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Short Essay/Social Psychology

This is a short essay assignment with a mixture of multiple-choice/short answer and essay questions that cite evidence or research to explain/support your answer.

Your essay answers must be in your own words with paraphrasing properly source credited.  Quotes in lieu of answering in your own words will not receive points.

Please submit your responses as a Word document (.docx file).  Make sure to number your responses so your instructor will know where one response ends and the next starts.  It is not necessary to rewrite each question in your document.  For multiple choice questions, CLEARLY indicate your response (a, b, c, or d) so that your instructor does not have to search and try to determine your response in your short answer explanation.

Responses should be approximately one-half page each (double-spaced) for a total of three pages (not including Title and References Pages if you choose to include them).

1.  You are in the market for a new car and think you would like to own a Saab.  According to research reported by Richard Nisbett and his associates, which of the following would be most likely to influence your decision?

a.  television commercials for Saab that are both informative and emotionally appealing.

b.  print ads for Saab that are primarily informative.

c.   hearing about the huge repair bills a neighbor’s sister had on her Saab.

d.   a high ranking made by Consumer Reports based on a sample of 75,000 miles of testing.

Why is this the best answer and what might explain this influence?

2.  McAlister’s field experiment was successful in helping seventh-graders resist peer pressure to smoke cigarettes.  What did his strategy teach students to do that proved effective?

3. (From Article #10 in Readings About the Social Animal) Drawing on laboratory research conducted by Berkowitz, Phillips tested the “modeling of aggression” hypothesis.  What did Phillips’ data indicate?

4.  Under what circumstance are you persuaded by an argument from a peer or an associate in your life?  Specifically, what are the things that they may do to increase your tendency to listen to their argument and what things should exist before you take action on their advice?

5.  In general, how successful are obvious attempts to persuade?  Summarize one piece of research that supports the notions that direct efforts to persuade are effective, and one that indicated that such direct efforts are relatively ineffective.

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