Social Psych Chapter 3 Terms

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Embodied Cognition:

The mutual influence of bodily sensations on cognitive preferences and social judgements.

Belief Perseverance:

Persistence of one’s initial conceptions, such as when the basis for one’s belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives.

Misinformation Effect:

Incorporating "misinformation" into one’s memory of the event, after witnessing an event and receiving misleading information about it.

Controlled Processing:

"Explicit" thinking that is deliberate, reflective, and conscious.

Automatic Processing:

"Implicit" thinking that is effortless, habitual, and without awareness; roughly corresponds to "intuition".

Overconfidence Phenomenon:

The tendency to be more confident than correct-to overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs.

Confirmation Bias:

A tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions.


A thinking strategy that enables quick, efficient judgments.

Representativeness Heuristic:

The tendency to presume, sometimes despite contrary odds, that someone or something belongs to a particular group if resembling (representing) a typical member.

Availability Heuristic:

A cognitive rule that judges the likelihood of things in terms of their availability in memory. If instances of something come readily to mind, we presume it to be commonplace.

Counterfactual Thinking:

Imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn’t.

Illusory Correlation:

Perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists.

Illusion of Control:

Perception of uncontrollable events as subject to one’s control or as more controllable than they are.

Regression Toward the Average:

The statistical tendency for extreme scores or extreme behavior to return toward one’s average.


Mistakenly attributing a behavior to the wrong source.

Attribution Theory:

The theory of how people explain other’s behavior-for example, by attributing it wither to internal dispositions (enduring traits, motives, and attributes) or to external situations.

Dispositional Attribution:

Attributing behavior to the person’s disposition and traits.

Situational Attribution:

Attributing behavior to the environment.

Spontaneous Trait Inference:

An effortless, automatic inference of a trait after exposure to someone’s behavior.

Fundamental Attribution Error:

The tendency for observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others’ behavior. (Also called correspondence bias because we so often see behavior as corresponding to a disposition.)

Self-Fullfilling Prophesy:

A belief that leads to its own fulfillment.

Behavioral Confirmation:

A type of self-fulfilling prophecy whereby people’s social expectations lead them to behave in ways that cause others to confirm their expectations.

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