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Psych 280 Week 4 Notes

by: Ilze Vizulis

Psych 280 Week 4 Notes Psych 280

Marketplace > University of Michigan > Psych 280 > Psych 280 Week 4 Notes
Ilze Vizulis

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About this Document

Social Attribution
Intro to Social Psychology
Carla Grayson
Class Notes
University, Of, Michigan, social, Pscyhology, cognition, attribution
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ilze Vizulis on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 280 at University of Michigan taught by Carla Grayson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views.


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Date Created: 09/30/16
Topics: Social Attribution Week 3 (9/27 - 9/22) Social Attribution − The way that we try to explain the causes of certain behaviors and events. Attribution Theory − People try to explain the cause of their own and otherš behavior by trying to figure out your/their motivations. Why do we make attributions? − They help us predict the future, and prepare for it − Help us control the environment − Helps determine how we react to your behavior − Helps determine if we trust your behavior, or if you are inconsistent − Impact our expectations When do we make attributions? − When things are unexpected, and you want to attribute WHY this happened − When things are negative, and you want to attribute WHY this happened 2 ways we can explain behavior: − Internal causes – based on personal motivations − External causes – takign the environment and context into account Covariation Theory − When we can’t pinpoint the reason for behavior, or if it is even internal or external, we look towards 3 covariation types (behavioral facets): o Consistency § High – you always do that § Low – you never do that o Consensus § High – everyone does this § Low - everyone does this o Distinctiveness § High – unusual behavrior § Low – behave this way with other stimuli − We can point to external attribution when there is: o High consistency o High consesnus o High distinctiveness − We can point to internal attribution when there is: o High consistency o Low consensus o Low distinctiveness What makes a good excuse? − It is based on an external cause − Proving that it was a unique event (high in distinctivenesss) − Proving you don’t typically act this way (low in consistency) − Proving it was out of your controll and others had the same problem (hih in consensus) When can we be sure our attribution is correct? − Discounting Principle o When ther are lots of possible reasons why someone may have engaged in the behavior, we should not be so sure why they did it. We put less weight on one particular cause. o Ambiguous attribution § When a person matches expectation, like actiong in a socially normative way, we do not know what is driving the behavior. o Example: You hear a person gets a high score on a high level university psych exam. You find out that it is a professor. You can’t really come to the conclusion that he is extremely clever, because this scenario doesn’t prove much. It could have been that the exam was easy, or that he had seen the exam before. We can’t be positive about the attribution that the cauase of his grade is that he is clever. − Augmenting Principle o When you put wight on one particular cause because the othher possible causes would normally produce a different outcome o Confidence attribution § When an individual does the opposite of what you would expect o Example: You hear a person gets a high score on a high level university psych exam. You find out that it is a middle schooler. You can be fairly confident that the cause of this high grade is because the child is extremely clever. No other explanations would point to such a high score. Errors and Biases in Attribution Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) − Wrongly think that people’s internal characteristics explain behavior but they forget to take the situtaion into consideration − This is always about attributions you have about other people − Example: typically thinking that a quiz master is smarter than the contestant, but really they just have seen all of the answers before Actor-Observer Difference − Attributions depend on who is making the assesment. If it is the actor, they are more inclined to make situtaional attributions. If it is the observer, they are more likely to make internal attributions. − Depending on what my perspectivi is, or the actors perspecitve is, we will make attributions differently Self Serving Attribution Bias − When we succeed, we tend to take credit and make internal attributions − When we fail, we tend to blame the environment and make external attributions − Ultimate Attribution Error: when working in groups, we tend to see our own as being the best, and try to justivy intergroup differnces. This is a major cause of racism. How to attributions change based on culture? − People from individualistic cultures are inclined to fall into the fundamental attribution error, basing attributions off of internal characteristics rather than looking at the sitution − People in lower calsses are more likely to see how environment effects how people do things than upper classes. Cognitive roots for Attributional Biases − Perceptual salience – the more we pay attention to something, the more we feel as if it was the cause − Situational attribution takes more thought, and internal attribtuions come more automatically, so this is where FAE comes from Counterfactual Thoughts − Thinking about the “what if” situations − A lot of times we have emotional amplification if an event almost happened, but didn’t − Example: You almost got a ticket on the flight that crashed. Explanatory Style 3 dimensions of explanatory style − Internal/External − Stable/unstable - if it is likely to continue to effect you (stable) or is random (unstable)? − Global/specific - does it effect one small area or all areas of your life?


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