Psychology: Chapter 12 (part 1)
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just world hypothesis
victims must have done something to deserve what happened to them
Cause of behavior is situational like luck, accidents, or actions of others
personal, refer to abilities, moods or efforts
the process through which we notice, interpret, remember and use information to make judgments about the world
- a "thin slices" study
- like primacy effect
- Students' ratings of professors after watching 30 seconds of professor teaching silently have a .76 correlation rate with students' ratings at the end of the semester
things that we see first have a stronger weight, so first impressions do matter
i.e. "thin slices study": Ambady/Rosenthal study
- its very hard to unlearn impressions
- once we make judgments, we try to validate them
The self-fulfilling prophecy (behavioral confirmation biases)
- people tend to behave in ways that confirm their own/other's expectations
- i.e. Rosenthal & Jacobson experiment
Rosenthal & Jacobson experiement
- Confirmed the self-fulfilling prophecy & pygmalion effect
- Teachers were told certain students were "bloomers" and would see a dramatic IQ increase in their IQ by the end of the year. These students were randomly selected, but the teachers' treatment of them lead to a higher increase in IQ
The greater expectation placed on a person, the better they perform
Like self-fulfilling prophecy
Proved in the Rosenthal & Jacobson experiment
When employers interview minority applicants, their behavior can cause minorities to perform more poorly
Fundamental Attribution Error (Ross)
tendency to underestimate influence of situational factors and overestimate dispositional factors
i.e. on gameshows, observers view the questioners as more knowledgable than the contestants
tendency to see other people's behavior as dispositionally caused while we see our own as a result of situational factors
self serving bias
people take credit for success and deny responsibility for failures
How does culture affect attribution?
- easterners are more likely to take situational factors into account when considering others' behavior
- (eastern group mentality)
the attribution theory
a description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own and others' behavior
When are attributions made? (3)
- When something unexpected happens
- When events are bad, painful or unpleasant
- When we are uncertain about something important to us
the two step process of attribution
behavior-> fundamental attribution error -> adjustment
rule of thumb which allows one to make quick judgments which are often erroneous
Decisions are influenced by the background and the way the information is presented
i.e. approval ratings were different for "Hilary Clinton" & "Hilary Rodham Clinton"
anchoring and adjustment heuristic
mental shortcut where people use a number or value as a starting point and then adjust their answer from that initial number insufficiently
- i.e. "Is the Mississippi R longer or shorter than 500 miles?"
- Haggling strategy
judgment based on information readily available in memory
i.e. we overestimate the causes of death we hear the most about
tendency to estimate the likelihood of an event in terms of how typical it seems
ignores base rate information
Sherif study (1936)
Subjects in a dark room were shown a light and while alone estimated the distances the light moved
- the most direct form of pressure
- orders, commands
- ex. Milgram Obedience Experiment
- in between most & least pressure
- request, appeal
- ex. Milgram, Zimbardo Prison Experiment
- most indirect pressure
- ex. Asch line experiment
the change of beliefs that occurs when a person privately accepts the position taken by others
a superficial change in behavior, without a corresponding change of opinion, produced by real or imagined group pressure
the desire to be right
the desire to be liked
What 6 factors cause people to conform?
- group size
- group cohesion
- salient norms
- public commitment
- culture influence
What 6 factors influence compliance?
self perception theory
people observe themselves to figure out the reasons they act the way they do
ease or difficulty a person has retrieving an attitude from memory
explicit vs implicit attitudes
- explicit: conscious attitudes
- implicit: unconscious attitudes (i.e. advertisements)
cognitive dissonance theory
a contradiction between an attitude & a behavior or 2 attitudes causes anxiety & tension
- "justifying difficult decisions"
- When a person has positive attitudes about many options but must only pick one
- The person focuses on the positive aspects of the chosen option and the negative options of those not chosen
- Example of Cognitive Dissonance Theory
When participants don't have an adequate reason for enjoying something, they have to create one
- ex. Festinger & Carlsmith
- Those who were paid more to lie about how enjoyable they found the boring task, rated the task as less enjoyable than those who were paid more.
Example of cognitive dissonance
After people put themselves through discomfort to join a group they feel as if it is more important
Aronson & Mills study: women who were made to feel uncomfortable to be able to watch a video found the video more interesting
ex. hazing to join fraternities, cults etc.
Example of Cognitive Dissonance Theory
the presence of others enhances our performance
ex. bicyclists pedal faster when together
people work less hard when in a group
Risky-shift effect (Stoner)
Groups make riskier decisions than individuals
Person begins with a very small request, secures agreement and then makes a separate larger request
Door in the Face Effect
People are more likely to agree to a smaller request after refusing a large one.
What are four ways that behavior can determine attitudes?
- Role playing
- Saying becomes believing
- The Foot in the Door technique
- Justification of cruel actions
How does role playing influence attitudes?
In the Zimbardo prison study, prisoners & guards internalized their role to such an extent that they believed the attitudes associated with their actions.
How does "saying becomes believing" determine attitudes?
Patty Hearst was kept in a kidnappers' closet for three months and adopted her kidnappers' beliefs just from hearing them
- Measured conformity
- Showed participants three lines and asked the groups to identify which was the longest.
- 75% of individuals conformed to the group's incorrect answer at least once
- Measured obedience & compliance
- Participants were instructed to "shock" a patient who answered a question incorrectly
- 2/3 went all the way to the highest voltage (!)
- Stanford Prison Experiment
- many prisoners developed extreme stress but no one quit the experiment
What are three self-persuasion processes explained by Cognitive Dissonance Theory?
- 1. Insufficient justification
- 2. Justifying effort
- 3. Justifying difficult decisions
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