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You tend to be attracted to people that you are around the most (propinquity).
Festinger did a study in 1950. He asked people in an apartment building who their best friend was. The majority of people (65%) listed a person one door down from them. Moreland and Beach did a study in 1992 where they had a female confederate attend college courses. At the end of the course they had people rate how attractive she was based off of a picture. The classes she had attended the most gave her the highest attractivness rating.
2. Physically attractive individuals are treated more positively in many respects.
Describe 3 examples of this attractiveness bias. Why does this bias occur?
Attractive people make more money, have more friends, and as a result have better social skills.
This bias occurs because of our belief that what is beautiful is good (self-fulfilling prophecy).
3. What evidence is there that physical attractiveness is universally agreed upon, and
what evidence is there that it is culturally specific?
The three factors that affect who we will like when we first meet them are familiarity, physical attractiveness, and similarity to us.
According to evolutionary theories of mate selection, what do men prefer in a mate, and
what do women prefer? Why are these preferences argued to exist, and what evidence is
there for them?
Women prefer mates that can provide for them and men prefer a mate that is very fertile.
These preferences occur because women have a high minimum obligatory investment in reproduction and men have a low one. Therefore, choosing a mate that can take care of her is very important for a woman.
The evidence for this is that men tend to list preferences about whole body and women tend to list things such as protectiveness and gentleness.
Summarize the basic idea underlying social exchange theory of close relationships.
What determines commitment, and what are the two different “comparison levels”?
The social exchange theory is the idea that costs and rewards determine relationship satisfaction and commitment.
Costs and rewards determine commitment.
We tend to compare our current relationships to relationships in the past and how well we think we could do in a different relationship.
Compare and contrast social exchange theory and equity theory. What are the
similarities and differences between the two? Which do you think is better at explaining
satisfaction in a relationship, and why?
Social exchange theory and equity theory both look at costs and rewards to determine how well a relationship is doing. However, equity theory adds in both partners. In equity theory, the closer the partners' ratios are (i.e., both happy or both miserable) the better off they are.
I believe social exchange theory is better at explaining satisfaction in a relationship because often break ups are one sided. If a person is not happy in a relationship it becomes mostly about their ratio and very little about their partner's ratio.
What are the three different attachment styles? What determines them, and what
effects are they thought to have later in life?
The three attachment styles are secure, avoidant, and anxious/ambivalent.
Attachment styles are determined by how a person is treated when they are young.
These attachment styles are thought to follow us in our adult relationships unless we can find some way to change them.
Describe Sternberg’s three factors in his triangle theory of love, and the kinds of love
that can come from the various combinations of the three factors. What’s the “best” kind
of love, according to the theory?
The three factors in Sternberg's triangle theory of love are intimacy, passion, and commitment.
These three factors can result in four different kinds of love:
Romantic love = intimacy + passion
Companionate love = intimacy + commitment
Passionate love = passion + commitment
Consummate love = passion +commitment + intimacy
Define Hatfield’s two kinds of love. What are some cultural differences in how the
two kinds of love are viewed? When does each kind of love predominate in romantic
Hatfield's two kinds of love are passionate love and companionate love. Passionate love is characterized by intense longing, sexual arousal, ecstasy when love is reciprocated and agony when not. Companionate love is characterized by deep caring and intimacy and affection but no passion.
Culture can affect which kind of love we prefer. For example, in America the preference is usually Passionate love, however in China the people tend to prefer companionate love. Some cultures value both equally.
Define prosocial behavior and altruistic behavior. What are the differences between the
Prosocial behavior is any act performed with the goal of benefiting the other person.
Altruistic behavior is the desire to help another person even if it involves some personal cost to the helper.
Prosocial behavior and altruistic behavior are very similar but the motives behind them may be different. In prosocial behavior the motive is to improve a situation. In altruistic behavior the motive is often empathy and concern for the other person.
Summarize the three evolutionary factors that affect helping behavior that were
discussed in class. According to evolutionary theory, what is the main goal of helping,
and what implication does it have for whom we are most likely to help?
The three evolutionary factors that affect helping behavior are kin selection, norm of reciprocity, and social norms. Kin selection is the theory that we help those who are family so they can carry on our genes. The norm of reciprocity assumes that if we help someone then someday they will repay the favor. Social norms tell us that cooperative groups are more likely to survive.
Evolutionary theory states that the main goal of helping is to keep our own genes going. This means we are most likely to help those in our family or those that are close to us.
What does a social exchange perspective say about why we help others? What does it
say about when we help? Where does altruism fit into this perspective?
Social exchange perspective says that we help others either to maximize our gains or to minimize our losses.
It says we help only when our predicted gains are greater than our predicted losses.
Social exchange theory presumes there is no true altruism.
Summarize the empathy-altruism hypothesis. According to this view, how does
personal cost and empathy determine when we will help?
The empathy-altruism hypothesis states that feeling empathy for a person should prompt altruistic behavior.
According to this view if we are empathetic to someone we are likely to help them regardless of the costs.
Describe a study that Batson, a UT graduate, has conducted in testing the empathy-altruism
hypothesis. Be sure to identify the independent and dependent variables, and
what was found.
In 1982, Toi and Batson did a study where they had college students judge radio programs. The students heard an interview with a disabled person in their class. Before hearing the interview they were instructed to be either empathetic or objective. After listening to the interview they were all told that the girl was in their class and she needed help from someone to take notes for her and help her with her assignments. Some of the participants were given an easy escape and told they wouldn't see her in class.
People in the high empathy class helped regardless of the cost to them and the people in the low empathy class helped only if the cost of not helping was high.
Independent variable: empathetic or objective; Dependent variable: helping
Summarize the gender differences found in helping behavior. Provide two examples—
one when a man is more likely to help, and the other when a woman is more likely to
How does mood affect helping behavior? When might a good mood lead to more
helping, and when might a bad mood lead to more helping?
Moods are a big part of determining whether we will help someone or not. Often, if we are in a good mood we are more likely to want to help someone.
A bad mood can lead to helping if we feel guilty or if we are sad and want something to distract us from our problems.
Describe the five requirements for bystander intervention to occur, and use an example
to illustrate each step.
Notice the event: see the smoke coming over the hill
Interpret the event as an emergency: realize that there might be danger and not just leaves burning or a bonfire
Assume responsibility to help: remember that you may be the only one to see this and call 911
Know how to help: call 911
Decide to implement help: the thought doesn't help here, you need to actually call
What’s the difference between a collective and a group? What makes a group
“groupy”? That is, what are the defining features of cohesive groups?
Describe the Stanford Prison experiment. What was learned about groups in that
In the Stanford Prison experiment volunteers were randomly assigned to be either a prisoner or a guard. The study had to be stopped early because the volunteers began to take their roles too seriously.
In that study they discovered that well-defined group roles can have problems.
Define social facilitation, and summarize one of the experiments on it that were
discussed in class or in the book.
Social facilitation is when the presence of others energizes us.
Zajonc did a study in 1962 where he had cockroaches run through mazes. When they ran a simple maze, they did better when other cockroaches where there and when they ran a difficult maze they did worse when other cockroaches where there.
How are social facilitation and social loafing similar, and how are they different?
Under what circumstances does each occur?
Describe an occasion when you experienced deindividuation. According to the book
and lecture, what might have caused it, and what might have prevented it?
What characteristics of a group lead to groupthink? What are some of the
consequences of group think? How can it be avoided? Compare groupthink to process
Cohesive, isolated groups with a strong leader and no way of formal decision making are more likely to encounter the problem of groupthink.
Groupthink generally leads to bad decisions and can be avoided formalizing the decision making process, encouraging dissent, and seeking outside information.
Process loss is any aspect of group interaction that inhibits good problem solving. Groupthink is a form of process loss.
Why does group polarization occur? When do you think it would be least likely to
Group polarization occurs when there are more people, social comparison within the group, and social categorization "us vs. them."
Group polarization is least likely to occur when there is a group leader making all the decisions.
What is a social dilemma, and what motives are in conflict in social dilemmas? Provide
an example of a social dilemma.
A social dilemma is a conflict in which the most beneficial action for an individual will, if chosen by most people, have harmful affects on everyone.
The motives in conflict in social dilemmas are competition and cooperation.
An example of a social dilemma is the Prisoner's Dilemma Game in which players must decide to either compete or cooperate. If they both compete then both will have poor outcomes.
Define the two forms of aggression that were distinguished in the book and in lecture,
and provide examples of each. If you think this is an important distinction, explain why,
and if you don’t think it’s important, explain why not.
Define the “instincts” or drives that Freud discusses. Do you believe that these
instincts exist? Explain your reasoning.
Freud claimed that we all have an instinct to survive/reproduce (Eros) and that we all have an instinct to die/escape (Thantos).
I'm not sure how true it is that we all have an instinct to die but we all have an instinct to live. It's easy to see that when we run and get scared when we think we are in danger.
Describe the basic assumptions underlying evolutionary theory as it applies to human
behavior. According to the theory, why is it that men are more aggressive?
Summarize the several lines of research implicating testosterone in human aggression,
and describe the research’s strengths and weaknesses. What role do neurological factors
Animals that were injected with testosterone became more aggressive.
Testosterone levels are higher in prisoners convicted of violent crimes and prisoners with higher levels violated more prison rules.
Juvenile delinquents have higher testosterone levels.
Wild fraternities have higher testosterone levels.
Serotonin plays a major role in aggression. When the flow of serotonin is dirupted in animals aggression increases. Prisoners convicted of crimes had lower levels of naturally produced serotonin.
Describe 3 ways in which learning plays a role in aggressive behavior. How is
aggression learned through television and media? How does a learning perspective explain
gender differences in aggressive behavior?
Reinforcements: behavior that is rewarded will become more frequent
Social-learning: observing others' rewards and punishments
Media: exposure to violence in media increases aggression
What is the “culture of honor”? What kinds of violence are “justified” in such a
culture, and what forms are not?
In some cultures aggression in males is more valued than in others.
Violence that is provoked or used as protection is justified. Violence that is unprovoked is not.
Summarize the frustration—aggression hypothesis and Berkowitz’s negative affect
hypothesis. Describe the differences between the two hypotheses, and describe some
evidence that supports one over the other.
The frustration-aggression hypothesis is when the perception that you are being prevented from attaining a goal increases the probability of aggression.
The negative affect hypothesis is the perception that any negative affect can cause aggression such as pain, foul odors, or heat.
Although violence exists in nearly every culture, some cultures show incredibly low
levels of violence. What do these non-violent cultures have in common, and what could
we learn from them in order to reduce violence in our own culture?
These non-violent cultures are generally very isolated from other cultures.
We could learn that sometimes it is not a good idea for us to crowd together as a culture. Sometime groups can be very detrimental to the overall good and this might add to our violence.
What is the “weapons effect”? What does the effect imply about the automatic and
controlled components of aggression?
Participants were angered in the presence of a gun or a badminton racket. Then they were told to shock another participant. Those who saw the gun shocked the participants longer.
This tells us that we can be automatically primed to be aggressive and that it can be somewhat hard to control this.
How does war affect peoples’ responses to and perceptions of aggression? How
does being at war affect a nation’s rate of violence?
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