12.E: Social Psychology (Exercises)

12.1: What Is Social Psychology?

Social psychology examines how people affect one another, and it looks at the power of the situation. Social psychologists assert that an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are very much influenced by social situations. Essentially, people will change their behavior to align with the social situation at hand. If we are in a new situation or are unsure how to behave, we will take our cues from other individuals.

Review Questions

Q1

As a field, social psychology focuses on ________ in predicting human behavior.

1. personality traits
2. genetic predispositions
3. biological forces
4. situational factors

Q2

1. actor-observer bias
3. self-serving bias
4. just-world hypothesis

Q3

Collectivistic cultures are to ________ as individualistic cultures are to ________.

1. dispositional; situational
2. situational; dispositional
3. autonomy; group harmony
4. just-world hypothesis; self-serving bias

Q4

1. situational influences on behavior
2. influences on our own behavior
3. influences on others’ behavior
4. dispositional influences on behavior

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

Compare and contrast situational influences and dispositional influences and give an example of each. Explain how situational influences and dispositional influences might explain inappropriate behavior.

Q6

Provide an example of how people from individualistic and collectivistic cultures would differ in explaining why they won an important sporting event.

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Provide a personal example of an experience in which your behavior was influenced by the power of the situation.

Q8

Think of an example in the media of a sports figure—player or coach—who gives a self-serving attribution for winning or losing. Examples might include accusing the referee of incorrect calls, in the case of losing, or citing their own hard work and talent, in the case of winning.

Solution

D

C

B

B

S5

A situationism view is that our behaviors are determined by the situation—for example, a person who is late for work claims that heavy traffic caused the delay. A dispositional view is that our behaviors are determined by personality traits—for example, a driver in a road rage incident claims the driver who cut her off is an aggressive person. Thus, a situational view tends to provide an excuse for inappropriate behavior, and a dispositional view tends to lay blame for inappropriate behavior.

S6

People from individualistic cultures would tend to attribute athletic success to individual hard work and ability. People from collectivistic cultures would tend attribute athletic success to the team working together and the support and encouragement of the coach.

12.2: Self-presentation

Social psychology is the study of how people affect one another’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We have discussed situational perspectives and social psychology’s emphasis on the ways in which a person’s environment, including culture and other social influences, affect behavior. In this section, we examine situational forces that have a strong influence on human behavior including social roles, social norms, and scripts.

Review Questions

Q1

A(n) ________ is a set of group expectations for appropriate thoughts and behaviors of its members.

1. social role
2. social norm
3. script

Q2

On his first day of soccer practice, Jose suits up in a t-shirt, shorts, and cleats and runs out to the field to join his teammates. Jose’s behavior is reflective of ________.

1. a script
2. social influence
3. good athletic behavior
4. normative behavior

Q3

When it comes to buying clothes, teenagers often follow social norms; this is likely motivated by ________.

1. following parents’ rules
2. saving money
3. fitting in
4. looking good

Q4

In the Stanford prison experiment, even the lead researcher succumbed to his role as a prison supervisor. This is an example of the power of ________ influencing behavior.

1. scripts
2. social norms
3. conformity
4. social roles

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

Why didn’t the “good” guards in the Stanford prison experiment object to other guards’ abusive behavior? Were the student prisoners simply weak people? Why didn’t they object to being abused?

Q6

Describe how social roles, social norms, and scripts were evident in the Stanford prison experiment. How can this experiment be applied to everyday life? Are there any more recent examples where people started fulfilling a role and became abusive?

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Try attending a religious service very different from your own and see how you feel and behave without knowing the appropriate script. Or, try attending an important, personal event that you have never attended before, such as a bar mitzvah (a coming-of-age ritual in Jewish culture), a quinceañera (in some Latin American cultures a party is given to a girl who is turning $$15$$ years old), a wedding, a funeral, or a sporting event new to you, such as horse racing or bull riding. Observe and record your feelings and behaviors in this unfamiliar setting for which you lack the appropriate script. Do you silently observe the action, or do you ask another person for help interpreting the behaviors of people at the event? Describe in what ways your behavior would change if you were to attend a similar event in the future?

Q8

Name and describe at least three social roles you have adopted for yourself. Why did you adopt these roles? What are some roles that are expected of you, but that you try to resist?

Solution

B

A

C

D

S5

The good guards were fulfilling their social roles and they did not object to other guards’ abusive behavior because of the power of the situation. In addition, the prison supervisor’s behavior sanctioned the guards’ negative treatment of prisoners. The prisoners were not weak people; they were recruited because they were healthy, mentally stable adults. The power of their social role influenced them to engage in subservient prisoner behavior. The script for prisoners is to accept abusive behavior from authority figures, especially for punishment, when they do not follow the rules.

S6

Social roles were in play as each participant acted out behaviors appropriate to his role as prisoner, guard, or supervisor. Scripts determined the specific behaviors the guards and prisoners displayed, such as humiliation and passivity. The social norms of a prison environment sanctions abuse of prisoners since they have lost many of their human rights and became the property of the government. This experiment can be applied to other situations in which social norms, roles, and scripts dictate our behavior, such as in mob behavior. A more recent example of similar behavior was the abuse of prisoners by American soldiers who were working as prison guards at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

12.3: Attitudes and Persuasion

Attitude is our evaluation of a person, an idea, or an object. We have attitudes for many things ranging from products that we might pick up in the supermarket to people around the world to political policies. Typically, attitudes are favorable or unfavorable: positive or negative (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). And, they have three components: an affective component (feelings), a behavioral component (the effect of the attitude on behavior), and a cognitive component (belief and knowledge).

Review Questions

Q1

Attitudes describe our ________ of people, objects, and ideas.

1. treatment
2. evaluations
3. cognitions
4. knowledge

Q2

Cognitive dissonance causes discomfort because it disrupts our sense of ________.

1. dependency
2. unpredictability
3. consistency
4. power

Q3

In order for the central route to persuasion to be effective, the audience must be ________ and ________.

1. analytical; motivated
2. attentive; happy
3. intelligent; unemotional
4. gullible; distracted

Q4

Examples of cues used in peripheral route persuasion include all of the following except ________.

1. celebrity endorsement
2. positive emotions
3. attractive models
4. factual information

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

Give an example (one not used in class or your text) of cognitive dissonance and how an individual might resolve this.

Q6

Imagine that you work for an advertising agency, and you’ve been tasked with developing an advertising campaign to increase sales of Bliss Soda. How would you develop an advertisement for this product that uses a central route of persuasion? How would you develop an ad using a peripheral route of persuasion?

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Cognitive dissonance often arises after making an important decision, called post-decision dissonance (or in popular terms, buyer’s remorse). Describe a recent decision you made that caused dissonance and describe how you resolved it.

Q8

Describe a time when you or someone you know used the foot-in-the-door technique to gain someone’s compliance.

Solution

B

C

A

D

S5

One example is choosing which college to attend—the public school close to home or the Ivy League school out of state. Since both schools are desirable, the student is likely to experience cognitive dissonance in making this decision. In order to justify choosing the public school close to home, the student could change her cognition about Ivy League school, asserting that it is too expensive and the quality of education at the public school is just as good. She could change her attitude toward the Ivy League school and determine that the students there are too stuffy and wouldn’t make good classmates.

S6

Although potential answers will vary, advertisements using the central route of persuasion might involve a doctor listing logical reasons for drinking this product. For example, the doctor might cite research suggesting that the soda is better than alternatives because of its reduced calorie content, lack of adverse health consequences, etc. An advertisement using a peripheral route of persuasion might show very attractive people consuming the product while spending time on a beautiful, sunny beach.

12.4: Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience

In this section, we discuss additional ways in which people influence others. The topics of conformity, social influence, obedience, and group processes demonstrate the power of the social situation to change our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We begin this section with a discussion of a famous social psychology experiment that demonstrated how susceptible humans are to outside social pressures.

Review Questions

Q1

In the Asch experiment, participants conformed due to ________ social influence.

1. informational
2. normative
3. inspirational
4. persuasive

Q2

Under what conditions will informational social influence be more likely?

1. when individuals want to fit in
2. when the answer is unclear
3. when the group has expertise
4. both b and c

Q3

Social loafing occurs when ________.

1. individual performance cannot be evaluated
3. both a and b
4. none of the above

Q4

If group members modify their opinions to align with a perceived group consensus, then ________ has occurred.

1. group cohesion
2. social facilitation
3. groupthink
4. social loafing

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

Describe how seeking outside opinions can prevent groupthink.

Q6

Compare and contrast social loafing and social facilitation.

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Conduct a conformity study the next time you are in an elevator. After you enter the elevator, stand with your back toward the door. See if others conform to your behavior. Watch this video for a candid camera demonstration of this phenomenon. Did your results turn out as expected?

Q8

Most students adamantly state that they would never have turned up the voltage in the Milligram experiment. Do you think you would have refused to shock the learner? Looking at your own past behavior, what evidence suggests that you would go along with the order to increase the voltage?

Solution

B

D

C

C

S5

Outsiders can serve as a quality control by offering diverse views and views that may differ from the leader’s opinion. The outsider can also remove the illusion of invincibility by having the group’s action held up to outside scrutiny. An outsider may offer additional information and uncover information that group members withheld.

S6

In social loafing individual performance cannot be evaluated; however, in social facilitation individual performance can be evaluated. Social loafing and social facilitation both occur for easy or well-known tasks and when individuals are relaxed.

12.5: Prejudice and Discrimination

Human conflict can result in crime, war, and mass murder, such as genocide. Prejudice and discrimination often are root causes of human conflict, which explains how strangers come to hate one another to the extreme of causing others harm. Prejudice and discrimination affect everyone. In this section we will examine the definitions of prejudice and discrimination, examples of these concepts, and causes of these biases.

Review Questions

Q1

Prejudice is to ________ as discrimination is to ________.

1. feelings; behavior
2. thoughts; feelings
3. feelings; thoughts
4. behavior; feelings

Q2

Which of the following is not a type of prejudice?

1. homophobia
2. racism
3. sexism
4. individualism

Q3

________ occurs when the out-group is blamed for the in-group’s frustration.

1. stereotyping
2. in-group bias
3. scapegoating
4. ageism

Q4

When we seek out information that supports our stereotypes we are engaged in ________.

1. scapegoating
2. confirmation bias
3. self-fulfilling prophecy
4. in-group bias

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

Some people seem more willing to openly display prejudice regarding sexual orientation than prejudice regarding race and gender. Speculate on why this might be.

Q6

When people blame a scapegoat, how do you think they choose evidence to support the blame?

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Give an example when you felt that someone was prejudiced against you. What do you think caused this attitude? Did this person display any discrimination behaviors and, if so, how?

Q8

Give an example when you felt prejudiced against someone else. How did you discriminate against them? Why do you think you did this?

Solution

A

D

C

B

S5

In the United States, many people believe that sexual orientation is a choice, and there is some debate in the research literature as to the extent sexual orientation is biological or influenced by social factors. Because race and gender are not chosen, many Americans believe it is unfair to negatively judge women or racial minority groups for a characteristic that is determined by genetics. In addition, many people in the United States practice religions that believe homosexuality is wrong.

S6

One way in which they might do this is to selectively attend to information that would bolster their argument. Furthermore, they may actively seek out information to confirm their assertions.

12.6: Aggression

People can work together to achieve great things, such as helping each other in emergencies: recall the heroism displayed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. People also can do great harm to one another, such as conforming to group norms that are immoral and obeying authority to the point of murder: consider the mass conformity of Nazis during WWII. In this section we will discuss a negative side of human behavior—aggression.

Review Questions

Q1

Typically, bullying from boys is to ________ as bullying from girls is to ________.

1. emotional harm; physical harm
2. physical harm; emotional harm
3. psychological harm; physical harm
4. social exclusion; verbal taunting

Q2

Which of the following adolescents is least likely to be targeted for bullying?

1. a child with a physical disability
3. an emotionally sensitive boy
4. the captain of the football team

Q3

The bystander effect likely occurs due to ________.

1. desensitization to violence
2. people not noticing the emergency
3. diffusion of responsibility
4. emotional insensitivity

Critical Thinking Questions

Q4

Compare and contrast hostile and instrumental aggression.

Q5

What evidence discussed in the previous section suggests that cyberbullying is difficult to detect and prevent?

Personal Application Questions

Q6

Have you ever experienced or witnessed bullying or cyberbullying? How did it make you feel? What did you do about it? After reading this section would you have done anything differently?

Q7

The next time you see someone needing help, observe your surroundings. Look to see if the bystander effect is in action and take measures to make sure the person gets help. If you aren’t able to help, notify an adult or authority figure that can.

Solution

B

D

C

S4

Hostile aggression is intentional with the purpose to inflict pain. Hostile aggression is often motivated by anger. In contrast, instrumental aggression is not motivated by anger or the intention to cause pain. Instrumental aggression serves as a means to reach a goal. In a sense it is a more practical or functional form of aggression, whereas hostile aggression is more emotion-driven and less functional and rational.

S5

Cyberbullying is difficult to prevent because there are so many forms of media that adolescents use and are exposed to. The Internet is virtually everywhere: computers, phones, tablets, TVs, gaming systems, and so on. Parents likely do not monitor all of their children’s use of the Internet, thus their children could be exposed to cyberbullying without their knowledge. Cyberbullying is difficult to detect because it can be done anonymously. Cyberbullies can use pseudonyms and can attack victims in untraceable ways, such as hacking into Facebook accounts or making Twitter posts on their behalf.

12.7: Prosocial Behavior

Researchers have documented several features of the situation that influence whether we form relationships with others. There are also universal traits that humans find attractive in others. In this section we discuss conditions that make forming relationships more likely, what we look for in friendships and romantic relationships, the different types of love, and a theory explaining how our relationships are formed, maintained, and terminated.

Review Questions

Q1

Altruism is a form of prosocial behavior that is motivated by ________.

2. selfless helping of others
3. earning a reward
4. showing bravery to bystanders

Q2

After moving to a new apartment building, research suggests that Sam will be most likely to become friends with ________.

1. his next door neighbor
2. someone who lives three floors up in the apartment building
3. someone from across the street
4. his new postal delivery person

Q3

What trait do both men and women tend to look for in a romantic partner?

1. sense of humor
2. social skills
4. physical attractiveness

Q4

According to the triangular theory of love, what type of love is defined by passion and intimacy but no commitment?

1. consummate love
2. empty love
3. romantic love
4. liking

Q5

According to social exchange theory, humans want to maximize the ________ and minimize the ________ in relationships.

1. intimacy; commitment
2. benefits; costs
3. costs; benefits
4. passion; intimacy

Critical Thinking Questions

Q6

Describe what influences whether relationships will be formed.

Q7

The evolutionary theory argues that humans are motivated to perpetuate their genes and reproduce. Using an evolutionary perspective, describe traits in men and women that humans find attractive.

Personal Application Questions

Q8

Think about your recent friendships and romantic relationship(s). What factors do you think influenced the development of these relationships? What attracted you to becoming friends or romantic partners?

Q9

Have you ever used a social exchange theory approach to determine how satisfied you were in a relationship, either a friendship or romantic relationship? Have you ever had the costs outweigh the benefits of a relationship? If so, how did you address this imbalance?

Solution

B

A

D

C

B

S6

Proximity is a major situational factor in relationship formation; people who have frequent contact are more likely to form relationships. Whether or not individuals will form a relationship is based on non-situational factors such as similarity, reciprocity, self-disclosure, and physical attractiveness. In relationships, people seek reciprocity (i.e., a give and take in costs and benefits), self-disclosure of intimate information, and physically attractive partners.

S7

Traits that promote reproduction in females warmth, affection, and social skills; women with these traits are presumably better able to care for children. Traits that are desired in males include achievement, leadership qualities, and job skills; men with these traits are thought to be better able to financially provide for their families.