- People form impressions about others through the process of person
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
Physical attractiveness, proximity,
similarity, and reciprocity influence attraction.
Romantic love includes passionate and
Compassionate love includes intimacy and
- Infant attachment styles tend to be reproduced in adult relationships.
- There are both similarities and differences among cultures in romantic
- 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
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,
- People are less likely to offer help in the presence of other people.
- Bystanders are more likely to help people in some circumstances than
- Explanations for helping behavior include social exchange
theory, the social responsibility norm, and the
- A social trap is a situation in which acting in one’s own
self-interest can harm both the actor and others.
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