Rapid Review - 13 Social Psychology - STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High

5 Steps to a 5: AP Psychology - McGraw Hill 2021

Rapid Review
13 Social Psychology
STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High

Social psychology—study of how groups influence individuals’ attitudes and behavior.

Group dynamics:

Social group—two or more people sharing common goals and interests interact and influence the behavior of the other(s).

Norms—either implicit or explicit rules that govern the behavior of group members.

In-groups—groups to which we belong and tend to favor.

Out-group—groups to which we do not belong, we tend to attribute negative qualities to out-groups.

Roles—social positions and defined behavior expectations in groups.

Social loafing—the tendency of individuals to put less effort into group projects than when they are individually accountable.

Deindividuation—loss of self-awareness and self-restraint in situations that promote high arousal and anonymity in groups.

Social facilitation—improved performance of well-learned tasks in front of others.

Group polarization—like-minded people share ideas resulting in a more extreme position for every individual.

Groupthink—individuals self-censor beliefs to preserve harmony in the group.

Bystander intervention—the active involvement of a person in a situation that appears to require his or her aid.

Diffusion of responsibility—an explanation of the failure of bystander intervention stating that when several bystanders are present, no one person assumes responsibility for helping.

Altruism—the unselfish concern of one individual for the welfare of another.


Social cognition—the way people gather, use, and interpret information about their social world.

Attribution theory—a way to understand how people explain others’ behaviors.

Dispositional factors—individual personality characteristics that affect a person’s behavior.

Situational factors—environmental stimuli that affect a person’s behavior.

Fundamental attribution error—tendency when judging others’ behaviors to overestimate the role of personal factors and underestimate situational factors.

Self-serving bias—to take personal credit for our own achievements and blame our failures on situational factors.

Self-fulfilling prophecy—a tendency to let preconceived expectations influence one’s behavior, thus evoking those very expectations.

Actor-observer bias—tendency to attribute our behaviors to situational factors and others’ behaviors to dispositional factors.

Interpersonal perception:

Stereotype—scheme used to quickly judge others; can be an overgeneralized belief about the characteristics of members of a particular group.

Prejudice—unjustified attitudes we hold about others.

Discrimination—unjustified action against an individual or group based on prejudice.

Scapegoat theory—attributes prejudice to frustration; when own self-worth is in doubt or in jeopardy, we find others to blame.

Ethnocentrism—belief that our culture or social group is superior to others.

Just-world phenomenon—tendency to believe in fairness, that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get.

Out-group homogeneity—belief that members of another group are more similar in their attitudes than they actually are.

Contact theory—if members of two opposing groups are brought together in an emergency situation, group cooperation will reduce prejudicial thinking.

Conformity, compliance, and obedience:

Conformity—the adoption of attitudes and behaviors shared by a particular group of people.

Compliance—engaging in a particular behavior at another person’s request.

Foot-in-the-door—agreement to smaller request leads to agreement to larger request later.

Reciprocity—small gift makes others feel obligation to agree to later request.

Attitudes and change:

Attitudes—learned predisposition to respond favorably or unfavorably to certain people, objects, or events.

Mere exposure effect—increased liking for a person or another stimulus resulting from repeated presentation (exposure).

Elaboration likelihood model (ELM)—attitudinal change through two routes: central or peripheral.

Central route of persuasion—relatively stable change by carefully scrutinizing facts, statistics, and other information.

Peripheral route of persuasion—pairs superficial positive factors (supermodels and celebrities) with an argument leading to less stable change in attitudes.

Informational social influence—accepting others’ opinions about reality, especially under conditions of uncertainty.

Normative social influence—going along with the decisions of a group in order to gain its social approval.

Aggression—the intention to do harm to others. Types of aggression include the following:

Instrumental aggression—to achieve some goal.

Hostile aggression—to inflict pain upon someone else.

Though Freud and Lorenz believed that aggression is innate, the fact that different cultures display differing levels of aggression supports the belief that aggression is learned.