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Lecture 3

PSYC 250 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Cognitive Load, Social Desirability Bias, Collectivism

Course Code
PSYC 250
Yvonne Lai

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Chapter 3: Social Perception: Perceiving and Understanding Others
Social Perception
Overview of chapter:
Nonverbal Communication
Attribution Theory
Impression Formation
Impression Management
Social Perception:
The process through which we seek to know and understand other people
People must play detective
Can only observe others’ overt actions and outwards appearances
Can only infer certain things about an individual
Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal commination
Communication between individuals that does not involve the content of spoken language
Relies on an unspoken language of facial expressions, eye contact and body language
Basic Channels
1. Facial expression provide clues to a person’s emotions
6 basic emotions: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprises, disgust
2. Eye contact indicates positive feelings
3. Body language (position posture, movement of bodies or body parts) reveals emotional states
4. Appropriate touching produces positive reactions (e.h., handshaking)
Nonverbal cues plays a role assisting people to recognize deception
1. How good are we at recognizing deception by others?
Accuracy is around chance levels
2. How can we do a better job at this task?
Examining both verbal and nonverbal cues results in greater accuracy than each individually
Two types of nonverbal cues:
1. Visual cues
e.g., movements, eye contact, smiles
2. Vocal cues
e.g., stuttering, pitch of voice amount of time to respond
Linguistic style
Aspects of speech apart form the meaning of the words employed
Lie detection training can be effective
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Does “Women’s intuition” Exist? And if so, is it based on the ability to use and interpret nonverbal
No clear evidence to support that women are better at all aspects of social perception than men
Women are better at transmitting and decoding nonverbal cues, but more likely to accept
deceptive messages as accurate
Understanding the cause of Other’s Behaviour
In addition to wanting to know how a person acted, social psychologists want to know hwy a
person acted a certain way
The process through which we seek to identify the causes of behaviour and gain knowledge
about stable traits and dispositions
Theory of Correspondent Interference:
Proposed by Jones and Davis (1965)
A theory of describing how we use other’s behaviour as a basis for inferring their stable
dispositions (i.e., what they are really like as a person)
Requires that:
Behaviour is freely chosen
Behaviour leads to non common effects (effects produced by a particular cause that could not
be produced by any other apparent cause)
Behaviour is low in social desirability
Kelly’s theory of Causal Attributions
People attribute the cause to internal or external reasons
Internal: Own traits, motives, intentions
External: Some aspect of the social or physical world
Kelly’s Theory of Causal Attributions
The theory says we focus on three major types of information in attempt to find out why others act
the way they do:
Consensus: The extent to which other people react to some stimulus or event in the same manner
as the person we are considering
Consistency: The extent to which an individual responds to a given stimulus or situation in the
same way on different occasions (i.e., across time)
Distinctiveness: The extent to which an individual responds in the same manner to different
stimuli or events
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