Attitudes and Social Behavior, Psych 456/556

Exam Review - Spring 2002

Exam: Wednesday, 6/12; 3:15 pm

The following is a list of topics that have been covered in Social Psychology. This list comes with no guarantees--anything covered in class or discussed in class is fair game for the exam. Furthermore, many things on this list won't make it to the exam (there are only 40 multiple choice questions). However, if you are familiar with the following, it can only help your performance on the exam! The topics are roughly in the order they came in the course, but keep in mind that some topics were discussed in more than one section. Starred items are key items that anyone who has taken social psychology should be able to readily define and distinguish (hint, hint).

I highly recommend going back over the "Questions to Ponder" (the review questions passed out throughout the quarter; available on the course webpage) as part of your review. These questions will be helpful in reviewing the articles in the reading packet.

control vs impact in experimentation
importance of random assignment
correlation and causation
experimental and mundane realism
ethical concerns in doing social psychology research
extraneous variables
independent, dependent variable
cover story
group think
**hindsight effect
halo effect
unanimous majority (vs. non-unanimous)
bystander apathy/intervention
compliance, identification, internalization
secondary gain
elaboration likelihood model
**central vs peripheral route of persuasion
one- vs two-sided arguments
latitude of acceptance
primacy and recency effects, order of presentation
inoculation effect
effect of vividness
characteristics of the audience, speaker and message in persuasion
familiarity and persuasion
trustworthiness via going against self interest
**collectivist and individualistic cultures
dilution effect
cognitive misers and motivated tacticians
representativeness heuristic
**false consensus effect
**illusory correlations
reconstructive memory
**confirmation bias
**fundamental attribution error
cultural differences in attributions
**actor-observer bias
egocentric bias
**self-serving biases
depressive realism/positive illusions
naive scientist
consensus, consistency, distinctiveness
illusion of control
**misattribution of arousal
**cognitive dissonance
post-decision dissonance
foot-in-the-door technique
contrast effects
attitude/construct accessibility
framing effects
primacy effects in first impressions: attention decrement vs interpretive set
inadequate justification: internal and external justification, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
role of self-concept in dissonance
role of freedom of choice in dissonance
inadequate rewards in educational settings
insufficient punishment
justification of effort
derogation of/blaming the victims
"psychology of inevitability"
arousal component of dissonance
**self-perception theory
hostile vs. instrumental aggression
territorial behavior
aggression as instinct
aggression as learned behavior
Freud's hydraulic aggression levels
evolutionary value of aggression
evolutionary value of inhibiting aggression
self-defeating prophecy
tv and violence
effects of pornography on violence
**frustration-aggression theory
relative deprivation
aggressive cues
aggression and heat/discomfort
**self-fulfilling prophecy
ultimate attribution error
belief in a just world
subtle racism
scapegoat theory of racism
competition for limited resources
intergroup conflict
authoritarian personality
conformity and prejudice
equal status contact
minimal groups
in-group bias
**out-group homogeneity
jigsaw technique
**stereotype threat
mutual interdependence
ironic processing model
automatic vs. controlled processing
self image maintenance models of prejudice
pratfall effect
gain-loss theory of attraction
Rubin's liking and loving scales
exchange vs communal relationships
do opposites attract?
empathic accuracy
evolution and physical attractiveness
parental investment theory
naturalistic fallacy
sex differences in long vs short term mating strategies
gender differences in communication
gender differences in interpersonal interactions


It is HIGHLY PROBABLE (p > .95) that one or more of the following essay questions will appear on the final exam. Although you will not be allowed to bring notes with you into the exam, I recommend at least outlining answers to these questions as part of your review and then studying your answer to the outlines. It is fine with me (in fact, I encourage it) if you discuss your outlines with each other as part of your review process prior to the exam (no discussion during the exam, please!).

1. Think about the dating and courtship practices of our culture (or any other culture with which you are familiar). In what ways are these practices consistent with social psychological research findings in the area of interpersonal attraction? Be sure to describe the theories and research findings in your answer. If you can think of practices that are inconsistent with studies that you have read, can you think of reasons (based on other studies, or from other sources) that help explain why these practices endure?

2. Although social psychology often pays more attention to situational factors than dispositional ones, self-esteem has often been included as a variable in social psychology studies and often moderates (changes) the effects of other variables. Provide examples of at least 3 social psychological phenomena that are affected by level of self-esteem. What is distinctive about self-esteem as a variable and why does it appear so often in social psychology studies?

3. Aronson says, "When reality is unclear, other people become a major source of information." What is meant by this statement? Provide examples from at least 3 studies discussed in class or in the readings that support this statement. Why might it be adaptive and/or advantageous for people to turn to social cues when reality is ambiguous? What might be the potential costs?

4. You have been assigned to read 20 articles in this course, in addition to the reading you did for your term paper. Assuming that what you have read is a representative sample of social psychology research, identify three different research techniques or methods commonly used by social psychologists in conducting their studies. Provide illustrations of these methodological techniques from studies you have read. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these methods and why are they commonly found in social psychology?

5. Describe an example from popular culture (movies, books, songs, etc.) that illustrates the effects of cognitive dissonance. First, give a summary of the example (don't assume I will know about it). Second, explain how it illustrates the theory of cognitive dissonance generally. Third, discuss how it is consistent or inconsistent with any research-based refinements of the theory and/or specific research findings related to dissonance.

6. People's perceptions of the world often rely on their particular point of view. Provide 3 examples from studies that you read or that were discussed in class that demonstrate the importance of perspective and how it causes two people to see the same objective "reality" differently. Why is perspective an important variable in social psychology and social interactions?

7. What 3 research findings in social psychology do you think are potentially most helpful in changing the world for the better? If there were a requirement in life that everyone take social psychology, discuss what you would teach future generations about the field, why you picked the topics you did, and how you would present the ideas.