Possible Exam 2 Questions

1. Use each of the three social motives discussed in class to explain why we frequently make attributions.

2. Explain how a stereotype of a Muslim could be primed in a person thus leading that person to engage in a particular behavior.

3. a) Describe two reasons schemas are often useful.

b) In terms of one of the social motives, why do we like using schemas so much?

4. a) On the first day of class I notice you trip on the way to finding a seat. I conclude that you are clumsy. Is that likely an example of the fundamental attribution error, the self-serving bias, or both?  Explain.

b) Use one of the three causes of the fundamental attribution error mentioned in class to explain why I might have a different interpretation of this behavior than you would.

5. Researchers have found that people who express more self-confidence more often find themselves satisfying their life goals.

a) Does this research describe a correlation or a causal relationship? Explain.

b) If you said it described a correlation, change the wording so it describes a causal relationship. If you said it describes a causal relationship, change the wording so it only describes a correlation.

6. Pick two of the errors/biases/effects/illusions discussed in class or the text. For each one, explain how at least part of the reason we may exhibit that process is to reduce cognitive dissonance.

7. Use the primacy effect, the vividness effect and one other bias or error to explain why a drug user might exhibit unrealistic optimism concerning his/her drug use.

8. Explain how the vividness effect can lead to the formation of a stereotype and how the confirmation bias can then maintain that stereotype.

9. When does automaticity enhance our social judgment process and when might it hurt it? Use the deliberation-without-attention effect and the fundamental attribution error in your answer.

10. Explain how the misinformation effect and the false consensus effect help us to maintain inaccurate stereotypes.

11. Do genetics play a significant role in human helping behavior? Defend a position (yes or no). Use evidence to support your position. Identify the evidence you present as causal, correlational or of some other type.

12. Your social psychology professor believes that women are bad drivers. He uses the confirmation bias, subgrouping, and discounting to maintain that belief. Pick two of his three strategies and explain how you could help him modify his stereotype to more accurately represent women by addressing those two strategies.

13. Imagine I showed you an exam and told you it was written by Professor X (who you believe is a hard teacher). Or imagine I showed you the same exam and told you it was written by Professor Y (who you believe is an easy teacher). Use concepts from class or the text to explain why you might judge the same exam differently in the two cases.

Questions 14-16 refer to the following situation.

You were at work quite late last night organizing some important files. You left the files stacked on your desk for a subordinate to pick up in the morning to deliver right away to an important meeting. When you arrive in the morning you see the subordinate is "picking up" the files, but not as you had intended. The subordinate dropped the files! All your hard work lies in disarray on the floor. The subordinate is hurrying to pick them up and is apologizing profusely. Your thoughts are fleeting between helping and hurting! To determine which you might choose, answer the following questions:

14. You might choose to help pick up the papers. Identify three variables given in the above description that research says could increase or decrease your helping behavior. Briefly explain how each might affect your likelihood of helping.

15. Add to the above description to increase the likelihood that you would help. Specifically, change the above description to include three other conditions (beyond those mentioned in Question 14) that research has found would usually increase your helping behavior.

16. Use two of the three explanations presented in class on why people sometimes refuse or don't want help to explain why the subordinate might reject your offer of help in the above situation.