PSYCH 221 Textbook Notes
PSYCH 221 Textbook Notes Psych 221
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Date Created: 05/22/16
Chapter 1 Conformity Characteristics of the situation o Group size Conformity increases with the size of the majority but only up to a point People are most likely to conform if 7 other people gave the same response Larger groups weaken the effect 15 had no more impact than 4 did o Degree of unanimity People are more likely to conform if all the other group members seem to be in agreement. But a single dissenter reduces the pressure to conform o Nature of task When task is difficult or poorly defined, conformity is higher You are more likely to conform to the decisions of a group of your classmates if you are assigned to choose your own project topic and presentation style than if you are assigned a topic and provided with specific guidelines Characteristics of the individual o Similarity We are more likely to conform when the group consists of people like us in age, sex, or ethnicity o Attraction to group The more committed you are to a group and feel that you belong with them, the stronger you will tend to conform o Status Conformity increases when one or more members in the group are perceived as having a higher status, such as in prestige or expertise o Acceptance Conformity increases when an individual wants to be accepted by the group o Culture Some culture groups encourage conformity, while others accept or support stronger individualism Sociology: the study of groups, organizations, and societies, rather than individuals. The level of analysis is the group or institution Social psychology: the study of the physiological processes people have in common that make the susceptible to social influence Personality psychology: the study of the characteristics that make individuals unique and different from one another Benedict Spinoza: Dutch philosopher 1663 proposed that if we love someone we formerly hated, that love will be stronger than if hatred had not preceded it Empirical questions: answers can be derived from experimentation or measurement rather than by personal opinion Folk wisdom: common sense opinions, not able to be proven, often in disagreement with one another Behaviorism: a school of psychology maintaining that to understand human behavior, one need only consider the reinforcing properties of the environment Overlooks the importance of how people interpret their environments Gestalt Psychology: a school of psychology stressing the importance of studying the subjective way in which an object appears in people’s minds rather than the objective, physical attributes of the object th Formulated in Germany in first part of 20 century by Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler, Max Wertheimer Kurt Lewin: considered founding father of modern experimental social psychology o German Jewish professor during Nazi Germany, fled to US o Shaped American social psychology, directing it toward a deep interest in exploring the causes and cures of prejudice and ethnic stereotyping o Applied Gestalt principles beyond the perception of objects to social perception; how people perceive other people and their motives, intentions, and behaviors o First scientist to fully realize the importance of taking the perspective of the people in a situation Social Psychology: the scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people The level of analysis is the individual in the context of a social situation Goal is to identify universal properties of human nature that make everyone susceptible to social influence, regardless of social class or culture Cross cultural research sharpens theories, either by demonstrating universality or by leading us to discover additional variables whose incorporation helps us make more accurate predictions of human behavior Social influence: the effect that the words, actions, or mere presence of other people have on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behavior Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which people’s behavior is due to internal, dispositional factors and to underestimate the role of situational factors o Gives a sense of false security. It is comforting to think of cult members as flawed human beings o Increases personal vulnerability to possibly destructive social influences by making us less aware of our own susceptibility to social psychological processes o By failing to appreciate the power of the situation, we tend to over simplify the problem, which decreases our understanding of the causes of many human actions Construal: the way in which people perceive, comprehend, and interpret the social world o Naïve realism: term by Lee Ross, the conviction that all of us share that we perceive things as they really are. If other people see the same things differently, it must be because they are biased Basic Human Motives o Self Esteem Approach: The need to feel good about ourselves Self Esteem: people’s evaluations of their own self worth, the extent to which they view themselves as good, competent, and decent Justifies past behavior Learning from experience is unlikely Suffering and Self Justification The more unpleasant the hazing, the better they liked the group. Because they suffered to gain acceptance, they are more likely to justify their actions and see the fraternity experiences in a positive light o Social Cognition approach: The need to be accurate Social Cognition: how people think about themselves and the social world; more specifically, how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgments and decisions We often make mistakes in an effort to understand and predict because we almost never know all the facts we need to judge a given situation accurately Sometimes our expectations about the social world interfere with perceiving it accurately. Our expectations can even change the nature of the social world Self fulfilling prophecy: you expect that you or another person will behave in some way, so you act in ways to make your prediction come true Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson found that students do better when teachers are led to believe that they will perform well o Leon Festinger realized that it is when these two motives pull in opposite directions that we can gain our most valuable insights into the workings of the human mind Social problems o There are many dysfunctional acts (cigarette smoking, drunk driving) for which the induction of fear can and does motivate people to take rational, appropriate action to preserve their health o In the situation of AIDS, arousing fear would not produce desired effect for most people They do not want to think about death or disease while about to have sex Don’t want to interrupt moment to put on condom Instead of engaging in rational problem solving behavior, most tend to reduce fear by engaging in denial (it can’t happen to me) If people convince themselves that their sexual partners do not carry HIV, they can continue to enjoy unprotected sex while maintaining a favorable picture of themselves as rational beings Chapter 2 Bystander effect: witnesses often fail to help in emergencies Kitty Genovese o Diffusion of responsibility: phenomenon by Bibb Latane and John Darley that the more people who witness an emergency, the less likely that any given individual will intervene o Latane and Darley did experiment to see if participants would help a fellow participant who had a seizure if they knew there were 5 other people in the room, 69% remained in cubicles, only 31% tried to get help o Latane and Darley did experiment where “robbers” stole beer in front of witness customers while the store manager was not looking. Fewer witnesses told the manager that the beer had been stolen when there was another witness present Hindsight bias: people exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred Research Hypothesis o Although brilliant insights sometimes occur suddenly, science is a cumulative process, and people often generate hypothesis from previous theories and research o Leon Festinger in 50s was dissatisfied with behaviorism to explain why people change their attitudes, so he formulated the new approach, dissonance theory that made specific predictions about when and how people would change their attitudes o Theory refinement: a theory is developed, the theory is revised, and new hypothesis are formulated o Researchers often make hypothesis based on personal observations Observational method: technique whereby a researcher observes people and systematically records measurements or impressions of their behavior o Goal is to describe what a particular group of people or type of behavior is like o Certain kinds of behavior are difficult to observe because they only occur in private o Ethnography: the method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or culture by observing it from the inside, without imposing any preconceived notions they might have Chief study of anthropology, the study of human cultures and societies Social psychology is being increasingly used to describe different cultures Leon Festinger studied a group of people in the 50s Midwest who thought that the world would end on a specific date and that a spaceship would land in their leader’s backyard. They pretended to be part of the group and monitored conversations o Interjudge reliability: the level of agreement between two or more people who independently observe and code a set of data; by showing that two or more judges independently come up with the same observations are not the subjective, distorted impressions of one individual o Archival analysis: a form of the observational method in which the researcher examines the accumulated documents or archives of a culture Researcher is at the mercy of the original complier of the material Correlational method: the technique whereby two or more variables are systematically measured and the relationship between them is assessed (how much can one be predicted from the other) o Sometimes make direct observations of people’s behavior o Correlation coefficient: a statistical technique that assesses how well you can predict one variable from another, for example how well can you predict people’s weight from their height o Surveys: research in which a representative sample of people are asked (often anonymously) questions about their attitudes or behavior Often used to predict how people’s responses from one question predict their other responses Allows researchers to judge the relationship between variables that are difficult to observe Capable of sampling representative segments of the population Sample: people actually tested Answers are only useful if they reflect the population in general, not just the sample Random selection: a way of ensuring that a sample of people is representative of a population by giving everyone in the population an equal chance of being selected for the sample Complicated questions are often inaccurate because it is difficult to explain what they would do in a hypothetical or why they behaved a certain way in the past Telling more than you can know: phenomenon when people make inaccurate reports about why they responding the way they did. Their reports about the causes of their responses pertained more to their theories and beliefs about what should have influenced them than to what actually influenced them o Correlation does not prove causation If a researcher finds that there is a correlation between two variables, it means that there are three possible causal relationships between these variables A could be caused by B B could be caused by A A and B could both be caused by C (unknown variable) Experimental method: the method in which the researcher randomly assigns participants to different conditions and ensures that these conditions are identical except for the independent variable (the one thought to have a causal effect on the people’s response) o Only way to determine causal relationships o Independent variable: the variable a researcher changes or varies to see if it has an effect on some other variable o Dependent variable: the variable a researcher measures to see if it is influenced by the independent variable; the researcher hypothesizes that the dependent variable will depend on the level of the independent variable o Internal validity: making sure that nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable; this is accomplished by controlling all extraneous variables and by randomly assigning people to different experimental conditions Random assignment to condition: a process ensuring that all participants have an equal chance of taking part in any condition of an experiment; through random assignment, researchers can be relatively certain that differences in the participants backgrounds are distributed evenly across conditions Probability level (p-value): a number calculated with statistical techniques that tells researchers how likely it is that the results of their experiment occurred by chance and not because of the independent variable The convention in science, is to consider results significant if the probability level is less than 5 in 100 that the results might be due to chance factors and not the independent variable studied Difficult to maintain reality o External validity: the extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to other situations and to other people Hard to generalize across situations because experiments done in artificial settings cannot be generalized to real life Psychological realism: the extent to which the psychological processes triggered in an experiment are similar to psychological processes that occur in everyday life Cover story: a description of the purpose of a study, given to participants, that is different from its true purpose and is used to maintain psychological realism Samples should be collected randomly Many researchers study basic psychological processes that make people susceptible to social influence, assuming that these processes are so fundamental that they are universally shared Field experiments: experiments conducted in natural settings rather than in the laboratory, but follow the same methods of a laboratory experiment The participants are unaware that the events they experience are in fact an experiment External validity is high because it is taking place in the real world with real people who are more diverse than the typical sample Difficult to control all of the variables o Basic dilemma of the social psychologist: trade off between internal and external validity Must do multiple experiments to account for both factors o Replications: repeating a study, often with different subject populations or in different settings Meta-analysis: a statistical technique that averages the results of two or more studies to see if the effect of an independent variable is reliable If only 1 in 20 studies a variable had an effect, that one study was probably an exception. But if 19 in 20 studies a variable had an effect, on average, it does influence the dependent variable Basic research: studies that are designed to find the best answer to the question of why people behave as they do and that are conducted purely for reasons of intellectual curiosity Applied research: studies designed to solve a particular social problem Cross cultural research: research conducted with members of different cultures to see whether the psychological processes of interest are present in both cultures or whether they are specific to the culture in which people were raised o Researchers have to guard against imposing their own viewpoints and definitions learned from their culture, only another culture with which they are unfamiliar o Cultures vary in how they define whether or not a person belongs in their social group, and this factor figures in how they behave toward that person Evolutionary Approach: a concept developed by Darwin to explain the ways in which animals adapt to their environments o Natural selection: the process by which heritable traits that promote survival in a particular environment are passed along to future generations; organisms with those traits are more likely to produce offspring o Evolutionary psychology: the attempt to explain social behavior in terms of genetic factors that have evolved over time according to the principles of natural selection o Impossible to test with the experimental method Social neuroscience o Electroencephalography EEG: electrodes are placed on the scalp to measure electrical activity in the brain o Functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI: people are placed on scanners that measure changes in blood flow in their brains o Social psychologists take these measurements while participants think about and process social information, allowing them to correlate different kinds of brain activity with social information processing Ethical issues o We want our experiments to resemble the real world as much as possible and to be as sound an controlled as we can make them, but we also don’t want to cause participants stress or discomfort, these goals often conflict o Informed consent: agreement to participate in an experiment, granted in full awareness of the nature of the experiment, which has been explained in advance o Deception: misleading participants about the true purpose of a study or the events that will actually transpire Virtually all participants understand and appreciate the need for deception Some studies find that participants in deception experiments enjoy the study more and learn more than nondeception experiments, even if they experienced some stress during the study o Institutional review board IRB: a group made up of at least one scientist, one nonscientist, and one member not affiliated with the institution that reviews all psychological research at that institution and decides whether it meets ethical guidelines; all research must be approved by the IRB before it is conducted o Debriefing: explaining to participants, at the end of an experiment, the true purpose of the study and exactly what transpired If the participants experience discomfort, the researchers attempt to alleviate it Chapter 3 Artificial intelligence Watson, an IBM computer, played against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Jeopardy and won Human beings are better at computers at understanding the nuances of people’s behavior and decoding their intentions, wishes, and desires o Computers fail at games like poker where they need to know what’s in people’s heads or understand things from their point of view Social cognition: how people think about themselves and the social world, more specifically, how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgments and decisions Automatic thinking: thinking that is nonconscious, unintentional, involuntary, and effortless o Schemas: mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects and that influence the information people notice, think about, and remember Korsakov’s syndrome: neurological disorder where people lose the ability to form new memories and must approach each situation as if they were encountering it for the first time Harold Kelly did study where he told different sections of a college economics class that a guest lecturer would be filling in He created a schema of what the guest lecturer would be like by telling students that the economics department wanted to know how different classes reacted to different instructors and gave them a biographical note about the instructor before he arrived One description said he was a warm person and another said he was a cold person The lecturer did a class for 20 minutes and then the students rated their impressions of him Students who had heard he was warm rated him much higher than the students who heard he was cold, and they were more likely to ask him questions and participate in the class discussion He did another study where the instructor was arrogant; the students in both the warm and cold groups rated him as arrogant. But when asked if he was funny, students in the warm group rated him funnier Accessibility: the extent to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of people’s minds and are therefore likely to be used when making judgments about the social world Some schemas are chronically accessible due to past experience Something can become accessible because it is related to a current goal Schemas can become temporarily accessible because of our recent experiences o A schema or trait happens to be primed by something people have been thinking or doing before encountering an event o Priming: the process by which recent experiences increase the accessibility of a schema, trait, or concept Participants were told they would take part in two unrelated studies The perception study they would be asked to identify different colors while at the same time memorizing a list of words The reading comprehension study they would read a paragraph about someone named Donald and give their impressions of him People who had memorized the words adventurous, self confident, independent, and persistent formed positive impressions of Donald. Those who had memorized reckless, conceited, aloof, and stubborn formed negative impressions When they memorized words that were unrelated to the story like neat or disrespectful, the words did not influence their impressions Thoughts have to be accessible and applicable before they will act as primes o Self fulfilling prophecy: the case wherein people have an expectation about what another person is like, which influences how they act toward that person, which causes that person to behave consistently with people’s original expectations, making the expectations come true Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson administered a test to students and told teachers that some students had scored so well that they were sure to bloom academically in the upcoming year. The students were chosen at random but at the end of the year those students IQ scores did raise, because the teacher treated them differently The teachers reported spending less time with the bloomers Teachers created a warmer emotional climate for bloomers, gave them more personal attention, encouragement, and support They gave bloomers more material to learn and material that is more difficult They gave bloomers more and better feedback on their work They gave bloomers more opportunities to respond in class and gave them longer to respond When interviewers are motivated to form an accurate impression and are paying attention, they are often able to put their expectations aside and see what the person is really like o Priming metaphors about the mind and body Research shows that the scent of cleanliness increases the degree to which people trust strangers and their willingness to help others When we think about something or someone, we do so with reference to how our bodies are reacting If we are tired, we may interpret the world more negatively that if we are full of energy Cleanliness is associated with morality, and dirtiness with immorality (washing away sins, dirty thoughts) Participants in a study thought a stranger was friendlier when they held a hot cup of coffee vs. an iced coffee, because they viewed them as warm vs. cold Students who filled out a survey attached to a heavy clipboard thought that student opinion should be given more consideration on a local campus issue than people who used a light clipboard There is a metaphor that associates weight with importance (carries weight, adding weight to the argument) o Judgmental heuristics: mental shortcuts people use to make judgments quickly and efficiently “Heuristic” is Greek for discover Do not guarantee that people will make accurate inferences about the world, sometimes they are inadequate or misapplied, leading to faulty judgments Availability heuristic: mental rule of thumb whereby people base a judgment on the ease with which they can bring something to mind Sometimes what is easiest to remember is not typical of the overall picture We often lack firm schemas about our own traits o Researchers performed an experiment where they altered how easy it was for people to remember examples of their own past behaviors o If one condition they asked people to think of 6 times they acted assertively, in another condition they asked people to think of 12 times, and then they asked participants to rate how assertive they thought they were o People who thought of 6 examples rated themselves as assertive because it was easy to think of examples, people who had to think of 12 rated themselves unassertive because it was difficult to think of that many examples A professor asked his students to list either 2 or 10 ways the class could be improved, the group that had 10 ways rated the class higher Representativeness heuristic: a mental shortcut whereby people classify something according to how similar it is to a typical case Barnum effect: after reading a paragraph with a vague description, people will think it described them well because we do not go beyond the representative examples that come to mind and think of conflicting instances Base rate information: information about the frequency of members of different categories in the population People do not use base rate information sufficiently, paying most attention to how representative the information about the specific person is of the general category o Believing a blonde kid in NY is from California because he looks like it but in reality it is more likely he is from NY o Unconscious thinking Cocktail party effect Often our nonconscious minds choose goals for us based on which goal has been recently activated or primed Azim Shariff and Ara Norenzayan had participants make sentences out of sets of provided words o Then they played an economics game where they were given 10 $1 coins and asked to divide them up between themselves and the next participant. Only the next participant knew what they decided and they did not know who they were o People who had been primed with religious or moral words left 4.56 and 4.44 on average, but people with neutral words left 2.56 on average o The content of our schemas is influenced by the culture we live in A researcher interviewed a Scottish settler and a local Bantu herdsman in Swaziland, Africa. Both men had been present at a cattle transaction a year earlier The Scottish man need to consult his record to recall how many cattle were sold and how much The Bantu man knew every detail from memory. They don’t even need to brand their cows because they can remember them and distinguish them from other cows Analytic thinking style: a type of thinking in which people focus on the properties of objects without considering their surrounding context; common in western cultures If you walk up to your friend who is surrounded by friends, you will look at your friends face to see how they are feeling Western thought is rooted in the Greek philosophical tradition of Aristotle and Plato, which focuses on the laws governing objects, independent of their context Holistic thinking style: type of thinking in which people focus on the overall context, particularly the ways in which objects relate to each other; common in East Asian cultures If you walk up to your friend, you will look at the other peoples faces in the group to see how your friend is feeling Eastern thought has been shaped by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, which emphasize the connectedness and relativity of all things Researchers took photos in random cities in Japan and US and matched the photos, the Japanese scenes contained significantly more information than the US scenes o They did a second study where they showed the pictures to US and Japanese students and told them to imagine they were in the scene o After being primed, they showed them the test pictures where they had to detect differences, the people who saw photos of Japanese cities were more likely to detect changes in the background, whereas people who saw US cities were more likely to detect changes in the main objects Controlled thinking: thinking that is conscious, intentional, voluntary, and effortful o People can usually turn this on or off at will and are fully aware of what they are thinking o Requires mental energy o Can only think in a conscious controlled way about only one thing at a time o Sometimes unconscious desires trigger actions without any intervening conscious thought, meaning you have less control over your thoughts than you think you do o Sometimes people control more than they think they do Facilitated communication is a program that allows disabled people to communicate with the help of a keyboard and a trained facilitator Researchers asked separate questions over headphones of the facilitator and the communication impaired person, the answers they gave matched the questions the facilitator heard The more people believe in free will, the more willing they are to help others in need and the less likely they are to engage in immoral actions A study had college students read either a series of statements that implied the existence of free will or a series of statements that implied the absence of free will The participants took a test of items from the Graduate Record Exam GRE, scored their own test, and paid themselves $1 for every correct answer People cheated more when they read statements that implied no free will o Counterfactual thinking: mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what might have been The easier it is to mentally undo an outcome, the stronger the emotion reaction to it Researchers interviews people who had lost a child. The more people imagined ways the tragedy could have been averted, by mentally undoing the circumstances preceding it, the more distress they reported A bronze medal winner is happier than the silver medalist because the silver engages in counterfactual reasoning, especially if the silver expected to do better than the bronze Conscious and effortful, it takes up a lot of mental energy Difficult to turn off Rumination: repetitively focusing on negative things in your life Contributes to depression If people focus attention of ways they can cope better in the future, it can be beneficial, and gives people a heightened sense of control over their fate and motivates them to try harder the next time o Improving thinking Overconfidence barrier: the fact that people usually have too much confidence in the accuracy of their judgments Researchers found that when asked to consider the opposite point of view, people realized there were other ways to construe the world than their own, and they made fewer errors in judgment If you want to generalize from a sample of information to a population, you must have a large, unbiased sample People’s reasoning processes can be improved by college statistics courses, graduate training in research design, and brief onetime lessons Richard Nisbett did a study that showed that after 2 years of graduate work, students in psychology and medicine improved on the statistical reasoning problems more than students in law and chemistry did o They performed equally well on samples from the Graduate Record Exam, suggesting they did not differ in intelligence People are often blind to truths that don’t fit their schemas and treat others in ways that make their schemas come true Chapter 4 Social perception: the study of how we form impressions of and make inferences about other people People with baby faces (small chin and nose, high forehead) are perceived as childlike (naïve, warm, submissive) After brief glances at photographs of people’s faces, participants were able to judge their sexual orientation at above chance levels of accuracy American participant rated the faces of Canadian political candidates on the dimensions of powerfulness and warmth. Their first impression correlated with the election results. The more powerful, the more likely to win, the more warm, the less likely Nonverbal communication: the way in which people communicate, intentionally or unintentionally, without words; nonverbal cues include facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, body position and movement, the use of touch, and gaze o Help us express our emotions, attitudes, and personality “I’m angry”: narrowing eyes, lowering eyebrows, and setting mouth in a thin straight line “Extrovert”: broad gestures and frequent changes in voice pitch and inflection o Facial expressions Darwin wrote The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals 1872 Primary emotions conveyed by the face are universal Encode: to express or emit nonverbal behavior, such as smiling or patting someone on the back Decode: interpret the meaning of the nonverbal behavior other people express, such as deciding that a pat on the back was an expression of condescension and not kindness Survival value in being able to detect emotions Researchers studied the facial expressions of disgust and fear and found, that the muscle movements of each emotion were completely the opposite of the other Fear face enhances perception: facial and eye muscle movements increase sensory input, such as widening the visual field, increasing the volume of air in the nose, and speeding up eye movements Disgust decreases perception: eyes narrow, less air breathed in, eye movements slow down D. Vaughn Becker found that participants were faster and more accurate at decoding angry expressions on male faces and at detecting happy expressions on female faces The cost vs. benefits of perceiving anger and happiness would vary depending on whether the encoder was male or female Paul Ekman and Walter Friesen 1971 studied a preliterate tribe in New Guinea, called the South Fore, who had previously not had any contact with Western civilization They told the Fore brief stories with emotional content and then showed them photographs of American men and women expressing the six emotions They accurately matched the expressions with the stories They took photographs of the Fores making expressions, and later Americans were able to decode accurately Six emotions: anger, fear, disgust, happiness, surprise, sadness First to appear in human development, as little as six months Children who were blind also display these expressions, even though the have never seen them Contempt: tightening and raising the lip on only one side of the face Pride: small smile, head tilted back slightly, visibly expanded chest and posture, arms raised above head or hands on hips Shame: slumped shoulders, sunken chest o In highly individualistic cultures, such as US and Western Europe, shame is a negative stigmatized emotion that one hides rather than displays Affect blend: facial expression in which one part of the face registers one emotion while another part of the face registers a different emotion o Display rules: culturally determined rules about which nonverbal behaviors are appropriate to display Individualist cultures discourage shame, collectivist cultures encourage it American norms discourage emotional displays in men, but allow such expressions in women Japan cultural rules dictate that women should not exhibit a wide uninhibited smile, and will often hide smiles behind their hands Japanese norms lead people to cover up negative facial expressions with smiles and laughter and to display fewer facial expressions than displayed in the west American culture people become suspicious when a person doesn’t look them in the eye, and find it disconcerting to speak to someone wearing dark sunglasses, In other parts of the world, direct eye gaze is seen invasive or disrespectful, especially with superiors Arabs use a great deal of eye contact, considered piercing by others Cultures vary in the amount of personal space they need. Americans like a bubble that is a few feet, some other cultures stand right next to each other to the point of touching High contact cultures are Middle Eastern, South American, and southern European Low contact are North American, northern European, Asian, Pakistani, Native American Korea and Egypt, men and women hold hands, link arms, and walk hip and hip with same sex friends with no sexual connotation Emblems: nonverbal gestures that have well understood definitions within a given culture; they usually have direct verbal translations Not universal, each culture has their own George Bush made a V for victory with his palm facing him, he was in front of an Australian crowd, and this was the equivalent of flipping the bird OK sign means “money” in japan, “zero” in France, “sex” in Mexico, “homosexuality” in Ethiopia, “flipping the bird” in Brazil Thumbs up means “excellent” in France, “boyfriend” in Japan, and in Iran and Sardinia it is obscene Hand purse gesture (straightening the fingers and touching them together), has no meaning in American culture, means “What are you trying to say” in Italy, “good” in Spain, “Slow down” in Tunisia, “you may seem good but you are really bad” in Malta Nodding the head means yes in America and shaking it means no o In some parts of Africa and India, it means the opposite o In Korea, shaking ones head means I don’t know o Bulgarians indicate disagreement by throwing their heads back and returning them to an upright position Implicit personality theory: a type of schema people use to group various kinds of personality traits together o If a person is seen as warm they are also seen as generous, trustworthy, and helpful, where as a cold person is seen as the opposite o A competent person is also seen as powerful and dominant, whereas an incompetent person is seen as the opposite o Implicit personality theories are strongly tied to culture When American’s see someone as helpful, they also perceive them as sincere, A practical person is also cautious, and that people with physical beauty will also have a host of other wonderful qualities In China, someone who hold traditional Chinese values: creating and maintaining interpersonal harmony, inner harmony, and ren qin—a focus on relationships In Western cultures, saying someone has an artistic personality, implies that the person is creative, intense, temperamental, and has an unconventional lifestyle Chinese do not have a schema for an artistic type In China, a shi gu person is someone who is worldly, devoted to his or her family, socially skillful, and somewhat reserved Hoffman wrote stories in English and Chinese, describing someone behaving like an artistic type or a shi gu type, without using those labels They gave the English versions to a group of native English speakers who spoke no other languages, and to a group of bilingual Chinese and English speakers. Another group of bilinguals relieved the Chinese versions They had participants write down their impressions of the characters in the stories, then they looked to see if the participants listed traits that were not in the stories but fit the artistic or shi gu personality types When native English speakers read about the characters in English, they were more likely to form an opinion that was consistent with the artistic type than the shi gu type When the bilinguals read the descriptions in English, they formed an impression consistent with the artistic type When the bilinguals read the versions in Chinese, showed an opposite pattern of results because Chinese language provides a convenient label or implicit personality trait for this kind of person Attribution theory: a description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other people’s behavior o Fritz Heider 1958 “Father of attribution theory” “Naïve” or “Commonsense” psychology: people are like amateur scientists, trying to understand people’s behavior by piecing together information until they arrived at a reasonable explanation or cause Internal attribution: the inference that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about the person, such as attitude, character, or personality External attribution: the inference that a person is behaving a certain way because of something about the situation he or she is in; the assumption is that most people would respond the same way in that situation o Satisfied spouses tend to make internal attributions for their partners positive behaviors and external attributions for their negative ones. Whereas unhappy spouses make the opposite assumptions o Covariation model: Harold Kelly’s theory that states that to form an attribution about what caused a person’s behavior, we systematically note the pattern between the presence or absence of possible causal factors and whether or not the behavior occurs Consensus information: information about the extent to which other people behave the same way toward the same stimulus as the actor does Distinctiveness information: information about the extent to which one particular actor behaves in the same way to different stimuli Consistency information: information about the extent to which the behavior between one actor and one stimulus is the same across time and circumstances Internal attribution: low consensus, low distinctiveness, consistency high External attribution: high consensus, high distinctiveness, high consistency When consistency is low, a clear attribution cannot be made so we refer to situational attribution, assuming that something unusual is going on in these circumstances Later research has shown that people rely more on distinctiveness and consistency than on consensus, and that people don’t always have all the information they need on all three dimensions, and yet people proceed with the attribution process, and use the information they do have, and if necessary, making inferences about the missing data o Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which people’s behavior is due to internal, dispositional factors and to underestimate the role of situational factors Edward Jones and Victor Harris did a study and asked students to read an essay written by a fellow student that either supported or opposed Fidel Castro, and then guessed how the author really felt Some were told that the author chose their position, making the choice easy Some were told that the author was assigned a topic, but still people assumed that the author believed what they wrote When we try to explain someone’s behavior, the focus is usually on the person and not the situation If we don’t know what happened to someone earlier in the day, we cant use that situational information to help us understand their current behavior, and even when we know the situation, we still don’t know how they interpret it Perceptual salience: the seeming importance of information that is the focus of people’s attention Shelly Taylor and Susan Fiske did study and engaged two male students in a “get acquainted conversation” (they were actually following a script), at each session, 6 actual participants sat in assigned seats, surrounding the two conversationalists. Two sat on each side of the actors with a clear profile view of the actors, two sat behind each actor, where they could see the back of one actor’s head and the face of the other o They were asked questions after o The person they could see better was seen to have more impact on the conversation, those who saw both thought both were equally influential Police interrogations resulting in confessions that are filmed by only showing the witness, make the confession seem voluntary. When the officer is shown, it can seem more coerced. o Two step process of attribution: analyzing another person’s behavior first by making an automatic internal attribution and only then thinking about possible situational reasons for the behavior, after which one may adjust the original internal attribution When we are distracted or preoccupied we skip the second step, making an extreme internal attribution because the first step occurs quickly and spontaneously whereas the second step requires more effort and conscious attention We will engage in the second step if we consciously slow down and think carefully before reaching a judgment, if we are motivated to reach an accurate judgment, or if we are suspicious about the behavior of the target person Cultural differences in social perception o North American and Western cultures stress individual autonomy. A person is perceived as independent and self contained; his or her behavior represents internal traits, motives, and values Judo-Christian belief in the individual soul and the English legal tradition of individual rights Analytic thinking style: paying less attention to the context or situation that surrounds that object o East Asian cultures stress group autonomy. The individual derives his or her sense from the social group to which he or she belongs Confucian tradition such as community man or social being, as well as Taoism and Buddhism Holistic thinking style: focusing on the whole picture, that is the object and the context that surrounds that object, as well as the relationships that exist between them o Trey Hedden did experiment where they asked participants from East Asia and America to make judgments about the length of lines inside boxes Some were told to ignore the box, some were told to pay attention to the box Participants equally judged the lengths of the lines but showed more brain activity on fMRI during task that was against their cultural thinking style Americans showed greater activation in the higher order cortical regions (frontal and parietal areas) when told to pay attention to the context, while East Asian participants showed greater activity when told to ignore the context o Researchers used event related potentials ERPs to measure brain activity Participants were all Americans who grew up in American culture but some were of European background and some from East Asian background European Americans paid more attention to the targets while East Asians paid more attention to the context o Western cultures are more in favor of dispositional explanations and Eastern cultures are more in favor of situational explanations Eastern cultures also make dispositional explanations but often take the second step to make a situational attribution Self-Serving Attributions: tendency to take credit for our successes by making internal attributions but to blame others or the situation for our failures by making external attributions o Roesch and Amirkhan researched what sports favored self serving attributions Less experienced athletes are more likely to make self-serving attributions. Experienced athletes realize that losses are sometimes their fault and that they can’t always take credit for a win Highly skilled athletes make more self serving attributions than the ones with lower ability, the highly talented athlete believes that success is due to his or her prowess, while failure, an unusual and upsetting outcome is due to teammates or other circumstances Athletes in solo sports make more self serving attributions than those in team sports o People try to maintain self esteem, even if it means distorting reality by changing a thought or belief o We are likely to engage in self serving attributions when we fail at something we feel we can’t improve at, but if we feel we can improve, we are more likely to attribute our failure to internal causes and then work on improving o We want others to approve of us and admire us, so telling others that our performance was due to some external cause puts a good face on failure, or “making excuses” o We make self serving attributions due to the information that is available to us, we may not know all the details o Defensive attributions: explanations for behavior that avoid feelings of vulnerability and mortality Belief in a just world: a form of defensive attribution wherein people assume that bad things happen to bad people and that good things happen to good people o Cultural influences Self-serving bias strongest in US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Prevalent in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia. But is very low in Japan, Pacific Islands, and India Chinese students are expected to attribute their successes to other people, such as teachers or parents, or to the high quality of their school In Asian cultures such as Japan and Korea, self-critical attributions are extremely common and important. When one criticizes themselves, others offer sympathy and compassion, which strengthens the interdependence of the group members In a society where most people believe the world is a just place, economic and social inequities are considered fair. People believe that the poor and disadvantaged have less because they deserve less In societies with extremes of wealth and poverty, just world attributions are more common than in cultures where the wealth is more evenly distributed Bias blind spot: the tendency to think that other people are more susceptible to attributional biases in their thinking than we are Chapter 5 Self-concept: To study whether animals have self-concept, researchers placed a mirror in the animal’s cage until the mirror becomes a familiar object. The animal is then anesthetized and an odorless red dye is painted on its brow or ear o Members of the great ape family (chimps, orangutans) touch the area of their heads marked with the spot, but lesser apes (gibbons) do not o Dolphins, Asian elephants, and magpies have been able to do the same thing o In humans, recognition begins at 18-24 months o Gordon Gallop compared behavior of chimps raised in a normal family with that of chimps raised alone. The socially experience chimps passed the mirror test after red dye was put on their heads, whereas the socially isolated chimps did not react to their reflections at all, meaning they had not developed a sense of self When asked to answer the question who am I?... o A child’s self concept is concrete with references to clear cut, easily observable characteristics like age, sex, neighborhood, and hobbies o As we mature we place less emphasis on physical characteristics and more on psychological states and on considerations of how other people judge us Cultural differences Independent view of the self: a way of defining oneself in terms of one’s own internal thoughts, feelings, and actions and not in terms of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of other people Interdependent view of the self: a way of defining oneself in terms of one’s relationships to other people, recognizing that one’s behavior is often determined by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others o Non-Western cultures answer the I am question by referring to social groups Gender differences o Women have relational interdependence, meaning they focus more on their close relationships, such as how they feel about their spouse or child Early on, girls are more likely to develop intimate friendships, cooperate with others, and focus their attention on social relationships In adulthood, women focus more on intimacy and cooperation with a small number of close others and are in fact more likely to discus personal topics and disclose their emotions than men are When asked to describe a positive or negative event, women tended to mention personal relationships o Men have more collective interdependence, meaning they focus on their memberships in larger groups, such as the fact that they are Americans or they belong to a fraternity Early on boys are more likely to focus on their group memberships In adulthood, men focus more on social groups such as sports teams When asked to describe an event, men described events involving larger groups, such as their team winning or joining a fraternity Introspection: the process whereby people look inward and examine their own thoughts, feelings, and motives People do not rely on this information as often as you would think The reasons for the
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