Define social psychology in your own words and describe how it is different than other fields (like sociology) and subdisciplines (like personality psychology)
2. What do you think are some of the advantages of studying questions about our social behavior scientifically? What might be some of the disadvantages?
3. Identify and describe two ways in which you have constructed your social reality.
4. Why might it be risky to rely on social intuition? Describe a time in your life when your social intuition was mistaken
5. How has culture shaped your thoughts, feelings, and/or actions?
6. As a science, social psychology values objectivity and value-neutrality, but as you just learned from social psychology’s “Big Ideas” people, including scientists, construct and are influenced by their social world. This means that values are a part of psychology. Describe how values enter psychological science and the challenges and opportunities that bring to social psychology.
7. Define hindsight bias in your own words and describe a time when you have fallen prey to this I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon.
8. Describe in your own words the fallacy of inferring causation from correlation.
- Why should we be leery of study findings based on survey research?
10. Why is it important to exercise caution in generalizing experimental findings to everyday life?
11. Describe three key characteristics of your self-concept. Where do you think those characteristics come from? Describe one of your primary self-schemas and explain how it influences what you pay attention to and care about. What is a possible self you fantasize about becoming? What is a possible self you want to avoid becoming?
12. What is social comparison? Describe a time when you engaged in upward social comparison (comparing to others who seem better off than we are). How did that comparison impact your satisfaction with your self-concept? Describe a time when you engaged in downward social comparison (comparing to others who seem worse off than we are). How did that comparison impact your satisfaction with your self-concept?
13. What role does culture play in your self-concept? Would you say you grew up in a more individualistic or collectivistic culture? What are some of the effects of that culture on who you are today?
14. Some psychologists assert that self-esteem is a uniquely Western, individualistic construct and that many Eastern, collectivistic cultures focus more attention on family, community, or even national esteem. What problems might arise when psychologists attempt to study self-esteem in a collectivistic culture? What might be an alternative approach they could take to studying this concept?
15. What are some of the risks associated with low self-esteem? What are some of the risks associated with high self-esteem? How does secure self-esteem contrast with low self-esteem and with narcissism?
16. Provide an example of a way in which you have demonstrated self-serving attributions and describe the effect of that experience on your self-esteem.
17. Explain the concept of self-handicapping and share one example of a way in which you have self-handicapped to save face.
18. Define belief perseverance in your own words. Describe an example of belief perseverance that is taking place in the world today.
19. What is the difference between controlled processing and automatic processing? When can each of these forms of processing be helpful? When can each become problematic?
20. How can confirmation bias increase the overconfidence phenomenon? Give an example of how this has occurred in your own life.
21. What is a heuristic? What is the representativeness heuristic? What is the availability heuristic? Why are people prone to rely on these heuristics and how can they go wrong?
22. Define counterfactual thinking. How might the hindsight bias from chapter 1 and counterfactual thinking interact? Describe an example of that interaction.
23. What is the fundamental attribution error? Why do we make this error so easily? What role does culture play in our tendency toward this error?
24. What do we learn about self-fulfilling prophecies from the studies on teacher expectations and student performance? Describe the process of behavioral confirmation and discuss some of the reasons why it should concern us.
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