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Social Psychology

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Social Psychology Quiz

Review Questions

1. Suppose Jessica severely sprains her ankle after stumbling off a curb and has trouble walking. Would a social psychologist expect her to be more likely to get help on a street in New York City or on a small side street in rural Wyoming? Why?

Social psychology research suggests that Jessica is more likely to get help in rural Wyoming because of the bystander effect. People are less likely to offer help to someone who needs it if other people are also present, and the probability that a person will receive help decreases as the number of people present increases. A person does not feel as responsible for helping someone if several others are also present, since responsibility is distributed among all those present.

2. Why do researchers find prejudice hard to measure?

People differ in the type and extent of prejudice they harbor. Also, people often do not admit to being prejudiced.

3. What are the differences in attribution style between individualist and collectivist cultures?

People in collectivist cultures tend to be less susceptible to the fundamental attribution error than people in individualist cultures. People from collectivist cultures are more likely to believe that a person’s behavior is due to situational demands rather than to personal attributes. Finally, people from collectivist cultures are also less susceptible to the self-serving bias.

4. What is Philip Zimbardo’s prison study, and what did it demonstrate?

The prison study showed how people are influenced by roles. Zimbardo assigned one group of college student volunteers to play the role of prison guards in a simulated prison environment. He provided these students with uniforms, clubs, and whistles and told them to enforce a set of rules in the prison. He assigned another group of students to play the role of prisoners. Zimbardo found that as time went on, some of the “guard” students became increasingly harsh and domineering, while the “prisoner” students also internalized their role: some broke down and others rebelled or became passively resigned to the situation.

5. In Stanley Milgram’s obedience study, what circumstances resulted in the highest levels of obedience?

In Milgram’s obedience study, the highest levels of obedience occurred in the following circumstances: A. When commands were given by an authority figure rather than another volunteer. B. When experiments were done at a prestigious institution. C. When the authority figure was present in the room with the subject. D. When the learner was in another room. E. When the subject did not see other subjects disobeying commands.

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