When existing schemas change on the basis of new information

Actor-observer Bias or Difference

We tend to make more personal attributions for the behavior of others than we do for ourselves, and to make more situational attributions for our own behavior than for the behavior of others.

Additive Task

Inputs of each group member are added together to create the group performance,

Adjourning Stage

Group members prepare for the group to end.


feelings we experience as part of our everyday lives.

Affect Heuristic

A tendency to rely on automatically occurring affective responses to stimuli to guide our judgments of them.

Affective Forecasting

Our attempts to predict how future events will make us feel.


Behavior that is intended to harm another individual who does not wish to be harmed.


A tendency to be good natured, cooperative, and trusting.


Any behavior that is designed to increase another person’s welfare, and particularly those actions that do not seem to provide a direct reward to the person who performs them.

Altruistic or Prosocial Personality

Some people are indeed more helpful than others across a variety of situations.

Anchoring and Adjustment

The accessibility of the initial information frequently prevents this adjustment from occurring—leading us to weight initial information too heavily and thereby insufficiently move our judgment away from it.

Anxious/ambivalent Attachment Style

Become overly dependent on the parents and continually seek more affection from them than they can give.


A type of third-party intervention that avoids negotiation as well as the necessity of any meetings between the parties in conflict.


a process in which our existing knowledge influences new conflicting information to better fit with our existing knowledge, thus reducing the likelihood of schema change.

Associational Learning

when an object or event comes to be associated with a natural response, such as an automatic behavior or a positive or negative emotion.

Attachment Style

Individual differences in how people relate to others in close relationships.


Relatively enduring evaluation of something, where the something is called the attitude object.

Attitude Strength

The importance of an attitude, as assessed by how quickly it comes to mind.


The process of assigning causes to behaviors.

Attributional style

The type of attributions that we tend to make for the events that occur to us.


a tendency to prefer things to be simple rather than complex and to hold traditional values

Automatic Cognition

Thinking that occurs out of our awareness, quickly, and without taking much effort

Autonomy-oriented Help

Reflects the helper’s view that, given the appropriate tools, recipients can help themselves.

Availability Heuristic

The tendency to make judgments of the frequency of an event, or the likelihood that an event will occur, on the basis of the ease with which the event can be retrieved from memory.

Avoidant Attachment Style

Unable to relate to the parents at all, becoming distant, fearful, and cold.

Bait-and-Switch Technique

Which occurs when someone advertises a product at a very low price. When you visit the store to buy the product, however, you learn that the product you wanted at the low price has been sold out.

Base Rates

The likelihood that events occur across a large population.

Basking in the reflected glory

When we use and advertise our ingroups' positive achievements to boost our self-esteem.

Be fair in how you evaluate behaviors

Many people in close relationships, as do most people in their everyday lives, tend to inflate their own self-worth. They rate their own positive behaviors as better than their partner’s, and rate their partner’s negative behaviors as worse than their own. Try to give your partner the benefit of the doubt—remember that you are not perfect either.

Be prepared for squabbles

Every relationship has conflict. This is not unexpected or always bad. Working through minor conflicts can help you and your partner improve your social skills and make the relationship stronger

Behavioral Measures

Measures designed to directly assess what people do.

Bias Blind Spot

Tendency to believe that our own judgments are less susceptible to the influence of bias than those of others.

Black Sheep Effect

The strong devaluation of ingroup members who threaten the positive image and identity of the ingroup.

Blaming The Victim

Interpreting the negative outcomes that occur to others internally so that it seems that they deserved them.

Bogus Pipeline Procedure

In this procedure, the experimenter first convinces the participants that he or she has access to their “true” beliefs, for instance, by getting access to a questionnaire that they completed at a prior experimental session.


The idea that engaging in less harmful aggressive actions will reduce the tendency to aggress later in a more harmful way.

Causal Attribution

The process of trying to determine the causes of people’s behavior.

Central Traits

Characteristics that have a very strong influence on our impressions of others.

Charismatic Leaders

Leaders who are enthusiastic, committed, and self-confident; who tend to talk about the importance of group goals at a broad level; and who make personal sacrifices for the group.

Coercive Power

Power that is based on the ability to create negative outcomes for others, for instance by bullying, intimidating, or otherwise punishing.

Cognitive Accessibility

The extent to which a schema is activated in memory and thus likely to be used in information processing.

Cognitive Dissonance

The discomfort that occurs when we respond in ways that we see as inconsistent.

Cognitive Reappraisal

Altering an emotional state by reinterpreting the meaning of the triggering situation or stimulus.

Collective Action

Attempts on the part of one group to change the social status hierarchy by improving the status of their own group relative to others.


Cultural norms that indicate that people should be more fundamentally connected with others and thus are more oriented toward interdependence.


The feelings and actions that keep partners working together to maintain the relationship.

Common Ingroup Identity

The attempt to reduce prejudice by creating a superordinate categorization.

Communal Relationships

Close relationships in which partners suspend their need for equity and exchange, giving support to the partner in order to meet his or her needs, and without consideration of the costs to themselves.

Companionate Love

As love that is based on friendship, mutual attraction, common interests, mutual respect, and concern for each other’s welfare.

Compensatory (averaging) Task

The group input is combined such that the performance of the individuals is averaged rather than added.


Attempt to gain as many of the limited rewards as possible for ourselves, and at the same time we may work to reduce the likelihood of success for the other parties.

Conceptual Variables

Characteristics that we are trying to measure.


The ability to connect stimuli (things or events in the environment) with responses (behaviors or other actions).

Confirmation Bias

the tendency for people to seek out and favor information that confirms their expectations and beliefs,


The parties involved engage in violence and hostility.


The change in beliefs, opinions, and behaviors as a result of our perceptions about what other people believe or do.

Conjunctive Task

The group performance is determined by the ability of the group member who performs most poorly.


A tendency to be responsible, orderly, and dependable.

Consensus information

Creates the same behavior in most people.

Consistency information

A situation seems to be the cause of a behavior if the situation always produces the behavior in the target. For instance, if I always start to cry at weddings, then it seems as if the wedding is the cause of my crying.

Contact Hypothesis

The idea that intergroup contact will reduce prejudice.

Contingency model of leadership effectiveness

A model of leadership effectiveness that focuses on both person variables and situational variables.

Contributions Dilemma

When the short-term costs of a behavior lead individuals to avoid performing it, and this may prevent the long-term benefits that would have occurred if the behaviors had been performed.

Controlled Cognition

When we deliberately size up and think about something, for instance, another person.


Behavior that occurs when we trust the people or groups with whom we are interacting and are willing to communicate and share with the others.

Correlational Research

Search for and test hypotheses about the relationships between two or more variables.

Correspondence Bias

When we attribute behaviors to people's internal characteristics, even in heavily constrained situations.

Counterfactual Thinking

The tendency to think about events according to what might have been.

Covariation Principle

A given behavior is more likely to have been caused by the situation if that behavior covaries (or changes) across situations.

Cover Story

A false statement of what the research was really about.

Criterion Task

The group can see that there is a clearly correct answer to the problem that is being posed.


A group of people, normally living within a given geographical region, who share a common set of social norms, including religious and family values and moral beliefs.


Aggression inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

Defensive Attribution

When we make attributions which defend ourselves from the notion that we could be the victim of an unfortunate outcome, and often also that we could be held responsible as the victim.


The loss of individual self-awareness and individual accountability in groups.

Dependency Oriented

When the recipient feels that the implication of the helping is that they are unable to care for themselves.

Dependent Variable

The variable that is measured after the manipulations have occurred.

Depressive Realism

Social judgments about the future are less positively skewed and often more accurate than those who do not have depression.


The tendency to become used to, and thus less influenced by, a stimulus.

Devil’s Advocate

An individual who is given the job of expressing conflicting opinions and forcing the group (in a noncombative way) to fully discuss all the alternatives.

Diffusion of Responsibility

Occurs when we assume that others will take action, and therefore we do not take action ourselves.


Unjustified negative behaviors toward members of outgroups based on their group membership.

Disjunctive Task

When the group’s performance is determined by the best group member,

Disorganized Attachment Style

A blend of the other two insecure styles.

Displaced Aggression

When negative emotions caused by one person trigger aggression toward a different person.

Distinctiveness information

When the situation is present but not when it is not present.

Distributive Fairness

Our judgments about whether or not a party is receiving a fair share of the available rewards.

Divisible task

Each of the group members working on the job can do a separate part of the job at the same time.

Do things that please your partner

The principles of social exchange make it clear that being nice to others leads them to be nice in return.

Dominant Response

The action that we are most likely to emit in any given situation.

Don’t be negative

Negative cognitions and emotions have an extremely harmful influence on relationships (Gottman, 1994). Don’t let a spiral of negative thinking and negative behaviors get started. Do whatever you can to think positively.

Door-in-the-face technique

The general expectation that people should return a favor.

Downward Social Comparison

When we attempt to create a positive image of ourselves through favorable comparisons with others who are worse off than we are.

Dual-concern Model of Cooperation and Competition

Individuals will relate to social dilemmas, or other forms of conflict, in different ways, depending on their underlying personal orientations or as influenced by the characteristics of the situation that orient them toward a given concern.

Electroencephalography (EEG)

A technique that records the electrical activity produced by the brain’s neurons through the use of electrodes that are placed around the research participant’s head.

Emotional or Impulsive Aggression

Aggression that occurs with only a small amount of forethought or intent and that is determined primarily by impulsive emotions.


brief, but often intense, mental and physiological feeling states.


An affective response in which a person understands, and even feels, another person’s distress and experiences events the way the other person does.


Based on the collection and systematic analysis of observable data.


The perception, either by the group members themselves or by others, that the people together are a group.

Entity Theorists

Tend to believe that people’s traits are fundamentally stable and incapable of change.

Evolutionary adaptation

The assumption that human nature, including much of our social behavior, is determined largely by our evolutionary past.

Exchange Relationships

Relationships in which each of the partners keeps track of his or her contributions to the partnership.

Experimental Confederate

A person who is actually part of the experimental team but who pretends to be another participant in the study.

Experimental Research

Research designs that include the manipulation of a given situation or experience for two or more groups of individuals who are initially created to be equivalent, followed by a measurement of the effect of that experience.

Expert Power

A type of informational influence based on the fundamental desire to obtain valid and accurate information, and where the outcome is likely to be private acceptance.

Extended-Contact Hypothesis

The idea that prejudice can be reduced for people who have friends who are friends with members of the outgroup.

External Validity 

The extent to which relationships can be expected to hold up when they are tested again in different ways and for different people. Science relies primarily upon replication—that is, the repeating of research.

Factorial Research Designs

Experimental designs that have two or more independent variables.

False Consciousness

The acceptance of one’s own low status as part of the proper and normal functioning of society.

False Consensus Bias

The tendency to overestimate the extent to which other people hold similar views to our own.


That the outcome of the research can demonstrate empirically either that there is support for the hypothesis (i.e., the relationship between the variables was correctly specified) or that there is actually no relationship between the variables or that the actual relationship is not in the direction that was predicted.

Feelings of Social Identity

The positive self-esteem that we get from our group memberships.

Field Experiments,

Are experimental research studies that are conducted in a natural environment,


The extent to which having a given characteristic helps the individual organism to survive and to reproduce at a higher rate than do other members of the species who do not have the characteristic.

Fixed-sum Outcomes

A gain for one side necessarily means a loss for the other side or sides.

Foot-in-the-door technique

A persuasion attempt in which we first get the target to accept a rather minor request, and then we ask for a larger request.


giving people a chance to develop a resistance to persuasion by reminding them that they might someday receive a persuasive message, and allowing them to practice how they will respond to influence attempts

Forming Stage

When the members of the group come together and begin their existence as a group.

Framing effects

When people's judgments about different options are affected by whether they are framed as resulting in gains or losses.


When we feel that we are not obtaining the important goals that we have set for ourselves.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

Neuroimaging technique that uses a magnetic field to create images of brain structure and function.

Fundamental Attribution Error.

When we tend to overestimate the role of person factors and overlook the impact of situations.

Global attributions

are those that we feel apply broadly.

Group Attribution Error 

A tendency to make attributional generalizations about entire outgroups based on a very small number of observations of individual members.

Group Polarization

When, after discussion, the attitudes held by the individual group members become more extreme than they were before the group began discussing the topic.

Group Process

The events that occur while the group is working together on the task.

Group-serving bias (or ultimate attribution error)

Also make trait attributions in ways that benefit their ingroups, just as they make trait attributions that benefit themselves.

Group-serving Bias or the Ultimate Attribution Error

A tendency to make internal attributions about our ingroups' successes, and external attributions about their setbacks, and to make the opposite pattern of attributions about our outgroups.


When a group that is made up of members who may actually be very competent and thus quite capable of making excellent decisions nevertheless ends up making a poor one as a result of a flawed group process and strong conformity pressures.

Halo Effect

The influence of a global positive evaluation of a person on perceptions of their specific traits.

Harm-based Morality

That harming others, either physically or by violating their rights, is wrong.

Harvesting Dilemma

A social dilemma leads people to overuse an existing public good.

Have fun

Relationships in which the partners have positive moods and in which the partners are not bored tend to last longer

Hindsight Bias

The tendency to think that we could have predicted something that we probably would not have been able to predict.

Illusion of Group Effectivity

Tendency to overvalue the level of productivity of our ingroups.

Implicit Association Test (IAT)

Frequently used to assess stereotypes and prejudice.

Incremental Theorists

Who believe that personalities change a lot over time and who therefore are more likely to make situational attributions for events.

Independent Variable

The situation that is created by the experimenter through the experimental manipulations.


Cultural norms, common in Western societies, that focus primarily on self-enhancement and independence.

Informational Social Influence

The change in opinions or behavior that occurs when we conform to people who we believe have accurate information.


Those we view as being similar and important to us and with whom we share close social connections.

Ingroup Favoritism

The tendency to respond more positively to people from our ingroups than we do to people from outgroups.

Injunctive Norms

How group members are expected to behave.


Involves building up defenses against persuasion by mildly attacking the attitude position.

Instrumental or Cognitive Aggression

Aggression that is intentional and planned.

Insufficient Justification

When the social situation actually causes our behavior, but we do not realize that the social situation was the cause.

Integrative Outcomes

A solution can be found that benefits all the parties.

Intellective Task 

Involves the ability of the group to make a decision or a judgment


The extent to which the group members are mutually dependent upon each other to reach a goal.

Internal Validity

The extent to which changes in the dependent variable in an experiment can confidently be attributed to changes in the independent variable.

Internalized Prejudice

When individuals turn prejudice directed toward them by others onto themselves.

Interpersonal Attraction

The strength of our liking or loving for another person.

Jigsaw Classroom

To learning in which students from different racial or ethnic groups work together, in an interdependent way, to master material.

Judgmental Task

There is no clearly correct answer to the problem.

Just World Beliefs

Beliefs that people get what they deserve in life.

Just World Hypothesis

A tendency to make attributions based on the belief that the world is fundamentally just.

Kin selection

Strategies that favor the reproductive success of one’s relatives, sometimes even at a cost to the individual’s own survival.

Labeling Bias

When we are labeled, and others' views and expectations of us are affected by that labeling.


The ability to direct or inspire others to achieve goals.

Learned Helplessness

Continually make external, stable, and global attributions for their behavior.

Legitimate Power

Power vested in those who are appointed or elected to positions of authority.

Looking-glass Self 

Part of how we see ourselves comes from our perception of how others see us.

Low-ball Technique

Promises the customer something desirable, such as a low price on a car, with the intention of getting the person to imagine himself or herself engaging in the desired behavior.

Macbeth Effect

The observation that people tend to want to cleanse themselves when they perceive that they have violated their own ethical standards.

Majority Influence

When the beliefs held by the larger number of individuals in the current social group prevail.

Maximizing Task

Involves performance that is measured by how rapidly the group works or how much of a product they are able to make. 


Helping to create compromise by using third-party negotiation.

Mere Exposure Effect

The tendency to prefer stimuli (including, but not limited to, people) that we have seen frequently.

Message Strength

The message contained either strong arguments (persuasive data and statistics about the positive effects of the exams at other universities) or weak arguments (relying only on individual quotations and personal opinions).


A statistical procedure in which the results of existing studies are combined to determine what conclusions can be drawn on the basis of all the studies considered together.


Whose job it is to help quash dissent and to increase conformity to the leader’s opinions.

Minority Influence

The beliefs held by the smaller number of individuals in the current social group prevail.

Misattribution of arousal

when people incorrectly label the source of the arousal that they are experiencing.


The positive or negative feelings that are in the background of our everyday experiences.

Mood Congruence Effects

When we are more able to retrieve memories that match our current mood.

Mood-dependent Memory

A tendency to better remember information when our current mood matches the mood we were in when we encoded that information.

Moral reasoning

The manner in which one makes ethical judgments.

Morality Beliefs

The set of social norms that describe the principles and ideals, as well as the duties and obligations, that we view as appropriate and that we use to judge the actions of others and to guide our own behavior.


A personality trait characterized by overly high self-esteem, self-admiration, and self-centeredness.

Need for Cognition

The tendency to think carefully and fully about our experiences.

Negative Attributional Style

The tendency to explain negative events by referring to their own internal, stable, and global qualities.


The process by which two or more parties formally work together to attempt to resolve a perceived divergence of interest in order to avoid or resolve social conflict

Nonphysical Aggression

Aggression that does not involve physical harm.

Nonverbal behavior

Any type of communication that does not involve speaking, including facial expressions, body language, touching, voice patterns, and interpersonal distance.

Normative Social Influence

When we express opinions or behave in ways that help us to be accepted or that keep us from being isolated or rejected by others.

Norming Stage

When the appropriate norms and roles for the group are developed.

Not Invented Here Bias

When group members overvalue their own group's ideas and products over those of other groups.

Observational Learning.

People learn by observing the behavior of others.

Observational Research

Research that involves making observations of behavior and recording those observations in an objective manner.

Operant Learning

The principle that experiences that are followed by positive emotions (reinforcements or rewards) are likely to be repeated, whereas experiences that are followed by negative emotions (punishments) are less likely to be repeated.

Operational Definition

particular method that we use to measure a variable of interest

Optimistic Bias

A tendency to believe that positive outcomes are more likely to happen than negative ones, particularly in relation to ourselves versus others.

Optimistic Explanatory Style

A way of explaining current outcomes affecting the self in a way that leads to an expectation of positive future outcomes,


The motivation to affiliate with, accept, and be accepted by others.

Outcome Bias

Naturally, tend to look too much at the outcome when we evaluate decision-making,

Outgroup Homogeneity

The tendency to view members of outgroups as more similar to each other than we see members of ingroups.

Overconfidence Bias

A tendency to be overconfident in our own skills, abilities, and judgments.


When we view our behavior as caused by the situation, leading us to discount the extent to which our behavior was actually caused by our own interest in it.

Passionate Love

The kind of love that we experience when we are first getting to know a romantic partner.

Pearson Correlation Coefficient

Used to summarize the association, or correlation, between two variables.

Performing Stage

When group members establish a routine and effectively work together.

Person perception

The process of learning about other people.

Personal (or Internal or Dispositional) Attribution

When we decide that the behavior was caused primarily by the person.

Personal Distress

The negative emotions that we may experience when we view another person’s suffering.

Personal relevance

The students were told either that the new exam would begin before they graduated (high personal relevance) or that it would not begin until after they had already graduated (low personal relevance).

Personality theories of leadership

Explanations of leadership based on the idea that some people are simply “natural leaders” because they possess personality characteristics that make them effective.

Personality Traits

The specific and stable personality characteristics that describe an individual (“I am friendly,” “I am shy,” “I am persistent”).

Physical Aggression

Aggression that involves harming others physically.

Planning Fallacy

A tendency to overestimate the amount that we can accomplish over a particular time frame.

Pluralistic Ignorance

When people think that others in their environment have information that they do not have and when they base their judgments on what they think the others are thinking.

Positive attributional style

Ways of explaining events that are related to high self-esteem and a tendency to explain the negative events they experience by referring to external, unstable, and specific qualities.

Postdecisional dissonance

The feeling of regret that may occur after we make an important decision (Brehm, 1956). However, the principles of dissonance predict that once you make the decision—and regardless of which car you choose.

Pre-giving Technique

Relies on the norm of reciprocity. In this case, a charitable organization might mail you a small, unsolicited gift, followed by a request for a monetary donation. Having received the gift, many people feel a sense of obligation to support the organization in return, which is, of course, what they are counting on!

Prefrontal Cortex

the part of the brain that lies in front of the motor areas of the cortex and that helps us remember the characteristics and actions of other people, plan complex social behaviors, and coordinate our behaviors with those of others


An unjustifiable negative attitude toward an outgroup or toward the members of that outgroup.

Prescriptive Norms

Tell the group members what to do.

Primacy Effect

The tendency for information that we learn first to be weighted more heavily than is information that we learn later.


A technique in which information is temporarily brought into memory through exposure to situational events, which can then influence judgments entirely out of awareness.

Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

A laboratory simulation that models a social dilemma in which the goals of the individual compete with the goals of another individual (or sometimes with a group of other individuals).

Private Acceptance

Real change in opinions on the part of the individual.

Private self-consciousness

The tendency to introspect about our inner thoughts and feelings.

Procedural Fairness

Beliefs about the fairness (or unfairness) of the procedures used to distribute available rewards among parties.

Process Gain.

When groups work better than we would expect, given the individuals who form them,

Process Loss

When groups perform more poorly than we would expect, given the characteristics of the members of the group.

Processing Fluency

The ease with which we can process information in our environments.

Production Blocking

Only one person can speak at a time, and this can cause people to forget their ideas because they are listening to others, or to miss what others are saying because they are thinking of their own ideas.

Projection Bias

The tendency to assume that others share our cognitive and affective states.

Proscriptive Norms

Tell them what not to do.

Proximity Liking

People tend to become better acquainted with, and more fond of, each other when the social situation brings them into repeated contact.

Psychological Reactance

The strong emotional response that we experience when we feel that our freedom of choice is being taken away when we expect that we should have choice.

Public Compliance

A superficial change in behavior (including the public expression of opinions) that is not accompanied by an actual change in one’s private opinion.

Public Goods

Benefits that are shared by a community at large and that everyone in the group has access to, regardless of whether or not they have personally contributed to the creation of the goods.

Public self-consciousness

The tendency to focus on our outer public image and to be particularly aware of the extent to which we are meeting the standards set by others.

Random Assignment to Conditions

Determining separately for each participant which condition he or she will experience through a random process,

Realistic Group Conflict

When groups are in competition for objectively scarce resources.

Recency Effects

In which information that comes later is given more weight.

Reciprocal altruism

The idea that if we help other people now, they will return the favor should we need their help in the future.

Reciprocity Norm

A social norm reminding us that we should follow the principles of reciprocal altruism.

Referent Power

An ability to influence others because they can lead those others to identify with them.

Relational or Social Aggression

Intentionally harming another person’s social relationships.

Representativeness Heuristic

when we base our judgments on information that seems to represent, or match, what we expect will happen, while ignoring more informative base-rate information.

reputation management

a form of long-term self-presentation, where individuals seek to build and sustain specific reputations with important audiences.

Research Hypothesis

Specific prediction about the relationship between the variables of interest and about the specific direction of that relationship.

Reward Power

When one person is able to influence others by providing them with positive outcomes.

Role Stress

When individuals experience incompatible demands and expectations within or between the roles that they occupy, which often negatively impacts their ability to be successful in those roles.


A knowledge representation that includes information about a person or group.


Knowledge representations that include information about a person, group, or situation.

Secure Attachment Style

Perceive their parents as safe, available, and responsive caregivers and are able to relate easily to them.


our sense of personal identity and of who we are as individuals.

Self-affirmation Theory

People will try to reduce the threat to their self-concept posed by feelings of self-discrepancy by focusing on and affirming their worth in another domain, unrelated to the issue at hand.


The extent to which we are currently fixing our attention on our own self-concept.

Self-awareness Theory

When we focus our attention on ourselves, we tend to compare our current behavior against our internal standards.


The extent to which individuals have many different and relatively independent ways of thinking about themselves.


A knowledge representation that contains knowledge about us, including our beliefs about our personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles, as well as the knowledge that we exist as individuals.

Self-concept clarity

The extent to which one's self-concept is clearly and consistently defined.


The motivation to protect and enhance the self and the people who are psychologically close to us.


When our self-concept becomes highly accessible because of our concerns about being observed and potentially judged by others.


The tendency to communicate frequently, without fear of reprisal, and in an accepting and empathetic manner.

Self-discrepancy Theory

When we perceive a discrepancy between our actual and ideal selves, this is distressing to us.


The belief in our ability to carry out actions that produce desired outcomes.


The positive (high self-esteem) or negative (low self-esteem) feelings that we have about ourselves.

Self-evaluation maintenance theory 

Our self-esteem can be threatened when someone else outperforms us, particularly if that person is close to us and the performance domain is central to our self-concept.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

a process that occurs when our expectations about others lead us to behave toward those others in ways that make our expectations come true.


When we make statements or engage in behaviors that help us create a convenient external attribution for potential failure.


When we adopt others' labels explicitly into our self-concept.


The tendency to be both motivated and capable of regulating our behavior to meet the demands of social situations.


When we use our own behavior as a guide to help us determine our own thoughts and feelings.


The tendency to present a positive self-image to others, with the goal of increasing our social status.

Self-reference Effect

Information that is processed in relationship to the self is particularly well remembered.


The process of setting goals and using our cognitive and affective capacities to reach those goals.

Self-Report Measures

Measures in which individuals are asked to respond to questions posed by an interviewer or on a questionnaire.


A variety of different cognitive aspects of the self.

Self-serving Attributions

Attributions that help us meet our desire to see ourselves positively.

Self-serving Bias

The tendency to attribute our successes to ourselves, and our failures to others and the situation.

Self-verification theory

People often seek confirmation of their self-concept, whether it is positive or negative.

Shared Information Bias

Group members tend to discuss information that they all have access to, while ignoring equally important information that is available to only a few of the members.

Situational (or External) Attribution

We may determine that the behavior was caused primarily by the situation.

Sleeper Effect

Attitude change that occurs over time.

Social Categorization

The natural cognitive process by which we place individuals into social groups.

Social cognition

An understanding of how our knowledge about our social worlds develops through experience and the influence of these knowledge structures on memory, information processing, attitudes, and judgment.

Social Comparison

When we learn about our abilities and skills, about the appropriateness and validity of our opinions, and about our relative social status by comparing our own attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those of others.

Social Conventional Morality

Norms that are seen as appropriate within a culture but that do not involve behaviors that relate to doing good or doing harm toward others.

Social Creativity

The use of strategies that allow members of low-status groups to perceive their group as better than other groups.

Social Dilemma

A situation in which the goals of the individual conflict with the goals of the group.

Social Dilemmas

Occur when the members of a group, culture, or society are in potential conflict over the creation and use of shared public goods. Public goods are benefits that are shared by a community at large and that everyone in the group has access to, regardless of whether or not they have personally contributed to the creation of the goods

Social Dominance Orientation (SDO)

A personality variable that refers to the tendency to see and to accept inequality among different groups.

Social Exchange

We frequently use each other to gain rewards and to help protect ourselves from harm, and helping is one type of benefit that we can provide to others.

Social Facilitation

The tendency to perform tasks better or faster in the presence of others.

Social Fairness Norms

Beliefs about how people should be treated fairly.

Social Group

As a set of individuals with a shared purpose and who normally share a positive social identity.

Social Identity

The sense of our self that involves our memberships in social groups.

Social Identity Theory

We draw part of our sense of identity and self-esteem from the social groups that we belong to.

Social Impact

The increase in the amount of conformity that is produced by adding new members to the majority group.

Social Influence

The process through which other people change our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and through which we change theirs.

Social Inhibition

The tendency to perform tasks more poorly or slower in the presence of others.

Social Intelligence

An ability to develop a clear perception of the situation using situational cues.

Social Loafing

A group process loss that occurs when people do not work as hard in a group as they do when they are alone.

Social neuroscience

The study of how our social behavior both influences and is influenced by the activities of our brain.

Social norms

The ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving that are shared by group members and perceived by them as appropriate.

Social Power

The ability of a person to create conformity even when the people being influenced may attempt to resist those changes.

Social psychology

The scientific study of how we feel about, think about, and behave toward the people around us and how our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are influenced by those people.

Social Responsibility Norm

We should try to help others who need assistance, even without any expectation of future paybacks.

Social situation

The people with whom we interact every day.

Social Support

The approval, assistance, advice, and comfort that we receive from those with whom we have developed stable positive relationships.

Source expertise

The message was supposedly prepared either by an expert source (the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, which was chaired by a professor of education at Princeton University) or by a nonexpert source (a class at a local high school).

Specific attributions

are those causes that we see as more unique to particular events.

Spontaneous Message Processing

We focus on whatever is most obvious or enjoyable, without much attention to the message itself.

Stable attributions

Those that we think will be relatively permanent.


The positive or negative beliefs that we hold about the characteristics of social group.

Stereotype Threat

Performance decrements that are caused by the knowledge of cultural stereotypes.

Storming Stage

Members may attempt to make their own views known, expressing their independence and attempting to persuade the group to accept their ideas.

Sunk Costs Bias

When we choose to stay in situations largely because we feel we have put too much effort in to be able to leave them behind.

Superordinate Goals

Goals that were both very important to them and yet that required the cooperative efforts and resources of both the Eagles and the Rattlers to attain.

The principle of attitude consistency

For any given attitude object, the ABCs of affect, behavior, and cognition are normally in line with each other.

Third Variables

Variables that are not part of the research hypothesis but that cause both the predictor and the outcome variable and thus produce the observed correlation between them.

Thoughtful Message Processing

Occurs when we think about how the message relates to our own beliefs and goals and involves our careful consideration of whether the persuasion attempt is valid or invalid.

Tit-For-Tat Strategy

Initially making a cooperative choice and then simply matching the previous move of the opponent (whether cooperation or competition).

Trait Ascription Bias

A tendency for people to view their own personality, beliefs, and behaviors as more variable than those of others.

Transactional leaders

Regular leaders who work with their subordinates to help them understand what is required of them and to get the job done.

Transformational Leaders

Have a vision of where the group is going and attempt to stimulate and inspire their workers to move beyond their present status and to create a new and better future.

Triangular Model of Love

An approach that suggests that there are different types of love and that each is made up of different combinations of cognitive and affective variables, specified in terms of passion, intimacy, and commitment.

Unitary Task

Has to be done all at once and cannot be divided up.

Unrealistic Optimism

Tendency to be overly positive about the likelihood that negative things will occur to us and that we will be able to effectively cope with them if they do.

Unstable attributions

are expected to change over time.

Upward Social Comparison

When we compare ourselves with others who are better off than we are.

Verbal Aggression

Yelling, screaming, swearing, and name calling.


Aggression that has extreme physical harm, such as injury or death, as its goal.

What Is Beautiful Is Good Stereotype

The belief that external attractiveness signifies positive internal qualities


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Principles of Social Psychology - 1st International H5P Edition Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani and Dr. Hammond Tarry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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