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PSYCH 1X03 (1,053)
Joe Kim (987)

Forming Impressions.docx

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Forming Impressions -difficult to accurately attribute intentions to observed actions b/c many possible factors Attribution Theories Correspondent Inference Theory -Jones & Davis -actively analyze person's behaviour to make inferences based on: -degree of choice: if chose to act that way or not -develop feeling for or against person -expectation: how expected a behaviour is -uncommon behaviour given more info than common (more reason to infer underlying cause) -intended consequences of the behaviour -more reason to suspect if behaviour intended by contradictory source Covariation Theory -determine if behaviour is dispositional: due to individual's personality or situational: due to the occurring situation -3 variables considered: -consistency: does individual usually behave this way? -distinctiveness: does the individual behave differently in diff situations? yes=situational, no=dispositional -consensus: do others behave the same in the situation? yes=situational, no=dispositional The Fundamental Attribution Error -often overestimate role of dispositional factors & underestimate role of situational factors -term coined by Ross (social psychology), Jones "overly provocative & somewhat misleading" -more vulnerable to make error when determining causes of behaviours of others rather than own -own behaviour; more aware of situational influences -fundamental attribution error: assume behaviour of others are primarily due to dispositional factors -only have current situation given as example; represent what's typically observed -actor observer effect: consider situational factors of your own behaviour Ex. Harre & Colleagues 2004 -young drivers asked to explain risky driving behaviour -attribute own driving to situational factors; pressure from peers, feeling of hurry -friends' risky driving to personal factors; having fun, showing off -not universal finding; influenced by culture Ex. Miller 1984 -how likely US & Indian children & adults were to attribute -ve behaviour to dispositional/situational factors -US 8 & 11 yr olds attributed behaviour to personal & situational causes -Indian 11 yr olds have tendency to make more situational than personal/dispositional attributions -US 15 yr olds & adults made more attributions as a result of personal factors than situational factors -Indian 15 yr olds & adults made more attributions to situational factors than personal factors Ex. Morris & Peng 1994 -comparison b/t China & US -US: increased probability of making fundamental attribution error -China: decreased probability of making fundam
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