according to average college students had no effect

When socially primed, Japanese show a very large dissonance effect.

North Americans show more dissonance when choosing CDs for themselves than for friends

Asians, however, showed more dissonance when choosing for a friend.

Dissonance is universal but the conditions leading upto it are not. Westerners concerned with ability of self to make adequate choices, Easterners concerned with the ability to make choices that would be approved by others.

o Self-Perception Theory: people come to know their own

attitudes by looking at their behavior and the context in which it occur, then inferring what their attitudes must be

Evidence of self-directed inference: interpersonal simulations: experiments in qhich an observer- participant is given a detailed description of one condition of a dissonance experiment, is told how a

participant behaved, asked to predict the attitude of that participant

Testing for Arousal

Cognitive dissonance theory holds that inconsistency leads to arousal while the self- perception theory holds that the perception of inconsistency is a normal cognitive process

*1: drug makes you feel tense 2: drug has no effect 3: Drug makes you feel relaxed

standard dissonance effect in placebo condition; greater attitude change in free choice

dissonance was decreased because participants in the tense condition attributed arousal to the drug not the topic

In the relaxed condition, the most dissonance was felt because the feeling experienced went against the relaxing properties of the drug.

Reconciling Dissonance and Self-Perception accounts

Cognitive dissonance theory explains behaviors when people act in ways that are inconsistent with pre-existing, clear-cut attitudes

Self-Perception theory explains behavior clashes that result from attitudes that are relatively vague. Chapter 9: Causal Attribution

Attribution: linking a cause to an instance of behavior

Explanatory Style & Attribution


Explanatory style: a person’s habitual way of explaining events assessed along three dimensions:

internality/externality, stability/instability, globality/specificity


Assessing: participants asked to imagine 6 good events that may happen. Then asked if each cause is 1) due to something internal/external 2) present again in the future? 3)influences other areas of their lives or just that situation?


*pessimistic styles- negative events as stable, global, internal, results in lower grades


*explanatory styles good predictors of future health.

Process of Causal Attribution Attribution and single-instance observation

Discounting principle: the idea that we should assign reduced weight to a particular cause of behavior if there are other plausible causes that might have produced it

Augmentation principle: the idea that we should assign greater weight to a particular cause of behavior if there are other causes that normally would produce the opposite outcome

* astronauts, who are supposed to be introverted, when acting introverted- mild, when acting extraverted- this is out of role and exaggerated. Submariners who are supposed to be extraverted acted extraverted- mild, introverted, more extreme judgment.

o Attribution and Covariation

Covariation principle: idea that we should attribute behavior to potential causes that co-occur with the behavior

3 types of covariation information

consensus: what most people would do in a situation

distinctiveness: what an individual does in different situation

consistency: what an individual does in a given situation on different occasions


Internal vs. External Attributions


Internal: attributing the causes of one’s behavior to personality, skill, talent, and abilities. Likely if a behavior is low in consensus and distinctiveness, and high in consistency.

External: attributing the causes of one’s behavior to situational factors. Likely if behavior is high in consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency


Attribution and imaging an alternative chain of events


Counterfactual thoughts: Thoughts of what might have, could have, or should have happened if only something had been done differently


dish with wine caused a fatal allergy. Participants


attributions would be influenced both by what happened and by what could have happened. IF alternative dish did not contain wine, more causal weight was assigned to the boss .


emotional amplification: a ratcheting up of an emotional reaction to an event that is


proportional to how easy it is to imagine the event NOT happening.

silver medalists less happy than bronze medalists- silver consumed by what could of happened, bronze happy to be on podium



Errors and biases in attribution

Self-serving bias: the tendency to attribute failure and other bad events to external circumstances, but to attribute success and other good events to oneself

Correspondence bias: the tendency to draw an inference about a person that corresponds to the behavior observed, same as the FAE.

Fundamental attribution error: a tendency to believe mistakenly that a behavior is due to a person’s

disposition rather than the situation in which the person finds himself.

* under no choice conditions, participants attributed pro or anti cuba stances to the authors.

* participants attribute traits to individuals even though they have been forced to read material corresponding to those traits

* game show experiment where questioners made up questions and tested contestants. Contestants rated questioners as being more knowledgeable, questioners rated themselves as being the same as contestants.

Causes of the Fundamental Attribution Error

Dispositional inferences can be comforting

Just world hypothesis- people tend to attribute behavior to dispositions

people are more salient causes than situations

behavioral information is considered first before situational factors

not weighed simultaneously

situational information not taken in its own terms, used to adjust dispositional inference

because the behavioral characterization is

automatic, it is incorruptible and hard to reverse

* All participants would assume the woman was an anxious person. Those told she was in an anxiety inducing condition would adjust their judgments. Those told she was

responding to innocuous topics held that she was an anxious person. In another condition where participants had to simultaneously memorize a list of words, when they were told the woman was under anxiety inducing conditions, they stuck to the automatic dispositional characterization

Discounting principle: a potential cause is discounted as a possible cause if other causes may have produced the same outcome. Behavior + Context= interpretation= dispositional inference. However, we first automatically

characterize the person in terms of behavior, then sometimes make an effortful adjustment for context to arrive at an explanation for the behavior. Behavior->identification of behavior- >automatic characterization->effortful adjustment for context->dispositional inference

Actor-Observer Differences in causal attributions

Differences are based on who is making the causal assessment: the actor (who is

disposed to situational attributions) or the observer (who is disposed to make dispositional attributions)

Processes that cause the effect


Assumptions about what needs explaining are variable


The perceptual salience of the actor and the surrounding situation is different for the actor and the observer.


Actors and observers differ in the amount and kind of information that they have about the actor and the actor’s behavior

o False consensus effect: the tendency for people to think that their behavior is relatively common.

* 50% of students elected to wear a sandwich board in an experiment. Those that did estimated 64% also did, those that did not, estimated only 23% would

Evolutionary Origin of the FAE

Behavior is often more informative than situations

Knowing behavioral patterns of animals is important for the survival of hunter-gatherers

People need to be sensitive to the targets’ behavior especially in negative and dangerous situations

Not a perfectly useful heuristic

Cultural Origin of the FAE

* North Americans and Chinese equally attribute the event of an orange ball moving forward using both internal and external attribution

* In explaining why an orange fish in a group of blue fish moved forward, north Americans tend to explain the event using internal attributions whereas Chinese tend to explain the even using external attribution

* In two similar cases of murder, North Americans tend to explain the event using personal attributions whereas Chinese tend to explain it using situational attributions

*US vs. Chinese newspapers on soccer. US articles used dispositional attributions

*Indians attribute situational factors while USA attributes dispositionally in cases where you are asked to consider wrongs done by a friend. Close until adolescence.

Cultural differences in Attention

*Rod & Frame task: asked to sit on side and observe rod through the frame, task is to make the rod vertical. Asian Americans performed worse than European Americans because they paid too much attention to the angle of the frame

*The Frame and Line Task: Relative task: line must be the same proportion, Absolute task: line must be exact length. North Americans nicely ignored the frame- performed the absolute task better than the relative task. East Asians automatically attended the frame, therefore they performed the relative task better than the absolute task.

Culture and Attention: Description of Events

* Fish scene: NA described event by focusing on

the main objects whereas Japanese described the event in relation to the contextual information

Interpreting Emotional Expressions

*Japanese take into account the background figures’ facial expressions when judging the

central figures’ emotion. If the background figures look happy, the degree of the central figure’s happiness is intensified. North Americans, however, are not influenced by changes in the background figures’ facial expressions

* Overall, the Japanese allocate 15% of their gaze to the background figures, whereas Westerners allocate less than 5%. Both attend to the central figure similarly until the end of the first second. The Japanese start attending to the background figures for the next 2 seconds.

Not just East vs. West

* Saudi Arabians more external in causal attributions than North Americans

*Puerto Rican children use fewer traits to describe themselves

*Mexicans less likely to make trait influences

Beyond Internal/ External

Westerners think of causal relationships based on the internal/external dimension, non-westerners holistically think of mutual interaction between dispositional and situational determinants

Chapter 10: Social Judgment

Biases in Information Presented Firsthand


Pluralistic Ignorance: misperception of a group norm that results from observing people who are acting at variance with their private beliefs out of a concern for social consequences

*hidden discomfort with alcohol consumption on Princeton campus coupled with perceived popular support



recovered memories: memories are actively constructed- memories that are recovered, then, may or may not be true.

Flashbulb memories: vivid recollections of the moment one learned some drastic, emotionally charged news

Biases in Information Presented Secondhand


Sharpening: emphasizing important or more interesting elements in telling a story to someone else


Leveling: elimination or deemphasizing seemingly less important details when telling a story to someone else.


Second hand impressions of others: information about the person tends to be sharpened while information about the surrounding context tends to be leveled. Tend to be relatively extreme.


Ideological distortions: biasing effects of sharpening and leveling are accentuated when there is a motivation to bias the story


Distortion in the media: need to entertain causes us to

exaggerate. Overreporting of negative/ sensational events.


Perceptual vigilance- asymmetry between positive/negative information: we are more attentive to negative information because it has more survival value.

How information is presented


Order effects:

Primacy effect: the disproportionate influence of judgment of information presented first in a body of evidence

Recency effect: the disproportionate influence on judgment of information presented last in a body of evidence.


Framing effects

Framing effect: the influence on judgment resulting from the way information is presented

Spin framing: a less pure form of framing that varies the content

Gains and losses:

Weber-Fechner’s law: our perception of the intensity of a sensation does not increase in direct proportion to the intensity of the stimulus that produced it. Sensation increases more and more slowly as the intensity of the stimulus increases. Phenomenon of decreasing marginal utility. People tend to be conservative when it comes with taking chances on increasing their assets. People should be risk seeking if they lost money.

Tversky & Kahneman’s choice task: people’s judgments are drastically affected by how options are framed. Framed as lives saved: risk averse, lives lost: risk seeking.

Channel factors: real world framing effects.


Prior Knowledge

Bottom-up process: data driven mental processing in which one takes in and forms conclusions on the basis of stimuli encountered in one’s experience.

Top-down processes: theory driven mental processing in which one filters and interprets new information in light of preexisting knowledge and expectations.

Knowledge structures: coherent configurations in which related information is stored together.

Schema: a knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information.


How do schemas influence judgment?

Attention: attention is selective, our prior knowledge allows us to allocate our attention to the most important elements and ignore the rest.

Inference and construal: information stored in the brain can influence how we construe new information. This is most likely to occur when the stimulus is ambiguous. We must rely more heavily top heavy processes to compensate for inadequacies in bottom down processes.

Memory: schemas influence memory. Information that fits a preexisting schema has an advantage in recall. Schemas influence memory through their effect on both encoding and retrieval, the effect on encoding, however, is stronger

Encoding: filing information away in memory based on what is attended to and the initial interpretation of information

Retrieval: the extraction of information from memory


How is Incoming Information Mapped onto Preexisting Schemas?

For a schema to guide the interpretation of new information, an association must be made between it and the incoming information

Similarity/ feature matching: most common determinant is the degree of similarity between critical features of the schema and the incoming stimulus.

Expectations: expectations activate schemas,

Recent activation: if a schema has been used recently it tends to be more accessible for re-use.

Consciousness? Studies have shown that priming does not need to be conscious in order for it to be effective. Subliminal: below the threshold of conscious awareness

o Reason, intuition, and heuristics

Heuristics: intuitive mental operations that allow us to make a variety of judgments quickly and efficiently.

Availability heuristic: the process where judgments of frequency or probability are based on the ease with which pertinent instances are brought to mind.

* shorter lists of instances are easier, people having to list 6 instances of assertiveness ranked themselves as more assertive than those needing to list 12

Biased assessments of risk: people overestimate the frequency of dramatic deaths, underestimate the frequency of silent deaths.

Biased estimates of contributions to joint projects: people overestimate their own contributions. Holds for both positive and negative outcomes.

Representativeness heuristic: the process where judgments of likelihood are based on assessments of

similarity between individuals and group prototypes or between causes and effects. Strong sense of representativeness leads people to ignore important factors

Base rate information: information about the relative frequency of events or of members of different categories in the population.

Base rate neglect: In combination with more salient pieces of information such as typical personal characteristics of people in a certain type of job, the base rate information is less salient. Can be avoided if information is causally significant or if they take an outside view.

The planning fallacy: the tendency for people to be unrealistically optimistic about how quickly they can complete a project.

Resemblance between cause and effect: big effects associated with big causes, etc.

The joint operation of Availability and Representativeness

Illusory correlation: the belief that two variables are correlated when in fact they are not. Availability and representativeness working in tandem.

Culture and Prediction

Westerners are inclined to predict that the world will move in whatever direction it now moves while east asians expect the world to reverse field. Chapter 11: Stereotypes, Prejudice, & Discrimination

Stereotypes: beliefs about attributes that are thought to be characteristic of members of particular groups

Prejudice: a negative attitude or affective response toward a certain group and its individual members

Discrimination: unfair treatment of members of a particular group based on their membership in that group Modern Racism and Sexism


Modern (Symbolic) Racism: prejudice directed at other racial groups that exists alongside a rejection of explicitly racist beliefs.


Modern Racism Scale: threatened values of self-reliance (affirmative action), family values (disproportionate number

of black violent criminals, welfare recipients, unwed mothers, etc.)

Benevolent Racism and Sexism


Benevolent Racism: subjectively favorable, positive attitude towards characteristic talents and abilities of members of a certain group, which results in supporting the status quo and derogating people who do not have such talents and abilities


Benevolent Sexism: subjectively favorable, chivalrous ideology that offers protection and affection to women who embrace conventional roles

Measures to Assess True Attitudes


Implicit Association Test (IAT): technique for revealing conscious and unconscious prejudices towards particular groups.

Respondents would react faster when they were to press one key for both positive words and people in groups they regarded positively, and another key for both negative words and people in groups they regard negatively. If one has a prejudice towards an identifiable group of people, one should be faster to press the appropriate key if that key is the same one used for negative words and slower to press the appropriate key if it is one used for positive words. An prejudice for black people, for example, is measured by the difference between the time it take to respond to black faces with the same key as positive words and the time it takes to respond to black faces with the same key as negative words.

Young and old people show a prejudice for young over old, 2/3 of whites show prejudice for white over black, ½ of blacks show prejudice for white over black.


Priming: procedure used to increase the accessibility of a

concept or schema, in this case stereotypes or prejudices.

If you have negative associations with certain things, you will respond more quickly, negatively, when they are primed

Economic Perspective


Realistic Group Conflict Theory: group conflict, prejudice, and discrimination are likely to arise over competition between groups for limited desired resources. Prejudice and discrimination should increase under conditions of economic

difficulty. Prejudice is strongest amongst groups that stand to lose the most from another groups economic advantage.

Ethnocentrism: glorifying one’s own group while vilifying other groups.


* Robber’s Cave Experiment (Sherif et al.)

Phase 1: members of each group collaborate whith other in group members to create group cohesion

Phase 2: two groups compete with each other for medals and pocket knives, this facilitates group conflicts

Phase 3: Both groups participate in non competitive events, this, however, did not reduce intergroup friction

Phase 4: Both groups participated in an activity where they needed to cooperate with each other, this facilitated the development of super ordinate goals and inter group friendship.

Super ordinate goals: transcend the interest of one individual group. Can be achieved more readily by working together between groups.

Visible differences are not required for intergroup hostility to develop. Competition against outsiders increases group cohesion. Conflict can be reduced by putting the two groups together towards a common goal.



Integration between blacks and whites is successful in the military where super ordinate goals are developed. Not so much on college campuses.

We sometimes, however, need to compete within group. Also, we belong to more than one group category and it can be difficult in the real word to assign membership to somesort of team

Motivational Perspective


Minimal Group Paradigm: groups are created based on arbitrary and seemingly meaningless criteria. These are examined in terms of how members of such minimal groups are inclined to behave towards one another.

Ingroup favoritism: people tend to do favors for their ingroup members more than for their outgroup members.

*majority are interested in maximizing the relative gain for members of their ingroup instead of maximizing the absolute gain got their ingroup. There is a distinct favoritism to ones ingroup even if it is of the minimal type.

Can be explained by an illusory perception of generalized reciprocity.


Social Identity Theory

A person’s self-concept and self-esteem not only derive from personal identity and accomplishments, but from the status and accomplishments of the various groups to which that person belongs to.


Boosting the status of one’s group increases individual levels of self esteem. People react to

criticism of the group as if it were a criticism of self

Basking in reflected glory occurs when people take pride in the accomplishments of those with who they are in someway associated to

*people wore their school sweat shirts more when their football team won than when they lost.

* people tend to use the first person pronoun (we) when the team wins, people tend to use the third person (they) when they lost.


Frustration-Agression Theory: frustration leads to agression

Frustration-other additional response (withdrawl)

Instigation to aggress- outward aggression- direct OR Displaced

Inward aggression (sucide)

Theory revised: frustration produces anger which is an emotional readiness to aggress

* correlation between price of cotton and lyncings, low price= high lyncings

Bolstering Self-Esteem

Social identity theory stipulates that derogating outgroups can enhance a person’s self-esteem. People will tend to stereotype and prejudice when they are insecure.

* Phase 1: participants engage in an IQ test, half get negative feedback. Phase 2: watch a videotape of a job interview. Half are told she is jewish. Phase 3: Participants rate the candidate. Participants who receive negative feedback derogated the Jewish candidate. The negative rating served to boost the participants’ own self esteem

* Phase 1: Participants receive feedback from a

medical doctor. Half get a white doctor, half get a black one. Phase 2: Half are either criticized or praised. Phase 3: participants engage in the lexical decision task. Results identical for white doctors. For black doctors, participants were faster in identifying black words when given negative feedback. Praise from a black doctor results in participants reacting faster to medical words.


Explains out tendency to divide people into us vs them

However, it does not specify which cognitive

components of ingroup vs. outgroup distinctions will form the basis of group conflict.

The Cognitive Perspective


We categorize everything. This has a purpose, it simplifies the task of taking in and processing the volume of stimuli that confronts us.


Stereotypes and Conservation of Mental Reserves

Stereotypes: schemas that we have for people of various kinds that can be applied and misapplied so as to facilitate and sometimes derail the course of interaction

These are useful cognitive categories that allow us to process information effectively

*people most likely to fall back on mindless stereotypes when they lack mental energy.

* stereotypes free up cognitive energy. Students employing systems of stereotypes remembered relevant trait information better and performed better on a surprise multiple choice test.


Construal Processes and Biased Assessments

Accentuation of Ingroup similarity and Outroup difference

Arbitrary categorical boundaries can have a significant effect on the mind. Dividing a continuous distribution into separate groups leads people to see less variability within each group and more variability between groups.

Outgroup homogeneity effect: tendency to assume that within-group similarity is much stronger for outgroups than for in groups

Paired distinctiveness: the pairing of two distinctive events that stand out even more because they co occur.

Illusory correlations: an erroneous belief about a connection between events, characteristics, or categories that are not related. EX, a minority

member’s behavior is perceived as being distinctive.

* members of the minority group are thought to be responsible for more of the negative behavior than the majority, members of the minority group rated more highly on negative traits, less highly on positive traits than the majority.

Biased Information Processing

People are more likely to extrapolate from behaviors they already suspect may be typical of an individual’s group.

Self-fulfilling prophecy: acting on a belief in a way that tends to support the original belief.

Immunity to disconfirmation

Supportive evidence of stereotypes is taken at face value while evidence that refutes it is more critically analyzed. Actions can be construed on several levels, each carrying a different connotation

* events consistent with preexisting stereotypes are encoded in a broader and more meaningful sense. Abstract terms are used to describe stereotype consistent actions, concrete terms used to describe those that are inconsistent.

o Automatic and Controlled Processing

Automatic Processes: occur outside our awareness, without conscious control

Controlled processes: occur with conscious direction and deliberate thought.

* Devine found that when primed negative words associated with blacks unconsciously, this affect both prejudiced and non-prejudiced individuals’ description of an ambiguous individual. Prejudiced participants, however, differed in their controlled processes in terms of writing list of characteristics of blacks.

* participants more likely to mistakenly view blacks as holding handguns and shoot.


Reveals that human cognitive biases influence even fundamental psychological processes such as categorization, attribution, and automatic judgments. However, they tend to focus too much on reaction time and brief reflexive phenomena.

o Being a Member of a Stigmatized Group

Attributional Ambiguity: members of stigmatized groups live in a less certain world, not knowing whether to attribute positive feedback to their own skill or to others’ condescension not whether to attribute negative feedback to their own error or to other’s prejudice.

Stereotype Threat: stigmatized group members’ fear that one will confirm the stereotypes that others have regarding some salient group of which one is a member.

* women do poorer on math tests described as having a gender difference- this arouses the stereotype threat.

Chapter 12: Emotion

Characterizing Emotion

o Emotions: brief psychological and physiological responses

that are subjectively experienced as feeling and prepare a person for action

Facial expressions of emotion typically last between 1-5 seconds

Accompanying physiological changes last dozens of second (elevated heart rate, changes in breathing)

When recalling emotions tend to describe them in minutes

Moods arising from emotions can last several hours or days

Emotions, unlike moods, are specific.

In general, emotions motivate goal-directed behavior that helps the individual navigate the social environment


Components of Emotion: neural, psycho-physiological, cognitive, and behavioral processes

Autonomic nervous system: glands, organs, muscles, arteries and veins throughout the body that are controlled by nerve cells originating in the spinal cord, help an individual deal with emergency situations

Sympathetic autonomic nervous system: prepares the body for action-ex, fight or flight response, by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, dilation of bronchioles and pupils, increases sweating, constricts blood vessels supplying the skin, inhibits digestive and sexual responses.

Involve a variety of cognitive processes. Ex, language, perception, memories, judgments.


Universality and Cultural Specificity

Evolutionary approach: emotions are biologically based adaptations that increase the likelihood that our genes will be passed onto the next generation

Cultural approach: emotions are strongly influenced


by values, roles, institutions, socialization practices, and construal practices that vary according to culture.



Linked human expressions to animal ones. Sought out


to document the universality of emotional expressions


Studies of the Universality of Facial Expression

Encoding hypothesis: the experience of different emotions is associated with the same distinct facial expressions across cultures

Decoding hypothesis: people of different cultures can interpret distinct facial expressions for different emotions in the same ways

* 80-90% accuracy for 6 emotions across cultures:

anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise.

* USA worse at guessing anger, Brazil and Japan sadness, USA best at guessing fear.


Free-response critique: researchers provided the terms with which participants labeled facial expressions rather than allowing participants to label expressions with their own words.

Forced-choice critique: accuracy rates in judgments of emotional expressions may have been inflated by allowing participants to make educated guesses about expressions they may not have known how to label.

o Cultural Specificity of Emotion

Cultural variation in emotional expression

Display rules: culturally specific rules that govern how and when and to whom we express emotion

People can de-intensify, intensify, mask, or neutralize their emotional expressions.

Across cultures, people vary in how they regulate their expressions of emotion.

Ritualized displays: highly stylized ways of expressing particular emotions

* in appropriate to speak of personal accomplishments in Asian cultures. Eskimos do not express anger, wives of samurais smile upon news of husbands noble death

* American students intensify their emotional expressions of disgust when they can be seen by authority figures, Japanese mask it with polite smiles.

Culture and the language of emotion

Most cultures have words for anger, fear, happiness, sadness, and disgust. However, differ in the number of words that represent emotion

Hypercognize: to represent a particular emotion with numerous words and concepts.

many languages do not have labels that correspond to the basic emotions; no polish word for disgust

*German schadenfreude expression of pleasure

from witnessing another’s hard times.

*Japanese iklas- somewhat pleasant feeling of frustration

*Irongot Liget- anger associated with pride and accomplishment

*Malaysia only 8 emotion words

*uganada no distinction between sorrow and anger, Australia- guraladj same for fear and shame, samoan alofa both pity and love.

Cultural similarities and differences in the elicitors of emotion

Triggers of emotions are similar across cultures. However, whether these triggers are socially engaging is not universal. Easterners tend to experience positive emotions in socially engaged

settings while westerners experience it in socially disengaged situations.

Cultural differences in Event Construal

The construal process is similar across cultures but there are differences between cultures in the construal of specific events. The same event can produce different emotions in different cultures

*Europeans view being alone as a time for private reflection, can be positive. Inuit, however,

construe the same situation as an experience of isolation and sadness.

*Japanese amae pleasurable emotions from being in relationships with people of higher or lower power. When one is allowed to behave inappropriately towards a close other

Cultural differences in attentiveness to emotional cues

* For Japanese, contradictory vocal tone interfered with their ability to judge the meaning of words suggesting they are more sensitive to the emotional tone of voice. The meaning of words, however, for USA produced greater interference in judgments of vocal tone suggesting USA is less attuned to vocal cues of emotion

o Emotion in the Mind and Body

William James: Emotion Specific Physiology

Emotionally exciting stimuli generate a

physiological response, the perception of which is the experience of emotion.

Schachter & Singer: Two Factor Theory of Emotion

There are two components to emotional experience: undifferentiated physiological arousal and a person’s construal of that state. For emotion to be experiences, the person must both be in a state of general physiological arousal attribute that arousal to an emotional stimulus.

* participants told the experiments concerned the effects of a vitamin. Some participants put in a state of arousal by being injected with epinephrine, others were given saline. Those given epi and experienced arousal were divided into two groups; informed and ignorant. Those in the ignorant condition and aroused were given an explanation of the arousal in non-emotional terms

or not given any information. Participants were paired with a confederate eho either experienced euphoria or anger. Participants felt especially happy when they were physiologically aroused but did not expect to be from the shot and when placed in the euphoria condition which would lead to a positive construal of the arousal. Informed participants, however, were less emotional than ignorant ones. Informed subjects may have overattributed their arousal to the drug and discounted any arousal symptoms.

Misattribution: attributing arousal produced by one cause to another stimulus in the environment

Evidence for ANS specificity in Emotion

Different emotions have differing ANS profiles. Heart rate increases for fear, anger and sadness. Gastrointestinal activity associated with disgust. Sweating increases for fear and disgust. Finger temperature increases for anger.

o Conscious/Unconscious elicitation of emotion

Appraisal processes: the ways in which we evaluate events and objects in our environment according to their relation to our current goals.

Unconscious Processing in Split Brain Patients

*patients say what is presented in the right field of vision because it is processed by the left hemisphere which contains the speech centers but grabs the object presented ,with the left hand, in the left field of vision.

Automatic Processing and the Generation of Emotion

We process stimuli in several ways, one system provides an immediate, unconscious evaluation of whether the stimulus is good or bad, this system leads to automatic, unconscious, emotional reactions to stimuli that require quick responses.

* participants subliminally exposed to positive stimuli liked unknown Chinese ideographs better than those presented with angry stimuli.

Complex appraisal and the Generation of Emotion

Appraisal theorists: those who investigate how complex appraisals of a stimulus or situation influence which emotion is expressed

Stress: heightened SANS activity ruminative thought, vigilant attention based on a sense that one’s challenges and demands exceed one’s capacities, resources, and energies.

Primary appraisal stage: an initial, quick positive or negative evaluation of ongoing events based on whether they are congruent or incongruent with the person’s goals

Secondary appraisal stage: a subsequent evaluation where people determine why they feel the way they do about an event, possible ways of responding, and future consequences of different courses of action

Core relational theme: distinct themes like danger (fear) or offense (anger) that define the essential meaning for each emotion

Dealing with emotions

Rumination: the tendency to think about some event over and over again, including thinking about its causes and implications

Putting emotions into words is a good way of dealing with them- helps gain insight, reduces distress associated with not dealing with emotions, naming them helps reduce efforts in irrelevant domains.

Also, avoiding dwelling on negative emotions. Depression linked to rumination about negative events.

Rationality of Emotions

Emotions and the maintenance of social bonds

People in long-term intimate relationships must remain committed to each other in the face of attractive alternatives

Effects of Emotion on Social Cognition

Fearful people are more sensitive to potential threats in the environment and pay more attention to them. This has a survival value. EX, we are more likely to remember negative words

Influence of Emotion on Cognition

Emotion congruence perspective: moods and emotions are connected nodes in the associative networks of the mind, the content of mood or the emotions influencing judgments of other events or objects.

Feelings as information perspective:

assumes that since many judgments are often too complex for us to thoroughly review all the relevant evidence for, we must rely on our emotions to provide us with rapid, reliable information about events and conditions within our social environment. EX, people happier on sunny than on overcast days and indicate a greater life satisfaction.

Processing style perspective: different emotions lead people to reason in different ways. EX, positive moods facilitate the use of preexisting heuristics and stereotypes, negative moods facilitate more careful

attention to situational details. HOWEVER, happiness prompts people to think in ways that are flexible, creative, and integrative/


Three factors of Happy feeling: peak moment, how you feel at the end, the length of the moment

Duration neglect: the relative unimportance of the length of an emotional experience, be it pleasant or unpleasant, in judging the overall experience.

Affective forecasting: predicting our future emotions, EX. What will make us happy, angry, sad, and for how long.

* people not experiencing romantic breakup predicted they’d be happy 2 years after one, those that had experienced predicted less happiness than they actually experienced.

Immune neglect: the tendency to underestimate our capacity to be resilient in responding to difficult life events. Leads us to overestimate the

extent in which life’s difficulties will reduce our personal well being.

Focalism: a bias that leads people to focus too much on a central aspect of an event while neglecting to consider the impact of ancillary aspects of the event or the impacts of other events.

The Happy Life: socio-cultural indicators of subjective well-being are: health and wealth

* winning the lottery only slightly increases happiness, becoming a paraplegic only slightly decreases happiness.

* Europeans more likely to be happy in retrospect than in actuality. Actual levels of

happiness are similar for both Europeans and Asians.

Chapter 13: Aggression and Altruism Aggression


Hostile Aggression: behavior intended to harm another, either physically or psychologically, and motivated by feelings of anger and hostility


Instrumental aggression: Behavior intended to harm another in the service of motives other than pure hostility (EX, to attract attention, acquire wealth, or advance a

political/ideological cause)


Gender and Aggression: most physical violence is

perpetrated by men. Females engage in more emotional aggression

Inclusive fitness: an evolutionary tendency to look


out for oneself, one’s offspring, and one’s close relatives so that one’s genes will survive.


Situational Determinants of Aggression

Media: * high preference for violent tv at a young age is a good predictor of criminality by the age of 30. People tend to be more aggressive after seeing films in which they identify with the perpetrator of the violent act. People are more likely to be aggressive after watching violent films that portray justified violence. They are less aggressive when led to direct attention away from violence towards aesthetics.

Games: *participants played wither mortal kombat or golf. They then engaged in a real life competitive game. Participants could punish the looser of the game with a blast of white noise. participants who played a non- violent videogame (golf) were less aggressive in real life competitions using shorter duration blasts of white noise.

Heat: *higher temperatures are associated with increased aggression/violence. Maybe due to

misattributional process where they are aroused by the heat but unaware of this and attribute their arousal to persons.

o Construal Processes and Aggression

The Frustration Aggression Hypothesis: all acts of aggression follow frustration: the internal state that accompanies the thwarting of an individual’s attempts to achieve some goal. Aggression increases in proportion to: 1. The amount of satisfaction the person anticipates before the goal is blocked. 2. The more completely the person is prevented from achieving the goal. 3. The more frequently the person is blocked from achieving the goal. 4. The closer the individual is to achieving the goal.

Critiques: All aggressive behaviors do not follow from frustrations. Frustration can lead to responses other than aggression.

Learned helplessness: passive and depressed responses that individuals show when their goals are blocked and they feel that they have no control over outcomes.

Neo Associationistic Account of Aggression: anger

related thoughts and feelings associated with different aversive stimuli are what give rise to aggression. Any aversive event can elicit an aggressive response

Weapons and violence: *participants more violent in presence of violent weapons.

Culture and aggression

Culture of honor: a culture that is defined by strong concerns about one’s own and others’ reputations, leading to sensitivity to slights and insults and a willingness to use violence to avenge any perceived wrong or insult.

* South and Southwest USA a culture of honor- much more common levels of argument related

murders.* Southerners have a greater change in cortisol levels.

Rape-prone cultures: cultures in which rape tends to be used as an act of war against enemy women, as a ritual act, and as a threat against women so that they

will remain subservient to men. Rape prone cultures are more likely to have high levels of violence, history of frequent warfare, emphasis on machoism.

Evolution and Violence

* husbands 2-5 x more likely to kill their wives when they do not live with them. This is due to the husband’s jealousy surrounding the possibility that she may have children with another man.

*more violence towards step children; due to step children not being part of inclusive fitness

Neural substrates relevant to aggressive behavior have been identified

Genetic influences; animals can be bred for aggression.

Biochemical influences: external (alcohol), internal (hormones)

Daly & Wilsons’s account: males need to compete with other males for mating.

o Altruism- unselfish behavior that benefits others without regard to the consequences for the self.

Situational Determinants of Altruism

Audience effects

Bystander intervention: helping a victim of an emergency by those who have observed what is happening; generally reduced as the number of observers increases, as each individual feels that someone else will be likely to help * 70% of participants in the alone condition came into the room but only

40% of participants in the with others condition took action

Diffusion of responsibility: a reduction of a sense of urgency to help someone involved in an emergency or dangerous situation under the assumption that others who are also observing the situation will help

Victim characteristics: *helping decreases as cost to help increases. People are more likely to help similar others. When harm to the victim is clear, helping is more likely. Women tend to receive more help than men.

Construal Processes and Altruism

Pluralistic ignorance: a tendency not to respond to a potentially dangerous situation because of a uncertainty surrounding what is happening that is reinforced by the fact that no one else seems concerned or is responding.

*people more likely to report smoke when alone, or with two real participants, than they are with two confederates that remain calm

Evolutionary Approaches to Altruism

Kin selection: the tendency for natural selection to favor behaviors that increase the chances of survival of genetic relatives

Reciprocal altruism: tendency to help other people with the expectation that they will be likely to help in return at some other time.

Social rewards: benefits like praise, positive attention, honors, tangible rewards, and gratitude that may be gained from helping others

These approaches all serve to increase ones inclusive fitness

Empathy based altruism:

Experienced distress: a motive for helping that may arise from a need to reduce one’s own distress

Empathy: identifying with another person and feeling and understanding what that person is experiencing.

*participants in the empathy condition volunteered more time even if it brought about no social rewards.

The Culture of Altruism

* strangers significantly more likely to be helped in rural communities. This is due to stimulus overload or the diversity hypothesis that state u a more likely to be helped by someone similar to yourself and you are more likely to find such a person in a rural setting. Also, urban centers have more people so lower helping could be attributed to a diffusion of responsibilities. Chapter 14: Morality, Justice, Cooperation

Evolution of Morality, Justice, Cooperation.


Darwin: reciprocal altruism


Wallace: mental faculties and capacity for goodness were created by spiritual forces


Huxley: tendencies towards selfless conduct cultivated by

education. Training, and culture to counteract out more base instincts of greed, aggression, and desire.


Four evolutionary routes:


Acting on moral principles

Sense of justice

Capacity to cooperate


Morality: a system of principles and ideals that people use as a guide to making evaluative judgments of the actions or character of a person

Characteristics of morality

Obligation: the rule is supposed to be followed

Inclusive: rules should apply to all people

Sanctions: punishment for violations and praise for adherence to moral standards

Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

Level 1: Preconventional Level

Stage 1: obedience and punishment orientation what determines good or bad is the level of punishment of the action

Stage 2: self-interest orientation. What determines good or bad is whether it satisfies egotistic needs, and occasionally the needs of others

Level 2: Conventional Level

Stage 3: interpersonal accord and conformity driven. Good behavior is perceived to be that which earns the praise of others

Stage 4: authority and social order obedience orientation. Good behavior is associated with a maintenance of the law

Level 3: Post conventional Level

Stage 5: social contract orientation. Social contracts are seen as the core of what is perceived to be moral

Stage 6: universal ethical principle orientation. Morality is defined by a decision of conscience to behave in accord with universal abstract ethical principles that appeal to logical comprehensiveness, universality, and consistency.

Universality and Cultural Variation in Moral Judgment

1. In all cultural groups there were adults who reasoned at the conventional levels, and in no cultural groups were there adults who reasoned at the preconventional level

2. Many samples of children revealed evidence of preconventional reasoning.

Moral transgressions and transgressions of social conventions

Moral transgressions: violations of others’ rights, or harm to others

Social convention transgressions:

violations of agreed upon rules that govern such things as how we greet each other, how we eat, gender-based roles and identities we assume, and sexual behavior.

Ethics of moral reasoning

Ethic of autonomy: a framework of moral reasoning that is centered on rights and equality, and is focused on protecting individuals’ freedom to pursue their own interests

Ethic of community: framework of moral

reasoning that revolves around duty, status, hierarchy, and interdependence whose goal is to protect relationships and roles within social groups to which one belongs

o * Joan Miller’s experiment’s manipulations: Hindu vs. USA. Extremity of the person’s need, closeness, how much the participants are willing to help. India more helpful in moderate and minor conditions than USA.

Ethic of divinity: moral reasoning that is defined by a concern for purity, sanctity, pollution, and sin

*morality study: USA vs. Filipino. USA more examples of ethic of autonomy, less divinity, Filipinos equal in all 3.

Reciprocity and moral reasoning


Reciprocity potentially impinges on individual rights and freedoms


*Indians rate reciprocity as a moral matter, USA as a matter of personal preference

2-System View of Morality



Fast, effortless, automatic

Gives us oral intuitions about right and wrong

Moral intuitions appear suddenly in consciousness and are emotional in nature

Harm-related: sympathy and concern. Motivate pro-social responses to people who suffer or are vulnerable.

Self-critical: shame, embarrassment, guilt. Arise when we have violated moral codes or ideas about virtue or character. Motivate moral behavior.

Other-praising: gratitude and awe, signal approval of others’ moral virtues.

Other-condemning: anger, disgust, contempt. Underlie our condemnation of others’ immoral actions. Important for a sense of justice


2 nd

slow and effortful

uses controlled reasoning processes to determine morality. Perspective taking-

view moral actions from own perspective

o Studies

*Brazil and Philly. Indicate whether should be punished and whether witnessing the act bother them. Both strongly inclined to punish those committing harmful acts, less inclined to punish those against social conventions. SES affected results. USA more deliberate analysis. Brazil, affective reactions strong predictors of punishment

*CNS study. Trolley vs. Footbridge. Trolley flip a switch kill one save 5. Foot bridge push heavy stranger to save 5. Trolley- memory and deliberate reasoning. Footbridge- emotional section

Universalism, Evolutionism, Relativism


Universalism: people from different cultures are largely the same and any cultural variation that is observed exists only on a superficial level.


Relativism: cultural diversity in ways of thinking reflects genuinely different psychological processes- EG, Model of self construals


Evolutionism: cultural variability reflects genuine differences in psychological processes. But, these differences can be understood on the

single dimension of evolutionary sequence. EX, Kohlberg

o Ethnocentrism: the tendency to use one’s own cultural perspective as the standard by which to evaluate other cultures .


Distributive justice: based on whether people feel that the outcomes they receive are fair or unfair

Procedural justice: based on whether the process by which rewards and punishments are distributed is considered fair

Restorative justice: the actions people take,

from apologies to punishment, to restore justice.

Distributive justice

Self-interest: people allocate resources in ways that favor the self, CEOS display high self interest in allocating funds

Egocentric construals: people assume their contribution exceeds that of others, people believe that others cause more unfair actions, people who believe they do more believe they deserve more.

Ultimatum game: allocators were typically successful by offering 40-50% of the money. Anything smaller would be rejected


Rationalist model: people behave rationally, they should think of getting rewards without respect to fairness


Commitment model: people react to unfairness. Even though they can get rewards they do not necessarily only care about the costs


* allocators portion is an average of 67.1$ rather than the expected value

from a strictly rational choice model of 99.9$, 50/50 allocation is actually 25% instead of 0, offers rejected are 21% rather than 0, $85 is the average of rejected offer not 100$ Average accepted offer is $61 not $99.9. only 11.8% of individuals operate on the rationality model


truncated ultimatum game: choice 1: 50/50, Choice 2: 80/20. Choice and No choice condition. Rejection rate for choice condition 44%, for no choice condition 18%. We are fairness seekers not gain maximizers


*capuchins value fairness, refuse to participate in unfair research studies sometime forgoing any rewards; Chimps opposite. Operate on rationality model content with receiving nay reward.

Relationship-specific principles:


Equity: individuals should receive rewards that directly correspond to their contributions; ration equivalence, relevant in work relationships, preferred by the elite/materialistic.


Equality: all contributors should receive equal rewards; distribution of resources in friendship, workplace compensation is moving away from equality


Need: individuals with the greatest needs should be given priority for resources; prevails in families

Social comparison


Relative deprivation: based on comparisons with relevant others who are seen as doing better than oneself


Low SES compare themselves to individuals who live nearby


*WWII: southern African American soldiers happier due to comparisons with average southern African Americans. Relatively advantaged members of disadvantaged groups tend to engage in collective action

Procedural Justice

Shaping factors


Neutrality of authority figure


Trust in system


Treated with respect

*sentencing study: magnitude of rewards and punishments didn’t correlate with a

sense of procedural justice. Ratings of trust, neutrality, respect determined the levels of fairness

Restorative Justice Belief in a just world: people always get what they deserve in life, their outcomes match their actions and character Shifting perceptions of perpetrators and victims


System justification: the tendency to justify differences in wealth and opportunity with beliefs that such inequalities are deserved, just, natural, and even inevitable.


Ways social inequalities are justified

Maintenance of positive stereotypes surrounding high status individuals

advocate ideologies that assume people get what they deserve



retributive punishment:

based on eye-for-an eye justice where the goal is to avenge a prior evil deed instead of preventing a new one.

Utilitarian punishment: the

goal is to reduce the likelihood of future crimes by rehabilitation or isolation.





Elements: apologies and forgiveness

Dispersal hypothesis: after an aggressive encounter, the two aggressors would move away from each other as far as possible.

Social mammals need to stay in groups to survive, need to restore cooperative relationships.

Apologies: infringing party takes responsibility for the wrongdoing and expresses remorse

Forgiveness: release of negative feelings and increased compassion and empathy

The Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

Primed to cooperate or defect: exposure to hostile words led participants to defect on the majority of trials

Participants who were primed with wall street were more likely to behave competitively *those playing a PD labeled as the community game cooperated twice as much as those playing the same game labeled wall street

Competition begets competition: competitive people create competitive interactions and construe their counterparts as also being competitive. * competitors made everyone more competitive. Competitors believed their partners were also competitors

Failure to Perceive Common Grounds for Cooperation

Tendency to construe ideological opponent as an enemy; own group as moral and good; other group as amoral; opponents as hostile

Consequences: overlook areas of agreement,

people become suspicious of cooperative attempts

Reactive devaluation: reduced attractiveness of an offer from an opposing side just because the other side made it

Integrative complexity



Differentiation: the extent in which the individual considers several different principles and issues in arriving at a judgment


Integration: number of connections that the individual makes between the different facts, principles, and arguments related to an issue

* politician study: elected presidents more likely to use complex rhetoric, extreme

political parties are less complex, integrative complexity can prevent conflict

Tit for Tat

PD Tourney: Nice(always cooperate), Free rider (always Defect), Random, Cheater (mainly cooperate, sometimes defect), Tit for Tat. TfT maximized rewards

Tit-for-tat strategy: one cooperates with one’s opponent on the first round and then reciprocates whatever the opponent did on the previous round, meeting cooperation with cooperation and defection with defection

Factors of success

Cooperative- encourages mutually supportive action towards a shared goal

Not envious- can do well without being competitive

Not exploitable-not blindly pro social will retaliate

Forgives- willing to cooperate at first cooperative action

Easy to read- quick to determine such a strategy

10-04-25 6:01 PM

10-04-25 6:01 PM