Social Psychology: A Summary of Theories and Concepts





Attribution theory Explanations of behaviors  
Dispositional Internal attribution  
Situational External attributions  
Fundamental attribution error Underestimation of the influence of the situation on actions  
Self-serving biases Bask in reflected glory (“BIRG”); cut off reflected failure (“CORF”)  
Just world hypothesis To have a feeling of control, to feel safe  
Persuasion Changing attitudes when behaviors conflict  
“Art of persuasion”  (Cialdini): 6 dynamics Reciprocity/reciprocation Give and giving back
Social proof Peer pressure
Liking/attractiveness Attractive people are more influential
Scarcity In short supply
Authority Knowledgeable people are more influential
Consistency With previous behaviors
Other techniques (Cialdini and others) The foot-in-the-door technique Small to large requests
The door-in-the-face technique Small requests after inappropriate requests
The that’s-not-all technique Additional requests
The bait-and-switch technique Additional requests after an attractive offer
Sleeper effect/Minority influence Rejected at the beginning but changing attitudes later  
Interpersonal attraction Similarity  
Reciprocity of feeling  
The mere exposure effect The primacy effect
Social exchange theory  
Prejudice “In-group/out-group”  
Scapegoating Oppressed group members blame on each other or weaker groups  
Groups influences Task performance Social facilitation
Social loafing (diffused responsibility)
Group decision making Groupthink
Conformity factors Group size
High status group
Unanimous in the group
Insecure in the group
Monitoring in the group
Societal standards in the group
Responsibility toward others Bystander effects Diffusion of responsibility
Pluralistic ignorance

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