PS 410 WEEK-1

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  1. What are fixed action patterns?
    Fixed action patterns are blindly mechanical pattens of behavior found in a variety of species. They involve intricate sequences of behavior, such as courtship rituals in some animals, that occur in the same sequence and fashion every time they are triggered.
  2. What are judgmental heuristics?
    Judgmental heuristics are mental shortcuts humans use to make many everyday judgements. They allow for simplified thinking. Heuristics related to influence tell us when to believe or do what we are being told.
  3. What are trigger words?
    A trigger word (or trigger feature) is word or phrase that causes a fixed action pattern (in animals) or a judgmental heuristic to initiate. The example given in class was the use of the word "because" in the copying machine experiment (pp. 3-4 / Langer, 1978).
  4. What is controlled responding?
    Controlled responding is the opposite of the shortcut response associated with judgmental heuristics. Controlled responding is more likely to occur when a person has both the ability and desire to evaluate the particular circumstances (pp. 8 of text).
  5. What is the compliance process?
    The compliance process is the act of one person complying with another person's demand or request. In terms of human behavior, it can be thought of as automatic (shortcut) responding. Such behavior is initiated by specific pieces of information (trigger features) that signal when a particular response is likely to be beneficial or correct.
  6. What is the contrast principle?
    The principle that people notice the difference between things, and not their absolute measure in comparison to one another. When people make judgments (ex. evaluating how good a person is) we don't make absolute judgments. The way we judge pretty much anything is in comparison with something else.
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PS 410 WEEK-1
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