Main Terms in Social Psychology:
Affect: A person’s emotional state or mood.
Attitude: A person’s evaluation of a object, person, or issue.
Behavior: The actions that a person takes.
Cognition: The mental processes that people use to acquire knowledge.
Conformity: Adjusting one’s behavior to match the norms of a group.
Emotion: A feeling that is expressed in a person’s demeanor and can be caused by either internal or external stimuli.
Group: Two or more people who interact with each other and influence each other’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
Individualism: The belief that people are primarily responsible for their own thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Interaction: The process of people influencing each other.
Joint Attention: The ability to focus on the same thing at the same time as another person.
Just-World Bias: The belief that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get.
Kinship: The relationship between people who are related by blood or marriage.
Leader: A person who exerts influence over a group.
Leadership: The process of influence that a leader exerts over a group.
Majority Influence: When the majority of people in a group influence the attitudes or behaviors of the minority.
Minorities: Groups that are smaller in number than the majority.
Norms: The expectations that people have about the behavior of others.
Obedience: Following orders or instructions from an authority figure.
Out-group: A group to which a person does not belong.
Personality: The combination of characteristics that makes a person unique.
Prejudice: A negative attitude toward a group or its members.
Prosocial Behavior: Actions that are intended to help or benefit other people.
Social Cognition: The study of how people think about, influence, and relate to other people.
Social Facilitation: The tendency for people to perform better on simple tasks when they are in the presence of others.
Social Influence: The pressure that people feel from others to conform or change their behavior.
Social Loafing: The tendency for people to reduce their effort when working in a group.
Social Norms: The expectations that society has about the behavior of its members.
Stereotype: A fixed, overgeneralized belief about a group or its members.
Subjective Well-Being: A person’s overall satisfaction with life.
Superordinate Goal: A goal that can only be achieved by people working together.
Symbolic Interactionism: The theory that people interact with each other based on the meanings that they assign to objects, events, and experiences.
Theory: A testable idea that attempts to explain how or why something happens.
Value: A beliefs that a person has about what is good, desirable, or proper.
Worldview: A person’s basic orientation toward the world and their place in it.
Achievement Motivation: The need to accomplish goals and attain success.
Altruism: Helping others without any expectation of reward.
Anomie: A lack of social norms or a feeling of disconnection from society.
Authority Figure: A person who is respected and obeyed because of their position or rank.
Autonomy: The ability to make one’s own choices and decisions.
Bandura, Albert: A Canadian-American psychologist best known for his work on social learning theory.
Cognitive Dissonance: The psychological stress that comes from holding two conflicting beliefs.
Collectivism: The belief that people are primarily responsible for the welfare of the group to which they belong.
Deindividuation: A loss of self-awareness and self-restraint that can occur when people are in a group.
Discrimination: treating people differently based on their membership in a group.
Egocentrism: The inability to take another person’s perspective.
Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another person.
Extinction: The process of learned behavior disappearing when it is no longer reinforced.
Fads: Popular behaviors or ideas that spread quickly and then disappear just as quickly.
Folkways: Norms that are not strictly enforced and are considered to be more flexible.
Group Cohesiveness: The degree to which members of a group are attracted to each other and motivated to stay in the group.
Group Dynamics: The study of the ways in which people interact with each other in groups.
Groupthink: A mode of thinking that occurs when people are more concerned with being accepted by the group than with critically evaluating ideas.
In-group: A group to which a person belongs.
Ingratiation: Acting in a way that is pleasing or agreeable to others in order to gain their favor.
Institutional Discrimination: unequal treatment that results from the policies or practices of an organization or institution.
Latane, Bibb: An American psychologist best known for his work on social diffusion of responsibility.
Leader: A person who influences the behavior of other group members.
Leader Emergence: The process by which a leader emerges from a group.
Leader Effectiveness: The degree to which a leader is able to achieve the goals of the group.
Leadership Styles: The different ways in which leaders interact with and motivate their followers.
Liking: A positive attitude toward another person.
Majority Influence: The pressure that people feel from others to conform or change their behavior.
Minority Influence: When a minority group is able to persuade the majority to change its beliefs or behaviors.
Norms: expectations about how people should behave in a given social context.
Obedience: Acting in accordance with an authority figure’s instructions or requests.
Opinion Leadership: The process by which opinion leaders influence the attitudes and behaviors of others.
Out-group: A group to which a person does not belong.
Pluralistic Ignorance: When people mistakenly believe that their own attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors are more common than they actually are.
Prejudice: An unfavorable attitude toward a particular group, based on stereotypes.
Prosocial Behavior: Any action that is intended to help or benefit another person.
Realistic Conflict Theory: The theory that conflict arises from competition over limited resources.
Social Comparison Theory: The theory that people evaluate their own ability and worth by comparing themselves to others.
Social Identity Theory: The theory that people’s sense of self is shaped by their membership in social groups.