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Lecture 20

PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Juvenile Delinquency, Visible Minority, Boston Fire Department

Course Code
PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

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PSYCH 215 Lecture Oct 21
Applying Attribution Theory
Effective communication
o Transmit unequivocal message
o Negotiating the meaning of words
o To be an effective communicator must establish for yourself and for
everyone to see a baseline pattern of communicating
o Have to establish your own personal baseline for communication
o You must establish your personal style of communication
o Must be stable (constant, your pattern) and baseline way of
o To create stable- must have a pattern, style
o Doesn’t mean one style is better than another
o Once establish baseline those who communicate with you can
understand you better and be able to attribute a cause accurately
o To know what is coming from you in that it is evidence of who you are
and not due to external factor
o You must have a style and have the time for others around you to get
to know that style- to be able to make accurate attributions
o EX. Someone who always says they love something, means different
for a person who never says LOVE and then says “I love you”
o EX. Having to tell an employee or a student that their work isn’t good
enough- by knowing attribution theory, can do certain things to
unsure you are understood, remove ambiguity
o If only half decent communicator- look George I’m not saying this
cause I’m on a power trip or I want to look good, what I’m trying to
tell you is that the work is not good enough
o Eliminates certain causes, power trip, focusing on certain attribution I
want you to give
o EX. Working a Stuart bio building, shout “Laura I wanna see you now!”
Could mean something good, or you’re in trouble, or he’s lost
something- don’t know what attribution to make
o If you have a characteristic way of behaving in situations, people get it
Interpersonal attraction
o We want people to like us
o How do we do that?
o Basic psychology states- The way to get people to like us is to reward
o People will repeat again what’s rewarded to them- rat will push the
bar again if you feed him, get dog to roll over by giving treats
o We’re not stupid- we do not go to things that give us pain, we do
things that we get rewarded for
o Attribution theory states- positive or negative reinforcement?
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o Negative reinforcement- creates more attraction despite giving out
few rewards, the cause of red increasingly giving me more positive is
because of me- pattern of reward
o Yellow- has nothing to do with me, is nice to everyone, continuous
Human apathy
o We are often accused of being politically apathetic
o Students- so apathetic, you don’t get involved in school politics
o Oprah Winfrey- we don’t have the time or energy to be engaged in
absolutely everything we come across
o We live in a democracy- what we do with a certain amount of
legitimacy is we vote people to look after certain things
o As long as someone else is looking after it- we’re apathetic
o The only time you’ll hear from us is if we have a complain- then we’re
not apathetic anymore
o As long as moving things in a direction I approve of- apathetic
o What’s causing my lack of reaction is not lack of interest is that I
delegated the task to you- cause= trust
Our judicial system
Basic attribution analysis
We know what the person did it, we want to know why
Intended to kill = first degree, out of passion= second degree,
The system becomes a study of attribution for us to look at carefully
o Insanity
Insanity plea rarely evoked in real life
Insanity is the ultimate external cause for behavior
That wasn’t the real me who did it, I was insane, you cant
blame me so you cant put me in jail
EX. Alcohol example, I was so drunk I slept with so many
people, BUT doesn’t count because it wasn’t real me that was
cause of behavior, I was drunk= EXTERNAL
Buy that excuse allows our relationship to move forward
Legally- if you jump in your car after drinking, run over an old
lady and get caught- you were the cause and has big
Only if had minimal to drink- but had 53 beers you let him off,
because it wasn’t the real him, it was an EXTERNAL cause, he
has a sickness, its not his fault
Are we responsible for anything? EX. Just as its in my genes to
have a heart attack before 50, it’s the same genes that make me
a wife beater, it’s not my fault
o Sleep-walking
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