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Date Created: 11/01/15
Social Psychology Module Two Perceiving Others To understand and explain other individuals you need to know something about their disposition how a person typically is O Attributions an explanation of others behaviors why did the person act that way Attribution Theory The process by which to explain other peoples behavior Heider 1958 behavior5m was losing influence conditioning not an either or proposition but which of the two attributions are more important in the situation given a choice we would prefer to make personal attributions because we like to think that we KNOW other people 0 Personal Dispositional lnternalAttributions Those attributions that we attribute to internal causes of the person who engaged in the behavior how they feel about themselves their personality how they relate to other people their abilities Situational External Attributions The reason for the person s behavior is a function of the situation How others treat you environment OTHER PEOPLE Weiner 1972 Stability amp Instability consistent or inconsistent behavior A student tells the professor that he stinks Why 0 Internal amp Stable Student is always a rude person 0 Internal amp Unstable Student doesn t feel well today 0 External amp Stable He actually does stlnk 0 External amp Unstable It is hot and humid out Covariation Principle of Attribution Theory Kelley 1967 Obtaining multiple observations of behavior from the same person for something to be the cause of the behavior it must consistently be present when the behavior occurs and consistently not present when the behavior does not occur cause ls present behavior is present cause is absent behavior is absent Questions about behavior 0 Consistency Does the person behave the same way when always presented with the same stimulus No low consistency circumstantial attribution Yes high consistency don t know the type of attribution yet 0 Distinctiveness Does the person behave the same way when presented with a similar stimulus No high distinctiveness situational attribution Yes low distinctiveness personal attribution o Consensus Do other people behave the same way in response to the same stimulus Yes high consensus situational attribution No low consensus personal attribution Hi hi low or hi low low 91109 Correspondence theory 0 Correspondence inference theory Jones amp Davis 1965 How we make dispositional attributions based upon wobservation Under what conditions does a person s behavior correspond with their disposition Single instance of behavior DispositionalAttributions Correspondence inference Behavior Correspondent Inference Non Correspondent Dick acts passionately Dick is a passionate person Dick just took Viagra Waiter spills coffee Waiter is a spaz Someone knocked into the waiter Prefer to make dispositional attributions Situational attributions are merely defaults o Discounting principle People have a tendency to discount the extentdegree to which a behavior is caused by a dispositional factor when there is an obvious situational factor present 0 Noncorrespondent inference Behavior exhibited does not correspond to the person s disposition We say the behavior is llnondiagnostic behavior it tells us nothing about the person When someone is quiet and reserved at a funeral Everyone is quiet and reserved it tells us nothing about her as a person 0 Augmenting principle More likely to make a corresponding inference if the person s behaviors are incongruent with norms Marti Gra If someone is being quiet while everyone is running around showing their boobs 0 Problems You can be wrong 0 Concern for confidence 9 Rules ofthumb that will increase our confidence when generating attributions Freedom ofchoice When we know a behavior is freely chosen we are more likely to make a corresponding inference Social desirability When people engage in a behavior that is socially undesirable we make a correspondent inference Attributional biases Picture of someone walking off a plane in the rain President Ford falling down Fundamental attribution error Our tendency to underestimate situational factors and overestimate dispositional factors most common error Why are we so quick to make distributional attributions and ignore situational factors Automaticity of social perception Gilbert 1989 3 steps in generating an attribution for someone else s behavior Personal Attribution Categorize Behavior First two observations are made automatically last step is a controlled process takes energytimeeffort Behavior engulfs the field Heider means behavior captures our attention we tend to focus on people who performed the behavior instead of the situation Most perceptualy salient feature is behavior Perceptual salience Culture Actor observer effect The actor is the person who commits the behavior observer sees the behavior When explaining similar behaviors we tend to make distributional attribution for other people but make situational attributions for ourselves This is an extension of the Fundamental Attribution Error 0 We know the most about ourselves so we know how are behavior varies o Nisbett 1973 I Subjects asked to rate themselves a friend their father amp Walter Cronkite on a list of traits I Three possible responses ex Does the word Kind resemble your father Person possesses trait Depends on situation Person possesses opposite trait I Most likely say depends on situation when it is about you lease likely to say depends when it is about Walter Cronkite Heuristics Mental shortcuts we employ to make judgments about other people Representativeness heuristic Rule of thumb we used to judge someone based upon the degree in which they match a certain category Ex Hippie on bus may also be a feminist Baseratefalacy Consequence of relying on their unique characteristics A tendency to ignore base rate information that describes the majority of the group Hippie as a bank teller or a lawyer most of the class chose lawyer the ease of which it comes to mind Availability heuristic Mental shortcut in which we judge the likelihood of an event occurring by 0 Example People over estimate the number of people killed in a plane accident People underestimate the number of people that die from pancreatic cancer 0 Example Two women who have never experienced domestic violence underestimate the number of cases a year Impression Formation The process of integrating a number of attributions to form a single coherent picture of another person Elemental models Argue that when we form impressions of other people we consider each piece of information separately Impression a b c d Attributes are independent of one another 0 additive models We observe a number of traits in two different people Trait John Yoko Intelligent 7 9 Political 8 8 Musical 9 Attractive 6 Impression 30 18 Holistic o lmplies the more you know about someone the more favorable impression averaging models 0 John 75 0 Yoko 90 o Assumed each trait has an equal weight Information integration theory Averaging elemental model models Asch Trained as Gestalt psychologist He will say the attributes are dependent of one another Meaning changes according to context in which it is discovered He will tell you your overall impression is greater than the sum of the attributes Example Friend 1 is honest and ambitious Friend 2 is dishonest and ambitious The meaning of an attribute depends on the context of the word Person A o Skillful industrious warm determined practical and cautious 0 Overall Impression Good person Person B 0 Intelligent skillful industrious cold determined practical and cautious 0 Overall impression lntroverted Self Kept etc Central traits Traits that infer the presence of a lot of other traits o Traits interdependent of one another ex warm and cold 0 Weighted more heavily Peripheral traits Traits that do not infer the presence of other traits o Weighted less heavily Weighted averaging model Reconciliation of an averaging elemental model and Ascher s holistic model Biases in Impression Formation Perception of people is defined by our pre existing notion that certain attributes go together We think if someone is warm they are also kind Implicit personality theory Associative network about the assumptions we make regarding the relationship between various traits and attributes Principle of evaluative consistency Our tendency to view others in a way that is internally consistent Prevents us from associating someone who is Kind Warm and Thoughtful to a Serial Killer Dealing with inconsistentinformation We discover someone who is peaceful and confrontational Trait Pair Resolving Device llBrilliant amp Foolish Segregation apply to separate parts of the person s life llSociable amp Lonely Depth Dimension an outer trait compensates for an inner trait llCheerful amp Gloomy Common Source Both arise from a common trait maybe this person is extremely emotional Person A Intelligent industrious impulsive critical stubborn envious Selfish Stingy Bossy Big Headed Judgmental Self Centered llHe puts his intelligence to work Person B Envious stubborn critical impulsive industrious intelligent Wreck less Mean llBound to be restricted by jealousy and stubbornness Power of first impressions Primacy effect Information you encounterfirst is information that is more strongly stored and easier to recall Person positivity bias llPollyanna effect In all probability you will give them the benefit of the doubt You will initially form a favorable impression Affect Congruency Bias We tend to make judgments in a way that is congruent with our affective state If we are in a llpositive mood and asked to judge a person we judge them positively Positively rating your teacher even after a bad experience Confirmation bias the tendency to seek interpret and create information about someone in such a way that it verifies our existing beliefs or initial impressions of someone this leads us to make mistakes about individuals Beliefperseverance once we make an initial impression about someone we tend to retain that impression even when presented with contradictory information this is very difficult to change Bahbad 200 students given essay told to grade it V2 told good student V2 told bad student then told them she lied and it was an average student and they still do not change their grade Classroom Ecology studies about the distribution of grades and where you sit in the class front rows good grades bad rows bad grades the teacher s belief about the students will affect them Self ll lling prophecy if an observer has an initial impression or expectation of an actor then it s possible that eventually the actor will behave in a way that is congruent with the observer s impression won t work if the actor is motivated to prove the observer wrong or if observer is motivated to nd the truth valor 0 Detecting lies Rosenthol amp Jacobson quotPygmaion in the Classroom Perceiver forms expectations about the target Perceiver acts toward the target based on expectations Target interprets the perceiver s actions and responds so that his or her behavior is consistent with perceiver s expectations we need to pay attention to the transmission of expressions Intentionally transmitted things you control Unintentionally transmitted things you can t control llLeaky Behaviors nonverbal leakage is not all weighted the same facial expressions body language amp posture don t have a lot of leakage to them Micro expressions fleeting changes in facial expression that occur in less than a tenth of a second lnterchannel discrepancies channel nonverbal behavior find inconsistencies maintaining eye contact but is turned away from you moderate amount of leakage Paralinguistic expressions most leakage not about What you say but how you say it pitch goes up a lot of pauses in speech grammatical errors