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Lecture 20

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McGill University
PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

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 communicating 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 immediately  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 them 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? 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 rewards  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, accidently=manslaughter  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 positively  Legally- if you jump in your car after drinking, run over an old lady and get caught- you were the cause and has big consequences  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  EX. The night after prof makes up midterm exam, he is happy, but he has to go to dinner party at colleagues house, casual chic attire, boring event- man with a beard and old school scholarly academic, tells him he just finished midterm, great question, what was it? I told them about a case that I think was in California, where a guy went to mother in laws home, stabbed her 47 times to death, and GOT OFF, because he was sleep
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