PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Polar Ice Cap, Norm (Social), Ibm Officevision

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PSYCH 215 Lecture Oct 19
Attribution Theory (Heider, row boat)
(All on note from Oct 17)
Raw behavior = starting point for analysis of each other, we are mini scientists.
What caused the behavior? Once we figure we know cause, we understand it and
know what to do with it. We are limited in time and space.
Understanding = CAUSE
Possible causes
o Internal/ external
o Stable/ unstable
Choosing a cause
o Rational- scientific analysis
o Process of elimination
o Behaving according to social norms?
o How do they behave in other situations?
o Self-serving need that drives us in interactions
o Helps categorize world for us
o We need to have perceptions that protect our ego
o We like and need to feel good about ourselves
o Feeling confident is important for success
o Whether defined as getting along (with others intimately, as friends
colleges partners ect) or getting ahead (career, job, school)
o Anything that takes away doesn’t feel good
o You and I when choosing cause we focus on cause that makes us look
good
o Unless overwhelming evidence for the opposite
o Ex. Midterm successful results- prof thinks hes the cause, protects
ego or midterm results poor- what do I do about such poor
students? Students= cause, both ways prof’s ego is protected
o Accurate for good guide but also want to protect ego
o 2 competing casual analysis occurring simultaneously, one can
discount the other
o surfaces- ex. Young women says that relationship went down the
toilet, what a loser- thought it was going to work but I’m glad its over
after 5 reminders you would think young women would say if I
look at behavior over time I might have to come to the causal
conclusion that I AM THE CAUSE that these relationships aren’t
working
but this isn’t good for the ego
we all have heard of people like this- but cant they see the
reality? They can never do take the blame
it s dysfunctional, person doesn’t adjust behavior
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for a day I wont be rational- but after can think I really could
have behaved better in this relationship, I don’t just blame
them come to conclusions about myself that will lead me to
be better in the future
o self serving/ ego protectors that dominate every analysis is not
functional
o most people are ego protective or self-serving but there are some who
are the opposite chronically depressed?
o As their caring friend try to get them out of “funk” by reminding them
no you’re not a loser, good things have happened depressed person,
no matter how real and positive data is “yes but that just happened by
luck”
Re-interpret causes of event
Depressed causal attributions are as dysfunctional- re-direct,
just as bad as always ego protecting
Difficult to get ego protector to blame self, difficult to get
depressed to stop blaming self
When depressed is not loser by any means- friends or
therapists are frustrated, any data will not move people
o Ex. A guy lives in montreal and he parks car on a hill, and does all the
right things, put wheels towards curb, hand break on, goes into dep-
car rolls down the hill, no driver:
1) down hill through intersection missing cars going the other
way, over hedge into a tree and leaves huge dent
2) down hill gets into intersection and smashes right into
another car. It is totally wrecked.
3) down hill just as approaching intersection, hits an old lady
with cane.
To what extent was the accident caused by the driver?
Smacks into car and really damages, yes kind of at fault, smacks
old lady= guy is the cause
Say he’s not at fault for old lady he did all the right things, so
we say because we would not want to be blamed if in that
situation
The more you can identify with person and situation, the more
we don’t see person as cause
If person does something that distances them from me, fails to
put break on, they ARE the cause
Subtle ways that we protect ego when we can relate, not just
about it being OUR fault
Mini-scientists at work
o Who wants to teach kindergarten
o Holding job interviews: do you like children? Yes I love them. Do you
believe candidate? I don’t disbelief them, but of course person will say
they love kids.
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Document Summary

Attribution theory (heider, row boat) (all on note from oct 17) Raw behavior = starting point for analysis of each other, we are mini scientists. Once we figure we know cause, we understand it and know what to do with it. Possible causes: internal/ external, stable/ unstable. Students= cause, both ways prof"s ego is protected: accurate for good guide but also want to protect ego, 2 competing casual analysis occurring simultaneously, one can discount the other, surfaces- ex. Young women says that relationship went down the toilet, what a loser- thought it was going to work but i"m glad its over. After 5 reminders you would think young women would say if i look at behavior over time i might have to come to the causal conclusion that i am the cause that these relationships aren"t working. But this isn"t good for the ego. Depressed causal attributions are as dysfunctional- re-direct, just as bad as always ego protecting.

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