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Lecture 4

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Gordon Hodson

Lecture 4: Social Perception  Weighted average model: -combine information about others, compute a running average -but is weighed depending on how much we value traits (i.e. their importance to us) -unweighted “john”: intelligent – 8/10, attractive 4/10 (mean = 6/10) -weighted john: intelligent = 8/10, attractive = 4/10 , total = < 6 (italics = important) Discounting vs. augmenting: Discounting principle:  People typically accept the most likely cause of behaviour -i.e. we discount other possibilities/explanation that could’ve caused the behaviour  Example: Susie gets an “A”, class avg on exam is an “A” -potential causal factor 1: Suzie is bright -potential causal factor 2: exam is easy -we “discount” her intelligence or motivation cause of “A” grade and instead we conclude that exam was not difficult (i.e. more likely) Augmentation principle:  If there is both an inhibitory (-) and facilitative (+) cause for behaviour, the role of the facilitative cause is deemed greater now (now ++)  Example: Susie gets an “A”, class avg is “D” -potential causal factor 1: Suzie is bright -potential inhibitory factor 1: exam was very challenging -her strong performance, suggesting intelligence, is considered EVEN MORE indicative of strong abilities because the situation was inhibitory  Therefore: if everyone else got an A, we discount her intelligence and assume a different factor for this outcome but if everyone else got a D we augment her intelligence or motivation as cause of “A” grade and see her as super bright  Olson & Roese (1995) -Ps told: “this room” creates or inhibits laughter -Ps provided humour ratings after 5-min comedy dialogue Results: -PS that were told the experimental room inhibits humour ratings -> rated jokes as even funnier (i.e. reasoning: I laughed, in these inhibiting conditions, the joke must have been really funny) -Stimulus event: is there an external cause present? If yes – attribution to external cause, if no – attribution to internal cause, or no, and a inhibitory cause is present – attribution to extreme internal cause (ex/ car in ditch – is there ice on the road? Yes – driving conditions caused accident, no – poor driving skills caused accident) Lecture 4: Social Perception Kelly’s theory of attributions: 1. Consistency  Does the person normally do it?  Defined: information about the extent to which the behaviour between one actor and one stimulus is the same across time and circumstances 2. distinctiveness:  Does the person behave differently in different situations?  Defined: information about the extent to which one particular actor behaves in the same way to different stimuli 3. Consensus:  Do others behave similarly in this situation?  Defined: information about the extent to which other people behave the same way as the actor does toward the same stimulus Fundamental attribution error:  Underestimate situational influences, and overestimate dispositional influences when observing the behaviour of others -Also known as the “correspondence bias”  Jones & Harris (1967) -Ps read speeches for or against Castro -Ps told that: debaters were given choice regarding position, or debaters assigned to write a particular position -task: indicate attitudes of essay writers -when they were given a choice: pro-castro were seen as people who liked castro, and anti- castro people who wrote seen that they disliked castro -when they were assigned: Ps ignored this factor and
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