- People form impressions about others through the process of person perception.
- People’s physical appearance strongly influences the way they are perceived by others.
- People are particularly influenced by physical attractiveness and baby-faced features.
- Social schemas affect how people perceive events and other people.
Stereotypes and Prejudice
- Stereotypes are beliefs about people based on their membership in a particular group.
- Stereotypes tend to be difficult to change.
- Stereotyping has some important functions, but it can also distort reality in dangerous ways.
- Evolutionary psychologists believe that people evolved the tendency to stereotype because it gave their ancestors an adaptive advantage.
- A prejudice is a negative belief or feeling about a particular group of individuals.
- Prejudice is pervasive because it serves many social and psychological functions.
- Researchers find it difficult to measure prejudice. They often measure implicit rather than explicit prejudice.
- People who identify strongly with their ingroup are more likely to be prejudiced against people in outgroups.
- Research shows that there are effective ways to reduce prejudice.
- Attributions are inferences people make about the causes of events and behavior.
- Attributions can be classified along two dimensions: internal vs. external and stable vs. unstable.
- People often make incorrect attributions because of the fundamental attribution error, the self-serving bias, and the just world hypothesis.
- Cultural values and norms affect the way people make attributions.
- Attitudes are evaluations people make about objects, ideas, events, or other people. They can be explicit or implicit and can include beliefs, emotions, and behavior.
- Attitudes vary according to strength, accessibility, and ambivalence.
- Attitudes do not always affect behavior.
- The foot-in-the-door phenomenon and the prison study show that behavior can affect attitudes.
- Theories that account for attitude change are learning theory, dissonance theory, and the elaboration likelihood model.
- Some common social influence strategies are the foot-in-the-door technique, the lowball technique, manipulation of the reciprocity norm, and feigning scarcity.
- Persuasion involves a source, a receiver, a message, and a channel.
- Credible, likable sources are more likely to be persuasive.
- Many features of the source, receiver, and message influence persuasion.
- Coercive persuasion involves limiting freedom to choose and preventing clear reasoning.
- Interpersonal attraction refers to positive feelings about another person.
- Physical attractiveness, proximity, similarity, and reciprocity influence attraction.
- Romantic love includes passionate and compassionate love.
- Compassionate love includes intimacy and commitment.
- Infant attachment styles tend to be reproduced in adult relationships.
- There are both similarities and differences among cultures in romantic attraction.
- Evolutionary psychologists speculate that the tendency to be attracted to physically attractive people is adaptive.
Obedience and Authority
- Obedience is compliance with commands given by an authority figure.
- Stanley Milgram’s obedience study showed that people have a strong tendency to comply with authority figures.
- The degree of obedience depends on many situational factors.
- People sometimes carry obedience to extremes.
- A group is a social unit composed of two or more people who interact and depend on each other in some way.
- Groups tend to have distinct norms, roles, communication structures, and power structures.
- Conformity is the process of giving in to real or imagined pressure from a group.
- Solomon Asch did a famous study that showed that people often conform and that social roles influence behavior.
- Factors that influence conformity include group size and unanimity, level of competence, liking for the group, and group observation of the behavior.
- People conform because of normative social influence, because of informational social influence, because they want to gain rewards, and because they identify with the group.
- Insufficient coordination and social loafing contribute to lowered productivity in groups.
- Social facilitation may occur in some group situations.
- Groupthink, group polarization, and minority influence affect decision-making in groups.
- Deindividuation sometimes occurs in large, anonymous, arousing groups.
- People are less likely to offer help in the presence of other people.
- Bystanders are more likely to help people in some circumstances than others.
- Explanations for helping behavior include social exchange theory, the social responsibility norm, and the reciprocity norm.
- A social trap is a situation in which acting in one’s own self-interest can harm both the actor and others.