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Acquaintance Rape  Forced sexual intercourse that occurs either on a date or between people who are acquainted or romantically involved. Also known as date rape.
Actor-Observer Effect  The tendency for people to attribute their own behavior to external causes but that of others to internal factors.
Aggression  Any form of behavior that is intended to harm or injure some person, oneself, or an object.
Aggressive Script  A guide for behavior and problem solving that is developed and stored in memory and is characterized by aggression.
Altruistic Helping  A form of helping in which the ultimate goal of the helper is to increase another's welfare without expecting anything in return.
Ambivalent Sexism  Sexism directed against women based on both positive and negative attitudes (hostility and benevolence), rather than uniform dislike.
Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic  A tendency to be biased toward the starting value or anchor in making quantitative judgments.
Anticonformity  Opposition to social influence on all occasions, often caused by psychological reactance.
Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment Style  An expectation about social relationships characterized by a concern that others will not return affection.
Applied Research  Research designed to increase the understanding of and solutions to real-world problems by using current social psychological knowledge.
Archival Research  A descriptive scientific method in which already-existing records are examined.
Arousal: Cost-Reward Model  A theory that helping or not helping is a function of emotional arousal and analysis of the costs and rewards of helping.
Attachment  The strong emotional bond between an infant and a caregiver.
Attitude  A positive or negative evaluation of an object.
Attribution  The process by which people use information to make inferences about the causes of behavior or events.
Audience Inhibition Effect  People are inhibited from helping for fear that other bystanders will evaluate them negatively if they intervene and the situation is not an emergency.
Authoritarian Personality  A personality trait characterized by submissiveness to authority, rigid adherence to conventional values, and prejudice toward outgroups.
Availability Heuristic  The tendency to judge the frequency or probability of an event in terms of how easy it is to think of examples of that event.
Aversive Racism  Attitudes toward members of a racial group that incorporate both egalitarian social values and negative emotions, causing one to avoid interaction with members of the group.
Avoidant Attachment Style  An expectation about social relationships characterized by a lack of trust and a suppression of attachment needs.
Balance Theory  A theory that people desire cognitive consistency or balance in their thoughts, feelings, and social relationships.
Basic Research  Research designed to increase knowledge about social behavior.
Belief  An estimate of the probability that something is true.
Body Esteem  A person's attitudes toward his or her body.
Bystander Intervention Model  A theory that whether bystanders intervene in an emergency is a function of a five-step decision-making process.
Catharsis  The reduction in the aggressive drive following an aggressive act.
Central Route to Persuasion  Persuasion that occurs when people think carefully about a communication and are influenced by the strength of its arguments.
Central Traits  Traits that exert a disproportionate influence on people's overall impressions, causing them to assume the presence of other traits.
Classical Conditioning  Learning through association, when a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus) is paired with a stimulus (unconditioned stimulus) that naturally produces an emotional response.
Cognitive Consistency  The tendency to seek consistency in one's cognitions.
Cognitive Dissonance  A feeling of discomfort caused by performing an action that is inconsistent with one's attitudes.
Cognitive-Neoassociationist Model  A theory of impulsive aggression that aversive events produce negative affect, which stimulates the inclination to aggress.
Collectivism  A philosophy of life stressing the priority of group needs over individual needs, a preference for tightly knit social relationships, and a willingness to submit to the influence of one's group.
Companionate Love  The affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply entwined.
Compliance  Publicly acting in accord with a direct request.
Confederate  An accomplice of an experimenter whom research participants assume is a fellow participant or bystander.
Confirmation Bias  The tendency to seek information that supports our beliefs while ignoring disconfirming information.
Conformity  A yielding to perceived group pressure.
Contact Hypothesis  The theory that under certain conditions, direct contact between antagonistic groups will reduce prejudice.
Contingency Model of Leadership  The theory that leadership effectiveness depends both on whether leaders are task oriented or relationship oriented, and on the degree to which they have situational control.
Control Theory of Self-Regulation  A theory contending that, through self-awareness, people compare their behavior to a standard, and if there is a discrepancy, they work to reduce it.
Correlation Coefficient  A statistical measure of the direction and strength of the linear relationship between two variables, which can range from 21.00 to 11.00.
Correlational Research  Research designed to examine the nature of the relationship between two or more naturally occurring variables.
Correspondent Inference  An inference that the action of an actor corresponds to, or is indicative of, a stable personal characteristic.
Counterfactual Thinking  The tendency to evaluate events by imagining alternative versions or outcomes to what actually happened.
Covariation Principle  A principle of attribution theory stating that for something to be the cause of a particular behavior, it must be present when the behavior occurs and absent when it does not occur.
Culture  The total lifestyle of a people from a particular social grouping, including all the ideas, symbols, preferences, and material objects that they share.
Culture of Honor  A belief system in which males are socialized to protect their reputation by resorting to violence.
Debriefing  A procedure at the conclusion of a research session in which participants are given full information about the nature and hypotheses of the study.
Deception  A research technique that provides false information to persons participating in a study.
Deindividuation  The loss of a sense of individual identity and a loosening of normal inhibitions against engaging in behavior that is inconsistent with internal standards.
Delegitimization  The process of cognitively placing an outgroup into an extremely negative social category that excludes them from acceptable norms and values, thereby eliminating inhibitions against harming them.
Dependent Variable  The experimental variable that is measured because it is believed to depend on the manipulated changes in the independent variable.
Diffusion of Responsibility  The belief that the presence of other people in a situation makes one less personally responsible for the events that occur in that situation.
Discounting Principle  A principle of attribution theory stating that whenever there are several possible causal explanations for a particular event, people tend to be much less likely to attribute the effect to any particular cause.
Discrimination  A negative action toward members of a specific social group.
Door-in-the-Face Technique  A two-step compliance technique in which, after having a large request refused, the influencer counteroffers with a much smaller request.
Dual Attitudes  The simultaneous possession of contradictory implicit and explicit attitudes toward the same object.
Egoistic Helping  A form of helping in which the ultimate goal of the helper is to increase his or her own welfare.
Elaboration Likelihood Model  A theory that there are two ways in which persuasive messages can cause attitude change, each differing in the amount of cognitive effort or elaboration they require.
Embarrassment  An unpleasant emotion experienced when we believe that others have good reason to think a flaw has been revealed in us.
Empathy  A feeling of compassion and tenderness upon viewing a victim's plight.
Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis  A theory proposing that experiencing empathy for someone in need produces an altruistic motive for helping.
Equity Theory  The theory that people are most satisfied in a relationship when the ratio between rewards and costs is similar for both partners.
Ethnic Identity  An individual's sense of personal identification with a particular ethnic group.
Ethnocentrism  A pattern of increased hostility toward outgroups accompanied by increased loyalty to one's ingroup.
Evolution  The genetic change due to natural selection.
Evolutionary Psychology  An approach to psychology based on the principle of natural selection.
Excitation Transfer  A psychological process in which arousal caused by one stimulus is transferred and added to arousal elicited by a second stimulus.
Expectation States Theory  A theory that states that the development of group status is based on members' expectations of others' probable contributions to the achievement of group goals. These expectations are shaped not only by members' task-relevant characteristics but also by diffuse-state characteristics, such as race, sex, age, and wealth.
Experimental Methods  Research designed to test cause-effect relationships between variables.
Explicit Attitude  A consciously held attitude.
Explicit Cognition  Judgments or decisions of which we are consciously aware.
Explicit Prejudice  Prejudicial attitudes that are consciously held, even if they are not publicly expressed.
External Attribution  An attribution that locates the cause of an event to factors external to the person, such as luck, or other people, or the situation.
External Validity  The extent to which a study's findings can be generalized to people beyond those in the study itself.
False Consensus Effect  The tendency to overestimate how common one's own attitudes, opinions, and beliefs are in the general population.
False Uniqueness Effect  The tendency to underestimate how common one's own desirable traits and abilities are in the general population.
Foot-in-the-Door Technique  A two-step compliance technique in which the influencer secures compliance to a small request, and then later follows this with a larger, less desirable request.
Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis  The theory that frustration causes aggression.
Functional Approach  Attitude theories that emphasize that people develop and change their attitudes based on the degree to which they satisfy different psychological needs. To change an attitude, one must understand the underlying function that attitude serves.
Fundamental Attribution Error  The tendency to make internal attributions over external attributions in explaining the behavior of others.
Gender Identity  The knowledge that one is a male or a female and the internalization of this fact into one's self-concept.
Gender Schema  A mental framework for processing information based on its perceived male or female qualities.
Group  Two or more people who interact with and influence one another over a period of time, and who depend on one another and share common goals and a collective identity.
Group Polarization  Group-produced enhancement or exaggeration of members' initial attitudes through discussion.
Groupthink  A deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment in a group that results from an excessive desire to reach consensus.
Heterosexism  A system of cultural beliefs, values, and customs that exalts heterosexuality and denies, denigrates, and stigmatizes any nonheterosexual form of behavior or identity.
Heuristics  Timesaving mental shortcuts that reduce complex judgments to simple rules of thumb.
Hindsight Bias  The tendency, once an event has occurred, to overestimate our ability to have foreseen the outcome.
Hostile Aggression  The intentional use of harmful behavior in which the goal is simply to cause injury or death to the victim.
Hypotheses  Specific propositions or expectations about the nature of things derived from a theory.
Ideology  A set of beliefs and values held by the members of a social group, which explains its culture both to itself and to other groups.
Idiosyncrasy Credits  Interpersonal influence that a leader earns by helping the group achieve task goals and by conforming to group norms.
Illusory Correlation  The belief that two variables are associated with one another when in fact there is little or no actual association.
Implicit Attitude  An attitude that is activated automatically from memory, often without the person's awareness that she or he possesses it.
Implicit Cognition  Judgments or decisions that are under the control of automatically activated evaluations occurring without our awareness.
Implicit Prejudice  Unconsciously held prejudicial attitudes.
Implicit Personality Theory  Assumptions or naive belief systems people make about which personality traits go together.
Impression Formation  The process by which one integrates various sources of information about another into an overall judgment.
Independence  Not being subject to control by others.
Independent Variable  The experimental variable that the researcher manipulates.
Individualism  A philosophy of life stressing the priority of individual needs over group needs, a preference for loosely knit social relationships, and a desire to be relatively autonomous of others' influence.
Informational Influence  Conformity, compliance, or obedience due to a desire to gain information (information dependence).
Informed Consent  A procedure by which people freely choose to participate in a study only after they are told about the activities they will perform.
Ingroup  A group to which we belong and that forms a part of our social identity.
Ingroup Bias  The tendency to give more favorable evaluations and greater rewards to ingroup members than to outgroup members.
Instrumental Aggression  The intentional use of harmful behavior so that one can achieve some other goal.
Interactionism  An important perspective in social psychology that emphasizes the combined effects of both the person and the situation on human behavior.
Intergroup Anxiety  Anxiety due to anticipating negative consequences when interacting with an outgroup member.
Internal Attribution  An attribution that locates the cause of an event to factors internal to the person, such as personality traits, moods, attitudes, abilities, or effort.
Internal Validity  The extent to which cause-and-effect conclusions can validly be made in a study.
Interpersonal Attraction  A person's desire to approach another individual.
Intimacy  Sharing that which is inmost with others.
Jealousy  The negative emotional reaction experienced when a relationship that is important to a person's self-concept is threatened by a real or imagined rival.
Jigsaw Classroom  A cooperative group-learning technique designed to reduce prejudice and raise self-esteem.
Just-World Belief  A belief that the world is a fair and equitable place, with people getting what they deserve in life.
Kin Selection  A theory that people will exhibit preferences for helping blood relatives because this will increase the odds that their genes will be transmitted to subsequent generations.
Leader  The person who exerts the most influence on group behavior and beliefs.
Learned Helplessness  The passive resignation produced by repeated exposure to negative events that are perceived to be unavoidable.
Loneliness  Having a smaller or less satisfactory network of social and intimate relationships than one desires.
Low-Ball Technique  A two-step compliance strategy in which the influencer secures agreement with a request by understanding its true cost.
Master Status  A socially defined position occupied by a person in society that is very important in shaping his or her self-concept and life choices.
Matching Hypothesis  The proposition that people are attracted to others who are similar to them in particular characteristics, such as attitudes and physical attractiveness.
Mere Exposure Effect  The tendency to develop more positive feelings toward objects and individuals the more we are exposed to them.
Meta-Analysis  A statistical technique for combining information from many studies to objectively determine whether specific variables have important effects across these studies.
Minority Influence  The process by which dissenters produce change within a group.
Misattribution of Arousal  A situation in which the explanation of the physiological symptoms of arousal is switched from the real source to another one.
Motivated-Tactician Model  An approach to social cognition that conceives of people as being flexible social thinkers who choose among multiple cognitive strategies based on their current goals, motives, and needs.
Naturalistic Observation  A form of observational method that investigates behavior in its natural environment.
Natural Selection  The process by which organisms with inherited traits best suited to the environment reproduce more successfully than less well adapted organisms over a number of years. Natural selection leads to evolutionary changes.
Need for Cognition  An individual preference for and tendency to engage in effortful cognitive activities.
Negative State Relief Model  A theory suggesting that for those in a bad mood, helping others may be a way to lift their own spirits if the perceived benefits for helping are high and the costs are low.
Negativity Bias  The tendency for negative traits to be weighted more heavily than positive traits in impression formation.
Nonverbal Behavior  Communicating feelings and intentions without words.
Norm of Social Justice  A social norm stating that we should help only when we believe that others deserve our assistance.
Norm of Social Responsibility  A social norm stating that we should help when others are in need and dependent on us.
Normative Influence  Conformity, compliance, or obedience due to a desire to gain rewards or avoid punishments (outcome dependence).
Obedience  The performance of an action in response to a direct order.
Observational research  A scientific method involving systematic qualitative and/or quantitative descriptions of behavior.
Observer Bias  Occurs when preconceived ideas held by the researcher affect the nature of the observations made.
Old-Fashioned Racism  Blatantly negative stereotypes based on White racial superiority, coupled with open opposition to racial equality.
Operant Conditioning  A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by reinforcement and weakened if followed by punishment.
Optimistic Explanatory Style  A habitual tendency to attribute negative events to external, unstable, and specific causes, and positive events to internal, stable, and global causes.
Outgroup  Any group with which we do not share membership.
Outgroup Homogeneity Effect  Perception of outgroup members as being more similar to one another than are members of one's ingroup.
Participant Observation  A descriptive scientific method where a group is studied from within by a researcher who records behavior as it occurs in its usual natural environment.
Passionate Love  A state of intense longing for union with another.
Peripheral Route to Persuasion  Persuasion that occurs when people do not think carefully about a communication and instead are influenced by cues that are irrelevant to the content or quality of the communication.
Personal Distress  An unpleasant state of arousal in which people are preoccupied with their own emotions of anxiety, fear, or helplessness upon viewing a victim's plight.
Persuasion  The process of consciously attempting to change attitudes through the transmission of some message.
Pessimistic Explanatory Style  A habitual tendency to attribute negative events to internal, stable, and global causes, and positive events to external, unstable, and specific causes.
Physical Attractiveness Stereotype  The belief that physically attractive individuals possess socially desirable personality traits and lead happier lives than less attractive persons.
Pornography  The combination of sexual material with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior.
Positivity Bias  The tendency for people to evaluate individual human beings more positively than groups or impersonal objects.
Prejudice  A negative attitude directed toward people simply because they are members of a specific social group.
Primacy Effect  The tendency for the first information received to carry more weight than later information on one's overall impression.
Prosocial Behavior  Voluntary behavior that is carried out to benefit another person.
Protection-Motivation Theory  A theory proposing that fear induces both a self-protective response and an appraisal of whether the fear-arousing threat can be avoided.
Prototype  The most representative member of a category.
Psychological Femininity  Possession of expressive personality traits.
Psychological Masculinity  Possession of instrumental personality traits.
Random Assignment  Placement of research participants into experimental conditions in a manner that guarantees that all have an equal chance of being exposed to each level of the independent variable.
Random Selection  A procedure for selecting a sample of people to study in which everyone in the population has an equal chance of being chosen.
Rape Myth  The false belief that deep down, women enjoy forcible sex and find it sexually exciting.
Realistic Group Conflict Theory  The theory that intergroup conflict develops from competition for limited resources.
Recency Effect  The tendency for the last information received to carry greater weight than earlier information.
Reciprocal Helping  (Also known as reciprocal altruism.) A sociobiological principle stating that people expect that anyone helping another will have that favor returned at some future time.
Reciprocity Norm  The expectation that one should return a favor or a good deed.
Reference Group  A group to which people orient themselves, using its standards to judge themselves and the world.
Replication  Repeating a study using different participants in an attempt to duplicate previous findings.
Representativeness Heuristic  The tendency to judge the category membership of people based on how closely they match the "typical'' or "average'' member of that category.
Schemas  Organized systems of beliefs about some stimulus object, which are built up from experience and which selectively guide the processing of new information.
Secure Attachment Style  An expectation about social relationships characterized by trust, a lack of concern with being abandoned, and a feeling of being valued and well liked.
Self  A symbol-using individual who can reflect on his/her own behavior.
Self-Affirmation Theory  A theory predicting that people will often cope with specific threats to their self-esteem by reminding themselves of other unrelated but cherished aspects of their self-concept.
Self-Awareness  A psychological state in which one takes oneself as an object of attention.
Self-Concept  The sum total of a person's thoughts and feelings that defines the self as an object.
Self-Consciousness  The habitual tendency to engage in self-awareness.
Self-Disclosure  The revealing of personal information about oneself to other people.
Self-Discrepancies  Discrepancies between our self-concept and how we would ideally like to be (ideal self) or believe others think we should be (ought self).
Self-Enhancement  The process of seeking out and interpreting situations so as to attain a positive view of oneself.
Self-Esteem  A person's evaluation of his or her self-concept.
Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model  A theory predicting under what conditions people are likely to react to the success of others with either pride or jealousy.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy  The process by which someone's expectations about a person or group leads to the fulfillment of those expectations.
Self-Handicapping  Actions that people take to sabotage their performance and enhance their opportunity to excuse anticipated failure.
Self-Monitoring  The tendency to use cues from other people's self-presentations in controlling one's own self-presentations.
Self-Perception Theory  The theory that we often infer our internal states, such as our attitudes, by observing our behavior.
Self-Regulation  The ways in which people control and direct their own actions.
Self-Schemas  The many beliefs people have about themselves that constitute the "ingredients'' of the self-concept.
Self-Serving Bias  The tendency to assign an internal locus of causality for our positive outcomes and an external locus for our negative outcomes.
Self-Verification  The process of seeking out and interpreting situations so as to confirm one's self-concept.
Sexism  Any attitude, action, or institutional structure that subordinates a person because of her or his sex.
Sexual Harassment  Unwelcome physical or verbal sexual overtures that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive social environment.
Sleeper Effect  The delayed effectiveness of a persuasive message from a noncredible source.
Social Anxiety  The unpleasant emotion people experience due to their concern with interpersonal evaluation.
Social Categorization  The classification of people into groups based on their common attributes.
Social Cognition  The way in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about the social world.
Social Comparison Theory  The theory that proposes that we evaluate our thoughts and actions by comparing them to those of others.
Social Dilemma  Any situation in which the most rewarding short-term choice for an individual will ultimately cause negative consequences for the group as a whole.
Social Dominance Theory  A theory contending that societal groups can be organized in a power hierarchy in which the dominant groups enjoy a disproportionate share of the society's assets and the subordinate groups receive most of its liabilities.
Social Exchange Theory  The theory that proposes that we seek out and maintain those relationships in which the rewards exceed the costs.
Social Facilitation  The enhancement of dominant responses due to the presence of others.
Social Identities  Aspects of a person's self-concept based on his or her group memberships.
Social Impact Theory  The theory that the amount of social influence others have depends on their number, strength, and immediacy to those they are trying to influence.
Social Influence  The exercise of social power by a person or group to change the attitudes or behavior of others in a particular direction.
Social Learning Theory  A theory that proposes that social behavior is primarily learned by observing and imitating the actions of others, and secondarily by being directly rewarded and punished for our own actions.
Social Loafing  Group-induced reduction in individual output when performers' efforts are pooled, and thus, cannot be individually judged.
Social Neuroscience  The study of the relationship between neural processes of the brain and social processes.
Social Norm  An expected standard of behavior and belief established and enforced by a group.
Social Penetration Theory  A theory that describes the development of close relationships in terms of increasing self-disclosure.
Social Perception  The way we seek to know and understand other persons and events.
Social Power  The force available to the influencer to motivate attitude or behavior change.
Social Psychology  The scientific discipline that attempts to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.
Social Role  A cluster of socially defined expectations that individuals in a given situation are expected to fulfill.
Social Role Theory  The theory that virtually all of the documented behavioral differences between males and females can be accounted for in terms of cultural stereotypes about gender and the resulting social roles that are taught to the young.
Social Skills Training  A behavioral training program designed to improve interpersonal skills through observation, modeling, role playing, and behavioral rehearsal.
Stereotype  A fixed way of thinking about people that put them into categories and don't allow for individual variation.
Stereotype Threat  A disturbing awareness among members of a negatively stereotyped group that any of their actions or characteristics that fit the stereotype may confirm it as a self-characterization.
Stigma  An attribute that serves to discredit a person in the eyes of others.
Strategic Self-Presentation  Conscious and deliberate efforts to shape other people's impressions in order to gain power, influence, sympathy, or approval.
Subliminal Perception  The processing of information which is below one's threshold of conscious awareness.
Superordinate Goal  A mutually shared goal that can be achieved only through intergroup cooperation.
Surveys  Structured sets of questions or statements given to a group of people to measure their attitudes, beliefs, values, or behavioral tendencies.
Symbolic Interaction Theory  A contemporary sociological theory, inspired by Mead's insights and based on the premise that the self and social reality emerge due to the meaningful communication among people.
That's-Not-All Strategy  A two-step compliance technique in which the influencer makes a large request, then immediately offers a discount or bonus before the initial request is refused.
Theory  An organized system of ideas that seeks to explain how two or more events are related.
Theory of Planned Behavior  The theory that people's conscious decisions to engage in specific actions are determined by their attitudes toward the behavior in question, the relevant subjective norms, and their perceived behavioral control.
Theory of Psychological Reactance  The theory that people believe they possess specific behavioral freedoms, and that they will react against and resist attempts to limit this sense of freedom.
Threat-to-Self-Esteem Model  A theory stating that if receiving help contains negative self-messages, recipients are likely to feel threatened and respond negatively.
Transformational Leader  A leader who changes (transforms) the outlook and behavior of followers (also referred to as a charismatic leader).
Two-Factor Theory of Emotions  A theory that emotional experience is based on two factors: physiological arousal and cognitive labeling of the cause of that arousal.
Values  Enduring beliefs about important life goals that transcend specific situations.

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