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PSYCH 312: Social Psychology

Exam #1 Study Guide [Fall, 2011]

Chapter 3: Introducing Social Psychology


What is attribution theory?


o What are the conditions under which an attribution is most likely made?

Why are attributions made?

o What is the attribution equation?

o Why are we "dispositionalists" by nature?

o Describe Heider‟ ideas about "naïve psychology."

Examples discussed in class?

Describe Jones and Davis‟theory of correspondent inferences." 

Why are stable intentions, and atypical behavior, important according to Jones and Davis?

Examples discussed in class?


o Describe how Kelley believes we base our attributions on information about consistency, consensus, and distinctiveness.

Examples discussed in class?


What questions did you ask when making an attribution for the "breathtaking" comment during the Seinfeld episode shown in class?

What are the limitations associated with Kelley‟ views of attributions?

How are the theories proposed by Heider, Jones and Davis, and Kelley different from each other?

Hieder = Internal(disposition) Causes and External (situational) Causes

Jones and Davis =  SPONTANEOUS TRAIT INFERENCE An effortless automatic inference of a trait after exposure to someone's behavior

Kelley = Three factors Consistency, Distictiveness, and Consensus.

What is the fundamental attribution error?

o Describe the Jones and Harris (1967) study discussed in class.


o Why do we make the fundamental attribution error?

o What can be done to prevent someone from making the fundamental attribution error?

o Examples discussed in class and in your textbook?

According to Bernard Weiner, if you encounter someone with a stigma, and you make an internal attribution for that stigma, what kind of emotional/behavioral reactions will you have to the person?

o Describe the motivational sequence proposed by Weiner.

o Describe the „elping‟studies discussed in class.

o What was the effect on helping of the controllability of the cause of the behavior?

 What are heuristics?

o Representativeness?


Examples discussed in class and in your textbook?

o Availability?

Examples discussed in class and in your textbook?

o Describe counterfactual thinking.

Be sure to review the Chapter 3 quiz.