Social Psychology Chapter 4: Choices and Actions

human behaviors
based on meaning and learned by culture
choosing
1. whittling the full range of choices down to a few
2. careful comparison of the highlighted options
BUT decisions are subject to biases, error, and other influences
risk aversion
people are more affected by possible losses than by possible gains
temporal discounting
what happens right now weighs more heavily than what mint happen in the future
certainty effect
the greater weight is given to definite outcomes than to probabilities; think Russian Roulette -> greater weight going from 1 to 0 bullets compared to going from 4 to 3 bullets
error management theory
the idea that both men and women seek to minimize the most costly type of error, but that men’s and women’s goals, and hence worst errors, differ; social side of sex: women can only be impregnated once but men “go for every single opportunity”
status quo bias
preference to keep things the way they are rather than change
omission bias
tendency to take whatever course of action that does not require you to do anything; default option;
Reasons:
1. anticipated regret
2. difficult decisions/too many choices
reactance theory
idea that people are distressed by loss of freedom or options and seek to reclaim or reassert them;
1. makes you want the forbidden option more
2. may make you take steps to reclaim the option
3. feel or act aggressively towards the person who took your freedom
entity theorists
those who believe that traits are fixed, stable things and thus people should not be expected to change
incremental theorists
those who believe that traits are subject to change and improvement
learned helplessness
belief that one’s actions will not bring about desired outcomes, leading one to give up and quit trying
self-determination theory
theory that people need to feel at least some degree of autonomy and internal motivation; activities must be motivated by inner drives and choices, rather than external factors
panic button effect
a reduction of stress due to the belief that one has the option of escaping or controlling the situation, even if one doesn’t exercise it
goal
an idea of some desired future state; culture sets a variety of possibilities; people choose among them depending on personal wants, needs, and their immediate circumstances; two major steps: 1.setting it
2. pursuing it
deliberate system
goal setting
automatic system
helps provide initiative to resume goals that have been interrupted
zeigarnik effect
a tendency to experience automatic, intrusive thoughts about a goal whose pursuit has been interrupted
hierarchy of goals
making little goals as stepping stones towards one major goal; produces more success rather than having one goal
goal shielding
occurs when the activation of a focal goal the person is working on inhibits the accessibility of alternate goals
drawbacks to making plans
1. if they are too detailed and rigid, they can e discouraging
2. tend to be overly optimistic
planning fallacy
the tendency for plans to be overly optimistic because the planner fails to allow for unexpected problems; usually happens with the construction of houses/buildings
self-regulation
the selfs capacity to alter its own responses; self control; 3 stages:
1. standards
2. monitoring
3. capacity for change
standards
concepts/ideas of how things should be
monitoring
keeping track of behaviors or responses to be regulated; TOTE: the self-regulation feedback loop of Test, Operate, Test, Exit
capacity for change
the active phase of self-regulation; willpower; think radishes vs chocolate -> willpower gets used up
habit
an acquired behavior that, if followed regularly, will become almost automatic; can help or conflict with goals
self-defeating behavior
any action by which people bring failure, suffering, or misfortune on themselves
theories behind self-defeating behavior
1. tradeoffs; reward is immediate, cost is delayed
2. faulty knowledge and reliance on strategies that don’t work
3. capacity to delay gratification; ability to make immediate sacrifices for alter rewards (think kids waiting for a second marshmallow)
wrong theories behind self-defeating behavior
1. freud’s innate “death drive”
2. fear of success theory